TASCAM has introduced the FW-1884, a professional DAW control surface and audio/MIDI interface that uses the FireWire high-speed data transfer protocol. With FireWire's high-bandwidth capabilities, the FW-1884 provides audio and MIDI interfacing to computers as well as control of DAW parameters via eight 100mm motorized touch-sensitive channel faders, one master fader, and controls for pan, solo, mute and select functions on each channel. Tactile control for four bands of parametric EQ, a weighted jog wheel and a variety of shortcut keys for various popular software applications are also included. Additionally, TASCAM has announced the FE-8, an 8-channel fader expansion for the FW-1884.
"Ever since the introduction of our popular US-428 a few years ago, the professional portion of our customer base has been specifically asking for a higher-end version of the product," states Jim Bailey, TASCAM product development manager. "The FW-1884 marks a huge step forward for professional users of DAW software in that it provides all of the flexibility and quality that users of dedicated consoles and recorders have come to expect."
Co-designed between TASCAM and Frontier Design Group, the FW-1884 ($1599 MSRP USD) is an expandable audio and MIDI interface and control surface for professional DAW users. Its DAW control capabilities include comprehensive mixing, automation, editing and navigation tools. In addition to its faders, dedicated controls and assignable/pre-assigned shortcut keys, the FW-1884 provides eight balanced XLR analog mic/line inputs with high quality mic preamps, phantom power and inserts on every channel. Using 24-bit/96kHz A/D and D/A converters, the FW-1884 offers full 96kHz operation on all analog I/O channels with compatible DAW software.
For use with condenser microphones, the FW-1884 offers phantom power that's switchable in groups of four channels. In addition to its two FireWire (IEEE 1394) computer interfaces, the FW-1884 gives users eight channels of ADAT lightpipe as well as stereo S/PDIF inputs and outputs. Perfectly suited to multi-channel surround production as well as standard stereo mixing, the FW-1884 provides eight analog outputs that default in L/R and 5.1 surround modes. A headphone output is also provided.
Four MIDI inputs and four MIDI outputs on the FW-1884 allow users to connect with a wide variety of MIDI sound generation and timing tools. Its Word Clock in and out jacks allow computer systems to maintain accurate clock synchronization in digital recording environments. Also, its assignable footswitch jack can be used for tasks such as hands-free punching or MIDI control.
In use, the FW-1884 allows up to 18 audio inputs (including its eight analog channels, eight ADAT Optical channels and stereo S/PDIF channels) to be accessed at once. As a DAW controller, the FW-1884 is compatible with a wide variety of popular applications including MOTU Digital Performer, Steinberg Cubase, Steinberg Nuendo, Cakewalk Sonar, and more.
The FW-1884 can sum all of its inputs (18 in addition to the outputs of a DAW), and send them back to the DAW. Using this flexible capability, users can (for example) attach analog synthesizers, inputs from a GigaStudio sampling rig and so on, mix them with the outputs of their DAW software, and then send the summed signals back into the DAW software to print a stereo mix.
Users who require more dedicated tools for DAW control than the FW-1884 provides can add the FE-8, an eight-channel fader expander. The FE-8 offers all the channel strip capabilities (100mm motorized faders, dedicated control buttons and so on) of the FW-1884, minus the master section and interfacing. As many FE-8's may be added to an FW-1884 system as needed for big console functionality with any DAW system.
TASCAM is the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation and produces the most comprehensive line of audio recorders, mixers and related equipment in the pro audio industry. TASCAM has offices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Latin America