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is this the right I/O?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by centervolume, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. centervolume

    centervolume Active Member

    new member here seeking advice

    I have a pro tools rig I want to use with an analog console; I want to use the console to set levels for recording/tracking and for mix down (as opposed to using the virtual mixer on pro tools). basically using pro tools as tape machine.

    I have a tascam M520 board and FW1082 I/O.

    I have the system setup so that the input signal path is working through the board to track on pro tools. but trying to wrap my head around signal flow to get playback to come up on the board for dubbing and mix down.

    any assistance appreciated!
  2. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    The direct outs of the console channel strips need to be patched to the analog inputs of the 1082. You've only got 8 line ins on the 1082 so you won't be able to take more than 8 tracks at a time. This is usually enough for a minimal drum session but forget about taking a whole band all at once with open options.

    As far as mixdown goes, there are few options with the 1082. It's only a 10/4 interface so you will only get 4 analog outputs, which is far from enough for mixdown on an analog console like the M520. So yeah, mixdown on the console is not gonna happen. Furthermore, I looked at the back panel and I'm still trying to figure out where the third and fourth outputs are. Headphones?

    See, the FW-1082 is designed to be a control surface, preamp and monitoring control hub for your home studio. It is not designed to be used in conjunction with an analog mixer. For this you need sufficient AD/DA to match the mixers' specs. If You're interested in using the mixer as your main tracking and mixing device you need to get something like a MOTU 24 i/o.

  3. centervolume

    centervolume Active Member


    "you the man"

    couldn't have asked for a more clear explanation!

    So I can still use the current setup to operate 4 channels in a post tracking situation - like
    dubs and mix down then. I have some small acoustic tunes I can put together while I wait on this new I/O.

    The other 2 outs are available as SPDIF, but what that means exactly I am still deciphering. The manual tends to be a bit understated and cryptic. But I know its there.

    My question is if the 1082 will "translate" the adjustments I make on the 520 so they show up on the software. (levels and eq etc for dubs and mixdown).
  4. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    Ah. S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital InterFace) is a digital protocol that can not be used with the M520 because, as far as I can tell, it is an all analog mixer. This means that the 1082 can only send and receive DIGITAL signals via the S/PDIF connectors. For instance, if you have a stereo mic preamp, like a Focusrite Twin Trak, it's digital output (on S/PDIF) could be fed into the S/PDIF input on the 1082 for two extra input channels. Likewise, the 1082 can send a stereo signal to a device that accepts S/PDIF signals, like an external DAC for example, via it's S/PDIF outputs. Sadly, none of these options actually give you two more physical analog outputs which means that you only have two analog outputs to work with, total. This is not enough to do anything else but monitor playback.

    Whatever adjustments you make before you record - provided the direct outs on the M520 are connected correctly to your 1082 - will be stored as such during the AD conversion process (audio recording). I am not intimately familiar with the intricacies of your particular desk so I can't confirm or deny whether the direct outs are pre or post EQ. Knowing Tascam, chances are that they are post EQ and it is likely that you can turn the EQ's on or off on each channel at will.

    Cheers :)
  5. centervolume

    centervolume Active Member

    ah yes, 2 outs. no fun! so I ordered two 12 x 12 I/Os today. Having fun in the meantime getting familiar with hybrid analog digital workstation.

    The direct outs are actually pre EQ, so I am using what is referred to as program outs from the 520 to the 1082. Everything is working fine, I can get 8 out and it sounds clear and strong. I am happy with it for what it is, no gremlins yet - or at least none that I have not been able to deal with. I am learning pro tools to boot, so its a matter of getting a setup that works then branching out once I feel comfortable.

    will wait on the new I/Os then continue my quest. You have been quite helpful. Much appreciated!


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