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Studiomaster Studiofex


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Studiomaster Studiofex

Category:  Products / fx & processors / multi-fx

Added: 28-May-01  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: ?? cheap if available

Studiomaster Studiofex

Now here's a blast from the past... Studiomaster who made/make fine mixers etc had this product out around 1987/88... In those days there were a few of these modular FX rack systems, the4 best known and most established of which was the old REBIS rack systems which were great and could be found in so many budget studio's like 8 & 16 track studio's of the 80's...

These racks are actualy a very good system design, and i can't see really why there are none like this around nowadays because they are pretty cost effective - individual items in the rack ship real cheap cos each module doesn't require any case or power supply etc. However, that could also be the reason why there is not this design seen around today... mebbe manufacturer's are not willing to rely on customer loyalty and product longevity anymore, both of which are needed to make these systems viable... If a user want's a gate or a compressor or three, he might go for a rack like this, but chances are he might see that tying him down to buying the modules from one manufacturer... Also there is just so much cheap products now that the cost saving of a design like this might be negligable nowadats, i dunno.. but it seems a shame... whatever...

It's pretty obvious how systems like this work.. The steel 4U rack-frame houses the power supply & comes fitted with the power switch on/off module... All the selected effect modules plug-in to the rack just like pci cards into pc slots or channel strips into a modular mixer... so adding a new unit/module is simple.. Just remove the blanking-plate, slot in the new effect module, screw in down tight, power up and off you go!!... all connectors for each module reside on the back like the connectors do on PCI soundcards etc.. simplicity itself !!...

FX in the rack can be utilsed individualy, or they can be 'grouped' or used in series all together... cool !!... the internal chaining/routing system get's over-ridden like with mixer inserts when you plug-in to a module via it's rear connector...

Back in the 80's loads of budget studio's used Rebis & other modular racks like this StudioFex system... by the time the STUDIOFEX was established these racks started to fall out of fashion as newer more dazzling dedicated cheap far-east rack FX started to hit home on the street - Also companies like Boss & Akai released cheap home-studio stand-alone, table-top 'mini-rack' series in the mid/late 80's, and these also allowed each unit purchased to work as a stand-alone device in a case with power supply etc - So those cheap 'mini-racks' helped to kill off these 'multi-rack' frames, cos with the cheap mini-rack systems, the companies didn't loose sales to users who wanted just one or two of the devices in the range and didnt want to invest in the rack just to use two or three units.....

Well, they faced all this competition, and in the end as a consequence these types of 'rack-frame' systems seemed to dissapear, but they are high quality & work fine, and the beauty is you could choose to have 8 compressors etc if you wanted... and they save space... you get alot of dedicated FX in a 4U high rack with a system like STUDIOFEX....

Well, thought i'd post it up... cos it's so interesting to ageing studio hardware buffs like me!! :-) ... The chance of finding one of these systems complete is probably nil nowadays, and if you found a half-filled system, finding new modules s/h to fill it up would also be a nightmare, but here's the units that went in the rack anyways...

  • SF800 - audio noise gate
  • SF801 - compressor
  • SF802 - dynamic noise filter
  • SF803 - parametric eq'
  • SF804 - fader/panner
  • SF805 - modulation
  • SF806 - input meter/gain
  • SF807 - output module (phones & line out)
  • SF808 - enhancer
  • SF809 - dual delay/flanger
  • SF810 - de-esser

Notice interestingly the first two module products are the gates & compressors, as these are the items at the time before 1U multi-units, that people wanted lot's of... lot's of gates & compressors for the studio or live rig was a doddle with this system, and it's Studiomaster quality, which is proper high !!...

well, I have individual images of each rack unit effect for this system... i'll add them soon, mebbe to this page althought it'll be a big page-load if i do add them here, but adding a page for each seems excessive....

Individual Units

SF801 - compressor

SF810 - de-esser

SF809 - delay

SF802 - dynamic filter

SF808 - enhancer

SF804 - fader-panner

SF800 - gate

SF805 - modulator

SF807 - output module

SF803 - parametric eq'

Anyways.. The Studiomaster STUDIOFEX rack system !!... any users or past users out there?... please leave your comments...

Product Manuals or Files

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User Comments

Product:  Studiomaster - Studiofex
Name: Krelnarb
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 26-Jun-02

I have 2 SF805's in my modular rig. I got them on eBay. I pulled the jacks from the back and mounted them in blank Synthesizer.com panels, +/- 15v power. The features are great; it's a dual VCLFO that you can trigger from any point in the cycle, plus it has a rudimentry envelope follower. The only thing that keeps it from a 5 is the output is shy; about 5v peak. Almost every thing else (Doepfer, Oberheim, Paia) is 10v. Good for mellow mods.


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Product:  Studiomaster - Studiofex
Name: Phaeton68
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 05-Apr-17

If my memory serves me correctly the StudioFex was the work, if not brainchild, of Paul Williams who designed and manufactured a similar system under the TanTek brand before joining Studiomaster where it became Studiomaster StudioFex. TanTek and StudioFex modules are, I believe, compatible.

I'm not sure if much changed other than the new panel graphics and branding but it never got the recognition or level of adoption it deserved, much like Studiomaster's other audio processor, the excellent IDP1.
Paul didn't hang around at Studiomaster and quickly went on to much greater things.

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Last added comment

Product:  Studiomaster - Studiofex
Name: Phil Matthews
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 05-Apr-23

I have one of these I purchased the items one per month as my budget allowed.
Manuals now missing. I want to incorporate it into my current setup but am not
sure if they need to be in a specific order in the rack. Some are mono and some

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