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  • Tools/Digi Man wants to Move UP

    [no...this is not me...it really is for a friend...(not like when you go to the doctor & ask him about a 'friend' that needs viagra)]...

    one of my mastering clients is running Pro Tools...w/ a Digi003 Rack...on a Mac lap top.

    he wants to move up to a Sytek or Grace preamp...& an Apogee converter.

    1) will he be able to hear a discernable difference in recording quality...??? (I know this answer is probably yes...but I'm not familiar w/ how good the pre's & conversion are on the 003...thanks).

    2) will he be able...somehow...to still use Pro Tools to record...???

    thanks,


    MoonMix

  • #2
    Yes he can. With an 003 you can add 2 channels via SPDIF and 8 channels via ADAT. So he could get something like a Apogee Rosetta 200 if he just needs 2 channels of good I/O. Or a Rosetta 800 for 8 channels of I/O. Then he can just assign these as his ins/outs in PT.

    As far as an improvement in sound I would expect one with these units. From what I've read the 003 is an improvement over the 002, and while both are very good units, neither is world class. By most accounts the Apogee stuff is. FWIW I think it may be the clocking that is the weak point in the Digi units (don't quote me though). So if he would actually use the Apogee as the Master Clock the entire unit could sound better. However, having said all this, the room and monitors being used can negate even the "best" gear there is.
    ∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆∆ Metric Halo 2882 Expanded +DSP, Event 20/20 bas, Etymotic ER4-PT and HF3, MacBook Pro 15" (early 2011 w/2.2 ghz i7 quad, 8GB Ram, 480 GB SSD), Pro Tools 11, Harrison Mixbus, and Reaper. Godin Progression, Godin LGSP-90 (NAMM ed.), Godin LGX-SA into an 11 Rack controlled by a FCB1010 with an Eureka Prom. A bunch of other stuff lying around.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have never used a Digi003, but my understanding is that the preamps and converters are actually "usable", something that Digi001 definitely wasn't. Digi001 seriously sucked. Digi002 isn't all that great either, and I can easily discern the difference between its converters/preamps and my Apogee converters and RNP or Neve Portico mic preamps. So my guess is that there'd still be a discernible difference between Digi003 and the equipment you list.

      Yes, he can still use Pro Tools to record. It'd be preamps > converters > ADAT lightpipe of the Digi003 for 8 channels or S/PDIF for two channels, depending on what kind of converter you have.
      Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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      • #4
        I've heard good things about Sytek preamps, mixed about Grace. They're both seem to get lumped in to the "clean" camp. Bear in mind that I've not ever used either, just repeating what I've seen on boards.
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks CME & UstadKhanAli...

          good, usable info...will pass it along (always liked this board)


          mf

          Comment


          • #6
            I did a review for the tabletop Digi 003 for Keyboard, so I'm pretty familiar with it. Yes, he can use external converters (with either a S/PDIF or ADAT lightpipe output) to feed extra mic preamps into his system, and yes, Pro Tools will be able to record that just fine - along with the internal preamps and line inputs on his Digi 003 Rack for additional channels if he wants / needs to do that at the same time too - for example, for when he wants to track drums or a rhythm section simultaneously.

            I agree that the preamps on the Digi 003 are a great big improvement over the ones on the Digi 001. Their one big drawback (outside of subjective sound quality - which is, IMO, fine for general purpose stuff, but no, it's not as good as a Sytek or Grace IMO) is their lack of a pad switch. Inline pads from Shure can be used on the mic lines if / when needed, but it's a bit of a pain in the rear.

            As far as the converters on the Digi 003, they're pretty good, but again, not in Apogeeland IMO. They'll get the job done, and chances are they won't be the weakest link in the chain for most people (probably operator skill is going to win that "honor" in most rigs ), but better converters generally will make a difference in the quality of your recordings, all other things being equal.

            When using a external converter, it will be important to make sure he has his Digi 003 clocked to the word clock data on the incoming digital data stream from the external converter. He can do that within the Pro Tools software itself - here's a video I made (since this question comes up fairly often) about how to do that...

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              (always liked this board)


              Aaah...

              Don't be a stranger then - stop in and say hi more often!
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #8
                Phil...

                holy crap...great info...great video.

                thanks very much...!!!


                MoonMix

                Comment


                • #9

                  As far as the converters on the Digi 003, they're pretty good, but again, not in Apogeeland IMO.


                  I would definitely think so. I have Rosetta 800s, and they really do sound quite good.



                  When using a external converter, it will be important to make sure he has his Digi 003 clocked to the word clock data on the incoming digital data stream from the external converter.


                  That's rather crucial as I've found that if I use the internal clock and not the Apogee external clock, I get some clicks. And you want to use the superior clock regardless.
                  Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Phil...

                    holy crap...great info...great video.

                    thanks very much...!!!


                    MoonMix


                    Cool - glad you liked it, and hope it helps!
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment



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