Fostex DCM 100

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Digital MIxer DCM 100
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Digital MIxer DCM 100

MIDI mixer

The Fostex DCM is a digitally controlled mixer which uses MIDI cc signals to control mixing and effects routing. The mixer system also includes the MIXPAD which contains the slider controls to control more than one DCM.
This means that when linked together,the DCM units operate like a manual mixer containing the number of channels corresponding to 8 times the number of DCM units being controlled.
One might ask why not just have a 16 input mixer? Well, the capacity to remote control these units means a PC can operate them under MIDI control taking your mixing under the control of any music software that normally controls the instruments themselves.
Like similar units,the MOTU7s and Simmons SPM there are manual gain controls on the front panel for each channel and all channels respond to volume,pan,efx1 & 2 send,bass and treble. The CC controls start at 16 for volume,followed by pan. The full list is available from Fostex.
On the rear is a DIP switch to set the MIDI channel and whether the unit does SYSx dumping,which it uses to store the 'scenes' that can be set for instant recall under MIDI program control. In this way,one can either alter the live mix or recall distinct patches of mixes at any moment. The SYSx can be dumped to an external storage device.
The EFX channels use the same bunch of CC controls. Channel 1 uses 0-63 data and Channel 2 uses 64-127.
There is also a headphones amp and a dual LED VU meter for level monitoring.
The rear panel contains 3 midi sockets, 2 jacks per channel for the inputs,2 jacks for efx send & return for each of 2 efx and the jacks to join 2 mixers together.
The front panel has LED power indicator and a green LED to indicate MIDI activity. The latter LED is quite useful since upon power on the channels and main volume default to 0 volume and need to be programmed,the green LED indicates that MIDI data has been received.
My own experience has been that the MOTU7s is a good performer and has a few extra items (like noise gating settings) but on mine the rather tiny power switch broke. The one Simmons unit I owned was flaky and whilst it too contained extras (like LFO effects) it was too untrustworthy to rely upon.
I now have two DCMs making up a 16 channel mixer - they are built like tanks and don't suffer from flaky power buttons.
Niggles:  Just a pity I don't have the MIXPad controls. No real niggles.
Good points:  Great sturdy device which works well. If it was a toss-up between the SPM/MOTU and the DCM I'd choose the DCM - indeed I did.
Expect to Pay: £40+. If the seller is aware of what they have on their hands they then they may go higher. Sometimes people are unaware of what the unit is or does or how it operates.


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