changing the audio world, one system at a time .... church sound, video and lights

Tascam DM-4800 can it be used as a Front of House board?

I recently spec'd two Tascam DM-4800s for a system install. One for recording and one for the FOH. After some fine tuning on the budget the church decided to drop one the the boards. We decided to use the remaining board as the FOH board and the church will get the other board later.

Now does it work for FOH? Yes, we used it last sunday for the first time with only a little bit of "up close a personal time" with the board, and Julius Ezeb (Director of Media Ministry) and the Tascam did a great job. The board is well laid out and things were easy to get to. The only thing that is lacking in the board for FOH duties is the number of outputs from the main mix. We had to use the assignable aux outs for the recording, nursery and lobby feeds. Not a great set-up because of the time it takes to create the separate mixes. The other outs provided (studio, control room large and small monitors) are not useful in a live situation.

The other complaint is the false advertising - Tascam claims that this is a 48 channel board, not true!. It comes with 24 mic pres and the capability to add more (8 channel) input cards to bring the channel count up to 48. I am assuming that once you get the cards installed you will have the same dynamics, gate, EQ and effects available on every channel as well. If that is the case then this is way better than the Mackie TT24. If the "Line Inputs" 1-24 where capable of being split and assignable to the 25-48 channels then it would be a true 48 channel board. Even if you add the X-48 track recorder to DM you still need to have some kind of interface to get the analog signal into either the X-48 or the DM. So if you bought the DM and the X-48 without any additional optional cards you would only be a 24 track setup. They do come with the 48 TDIF I/O channels on each machine but they are useless until you get the some kind of interface to bring the audio in.

What really matters, sound quality

Yes it does sound pretty good. Its digital and its Tascam. The sound quality is clean with good definition but I wouldn't call it warm.

Tascam DM-4800

Sound Quality ✹✹✹
Ease of use ✹✹✹
Bang for buck ✹✹✹✹
Build Quality ✹✹✹✹
Manufacturer Claims ✹✹✹

(Rating: scale = poor ✹✹✹✹✹=excellent)

Test conditions : Channels used - 8 vocals, 1 wireless handheld, drums (4 ch), Keys (1 ch), Guitar (1 ch), Horns (1 ch), Pulpit (1 ch), outboard effects (2 ch) in this church
Christ Life Center Church in Tacoma Washington Sanctuary
blog comments powered by Disqus