T he new M20 Professional 20-Bit Digital Multitrack Recorder ($6999 list) was specifically created for commercial audio recording facilities, as well as high-end video and film post-production studios. Its sophisticated full-servo direct-drive transport and 20-bit audio capability means you get finely detailed sound that unquestionably surpasses even the best analog mastering recorders. TheM20 was engineered for demanding, around-the-clock applications which require the highest standard of audio quality as well as low maintenance,
Want one in your rack? The M20 offers 16 times the audio resolution of a 16-bit multitrack. quick response and built-in SMPTE/EBU time code synchronization. It uses the very same S-VHS tape and sample-accurate multi-unit synchronization that made the Alesis ADAT the most popular digital multitrack ever made.
T hough completely compatible with original ADAT formatted tapes, the M20 features the new ADAT Type II format (also found in the XT20 and LX20 — see last issue) which records eight tracks of true, linear 20-bit digital audio onto tape without external converters or multiplexers. 20-bit recording offers much greater sonic detail than 16-bit recording since each additional bit actually doubles the number of values that can be recorded. A 20-bit recorder can then record an amazing 16 times more audio data! While 16-bit formats (like the original ADAT or CD players) divide the audio spectrum into 65,536 values in a single sample, the 20-bit M20 captures 1,048,576 values. So if you thought 16-bit sounded good, you're not going to believe how great 20-bit sounds!
T o offer this incredible fidelity, the M20 employs built-in, high-resolution oversampling A/D and D/A converters. The M20's ADAT Type II format meets or exceeds the specifications of almost everything else in a professional studio (and goes considerably beyond the specifications of the Compact Disc). Unlike some hard disk recorders, the M20 uses a linear recording format, meaning that no data compression of any kind is applied to the signal going to or from tape. Plus, a 60-minute tape recorded in the ADAT Type II format holds over 3 gigabytes of audio data, with no upload or download time required — just pop in a new tape and you're ready to start recording.
T he ADAT Optical ports and ADAT Sync jacks on the back of the M20 use the exact same format as all previous ADAT models use, even when in Type II mode, so M20s may be combined in a system with all existing ADAT-format recorders. The M20 will send out 20 bits per track on its ADAT Optical output, and is capable of dithering its 20 bits to 16 bits on the ADAT Optical port for higher fidelity when received by Type I machines. M20s, ADATs, and ADAT-XTs can all be linked together into a single system using the same 9-pin DSUB ADAT Sync input and output cables ADATs have always used.
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