Sound quality: Digi 001 w/Digimax @24/48 or Digi 002 @24/96?
zonkola
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#1
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
  #1
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Sound quality: Digi 001 w/Digimax @24/48 or Digi 002 @24/96?

I have a Digi 001 that I'm thinking of upgrading now that it and the computer it runs on have moved to the small, bleak town of Unsupportedville. I don't have an 002 to A/B with my setup, but I'm curious as to how much the higher sampling rate of the 002 improves sound quality given the quality of the 002 converters and the fact that I can only use two external digital channels at 24/96. (Fine for vocals and guitars, but not as useful when recording a full drum kit.)

Anyone have an opinion on which sounds better? A Digi 001 using the preamps and converters from a Digimax @24/48, or a Digi 002 alone @24/96?
#2
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
  #2
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Just remember that if you stay in the box all the way through your production chain and you output to conventional CD or mp3, your pristine audio is going to have to go through a nasty 'uneven' sample rate conversion from 96k down to 44.1. (Although you could avoid that ish by working at 88.2 kHz, since it is an even multiple of 44.1 and samples needn't be remapped on down-conversion.) If you mix out of the box, then the issue is moot, assuming you come back into your mixdown A/D at 44.1 or an even multiple. And, of course, if you're working to output to vid (48 or 96 typically) or for burn to a 96 kHz DVD audio disk, no prob.

[EDIT: I did not understand SRC when I wrote this. Good SRC can be 'transparent' within the accuracy limits of the target rate.]
zonkola
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#3
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
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Mixdown would happen at a pro studio equipped with Pro Tools HD, and would likely venture out of the box. Given that, any idea which setup would sound better?
#4
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
  #4
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I'm not a PT guy. But... until someone with experience with both units can answer (and with the idea that my poor attempt at an answer will help bump your thread up where someone who actually is actually knowledgeable on this can see it )...

-- I would report what seems to be a consensus that the venerable 001's converters are not up to the typical sonic quality level of contemporary converters such as on the 002, Mbox, and other manufacturer's devices.

With everything else equal (and when ever is that? ) I'd certainly take the higher rez format on the newer device (the 002)...

I think I'm safe here...

[UPDATE: KICK ME! I just realized I'd missed the "DigiMax" part of your thread title... So IGNORE everything I wrote about the 001's converters (assuming you'd be using the DigiMax's). Dumb azz me. Since I'm really completely ignorant of the DigiMax except what I just scanned on the Sweetwater product page, I'll just slide sideways into the shadows now and hope someone who actually KNOWS something can come in here... PS.... but, as a betting man, I've got a cyber-dime sez at least some folks will suggest going with the DigiMax... But, we've determined, I know nothing of value, here.]

______________

Now... in general, I think you will find considerable disaggreement as to the tradeoffs working at higher SRs. I think almost everyone agrees that 20 or 24 bit over 16 is worth the CPU overhead. Doubling the sample rate, OTOH, would appear -- judging from the debate, if nothing else -- to provide more subtle benefits. But if you've got the power and storage space (and you know you'll be mixing OTB)... I say go for it.
zonkola
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#5
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
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Thread Starter
Hey, but at least you replied! Thanks for the info and bump.
#6
6th January 2006
Old 6th January 2006
  #6
I did a recording with an 002 and an OctoPre and really liked the sound of the octopre.... I've never used the digimax, so I can't compare there.

at myspace.com/pragmasound you can hear the session, it's the Leeroy song.

It was mixed at Gravity Studios in Chicago on a Neve 8058.
#7
9th January 2006
Old 9th January 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Your comparison of a Digi001 with a Digimax vs Digi002 is a tricky one without much of a winner. (IMHO). I have had in the past a Digimax, an Octopre and a Digi002 and have been on 001 based rigs quite often. I remember the Digimax converters as being better than the 001's but the 002 converters were even better still. The real problem though is in the preamps. The Digimax preamps to me are a bit noisey and muddy. The 002 preamps are a bit noisey and thin with a pronounced midrange in a not to flattering way. The Octopre had the best preamps of my shootout years ago and it was hands down better sounding than the 002 included pre's and I also preferred it over the Digimax. Unfortunatley, the Octopre still wasn't good enough for me to keep and has since been upgraded to the Ramsa/Panasonic WZ series 8 channel pre with converters which smokes either the Digimax or Octopre without question.

So I wouldn't get either of these rigs for their preamps. The 002's strength is that it is an affordable Digi firewire interface that runs up to 96k sessions. I think the converters are fine and adequate for pro use but they aren't anything remarkable. And for preamps, I personally don't like the Digimax but many people have claimed to. Personally, for preamps I would recommend you start out by adding an FMR RNP to a 002 and then add RNP's as more channels are needed. The best part of this system being that regardless of what audio interface you get the mic pre's are a solid
investment that will always be useful.

So maybe try to breakdown your interface needs from your preamp needs and re-evaluate. And don't forget, analog gear tends to remain useful far longer than digital gear. Meaning choose carefully when tying your mic-pre purchase to a digital converter purchase.

Hope this helps and as always, YMMV
#8
9th January 2006
Old 9th January 2006
  #8
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonkola

Anyone have an opinion on which sounds better? A Digi 001 using the preamps and converters from a Digimax @24/48, or a Digi 002 alone @24/96?
I am in a similar position. Given what you are saying I would presume that you are running ProTools 6.4 on a G4 Mac with OSX 10.3.8?

I was looking at a mini-me because you can clock the 001 to it and it has (apparently) a combo of vgood preamps, excellent converters etc. as well as limiting and an industry standard 44.1kHz resampling algorythm.
Many people in forums have clocked the mini-me to the 001 with very good and satisfying results.

But I am still looking.

Much of the decision may depend on the scope of your hardware and whether it can cope with extra demands. In this way the mini-me places no extra pressure on the cpu cause all you doing is clocking its features to the 001.

Hope this helps.
#9
9th January 2006
Old 9th January 2006
  #9
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
hgen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wavcatcher
Your comparison of a Digi001 with a Digimax vs Digi002 is a tricky one without much of a winner. (IMHO). I have had in the past a Digimax, an Octopre and a Digi002 and have been on 001 based rigs quite often. I remember the Digimax converters as being better than the 001's but the 002 converters were even better still. The real problem though is in the preamps. The Digimax preamps to me are a bit noisey and muddy. The 002 preamps are a bit noisey and thin with a pronounced midrange in a not to flattering way. The Octopre had the best preamps of my shootout years ago and it was hands down better sounding than the 002 included pre's and I also preferred it over the Digimax. Unfortunatley, the Octopre still wasn't good enough for me to keep and has since been upgraded to the Ramsa/Panasonic WZ series 8 channel pre with converters which smokes either the Digimax or Octopre without question.

So I wouldn't get either of these rigs for their preamps. The 002's strength is that it is an affordable Digi firewire interface that runs up to 96k sessions. I think the converters are fine and adequate for pro use but they aren't anything remarkable. And for preamps, I personally don't like the Digimax but many people have claimed to. Personally, for preamps I would recommend you start out by adding an FMR RNP to a 002 and then add RNP's as more channels are needed. The best part of this system being that regardless of what audio interface you get the mic pre's are a solid
investment that will always be useful.

So maybe try to breakdown your interface needs from your preamp needs and re-evaluate. And don't forget, analog gear tends to remain useful far longer than digital gear. Meaning choose carefully when tying your mic-pre purchase to a digital converter purchase.

Hope this helps and as always, YMMV

My experience exactly! I had a Digimax/001 setup but sold it and bought the Yamaha i88x and Samplitude. It is literally like night and day!
#10
24th March 2006
Old 24th March 2006
  #10
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