(ShackMan | Posted 2010-01-20)

Cakewalk, makers of home and professional recording software and hardware endorsed by Grammy-award-winning producers and artists, recently announced the FA-66 Firewire Audio Interface debuted at NAMM 2010. I took a quick look at the features to see just what it was all about.

The FA-66 is designed with the professional or the home enthusiast looking to upgrade in mind. The unit has two XLR/TRS combo inputs with phantom powered microphone preamps, one offering Hi-Z for recording electronic instruments such as guitar, bass, or keyboards, plus two RCA inputs. These all feature zero latency direct monitoring. It also features a FireWire 400/800 interface, now standard in the industry, for speeds well beyond USB connections. The connections donít stop there, either. Cakewalk saw fit to include MIDI in/out ports and an optical S/PDIF (for high definition connections).

All this gets sent to a processor that can handle 4x4 simultaneous performances at 24-bit/192kHz sound quality, or 6x6 simultaneous performances at 24-bit/96kHz quality: certainly nothing to scoff at for a portable interface. The unit can be added to a Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Windows 7 system and comes with a generous package of software, including SONAR 8.5 LE (Windows) and three virtual instrument packages for Mac or PC: Rapture LE, Cakewalk SoundCenter, and Studio Instruments Drums.

The FA-66 will be available at select music and sound retailers worldwide in late April, 2010. No estimated price was available at press time.

James Rushin is a pianist, bassist, composer and writer working in the Greater Pittsburgh and Morgantown areas. He is currently performing with baritone Justin Barclay (www.justinbarclay.net).

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