Akai DR16 Hard Disk Multitrack Recorder (part 4)
It is only when you have made your first recording and you are ready to play back that you will fully appreciate the speed of operation of hard disk systems. Rewind time is as close to zero as makes no difference, no matter how long the recording. And when you start to take advantage of the 100 point integral autolocator, you will be flying around the song as though you had just hitched a ride on a rocket! Your musicians wont be able to keep up with you. Having said that, some engineers regard winding and autolocation time as thinking time, so you are going to have to think more quickly to keep pace with the machine. I have also heard it said that with a tape machine, particularly a reel to reel, when you just want to wind back a bit without going to the bother of setting locate points, you can tell how far it has gone by listening to the swish of the reels - so much so that you dont even think about it consciously. The DR16 doesnt imitate this of course, but there are fast forward and rewind buttons which scroll through the audio at a moderate pace, with an audio cue facility if you hold play while you press the wind key. You may find you dont need to use these buttons once you make the mental adjustment away from tape.
An automatic punch in facility is provided which is actually useful - compared to some recorders where auto punch is far too complicated to be worth bothering to set up. All you do is perform the punch in manually, in time honoured fashion by holding play and pressing record to punch in, and pressing play to punch out. The DR16 will remember the punch in and out points without you having to do anything, and you can redo the punch as many times as you need simply by selecting Auto Punch before hitting play each time until the singer has hit the right note. Like the DR8, the DR16 also has a take facility where you can easily store up to five versions of a performance and audition them all before committing to the best of the bunch