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Korg D1200mkII Review

I tested this piece with guitar and bass and found it fairly inituitive even before reading the manual.

Say you’re in a band and you want to record rehearsals. Possibly you’re a singer songwriter who likes to get together with various musicians to work out your music. Maybe you just record on your own for personal pleasure. If you’re looking for an easy to use portable solution it’s hard to beat the Korg D1200MKII.

It has knobs! More and more, music is created in a click and drag PC/Mac environment unless you’ve invested in a control surface. The D1200 has very linear controls which guide you step by step through the recording process from start to finish..

A dedicated 1/4″ guitar input jack is wonderful for those who are instrumentalists first and there are a series of effects using the new REMS (Resonant structure and Electronic Circuit Modeling System) provided. Hit the modeling button, then choose Guitar, Bass, or Mic specific effects.

There’s also an S/PDIF digital input which automatically converts 48 kHz and 32 kHz data into 44.1 kHz for recording. Additionally there are +48V phantom powered XLR ins on inputs 1 and 2 which allow condenser mics to be connected directly.

The D1200mkII’s 16-channel, 4-bus mixer section has a three-band EQ on each input and mixer channel. High and low EQ are shelving the mid-range is an adjustable peaking type with sweepable center frequency. All set-ups are savable per “scene” You can combine up to five of the 98 available effect algorithms provided in the insert, master, and final effects sections. You can edit any of the preset programs and save them to any of 192 user program memories.

The D1200mkII has non-destructive editing tools which make it easy to move sections of your tracks around using the Copy, Insert, Swap and Delete commands. Storing lots of songs is easy using the 40 GB hard drive, which translates into 122 hours of recording time (at 16 bit recording, one track). 2 GB (FAT 16 format) are partitioned as a USB drive that is accessed from a computer using a USB cable. You can backup or restore song data, import or export .WAV files and load system data. Moving 1.8 GB of data takes 60 min (which is the capacity of the partition). That’s roughly 180 min of stereo at 16 bits. To move a song doesn’t take very long, but this number doesn’t factor in the time it takes to export to the Dos partition (ie: Lengthy pieces can also be time consuming). The upgraded CD-RW drive allows writing to disc so that when you’re done recording you can share your music without needing any other hardware.

The knobs and sliders are smooth, the unit is sturdy and well constructed. I tested this piece with guitar and bass and found it fairly inituitive even before reading the manual. Though it’s fairly straight-forward to use, there’s still quite a bit to learn and would serve anyone in its target group quite well.

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