Archives for October 1998

Yamaha D24 Multitrack Recorder an Affordable Non-Linear Alternative To Tape

24-bit, 96 kHz Digital Recording on 3.5-in. Disks

In a technological achievement which will enter Yamaha into the digital multitrack recorder market, Yamaha Corporation’s Professional Audio Group has announced the launch of an affordable, 24-bit, 96 kHz digital multitrack recorder at AES ’98.

Based on readily available 3.5-in. magneto-optical disks, the D24 Digital Multitrack Recorder offers 16-, 20-, 24-bit, 8-track simultaneous record and play capability at 44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rates, and 4-track record/play at 96 kHz. Additionally, the D24 offers modularity, all the benefits of non-linear editing, and the convenience of removable media.

Intended as an alternative to tape-based modular digital multitrack recorders, the D24 will become the perfect companion for use with Yamaha 02R, 03D and 01V digital mixers, as well as mixers and equipment from other manufacturers. Up to eight units can be synchronized to create large recording systems. Other benefits include digital I/O in a variety of formats, editing capabilities and a range of special features.

“Yamaha is entering the magneto-optical recorder area to expand our business in digital audio systems,” states Larry Italia, sales/marketing manager, commercial audio. “We’re very proud to present this technological achievement. According to market reaction so far, we expect the D24 will be a very profitable and successful product.”

The D24 is intended to serve as a multitrack recorder for music recording and mixdown, post audio applications for television and film, and live playback for theater and other live sound applications. With its unprecedented audio performance — 24-bit dynamic range and 96 kHz sampling rate — the D24 is an ideal solution for the music and post production markets which have been voicing their desire for higher resolution in all parts of the audio chain. The D24 is also well-suited for surround sound applications. Delivery of the D24 is expected to begin 1st quarter of 1999.

“The market has been waiting for a practical alternative to linear storage,” notes Peter Chaikin, product manager, digital products. “The D24 has been designed to be a drop-in alternative for tape-based digital multitrack recorders.”

“In the spirit of providing tremendous value such as that found in our digital mixing consoles, we’d now like to introduce a unique product in the recording area which offers unprecedented value and performance,” continues Chaikin. “Yamaha has been waiting for this opportunity when our internal capabilities and the available technology fall in line so that we can bring a recorder to the market with unique capabilities and tremendous power at a very reasonable price.”

Key benefits of the D24 are its editing capabilities which are possible due to its non-linear format. A variety of editing options are offered including the ability to copy, move, erase, delete and merge audio data. The D24 allows the recording of 8 tracks plus virtual tracks for unlimited editing possibilities. The D24 also has a +/- 6% vari-speed adjustment.

Coupled with non-linear editing benefits, perhaps the most important benefit of the D24 is the innovative use of the removable (and robust) MO disk. Whereas hard disk systems offer the benefits of non-linear editing, storage can become a problem. Backup is required and data must be off-loaded onto other media before hard disk space can be reused. “Project data is constantly moving through the pro facility,” adds Chaikin. “Removable robust MO storage is ideal for professional facilities because when a project is completed these low-cost disks can be swapped in an instant without the need for backup downtime or uploading of data.” With the introduction of the D24, Yamaha is now able to offer an all-digital production system from mic preamp to final mix with performance that previously would have been very costly.

I. General Overview
The D24 Digital Multitrack Recorder is a 24-bit, 96 kHz professional non-linear multitrack system, intended as an alternative to tape-based modular digital multitrack recorders for use in music recording and mixdown, post audio applications for television and film, and live playback for theater and other live sound applications. It is ideal for use with Yamaha’s 02R, 03D and 01V digital mixers, as well as mixers and equipment from other manufacturers.

II. Architecture
The D24 is an eight-track digital machine which records onto robust 3.5-in. magneto-optical disks. Each track also includes 8 virtual tracks for a total of 64 tracks. Eight-track recording time is 15 minutes at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz sampling rate and 9 minutes at 24-bit, 48 kHz, on a 640MB MO disk. Four-track recording time is 9 minutes at 24-bit, 96 kHz. Up to 512 songs can be recorded on each disk. The D24 can be connected to external hard drives via SCSI-II connector for alternate audio storage and direct to HD recording.

III. Editing Capabilities
The D24 offers the following editing functions: Erase, Delete, Copy Insert, Copy Replace, Move Insert, Move Replace, Loop and Merge for tracks and parts. Editing accuracy is to one-tenth of a frame. The ability to advance or retard a track in relation to another track is an essential capability for editing in film applications, for example.

IV. Synchronization Capabilities
The D24 allows synchronization to a broad range of protocols such as: MTC (MIDI Time Code) and SMPTE timecode (bit-accurate), video sync and word clock. The unit can be controlled via MMC (MIDI Machine Control) and 9-pin protocols (RS422) or optional remote control unit. Up to eight D24 units can be synched together with the use of a D-Sub (15 pin x 2) remote port.

V. Special Features
The D24 offers special features such as time compression/expansion, allowing the audio program to be compressed or expanded, two tracks at a time, from 50 to 200 percent. It is also possible to adjust audio pitch two tracks at a time without changing the tempo or duration of audio material.

VI. Sonic Quality
The D24 offers superb sonic quality and performance, with sampling rates up to 96 kHz at 24-bit resolution. Sampling rates of 44.1 and 48 kHz and resolutions of 16- and 20-bit are also available on a song-by-song basis.

VII. Input/Output
The D24 offers a variety of I/O options in the form of Yamaha’s MY8/MY4 series mini YGDAI interface cards which are the same as those used in the 01V digital mixer. Up to eight inputs and eight outputs are available in the following formats: ADAT, T/DIF, AES/EBU and analog I/O.