Test Drive: The AKAI DD-1000 Magneto Optical Disk Recorder

If you are an avid MIDI user or are involved in audio for video, particularly the syncing of audio to video, we encourage you to contact AKAI for more information on the DD-1000 or look for reviews in magazines more targeted to that industry. This review is for radio production rats, and though the DD-1000 primarily supports the music and A/V industries' needs, it is still quite a machine to have around the production room. We had six different tags that needed to go on three different spots. All six tags were recorded into the DD-1000 and were easily assigned in the PLAYSHEET mode. Afterwards, dropping the tags to cart was not only fast and easy, but fun. The non-destructive and versatile editing capabilities of the unit made it perfect for editing music beds. In the preparation of a winner promo, the listener's voice track was recorded into the unit and the segments needed for the promo were quickly isolated and easily and cleanly transferred to the multi-track. Music clips for a concert spot were easily retrieved and used again for a record spot that needed to be cut a week later. When jocks walked in with last minute voice tracks to be recorded, there was no need to load up a clean reel of tape on a reel-to-reel machine which was already in use; the mike was opened, the RECORD button was pressed, and the voice track was quickly recorded, digitally, and ready for use when the time came. When the last segment of that two-voice spot had to be changed, only the last segment was recorded and was easily placed into the "song" already created for that spot. As a sampler, the unit is fast in that there is no time spent loading files into RAM. All audio is read directly from the disk in real time, so there is no time spent loading files. Finally, it's worth mentioning again that we were pleased to find the DD-1000 quite easy to use with very little reference to the manual. Pressing the HELP key gives you on-line help with whatever parameter is selected. COPY and PASTE keys help speed up data entry.

On the technical side, the DD-1000 offers 16-bit stereo recording with eight times oversampling, 18-bit DAC, and 24-bit internal processing. Standard interfaces include balanced XLR inputs and two pairs of balanced XLR outputs. On the digital side you get an AES/EBU input and two AES/EBU outputs as well as an optical fiber input. Other rear panel connections include SMPTE/EBU time code input, Word/Video sync input, MIDI IN/OUT/THRU, RS422, SCSI, Centronics printer port, two footswitch inputs, and proprietary digital busses.

An optional DL1000 remote controller is available which allows for simultaneous control of up to seven DD-1000's. Macintosh users should also look into DD-MacRemote and DD-QMAC, the front-end software currently available for the DD-1000. The DD-1000 lists for $13,500.

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