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Akai Professional DPS24 MKII Digital Personal Studio

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Tired of having your computer slam on your brakes with RAM shortages or CPU overload? It's time to get back to the reliability of a dedicated hardwar...Click To Read More About This Product

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24-track 24-bit linear professional hardware workstation offers easy expansion and communication with other systems.

Tired of having your computer slam on your brakes with RAM shortages or CPU overload? It's time to get back to the reliability of a dedicated hardware studio environment. The best sounding integrated system in price range, the Akai Professional DPS24 MKII Digital Personal Studio combines a 24-track 24-bit hard disk recorder/editor, a 46-channel automated digital mixer with a complete studio monitoring section, 4 stereo effects processors with FX library, a programmable patchbay and a mastering suite with built-in CD-RW drive, in one extremely powerful desktop unit. The DPS24 MKII adds 5.1 surround mixing to its already impressive list of features.

With its generous complement of dedicated keys, rotary encoders, and motorized faders, the DPS24 MKII's tactile user interface provides direct access to all commonly used functions, without requiring that you cursor your way through endless menus and peer at countless LCD pages just to make some small but significant adjustment.

The DPS24 MKII offers extensive and expandable connectivity: numerous analog I/Os using high-quality AD/DA converters, multiple digital I/Os, word clock, MIDI, USB, and even SCSI and SMPTE options.

Its custom real-time multitasking operating system and dedicated hardware saves you from the headaches of computer-based configurations, conflicts and crashes. Ease-of-use and reliability are the keys of the DPS24 MKII.

However, the DPS24 MKII also communicates very well with computer systems: complete audio import/export features are included, using standard Data CD and Hard disk formats, and the free akSys TrackView software allows you to view your projects on a large monitor, see waveforms scrolling across the screen and see detailed metering with a simple USB connection to your PC. The display also shows timecode, edit points and locate markers, track names/status and more. The free akSysServer utility can also be used to transfer files to/from your DPS24 MKII and PC via USB.

The DPS24 MKII is comparable to a component system, but in a box. For instance, the recorder/editor offers as many track keys as physical tracks (i.e. 24) and you can seamlessly punch-in/out individual tracks on-the-fly. It features sample accurate editing with sample accurate waveform display and analog-like multitrack audio scrubbing thanks to its dedicated jog/shuttle wheel, including varispeed and reverse playback. Both nondestructive copy/paste editing and off-line DSP functions such as timestretch and pitchshift are provided.

As another example, the digital mixer uses professional 100mm touch-sensitive motorized faders for easy and accurate control of the dynamic automation, which supports overwrite, auto-drop, return and trim modes.

Apart from the obvious requirements you would expect from a digital studio (but so rarely get!), it's the small details that also make the DPS24 MKII unique in its field. Things like MAIN/NEARFIELD and MONO monitoring switchable from the front panel for 'reference checking' a mix, STUDIO outputs with built-in talkback for talent 'cue mix', direct ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) inputs to connect outboard preamps bypassing the internal input stage, etc.

True 24-track hard disk recorder 
24 mono tracks, 24-bit uncompressed, 256 virtual tracks per project
24 track select keys, with track punch on-the-fly
Up to 24 tracks simultaneous recording, for live recording or digital transfers
Up to 24 channels of ADAT digital inputs/outputs, with sample accurate ADAT Sync

Full-featured onboard editing
Sample accurate editing, with sample accurate scrolling Waveform display and tape-like audio scrubbing
Non-destructive editing: Copy, Cut, Erase, Insert, Paste, Repeat, Move
Off-line DSP features: TimeStretch, PitchShift, BPM Match, Varispeed, Reverse, Normalize, Resample
Multi-level Undo/Redo

Digital Mixer
46 channels (12 mono inputs, 1 stereo Aux input, 24 mono track returns, 4 stereo FX returns)
Digital EQ and Dynamics processors on every mono channel (inputs and tracks), with onboard libraries
Surround Mixing (5.1, LCRS and Quad) ready
Onboard dynamic and snapshot automation
13 professional 100mm long-throw, touch-sensitive motorized faders
18 encoders for real-time control of parameters
Monitor section with Main/Nearfield outputs, stereo studio cue output with built-in talkback microphone

Effects processing
4 simultaneous 56bit stereo FX: Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Phaser, Wah, Pitch Shift/Correction, 
FX Library with Snapshot automation
Flexible routing allows real-time processing through outboard equipment, including digital plug-ins hosts

Onboard Mastering
46 Channels > 2 to internal Mixdown recorder (46 > 6 in 5.1 Surround mode)
Multi-band Compressor/Expander for stereo Mastering
Sample Rate conversion and Bit Depth dithering
Track-at-Once and Disk-at-Once CD burning

Most open system
Standard FAT32 disk format, Broadcast WAV audio files
Extensive multi-track audio Import/Export and data backup features via IDE, SCSI and USB.
ADAT lightpipe I/Os, ADAT Sync out and ADAT LRC remote support
Standard 5 1/4" IDE bay for CD-RW or removable hard drive
Four ADC Ins "bypass" inputs for outboard preamps
Free ak.Sys TrackView software provides SVGA metering and 24-track scrolling waveform display, plus mouse/keyboard based editing.
Expansion slots design for future upgrades
Sampling Rate: 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz 
Quantization Bit: 24 bit/16 bit, uncompressed
Number of Playback Tracks: 24 mono Tracks up to 48kHz / 12 Tracks at 88.2kHz and 96kHz
Number of Record Tracks: 24 mono Tracks up to 48kHz / 12 Tracks at 88.2kHz and 96kHz
Number of Virtual Tracks: 256 Virtual Tracks per Project
Recording Media: Internal IDE Hard disk or external Wide-SCSI Hard disk
File Format / Audio format: Single partition FAT32 / Broadcast WAV (linear)
Recording Time per 10 GB @ 24bit: FS=96kHz Approx. 9 hrs. 55 min. (12 tracks x 49 min. 45 sec.), FS=44.1kHz Approx. 21 hrs. 35 min. (24 tracks x 54 min. 10 sec.)
Mixer Channels: 46 (12 mono inputs, 1 stereo input, 24 track returns, 4 stereo FX returns) 48k 24 (6 mono inputs, 1 stereo inputs, 12 track returns, 2 stereo FX returns) 96k
Mixer Busses: 20 (8 groups, 4 FX sends, 4 Aux sends, stereo master and solo) 48k 16 (8 groups, 2 FX sends, 2 Aux sends, stereo master and solo) 96k
Channel EQ: 3-band semi-parametric (20 Hz -20kHz, +/- 24dB) on every mono channel
Channel Dynamics: Compressor/Expander and Noise Gate on every mono channel
Internal FX: 4 simultaneous processors at 48kHz / 2 at 96kHz
Onboard preamps: 12 x Mic/Line switchable preamps with gain trim and tri-color signal LED
ADC: 24bit/96k 128-times oversampling, enhanced dual bit delta/sigma modulation
DAC: 24bit/96k 8-times oversampling, advanced segment delta/sigma modulation
Dynamic Range: 104dB or more (30kHz LPF, FS=44.1kHz)
Distortion Ratio: 0.003% or less (1kHz, 44.1kHz)
Channel Crosstalk: 80dB or less (10kHz referenced, 100 ohms terminated)
Analog Audio Inputs: Inputs A, 1-12 12 x 1/4" TRS Phone/XLR Combo Jack ” balanced, Phantom Power provided for XLR connection 1-4, Inputs B, 1-1212 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, Hi-Z (DI)1 x 1/4" Phone Jack ” unbalanced
ADC In 1-4 4 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, Stereo,AUX In 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, 2-Track In 2 x RCA - unbalanced
Analog Audio Outputs: Stereo Out 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced,
Main (monitor) 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, Nearfield (monitor) 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, Studio Out 2 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, Direct Out 1-4 4 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack ” balanced, AUX Sends1-4: 4 x 1/4" TRS Phone Jack - balanced
Stereo Headphone Outputs: 2 x Stereo Phone Jack - adjustable
Digital Audio Input: 1 x RCA (SPDIF) 2-channels assignable
1 x Toslink Optical (stereo SPDIF / 8-channel ADAT, switchable)
Digital Audio Output: 1 x RCA (SPDIF) Master Output 1 x Toslink Optical (stereo SPDIF / 8-channel ADAT, switchable
Wordclock: 1 x BNC - In/Out switchable
Foot switch 1 x 1/4" Phone Jack ” also accepts ADAT LRC remote
MIDI: 3 x 5pin DIN - IN, OUT, THRUASCII Keyboard: 1 x 6pin Mini-DIN, PS2
USB: 1 x Slave V1.1, for connection to computer
Internal IDE Drives:1 x 80GB Hard disk and 1 CD-RW drive (in a 5"bay)
Options: IB-24LTC - SMPTE/EBU LTC Reader/Generator Interface Board, IB-24ADT - 16in/16out ADAT Interface Board w/ADAT Sync, IB-24SCSI - 68pin Wide SCSI Interface Board
Dimensions & Weight: (W) x 7.5" (H) x 22.8" (D) 726mm (W) x 190mm (H) x 579mm (D) 28.6", 40lbs/18kg

Display: 320 x 240 dots grey-scale graphic LCD with back light, with adjustable angle
Time Display: 8 x 7-segment LED display, Time Code or Bar/Beat/Clock display
Accessories: AC Cable, Operator's Manual
Power: AC 120V 60Hz (US, Canada), 110W

Hard drives that are supported under version 2.00 of the DPS24-MKII OS.
Maxtor 4R080L0 80GB
Maxtor 6Y080L0 80GB

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 6 customers

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It's back and still ahead of it's time.

By thelatenessmonster

from Boston, MA

See all my reviews

I have used the original for several years. Working with the new MKII for about three months, not much has changed, which is a good thing. Now with a second drive bay (for a swapable HD?), loaded with latest OS, surround sound support. As with the original, clean quiet preamps, great headroom, AUX/inserts, independent compression on every channel, 48 channels internal, virtually endless routing configuration possiblities, FX and channel automation, etc. You won't find nifty guitar amp/mic. modeling, internal drum machine, or guitar tuner here (well you do have a metronome). You will find rock solid intuituve operation and outstanding sound and build quality. Pretty much the closest thing to a pro feature set and sound you will likely find in it's class or any close regions above. It stands alone, as others have staded before me. Sorry, no plug-ins (yet?) but the internal effects are plentiful and very usable in general application. Personally, I was never big on 98% of available plug-in effects, when heard next to the real thing, they tend to fall down hard. Works very well as a standalone, but pair this machine up with a PC running sampling, loop, editing software, etc. and you may find yourself with one killer home DAW. Throw in a good quality microphones or three, some decent outboard or software effects, preamps, compressor, or channel strip, etc. in the chain...things start to get surprisingly amazing fast. Solid investment for the starting to semi pro musician/engineer. The complete novice may experience a slight learning curve, but hang in there, mastering this machine is a big step towards understanding the fundamentals of pro recording. The sounds you will get make it worth every penny.


The only choice under $15K

By mes418

from CA

I didn't have to do much research when I converted to digital because I've been an Akai loyalist from their analog offerings. I was confident with my decision, but was impressed with how much they over-achieved with this machine. I'm still discovering useful features after 2+ years of steady working and upgrading my studio around it has been a pleasure. The capabilities of this machine are far beyond what my production style dictates but I take great comfort in knowing I can grow into it while getting immediate and powerful results. I am trying to resist buying another just to have a different color.


DPS24 Mk II Finally!

By Bil Toll

from Flint, MI

I have owned this (the MkI version) for more than a year and it is easily the best machine out there, not just for the price either! I did a side-by-side comparision of brand new Roland, Akai, and Korg and this machine won hands down. Read the specs carefully and you'll see that even the more expensive machines don't have the capabilities that this has. The only drawback is lack of firewire connectivity, but if you want this because it's an all-in-one solution (control surface and recorder) that is of very little consequense as it has ADAT, USB and can easily be set-up to use a large VGA monitor and all the VST plug-ins when it's paired with even a cheap CPU. Check the user group web site: see what the guys there say about their machines. Check out the "youtube" "free DPS instructional video" and see what the machine can do. It rocks. Made the other machines seem plastic and flimsy by comparision. And the AD/DA converters and pres are great. ~ Bill


Perfection improved upon?

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I have owned an AKAI DSP 16 for years. I don't believe they even make that model anymore. However, I have been totally impressed with the features, sound quality, and user friendly layout of the recorder. The DSP 24 has me licking my lips as that is exactly what I would like to get in the future to expand my number of recording tracks. This appears to be a good transition for musicians who want to graduate up from 4-track cassette recorders to the digital age. Aside from the patching screen, everything is familiar to the cassette recorders of yester-year.


Top of the line!

By John-Y3h7_

from Fremont CA.

It's already been said before: this machine is in a league of it's own. Connectivity to PC's via usb or adat. You can turn your PC into a limitless fx processor using the Frankenstien concept. The overall sound of the dps is amazing. It has more than enough intelligent, and well thought out features than you'll need.


Still The One!

By hondo

from Long Island

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

I've been using this machine since it first came out, have watched the rest of the market either die or move sideways and have anticipated the release of the Mk II for a long time because there is nothing like the DPS24...still. When you consider that you get 24 tracks of linear (.wav) recording, excellent automation (touch-sensitive 100mm faders), an editing system that's unparalled in the category, talkback, cuemixes with fx, user locations and presets for EQ, dynamics, fx...a great mastering facility etc. etc. etc., the price is ridiculous. Get two and thank me later!

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