Fostex DMT-8vl

Make / Model: Fostex DMT-8vl
Year: 1998
Purchased: Metro Sound, 1998
Price: $1599 (New)

You can hear this on:
Silence Is Suicide ‘Hope & The Anti-Culture’
This EP (and about 40 other songs recorded during those sessions) were recorded using the Fostex DMT-8vl and Shure SM58s/Beta 58s

Build Quality


Sound Quality

Actually decent


In 1998, to a punk kid, the idea of recording 8 tracks with no tape hiss, at home, was insane. You’d have to buy a fucking 1″ tascam 16 track or something like that, and then a console to record to it and play it back. Or you could get some ADATs, but those things cost big money still. So when i walked into a local guitar store, and saw a digital 8-track for $1600, I knew I had to buy it imediately. And it changed my life.

What I bought was a Fostex DMT-8vl. It had a built in mixer, that was analog, and a built in hard drive (500mb). Each channel had a high freqency and low frequency eq, pan, and fader, and an aux send. And everything was recorded and stored digitally.

That 500mb hard drive only held so many songs though, so you’d basically have to mix down to your mix down format, then delete. And hope no changes ever had to be made. This was back when CD burners still cost around $500-$1000 (cuz patents) and removable media was still floppies. So for backup, you could remove the hard drive, or do this odd binary backup to DAT tape. I ended up opting for the later, and bought a SV3800.

But this thing became what I built my life around. I’d wake up, go to my pizza job, come home, and spend all night recording, and eventually making beats as well, via an Akai S20.

Overall, the sound quality, somehow, was decent. The analog mixer, was decent. And if I recorded a band, I’d augment it with a 16-channel mackie, which the DMT-8’s mixer, actually sounded a fuck ton better than.

This thing ended up being my setup until I started an internship and learned I needed two things, A Powermac (which would be my FIRST computer), and a MOTU.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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