Test Drive: The Denon DN-970FA CD Cart Player

With the SEARCH MODE button in the INDEX mode, turning the large knob will let you scroll through the available indexes within a track. Again, if the CD is out of the player, you can set the unit to search for a particular track and index, then insert the CD.

Placing the SEARCH MODE button in the MANUAL mode lets you "scrub" search the CD using the large knob. One "click" of the SEARCH knob moves the pickup one frame (1/75th of a second) in either direction. By pressing the SEARCH knob and holding it in, the unit can be put into the FAST SEARCH mode. In this mode, one click in either direction, while pressing the knob, searches the CD at half-speed. A second click in the same direction initiates a search at normal playback speed. A third click searches at four-times normal speed, and a fourth click searches at eight-times normal speed. Using an internal dip-switch, this search function can be switched so that you don't have to press and hold the SEARCH knob to change the speed. You simply push the SEARCH knob once to go into the FAST SEARCH mode, then turn the knob in either direction to obtain the various search speeds. This seemed to be the best mode to use it in. Once you've used the FAST SEARCH mode to get close to the beginning of whatever you're cuing up, you simply press the SEARCH knob again and you can begin easily cuing frame by frame. Once you have your cut cued, hit PLAY/PAUSE. Playback begins and the cue point is automatically stored in memory. This allows for easy re-cuing by simply pressing the STBY/CUE button. This memory location always remembers the last point at which the PLAY/PAUSE button was pressed.

The easy to read LED display shows track numbers, index numbers, playing time, and remaining time (selected by pressing the REMAIN button). There are also three small indicators that display the status of three internal memory points. The last indicator on the display is the EXT. SYNC LED which indicates synchronization with an external source. Two or more units can be synced together by using the EXT. SYNC IN/OUT jacks on the rear panel, or an external clock may be used to control the servo section of the unit for even greater degrees of vari-speed.

The editing capabilities of the DN-970FA are quite handy in production. The A and B buttons on the panel let you select points at where you want to begin and end play. Simply cue up to what you want and press A. That start point is remembered. Cue up to a later place anywhere on the CD and press B. That point is remembered. Pressing PLAY/PAUSE will begin play at point A, and the unit will stop play at point B. This is handy when you only need a portion of a sound. For example, let's say you have a sound effect of a dog barking, but you only want to use the three barks in the middle of the track. By locating the start and stop points on the track and pressing the A and B buttons you can easily isolate the three barks.

But here's something even nicer. Let's say you also need the cat meows a few tracks down from the dog barks. Before searching for the cat sound effects, press the SAVE button, and the A and B points for the dog barks are stored in MEMORY 1. Find your cat sounds and store that location in MEMORY 2. Find your "neighbor shooting cats and dogs" sounds and store them in MEMORY 3 in the same manner. Now, when you're ready to begin laying down your sound effects, you simply press RESUME to rotate through the three memory locations until you come to the one you want, and it is automatically cued to that effect. Changing these A and B points is very easy, as is erasing them.

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