Is your home/project studio lacking the bitchin' control room features that only a high end console is capable of delivering? Are you tired of patching and re-patching your various sets of monitors? Does it make you sad that your mixer is not equipped with a talkback mic for communicating with the talent (or lack thereof?) With the Samson C Control in your rack, your days of frustration may be over.

Okay, enough with the infomercial's the score. The C Control will allow you to A/B your mix through several monitors or headphones, output your mix to various mixdown decks, and communicate with the musicians on the other side of the glass. The input section features three stereo 1/4" balanced inputs and one stereo RCA unbalanced input. These inputs are selectable with the buttons on the front panel. For example, you can listen to your main mix, the outputs from two mixdown decks, or a CD player for reference. The line output section has two stereo 1/4" balanced outs and one stereo RCA unbalanced out. In the speaker output section, you'll find one stereo 1/4" balanced out and two stereo RCA outs. The third speaker output is essentially dedicated for a subwoofer. Another pair of stereo 1/4" balanced jacks will send the cue mix to a headphone amplifier. The front panel also features a headphone jack with volume control, a sum-to-mono button, a talkback mic, and a few other handy doodads.

I like this unit because it's cheap, easy to use, and it has many features my studio was lacking. However, the speaker output section is frustrating. It would make much more sense to have three sets of 1/4" balanced outs. Plus, the subwoofer channel is a -10 dBu signal, while the other two outs are +4 dBu. Depending on your set-up, balancing your sub could be tricky. Luckily I don't have a sub, so it's not much of a problem. However, for $99 retail it's hard to complain.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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