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Diggi 002 question! Add preamps

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by fededrum, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. fededrum

    fededrum Active Member

    HELLO guy. I'm trying to get 8 more preamps to my set up wich is a diggi 002 with already 4 preams added (api 3124).I will love to get the focusrite 828 so I can have 12 good preamps ( I dont want to use the preamp from the diggi couse sound bad). But for what I know the diggi only give me 8 preamps and even those 8 are going through the diggi wich it reduce the quality of the final sound.
    So my questions is:
    What the hell should I do?
    Can I, in someway replace the diggi with something else?
    If I get the Focusrite 828, Do I have to buy a Converter like the Appoge or Lynx?( they are expensive!) and use it with the diggi.

    PLease HELP!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Your 002 is mostly just a remote control/control surface, to work with ProTools. They just threw in some microphone preamps so that most DIY folks didn't need anything else. It's not that they sound bad, but they really don't have much if any redeeming qualities. You know how those old-fashioned non-state of the art API's sound like. You like those don't you? But as you can tell 24 of those would get rather heavy. What you don't like about them is the fact that they are transformer less. And most of that kind of stuff sounds like that kind of stuff. So you want all the heavy metal you can get with the hundreds of miles of wire that you want to feed your microphones into. It gives those little electrons the run of their life. Some of the sponsors here that advertise on Recording.org offer much more affordable takeoffs of those API's, Neve and other notable good sounding preamps for a lot less money. Warm Audio I believe is their name and so is similar to them Seventh Circle, or something like that Audio. And it's really like the API's, Neve, etc..

    Many current available boutique analog preamps also offer digital interfaces. Some of these interfaces require that your computer has the appropriate matching interface. Not all are USB 2.0 or FireWire but some are. And everything and anything that goes into your computer has to be converted into a binary digital form. The question is... how many simultaneous tracks do you need to record into software? Just a pair or two, three maybe? Or, 24 or more? This is where things get crazy. You're 002 has plenty of usable inputs that can be fed from standard analog microphone preamps such as what you already have. They can go into the line input which bypasses a certain amount of their circuitry providing for a more direct route to the converter. And quite an adequate one I might add though not spectacular. It costs to get spectacular and with the right interface. And with the right version of ProTools which is... 10. Anything earlier than 9 or 10 will require that everything is fed through that 002. Otherwise no can do. With 9 or, 10, you can purchase fire sounding interfaces such as Apogee, RME, Focusrite, multi-track audio interfaces and most of those are FireWire. Then you use your 002 for your manual digital tactile, knob twiddling mix. Because then it is only controlling the software and there is no sound passing through it.

    I hope you're not taking the XLR output of your API 3124 and going into the Digi 002 XLR microphone input? The microphone input needs to be switched into line level input. Otherwise, yeah, it will sound real bad, real, real bad. But then this may also require you to interface your API 3124 XLR output to 1/4 inch TRS for the 002 line inputs. And then you'll find the quality to be more than acceptable when utilizing your 002 record through an earlier version of Pro tools such as 8 or earlier. Their converters are not horrible but they are also not the highest end. It all depends on what you want? Good stuff don't come cheap but most adequate stuff is good. But what does good mean to you? How much good is good enough? What level of acceptable good are you willing to accept? LOL.

    Hope this helps to clear things up?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Since you mention the Focusrite ISA828, I would look at one of those fitted with the optional A-D converter board. This will connect via lightpipe to the ADAT input of your Digi 002, and at standard conversion rates (44.1 and 48KHz) give you 8 more channels with very good pre-amps with no corruption or colouration by the Digi analog inputs. You could even route some of the API3124+ outputs via the ISA828 if you are not using all of the ISA's microphone channels.

    If or when you eventually upgrade to a better interface and conversion system, both the ISA828 and your API3124+ will move with you and will blossom. With careful choice, you may then also have the opportunity of using the ISA at its higher conversion rates. As a long-time user of API 3124+ pre-amps digitized at 96KHz, I can tell you this is a sound to enjoy.
  4. fededrum

    fededrum Active Member

    Thank you!
    Let me ask you a few more questions:
    So right now my API is "corrupted by the diggi right?
    I know that protools no longer need a diggi interface to function so... What will be a better interface to use 12 preamps( 4 api and the isa 828)?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    "Corruption" of signals going through an Avid interface is a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that there are probably better interfaces you could consider use. Don't get me wrong - many people find the Digi range (post Mbox-1) perfectly acceptable for their needs, but if you are shooting for a better sound quality, then you should aiming higher.

    For something in the higher quality bracket that would take at least the 4 outputs of the API and the 8 of the Focusrite ISA, you would need only line-level inputs. You could either get a unit (maybe with expansion) that would give you the 12 line-level inputs, or you could consider what I suggested previously, which is an interface that would take the 4 outputs of the API and also an ADAT digital input from an ADC board fitted in the ISA.

    There are few quality interfaces in the first category, but several in the second. You might start by looking at the RME UFX. This has 8 true line inputs (not attenuated mic inputs) and two ADAT ports, so would work well with the ISA828 digital, giving you 8 channels at up to 96KHz. You would also get 4 further mic inputs with the UFX, giving you even wider sonic variety.

    There are other interfaces besides the UFX, and I am sure others will chime in with suggestions.

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