Fostex X-15 I found it in my filing cabinet

junplugged

Taking the slow road
stuck way in the back. I think it's famous for being one of the first of its kind. So I'm cleaning it up, but likely needs some work, not sure if I'll ever get it running but it brings back a lot of memories.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
stuck way in the back. I think it's famous for being one of the first of its kind. So I'm cleaning it up, but likely needs some work, not sure if I'll ever get it running but it brings back a lot of memories.

Oh yes...........had one of those. It was how I got hooked on recording at home for sure. Mine came with a separate mixer/ compressor called an M-15. Awesome little mixer for it's time.......but the compressor was even better. I still have my M-15 today and it's really useful for compression on lots of things. Ok....I know........sounds crazy.
 

junplugged

Taking the slow road
I did a search, but didn't find M-15 audio compressor, but I did find an M-15 air compressor. Do you have a link?
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Sorry.........my fault...........it's an MN-15. Search for that. Later re-named to an MN-50.
 

junplugged

Taking the slow road
I'm pretty sure it needs a belt. I remember seeing a big bag o' belts on ebay one time, I think it was cheap also. I may go look again.
 

arcaxis

Well-known member
I still have my old X-15 and the screw-on piggyback battery box accessory. I did have the MN-50, but sold that on eBay a few years back. I should pull it out and see if it still works. Kinda suspect the belts may have deteriorated with age. Had a lot of fun way back then with it. Bought in 1986 for $415(US) from Union Music in Worcester, MA :D.
 

Mickster

Well-known member
Yeah....that X-15 was my first unit and I did lots of hours of recording on it for a long time. It came with the battery box and the MN-50. I lent it to a band buddy at one point and right after I got a Tascam 388...so I never asked for the Fostex back. Not too long ago he told me it's still working!! Wow!! As it happens...I also have 2 MN-50's. Not sure how I ended up with 2. They both work....and if you want some unique compression sounds....give one a try. Using the mic input with the adjustable compression really levels out the input while adding some useable tones. A blast from the past!!

Mick
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I still have my old X-15 and the screw-on piggyback battery box accessory
I bought the X-15 on a whim back in 1991. I'd taken out a small loan to buy a double bass and with the money left over, I bought a camcorder that I used for 6 years and the X-15. It really was a case of "I've got £80 left over, what the heck am I going to buy ?" At the playground I was working on at the time we had a 4 track portastudio and at the time no one knew how it worked. It was the only one I'd seen so when I saw the X-15, I thought I'd buy it. It sat around my flat for 13 months doing nothing then I thought I'd better try and see if I could do something with it. The first thing I ever did was a little ditty with acoustic guitar, mandolin and bass guitar. I sent it to my sister. I've never heard it since the day I did it in April of '92 and I don't know if she ever received it. We've never even mentioned it !
I did a few recordings with it that summer but it was while working on this song called "Nehemiah says it straight", a song that has subsequently been done 3 times and never to my satisfaction, that I ran into 4 track limitation. The song had lead vocal, 2 tracks of backing vocal, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, double bass, mandolin, drums, organ and I think, some percussion. After one set of bounces, it sounded OK. After bouncing the bounces with other stuff, it sounded like shit. By the time everything was done, there was only one track left for the bass and drums, which, at the time I didn't consider to be a problem because my friend that played the drums and I were used to playing together and all the jams we'd had over a 10 year period were taped and always sounded good. You could always hear both instruments clearly and the kick was always very present.
I learned the day we put our bass and drums down that multi-tracking on cassette didn't work that way !!
We were tracking to mush and when I eventually transferred it to a cassette tape, it was even more mush. I had been loving the process of multi-tracking and arranging and I was so disappointed with my first completed result. I'd been dreaming of this since 1979. What a crock !

But in retrospect, that Friday of woe and rancour was an important turning point for me. It was the day I realized I really wanted to record and not just jam. The problem with jamming was that results were nearly always mixed. There would be great bits mixed in with 'meh' bits mixed in with shitty bits.
Not only did I realize that I wanted to record, I also realized that I could arrange pretty well. It was also the day I decided that 4 tracks were never going to be enough for me, regardless of "Revolver," "Sergeant Pepper" and "The Piper at the gates of dawn." And so I made the decision to up the ante to 8 tracks. I kept the Fostex and used it {with that battery pack} for location sound effects recording and the odd backwards transfer to what became my machine of order, the Tascam 488. In the end, I lent the Fostex to my drumming friend and after a few weeks it stopped working. A few things I lent him {congas, bongos, timbales} either got wrecked, stopped working or came back to me in less than stellar condition !
Despite its shortcomings and limitations, I always liked that X-15. For some reason I thought it sounded like a prototype rocket.
 
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