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A/D conversion: Alesis AI3

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Sonicanger, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Sonicanger

    Sonicanger Guest

    Hi everyone. I am just starting to cut my
    teeth , so to speak, in the world of recording. My current set up (simplified a bit) is as follows:

    Presonus Digimax 96 lightpiped in to Digi 001 on a Mac G3 w/ M-Audio Studiophile BX8s.

    I was thinking that this might suffice until I get a better gasp and more experience with recording. As I am learning, however, I am beginging to think I might want to upgrade mice pres/ add some with mor color than the presonus units, as I am not terribly happy with them on my vocals. Enter the Alesis AI3. I was planning on buying this unit in order to bypass the converters on the 001 breakoutbox when adding the additional pres. Does anyone have any experince with both the presonus and the Alesis units, and if so, do you find the conversion to better/worse in the Alesis compared to the converters on the Presonus? Does the better pres added over the course of time into the Alesis seem like a viable stratgey?

    this idea is still in the formulating stage, so any input/feedback is greatly appreciated.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I address this very issue with people over and over. This is a perfect example of what I mean when I tell people to spend their money once. Thank you for giving me the chance to comment on this. More than anything else the sound of your mics and mic preamps is the first consideration. Great converters make no difference if you feed them crud. By far, the least expensive and shortest path to “Audio Nirvana” is through using quality mics and mic preamps.

    So I would say IMO this is a very good strategy. However the AI3 is not a 96 K converter like the PreSonus, so you will be confined to 24 bits @ 48 or 44.1. But I think good mics and pres at 44.1 sounds better than 88.2 with cruddy pres and/or mics.

    Buy good mics. Get a bunch of different ones. Get a bunch that are matched. Buy good pres. Get a bunch of different ones. Get a bunch that are matched. Spend the money that in the old days you would have spent on a big studio console, on good mics, pres, eq’s and compressors. This expenditure will last a life time and in many cases can be a hedge against inflation or even an investment. These days there is nothing more impressive than a mic closet full of good mics and a couple of racks of great mic pres and other “front end gear”.
  3. Sonicanger

    Sonicanger Guest

    hmm...cool. thanks for the input Kurt. I'm going to do a few searches here on the sight to check out a few different mics and pres. Any suggestrion. I hear the RNP and the grace mentioned quite a bit, as well as the API units. Is there anything I can get that has 4 or more good channels with coloring, so to speak, for around 1000-1200? The sebatron looks tempting, and it might fit the bill for the style of music I am recording at the moment, but am unsure. Some touchtones soundwise are the The Doves, My Bloody Valentine, Catherine Wheel, Jeff Buckley, Ride, BRMC, The Smiths and Spiritualized. In case these band are unfamilar, its a dreamy space rock type of thing, for the purposes of easy categorizing.

    once again, I appreciate any and all feedback and thank all in advance for posting.
  4. ckevperry

    ckevperry Active Member

    I'm with Kurt...mics and preamps all the way.

    Plus, the AI3 is an older piece and Alesis isn't exactly know for stellar a/d conversion. They likely aren't a significant improvement over the 001.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I've been using AI3s for a while now and they work fine. I think they are better sounding than the 001 from the reports I have heard about the 001. I have no complaints. They sound better than a 16 bit ADAT..
  6. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Sonic quality is subjective...having said that, to me the Presonus sounds better than either the Ai3 or the 001. To me, the Ai3 doesn't sound any better than the 001. I might buy it if I were on a budget and needed more than the eight inputs that the 001 offers, but if I wanted to improve upon them I'd probably look at something like Frontier's Tango 24 at a minimum.


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