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Akai S1100 Version 2.0: Adding hard disk recording to your sampler (part 2)

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Hard disk functions

You are probably aware of some of the developments in serious hard disk recorder/editors
such as the AMS AudioFile and DAR SoundStation. These are expensive multitrack
machines whose main use is in adding sound to picture, although they can be
used equally effectively on smaller scale projects. Multitrack hard disk at
the personal studio level isn’t really a practical possibility yet, and
it won’t be for some time to come, I prophecy (come on you manufacturers
and prove me wrong please!). Hard disk won’t replace multitrack recorders
in the near future for two reasons: Firstly, they would be much more expensive
track for track, and secondly, storing a project is nowhere near as cheap and
simple as putting a reel of tape on a shelf. You need a back up device, backing
up takes time, the back up media costs money etc etc. But even though hard disk
recorders are not going to take over from multitrack just yet, they are still
very useful – very useful – for stereo work. They also have applications in
assisting the multitrack recording process. Let me explain…


Since we have all thrown away our reel-to-reel recorders, or at least hidden
them in cupboards, and converted to DAT, we have become very practised at mixing
our multitrack recordings in one take, making sure the starts are nice and tidy,
and that the ends fade neatly into silence after the last of the reverb dies
away. Or have we? In the days when editing was a simple matter of slashing away
at the tape with a rusty razor blade and sticking it back together with Sellotape,
we wouldn’t think twice about redoing a section that went wrong during
the mix and chopping it in among all the other sections that we had spent hours
over getting absolutely right. But with DAT, and no editing possible other than
at mammoth cost, we have had to forgo that flexibility in return for lower machine
cost, lower tape cost and better sound quality. But if you had a hard disk recorder
at your elbow during the mixing process, all the old reel-to-reel flexibility
would be back, and much more besides. What luxury!

David Mellor

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David Mellor