Author Topic: Fostex VM88 (2001) Digital Mixer 4 channels + 2 stereo  (Read 2188 times)

Online chrisNova777

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Fostex VM88 (2001) Digital Mixer 4 channels + 2 stereo
« on: March 30, 2015, 05:54:50 PM »

Fostex's new digital mixer sports ADAT I/O and a feature set which belies its price. Derek Johnson & Debbie Poyser trip the lightpipe fantastic.

Having built up several years of experience in creating digital recorders, gaining themselves a reputation for solid performance and stability, Fostex have fairly recently turned their attention to digital mixing, releasing their first digital mixer, the VM200, in late 1999 (reviewed SOS October 1999) and going on to incorporate a digital mixing section into their VF16 and VF08 hard disk recorders (reviewed SOS October 2000 and April 2001 respectively). So far it's probably fair to say that Fostex's digital mixing implementations, though cost-effective and functional, haven't quite lived up to the standards of their recorders. Will their VM88, which we're about to look at, break the mould?

Ins & Outs

Fostex's new baby is an eight-channel, stereo output device offering built-in effects and a basic Scene recall facility, and it has a tiny footprint, little bigger than a closed copy of Sound On Sound. Both analogue and digital inputs are available to its eight channels, and they may be used in combination, but only to a maximum of eight at a time. ADAT inputs are available to the channels in pairs, in groups of four, or all eight simultaneously. Analogue inputs comprise four offering both XLRs (with globally switchable phantom power) and balanced jacks, plus four with balanced jacks only — the former also provide analogue insert points on TRS jack sockets. The latter four inputs are configured as stereo pairs, though there's nothing on the front panel to tell you this — a special mode does allow mono use, but using this effectively disables two of the inputs, making the VM88 a six-channel mixer. The inputs all have a Trim pot, offering a gain range suitable for most mic and line sources, so no doubt people will plug in active guitars, but it would have been nice to see a dedicated high-impedance guitar input.