fostex d108,fostex d160


Equipped with removable control panel and analog-style control/function keys, the D-108 is an intuitive and extremely user-friendly recording unit.

The control panel can be locked to the front of the module (3U) for convenience during transport and then removed once in studio in order to be placed in any confortable position.

The panel is connected to the corresponding port of the module thru a quite short cable (about 10 cm.). Anyway, it's possible to find an optional extension cable to place the panel in the desired place.

Data Management
Operating System Update
Technical Details


The D-108 is a stand-alone multitrack digital recording system that allows a 8 tracks simultaneous recording / playback at 16-bit resolution using an internal or external Hard Disk as storage media.
It offers powerful features, usability and wide flexibility, due to the following main technical specs:

Removable front panel. In terms of ergonomics, this is one of the most useful and pleasing features of the system.
The front panel can be easily removed, allowing a convenient remote control of the unit and a consequent optimization of the space available in the recording studio.
The panel, divided into control section, function/transport section and display, is really user-friendly and very intuitive in terms of operation.
The lack of a backlit LCD display doesn't compromise the Editing and Setup functions management.
All messages and data are, in fact, clearly displayed on the high-visibility large FSP screen.

Built-in analog and digital I/O. The D-108 is equipped with 8 built-in analog RCA In/Out connectors. Moreover, 2 digital ADAT Optical In/Out ports are also available (8 In + 8 Out), switchable to S/PDIF (stereo).

Normally digital ports have priority in recording/playback, but, in S/PDIF mode digital and analog simultaneous recording can be performed: the digital signals coming from an external device (i.e.: CD, MD or DAT) can be recorded on 2 tracks, while 6 tracks are still available for the incoming analog signals.
The availability of built-in analog
digital ports is a big advantage. The basic configuration of the D-108, in fact, allows an immediate audio recording without installing any optional card.
Simultaneous 8 tracks recording/playback (with no data compression) is also available.


Furtherly, 8 balanced audio In/Out (D-Sub 25-pin connectors) can be added, installing an optional 5040 expansion board in the relevant slot of the rear panel.
Also, timecode facilites can be available installing an optional 8345 board (TC/SYNC) in a second slot still located on the rear panel. This expansion board provides LTC In/Out connectors and enables the D-108 to support slave operation for the incoming LTC and synchronization with Video reference signals and Word clock.
LTC, converted from the internal MTC, can also be output. The user can select from a number of Sync preset combinations.

Finally, the digital ports can also be used to save/
load the data of a Program (song) to/from DAT or ADAT. This in case a E-IDE Hard Disk is used as a current drive. More in details:
- Memory data: Clipboard In/Out, Auto Return Start/End, Auto Punch In/Out points
- Time Base: ABS, MTC or BAR/BEAT/CLK
- Setup mode: Time signature setting ( 4/4,3/4,etc.), Tempo setting (i.e. 120), Click on/off setting, Preroll Time setting (from 0 to 10 sec. in 1 sec. step), MIDI Sync Out setting (CLK, MTC or off), MTC setting (Frame rate, Offset and Offset mode), Slave mode on/off setting, Slave type setting, Sampling frequency setting (44.1 or 48 kHz).

Mass storage. The D-108 rear panel is equipped with a built-in SCSI-2 port that allows to connect a SCSI device (HD, MO, Zip, Jaz) as a current drive or backup unit to save/load data.
Up to 2 SCSI units can be connected to the SCSI port. This means the current drive and the backup SCSI equipment can be connected in chain.
The front panel of D-108 features a slot (normally covered by the control panel) able to receive a removable case (included in the package of the unit) containing an optional HD E-IDE. Installing this internal device, the system becomes extremely compact and complete, without any loss in terms of recording time.
The last software version 1.10, in fact, allows to use E-IDE Hard Disks with a huge recording capacity (approximately up to 30 Gb ). Both external and internal HD can be used.
Program (song) locations are displayed on the screen with an S for external SCSI connected unit or a P for internal E-IDE Hard Disk.

Data can also be saved/loaded in WAV format using a DOS formatted SCSI Hard Disk. This function is very useful and innovative because allows to edit, process and convert the sound files using any popular PC-based editing software.

Metronome function. The D-108 is able to generate a useful click tone available on track 8 (analog or digital). This metronome click tone can be generated in either play or record mode according to the tempo map.

The tempo map includes the time signature (3/4, 4/4, 5/4, etc.) and the tempo setting in bpm (i.e. 120). It is possible to set up to 64 different time signature and tempo points in a song.
Locate function. This function allows to store 99 time data in the [LOCATE] key just to enable an immediate recall of the desired point of the song, independently from the time base displayed on the screen (ABS, MTC or BAR/BEAT/CLK).
Each of the 99 Programs (songs) can have its own independent location points.

It is also possible to assign 6 specific individual time data to each of the 6 dedicated function keys: [CLIPBOARD IN/OUT], [AUTO PUNCH IN/OUT] and [AUTORETURN START/END]. These location points are useful in performing the editing operations (Copy & Paste, Move & Paste, Punch In/Out, Erase).

Vari-pitch function. It is possible to change the pitch of a song during playback or recording. The range of pitch variation is +/- 6% in 0,1% steps.

Jog/Shuttle dial. This control is very useful for a fine checking of the locate points, allowing a digital scrubbing of the audio data without any change in pitch.
Jog/Shuttle is also very convenient to quickly select parametrs in Setup mode or to change values in Data Edit mode.

Additional tracks. This is another useful feature the D-108 provides. Besides the 8 real tracks, 16 additional tracks (9-24) are available for a total of 24 tracks.
Unfortunately, the additional tracks cannot be used for recording or playback, but they are just useful to temporarily store the sound recorded in the real tracks (1-8). In this way, tracks 1-8 are cleared for fresh recording.
Anyway, a convenient Track Exchange function (included in the Setup mode) allows to swap data freely and quickly between the tracks.
The control panel, that can be considered as the removable "heart" of the D-108, is the machine-operator interface that allows to perform any operation.

It is organized in three sections:

- The Control Section allows to select the Time base (ABS, MTC o BAR/BEAT/CLK) displayed on the screen, to check the remaining recording time and the disk space, to recall or erase the Programs (songs) and assign them a name and to select the Setup functions.
The [JOG/SHUTTLE] dial, located in this section, is a general purpose control working interactively with the adjacent Function section.

- The Function Section includes the transport buttons, the Locate keys, the [VARI-PITCH] key and the keys that give access to the non-destructive Edit functions (Copy, Paste, Move, Erase).
The Undo and Redo keys restore the previous or edited values after any editing procedure

- The Display Section includes the high-visibility FSP display, that shows the signals level and the settings.
The 8 record track select keys are located under the display.
On the right side of these keys is available the [SHIFT] key that is useful in case of MIDI slave synchronization.

The system architecture is very intuitive allowing an immediate operation.
Considering handling and operation, the D-108 is a real user-friendly unit.

First of all, the basic configuration of the machine provides built-in analog/digital ports, useful for an immediate audio recording. The only lack is that a data mass storage device is not yet installed on-board.

Anyway, this should not be considered as a real disadvantage but as a Fostex choice. Any user, in fact, should choose the Hard Disk recording capacity depending on his needs.

The D-108 provides a complete MIDI environment, supporting MTC, MMC, output of MIDI Clock and Song Position Pointer, that can be fully programmed in the internal Tempo Map. In this way, it is possible the synchronization with a sequencer or a drum machine without wasting a recording track.

On the other hand, D-108 can be expanded. Installing optional boards, Video Sync and Word Clock with LTC In/Out connectors and balanced In/Out ports can be available, depending on the user requirements.

The 16-bit linear quantization and the A/D-D/A 20-bit conversion provides high quality audio recording/playback.

It could have been very pleasant to work with a LCD display built into the convenient removable panel. Anyway, the competitive quality/price ratio of the product and the clear readibility of the FSP display justify the Fostex choice.