Akai DR8 Hard Disk Recorder (part 6)
There are a number of potential applications for a hard disk recorder, among them are these:
- Stereo recording and editing
- Audio for video
- Multitrack recording
- Use with a MIDI sequencer system
As I have said already, I don't feel that the DR8 is quite ready to be an effective stereo editing system, although you could do it if you had to. Aside from lacking the one editing command that I think I would need most, there is no crossfading on the DR8. The butt splices are very clean, but variable crossfades are a necessity for all but the simplest stereo editing work. The DR8 could be used for audio for video. A SMPTE sync card is available, and it will indeed slave to timecode of all varieties very satisfactorily, with or without an offset and it will also output timecode to function as a code only master. Whether you would want to use the DR8 in preference to a computer based system would be up to you and whatever working methods that you can devise. For recording music to picture I would say yes, it will do the job very well, and once again you are freed from the distraction of a computer monitor (and how many computer based hard disk recording systems offer a drop in footswitch?). For synchronising dialogue, I would also give it the thumbs up, and the Take function could be a real advantage, although you will have to consider that out takes are discarded, which is something you would probably not want to do with an expensive voice over artist. For spotting sound effects to picture, I am not so happy. This type of work almost demands that you can see audio segments on a screen, moving past a virtual playhead in time with the picture. Yes you can do it with the DR8, but other equipment will do it better.
The raison d'être of the DR8 is, I feel, multitrack recording and it is so good at this, you can entirely forget its perceived limitations in other areas. You could have one of these machines (or more - you can sync up to seven together) in addition to a computer hard disk editor which you will use when appropriate.