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DIGI003 Rack Plus with external Pre's Digital Converters
Old 30th December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 

DIGI003 Rack Plus with external Pre's

Hey guys, I own a DIGI003 Rack +, and i has eight internal Pre amps..I'm just wondering is it possible to use external preamps, and still use the DIGI003 Rack Plus as an audio interface?


thanks before hand..
Old 30th December 2010
  #2
ALS
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ALS's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrubbernek View Post
Hey guys, I own a DIGI003 Rack +, and i has eight internal Pre amps..I'm just wondering is it possible to use external preamps, and still use the DIGI003 Rack Plus as an audio interface?


thanks before hand..
yep there sure is plug the outs of the pres to the line ins on the 003. If you want to use the 003 pre's in addition to your outboard pre's if you have an 8 channel converter with adat capabilities like the behringer ada8000 or presonus digimax then you can use all 16 channels simultaneously. you can even get an additional 2 channels if you get a stereo pre with spidf I/O's for a total of 18 I/O's on the 003 & same for 002
Old 30th December 2010
  #3
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Enuncia's Avatar
 

I actually just got the same unit. While trying to not just copy and paste what the last guy said:

You can either use the Line/DI inputs on the unit, or the mic inputs, not both. I have heard/seen people buying analog outboard pre's and plugging them into the line inputs, but then you're still running through the 003's pre's and A/D converter (take that as you will).

If you want to expand it's capabilities and use all 18 inputs that the device is capable of, the only way to do it is through the optical input and S/PDIF input on the back. There are several quality pre's out there that use either ADAT optical or S/PDIF digital, or even both. The main advantage here, besides giving you more inputs, is that you bypass Digidesign's A/D converter, which a lot of people don't like quality wise.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #4
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I actually recently got the 003 rack + recently as well, and let's just be clear about this. You CAN'T bypass the unit's pres and converters, even when you plug an external(and above average) into the line ins and press the line button. The only way to do this is to use the SPDIF or ADAT ports.
This pisses me off so much, and had I know this prior to purchase, I would have definitely just bought the regular 003 rack, why? Because even tho it only has 4 Mic pres(that many people hate and consider useless in the first place) it DOES have 4 line outs(channels 5-8) that DO bypass the units pres and converters. This is a gross oversight by Avid/Digidesign, so gross that it's almost unbelievable.
So now, you still have options however.
1. Get Pro Tools 9 and a decent interface(you can use anyone you want now) with a lot of line ins and decent converters.
2. Get the Black Lion Mod which is gonna cost you over a grand. Even tho I don't believe it will address the issue of not allowing you to bypass the pres and converters, they will be of much higher quality and much more usable.
3. Sell the 003 rack plus and get the 003 rack.
4. Get a mid/high quality 2 channel+ preamp hooked up to the 003 via SPDIF or ADAT and use it on the crucial stuff that you need until you get a better interface/have the thing modded by BLA.

I'm considering many of these options...and pretty pissed off about it...WTF DIGI???
Old 3rd January 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 

This site is desigend to help people, to educate. But are people not a bit tired of people who are obviously just too lazy to at least learn the very very basics about recording before coming on here and asking questions?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsilohsaiBiN View Post
I actually recently got the 003 rack + recently as well, and let's just be clear about this. You CAN'T bypass the unit's pres and converters, even when you plug an external(and above average) into the line ins and press the line button. The only way to do this is to use the SPDIF or ADAT ports.
This pisses me off so much, and had I know this prior to purchase, I would have definitely just bought the regular 003 rack, why? Because even tho it only has 4 Mic pres(that many people hate and consider useless in the first place) it DOES have 4 line outs(channels 5-8) that DO bypass the units pres and converters. This is a gross oversight by Avid/Digidesign, so gross that it's almost unbelievable.
So now, you still have options however.
1. Get Pro Tools 9 and a decent interface(you can use anyone you want now) with a lot of line ins and decent converters.
2. Get the Black Lion Mod which is gonna cost you over a grand. Even tho I don't believe it will address the issue of not allowing you to bypass the pres and converters, they will be of much higher quality and much more usable.
3. Sell the 003 rack plus and get the 003 rack.
4. Get a mid/high quality 2 channel+ preamp hooked up to the 003 via SPDIF or ADAT and use it on the crucial stuff that you need until you get a better interface/have the thing modded by BLA.

I'm considering many of these options...and pretty pissed off about it...WTF DIGI???
If you have an external converter, then wouldnt you be going out using SPDIF or ADAT anyway, especially when going into a recording interface?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #7
DIGI003 Rack Plus with external Pre's

All analog in and outs have to hit the converters line or pre. You have to use the Adat or spdif to bypass the 003 converters
Old 4th January 2011
  #8
Registered User
 

name 1 adat device that has true line ins and not mic pre/line ins they dont exist and are all prosumer mediocre anyway how does this change anything? get over the gear limitations and make some music
Old 4th January 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
name 1 adat device that has true line ins and not mic pre/line ins they dont exist and are all prosumer mediocre anyway how does this change anything? get over the gear limitations and make some music
well actually the lynx aurora line comes into mind on this. straight line ins for great conversion no preamps on the aurora.

Edit: in order to have adat with the lynx aurora's you need to purchase the expansion card for it. but still a straight line in adat converter
Old 4th January 2011
  #10
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gumby1220's Avatar
but I do agree 100% on getting over the gear limitations and start making some music.
Old 4th January 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PsilohsaiBiN View Post
I actually recently got the 003 rack + recently as well, and let's just be clear about this. You CAN'T bypass the unit's pres and converters, even when you plug an external(and above average) into the line ins and press the line button. The only way to do this is to use the SPDIF or ADAT ports.
This pisses me off so much, and had I know this prior to purchase, I would have definitely just bought the regular 003 rack, why? Because even tho it only has 4 Mic pres(that many people hate and consider useless in the first place) it DOES have 4 line outs(channels 5-8) that DO bypass the units pres and converters. This is a gross oversight by Avid/Digidesign, so gross that it's almost unbelievable.
So now, you still have options however.
1. Get Pro Tools 9 and a decent interface(you can use anyone you want now) with a lot of line ins and decent converters.
2. Get the Black Lion Mod which is gonna cost you over a grand. Even tho I don't believe it will address the issue of not allowing you to bypass the pres and converters, they will be of much higher quality and much more usable.
3. Sell the 003 rack plus and get the 003 rack.
4. Get a mid/high quality 2 channel+ preamp hooked up to the 003 via SPDIF or ADAT and use it on the crucial stuff that you need until you get a better interface/have the thing modded by BLA.

I'm considering many of these options...and pretty pissed off about it...WTF DIGI???
Hmm.

Before getting so p1ssed off about it, it might be worth having a listen to the box.

Line amps are just like mic amps, but generally padded down. Many classic channel strips only have a single input path - so the line amp is just a mic amp with a pad (and possibly some impedance switching). The fact that there's a mic/line switch and there's line gain available would suggest that there's always a line amp in the path. If they had removed it totally on the 002/3, there'd be someone on here complaining that the line gain pots don't work. you can't please everyone.

A line amp, not adding any gain, is pretty colourless. Mic amps generally reveal their weaknesses when at high gain levels. I'd bet that most people couldn't tell the difference with a regular 003 between inputs 1-4 (line gain/mic amps) and inputs 5-8 (no line gain) if the line gain pot is down and the levels matched.

Really - there's bigger things in audio to worry about. With a 003+, you're most likely recording at home, or in a project studio room - this is going to have a much bigger effect on your recording than a line gain pot turned all the way down.
Old 4th January 2011
  #12
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RonT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
name 1 adat device that has true line ins and not mic pre/line ins they dont exist and are all prosumer mediocre anyway how does this change anything? get over the gear limitations and make some music
There is a difference between pres and line ins.

Some units like the ADA8000, which has great conversion btw, uses the pres to recieve the signal and then converts it to Digital but if you set the gain all the way up then you are at line level and therefor the pre do not color the signal "as much".

Other units have pres that are bypassable.

Many units are just converters with no pres at all.

Rosetta 800, Lynx Aurora, SSL Apha Link, Symphony, Aphex, Lucid, Mytek are to name a few of the converters that have no pres.

With proper gain staging a pre can be pretty transparent and will pass signal without much coloration. This is why I suggest the "B"Word ADA8000 becuase it does conversion well and cheap for an extra 8 channels into a 002/003.

Going into line level of 002/003 is almost safe and the pres do not color the signal much and the color that it does add is not very noticable. The conversion in the 003 is ok but the color in the 002 kinda sux donkey ass.
Old 4th January 2011
  #13
Registered User
 

Quote:
There is a difference between pres and line ins.

Some units like the ADA8000, which has great conversion btw, uses the pres to recieve the signal and then converts it to Digital but if you set the gain all the way up then you are at line level and therefor the pre do not color the signal "as much"
its actually when you turn the mic pre/line input all the way down and the pad on that the on board mic pre doesn't add color, but it's still not a true line in like line amps on a console etc. All the high end sugestions I've heard only validate my point. I know 3 grand is a drop in the bucket for a studio but a home studio for just 8 line ins and outs? if I was sinking 3 grand in converters I doubt I'd be using a 003 at that point anyway

Quote:
I'd bet that most people couldn't tell the difference with a regular 003 between inputs 1-4 (line gain/mic amps) and inputs 5-8 (no line gain) if the line gain pot is down and the levels matched
I'm willing to bet that that none of us could
the thing to do is turn your line on on the 003 down put the pad on and record the signal connected to your outboard pre when its all the way down its pad on etc look at the noise floor thats whats being added to your signal
Old 4th January 2011
  #14
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Mertmo's Avatar
 

I tested the difference recently on my 003R. Straight line into the converter
vs. Line in through a mic pre turned all the way down. (recorded a mixed song
from a CD into PT both ways)

It was so so similar, I could barely hear a difference. If anything I liked the
preamp version better, it had the *tiniest* amount more "heat".

The difference is really not worth worrying about. IMO
Old 4th January 2011
  #15
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Motu mk3 hybrid has 4 or 6 line ins
Old 4th January 2011
  #16
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RonT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
its actually when you turn the mic pre/line input all the way down and the pad on that the on board mic pre doesn't add color, but it's still not a true line in like line amps on a console etc.
Yeah, what he said!heh and what I meant to say!

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulos24 View Post
I know 3 grand is a drop in the bucket for a studio but a home studio for just 8 line ins and outs? if I was sinking 3 grand in converters I doubt I'd be using a 003 at that point anyway
Hello, my name is idiot and I did exactly this. Actually I spent about $1200 on a factory 003 then over $800 modding it at BLA, then about $2600 on a Rosetta 800 to be half ass happy with PTLE. Umm that's about $4600

Finally decided to go HD and bought a used HD2 with a Lynx Aurora 16 for about $4500. Well hell, that's cheaper than what I spent on LE!

Now with PT9, one could get a RME UFX a couple of "B"Word ADA8000 for about $2200 and use the rest of the money on stuff that really matters. That would get you 4 very usuable pres and very acceptable conversion for a total of 28 analog i/o + 2channels of AES/EBU.

Wish it was this easy when I started out!
Old 6th November 2011
  #17
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wiseal1's Avatar
 

Cheep way to get an aditional 8 mic preamps - 003

Don't be so hard on yourself we all make mistakes. For around a hundred bucks or so you can get an old ADAT to add an additional 8 mic pres of your choice to your pro tools OO3. I've done this with my set up since the digi 002 days pro tools 6 with no problems.

If your looking for a way to get your OO3 to have additional 8 analog mic
pre amps Here is how to get it done with proper cables (1/4 inch to rca) go into the adat agalog come out of the adat digital to pro tools in via light pipe using a light pipe connection. Slave OO3 to adat and there you have it. The only thing is that you would have to work at 44.1 or 48k.
Old 4th December 2012
  #18
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Newbie!

After a couple of years of gawking at gearslutz posts, I'm finally making one(Please don't tear me apart!!)
I also have a DIGI 003 rack+ and have an Ocotpre Mk2 coming out of he lightpipe for sometime. Wasn't really happy with the sound so went and got a Focusrite ISA 110, no digital card though!
I've just got a Focusrite Liquid Channel yesterday and noticed there is no optical out! There is, however, AES out and AES in, do I need a special impedence cable to join this to the S/PDIF on the rack+ or will it even work?
The LC is mono and I'm not sure buying an AES to S/PDIF will even do what I think(Which is work of course whilst also bypassing the preamps in the rack+)
Any help or pointers greatly appreciated.

Glad to loose my gearslutz virginity finally!
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