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Something other than the Digi 001?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by accameron, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. accameron

    accameron Guest

    I've been doing research into the Digi 001 for about 8 months, ever since I went in to Guitar center and asked about the next step up from my roland vs 840ex. The 001 is the only one that they showed me, and all the reviews I have read about it seem to be good. So now I am waiting for the windowsd xp version to come out. however, lately I have been doing more research about other platforms, and I have been hearing some differing opinions (i.e. people saying the 001 sucks and their system is better). I don't have a ton of money to spend, but I will be buying a new computer to go along with the 001. What are some other good options at or a little above the digi 001 in price? Nuendo/sonar/logic with some good interface? I will probably not be doing much midi stuff, being that I dont really even know what midi is (I do know that it is some kind of language that allows devices to communicate with each other, though). Thanks a lot.
  2. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member


    I use a 001 and I love the software and am absolutely rapt with the results.

    A friend uses Cubase VST and loves the software and is absolutely rapt with the results.

    Another friend uses DP and loves the software and and is absolutely rapt with the results.

    I think you see the common theme here. As long as you've got a decent input system, (Digi001 comes all in one) then you'll be happy with most software.

    I've had limited hands-on with most of the more popular programs and I find the Pro Tools interface to be the most intuitive. But then that's what I'm used to.

    I think you decision needs to go in the direction of plugins. RTAS plugins, while of excellent quality, are not overly abundant for PC and can be very expensive. However, with the plugins you get free with the 001 (especially if you can stretch to the "001 Factory") you can do almost anything. VST and DirectX plugins are more easily found, can be cheaper and sometimes free, but you are risking quality in the lower price range. The genuine VST and DirectX plugins from companies like Waves, are of a high quality, but cost as much as the RTAS versions because of this.

    Hope this makes sense. I'm typing this at work and therefore can't give it my full attention, so it may sound a little disjointed ;)

  3. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    ProTools has the reputation of "being the professional's choice", which while indeed being a title they earned, has been somewhat diminished as of late. The Digi 001 system as you know is not the same as their flagship full version, although there are some similarities in the user interface. As mentioned above, most of the top quality software packages nowadays will give similar quality results. The biggest difference (in my humble opinion) is the quality of the inputs. Although I have never used the 001 system, I hvae heard that the mic preamps are of mediocre quality (this is just what I have heard). You can find several posts on this system that bear out my statement, but I'll also bet you can find just as many posts that disagree with that statement.

    I think the bottom line for you when you are just starting out is to "audition" several different brands and types of sequencing software packages, and decide which interface you like the best, and which features are included that you are going to need. With a bit of effort and energy, any of these packages are going to pay off. Just remember that you are going to be parked in front of that software interface for many, many hours...find the one you like, and go for it!!! Most of the vendors have free sample or trial versions that you can download from their web sites to try out. I would suggest that you check out as many as you possibly can!

    Best of luck!!!
  4. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Hi DH

    I agree with your post, however I think that to describe the mic pre's in the 001 as mediocre is a little unfair.

    While they are far from a Neve or Grace etc., they are very transparent, and very useable. I would say they are at least equal in quality to the XDR pre's in my Mackie, and they are by no means considered mediocre.

    No flaming intended here, I just thought that that comment could be unfairly misleading to a newbie. :D

    I will also add for anyone downloading demo versions that "Pro Tools Free SUCKS". It definately does not reflect the actual quality or ease of use of Pro Tools LE. I don't know why Digi still have it available because I believe it must hinder them more than it helps. This could be the same story for other software too, so by all means download and try out these demos, but do not rely on them to give you a totally accurate view of the "real thing".

  5. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

  6. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    I fully aggree that the pre's and converters in these home type systems are substandard when you are looking for professional results.
    But "home" is the key word here. I always say that by the time you've added quality AD converters, mic pre's, etc. etc. to a Digi001 system, you may as well have gone out and bought a secondhand MixPlus TDM system and have a truely professional setup. This is even more the case now that Digi have released their new High Definition range and the old TDM prices will drop even further.
    We're talking about two totally different paths.

    On the other hand, I've gotten excellent results with the stock Digi pre's and converters. I have one regular client who does his tracking with me, and then he takes the session to a pro studio for mixing, editing and mastering. I've been getting very favorable comments back from the pro engineer who ends up with my sessions.

    Bottom line here is that you should "cut your teeth" on a low end system first. Lets face it, this is something that not everyone can do at a professional level. (I'm not....yet) I firmly believe that being a truly professional engineer is a God given talent first before it is a skill. (Many would disaggee).

    Learn the ropes on a "home" system, and then sit back and decide whether it is worth improving you equipment, how much you need to improve it.

    Sorry for rambling :D

  7. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Well put Mark! There is definitly a need to have God-given ears to be a great engineer. You can learn techniques, and read up all you want, but you can always tell the guys or gals that are "naturals", and I have to agree that it doesn't come from just books...but for the "rest of us..." :) we just keep pounding away!!!

    Glad to hear that you are getting such great results from your 001 system!

  8. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    You never mentioned to us why you need to upgrade from the VS840. That could have an effect on the suggestions made here.
  9. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    I am leaning toward the 001 because of:

    1) Pro Tool's reputation for being intuative.
    I hate products (Roland is a good example)
    that require lots of time reading a manual
    (usually a poorly written one at that);

    2) The ability to go into a pro studio using
    their pro version of Pro Tools to lay down
    tracks like drums that require a nice sounding
    room. Then, you could go back home to
    overdub and mix.

    I have not included the wonders of digital sound as a factor for going this direction. I think that most people prefer 2 inch tape for sound but that type of system costs too much and doesn't fit well into a bedroom studio.

    There is a lot of complaints about the 24 track limitation of 001, which, according to Larry Williams, gets eaten up fast when comping backup vocals. I don't think it will bother me much.

    I wonder if the lower-cost, native digital recording programs could be developed to take advatage of the dual processors in tne G4's?

    Digi is releasing a M-Box with just two analog in's. It also has digital in's but you can do both analog and digital at the same time.

    Digi also touts its M-Box by saying ZERO latency but the response I've seen on the web pages is that this is an impossible claim. If that claim were true, I could see using an M-Box for overdubs while using the Digi 001 hardware for other functions.

    Regardless of the DAW used, it is always important to have a strong signal chain of mics, preamps and converters.
  10. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    I've been using 001 on a Mac G4-400 for two years. If I had it to do over, I would NOT go with the 001. In fact, I'll never buy another digidesign product. Have you been on the DUC (digidesign users conference) 001 section?
    If I were you I'd talk to Angelo Quaglia and Bert Neikirk, both moderators here on RO, for options and advice on designing your DAW. There are a lot of better options for getting started with DAW recording than the 001. Either of these experts can head you in the right direction, much better than I possbily could.
  11. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    What are your complaints? I can overlook the 24 track limit and weak midi program. I won't try to edit with vidio. What problems are there besides these :confused: ?
  12. fulllife

    fulllife Guest

    Wow - this is an amazing chain as I'd asked the identical question in the "studio-small steps" forum and had no reply. I'm also a VS840ex user looking to go to a DAW instead - thanks guys for all the great input!
  13. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    The cover story in the March issue of Gig magazine is on this subject. A band did it's own recording and they started off using a Roland VS 1680 digital 16 track recorder.

    But :eek: once the tracks were recorded, they moved on to Pro Tools for mixing. They also complained that the Roland required you to really dig into the manual to figure things out.

    I suppose one of the advantages to Pro Tools (Digi 001) or any of the others like Cakewalk, Logic, etc., is that you work with a large computer screen. The all-in-one studios like Roland rely on a tiny screen and it is difficult.

    I will say that if I was a traveling musician I would be carrying the Roland with me on tour.

    By the way the article is very stimulating covering all the subjects like mics and mastering.
  14. Billyrock

    Billyrock Guest

    Gentlemen the quality of the responses here is very impressive - you all give good advice. People like what they know - digi stuff, mot etc. when you're talkin about entry level stuff (which is where i'm at) these systems are very similar in sonic quality (very good quality actually) I went the Motu route because i did not want the limited track count of pro tools (24) and also need to integrate midi seemlessly into my ppojects - i started off with cubase but after much frustration (due in large part to my own ignorance) i switched to DP 2.7 - G4 400, 256, 7200 rpm - blah blah - i fell in love - i subsequently upgraded DP 3.02, G4 dual 500, 10,000 scsi, now i need to be dragged out of my studio (i am a composer/songwriter/champion rocker) Motu works for me because both my hardware and software are made by the same company and the stuff simply works and sounds great - if i had gotten cubase to work i would probably still be using it - it certainly had an impressive visual appeal. - If you are getting a new computer you might want to consider a Mac (neccessary of course for DP) well good luck
  15. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sir Bob, sorry I lost track of this thread.
    There are many reasons that I don't recommend 001, which I've posted in numerous other threads here on RO. So, rather than rehash all of that, perhaps I can give you some good, basic advice...
    First of all, 001 is even worse on a PC than on a Mac. So, if someone just MUST HAVE 001, it's wiser to do it on a Mac. The cost...
    *G4-800 ... $1600
    *Monitor ... $250
    *001 ... $800 (or $1200 for "the factory")
    You're already looking at $2650, minimum. Then you will still have to shell-out for a CDRW and extra harddrive(s). You're well over $3000, just for the VERY basics.
    Now, as I stated before ... go to Bert or Ang. Tell them that you have $3000 to build a good, basic DAW. I will GUARANTEE you that either of them can hook you up with a PC-based DAW that will blow the doors off of the 001 and have the ability to expand and grow with you. Another person you can get advice from in this area is Opus ... he's a friggin genius!
    Another option that's open to you (my favorite), is to save some more cash and go with the Soundscape32. :D
    So, that's my advice and opinion, being a long-time 001 user. You have some of the best technical advisors in the audio field available to you here on RO (I am NOT one of them, I'm just the resident guitar man), so use this resource wisely. I've mentioned several people here who could help you immensely ... that's why they're here! There are countless other pros here, too, and they're all at your disposal. I'm purposefully advising you to seek advice from these guys so that you get the most for your money, you get the system that best suits your needs and will grow with you, and so that you don't get "buyer's remourse" a short time down the road.
    Best luck and wishes, brother...
  16. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    Son, Is the 001 easy to navigate? That's probably my number one concern. As far as sound quality goes, They are all supposed to be the same. I picked up a Rosetta for mixing to my DAT which will up grade any DAW. Thanks for your commnets.

    Billyrock, Mac vs. PC :eek:

    That's another debate but one I really don't know anything about. I just get the feeling that Mac uses claim they have less conflicts and crashes. The PC'ers brag they can use their computer for lots more stuff and is cheaper.

    If you are going to use the computer just for music and can afford it, my bet is go with a Mac. YMMV.
  17. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sir Bob ... "Mac vs. PC ... That's another debate but one I really don't know anything about."
    My point, precisely. You really should consult the pros here, who build these things every day of the week. If you consult with them and still want to go with Mac, that's cool, but then there are still other options than 001! They can help you with that!
    My point with the "PC vs Mac" thing is that if you have a set amount of money to spend, you can get a lot more PC for the money, that will run your DAW with just as much stability as a Mac, leaving you more of your budget to spend on your much-needed audio gear ...plug-ins preamps, compressors, mics, et cetera.
    If you'll take notice, I'm member #72 here on RO. I've been here since the start. I've seen RO grow from a few online friends to one of the greatest online resources of audio recording that there is. Ask yourself why that has happened ... it's because of the selfless sharing of time and information that so many industry professionals choose to share here. It's also successful because RO isn't part of some companies' marketing strategy or cheap means of providing extended "online support". ALL OF THIS COLLECTIVE GENIUS IS AVAILABLE TO YOU! I'm simply urging you not to form a factless opinion due to rumours, reviews on sponsored sites, and vague generalities, and that you use this remarkable resource that is available to you so that you are not misinformed or clouded by unfounded opinions.
    Like the others here. I am here to share. I give advice when I can be of help, and get the best advice possible when I need it. I wouldn't be taking my time this morning to post back to you if I didn't feel strongly that you could benefit from my advice ... which is simply to use RO for your benefit. I'm in the middle of building a new PC, but am taking my time to encourage you. I really hope that I've helped you.
    Again ... wishing you the best that life has to offer ...
  18. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    LOL ... on a side note ... YMMV ... does that mean, "You Make Me Vomit"? :eek:
  19. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    YMMV = "You Must Masterbate Vocally"
  20. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    YMMV = "Yo! My Man Vinnie"

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