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"Noob" w/ Questions on Digidesign/Preamps and Gear

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by ericedge, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. ericedge

    ericedge Guest

    Hello, I just registered to this site after finding it through a few google searches. I was hoping to find Forums that would be a good place to learn from and ask a ton of questions. This seems like the right place from what I can tell so far. :cool:

    So who am I and what do I plan on doing? Right now I am band less and playing my guitar/song writing solo. I would love to set up a place where I can record my songs/experiment. But also the fact that I am some what of a computer nerd, makes me very very interested in getting deep into the recording aspect of music. The overall goal of my setup is to have a setup that I can EXPAND on and hopefully record some local bands on the side once I get to that point and learn the basics.

    Basically I've been looking at either a Pro Tools LE set up or Cubase. I am leaning more towards a Pro Tools LE set up now, the Digidesign 003 Factory set up. So here are my questions for that:

    Is the Digidesign 003 Factory set up expandable?

    Is the extra "1,000" for the "Factory Bundle" worth it in the long run?

    I don't have a firewire port on my computer, is there a card that you all would recommend for this set up or would any generic card do the trick(I have a custom built computer)?

    When I do plan on recording beyond the 4 Mic ports provided by the 003, how would I expand on that? Do I buy preamps and somehow tie them into the mixing board?

    Does each preamp only handle one mic or are there preamps that handle mutliple mics?

    Would you guys recommend me getting a preamp right off the start or is that something I should worry about down the road?

    Also any decent mics/monitors that you guys can recommend to me to add to this set up that would be great. Still looking around for what I should get as far as headphones, microphones, monitors.

    I know I have a lot to learn but I am very interested and dedicated, so any help is appreciated and I apologize ahead of time for such stupid questions.

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Well, lets hack away at this.
    Note: this comes from a guy who just knows about it, I don't actually have a studio.

    "Does each preamp only handle one mic or are there preamps that handle mutliple mics?"
    Each preamp can only handle one mic but you can get hardware units which contain multiple preamps - so yes, you can get units which provide multiple preamps.

    Decent mics:
    SM58. 98% of the industry loves them, the other 1% acknowledge it's greatness and the remaining 1% has never used them.

    Get a PCI card with a TI/Texas Instruments chipset in it. These are hailed for reliability and other chipsets have know flaws with streaming large amounts of audio data.

    Also, be sure to budget for cables/mic stands/acoustic treatment.
  3. ericedge

    ericedge Guest

    Thanks for the reply! I am looking at firewire cards now and reading up on preamps. I did however notice that there is a rackable version of the factory with 8 mic preamps built in instead of 4 like the factory and it's 500 dollars cheaper. I am looking at the two now and I really don't see an advantage to paying the extra 500 dollars for the factory versus the Rack+.

    Anyone know the advantages to the factory versus the rackable version? I figure if I get the rackable version I will have all the mic preamps I need built right in and I can always buy better preamps down the road as I need it but still wondering what the real advantage is w/ the factory versus the rackable mount.



  4. ericedge

    ericedge Guest

    Also a question I have yet to be answered by google(lol). Does anyone know if Digidesign plans on coming out with a version of the Factory with 8 mic preamps built in just like the Rack+?
  5. droc8705

    droc8705 Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    i'd recommend getting the 003 rack factory bundle. that way, you save a few bucks, and still get all the plug-ings. it has 4 preamps, just like the 003 console, but comes out to be a bit cheaper than the other options. i know you want 8 channels eventually, but the reason i'm suggesting this instead of the 003 rack+ is that it forces you to get good with just 4 mics instead of 8 or 12 or however many you want on a source. also, the mic pres in the digi aren't really that great sounding. they'll sound fine for what you wanna do, but in the long run, i doubt you'll wanna keep using them.

    as far as being expandable, the 003 rack has 4 additional line inputs for 4 channels of external pres that you'd like to use. in my case, i have an art mpa pro and an aphex 107, both of which are dual channel units that are connected in the line inputs on the back of my 003 rack. also, there's an additional 8 channels of pres that can be connected via the adat input. there's a few options out there for pre amps that have 8 channels with digital outs, like the presonus digimax units, the focusrite octopre, m-audio octane, and the unit that i use, the mackie ony 800r, and they for the most part are about the same, although most will agree that the mackie is above the rest. you also have 2 more channels available by s/pdif.

    also, if you get to this point and still want to upgrade your system, you could check out the various modifications offered by black lion audio. this is much much farther down the line though.

    i think this would set you up for a great system in the future, and it forces you to become resourceful with what you have before you start adding what you really want as far as pres are concerned.


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