For Pro Tools LE users, we all know the horrors of Digidesign interface compatibility. While the 002 Rack is no exception in this aspect (see this forum, 002 Compatibility), it does offer a nice array of features for those interested in a home studio on a budget.
The 002 offers four hi-fidelity mic preamps. They may not have enough gain to drive your old ribbon mics, but they can easily handle modern condensers and dynamics while imparting a transparent sound. Eight analog I/O give enough connections for a modest amount of outboard gear and monitors. ADAT I/O gives room for expanding your interface in the future, but keep in mind only at 44.1kHz or 48kHz rates. There have been issues with the power harnessing inside the unit, (usually depicted by the mute button staying lit even if you try to turn it off). Mine had this problem, it's a $20 cable and a half hour of time to fix.
The 002 can get your foot in the door for about $350-$500 dollars off of craigslist or ebay. They are a great way to begin expanding your studio into the analog world and still use Pro Tools editing systems without dropping the $600 on a new version 10 system.
Not the newest and greatest, but still a fine unit
I purchased a DIGI 002 when I was moving up from my first 2-channel interface, but didn't have the funds or experience as an engineer to require a high-end interface. At the time I was ready to start recording bands and needed more inputs and it gave me exactly that. If you know how to use the I/O and how to integrate an interface into your DAW then you shouldn't have any problems using it. People like to complain about the DIGI 002 since it's conversion isn't as good as the units that sell for a good deal more. However, when the DIGI 002 was released there were many great recordings being made with them and nobody complains about great recordings. I've used the preamps, the line-in A/D, the ADAT, spdif, and lines out for analog summing and monitor mixes and not once has a client of mine complained about sound quality. I now use a UA 2192 through spdif to handle my most critical sounds, but most of my clients don't know the difference. Unless you have the cash to burn save some money and get one of these off ebay for your first interface.
A lot of people talk trash about the anologue to digital converters in this bad boy. But to be honest. Music fans never notice. I've been recording and mixing on a digi 002 for about 5 years now and I've never had any issues with quality and my clients are happy. This bad boy is inexpensive today and it still does the job. I like it and won't replace it till I get the Apollo quad.....but it's all about the operator and not the equipment so I'm in no rush to do so. Digi 002 has enough ins and outs to record a band and have multiple headphone feeds or even 5.1 surround sound...i love it!
I should do a review of Black Lion Audio instead. I got an 002R when it was brand new, around 2004, and it was great to have a multichannel Pro Tools LE interface. But it wasn't until I got it upgraded by BLA that I felt I had a quality interface, as good as I need for years to come.
I would not call the pres high quality, without the BLA mod, merely acceptable. Good DIs though, for bass at least!
With PT 9 and up, you don't need this. lots of other options Unless ypou want to buy mine so I can upgrade!
what can i say....
someone told me if you have nothig good to say, dont say anything at all.
but in this case i must... there is a Ruper Neve 500 series compressor in the line. lol.
the worse, the bad & the ugly...
the WDM drivers do not support surround multi-channel decoding, like many of its competitors. -1.
the ASIO drivers, were OK, i could get impresive 128 buffer size working with a ASUS P5W DH Deluxe Ti FW chipset,
but 2-channel play back, not a real heavy project.
ASIO drivers are limited to 48Khz.
the converters were colored, it made me remember Casstett sound.
the ADAT its also limited to 48khz.
competitors were not.
the Mic-Pres were nice, if i remeber they were designed by Focusrite,
the plastic knobs fell easy.
the whole gray color was not my thing, Digi001 was nicer looking,
the Digi002 looks too corporate, serious.
because Digi002 has AKM chips, does not have that Fake Analog sound of the E-Mu 1820m at 44.1khz.
thats a +.
the good thing is that the Owner Manual had a Stiker with A Code,
that alowed to activate the Protools LE software, that is a very good software for multitrack audio recording & Mixing.
but limited also,
for midi, audio cut & paste i think others are better.
converters can be upgraded with BLA.
When discontinued Price droped significatively, became a nice alternative to competitors.
I've had this 002 Rack for a coupla years without much incident.
Just recently, the RED mute light will not turn off - which keeps me from doing anything. After a while, the red light goes off...I start recording...then red light comes back on bringing everything to an abrupt halt.