At press time, Yamaha introduced two new personal digital studios — the AW1600 ($1,495) and the AW2400 ($2,499) — and informed EM that the company will no longer manufacture the AW16G by the time this issue goes to print. The AW16G will continue to be available, however, while stock remains.
The AW16G has 8 recordable tracks, 16 playback tracks, a fixed sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, and 16-bit recording resolution. It also has a dedicated Stereo Track for mixdown, which includes the output from the Sound Clip section and the sample pads. The Sound Clip feature lets you quickly record almost three minutes of audio without having to switch from menu to menu. It isn't quite a plug-and-play button, but it's handy for capturing ideas in a hurry. In addition, the AW16G has drum-machine-style pads to trigger and sequence banks of loops, and it can read WAV files directly from commercial CD-ROMs, so you can use third-party loops.
According to Yamaha, the new AW1600 and AW2400 workstations are fully backward compatible with earlier Yamaha workstations. The 16-track AW1600 has 8 phantom-powered combo inputs that are similar in design to the company's O-series preamps, a high-impedance guitar input, USB 2.0 support for moving files to your computer, 24-bit resolution, and a 40 GB hard drive. Other bells and whistles include a new Pitch Fix algorithm for correcting vocal tracks, a Quick Loop Sample function, guitar and mastering effects, and sample playback pads.
The AW2400 offers 24 simultaneous tracks of playback (each with 8 associated virtual tracks), motorized 100 mm faders, and a 40 GB internal drive . The 24-bit device has eight phantom-powered XLR inputs, eight ¼-inch TRS inputs, insertion inputs on channels 1 and 2, four dedicated aux outputs, an integrated Pitch Fix function, and USB 2.0 connectivity. For editing, the AW2400 includes ten user-definable function keys and a large, 02R-size LCD screen.