Digital recording workstations -- Yamaha AW1600

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by gitarzilla, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. gitarzilla

    gitarzilla Member

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    Looking at getting something to do some recording. Must be portable, so PC-based solutions would probably not work. Looking for something fairly intuitive that will record at least 8 tracks simultaneously, would like it to have at least 8 XLR inputs so I don't have to fiddle with impedance transformers (I would have to do that if we've got all low z mikes, but the recorder had mostly 1/4" inputs like lots of these units seem to). I'd also like to keep it under $1200. Don't really need a built in drum machine, but a built in CD writer/burner would be great. So far, the Yamaha AW1600 seems to come pretty close. Any others? Anyone have any comments on the Yamaha?
     
  2. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    I owned a Yamaha AW16G, which was the predecessor of the AW1600. I found it to be reliable and easily navigated once you get the hang of the control surface. It has lots of features similar to the DM series mixers. It would record 8 tracks at once, the only thing about it was the lack of XLR inputs (2). However, you could still use low z mics with an RTS plug....just no phantom power on the 6 non XLR plugs.

    The only reason I sold it was in anticipation of the next generation of recorders...like the AW1600 or AW2400. In fact, a used AW16G only runs around $500 if you can find them. And like sooo many devices like that, the first owners either can't figure them out, or find out that they don't really use it enough to justify keeping it. I like the Yamaha stuff.
     
  3. sears

    sears Member

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    I have just been down this road and I have scored the machine I want. I decided on a used Akai DPS16. I didn't need 8 XLRs, but I did want 16 tracks of 24-bit audio. (The DPS16 doesn't say it does it but later versions with quicker HDs seem to actually do it.)

    The Tascam 2488 or the Korg D3200 each have 8 XLRs and do 24-bit sound. The 2488 is notorious for freezing and crashing, so much so that frustrated newbies on the Tascam forum are quickly alienated by what seem to be battle-hardened Tascam apologists. I would have the Tascam now if it weren't for that attitude. I loved my 424ii cassette machine. The 3200 is a newer machine with fewer complaints.

    Yamaha is good quality. I'm upgrading a Yamaha MD8. Last week, I came *this close* to scoring an AW4416 on closeout, but the retailer sent me the wrong item (a bass cabinet?!?) and now the 4416 is lost.

    There are several tiers of quality and I chose to go with discontinued equipment that used to list for $3-4000 rather than current equipment that lists for $15-1800.

    Please PM or post questions. I have done a lot of shopping in the last couple months.
     
  4. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    The Tascam 2488 has only 4 XLR inputs. I have had mine for over a year and it has been trouble free. The 2488 is no more prone to freezing and crashing than any of the other manufacturers offerings. As a member of the Tascam Forum I assure you that no apologies are necessary for the 2488. Most of the problems I have discussed with "newbies" were a result of user error, or just plain ignorance or abuse of an electronic device. Like many of the products manufactured overseas the manual is poorly written. This is where the Tascam Forum truly shines. The more "battle hardened" members have virtually rewritten the manual, and by doing so taken much of the voodoo and mystery out of the digital recording process. Just my take.
     
  5. sears

    sears Member

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    No other product has as many complaints. Suddenly a lot of careless people are buying Tascam? The 788 is a classic (just like the 38, 424.. the list goes on) and had a normal amount of complaints and bugs. How could they do it so well with the 788 and bellyflop with the 24? It's the hard drive and number of tracks.

    The 2488 is the only machine to offer 24 tracks at 24 bit for less than $6000. The Roland 2480 and Korg D32XD cost twice as much and don't have it. The hard drive is the limiting factor. You can't write and read 24@24/44.1 to and from a hard drive, overdubbing. 16 tracks at 24 bit is the most a computer hard drive can reliably handle. Tascam is running their machine right at the performance limits of the hard drive. Any highly tuned machine, be it a Ferrari or a 2488 is going to spend more time in the shop.

    The Yamaha AW4416, which was a $4000 machine new, required constant overnight defrags to keep the notebook-sized hard drive happy. After recording eight tracks at 24 bit, it would automatically mute some of the playback tracks during subsequent overdubs. These limits were designed into the system for the sake of the hard drive, and it only did sixteen tracks.
     
  6. tac5

    tac5 Member

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    I do agree with you about this. I personally have never had the need for more than 16 tracks for any song. My music is not that complex. And that my explain why so many people I know have had no problems with their 2488's. We are not producing and recording on a grand scale. Perhaps when I become more ambitious and push the machine, I too may "see the elephant". But, I still believe the 2488 has its advantages. The quality of my recordings is stellar, almost frightening. And after the usual learning curve frustration, I find it very easy to navigate.
     
  7. trower

    trower Silver Supporting Member

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    The Korg 3200's are selling for $1,199..Korg has always been the most reliable in my experiance. It has more tracks than you will ever need but the 8 phantom powered in's are worth the price of admission. You mentioned you don't need a drum maching but check this "on board" one out! I hope they make an out board version of this for us (me) bone heads that get lost in K-Mart! The paging matrix can get a little confusing but after the learning curve, It's a great and technicly current piece.
     
  8. gitarzilla

    gitarzilla Member

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    The new(er) Boss 16-track looks good too. I can get a pretty decent deal on those.
     
  9. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker WHO DAT!! Gold Supporting Member

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  10. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been using a Korg D1600 for four years or so. 16 tracks, with four XLRs and four 1/4-inch inputs for 8 inputs at once. 40 meg hard drive, built in CD burner.

    Heavy use for both studio and live recording, no problems. Very good interface (touch screen) and features. It sure helps if you have some understanding / experience with digital recorders already, though.

    Hidden flaw: everyone complains the channel pre-amps are underpowered with microphones, so be prepared to get external mic pre-amps. Drum machines, bass amps, keyboards and PODs work fine, though.

    Hidden gems: Some of the mastering programs and effects that are included in it are freakin' magic fairy dust for home recordists!

    Hidden advantage: The Korg D1600 Users Board is an astonishing resource for tips, problem-solving, and questions. The FAQ there alone is remarkable. You will never walk alone.

    The price on these units keeps falling.... and ...

    The real trick in all these pro-sumer units is to buy one clean and used from some guy who bought it, got baffled by all the moving parts, and gave up after one day!

    Kiwi
     

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