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Akai S1100 Version 2.0: Adding hard disk recording to your sampler (part 5)

If you know how to sample with the S1100, then you know how to record onto the hard disk.


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The Take

If you know how to sample with the S1100, then you know how to record onto the hard disk. And once you have initiated recording, this is what you will see:

This is all very familiar with the meter bar on the left and the waveform display. The only difference is that instead of going on for a minute on a 10 Meg S1100, it goes on for over 30! - with an optical disk. There are absolutely no problems with this. When you’re done, then it’s time to edit the take. Going back to my recital project, since I was intent on chopping out chunks of unwanted material, I reckoned that the best way to do it would be to record 30 minutes worth onto the hard disk and edit out the gaps. I reckoned wrong...

Anyone who has worked to any extent with a hard disk recorder/editor will know that one of their most powerful tricks is being able to chop up a piece of music into segments and then rearrange those segments the way you want them, experimenting as you go. It’s a bit of a downer to find that on the S1100 v2.0 you have to record each segment in as a separate take. What’s more, one of the outstandingly beautiful features of working the hard disk way, usually, is that any edits you make are simply pointers back to a segment of audio on disk. You can have several segments, all of which are simply held as edit decisions on a single piece of audio which always remains unchanged on the disk. Not so on the S1100 v2.0. Here, one take is one take. If you wanted to have two segments, one of which was bars 1 to 16 of a song, and the other which was bars 9 to 16, on the S1100 you would have to record the audio twice, even though part of it is repeated exactly. Bad mark to Akai for either not realising what hard disk recording should be all about, or for rationing the features so that their upcoming hard disk product will have a better defined market niche. Of course, Akai may be working on this right now this as a future software update. Please, please, please!

So I couldn’t record in a big chunk and cut it up, therefore I had to settle down to recording take by take. This I did, and I was able to top and tail the takes in this screen:

[diagram not available]

This screen works pretty well for simple work. You can play through the audio from a start time that you set in the top left corner. When you stop, a marker will show the place where you stopped so that you can move either the start or end marker as necessary. The zoom softkeys enable you to see more detail, or more of the whole thing. ‘S<>E’ toggles between the start and the end of the take. ‘Cut’ permanently removes the sections before the start and after the end markers. I placed my start markers just before the music started, of course, and the end marker at the point I wanted the applause to fade out completely. Fading is accomplished in the next part of the process.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004