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Akai Musical Instrument Corporation announced major enhancements to their 24-bit/96kHz digital personal studio - the Akai DPS16.

The recently released V2.0 operating system offers a host of powerful new features, including .WAV file support and enhancements designed to significantly improve the mastering process. New mastering features include a 4-band stereo multi-band compressor, a DISK AT ONCE mode for CD burning, and NORMALIZE along with a new TRACK DOWN page designed to make mixdown even easier.

New selections in the EDIT mode allow saving and loading of .WAV files from external SCSI hard disks, allowing users to easily import or export tracks with a computer. Individual tracks can be saved as a mono .WAV file, or pairs of tracks can be selected saved as a stereo .WAV file. The entire track(s) can be selected and saved, or regions of track(s) can be specified using the IN-OUT points.

The new 4-band stereo multi-band compressor provides 4 bands of compression to allow users to apply compression to specific frequencies during mixdown. It also provides adjustable crossover points and adjustable slopes to help fine-tune the choice of the frequencies being compressed.

In addition to writing CD’s using TRACK AT ONCE mode, DISK AT ONCE burning is now supported. Writing CD’s using DISK AT ONCE allows the entire disk to be created at once, which most CD duplicators require for duplication. The DISK AT ONCE mode allows track IDs to be freely assigned, and also allows the space between tracks to be adjusted. Index IDs are also supported, however not all CD players support Index IDs.

Two user-programmable scales have been added to the 13 (CHECK) preset scales on the Real-Time Vocal Pitch Corrector, allowing users to store custom settings. A new SMOOTHING parameter was also added to allow natural vibrato to be retained, and MIDI NOTE TRIGGERING allows the DPS16 to track MIDI data from an external MIDI keyboard and adjust the pitch in real-time.

Other enhancements include disk partitioning to improve the use of drive space, and a COPY TRACKS function that allows any of the 250 tracks to be duplicated. COPY TRACKS allows tracks to be copied either within the current PROJECT, or between PROJECTS, even if the PROJECTS are on different disks.

Soon to be released (July 2001), V3.0 for the DPS16 includes sample rate conversion and dithering to allow 24-bit 96kHz recordings to be reduced to 16-bit 44.1 kHz for creation of audio CDs.

Support for importing and exporting .WAV files will be enhanced to support external SCSI CD-R/W drives.

Other enhancements include improvements to the DPS16’s mastering effects. Improvements include a compression meter for the 4-band stereo multi-band compressor. Eight (8) preset settings, and eight (8) user-definable settings have been added to provide a selection of logical settings that should work well in a variety of situations.

The Akai DPS16 is available at a suggested retail price of $2,795.00, which includes a 20GB IDE hard drive, and a 4-bus multi-effects processor.

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