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PERSONAL DIGITAL STUDIOS

YAMAHA AW4416 The AW4416 Professional Audio Workstation ($3,299) by Yamaha integrates a 16-track hard disk recorder, an 02R-like automated digital mixer,
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YAMAHA AW4416The AW4416 Professional Audio Workstation ($3,299) by Yamaha integrates a 16-track hard disk recorder, an 02R-like automated digital mixer, extensive audio processing, a stereo mastering system, and a sampler into a desktop-size package. The unit ships with a 10 GB hard drive that yields up to 80 minutes of 24-bit recording. Storage is expandable up to 64 GB. For additional recording and playback, consider the optional onboard CD-RW drive ($500).

The AW4416 records 16- or 24-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz audio without compression. Eight tracks can be simultaneously recorded, and 16 tracks simultaneously played back. The All Rec mode allows you to record 16 tracks at once (at either resolution), albeit with reduced DSP functions. The AW4416 provides 128 virtual tracks and a 2-track stereo mastering section, for a total of 130 internal tracks.

Channels 1 through 8 have 1/4-inch TRS analog mic/line inputs and analog trim pots. Channels 1 and 2 include phantom-powered XLR mic inputs and 1/4-inch TRS insert points, while channel 8 has a high-impedance, 1/4-inch guitar input. You also get stereo coaxial S/PDIF digital inputs and outputs. Analog outputs include stereo pairs on RCA and balanced 1/4-inch connectors, as well as four balanced 1/4-inch multipurpose outputs.

The stock I/O can be expanded by adding up to two optional mini-YGDAI cards. Available card configurations include eight channels of ADAT or TDIF I/O, eight channels of AES/EBU inputs on four stereo connectors, eight channels of balanced 1/4-inch analog inputs, four channels of balanced XLR inputs, and four channels of balanced XLR outputs.

The fully automated mixer section boasts 32-bit processing, a serial mouse port, 17 motorized 60 mm faders, a 320-by-240-pixel backlit display, two multi-effects processors, and a total of 20 buses that can be routed to various outputs. Individual channels and all buses feature 4-band EQ, dynamics processing, delay, attenuation, pan, and phase reverse. There is an onboard stereo mastering section, with mixdown to either an external recorder or discrete internal stereo tracks. An onboard sampler with 16 trigger pads and 90 seconds of dynamically allocated memory completes the picture.

Frequency response is rated at 20 Hz to 20 kHz (+1/-3 dB), with a typical dynamic range of 105 dB and <0.02% (at 1 kHz) total harmonic distortion. Yamaha Corporation of America; tel. (714) 522-9011; fax (714) 739-2680; e-mail info@yamaha.com; Web www.yamaha.com.

AKAI DPS16Akai's new DPS16 ($2,695) offers 16 tracks of uncompressed 24-bit digital recording at four sampling rates (32, 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz), 56-bit internal processing, a 26-channel digital mixer, and onboard waveform-level editing capabilities. The DPS16 comes with a 10 GB internal IDE/ SCSI drive; a SCSI port allows connection to as many as seven additional external SCSI devices. CD-R and CD-RW drives are also supported.

The DPS16 can record 10 tracks (8 tracks at 96 kHz) simultaneously and play back 16 tracks at a time, with a total of 250 virtual tracks available. Recording time and frequency response are determined by sampling rate. For example, you get 56 minutes of 8-track recording at 24-bit/96 kHz, with a frequency response of 10 Hz to 44 kHz, or 2 hours of 16-track recording at 24-bit/44.1 kHz, with a frequency response of 10 Hz to 20 kHz.

The 26-channel mixer features 24-bit/ 96 kHz delta-sigma converters with 1285 oversampling. Channels 1 and 2 have combo jacks that accept either balanced XLR or balanced 1/4-inch TRS connectors, withswitchable phantom power on the XLRs. Channels 3 through 8 have balanced/unbalanced 1/4-inch jacks, and channel 8's jack is switchable to high impedance. Outputs include four 1/4-inch balanced aux sends, as well as stereo master and monitor outputs on RCA connectors.

The mixer has 16 faders, and all input channels have trim and pan pots, four aux sends, and 3-band EQ with sweepable high and low bands and fully parametric mids. Snapshot-scene memories can be stored internally, and dynamic fader automation is possible using an outboard MIDI sequencer. You also get four channels of onboard effects, including pitch correction, a vocoder, reverbs, and delays.

Recorder and mixer functions are displayed on a flip-up 320-by-240-pixel backlit LCD. The Q-Link Navigation System offers real-time control over all major functions and screen parameters via six virtual Q knobs located just to the right of the LCD. Graphic waveform editing, with sample-accurate resolution, allows you to edit and move single or multiple tracks to and from anywhere within the recorder, and the device has 256 levels of undo. Akai's Timestretch function provides 54 preset algorithms for phase-coherent processing of stereo signals.

The DPS16's dynamic range is rated at >100 dB; its distortion is <0.003% (at 1 kHz, when sampling at 44.1 kHz). Akai Musical Instrument Corporation; tel. (800) 433-5627 or (817) 831-9203; fax (817) 222-1490; e-mail info@akaipro.com; Web www.akaipro.com.

ROLAND VS-1880Following hot on the heels of its popular VS-1680, Roland's VS-1880 ($2,795) adds new 24-bit converters, track assignments that are more flexible, improved CD mastering capabilities, and other upgrades. When in the MT Pro recording mode, the new converters maintain a true 24-bit resolution from input to output.

The VS-1880 records 8 tracks and can play back 18 tracks simultaneously, with 288 virtual tracks available. You can use any 2 of the 18 tracks for 2-track mastering and CD burning. The Audio Image Format feature, linked to the CD-RW Mastering button, simplifies and accelerates the burning process by giving faster access to the CD-writing menus and allowing you to save image files to disk. The CD features are designed for use with the optional CD Recording System ($750).

The VS-1880 includes ten 24-bit audio inputs. Channels 1 and 2 have balanced XLR mic connectors with phantom power; channels 3 through 8 have balanced 11/44-inch TRS connectors; and channel 8 has an additional high-impedance guitar input. Stereo S/PDIF digital I/O is available on optical and coaxial connectors. Analog outputs are via eight unbalanced RCA connectors, and a stereo headphone jack is included. A SCSI interface and MIDI In, Out, and Thru jacks complete the list of connections.

The fully automated 28-channel mixer allows simultaneous mixing of the 18 recorded tracks and 10 inputs. The centerpiece of the user interface is a 320-by-240-pixel LCD and 13 motorized faders. You have a choice of using either 3-band EQ on 18 channels or 2-band EQ on 28 channels.

There are no onboard effects, but the VS-1880 accepts two optional VS8F-2 Effect Expansion Boards ($300). Each adds four stereo or eight mono effects to complement Roland's exclusive COSM-based modeling effects (such as mic, guitar amp, and speaker models), as well as the Mastering Tool Kit, which provides a multiband compressor and other mastering processors.

The VS-1880 weighs a little over 13 pounds and comes bundled with Emagic's Logic VS and Liquid Audio's Liquifier Pro software. Roland Corporation U.S.; tel. (323) 890-3700; fax (323) 890-3701; Web www.rolandus.com.

TASCAM MX-2424The Tascam MX-2424 ($3,999) is a 24-bit digital hard disk recorder that records 24 tracks at 48 or 44.1 kHz, or 12 tracks at 96 kHz. (The 88.2 kHz sample rate is also supported.) A 9 GB internal SCSI hard drive accommodates up to 45 minutes of recording time; additional drives can be installed in a 5.5-inch drive bay on the device's front panel and via a port on the rear panel.

The MX-2424 comes with the ViewNet MX Graphic User Interface and has built-in editing capabilities that include 100 levels of undo and 999 virtual tracks. The recorder reads and writes files in WAV and Sound Designer II formats. Onboard metering for all 24 channels is standard.

Stereo AES/EBU (XLR) and S/PDIF (coaxial) digital I/O is included; all other I/O is available on optional cards. The MX-2424 recorder has one digital card slot that accepts 24-channel cards for TDIF ($499), ADAT ($499), and AES/EBU ($999) connectors; a second slot accepts an analog I/O card ($1,499) that employs 24-bit, 96 kHz converters with I/O via six DB-25 connectors. The analog and digital cards can be used simultaneously.

The MX-2424 has a built-in SMPTE synchronizer and includes time-code and video-lock features. An RC-2424 remote control ($1,499) is also available. Tascam/TEAC; tel. (323) 726-0303; fax (323) 727-7635; faxback (800) 827-2268; Web www.tascam.com. A

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