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Digi 002 users
Old 19th May 2006
  #1
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Digi 002 users

Any 002 users out there combining an external digital signal (via its spdif or adat inputs) with the 002's own sub standard pres and AD's?

What Id like to know is when clocking it externally (to a decent external AD) is there any issue with the quality of the analogue ins of the 002? (when used in combination)

Using a decent external clock is surely going to vastly improve its analogue ins anyway right? Or does the clock recovery circuit negate any advantage this may have?

Any opinions much appreciate as Im thinking seriously of getting one soon (as opposed to a multitrack HD thing)
Old 19th May 2006
  #2
Gear Nut
 

I have a Digimax LT and a dbx pre that has SPDIF out. I have a BNC connecting the Digimax to the dbx and use the Digimax as the master clock. Seems to work OK. I tried avoiding the 002R pre's (even an ART Tube MP sounded better to me). I would guess that any quality AD converter will sound markedly better, so perhaps spend your cash on that and get a dedicated clock down the line?
Old 19th May 2006
  #3
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FWIW i think the pres in the 002 are disgusting.
Old 20th May 2006
  #4
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I have a Rosetta 800 connected to my 002 rig via lightpipe and set the PT software to clock to the Rosetta via ADAT. Everyone says I should hear a difference.. maybe I do... but it definitely isn't "holy sh#t" type of difference. The rosetta does have waaay better sounding converters than the 002 though.. but don't forget, a Rosetta is just an AD/DA converter.. you still need a mic pre to get analog to it. Cha-ching.heh
Old 20th May 2006
  #5
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I would personally look at getting better outboard pres then a convertor. The convertors on the 002 are ok. Not up to the latest and greatest around today, although I have not heard the harshness I did with older blackface digi 20 and 24 bit convertors. Although I added a Mytek DA as I found I was missing stuff with the mix. The AD well I will leave it at the moment.

The mic pres are not crap. They are just not realy great they pass audio. I am not a big fan off any pres around the same level as well mackie/behringer/focusrite plat range etc, They always sound 2D to me and some just clip way to early. Although I have had stuff come in to mix in teh studio done on Neves which sounded crap and stuff done a behringer desk that sounded good. A lot of the time its the user. Good gear is more 3D and fuller sound, although I have know a lot of people setup very expensive home recoridng systems and then struggle to know about mic placement.
Old 20th May 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio
I have a Rosetta 800 connected to my 002 rig via lightpipe and set the PT software to clock to the Rosetta via ADAT. Everyone says I should hear a difference.. maybe I do... but it definitely isn't "holy sh#t" type of difference. The rosetta does have waaay better sounding converters than the 002 though.. but don't forget, a Rosetta is just an AD/DA converter.. you still need a mic pre to get analog to it. Cha-ching.heh
Totally agree; clocking the 002 from the 800 is a minute difference. When I track thru the Rosetta 800 I'll record scratch tracks into the 002's preamp/converter but they don't sound too good up against the Rosetta 800.

But a lot of that may be the fact that when I do that, the scratch tracks go via the 002 preamps too.

If you clock the 002 externally and use better preamps with the 002 converters it might be better.

But there's no real problem running the session that way, if that's the question.
Old 20th May 2006
  #7
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I don't know that this could be considered a neat trick or not but anyhow...
I have LE with a Rosetta 800, which means I have 16 tracks of DA/AD, 8 of which are great and 8 are so so. So, my way to side step the PT converters to some degree is to always track my first round of "keeper tracks" to the Rosetta.. which is usually drums. (We'll say Kick, Snare, Hat, Tom, Tom, Tom, Room, Room). Now that those tracks exist in digital, I can reset those tracks to "no-input" in PT, so now I can re-use the AD converters on the Rosetta for my other incoming tracks (lets say, guitar 1, guitar 2, bass, vocal 1, vocal 2, keys, percussion, percussion). So now I have 16 tracks that are digital, but all of them have been tracked through the 800 and I have totally sidestepepd the PT converters and pres (Obviously I have outboard pre's to go to the rosetta). Okay, so I do have to send all this back to the DA converters once I am mixing and have to use the Pro-tools DAs since I need 16 on this example (unless I do stem mixes than I need less). But the great thing is that if this drummer has 2 tom hits in the song, and the second guitar plays a minimal part, and keyboards play small filler parts etc... I'll set those to use the PT DA converters and keep all the important stuff on the Rosetta. You have to be a bit more organized than you normally would.. but it seems to be working for me... and you can get alot more mileage out of the good converters.
Old 20th May 2006
  #8
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I use the digi converters in conjunction with my RME ADI-8DS (all synched to the RME, of course) whenever I need more than 8 channels at a time. There's a difference, but it's not going to make or break the mix. I'll try to record guide tracks or potentially disposable tracks thru the DIGI, and everything else thru the RME. Sometimes, I end up using the tracks thru the DIGI's converters (and sometimes pres,) sometimes I don't. Like I said, it's not going to make or break the mix. The source, performance, and your recording/engineering/mixing techniques are what's going to make the difference. Don't blame the pres or the converters, because plenty of great recordings have been made on them.
Old 20th May 2006
  #9
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With respect to the rest of you guys AlexLakis is the only one that really addressed my question. Not to say your contributions are not appreciated as they always are but if you re-read my post it was quite a specific scenario I was outlining.

Quote:
I use the digi converters in conjunction with my RME ADI-8DS (all synched to the RME, of course) whenever I need more than 8 channels at a time. There's a difference, but it's not going to make or break the mix. I'll try to record guide tracks or potentially disposable tracks thru the DIGI, and everything else thru the RME. Sometimes, I end up using the tracks thru the DIGI's converters (and sometimes pres,) sometimes I don't. Like I said, it's not going to make or break the mix. The source, performance, and your recording/engineering/mixing techniques are what's going to make the difference. Don't blame the pres or the converters, because plenty of great recordings have been made on them.
Thats interesting as its a similar thing that Im thinking. My idea is that I will have 2 channels of high end pre and conversion (using my Amek) and the rest of the 002's pres etc as filler (at least until I can afford another decent outboard pre / ADC combo or similar). I guess what I really wanted to know is if there is a serious consequence of depending on the 002's clock recovery circuitry when in this routing? I know it aint gonna sound sweet but will it be so bad that it wont make the grade?? (as in 002's pre / ADC and clock recovery to external clock...not a pretty combination right?)

Also, are you sure plenty of great recordings have been made with the 002's pres and AD's ? I do find it unlikely. Can you give any examples of any commercial releases that do? Thanks.
Old 20th May 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
Any 002 users out there combining an external digital signal (via its spdif or adat inputs) with the 002's own sub standard pres and AD's?

What Id like to know is when clocking it externally (to a decent external AD) is there any issue with the quality of the analogue ins of the 002? (when used in combination)
I'm using an 002 with an 8 channel Mytek A/D, with the Mytek as the master clock. To my ears, reclocking the 002 doesn't do much to improve the 002's converters. There might be a bit of an improvement, but the Myteks are still in a different league.

Quote:
Using a decent external clock is surely going to vastly improve its analogue ins anyway right?
In my experience, no. And there's a decent amount of theory to back that up, too--see Dan Lavry's many statements about it. There's a lot more to a good converter than the clock. An external clock might help a bit with sub-par converters, but the 'night and day' stuff strikes me as Internet hype over reality.
Old 20th May 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
With respect to the rest of you guys AlexLakis is the only one that really addressed my question. Not to say your contributions are not appreciated as they always are but if you re-read my post it was quite a specific scenario I was outlining.
It's all good, a lot of times in a thread, other good discussions that are slightly off-topic will start that many other people will find useful. There's a lot of good stuff in here all ready, it's a good thread. thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
Thats interesting as its a similar thing that Im thinking. My idea is that I will have 2 channels of high end pre and conversion (using my Amek) and the rest of the 002's pres etc as filler (at least until I can afford another decent outboard pre / ADC combo or similar). I guess what I really wanted to know is if there is a serious consequence of depending on the 002's clock recovery circuitry when in this routing? I know it aint gonna sound sweet but will it be so bad that it wont make the grade?? (as in 002's pre / ADC and clock recovery to external clock...not a pretty combination right?)
I honestly can't say that I personally know for sure, since I have always clocked the 002 to my ADI-8DS. However, I've heard that the DIGI's internal clock is sub-par. If possible, I would purchase an external A/D-D/A that has an internal clock that you can sync the DIGI to.

Also, keep in mind that if you go 2 channels (which will probably be SPDIF, I assume,) that only leaves you with 4 other preamps (unless you have other preamps lying around.) Also, if you want to use the line ins on the DIGI, the line ins on channels 1-4 actually pass thru the preamps, which is undesirable for most applications. This means that only the 5-8 1/4" ins are true line ins. The pres on the DIGI are...eh...the internal A/D is...okay.

Ideally, you could get a decent 8 channel A/D converter and run that into the optical port, and use it in conjunction with a higher end SPDIF A/D-D/A. All devices could clock to the SPDIF device. This would give you 2 channels of pristine A/D-D/A, 8 channels of good A/D, and 8 more channels of sub-par inputs via the DIGI, giving you 18 ins (10 of which you'll actually WANT to use.) It all depends on what you wanna do. The converters that people have mentioned so far are good choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
Also, are you sure plenty of great recordings have been made with the 002's pres and AD's ? I do find it unlikely. Can you give any examples of any commercial releases that do? Thanks.
Yup. Seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears. I'm convinced. As far as top 40 commercial releases, I'm not sure, but I know a couple of producers who sell beats for $10K+ to major labels who only use Mboxs with no external conversion/pres, etc (and I'd assume the conversion/pres in the DIGI 002 are better than those!) I know this is GEARslutz and all, but honestly, 90% of your sound is going to come from your talents and techniques, not your gear.
Old 20th May 2006
  #12
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Quote:
Yup. Seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears. I'm convinced. As far as top 40 commercial releases, I'm not sure, but I know a couple of producers who sell beats for $10K+ to major labels who only use Mboxs with no external conversion/pres, etc (and I'd assume the conversion/pres in the DIGI 002 are better than those!) I know this is GEARslutz and all, but honestly, 90% of your sound is going to come from your talents and techniques, not your gear.
I hear ya and agree up to to a point. Unfortunately I record mainly classical instruments in their natural acoustic and so the quality (and accuracy) of the chain is pretty important. The good news with this time of recording though is that my main stereo pair is sometimes all that is needed. This is what would go through the Amek with perhaps some spot mics going through the 002's pres and ADs (until I can afford another outboard pre/AD thing). I guess Im worried that those spots recorded through the Digi chain will be of such bad quality that they are essentially useless. Although the impression Ive been getting from the posts here seem to suggest that they might just be ok for the time being in this application (i.e. as long as the quality of the recording doesnt "hang" on those channels).

On a seperate note, I posted something else about using a 002 with a laptop PCMCIA firewire card but havent had any replys yet. Anyone here do that? (my laptop doesnt have firewire ports and Digi still havnt released an updated list of supported PCMCIA cards )

Quote:
It's all good, a lot of times in a thread, other good discussions that are slightly off-topic will start that many other people will find useful. There's a lot of good stuff in here all ready, it's a good thread
Agreed. The 002 raises a lot of interesting debate as it is possible to use what is essentially a "prosumer" device in a professional way (with the use of external supplementation of course!)
Old 20th May 2006
  #13
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It won't be unusable, but you should hear some improvement with an external converter and clock. It's something to consider.

As far as the PCMCIA card, I can only tell you what cards DON'T work.

I've tried a few of them, and didn't have success with any of them. I actually had to mix an entire record on the road with buffer errors every 10 seconds or so. It was a nightmare. A big problem with laptops is that a lot of them aren't very configurable from within the BIOS. You also can't swap hardware into different slots, etc. Makes it tough, IRQ conflicts are commonplace. So, it's kinda hard to tell if it's the PCMCIA card itself, or the laptop and the rest of it's components. I hope somebody has found success with this and can help you out. Good luck!
Old 21st May 2006
  #14
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mosrite's Avatar
 

Quote:
As far as the PCMCIA card, I can only tell you what cards DON'T work.

I've tried a few of them, and didn't have success with any of them. I actually had to mix an entire record on the road with buffer errors every 10 seconds or so. It was a nightmare. A big problem with laptops is that a lot of them aren't very configurable from within the BIOS. You also can't swap hardware into different slots, etc. Makes it tough, IRQ conflicts are commonplace. So, it's kinda hard to tell if it's the PCMCIA card itself, or the laptop and the rest of it's components. I hope somebody has found success with this and can help you out. Good luck!
This is really dubious stuff as Im going to need a solid system for a job in a couple of weeks and cant afford failures like that (location recording). I had been considering a multitrack HD and then importing stuff into PT but felt that the 002 option would make things simpler. But as I say I simply (and literally) cant afford for it to fail. This has made me reassess my plan unless someone out there is using a 002 on a PCMCIA firewire card with an IBM thinkpad T42p? If I cant confirm a working card it might have to be the HD recorder route...argghh
Old 21st May 2006
  #15
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If you haven't all ready, you may also want to do some searches and ask around on the DUC: http://duc.digidesign.com/postlist.p...lapsed&sb=5&o=

(EDIT: Just saw you posted on there!)

If the gig is in two weeks, I would definately recommend one of two things:

1. Buy a Mac laptop. If you absolutely need this to work, then this is a solid (albeit expensive) solution.

2. Start buying PCMCIA cards and trying them out (they're cheap!) Research your specific model of laptop. Try to find out if others have had success with it. Digi hardware is very finicky.

Time is of the essence, as with any system, there will be kinks you will have to work out. Never show up to the gig with a system you haven't tested many many times! I'm sure you're more than aware of that, tho. Get searching and good luck!
Old 21st May 2006
  #16
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mosrite.
heres something to try on your ibm laptop.
powertracks that i use works on any laptop ive tried it on.
the sound quality purely depends on the interface you use as everything is 32 bit float and 64 bit in the critical areas. ie very high quality tracks.
its a breeze to install. if your laptops up to it youll get 48 tracks potentially max.
if you doubt me try the demo from pgmusic.com.
you can then export your tracks into pro tools if you wish as wave files.
the reason i suggest you look into it also is it has a fail safe built in....ie a recovery feature just in case a pc has a problem.
as to the interface to your thinkpad you might want to contact pg tech support at the site who have always helped me. i seem to remember a topic awhile back on interfaceing to your type of interface.(pcmcia). with an external sound device.
an option might be for the gig if you dont have a firewire interface rent a
enabled laptop for the gig. and hook up a RME for example maybe ??
just an idea.
addendum....
a couple of powertracks users i believe are useing this pcmcia sound interface amd like the sound. apparently claims mastering grade convertors.
http://www.zzounds.com/item--EMU1616M
Old 21st May 2006
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
With respect to the rest of you guys AlexLakis is the only one that really addressed my question. Not to say your contributions are not appreciated as they always are but if you re-read my post it was quite a specific scenario I was outlining.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosrite
Any 002 users out there combining an external digital signal (via its spdif or adat inputs) with the 002's own sub standard pres and AD's?

What Id like to know is when clocking it externally (to a decent external AD) is there any issue with the quality of the analogue ins of the 002? (when used in combination)

Using a decent external clock is surely going to vastly improve its analogue ins anyway right? Or does the clock recovery circuit negate any advantage this may have?
uhhh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
clocking the 002 from the 800 is a minute difference. When I track thru the Rosetta 800 I'll record scratch tracks into the 002's preamp/converter but they don't sound too good up against the Rosetta 800.

blah blah blah

But there's no real problem running the session that way, if that's the question.
If you need to record an event and you need there to be zero chance of failure, I suggest hiring someone who owns a system that's been under fire before. Not trying to give you a wiseass answer, just saying what I would suggest.
Old 21st May 2006
  #18
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Quote:
If you need to record an event and you need there to be zero chance of failure, I suggest hiring someone who owns a system that's been under fire before. Not trying to give you a wiseass answer, just saying what I would suggest.
I guess thats a "max cooper is pissed off" response! Sorry I missed the relevence in your post earlier. As for hiring someone else thats not really an option seeing as this is my profession! (I would like to eat and pay the rent sometime soon).

Quote:
mosrite.
heres something to try on your ibm laptop.
powertracks that i use works on any laptop ive tried it on.
the sound quality purely depends on the interface you use as everything is 32 bit float and 64 bit in the critical areas. ie very high quality tracks.
its a breeze to install. if your laptops up to it youll get 48 tracks potentially max.
if you doubt me try the demo from pgmusic.com.
you can then export your tracks into pro tools if you wish as wave files.
the reason i suggest you look into it also is it has a fail safe built in....ie a recovery feature just in case a pc has a problem.
as to the interface to your thinkpad you might want to contact pg tech support at the site who have always helped me. i seem to remember a topic awhile back on interfaceing to your type of interface.(pcmcia). with an external sound device.
an option might be for the gig if you dont have a firewire interface rent a
enabled laptop for the gig. and hook up a RME for example maybe ??
just an idea.
addendum....
a couple of powertracks users i believe are useing this pcmcia sound interface amd like the sound. apparently claims mastering grade convertors.
Interesting. Unfortunately learning new software, not testing it for months beforehand etc etc. This would be adding more risks in my book. Sounds like good software though.

Quote:
1. Buy a Mac laptop. If you absolutely need this to work, then this is a solid (albeit expensive) solution
Sorry I dont subsribe to the whole Mac being more stable ideology. I have worked with both extensively and believe me an IBM properly configured will be just as stable. Anyway, that would be too expensive an option.

To be honest I cant be bothered spending months testing cards and risking anything and might just go the HD recorder route. It would probably have better ADCs than the Digi anyway.
Old 21st May 2006
  #19
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mosrite.
re not testing it for months etc etc.
believe it or not i just loaded it on another pc.
from booting up the pc, installing it to recording my first track took all of 4 minutes.
i understand your trepidation. but over the next 6 months. if you have some lazy sunday time. give it a try and youll be impressed how well it runs on a laptop.
its just like running a multitrack tape machine. select track and record.
just like on a standalone HD recorder. believe me a few years back nothing could drag me away from beloved tape machines. my wife bought it for me originally at xmas. it sat for a week until i had some lazy time. i installed it and was hooked.
i had tried also custom HD standalones but the editing ease sucked me right in.
as well as the built in fx suite.

the main thing with laptop recording is to load up on memory and use a 7200 rpm fast hard drive. but i can see why you would this go around not use something your not familiar with. but its as simple as selecting a track and clicking the record button.
by the name mosrite are you a guitar player perchance ??
reason i ask there are some neat guitar fx built in . check out the echoplex or guitar trail settings sometimes. peace.
Old 21st May 2006
  #20
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Cheers Manning it does indeed sound like a nice stable system thats worth investigating however it doesnt quite fit in with my routing options and I dont have 6 months to try it. Perhaps at some point in the future though.

Regards the name, I am a guitarist and play a Mosrite!
Old 21st May 2006
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
If you clock the 002 externally and use better preamps with the 002 converters it might be better.

.

they do get better if you clock the 002 externally atleast IME. I clock the 002 off of my yamaha O2r and like the results.
Old 22nd May 2006
  #22
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I have a 002 and have clocked it off an Aardsync. I dont do much recording at home, which is where the 02 usually lives, so I can't say that I've noticed the difference between external clocking and internal clocking while tracking. But I have noticed a difference mixing with it on. I'd say the 002 pre's are a bigger bummer than the clock though. They are kinda sucky overall, even if I have gotten usable results. It kinda depends on the music and the source material as to whether they'll meet your needs. If I was doing classical recording though I'd probably opt for some kind of external converter/mic pre combo like you are thinking about. I've actually used the Pre-Sonus Digimax and had ok results. That thing isn't super pricey and gives you 8 channels.

I've done a reasonable amount of semi-high profile live recording (rock bands though) in the last few months with both my 002 and a MIX PLus rig. I have to say neither setup gave me any real problems though I was scared ****less the entire time that something would crash and I'd lose the previous 15 minutes. I just recorded my friend's kid in school with a pair of mics on an old ass G3 400Mhz laptop for a 1/ 2 hour performance with not hiccups at all. So you can do it even with a butt ass computer. You really start experienceing hiccups with reveb plug ins and high track count. Maybe the new Mac Intel laptops will give you an altioverb or something without failing though.
The nerve racking thing about recording live performances with a DAW like ProTools is the fact that you are fuct fuct fuct if something crashes before you have a chance to stop and save. With the Tascam and Mackie hard drive recorders, and of course with the Radar you are completely safe from this kind of fear because those things save as they go rather than buffering the audio until you stop rolling and save.

You might want to check out the new Radar systems which are high sample rate and also have some kind if internal mixing function so you no longer need a board to accompany you while tracking, just your pres. But its also $5k so not exactly cheap, but still perhpas a shade cheaper than an HD rig with I/O and new computer.

The other thing I'd look into if you are only doing stereo classical recordings is the kind of dedicated recording units they use on film shoots. Since I only work in studios I really don't know much about that side of the gear world, but I'd imagine that there might be some very decent stuff at reasonable prices that could meet yer needs and allow you the ability to make a high quality recording and then dump it via a cheap M-Powered option into ProTools for editing/mixing. Just an idea though. Also DA-88's are dirt cheap and dont crash either.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #23
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I used a RME ADI-2 with my 002 and found the resulting difference not worth the money IMHO.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #24
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Thanks Strato, good info. I'll be running a backup anyway so if it crashes it wont be an absolute disaster.

Ive decided to go the 002r route. Im gonna take a chance on the PCMCIA firewire card (of which none are currenty approved) and hope it works. I will be gutted if I find myself in a technical nightmare with this though. Fingers crossed
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