New Toys: Fix Audio Designs the Bucket

Fix Audio Designs' The Bucket is an eight-slot 500 Series rack that is the same system as used in the company's large format professional analog audio consoles. The Bucket is standalone and powered by a small, included power supply that will power up to two Buckets—a second output connector is provided for chaining power to another Bucket.

500 Series module processors—microphone pre-amps, EQs, compressors, reverbs, delays, filters have become a popular way to build a collection of professional audio processors. These are smaller and usually cost less for the same processing and nearly every gear manufacturer offers 500 series module versions of their gear.

The Bucket chassis is well made from plated steel and comes with all the necessary hardware plus rubber feet to either rack mount it or easily carry it to the studio or a live sound gig using the included stainless steel handle.

Each of the eight slots has its own edge connector for its input and output balanced audio connections, regulated  +/- 16-volts DC power, and +48-volts DC for phantom mic power (if required). There are pairs of duplicated DB25 connectors on the Bucket's rear panel (that conform to Tascam standard pin-out) to connect the rack to the rest of your studio. You can buy cables that fan out to regular XLR balanced audio connectors; multi-channel I/O boxes will directly connect to route line level signals back and forth to the Bucket.

Adjacent modules can be stereo-linked. If you have two identical single-channel compressors, know that you can use them on stereo mixes with linked side-chain operation.

The Fix Audio Designs Bucket is a great choice for a 500 Series rack to start your collection of professional gear. You can save money and build any signal chain and experiment endlessly. The Bucket sells for $499 MSRP.