review :: SlovenijaBoy
I had a good play around with the Korg D16 today! I was surprised at how SMALL it is!!!!! It looks alot bigger in magazines etc. It is also not the most solidly built thing on the planet but this shouldn't be too much of a problem for it's intended market (home studio/bedromm operators primarily).
It sounds great and I got into working out how to basically record and assign/edit effects etc without any help from the manual. It's operating system with the great (green!) touchscreen is magnificent!!!!! I am impressed with the amount of features Korg have managed to put into this machine- 16 tracks of audio (able to record up to 8 tracks at once), 128 virtual tracks, 24 bit recording mode (reduces it down to 8 tracks in this mode!), up to 8 insert fx, 2 master fx and 1 overall master (overall) fx. It has 2 XLR mic inputs (sadly without phantom power- why Korg????).
I like the fact that most functions have dedicated switches and you simply need to continually press the chosen switch to easily change pages (much like on my fantastic Yamaha O3D mixer). It's good to see that SCSI comes as standard and that you are able to burn CD's directly from the unit by simply hooking up a compatible CD burner.
I don't like the feel of the faders at all (compared to Roland VS series anyway)- but it is something you would get used to and thank God that there are dedicated pan controls also!!!!
There is only 1 auxilliary send!- There should be at least 2 for setting up different cue mixes or for hooking up more external fx units etc. Unfortunately there aren't any dedicated stereo returns either so you'll have to use 2 of the 8 available analogue inputs (this stinks!). However, the sheer amount, quality and flexibility of the built in effects gets around this to a large extent.
I hate external power supplies Korg and you gave this unit one- NO PROFESSIONAL PEICE OF GEAR SHOULD HAVE AN EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLY!!!!!!!!! This also stinks!
The 3 biggest things missing from the D16 are-
a). No ADAT I/O- with this we could communicate digitally with all our ADAT compatible gear and soundcards etc.
b). Limited MIDI control of parameters- no sys ex control from what I saw. It seems as though Korg have something against sys ex because their workstation sequencers don't support this either!!!!! SMELL THE CHEESE!
c). No phantom power on 2 XLR mic inputs- Korg, the price of high quality condensor mics has come down considerably so why not allow us to use them with the D16 without having to buy an external phantom power source?????
However in the end, I think that the D16 is a great peice of gear for the home studio enthusiast or even the big time pro who wants a portable studio to take around to put quick ideas down.
I've written in other sites that the Korg Triton teamed up with the Korg D16 would make a killer synthe/sequencer/hard disk recording set up that is powerful and very portable! Korg should consider selling both units at a good discount price as a bundle- I think they would do well. All you would then need is a good mic (or 2), SCSC CD burner and a pair of nice monitors. (And or course musical inspiration and creativity!).
The D16 appears to be a very impressive peice of equipment. My 2 cents worth. Cheers.