2007-07-22 21:41:27 | SX-1:SX-1LE Documentation SX-1 Quick Start Guide - 3.9 MB | SX1_quickstart.pdf

2007-07-22 21:41:27 | SX-1:SX-1LE Documentation SX-1 Quick Start Guide - 3.9 MB | SX1_quickstart.pdf
Digital Production Environment
The lightning flash with arrowhead symbol, within an equilateral triangle, is intended to alert
the user to the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltage” within the product’s enclosure
that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock to persons.
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user to the presence of important operating and maintenance (servicing) instructions in the literature
accompanying the appliance.
This appliance has a serial number
located on the rear panel. Please record
the model number and serial number
and retain them for your records.
Model number
Serial number
Important Safety Precautions
IMPORTANT (for U.K. Customers)
For U.S.A
DO NOT cut off the mains plug from this equipment.
If the plug fitted is not suitable for the power points in your home or
the cable is too short to reach a power point, then obtain an
appropriate safety approved extension lead or consult your dealer.
If nonetheless the mains plug is cut off, remove the fuse and dispose
of the plug immediately, to avoid a possible shock hazard by
inadvertent connection to the mains supply.
If this product is not provided with a mains plug, or one has to be
fitted, then follow the instructions given below:
IMPORTANT: The wires in this mains lead are coloured in
accordance with the following code:
WARNING: This apparatus must be earthed.
As the colours of the wires in the mains lead of this apparatus may
not correspond with the coloured markings identifying the terminals
in your plug proceed as follows:
The wire which is coloured GREEN-and-YELLOW must be
connected to the terminal in the plug which is marked by the letter
E or by the safety earth symbol ç or coloured GREEN or GREENand-YELLOW.
This equipment has been tested and found to
comply with the limits for a Class A digital device,
pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These
limits are designed to provide reasonable
protection against harmful interference when the
equipment is operated in a commercial
environment. This equipment generates, uses,
and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if
not installed and used in accordance with the
instruction manual, may cause harmful
interference to radio communications.
Operation of this equipment in a residental area
is likely to cause harmful interference in which
case the user will be required to correct the
interference at his own expense.
Changes or modifications to this equipment not
expressly approved by TEAC CORPORATION
for compliance could void the user’s authority to
operate this equipment.
The wire which is coloured BLUE must be connected to the terminal
which is marked with the letter N or coloured BLACK.
The wire which is coloured BROWN must be connected to the
terminal which is marked with the letter L or coloured RED.
When replacing the fuse only a correctly rated approved type should
be used and be sure to re-fit the fuse cover.
For the consumers in Europe
This is a Class A product. In a domestic environment, this
product may cause radio interference in which case the user
may be required to take adequate measures.
Pour les utilisateurs en Europe
Il s’agit d’un produit de Classe A. Dans un environnement
domestique, cet appareil peut provoquer des interférences
radio, dans ce cas l’utilisateur peut être amené à prendre
des mesures appropriées.
Für Kunden in Europa
Dies is eine Einrichtung, welche die Funk-Entstörung nach
Klasse A besitzt. Diese Einrichtung kann im Wohnbereich
Funkstörungen versursachen ; in diesem Fall kann vom
Betrieber verlang werden, angemessene Maßnahmen
durchzuführen und dafür aufzukommen.
The equipment draws nominal non-operating power from the
AC outlet with its POWER switch in the off position.
2 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
… Read all of these Instructions.
… Save these Instructions for later use.
… Follow all Warnings and Instructions marked on the audio
1) Read Instructions — All the safety and operating instructions
should be read before the product is operated.
2) Retain Instructions — The safety and operating instructions
should be retained for future reference.
3) Heed Warnings — All warnings on the product and in the operating
instructions should be adhered to.
4) Follow Instructions — All operating and use instructions should be
5) Cleaning — Unplug this product from the wall outlet before cleaning. Do not use liquid cleaners or aerosol cleaners. Use a damp cloth for
6) Attachments — Do not use attachments not recommended by the
product manufacturer as they may cause hazards.
7) Water and Moisture — Do not use this product near water — for
example, near a bath tub, wash bowl, kitchen sink, or laundry tub; in a
wet basement; or near a swimming pool; and the like.
8) Accessories — Do not place this product on an unstable cart, stand,
tripod, bracket, or table. The product may fall, causing serious injury to a
child or adult, and serious damage to the product. Use only with a cart,
stand, tripod, bracket, or table recommended by the manufacturer, or sold
with the product. Any mounting of the product should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and should use a mounting accessory recommended by the manufacturer.
9) A product and cart combination should be moved with care. Quick
stops, excessive force, and uneven surfaces may cause the product and
cart combination to overturn.
10) Ventilation — Slots and openings in the cabinet are provided for
ventilation and to ensure reliable operation of the product and to protect
it from overheating, and these openings must not be blocked or covered.
The openings should never be blocked by placing the product on a bed,
sofa, rug, or other similar surface. This product should not be placed in a
built-in installation such as a bookcase or rack unless proper ventilation
is provided or the manufacturer’s instructions have been adhered to.
11) Power Sources — This product should be operated only from the
type of power source indicated on the marking label. If you are not sure
of the type of power supply to your home, consult your product dealer or
local power company. For products intended to operate from battery
power, or other sources, refer to the operating instructions.
12) Grounding or Polarization — This product may be equipped
with a polarized alternating-current line plug (a plug having one blade
wider than the other). This plug will fit into the power outlet only one
way. This is a safety feature. If you are unable to insert the plug fully into
the outlet, try reversing the plug. If the plug should still fail to fit, contact
your electrician to replace your obsolete outlet. Do not defeat the safety
purpose of the polarized plug.
13) Power-Cord Protection — Power-supply cords should be routed
so that they are not likely to be walked on or pinched by items placed
upon or against them, paying particular attention to cords at plugs, convenience receptacles, and the point where they exit from the product.
14) Outdoor Antenna Grounding — If an outside antenna or cable
system is connected to the product, be sure the antenna or cable system is
grounded so as to provide some protection against voltage surges and
built-up static charges. Article 810 of the National Electrical Code,
ANSI/NFPA 70, provides information with regard to proper grounding
of the mast and supporting structure, grounding of the lead-in wire to an
antenna discharge unit, size of grounding conductors, location of
antenna-discharge unit, connection to grounding electrodes, and requirements for the grounding electrode.
"Note to CATV system installer:
This reminder is provided to call the CATV system installer’s attention
to Section 820-40 of the NEC which provides guidelines for proper
grounding and, in particular, specifies that the cable ground shall be connected to the grounding system of the building, as close to the point of
cable entry as practical.
Example of Antenna Grounding as per
National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70
(NEC SECTION 810-20)
(NEC SECTION 810-21)
15) Lightning — For added protection for this product during a lightning storm, or when it is left unattended and unused for long periods of
time, unplug it from the wall outlet and disconnect the antenna or cable
system. This will prevent damage to the product due to lightning and
power-line surges.
16) Power Lines — An outside antenna system should not be located
in the vicinity of overhead power lines or other electric light or power
circuits, or where it can fall into such power lines or circuits. When
installing an outside antenna system, extreme care should be taken to
keep from touching such power lines or circuits as contact with them
might be fatal.
17) Overloading — Do not overload wall outlets, extension cords, or
integral convenience receptacles as this can result in risk of fire or electric shock.
18) Object and Liquid Entry — Never push objects of any kind into
this product through openings as they may touch dangerous voltage
points or short-out parts that could result in a fire or electric shock. Never
spill liquid of any kind on the product.
19) Servicing — Do not attempt to service this product yourself as
opening or removing covers may expose you to dangerous voltage or
other hazards. Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel.
20) Damage Requiring Service — Unplug this product from the
wall outlet and refer servicing to qualified service personnel under the
following conditions:
a) when the power-supply cord or plug is damaged.
b) if liquid has been spilled, or objects have fallen into the product.
c) if the product has been exposed to rain or water.
d) if the product does not operate normally by following the operating
instructions. Adjust only those controls that are covered by the operating
instructions as an improper adjustment of other controls may result in
damage and will often require extensive work by a qualified technician to
restore the product to its normal operation.
e) if the product has been dropped or damaged in any way.
f ) when the product exhibits a distinct change in performance – this
indicates a need for service.
21) Replacement Parts — When replacement parts are required, be
sure the service technician has used replacement parts specified by the
manufacturer or have the same characteristics as the original part.
Unauthorized substitutions may result in fire, electric shock, or other
22) Safety Check — Upon completion of any service or repairs to this
product, ask the service technician to perform safety checks to determine
that the product is in proper operating condition.
23) Wall or Ceiling Mounting — The product should be mounted to a
wall or ceiling only as recommended by the manufacturer.
24) Heat — The product should be situated away from heat sources such
as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other products (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide 3
This product has been designed and manufactured according to FDA regulations "title 21, CFR, chapter 1, subchapter J, based on
the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968", and is classified as a class 1 laser product. There is no hazardous invisible laser radiation during operation because invisible laser radiation emitted inside of this product is completely confined in the
protective housings.
The label required in this regulation is shown in 1.
Optical pickup :
Laser output:
KRS-202A or KRS-220B
SONY Corporation
Less than 0.1 mW (play) and 32mW
(record) on the objective lens
777 - 787 nm
4 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Introduction
SX-1 Standard Features ..................................6
Unpacking .......................................................7
Box Contents...................................................7
Options ............................................................7
Support and Updates .....................................7
Using These Manuals ................................. 8
Quick Start Guide............................................8
Owner's Manual .............................................8
Using the Internet...........................................8
Documentation Conventions .........................8
Hot Tips .......................................................8
Operating Conventions.............................. 9
Multi-Function Keys........................................9
Virtual Channel Pots .......................................9
VGA Screen Navigation ..................................9
LCD Screen Navigation ...................................10
LCD or VGA......................................................10
Fader Banks .....................................................11
Chapter 2 – Getting Started
Speaker Placement .........................................13
VGA Monitor Placement.................................13
Mouse and Keyboard .....................................13
Plugging Into Power.......................................13
Don't Interrupt! ..........................................13
“Safe” startup .............................................13
Shutting down your SX-1 ..........................14
Being Grounded ..........................................14
Avoiding Ground Loops .............................14
Chapter 3 – Making Connections
Getting Sound ............................................ 15
Phones .............................................................15
Studio ..............................................................15
Control Room ..................................................15
Master Stereo Outs.........................................16
Basic Wiring Diagram................................. 16
Important Rear Connections...................... 17
Loading the Demo Song ............................ 18
Loading the Audio Demo Song .....................18
Chapter 4 – MIDI Basics
Connecting MIDI ......................................... 20
Loading the MIDI Song Demo ................... 21
MIDI Instrument Track Assignment...............21
MIDI Instrument Track Assignment...............21
Chapter 5 – Essential Moves
Back Up and Shutdown ............................. 23
Backing Up ......................................................23
From the VGA screen......................................23
From the LCD screen.......................................24
Shutdown Procedure ................................. 24
Chapter 6 – Taking Control
Audio Monitoring........................................... 26
Information Display ....................................... 26
Mix Control ..................................................... 26
Settings Management.................................... 26
MIDI ................................................................. 27
Editing ............................................................. 27
Transport and Data Entry .............................. 27
Chapter 7 – Basic Moves
Getting Around ........................................... 28
A Quick Explanation of a Few Important
Terms ........................................................ 28
Slot .............................................................. 28
Take ............................................................. 28
Clip .............................................................. 28
Channel ....................................................... 28
Mutes and Solos ......................................... 29
Creating a New Project...............................29
On the VGA..................................................... 29
On the LCD...................................................... 30
To Record an Audio Track .......................... 30
On the VGA..................................................... 30
On the LCD...................................................... 31
Recording MIDI............................................ 32
On the VGA..................................................... 32
On the LCD...................................................... 32
Using Locate Points and Autopunch ......... 33
A word about the CAPTURE key ............... 33
Setting a locate point..................................... 33
Recalling a Locate Point ................................. 33
Using Autopunch ........................................ 33
Updating the SX-1 software ...................... 34
Chapter 8 – A quick look at a few
Make a quick headphone mix....................35
Make 5 different mixes for different players
quickly....................................................... 35
Quickly move all of your faders (on the current
layer) back to unity.................................. 35
Quickly make a Fader Group...................... 35
Quickly Solo-Safe a channel (or channels) 35
Quickly link a pair of channels on the
console...................................................... 36
Quickly mixdown a number of sources to a
stereo pair ................................................ 36
Quickly use the LCD and the VGA screens to
show separate things .............................. 36
Track a drum kit, even though you have no
free mixer channels ................................. 36
Quickly select every MIDI note on a MIDI
Take........................................................... 37
Quickly name a number of similar types of
things ........................................................ 37
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Congratulations on the purchase of your new SX-1
fully integrated digital production environment. We
are pleased you chose the SX-1 for your recording
needs. Combining a hard disk recorder with powerful
audio editing features, an automated digital mixer,
MIDI sequencer, DSP plug-in effects, and multi-format mastering capabilities, the SX-1 will meet all
your recording and production needs, without requiring an external computer.
Designed and built to exacting standards, the SX-1
will give you many years of outstanding service—the
kind of quality and performance you've come to
expect from TASCAM.
SX-1 Standard Features
After choosing the SX-1 for your integrated audio
workstation, no doubt you are familiar with its many
standard features. However, the SX-1 is packed with
so many great features, we thought to make a list
(just in case you missed something).
• 16 tracks at 24-bit/48kHz
• 40 GB hard drive
• 999 virtual tracks per project (freely interchangeable with other projects on the drive)
• 32 x 8 x 8 digital mixing console
• Comprehensive dynamic automation
• 17 (16 channels and one master) 100mm, touchsensitive, moving faders
• 16 fader layers (seven freely assignable by user)
• 16 high quality mic preamps with phantom
• Highly flexible signal routing
• Record 2-track masters and surround stems
directly to the internal HD
• Master directly to CDR
• Effects by TC|Works, Antares and TASCAM
• All effect parameters are fully automatable
• Comprehensive waveform editing via an external
VGA or the big, onboard LCD.
• Audio is recorded as either SDII or Broadcast
WAV files (dependent on drive format)
• Unlimited Undo
MIDI Sequencer
• 128-track MIDI sequencer
• Real time and step record modes
• Comprehensive MIDI note editing
• Non-destructive Quantize and Transpose
• Accurate MIDI playback in reverse
• Independent Studio and Control Room outputs
• Highly flexible Talkback Mic routing
• Two headphone outs with individual controls
I/O and Peripheral Connections
• Two S/PDIF connections
• ADAT Optical (1 pair)
• 3 discrete expansion ports for added DSP cards
and more I/O
• PS/2 keyboard and mouse
Communication and Sync
• SMPTE In and SMPTE Out
• Word Clock In, Out, and Thru
• Video Sync In and Thru
• Sony P2 (9-pin)
• 100BASE-T Ethernet
• Four MIDI Outs and two MIDI Ins (one input is
dedicated to receiving MTC)
• UltraWide SCSI 2 port (for more recording time
and external storage)
• 5.25" Drive Bay (for adding an additional front
loading media drive)
6 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 1 –Introduction
The SX-1 was carefully packed at our factory in a
special box to avoid damage during shipping. Still,
damage can occur if the box was mishandled or
dropped. If you notice any visible damage to the SX1 itself, notify the TASCAM dealer where you purchased your SX-1 as soon as possible.
We also suggest holding onto the original box, and
all of its associated packing materials, that the unit
came in. This will ensure that, in the unlikely event
you need to ship the SX-1 back to TASCAM for servicing, you will have all the necessary shipping
The SX-1 is a heavy machine and we strongly recommend not lifting it out of the box by yourself. To avoid
injury, have at least one other person assist you in moving the SX-1 to its desired location.
Box Contents
Before beginning to set up your SX-1, make sure that
your unit came with all the proper paperwork and
connections. There's nothing more frustrating than
trying to figure out where a missing part is in the
middle of hooking up your studio.
Your SX-1 carton should contain the following
SX-1 Digital Production Environment
IEC Type II Power Cable
Software CD-ROM
CD-ROM (documentation)
PS/2 keyboard and mouse
Quick Start Guide
Owner's Manual
Warranty Card and other important papers
Please be sure to register your new SX-1 by completing and mailing the unit's Warranty Card. If you don't
register your machine we will not be able to inform
you of software upgrades. We are constantly working
to improve and expand the SX-1 and we want to
make sure your machine is always up to date. Registering your SX-1 will ensure that you are always getting the most out of your unit.
On top of all the SX-1's wonderful stock features,
there are also a wealth of expansion card options
available. Listed here are just some of the current
options (for pricing and availability, check with your
authorized TASCAM dealer).
I/O Expansion Cards
• TDIF digital I/O up to 24-channels (IF-TD/DM)
• ADAT Optical I/O up to 24 more channels (IFAD/DM)
• AES/EBU I/O up to 24-channels (IF-AE/DM)
• Analog I/O up to 24 more channels (IF-AN/DM)
Support and Updates
The SX-1 is easily updated via its onboard CD-ROM
drive. TASCAM will mail registered owners operating system (OS) updates on CD-ROM when they
become available. Details for updating your unit's OS
are covered here and in the Owner's Manual. And of
course, if you do run into problems, as a registered
owner you have one of the best technical support
teams in the industry at your disposal.
You may also want to visit the TASCAM Web site
(http://www.tascam.com) for late-breaking news and
details regarding the SX-1.
TASCAM's support staff can answer all of your questions and help you troubleshoot any problems that
may arise.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 1 –Introduction
Using These Manuals
There are two different manuals for the SX-1: a
Quick Start Guide (this manual), and an Owner's
Manual. Both manuals come standard with the SX-1.
If you are missing a manual, you should contact the
authorized TASCAM dealer where you purchased
your SX-1. Below are descriptions of the manuals,
their contents, and purpose.
Quick Start Guide
This guide covers all the basics on setting up the SX1: unpacking, connecting speakers, listening to the
demo, getting recording levels, and hooking up
MIDI. If you are not familiar with setting up record-
ing equipment (and even if you are) beginning with
this manual is a good idea. For a more detailed explanation of individual features and functions, you
should refer to the Owner's Manual.
Owner's Manual
The Owner's Manual describes all of the SX-1's
many features, controls, and parameters in detail.
This manual does not explain how to set up the SX-1
or provide many tutorials on how to use specific
functions; for that you should refer to this Quick Start
Guide. If you find yourself looking for an explanation about a specific knob or parameter, the Owner's
Manual is the booklet to use.
Using the Internet
The TASCAM Web site (http://www.tascam.com) is also
a great source of information about updates, hints
and tips, etc. regarding the SX-1.
Visit this site regularly to learn more about the SX-1.
Documentation Conventions
The names for all of the SX-1's keys, knobs, and connections are printed in this manual exactly as their
labels appear on the SX-1 itself. For example, the
Play button is written PLAY. In the case where a key
has more than one function (for example, a main and
shift function—the Shifted function is explained on
“Multi-Function Keys” on page 9), it is written as,
ENABLED/ALL INPUT (the main function is listed
first and the shifted function second).
The SX-1's face is organized into different areas for
each of its various functions. These areas are labeled
and their names also appear in this manual exactly as
they are printed on the SX-1 (for example,
EDITING). Areas of the SX-1 that are not labeled, but
have a specific purpose, are written in conventional
title form (such as, Faders).
In order to differentiate LED labels from area and
control labels, LED names are in angle brackets (for
example, <DISK>). And in order to distinguish software buttons and menu names that appear on the
LCD or the external VGA displays from their hardware counterparts, these names are in the following
8 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
typeface (like, the LOAD button or the EQ LIBRARY
All the manuals and guides for the SX-1 adhere to
these documentation conventions. Diagrams and
illustrations are also presented whenever possible to
augment the manual's text descriptions.
The SX1 utilizes a PS/2 keyboard (the same as a PC
uses) for some functions, and this keyboard will be
referred to as “ the PS/2 keyboard” to limit confusion.
Hot Tips Important notes, that are in addition to
general instructions and definitions, are set apart
from the manual’s normal text (see the example
below). These important tips call your attention to
special situations and offer helpful operating
While reading the SX-1 Quick Start Guide, keep your eyes
peeled for special operating tips and helpful suggestions just like this one.
Chapter 1 –Introduction
Operating Conventions
Multi-Function Keys
Some keys have multiple functions. A key’s primary
function is accessed by simply pressing the key. Secondary functions are accessed by entering Shift
mode. Press the SHIFT key on the Numeric Keypad,
and then press the multi-function key to reach its secondary function. Think of the SHIFT key just like the
shift key of a standard PS/2 keyboard—it serves a
similar purpose.
Virtual Channel Pots
The knobs at the top of the channel strips (above the
faders) are multi-function, infinitely rotating potentiometers (pots for short). Depending on their currently selected mode (accessed by the PAN/VIRTUAL
CHANNEL or CUE keys), these controls serve as a
channel's pan pot, EQ, Aux sends or pan for the cue
mix. The virtual pots are surrounded by a ring of
LEDs which indicate their current setting. For example, a pan pot that is hard left will have its far left
LED illuminated, or an Aux send that is full open
will have all of its LEDs lit.
VGA Screen Navigation
Getting around on a connected VGA display is just
like using a regular computer because the same
mouse and PS/2 keyboard rules apply. For example,
use the mouse to click on a field and open a pull
down menu, and enter names and values in text fields
with the PS/2 keyboard. A main menu bar at the top
of all the windows allows access to most SX-1 functions. Just as with a computer-based application, you
can use the main menu bar to change pages, make
edits, save projects, and set preferences. However,
the SX-1 also gives you the option of accessing these
features directly from the mixer's control surface.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 1 –Introduction
LCD Screen Navigation
The LCD display is surrounded by several knobs and
buttons. These controls’ functions change according
to the display on the LCD. We refer to these controls
as "soft" knobs and keys because their functions are
directly related to the SX-1's software.
To scroll up/down and left/right in an LCD window,
use the up/down and left/right arrow keys of the
Numeric Keypad. To adjust the viewing angle and
contrast of the LCD, use the small contrast knob
to the top right of the LCD.
You have a choice of using the LCD or an VGA display as your main screen. The LCD display always
follows the selection keys in the MAIN DISPLAY
MODES section. To have an external VGA follow
The VGA screen can also be changed by pressing ALT
and a number key on a connected PS/2 keyboard. This
option is available regardless of the MAIN DISPLAY
key’s setting.
10 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
these keys, press the MAIN DISPLAY key above the
LCD ACCESS section (on the SX-1's slanted front
panel). The associated <EXTERNAL> LED should
Chapter 1 –Introduction
Fader Banks
It’ s important to remember that the SX-1’s faders
control more than just one group of levels. Besides
the first 32 mixer channels, the faders also control the
cue mix, MIDI tracks, sends, returns, and busses.
Different groups of faders, called “ fader banks” , are
accessed by the keys in the FADER BANKS section
on the SX-1’ s slanted front panel (see “FADER
BANKS” on page 26). The cue mix bank is reached
via the CUE key to the right of the virtual channel
strip (“Virtual Channel Pots” on page 9).
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 2 – Getting Started
The first thing to consider after unpacking the SX-1
(and verifying the contents of the box) is where to
put it. Since the SX-1 weighs in at nearly 100 lbs
(over 45 kg), it is very important to place the unit on
a sturdy, flat surface able to support its weight, plus
the weight of any additional equipment.
Many of the SX-1’s most often reached analog connections are conveniently located on top of the console, but there are also several crucial connections on
To avoid overheating and the risk of fire, do not install
or operate the SX-1 in a confined space (such as a
12 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
the unit's rear (MIDI, VGA output, mouse, PS/2 keyboard, expansion ports, and digital I/O). When positioning your SX-1 you should make sure there is
ample space to reach the rear panel connections. The
SX-1's rear panel also requires a minimum of 3
inches (about 75mm) clearance for proper ventilation—make sure not to push the back of the unit
flush against a wall or other surface.
The speakers should be placed at eye level and equidistant from each other and the listener.
Chapter 2 –Getting Started
Speaker Placement
We recommend against putting your speakers on top
of the SX-1. Though it looks like there might be
space for speakers on the console's top, putting
speakers here can obstruct heat dispersion, and
improperly shielded speakers may damage the
machine's hard drives—remember, the SX-1 is a
computer. Instead, we suggest putting your speakers
on their own individual speaker stands, making sure
to position your speakers correctly for proper monitoring (see the illustration above).
If you plan on positioning your speakers within 3 feet
(1 m) of your VGA display and your hard drive (remember, there's a hard drive in the SX-1), we recommend
using shielded monitors. This will protect your display
and hard drive data from damage caused by the magnetic fields of unshielded speakers.
VGA Monitor Placement
While you do not have to use a VGA display with the
SX-1 (it is possible to perform most operations on
the SX-1 via its onboard LCD screen), the full power
of the unit is only truly realized by adding an external
display. We recommend a 15-inch or larger screen
(the VGA output resolution of the SX-1 is preset to
1024 by 768 pixels).
As well, though there appears to be space on top of
the SX-1 for setting a VGA display, we do not recommend this. Placing a VGA display (especially a
large screen unit) on the top panel can cause ventilation and magnetic problems and may damage the
SX-1's finish. However, a lightweight, flat-screen
display can sit comfortably atop the SX-1.
Mouse and Keyboard
There are dedicated knobs and keys surrounding the
LCD screen for navigating windows and pages
(“LCD Screen Navigation” on page 10). These controls make it possible to get around the LCD screen
without a mouse and PS/2 keyboard. However, the
provided mouse and keyboard are required for navi-
gating an external VGA display (the mouse and keyboard ports are found on the unit's rear—“Important
Rear Connections” on page 17. When using an external display, make sure to have enough space near by
your SX-1 to set the keyboard and mouse.
Plugging Into Power
The process of recording, storing, and reading back
digital audio data from a hard drive is a complex task
that is very sensitive to changes in your AC line’s
current. These line irregularities can interrupt data
transmission and cause file write errors - which can
lead to audio signal degradation and dropouts. To
avoid such pitfalls, we suggest keeping your SX-1
plugged into a power regulator. Power regulators
work to keep the incoming AC power at a constant
120 VAC (or whatever you use for your local voltage), and this will help keep your machine healthy
and running smoothly. You may also consider the use
of a surge protector and/or a UPS (uninterruptible
power supply). Make sure that all such items have
power and voltage ratings compatible with the SX-1.
Don't Interrupt! Consider buying an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for your SX-1. This is
not a prerequisite, but it can be a real life saver—or
should we say, data saver. Even though your SX-1
autosaves regularly, a loss of power while saving
could possibly result in data loss.
However, with your SX-1 plugged into a UPS, you
can avoid this hazard. A good UPS will provide
enough power to run your SX-1 for several minutes,
without power from a utility company. This extra
power gives you time to complete your current action
and perform a proper shutdown, ensuring that data is
not lost.
“Safe” startup On rare occasions, the SX-1 may
not be able to load the last project you worked on
when it starts up (disk problems, etc.). If this happens
to you:
Turn on the SX-1 as usual, but before the
screen shows the “ghost” TASCAM and SX-1
logos, press and hold the PANIC key for a few
The SX-1 now boots, but does not automatically load the last project.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 2 –Getting Started
You can now restore the offending project
from a backup, or take whatever steps are
necessary to restore the integrity of your
Shutting down your SX-1 Proper shutdown
and regular backup of your SX-1 is extremely important. Failure to shutdown your SX-1 correctly before
powering off can increase the possibility of corrupted
data in your saved files. Without regular backup, the
possibility that an unforeseen problem could wipe
out some, or all, of your data increases drastically.
When it comes to your hard work, don't take any
chances; always perform a proper shutdown and
backup of your projects after each session. See
“Shutdown Procedure” on page 24.
Being Grounded Never plug your SX-1 into an
ungrounded outlet. Nor should you plug a power regulator or a UPS into an ungrounded outlet. Neither
the power regulator nor a UPS can automatically turn
an ungrounded outlet into a grounded one.
Ungrounded power can introduce hums and buzzes
A ground loop can occur when two devices are
plugged into separate wall outlets on the same circuit, and the devices are also connected to each other.
This allows each device to reach ground by both
going through the other device and directly to the
14 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
to your audio signal and can lead to serious equipment damage (especially in the event of an electrical
storm). If your residence does not have grounded
outlets, contact a professional electrician about
installing an earthed ground.
Avoiding Ground Loops A ground loop occurs
when a piece of equipment sees more than one path
to ground. Ground loops cause hums, buzzes, and
sometimes even radio signals in your audio.
Needless to say, hearing the local weather station in
the background of your recordings is not desirable.
Ground loops can often be avoided by running all of
your equipment from a single wall outlet. Plug your
power regulator into one outlet and then plug all of
your equipment into that one power regulator. Most
power regulators have several outlets, and these outlets can be multiplied using standard power strips to
create plenty of free sockets. Setting your equipment
up in this fashion will direct every ground circuit to
one ground terminal and prevent a ground loop.
outlets. The result is a ground loop through which
noise and radio waves can enter your audio. To avoid
ground loops, make sure all of your equipment sees
just one path to ground by drawing all power from
one main power outlet.
Chapter 3 – Making Connections
Getting Sound
The monitor outputs are conveniently located on top
of the SX-1, and their associated level controls are
found on the unit’s face (“Taking Control” on
page 25).
1 PHONES There are two headphone outputs.
Each headphone output has its own level control.
2 STUDIO The Studio outputs are most commonly used to send signal to monitor speakers in the
recording studio (or isolation booth). These outputs
can provide a mix for singers and session musicians
to audition and perform to that is different than the
mix going to the Control Room (where the engineer
and producer are working).
Control Room
3 CONTROL ROOM The Control Room outputs are used to send signal to the monitor speakers
in the control room (the same room where the SX-1
resides). The Control Room outputs’ volume control
(located on the SX-1's face) allows you to change the
control room monitoring level independently of the
master stereo out level. The Control Room outputs
can also receive a different mix than the mix going to
the Studio outputs.
The key labeled LARGE/SMALL operates the SX-1’s
speaker switcher. In the Control Room Output section of the top panel, there are separate output jacks
labeled LARGE and SMALL, which can be used to
feed two different sizes or types of speakers. Most
big studios often have a large set of speakers installed
in wall mountings (soffits), as well as a set of smaller
One of the first things you will want to do is plug
speakers into the SX-1. However, the SX-1 has several monitor outs which may require some explanation. Here is an illustration of the unit’s output
section, followed by definitions of each output. If
you are already familiar with the differences between
the monitor outputs, you may want to skip ahead to
the wiring diagrams on “Basic Wiring Diagram” on
page 16.
If you don't have speakers handy and just can't wait to
hear the SX-1, you can plug in some headphones and
listen to the Demo Song.
The STUDIO section is equipped with a Talkback
mic for communicating with singers and session
musicians in the studio. By default, the Talkback mic
is assigned to the Studio outputs. However, it is possible to send the Talkback mic to a variety of other
destinations (for more on this feature, see the chapter
that explains the Talkback mic in the Owner's
nearfield speakers to switch between. The LARGE/
SMALL key switches between these two outputs,
allowing you to audition your mix from a number of
different sonic perspectives.
The DIM key in this section allows you to lower the
Control Room speakers’ level by a preset amount
without affecting any settings on the console itself.
For example, use DIM to lower the Control Room
speakers’ output quickly to a reasonable volume for
talking over without touching the Master Stereo output level. The MONO key, also in the CONTROL
ROOM section, allows you to quickly audition a mix
in mono. This is an essential feature during a mixdown, as many situations still require a mix to fold
well to mono.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide 15
Chapter 3 –Making Connections
Master Stereo Outs
4 MASTER STEREO OUTS There are two
sets of stereo outputs: balanced XLR and unbalanced
RCA. The level of these outputs is controlled by the
MASTER fader, found on the SX-1's control surface.
These outputs are normally used to send a stereo signal to 2-track recording devices such as a TASCAM
DA-45HR DAT deck (but they can be configured on
the routing pages).
The Master output is separate from the Studio and
Control Room outs so that you can adjust your monitoring levels independently, without affecting the
level going from the Master out to a 2-track mixdown deck.
Basic Wiring Diagram
The SX-1’s CONTROL ROOM and STUDIO outs can
be connected directly to self-powered speakers;
speakers that are not self-powered must first be connected to a power amp. Line level sources can plug
straight to the SX-1’ s line inputs, while dynamic
mics, or condenser microphones needing phantom
power, should be connected to the mic inputs.
16 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
The SX-1 is equipped with +48V phantom power on all
of its mic inputs (enabled in groups of 4). If your microphone requires phantom power, avoid damaging your
mic by turning on PHANTOM power after you have
connected the microphone (reverse this order to disconnect the mic).
Chapter 3 –Making Connections
Important Rear Connections
VGA port
The position of some of the boards fitted in your SX-1
may differ slightly from the positions shown here..
There are many connections and ports on the SX-1’ s
rear. It is not necessary to understand all of them in
order to begin using the machine. For now, the areas
highlighted above (and explained below) are the
most important. (To learn more about the other connections and ports, see the Owner’s Manual.)
1 Power This is where the SX-1’s power cable
connects. An IEC Type II detachable power cable is
included with the unit. The POWER switch is used to
turn the unit on and off.
2 Peripheral Ports The PS/2 keyboard and
mouse connect here. The port colored purple is for
the provided keyboard, while the green port is for the
provided mouse. The other included connections in
this section are reserved for future expansion.
3 MIDI Ports Here you will find MIDI OUT
Ports A, B, C, and D. Connect these ports to the
MIDI inputs of your MIDI sound modules. Also in
this area is the MIDI IN, where you connect the output
of your MIDI controller, and a MIDI Time Code
(MTC) jack for reading incoming MTC (see the
Owner’s Manual for more about synchronization).
See “Connecting MIDI” on page 20 for an example
of multiple MIDI devices connected to the SX-1.
4 SCSI Port The SX1 comes equipped with a
68-pin Ultra Wide SCSI interface. You can use this
port to connect to compatible SCSI drives and
backup solutions.
5 VIDEO IN/THRU & Sony 9-pin These
jacks are involved with synchronization. Connect a
Video sync signal (also called house sync or blackburst) to the VIDEO IN. VIDEO THRU will pass that
same signal directly out, unaffected by any of the
SX-1’s electronics.
89 A
The Sony 9-pin connector (also known as P2) is used
for connecting to devices that adhere to that protocol.
See the Owner’s Manual for more information on
connecting P2 devices.
6 CASCADE This connector will be used in a
future release to allow a TASCAM DM-24 console to
act as a “sidecar” for the SX-1.
7 ADAT I/O These connectors carry eight channels of digital audio in a format commonly referred
to as ADAT lightpipe. The 9-pin D-sub connector is
used for sync/control with an ADAT-style device.
8 FOOTSWITCH Connect a momentary-style
pedal here for remote control of recording (punching
in or out). The polarity (that is, whether the pedal is
normally open or normally closed) of the pedal is set
on the LCD PREFERENCES page.
9 TIME CODE IN Connect the LTC (Longitudinal Time Code, often referred to as SMPTE) output
of a device to this input. The SX-1 can chase this
incoming code.
A WORD IN/OUT/THRU These jacks send
and receive word clock signals. The THRU connector
takes the signal received at the IN and sends out an
exact mirror, untouched by the SX-1’s electronics.
B LTC OUT This jack allows the SX-1 to output
LTC (or SMPTE). The frame rate is determined on
the SETTINGS pages.
C DIGITAL I/O (SPDIF) 1 and 2 These jacks
send and receive digital audio in S/PDIF format.
They can be directly monitored in the monitoring
sections by selecting either D-IN 1 or D-IN 2.
D Expansion slots The SX-1 can have its
available I/O expanded by the addition of 8-channel
expansion cards in these slots. These cards are the
same as those used in the TASCAM DM-24 console.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 3 –Making Connections
Loading the Demo Song
The SX-1 ships with two demonstration songs: an
audio and a MIDI demonstration. If your monitors
are connected properly, you can load the song as
described here, press PLAY and you hear the song.
Note that when you load either of the demo songs,
the actual demo song does not load. What happens is
that the SX-1 automatically makes a copy of the song
and loads that copy instead (meaning that there is
always a “clean” demonstration song available). If
you want to keep the copy after you have worked on
it, unless you save it with another name (which does
not include “Demo” as part of the name!), it will be
overwritten next time you load the demo song.
For the following examples, if you are using an external
VGA, make sure the MAIN DISPLAY key above the
LCD ACCESS section is set to <EXTERNAL> (this
LED is lit).
Loading the Audio Demo Song
From the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section on
the SX-1's front panel, press PROJECT. The
Project page will appear.
18 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
In the MANAGE project tab, on the currently
displayed screen, select the project titled SX-1
Audio Demo.
Chapter 3 –Making Connections
Press the LOAD button in that same window
and the SX-1 will load the currently selected
project, and then display the song's Track
Press PLAY to hear the song.
If you don't hear anything, make sure that the source
feeding your monitors is the stereo output. Look at the
CONTROL ROOM section and verify that the source
selected is stereo, as indicated by the illuminated
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 4 – MIDI Basics
Connecting MIDI
The back of the SX-1 has six MIDI connections:two
MIDI INs and four MIDI OUTs. The jack labeled
MIDI IN accepts MIDI controller data, while the MTC
IN jack accepts incoming MTC (MIDI Time Code)
for synchronization.
The four MIDI outputs can be configured independently and can send both performance and synchronization data. Connect your controller’s MIDI output
to the SX-1’s jack labeled MIDI IN, and connect the
SX-1’s MIDI OUTs to the inputs of your MIDI sound
modules, MIDI-controlled effects, or devices requiring MTC for sync.
In the above example, the MIDI OUT of the controller goes to the SX-1’s MIDI IN. The SX-1’s MIDI
OUTs go to the MIDI INs of your sound modules,
MIDI-controlled effects and devices that chase MTC.
You can connect multiple devices to the same jack on
the SX-1 by using the MIDI THRU ports on your
external MIDI devices.
20 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 4 –MIDI Basics
Loading the MIDI Song Demo
In the same way that the SX-1 makes a copy of the
audio demonstration piece, the MIDI demonstration
is also copied automatically and the copy is then
loaded (preserving the demonstration song). If you
change the demonstration, and want to keep it, you
must save the project under a different name otherwise it will be overwritten next time you load the
demonstration piece.
From the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section on
the SX-1's front panel, press PROJECT. The
Project page will appear (“Loading the
Audio Demo Song” on page 18).
In the Manage Projects tab, on the currently displayed screen, select the project titled, SX-1
MIDI Demo.
Press the LOAD button in that same window
and the SX-1 will load the currently selected
project, and then display the song's Track
If your MIDI sound modules are already set
to receive General MIDI performance data,
then just press PLAY to hear the MIDI song.
If not, read the directions below on how to
change a MIDI track's channel to match
your sound module's MIDI channel.
To hear sound from your MIDI modules, don’t forget to
connect their audio outputs to the line inputs of the
SX-1 (“Basic Wiring Diagram” on page 16).
MIDI Instrument Track Assignment
The MIDI channel assignments for the individual
tracks of the SX-1 MIDI Demo song follow General
MIDI (GM) guidelines (for example, the piano is on
MIDI channel 1, the drums are on channel 10 and the
rest of the instruments are on the other 14 channels).
However, if your sound module does not have a GM
preset, then you may need to change a track's MIDI
channel assignment to match specific patches on
your sound module. To change a track's MIDI channel, follow the steps below.
To learn how to change the sounds your module assigns
to incoming MIDI channels, you should consult the
module's owner's manual.
MIDI Instrument Track Assignment
From the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section on
the SX-1's front panel, press TRACK. The
Track screen will appear.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 4 –MIDI Basics
Find the MIDI track whose output channel
you want to change.
Go to the MIDI Port select screen (the text in
this window should read something like,
A: MOut M1). Choose the Port (SX-1 MIDI output Port A, B, C, or D) where your sound
module is connected.
Next, go to the MIDI channel select menu
and choose the channel that corresponds to
the MIDI channel your sound module is set
to receive. In the VGA window, this is done
through a second pull-down menu which
extends from the Port's pull down menu.
And in the LCD window, this is done through
a separate menu at the bottom of the screen
(see the LCD display illustration above).
22 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
If you have followed these steps correctly,
your sound module should be receiving the
track's newly assigned MIDI channel.
Chapter 5 – Essential Moves
Back Up and Shutdown
Proper shutdown and regular backup of your SX-1 is
extremely important. Failure to shut down your SX-1
correctly before powering off can increase the possibility of corrupted data in your saved files. Without
regular backup, the possibility that an unforeseen
problem could wipe out some, or all, of your data
increases drastically. When it comes to your hard
work, don't take any chances; always perform a
proper shut down and backup of your projects after
each session.
Backing Up
There are many different ways of backing up, using
different types of media (for more on this subject, see
the Owner's Manual ). However, one of the simplest
and most convenient ways to back up is to use the
SX-1's onboard CD-R burner. Follow the steps below
to find out just how easy it is.
We recommend using TEAC brand CD recordable media
for all your CD-R needs.
From the VGA screen
From the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section on
the SX-1's front panel, press PROJECT, and
Press the
icon to the right of the Backup
Volume display to eject the CD-RW drive
drawer. Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW and
press the drawer’s close button.
From the list on the left side of the screen,
select a project. The name of the project
should appear in the Name text box between
the two lists.
then select the Backup Projects tab. The following page will appear.
Press the BACKUP-> button. The SX-1 will
begin preparing the data for backup, and
then burn the disc when it is ready.
Wait until the SX-1 has finished burning the
disc, at which time it will be ejected.
That's it! You have successfully created a
backup of your current project.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide 23
Chapter 5 –Essential Moves
Check the Verify checkbox to ensure that the data
backed up is the same as is stored on the SX-1’s hard
disk. Since the verify operation performs a bit-by-bit
comparison after the backup has been made, any
backup with the verify checkbox set will take twice as
long as a backup without the verify operation.
From the LCD screen
Press the SHIFT key on the numeric keypad,
and then press the PROJECT/BACKUP key in
the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section. The following screen appears:
Select a project from the list at the bottom
left of the screen using the soft knob labeled
Use the EJECT MEDIA soft key to open the CDRW drive drawer, and insert media into the
drive. Close the drive.
Press the BACKUP soft key. The SX-1 will prepare all the data to be backed up, and burn
the CD, after which the disc will be ejected.
You’re finished. You have successfully
backed up a project.
When it is safe to turn off the SX-1, the message, It is now safe to turn the SX-1 off will appear on
both the LCD and VGA screens. Do not turn
the unit off until it tells you that it is safe to
do so.
Shutdown Procedure
Proper shutdown of the SX-1 means more than just
switching off the unit's power. Follow the steps
below to perform the shutdown procedure that will
insure your projects are correctly saved.
Press and hold the SHUTDOWN key (located
on the SX-1's front panel, just above the LCD
Access section) for 3 seconds.
The SX-1 will begin its shutdown procedure.
Both displays (LCD and VGA) will show text
about the shutdown in progress.
24 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
The shutdown procedure can also be accessed via the
VGA display. The Shut Down command is found under
the SX-1 main menu bar.
Chapter 6 – Taking Control
The SX-1's surface is conveniently organized into
several different sections. Each section has a number
of controls dedicated to a specific set of related tasks.
The following pages contain descriptions of these
sections in order to help you navigate the SX-1's
many powerful features.
After reading these descriptions, you should have a
good idea of where to look for a particular function.
For easy reference, here is a diagram of the SX-1's
control sections:
The face of the SX-1 is separated into a number of
different control sections. Most sections have a clear
label printed directly on the SX-1 itself, while those
that do not are assigned an appropriate title.
Audio Monitoring
Information Display
Transport and Data Entry
Mix Control
Settings Management
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide 25
Chapter 6 –Taking Control
Audio Monitoring
1 MONITORING The level and source select
(such as master output, cue, auxiliary, or digital
input) controls for the STUDIO and CONTROL
ROOM outputs are in this section. There is a speaker
select button for the CONTROL ROOM that allows
quick switching between two different sets of monitors (which are fed by the Large and Small
Information Display
3 LCD ACCESS The keys in this section recall
screens that are specific to the LCD display. Screens
include: bus assignment, track waveform, MIDI
information, and channel trim (these screens are
explained in the Owner's Manual).
These screens are in addition to those available
through the MAIN DISPLAY MODES section and can
be accessed independently of the current VGA
screen. For example, the VGA can display the Track
screen, and at the same time, the LCD can display
Routing (for true dual monitor behavior, set the MAIN
DISPLAY button to <INTERNAL>).
4 MAIN DISPLAY MODES This section's
keys select the screen you are viewing on your external VGA and the LCD.
Examples of these screens include: the main track
screen, mixer overview, individual mixer channels,
Mix Control
6 FADER BANKS Use the keys in this section
to choose which sources the SX-1's physical faders
will control. Preset fader banks include: input channels 1-16 and 17-32, group returns 1-8, auxiliary busses 1-8, and MIDI channels 1-16 for each MIDI Out
port (A, B, C, and D). Up to 7 user defined fader
banks can also be created.
7 MIXER CHANNELS This section is not actually labeled Mixer Channels on the SX-1. However,
that title best describes this area of the SX-1's face.
Settings Management
9 LIBRARY When you create a new setting (an
effect or EQ, for example), it is possible to save this
setting as a patch for recall at a later time. The keys
for saving the settings for a variety of different func-
26 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
CONTROL ROOM outs). Control for the SX-1's
onboard talkback mic is in the STUDIO section.
2 SOLO In this section you will find a level knob
for the Solo feature, and a key for selecting the Solo
(AFL) (these modes are explained in the Owner's
input/output routing, and project management (which
are explained in detail in the Owner's Manual). The
MAIN DISPLAY MODES section gives you all of the
most frequently accessed screens in one convenient
5 Information Display This section is not
actually labeled Information Display on the SX-1.
However, that title best describes this area. Here you
will find the LCD, stereo meters, and a variety of
LED indicators (for example, synchronization and
clock status, and hard disk and MIDI activity indicators). Surrounding the big LCD are several “soft”
knobs and keys (see “LCD Screen Navigation” on
page 10), whose functions change depending on the
LCD’s current screen. The individual LED indicators
in this section are covered in the Owner's Manual.
Here you will find the 16 channel strips and all their
associated controls (faders, pan pots, mute/solo
switches, record enable keys, etc.) and the master
fader. The Mixer Channels section is covered in
detail in the Owner's Manual.
8 AUTOMATION This section contains the
keys for utilizing automation. Here you can enable a
variety of automation modes (such as write, touch
and trim). For definitions of the automation modes,
see the Owner's Manual.
tions (including all the control elements of the channel strips) reside in the LIBRARY section. For more
information about the power of the Library feature,
see the Owner's Manual.
Chapter 6 –Taking Control
A MIDI REC MODE This section accesses the
SX-1's Step mode and MIDI Merge function. Just
beneath the MIDI REC MODE section is a PANIC button for resetting stuck MIDI devices. See the
Owner's Manual for more information about MIDI
B EDITING For all your audio waveform and
MIDI note editing needs, there is the EDITING section. Here you will find basic cut, copy, and paste
commands, as well as many other advanced editing
Transport and Data Entry
C TRANSPORT Though this area is not actually
labeled Transport on the SX-1, that title best
describes this section of the SX-1's face. Here you
will find a set of standard transport keys (play, stop,
record, fast forward, rewind, end jump, and beginning jump). Just above the transport keys are controls
for capturing and recalling locate points.
The SX-1 has many advanced transport functions
(including looping, user definable post/pre roll times,
and auto punch). As well, the Jog/Shuttle wheel is
handy for jogging, scrubbing, and shuttling. To learn
The PANIC key is a latching-type key. Press once to
enable panic mode (the indicator pulses) and again to
disable panic mode.
commands (such as, ripple, crop, and split). To learn
more about the SX-1's extensive audio waveform and
MIDI editing capabilities, see the Owner's Manual.
more about these advanced features, see the Owner's
D DATA ENTRY The numeric keypad is labeled
DATA ENTRY. Keys on the numeric keypad are used
for entering numbers (and letters) directly into
onscreen fields, enabling shifted functions and special key commands (see “Multi-Function Keys” on
page 9), up/down and left/right cursor navigation,
and entering MIDI step record note values (see the
Owner's Manual for more on the DATA ENTRY
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 7 – Basic Moves
Getting Around
Many of today's most popular audio production
workstations share similar command sequences.
For example, the keystrokes to record a track or copy
an audio waveform can be very similar on many
computer-based recording systems. The SX-1 follows these same command sequence traditions. If
you are familiar with how to operate digital audio
sequencers and multi-track recorders, getting around
on the SX-1 should feel familiar.
If you are unfamiliar with operating this type of
recording gear, read the examples on the following
pages to learn some of the basic recording moves for
the SX-1.
Because we must choose a common starting point from
which to explain a procedure, all the following examples assume that the SX-1's factory default settings have
not been touched. If you have not changed any of the
SX-1's default settings, you should be able to follow
right along with all the examples, step by step.
When using the PS/2 keyboard, the Alt key is used
together with other number or letter keys as a shortcut
key (as opposed to other systems, which may use the
Control or Command keys for this purpose).
A Quick Explanation of a Few Important Terms
The SX-1 uses a number of terms that apply to different groups of data, making it extremely important
that you have a working knowledge of these in order
to manage your work effectively. Once you get the
terminology down, the rest should be much easier to
Slot A Slot is a container that Takes can be loaded
into (or created on). When a project is first created,
the Track screen on either the VGA or LCD will show
empty Slots, meaning that no audio or MIDI Takes
have yet been created.
Slots can be created from scratch, removed, and
deleted, and the order may be changed by moving the
selected Slot up or down in the list.
location within the same project, you will have to do
that operation manually.
The thing to remember about Takes is that they are
basically self-contained EDLs (Edit Decision Lists—
or lists of which parts of the events play back at
which time), and not the raw data itself. Another way
to visualize the paradigm would be to think of a Take
as an ice-cube tray in your freezer, and the raw audio
files (or Clips) as the ice-cubes themselves.
Clip A Clip is a raw audio file, created by recording
on the hard disk, using the Render command, or
importing from an external volume. A Clip is named
by the Take it is recorded on, or by using the Render
The important thing to remember is that Slots can be
moved or modified with or without loaded Takes,
and that anything done to a Slot is done to a Take
loaded upon it (meaning that if you delete a Slot, its
Take is automatically unloaded).
Clips contain information regarding bit depth, sample rate, and time stamps—data that is viewable in
the VGA Clip Browser by selecting a clip in the list
at the left of the screen.
Take A Take is a Track, or a container that audio
the mixing console, which is entirely separate from
the HDR (in fact, it is not necessary to use the HDR
on the SX-1 at all, as all components of the machine
work separately). As well, there are no dedicated
return channels on the console for the onboard
recorder, which the SX-1’s mixer regards as an external device. Remember that to listen to the HDR, you
will need to use 16 of the available 40 input channels
on the console.
Clips and MIDI data are loaded onto for use. Either
term (Take or Track) is correct for use on the SX-1.
When you give a Take a name, any audio Clip or
Clips recorded on that Take use the same name.
Takes are loaded into Slots for use on both the Track
and the CD burning screens, and can be loaded and
unloaded at will. A Take can be loaded only once in a
project at a time, which means that if you have data
on a Take that you would like to copy to another
28 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Channel A “mixer Channel” refers to a channel on
This means that a designation for a “channel” is context-sensitive, or rather that “a channel” might refer
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
to a mixer channel, a MIDI channel, or an HDR
Mutes and Solos Mutes and Solos work as
expected from the surface, but it should be noted that
) on the
the Take Mute and Solo buttons (
VGA’s Track screen do not have any interaction with
the surface keys when operating an audio channel.
As the SX-1’s mixer regards the HDR as a separate
device, the Take Mute and Solo keys operate for
Takes only. Pressing a Take Solo or Mute button will
mute or solo that Take, and not a mixer channel.
Think of the Take Mute and Solo buttons on the VGA
or LCD Track screen as mutes or solos for your hard
disk recorder, and not for the rest of your system.
Creating a New Project
The SX-1 automatically saves the last project you
were working on when you perform the Shutdown
procedure. It will also automatically reload that last
project when it is turned back on.
Follow the steps below to create an entirely new
On the VGA
tab, if it is not already selected. You should
see the following:
Press the PROJECT/BACKUP key in the
MAIN DISPLAY MODES section of the surface. Use the mouse to select the New Project
Click in the Name field and enter the name Test
using the PS/2 keyboard (all projects
must have a name).
If you wish, you can enter a note, which will
as part of the project. If no note is entered,
the SX-1 will automatically generate a day
and date timestamp.
Press the OK button.
Choose a sampling rate from the Sample Rate
pulldown menu.
You have now created a new project.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
On the LCD
Press the PROJECT/BACKUP key in the
MAIN DISPLAY MODES section of the
Press the NAME soft key (bottom
right). You will see this menu
appear on the right side of the
Name your project as Test Project
by using the keys of the numeric
keypad (the way this works is the
same principle as the keys on a
mobile/cellular telephone). Use
the cursor keys to move backwards and forwards without
changing anything, or user the
Backspace key just like the
Delete key on a PS/2 keyboard.
This process may take a minute or two to
master, but all the naming functions on the
SX-1 use the keyboard functions in this way,
so this learning time is time well spent.
When you’ve finished, press the ACCEPT
Press the CREATE PROJECT button and you’re
finished. You have now created a new
Press the NEW soft key (top right) if it is not
already highlighted.
To Record an Audio Track
Follow these steps to record an audio track. For both
the VGA and LCD examples, make sure an audio
source is connected to analog input 1 on the top
On the VGA
On the Track page, locate the slots on the left
side of the screen, and click the
icon with
the mouse (next to the
From the pulldown menu that appears, select
New Audio Take and release the mouse. A waveform icon (
) should now replace the previous “dash” icon.
Click in the field containing New Audio Take 1
and rename it to Audio Test using the PS/2 keyboard. Press [ENTER] on the keyboard to
finish the naming process.
Directly to the right of the
buttons, you will see two pulldown menus:
The first field displays the input to the Take
we are recording on, and the second displays
30 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
which voice we will be using to play back the
Take (there are 16 playback voices). Changing the voice will change where the output of
that track appears to the console.
The first field should display CH1 (signifying
Channel 1’s Direct Out) as the source. If it
does not say this, click on the icon (pulldown menu, and select Ch1 from the menu.
Press the MIXER key on the MAIN DISPLAY
MODE section, and then press the 1–16 key in
the FADER BANK section on the slanted front
Bring up fader 1 (analog input 1) to unity (0).
Use the mouse to click Channel 1’s
button (to remove Channel 1’s output from
the L/R bus).
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
You are doing this so that you can monitor the signal
off the HDR’s output. Leaving Channel 1 feeding the L/R
bus, at the same time that it is feeding the input to a
Take that is record-enabled, will result in phasing of the
signal. Phasing is a time-delay related anomaly that
results when a signal from a source arrives at the listening position from two different distances (causing some
frequencies to cancel each other out). It is a nasty,
unpleasant-sounding thing in most cases…
Navigate back to the Track screen.
Record-enable your Take; either by pressing
button to the left of the
icon, or
by pressing the REC arm key for channel 17
on the surface.
10 Bring up fader 17 (which is HDR 1 return) to
unity (0).
11 Adjust the level using the analog input GAIN
knob on the top panel of the SX-1.
12 Press PLAY and RECORD, and make some
recordable sounds with your sound source.
13 After a few seconds, press STOP and you
should see the waveform appear on Audio Test.
On the LCD
On the TRACKS page, press the Take/Slot soft
key, and select New Audio Take from the menu
that appears.
Bring up fader 1 (analog input 1) to unity (0).
Press the BUSS ASSIGN button (bottom right)
and then the ST button from the menu that
appears. This removes Channel 1’s output
from the L/R bus.
You are doing this so that you can monitor the signal
off the HDR’s output. Leaving Channel 1 feeding the L/R
bus, at the same time that it is feeding the input to a
Take that is record-enabled, will result in phasing of the
signal—a messy, undesirable business.
Press the EDIT NAME key (bottom right), and
using the same principles you learned in
naming a project, name this Take Audio Test.
If you want to change (or simply verify) the
input or the output of the Take, you can use
the Select Source and Select Dest soft knobs to see
what is currently selected for each, and to
change the setting if you wish.
Press the 1–16 key on the FADER BANKS section of the slanted front panel, and then press
and hold the SELECT key for channel 1 on
the surface. The LCD view should then automatically change to the CHANNEL page (you
have just selected channel 1 for viewing).
Press the TRACK screen key again, and
record arm your audio Take; either by selecting the Take on the Track screen (highlighting
it) and then pressing the RECORD button (top
right of the screen), or by selecting the 17–32
fader bank and pressing the REC arm key for
channel 17 on the surface.
Bring up fader 17 (which is HDR 1 return) to
unity (0).
Adjust the level using the analog input GAIN
knob on the top panel of the SX-1.
10 Press PLAY and RECORD, and make some
recordable sounds with your sound source.
11 After a few seconds, press STOP and you
should see the waveform appear on Audio Test.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
Recording MIDI
For both the following examples, make sure you
have the MIDI output of a MIDI controller of some
type (keyboard controller, drum machine, guitar
synth, etc.) connected to the MIDI IN of the SX-1.
Also, make sure you have a sound source available if
your controller does not support sounds, and that the
SX-1’s MIDI A output jack is connected to this
devices’s MIDI IN (if your controller is also your
sound source, just make both connections on the
same box).
Also, don’t forget to connect the audio output of your
sound source to an audio input on the SX-1. For the
purposes of this exercise, use analog inputs 3 and 4.
These examples use the Test Project set up earlier.
On the VGA
Navigate back to the Track screen, and click
icon on the next slot down from Audio
Take with the mouse (next to the
Select New MIDI Take from the pulldown menu,
and release the mouse button.
Name your MIDI Take as MIDI Test, and select
as the MIDI input to this Take if it is not
already selected.
FADER BANKS section of the slanted front
panel, and then pressing the REC arm key
for MIDI A Channel 1.
Make sure you have remembered to bring up
the audio faders where your sound source is
returning, so that you can hear your MIDI
source. You connected your source to analog
inputs 3 and 4, so select the 1–16 fader bank,
and bring up the faders for channels 3 and 4.
With your channel record armed, you should
be able to play notes on your controller and
hear them through the console.
Press PLAY and RECORD, and play some
notes on your controller. They should appear
instantly on the MIDI Test Take.
Make sure you have raised the audio channel
3 and 4 faders (where your sound source is
coming into the console) so that you can hear
Select the one of the 16 channels on MIDI
Out A that you want to use. If you are not
using a multi-timbral sound source (meaning
that it can only play back one sound at a
time), select A: MOut M1.
Record arm your MIDI Take; either by
pressing the
button to the left of the
icon, or by pressing the MIDI A key in the
On the LCD
On the Track screen, use the keypad’s cursor
keys to select the slot beneath Audio Test, and
press the TAKE/SLOT soft key.
Select New MIDI Take from the menu that
Using the Select Source soft knob, select Omni as
the input source. Using the Select Dest knob,
select MIDI OUT A Mout A1 as the destination.
With your Take record-enabled, you should
now be able to hear your MIDI device when
you play it.
Press PLAY and RECORD and play something on your MIDI controller. You should
see MIDI data immediately written on MIDI
Record-arm your Take, either by pressing
the RECORD button (upper right) on the Track
screen, or by pressing the MIDI A key in the
FADER BANK section, and immediately
pressing the REC key of MIDI A Channel 1
(the first fader).
32 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
Using Locate Points and Autopunch
Locate points enable you to navigate through a
project quickly and easily, which is an absolute
necessity when speed is important.
Follow the steps here to learn how to store and recall
locate points, as well as how to use the autopunch
A word about the CAPTURE key The operation of the SX-1’s CAPTURE key may require a bit
of explanation for some users. When the key is
pressed, the location of the playhead (its current time
value, whether or not the transport is moving) is
“captured” and held. Once captured, that time location can be stored in a number of places. These available registers flash when a value is captured, letting
you know that you can store the time value there.
Possible locations for captured values include locate
points, auto punch points, edit points and loop points.
The main concept to understand is that the time value
is captured by pressing the CAPTURE key, not when
you store that value in one of the available registers.
The paradigm in the following instructions works the
same for all types of storable points on the machine.
Setting a locate point
Move the transport to your desired location.
Press CAPTURE in the LOCATE section of the
Press the LOCATE key in the LOCATE
Press a number on the numeric keypad and
then press the ENTER key.
You have just saved a locate point.
You will notice that a number of indicators
flash in various places, letting you know that
the time value you just captured can be
stored in any of them.
Recalling a Locate Point
Press the LOCATE key in the LOCATE section
of the surface.
Press a number that corresponds to a stored
point and press ENTER on the keypad.
The transport will be moved to that time
You will notice that pressing the LOCATE key will
always come up with the last point chosen. You can use
this as a quick return point, as no matter how far you
fast forward, rewind or play, the last point you chose
will always come up first.
Using Autopunch
Autopunch allows the SX-1 to perform automated
punch in and punch out at defined points.
The following steps explain how to use Autopunch.
Cue the SX-1’s transport to the spot where
you would like to punch in (or enter record).
Assign the captured value as the punch in
point by pressing the IN key in the
AUTOPUNCH section of the surface.
Cue the transport to the spot where you
would like to punch out (or exit recording).
Press the CAPTURE key again.
Assign the captured value as the punch out
point by pressing the OUT key in the
AUTOPUNCH section.
Enable Autopunch by pressing the
ENABLED key in the AUTOPUNCH section.
You will notice that the RECORD key flashes
as an additional indication.
Record-arm the Take you will be recording
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 7 –Basic Moves
Cue the transport to a spot before the punch
in point, and press PLAY (you do not have to
press RECORD). When the transport passes
the punch in point, it will enter record mode.
When it passes the punch out point, it will
exit record mode.
Updating the SX-1 software
From time to time you may need to install or update
the software in the SX-1. TASCAM will send you
software installation CDs when a new version
becomes available.
Follow the steps below to install or update your system software:
Eject the CD-RW drive tray. If there is nothing in the drive, you can press the small button on the lower right side of the front of the
drive itself to eject the tray. If a disc is
already loaded, navigate to one of the screens
(Master, Project) that has an eject button and use
you wish to Install operating system or Update
operating system from the CD-ROM. Choosing
Install wipes the whole drive, while choosing
Update leaves the projects and audio alone,
replacing only the system software.
Decide which action suits your present situation and make your selection. The SX-1 will
install software in the manner you selected.
When the installation is finished, click the
EXIT button, and remove the CD-ROM from
the tray when it pops out. DO THIS
QUICKLY, as the tray will close (with or
without your fingers) in a few seconds.
That’s it. You’ve successfully updated your
Insert the software CD-ROM into the drive
and close the tray.
Power down the SX-1.
When the SX-1 is fully shut down, reboot the
The normal boot sequence will be interrupted with the software CD-ROM in the
drive. A prompt will appear, asking you if
The SX-1 will restart, displaying a number of messages as it does so. Depending on the software
installed, it might need to flash the onboard SH Rom.
If so, the SX-1 will display the message updating panel
software with a progress report. It may then restart,
becoming fully operational on bootup.
34 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Chapter 8 – A quick look at a few shortcuts
The SX-1 is a deep machine, and while it is easy to
use, it could be some time before you learn all of its
capabilities. The following are short examples of
some time-savers you can use to get a job done
Make a quick headphone mix.
This short example assumes a few things. It assumes
1. You have a mix on the faders that sounds good to
2. You have a pair of headphones connected to the
3. Those headphones are being fed by the Cue bus.
Holding down the SHIFT key on the numeric keypad,
press the CUE key in the virtual channel strip. You
have just copied your stereo mix to your Cue mix.
You can now move the Cue faders and change the
mix slightly to better suit your performers’ needs
(perhaps they need click but you don’t, for instance).
Make 5 different mixes for different players quickly
Use the previous example as Step One.
On the Routing screen, route the outputs of
Aux sends 5 and 6 to the Stereo Out jacks on
the top panel.
Use Aux sends 1-6 (in pairs) to make three
mixes for your players.
Connect the AUX SEND 1-4 and STEREO
OUT jacks to an external headphone
This means that you now have all of the Auxs being
sent externally: Aux Sends 1-4 are being sent out their
default jacks on the top panel, while Aux Sends 5 and 6
are being sent from the Stereo outs (XLR).
This means that you now have 5 mixes running at the
same time: The Stereo Mix (you are listening to in
the Control Room), the Cue Mix (one set of headphones), Aux 1-2, Aux 3-4, and Aux 5-6.
This scenario should cover most live tracking situations for medium-sized ensembles.
Quickly move all of your faders (on the current layer) back to unity.
Holding down the CANCEL key in the numeric keypad, touch a fader. You will notice that it moves back
to unity.
You can hold down CANCEL and run your hand
along all the faders to quickly bring them up to unity.
Quickly make a Fader Group
Holding the SHIFT key on the numeric keypad, press
any three channel SEL keys on the surface. You have
just made a fader group. The channel whose SEL key
you touched first has become the group master, while
the next two channels became the slaves.
To dissolve the group, simply repeat the above steps.
Quickly Solo-Safe a channel (or channels)
The ability to solo-safe a channel or bus is extremely
handy when mixing. Essentially, this enables you to
remove a channel from the operation of the solo bus
(it does not exempt the channel from mutes, however). This means a channel that is in solo-safe will
always be heard unless it is muted.
To solo-safe a channel, first press the SOLO key on
the master channel on the surface (which puts the
surface into solo ready mode). With the master solo
light lit, hold down SHIFT and press a channel’s
SOLO key. That channel is now in solo-safe.
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide 35
Chapter 8 –A quick look at a few shortcuts
This can easily be verified by looking at the VGA’s
Mixer screen—the solo buttons of channels in solo
safe are no longer green in color, as the rest are.
Quickly link a pair of channels on the console
Simply press the SEL keys for both channels at the
same time. Remember, these must be coincident
channels (1 and 2, 3 and 4, etc). If you only want to
link certain things, right-click on the LINK button on
the Mixer or Channel screens, or go to the LCD Links
Quickly mixdown a number of sources to a stereo pair
Solo the channels (this can include audio
coming into the mixing console from another
device) you would like to mix together.
Get your balances where you like them. This
can include as much automation as you wish.
Give the stereo file you’re about to make a
name that you’ll remember. You can do this
on the same screen from which you enabled
Mixdown mode.
Cue the transport back to where you would
like to begin, and press PLAY and RECORD.
Everything coming out of the L/R bus is now
being recorded to a separate stereo file (actually two mono Takes).
Enable Mixdown mode, but do not select
Create Mix. This can be done from the VGA’s
Track screen on the Global tab, or from the Mix
screen on the LCD.
It is now easy to unload all of the Takes you have just
comped together to save space, and load in the new
pair. You can re-import these Takes in the same way
you would normally load Takes into a project.
Quickly use the LCD and the VGA screens to show separate things
You can use the LCD’s Track screen to show you your
position, and use the VGA Overview screen to show
you a virtual meter bridge (as well as any other combination of the two screens).
Press the TRACK screen key in the MAIN DISPLAY
MODE section, and then press Alt 4 on the PS/2
Track a drum kit, even though you have no free mixer channels
Suppose you had the HDR returning to 16 channels
of the console, and also had a slaved TASCAM
MX-2424 returning to 24 channels as well (connected via two ADAT cards and the internal ADAT
lightpipe I/O). That would use all of your 40 mixer
channels, but you still need to track a large drum kit
to the MX-2424!
Route all of the Mixer Bypass outputs to
ADAT outs 1-24 (where the MX-2424 is connected).
Record enable the MX, and set your levels
using the knobs on the top panel for each
This can be done easily on the SX-1. Simply:
Monitor these levels by turning up the mixer
channels the MX is returning to.
Connect your 16 microphones to the Analog
mic inputs.
Route all of the 16 analog inputs to Mixer
Bypass inputs (there are 16 available).
36 TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
Any external recorder can be used in this manner, providing you have the correct complement of I/O for the
recorder. In this case, you are using the SX-1 as a monitoring console, and only using the preamps to go
“straight to tape”.
Chapter 8 –A quick look at a few shortcuts
Quickly select every MIDI note on a MIDI Take
To do this, just Alt-click on any note with the mouse.
All of the notes in the entire Take will be selected.
Quickly name a number of similar types of things
The SX-1 was designed to adhere to a number of traditional computer-style commands. One such command is the use of the Tab key (on the PS/2
keyboard). You can use this key to jump quickly
between text fields of a similar type, like the names
of mixer channels or Takes.
Try this: on the VGA’s Mixer screen, click in the name
field for the first channel on the left. Type in a name,
and then press the Tab key. You will notice that the
cursor jumps to the next channel’s name field, making it very easy to name all of the channels on a bank
TASCAM SX-1 Quick Start Guide
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