In 1995, Yamaha kicked off a not-so-quiet revolution with its original 02R, a 20-bit/48kHz digital console with moving faders, instantaneous reset of 5/01/2002 8:00 AM Eastern

In 1995, Yamaha kicked off a not-so-quiet revolution with its original 02R, a 20-bit/48kHz digital console with moving faders, instantaneous reset of all console parameters, dynamics on every channel, two internal effects processors, 24 analog inputs and 16 digital tape returns for a total of 40 inputs. Its feature set was not so radical — certainly, other digital consoles offered more, but it was the 02R's under-$10,000 price tag (about 50-times less than competing products!) that changed the audio industry almost overnight. Now, for about 10% more than the original 02R, Yamaha unveils its next generation — the 02R96.

It would have been fairly straightforward for Yamaha to simply update the existing 02R for 24/96 production. However, the 02R96 updates every aspect of the console, with more than five times the processing power of the original 02R. Many of the 02R96's key features are shared with Yamaha's recently announced DM2000 (profiled in the January 2002 Mix), such as 24-bit/96kHz audio, improved high-res mic preamps, Sony 9-pin (P2) and MMC control, surround monitoring and DAW integration. Yet, the 02R96 retains the same modest footprint as the original 02R. The control surface and user interface were enhanced for a more analog-style, hands-on operation, and 16 assignable user-defined keys speed production tasks. The 02R96 offers 56 input channels and adds a direct out function for routing the signal from any channel directly to any digital or analog output.

Surround features include 5.1 panning, multichannel monitoring and bass management. The assignable joystick control has smooth 128×128 resolution, and a divergence parameter can adjust the hard/phantom center ratio for each channel. Also standard is 32-bit internal processing and a comprehensive range of 96kHz-compatible stereo effects — several of which are designed specifically for surround.

The console's 24 100mm motorized channel faders can be instantaneously layer-switched to control any of its 56 input channels or integrate directly with DAWs such as Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Nuendo and Emagic Logic Audio. The 02R96 ships with Yamaha's Studio Manager software, providing external Mac or PC control and management of all console parameters.

Customization options abound, ranging from the comprehensive meter bridge to a wide range of 24-bit/96kHz-capable Mini-YGDAI I/O cards for ADAT, TDIF, AES/EBU, mLAN and analog interfacing. The 02R96 is also compatible with third-party cards from Waves and Apogee. And finally, the built-in cascade ports allow two 02R96s to be linked for 112-channel operation.

The 02R96 is set for June 2002 deliveries. For more information, visit

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