Test Drive: The Roland DM-80 Multi-Track Disk Recorder

Article Index

To record a take, press the Record mode key. The record screen appears in the display. Assuming you've set levels and routed the inputs to the proper tracks (using the DM-80's versatile, digital patch-bay), the next step is to press the Track Status key for the track(s) you want to record. That track's LED will flash red. Press the Record button, then the Play button. As the take is being recorded, a graphic display of the recording scrolls by on the screen. Press Stop to end the recording. At this point, you are given the choice of deleting that take or keeping it. All elements of your project can be recorded first, in any order, at any point in time you wish. Or, you can cue up to the desired point where you want a recording to begin and record from there, just as you would with an analog multi-track. When you've recorded everything you're going to use in your production, you then fine tune, edit, and basically play with your production in the Playlist mode.

Pressing Playlist engages the DM-80's easy-to-use editing functions. The recorded takes/phrases are displayed as pieces of "tape" on their respective tracks as opposed to waveforms. If a take is stereo, taking up two tracks, the "tape" is double-wide. Most of your time assembling production pieces is spent in the Playlist mode. There are several functions available using the "soft" function keys. The first is the Move function. Let's say you have a voice track on track 3 which needs to be moved to the beginning of the music bed in a donut jingle on tracks 1 and 2. First select the voice track or phrase using the cursor keys and Previous/Next Phrase locate keys. Then press Move. Use the data wheel or a Marker location (if one is set) to move to the beginning of the donut bed. Press Execute, and you're done. Other available functions under the Move command include Offset, Trim In, and Trim Out which enable editing the in and out points of the phrase, without actually moving it relative to the other phrases or tracks.

The next function in the Playlist mode is Phrase Edit. This screen lets you edit the name of the phrase, the In Time, Out Time, Offset time, Fade In and Out times (up to 1 second), and even lets you adjust the level of the phrase (downward only). The Copy function is as easy to use as the Move function. Select a phrase, position the Current Time cursor to where you want the copy to end up, then press Execute. The New Phrase function lets you bring new phrases from other existing takes into your current project. The Take Change function replaces the take being used by a phrase with a different take.

Cut and splice functions of the Playlist mode include the Insert Time function. This is the equivalent of inserting leader tape, but you get the luxury of inserting "time" on specific tracks or all of them. The Cut/Erase function is a dual function. In the Cut mode, two points are marked, the Execute key is pressed, and the two ends are brought together, just like in the old days of splicing analog tape. This is a function many digital systems don't provide -- you can cut the piece out, but you have to perform a second step to bring to the ends together. This is what the Erase function does. There is no cutting, to use tape terms, but only erasing of tape. All timing aspects remain the same.

The Split Phrase function is pretty handy. Let's say you've got a voice track from somebody who is just one voice in a two-voice spot. He gives you three segments, but you've recorded them as one take and pulled them into your project as one phrase. The Split Phrase function quickly "cuts" the phrase at the desired points and separates the segments into independent phrases. This is splitting phrases "time-wise." You can also split a phrase "track-wise." Two final functions of the Playlist mode are the Overlap Change function which enables assigning priorities to phrases that overlap other phrases, and the Phrase Delete function which deletes the phrase from the project, but doesn't delete the take from which it came.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Your post will be moderated. Your email address will not be shown or linked. (If you have an account, log in for real time posting and other options.)
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location