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Yamaha AW16G
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Fred'Alco Fred'Alco

« A safe bet! »

Published on 10/24/11 at 10:56
16-track digital mini studio that works at 16 bits/44kHz. It records simultaneously 8 tracks and also has a stereo track to record a master. It uses an internal hard drive to store what your record. The CD player/burner allows you to import (as long as you respect the ISO formatting mentioned in the documentation), export and save an entire project, or parts of it, in wav format. No USB, no SCSI...not very practical, but you get used to it, given the quality of the unit. You have 12 mono and 2 stereo tracks for mixing, as well as 8 levels of independent virtual tracks. No track automation (although it's possible via midi and an external sequencer) but there is a Scene Memory that can be useful.
In terms of precessing, you have a parametric equalizer (4 freq) and a compressor (expander, limiter, etc...) per channel (inputs+tracks!) whose settings are very comprehensive. 2 very comprehensive multi-effects, too. A (very limited) 4-channel sample player.
For more info see the (lengthy) documentation.

UTILIZATION

The studio is rather well thought-out, although it is not the same in terms of usability as a PC software (but that applies only to the usability!). The track editing functions are laborious, but the results have an impeccable quality. Audio routing is the same as on a standard analog mixer, so it shouldn't pose a problem for people familiar with them. And for those who don't, this mini studio will be useful for the future.

SOUNDS

In my opinion, this is the main strength of this unit, which is why I don't want to let go of it. The converters (16bits/44kHz) are of a very high quality. No converter is transparent, but how can I put it...I prefer them over several 24bit/96kHz ones. The headphone and main outputs are very good, which is ideal for mixing. The EQs, dynamic processors and effects are simple and effective (it's yamaha, remember?...).

OVERALL OPINION

It breathes quality. It's solid. A safe bet, despite the absence of something that seems crucial today in terms of communication with the external world (usb, firewire) but...it's a (nice) unit from another era.
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