Fostex VF160

The VF160 is a 30 gigabyte, 16 track, multi-input Multitrack recorder. It has no SD card slot, instead relying on either Line-out or the built in audio CD burner to transfer audio to a DAW.

For our purposes the most direct way of transfering audio to a PC will be via connecting the "phone" jack to a line-in on the PC. This is not optimal as the signal is going form digital, to analogue, and to digital again. But it will do for learning purposes.

Other options for audio transfer are via either the S/PDIF port or the optical ADAT port. But of course you'll need cooresponding input ports on your computer itself. They aren't rare on most desktop computers with actual sound cards but are fairly uncommon on laptops.

We'll look at the steps for recording first, then transfer later on.

Effects should be handled once ported to a DAW.

Input one is not zeroed. *@#$%!.

To record a single track

  1. Press the "REC TRK" button. It will will flash.
  2. Press the track selection button(s) near the fader itself to select a track. These are the tracks you are recording to (the display will show each track as "rdy").
  3. Leave track selection mode by hitting the "REC TRK" button again. The track(s) you selected should have their unique light remain red.
  4. When you want to record hold the "RECORD" button and press "PLAY".
  5. When you are ready to cease recording press "STOP".
  6. To exit Direct recording mode simply press the "REC TRK" button again and deselect the previously selected tracks (they should stop flashing red).
  7. Press "REC TRK" again to exit selection mode for direct recording.
The main interface. Note that "IN" and "OUT" are used twice in different sections.

To record from one track to another

When using this method you will record from the source track to the target track AT THE SAME TIMECODE. Use "copy/paste" to record clips to different times within a track.

  1. Press the "SOURCE" button under "BUSS".
  2. Select the SOURCE tracks that the audio will come from (they will turn green).
  3. Press the "REC TRK" button under "BUSS".
  4. Select the TARGET tracks that the audio will go to by pressing their input tooggles (they will turn red).
  5. You need to exit both target and source selection mode to be able to record.
  6. Hold the "RECORD" button as you press "PLAY" to begin recording.
  7. Press "STOP" to cease recording.

Rremember that moving the gain sliders while in the middle of [bus] recording will adjust the playback volume and recording volume for the respective tracks.

Copy / Paste

Copy and paste is useful as it can be done from seperate points within seperate tracks. But it does take a bit longer to set up as a result.

The buttons for selecting the SOURCE start and end points.
The buttons for selecting the TARGET start point (end point is not required).
  1. Find the place on the SOURCE track you want to start copying from and press the "STORE" and then "IN" (under the clipboard section) buttons.
  2. Find the place you want to stop the clip recording and press the "STORE" and then "OUT" (under the clipboard section) buttons.
  3. Find the place you want to paste the clip to on the TARGET track and press the "STORE" and "IN" (under the auto punch section) buttons.
  4. The screen where you can select the SOURCE track.
    The store and edit buttons are right next to one another.
  5. Press the "EDIT" button. At this time the LCD screen should say "Copy Clip
    Select Track!".
    • If you *already* have a clip in memory then at this point it may want to go straight to saying "copy paste?" In this case use the JOG SHUTTLE (the black circular device in the lower right) to change the menu to read "Copy Clip / Select Track!" again.
  6. Press the track selection button for the SOURCE track and then hit "ENTER/YES" to confirm.
  7. The screen where you can select the TARGET track.
  8. It will then ask you if you want to paste. This message is a little confusing since it does not actually want you to select a track at this time. Press "ENTER/YES" once and the screen will change again.
  9. It should say "copy paste / Repeat". Basically this is asking you if you want to loop the sound a certain number of times but you can leave this at "01". At this time you can select track you wish to paste to with the track selection buttons (it should flash red) and then hit "ENTER/YES" to confirm. Once the process is done it should say "copy completed".

Remember: If you did not get the expected "Copy clip" or "paste?" options then you should be able to use the jog shuttle to change the current option back and forth between the various copy clip functions.

Note the command to play the current clipboard contents is STOP and PLAY together (in case you want to make sure you've got a "clean" copy).

While an audio clip is in memory you can listen to it at any time by pressing "STOP" and "PLAY" together.

Transfering to PC

If you want to transfer from the main HD via analogue to a line-in on the PC then you can just run a male-male cable from the headphone jack to the PC. In our case can either to the mic jack on the PC itself or to the Mobile-Pre USB Pre-Amp (The USB cord itself is a capable of two way transfer).

From there it's just a matter of playing it on the MTR while recording the Line-In in a program like Audacity.

Things to make sure of when recording from the VF160 to Audacity (this will also play through the speakers if they are on):

  1. Is "Speakers (SB X-Fi...)" selected in the Audacity playback device dropdown?
  2. Is "S/PDIF-on (SB X-Fi...)" selected in the Audacity recording device dropdown?
  3. When you open the volume mixer in the taskbar (right click > volume mixer) do you see "Analog connector (7-Mobile Pre)" at the far right of the list?
    • If not, right click the volume icon and select "recording devices". You may need to right click and select "Show disabled devices" to get it to show up. Set it to the default device by right clicking and selecting "default".
  4. In order to hear the track played back within Audacity you may also need to make sure that the default playback device selected (in the playback tab) is the "6-Mobile Pre" as well./li>

REMEMBER: If you don't know the current volume then start with the volume slider DOWN. DONT HURT YOUR EARS.