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Apogee/PT HD "situation"

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Irene, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Irene

    Irene Guest

    I'm getting quite confused by this debate. I read Digi's response to it all on the DUC and I must say I thought some fair points were raised. I do think they should have made some clearer declaration earlier however.
    I feel confused about whether I have any real right to feel a bit annoyed about the situation, or if it's just sour grapes....
    What do you think about it?

    Also I wonder what the real downsides to connecting my Apogee unit via the legacy port other than the 48kHz limit of course or through the AES/EBU at 96kHz are? Apart from the cost of the new HD interface which I know everyone's got to buy, having said that there is an upgrade policy at least for Digi hardware owners- not that I want to 'update' my Trak2. Maybe I should I be more open minded about that as I haven't even heard the new system..
  2. stoneinapond

    stoneinapond Guest


    "Maybe I should I be more open minded about that as I haven't even heard the new system"

    Those are the wisest words I have heard in the whole debate!



    P.S. Haven't heard the it myself yet, but will soon. Then it's decision time. And for the record, I do own a PSX from Apogee. Love it, but I've learned not to stay attached to equipment. Or anything else for that matter. All things change. Thanks for the "cool" post.
  3. Renie,

    It seems to me most of the Apogee owners don't know whether to fell anoyed or excited. The only thing for certain is that things have changed. Maybe that is one reason for Apogee owners feelings. I have a Demo PT|HD rig and it sounds great! It sounds great on older sessions done on just a 20bit A/D. I do all my pro stuff on 24bit, this was just a little home, brainstorming rig I have. It was an acoustic guitar and Vox. Both were recorded seperate through an ART MP Pro tube pre amp through a $150 AT mic. When I pull up the session on the new PT|HD rig, it sounded so dramatically better that my jaw dropped. I noticed the most difference in the Acoustic. WoW! I haven't worked with Apogee in a musical sense so I can't really ad any sound insight, but I've heard through others that did A/B tests that the 192 blows the Apogee stuff away. Granted the 192 is the latest and Apogee is still using a few year old technology, but the point really isn't decisions and options on which gear to use as much as it is sound and quality and the best way to get it.

    One argument from an Ap owner was, "I want to be able to choose, it is all about choices, I don't want Digi to stop me from that." (paraphrased) In theory this makes sense, but if the 192 blows the older Apogee stuff away, there is no choice (if you are quality conscious). You are going to go with what sounds the best. You can talk about choices, and being able to make your own mind up, but you also need to be practical. If the 192 has supperior sound quality than it is a no brainer.

    It is like talking about having an annual pic nic on a certain day, at a place where there is no rain shelter, then some of the the people to attend started complaining about how bad of an Idea it was to have it at the new place with out a shelter, with out even seeing it. It could be way more beautiful than the year before, and you may not even need a ran shelter because of the beautiful cliff formations that would keep the rain off. The year before it was just at a private park under a fly infested shelter. And as it turns out it didn't rain that day and it was beautiful as forcasted by the hosts of the pic nic. I'm kinda rambling.... anyway. I hope you get my point, and I didn't mean to step on any Apogee toes, I'm a dealer I don't really care. If you want Apogee I'll sell you Apogee, If you want 192s I'll sell you 192s. I 'm a producer too and I am always wanting to improve my product.

    Just like the previous post don't get attached to gear.... I like that, and you are right on. Easier said than done. I would like to change that a bit. Don't get attached to technology, it changes every 6 months. I am attached to outboard gear though, it seems like it doesn't change near as much (maybe once every 20-40 years) . Just an oppionion

    Life is Good .... then it gets better!

  4. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Renie,

    I don't own any Apogee ADCs but I can appreciate how angered some Apogee users must feel.

    To be honest I was amazed at Digi's response. Never, in all my years on the DUC have I seen a response from Digi that in essence goes against Digi policy. Dave Lebolt, VP of Product Strategy stated:
    Dave is basically saying that a digital only interface is in development. Such a unit, without ADCs and expensive analog components, should come in at a price point well below a 96 I/O. I wouldn't be surprised to see a figure around US$1,000, depending on the features they provide of course. Hopefully, this unit will go a long way to help Apogee owners and the owners of other makes of ADCs. Dave has made a sort of "psuedo" product announcement, which goes against Digi's policy of not discussing products in development or planned development. I take this to mean that Digi are taking the critism levelled at them by Apogee users VERY seriously.

    That's my take on the situation but of course, only time will tell.

  5. stoneinapond

    stoneinapond Guest

    I agree with the above post. But I think (only an opinion) that the digital only interface has been on the drawing board for some time. Most companies of MOA's size don't just turn on a dime. But due to the heated passions raised by the apogee "refugees", a bone has been tossed. A rare occurance. Let's hope that indeed it is in the "not too distant future," and at price and with functionality that can finally bring peace to the many users of PT.
  6. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    As an Apogee user, I have to disagre with much that has been said here.
    There is no level playing field on which to a/b
    the new 192 to any Apogee product. Why? Because the only access an Apogee user has to the new Digi summing bus is through a Digi box. That means Digi circuitry, clocking and power supply. Digi is saying that the new 192 sounds better than the 8000.
    We'll never know until we can connect directly. It certainly should sound better. They've had 4-5 years to study the 8000 and learn how to steal the soft limit feature among others. Does anyone know if Apogee has a new 192 box? They're not a company to rest on their laurels.
    Another equally important point is this. Digi agreed to have Apogee as a 3rd party partner. They had a legal agreement. Implied in that, is the notion that Apogee owners could be reasonably assured that Digi would not, arbitrarily end that agreement. That, having invested thousands of dollars in Pro Tools, the end user would not be told 'Tough luck sucker' by a company that is clearly veering off course. The same anger would
    be coming from users of the Waves Gold Bundle if Digi decides "Nope, we'll be making that too. Tough luck suckers". By initially supporting Apogee as a partner, they built and filled a Trust Bank. By greedily and arbitrarily dropping those customers who believed Digi, they bankrupted the trust bank. It's empty. So this is not just an issue of technology, it's an issue of corporate trust and greed. Digi has proved what people have been whispering for a long time. They lied. Call it what you will but it's a dishonest move and all their arguments fall flat.
    If the 192 is great and cheap, everyone will buy it. If Apogee were to make a similar but higher priced box with a few bells and whistles, a few people would buy it. It's basic capitalism.....except with a catch......capitalism doesn't work when one company welches and decides to play monopoly with other peoples money and trust. So why not let Apogee keep their agreement? Fear? Greed? Shortsightedness? None of those look good on a prospectus. Check out the r+d budgets for each company and see who's working for you.
  7. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    if you're interested...

    700 hits in 2 days....someone's watching and it's not my Mom.
  8. Chap,

    I found myself wanting to disagree with you when I first started reading your post, but then about half way through it started making sense. Even though I don't want what you said to be right, you have touched on some things that can't be ignored (history of character traits). Time will tell, truth reinforces truth, lies, contradict lies. There is alot of circumstantial evidence, and we don't know the whole picture. There are possiblities that Digi didn't plan on doing a monopoly thing, they just didn't have time for all the testing of third party gear. I seem to lean toward the latter just because the plug-in 3rd party developers that Digi is not trying to compete with are just now getting the plugs coded. If Digi took the time it would take to add all the 3rd party support in before their release, they wouldn't of been able to hit the Winter Namm Deadline. It was a race for the market share I think.

    I don't know what the solution is, and I'm only kinda scetchy on what the problem is. I know Digi has to do what ever they think best to stay in business. Of course this is never a reason to bunkrupt the trust bank! Trust, quality, and excellence, are key in any business IMO.

    No fishy stuff allowed!

    Just a thought, Thanks for the input Chap.

  9. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Chap, I just have to say ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto! The only part of your post I would take a second look at is re Apogee...
    Once Apogee brought it to everyone's attention that something could sound much better than the 888, they kinda stopped at the SE. Now there are converters that sound much better than the AD8000 at 44.1 and 48. ( :eek: ) If Ap comes out with a 192 converter, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it sounded better than the HD... but it better be able to compete with the rest of the new 192 ADC's that come to market as well, and at a competetive price!

    Now, if anyone is interested in a DAW system that can seriously compete with digi, and already sounded good... say "aye"!
  10. Irene

    Irene Guest

    Thanks for the replies.

    Re:ethics-I think the 'trust bank' concept is good and I do feel that what Digi have done isn't "right".

    Re:technical issues-I am still confused -

    Chap -you say that a level playing field for A-Bing isn't possible-it is up to 48kHz via the legacy port but of course that's no use for the higher sample rates...
    Would you (and Ang) be happy with a Digi digital only box (I sense not) or do you feel an AMBus type connection is the only solution?

    Cheers Renie
  11. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    There are lots of techinical issues here that render the a/b thing impossible. Clocking and power supplies among them. Digi is saying it uses the best capacitors. Apogee is ready to go with a 192 box with NO capacitors but without direct connect, we'll never know. It's not just an Apogee thing.
    Converters, after a certain degree of excellence has been achieved, are largely subjective (as is most soundmaking equip) The point about Apogee (like them or not) is that they were a liscensed
    third party develpment PARTNER with Digi. While there are plenty of converters that sound great (dB techs are amazing but about $6k per channel last I looked) only Apogee had the code legally. Another thing to think about is this - "Percieved Value". Digi used Apogee to gain cachet with certain high end users who would have had nothing to do with PT.
    Now that they've gained entrance to this club it looks like 'so long, Apogee, thanks for the introductions'. It kinda makes me wonder what the word'partner' means to Digi. I would like nothing more than a peaceful solution so we can all do better work, but there are other more open platforms out there that seem to be willing to keep things open and open is the future. So is trust.
  12. Chap,

    What other open platform options are there that can compete with Pro Tools? Where else can you get a hardware integrated with a software solution with the same company on the same or better level as Pro Tools? I'm not meaning to be smart, I'm just not aware of them. It seems to me that PT is the most stable and mature platform. I would like to know what other options are out there that could compete


  13. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Darren, how about Fairlight?
  14. Angel,

    Thanks for the link. I checked it out breifly. Does Fairlight only do 48 Tracks of audio?! The console looked AWESOME! I am obviously not hip to how they do their systems. Has anybody worked on one? How do they sound? How much do they list for and what is the street price? Somebody mentioned another option on another board or maybe it was this one, just on another thread. Do any of you know? I think It may have been a thread with Jules. I'm sure he would know.



  15. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    I think one of the main problems with this situation is that there are so many different ways of looking at it.

    I can't disagree with what Chap has said, but on the other hand what have Digi done to Apogee that they haven't done to themselves? I've got 888|24s and a 1622, like you Apogee users I can't directly interface these with PT|HD either. Not that I would want to use 888|24s with the new system but I'm sure going to miss the functionality of my 1622 unless I use a legacy port and stay at or below 48kS/s. So in practice Digi hasn't done anything to any third party developers that it hasn't done with the first party developer!

  16. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    Greg: It's important for you to know that Apogee users fully expect to pay cash money for an Apogee upgrade path to their version of the 192. It's always been Apogee's policy to offer affordable and in many cases, free upgrades. I think this one would cost a bit and should. If we just wanted to use the legacy port and we were whining, our position would be baseless.
    Darren: Home run question! I've been actively exploring it for days now and have spoken to many writers for trade mags with the hopes of providing an answer. I don't have one yet but Nuendo has intentions of fully exploiting the Macs dual processors and be OSX ready fairly soon. That sounds promising. The other option is that Digi makes a slight correction in it's current plan and allows 3rd party develpors to continue to.......develop. And congrats to everyone on this thread for being civil and on target. It's refreshing after being in some of the other forums where brawling is encouraged :cool: :cool:
  17. Chap,

    I'm checking into Fairlight. I've sent for some info on their stuff so I can get hip to it. I still don't know what the prices are. It doesn't seem to be an equal or better alternative yet, Nuendo, still seems inmature, and I don't really think that host based solutions are even on the same level, as card based solutions. In a pro environment, you have to have stability, at all cost. I don't think that host based solutions can provide that on large sessions.

    I'm sure there has to be better alternatives... If not then we must except what DIGI hands us with a smile. Because what are you going to do... stop recording? But! if there is some competition that will threaten Digi's market share, then you could have a case with pull to influence.

    Anyway I'm still here waiting for other options. What/Who do you all think is their closest competition?

  18. Being a Mix+++ and AD8000 user, I don't really understand why everyone is so pissed at Digi's HD direction. I initialy had ruffled feathers like everyone else but upon some further thinking came to the conclusion that if Digi happened to make a decent converter and clock, maybe there would be no reason to need my Apogees. Well after some recording and listening tests, that is exactly the conlusion that I have come to. I feel it safe to say that no one will find the 192HD to be inferior to the AD8000 or PSX100. I actually prefered them on the limited recording tests I was able to witness.

    Now in a perfect world I think we should all be able to use whatever gear we prefer, but I've decided that as long as Digi can provide an equivalent or better solution, then why should any of us wast our time trying to make them provide for options that really are not necessary. We should also keep in mind that this matching or surpassing of converter/ clock quality comes to us at about half the cost of the Apogees. This is not a bad thing people.

    Chap made the analogy that closing out Apogee users would be akin to closing out other 3rd party users such as Waves,etc. I would agree, but again would not be upset if they provided the same software solutions in a package costing less than half of the Gold Bundle.

    I think that anyone who gives the HD a little shake down time will come to the same conclusions that I and the 20 or so other people that were involved in our little listening tests did. My intention with all these boxes is to make some music, not figure out how to keep Apogee or Digidesign in business.

    At some point Digi will let Apogee into the equation, but not before they've gotten a chance to convince us all that we're not really gaining anything by having it. At that point Apogee will make a better box that we'll all want and so the cycle continues.

    My .02

    Kenny Meriedeth
  19. Jim Chapdelaine

    Jim Chapdelaine Active Member

    A lot of what Melted says makes sense.
    I've listened to both systems and while there are no proper ways to a/b the stuff, the 192 sounds good - @ 96 or 192. It should. One of the issues is this: Ever buya multi fx box that does everything? (I have). It didn't do anything great but did a lot of things 'good'. Sometimes good isn't...well, ......good enough. Does an ART box with a zillion fx sound like an Eventide 3000se? Nope. I think it's a bit similar with the Digi/Apogee thing. Digi has a million things to worry about, GUI, stability,TDM2, Chasis, PCI cards....etc... Apogee does one thing and they do it really well. I like that. Sometimes you need a Swiss Army knife to get out of a jam. Other times you need a chainsaw. With all the advances in power supplies and digital clocks, the absence of capacitors etc... it only makes sense that Apogee would excel at what it does. I'm not sure if I'll upgrade yet. With native proccessing doubling every few months, maybe Nuendo could be it? Hopefully Digi will make a "money box". A box that is all digital and lets us connect via the international standard. That way, they make their money and we convert the way we like to.
  20. Hi Chap,
    I was 100% behind you on the "money box" until I realized it was only a much needed audio interface and didn't actually generate money. :D

    Digi has got to know by now that we all need more digital I/O's. Unfortunately they seem to take their sweet time in bringing these things to market (can you say 24bit Adat Bridge?). With all the cross pollenation of sample rates going on with getting things in and out of the HD system, a digital only interface with some sample rate conversion might not be a bad option either. As far as using it for other converters, until Apogee comes out with a 96/192k AD8000SE or you want to drop some big bucks on some real high end converters, I don't think anyone will be missing their RME's or Lucid's. I think everyone will be surprised at the HD converters.

    Kenny Meriedeth
    Melted Media Music

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