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The Command 8 and ProTools

Discussion in 'Consols & Control Surfaces' started by AnomalyAlecB, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    My friends and I built a nice little studio in the back shed of one of our homes. It has come together very nice, and we are looking to buy some new stuff.
    We were running Cubase LE, but the one of us with actual money to throw around doesn't like it and is hellbent on switching over to ProTools (which he already bought for us) and is now going to get the Command 8.

    We needed a mixer that can break up the multiple inputs into multiple tracks and this is what he thought would be best since he was able to garner up money from an "investor" (his grandfather) and $1200 was acceptable to him. Was just wondering if this is a good step, and what your overall thought on his actions are.

    Many other noobie questions to come...
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    What's "a mixer that can break up the multiple inputs into multiple tracks"? A mixer takes multiple inputs and makes single mono or stereo pairs out of them. I doesn't sound as though that is what you are needing - you need a multi-channel interface and then do your mixing in PT.

    BUT...If you are getting ProTools, you are pretty much constrained as to what interfaces you can use - the DigiDesign series. If you were to get a 003R interface, you may need to expand it through the use of an ADAT-equipped pre-amp. If you decide this is the general way you need to go, come back here for further suggestions as to detail.
  3. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    I believe I was referring to a digital mixer. I think.

    My knowledge of audio jargon is hit-or-miss. I'm learning. I'm 17. I've just started lurking around these forums and getting a true grasp of how I know very little.

    I haven't talked to the friend of mine who's going to be ordering the mixer/(whatever I'm not realizing I should call it) since I found out he had the money. And he didn't specify what gear, only the prices and since earlier that day he told me he wanted the Command 8, that is what I assume he is going for. So hopefully I'm not wrong.

    I just read a bit more about the Command 8 and I'm now realizing what it is. It's basically a physical way of changing sliders in ProTools. So instead of looking at a screen and mixing/panning/EQing/etc, I can do it over the Command 8 because it might be more comfortable? Which is essentially... not essential at all. SOO maybe he isn't planning on buying it? I hope not. I'll definitely be talking to him when I can.

    Now I'm looking at the 003R and seeing what we need. Ugh. Sounds right.

    I'm feeling more dumb right now than usual. I guess half of the reason this site gets so much activity is from people like me >.> But I won't quit. I see a bright future for annoying questions from me on this site.

    Thank you for the help.
  4. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    You're absolutely right - the Command 8 is only a controller. You'll need I/O (possibly from the 003 rack).

    Look into the 003 Factory. It has the same I/O as the 003 Rack, but also has your control surface.

    It's usually less expensive than going with a 003 Rack for your I/O, then getting the Command 8 for control.
  5. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    As it is more than likely that we end up purchasing either the 003 rack or factory, what advantages would you say using the controller would have? Because I feel relatively confident mixing on the computer screen for the work I have done.
  6. KHilbert

    KHilbert Guest

    The only really significant difference is the physical interface. If you're confidant about mixing on the computer get the 003 (or find an older used 002) rack and then spend the money you would be spending on the command 8 on a nice set of preamps that can do ADAT lightpipe out. You plug that output into the 002/003rack and you're golden.

    This brings up a question from me though. Of all the 8 channel (usually) ADAT outputable preamps, which is the best for the buck? There are a few presonus ones, a mackie, an ART, maybe a focusrite. I would guess the Mackie Onyx but I'm not really sure if some of these rack preamps have weird quirks.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Advantages of mixing in the box:
    1. It's cheaper
    2. Takes up less room in the studio
    3. Forces you to learn to use automation and plan out your mix

    Advantages of a control surface:
    1. You can mix by feel and make fine adjustments in real time.
    2. You can still do any of the things you did without the control surface.
    3. Pushing faders makes you look cool.
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I'm not a fan of any of the control surfaces yet

    the Fairlight Dream does look and feel very cool
    I think things must get better eventually

    back to the point

    with a control surface you can do two ( or more ) things at once
    fader up and sweep an eq or a pan at the same time

    a mouse can only do one thing at a time

    potentially a small USB control surface with a few channel strips and a master section could get the job done
    and in a neat space

    I'm still looking and waiting
  9. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    The Command 8 is essentially a big mouse!!!
    I being from the analog console days have very much depended on control surfaces.

    Granted you can used the fade command, segways are made using hand/ear cordination, faders are your friend.
    There is no way you can do a true "board fade" by drawing automation or using a mouse.
  10. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    But is it worth it on a budget? And I'm thinking I'd rather get the 003R and a mic pre rather than get the 003 rack factory. Or is there some sort of severe advantage to that? SHOULD I GET BOTH?? Ughh.

    I'm having problems differentiating between the 003 rack and 003 rack factory. But I have a feeling the mic pre is necessary.
  11. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    If you're on a budget and want better control than using the software, look into the smaller controllers like the AlphaTrack.

    The 003 Rack and Rack Factory are the same interface, but the Factory edition has more plugs.
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I like the possibilities of the small controllers
    especially if you can get a few to work properly at once

    say a Fader and Knob pack for basic level and pad
    perhaps effect send and cue send

    then a more detailed unit (like the Alpha) for the plugs etc

    Hs anyone spent some time on the TASCAM US-2400 ?
    I like the look of this

    I have a slightly different vision that the traditional audio multiples of 8
    now that we are all DAW capable and the fader count is getting high
    it might make more sense to have 10 faders that toggle up in banks of ten
    1 to 10
    11 to 20
    21 to 30
    it would be quicker to spot fader 22 being second from the end on bank 2
    get my drift ?

    I think I would prefer to see more than one knob at the top of the channel
    pan and cue
    then use a bank switch to see
    effect 1 and effect 2
    effect 3 and effect 4

    does this make sense ?

    the master section seems ok but I haven't used one so I only have lots of thoughts and no clear ideas

    I don't think any of the DAWs provide the facilities that were once in the engineers section of a desk
    dim cut mono and true solo's that don't screw with what is on the main output and the cue sends

    blah blah blah
    stop complaining Kev
    you have been complaining since the early 90's and Sound Tools (ProTools' very, very old brother)
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Here is my experience. Not sure it applies to you.

    1) I thought I needed a controller/analog interface when I got started in digital recording almost three years ago. Someone talked me into trying to learn to mix in the box. I don't regret the decision. There is a lot to learn when you are getting started. Stripping down the system can be a good thing. I may move from PT to Samplitude or another DAW, and at that time I'll probably get a controller. Flexibility isn't a bad thing if it doesn't distract you. I don't think mixing in the box has held me back more than not having lots of other pieces of equipment.

    2) The only reason you need another preamp is if you are running more than four mics. I've had some preamps that were somewhat better than those in the digi (FRM and Brick), but for the first couple of years I was recording the difference in quality of a track depended more on my technique than on which pre I was using. It is only relatively recently that I could get consistent quality with each preamp. My guess is that you can learn these skill just as easily with the digi pres as with much better pres.

    The digi 002 has run of the mill cheap preamps. The same general level of quality is in dozens of mixers and interfaces. To use a food analogy, all of the preamps in this category are hamburgers - probably including the pres you are looking at. Now there are good hamburgers and bad hamburgers, but they're all burgers. The worst thing you can do is think, "Oh darn, I've only got a big mac - I'd better get a whopper. Oh, that's not good enough, I'll get a Thickburger. Crap, my recordings still suck, time for Five Guys." Personally, I'm about as interested in which cheap preamp is the best as which fast food hamburger is best (i.e. mildly). It's interesting if you really need to run a bunch of mics and are on a budget. But if you can make do with your four digi preamps you can save up for some London broil, or strip steak, or rib eye, maybe even a little fillet minion wrapped in bacon served on a mushroom cap with Bernaise sauce.
  14. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest


    This has nothing to do with ProTools, but I started my home studio with the purchase of a Tascam FW1082 controller, and I haven't used the faders or knobs on it since the 2nd week. It's much more convenient to just use the mouse in the box. It does help tho, to have a tactile set of controls for START/STOP/FF/RW. Starting and stopping recorings with the mouse is cumbersome to me.

    But, having a controller that includes preamps and AD/DA converters with a firewire interface was a really economical way to get started.

    It's too bad Protools doesn't offer the same sort of economical all-in one- package.
  15. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    I do need to run about 6 (snare, bass, toms, misc, 2 overheads) mics at once, probable a minimum of 4 (snare, bass, 2 overheads) and more plausible 5 (toms) at a time for the drum set. Maybe a 7th to double up on the bass (near beater and near hole).

    Side question: would I rather want the B52 at the hole or the beater? I would think I may be able to get the beater with a SM57 and get the bassy thump with the B52 at the hole. Depending if the music called for it, of course. Just a thought. And it probably wouldn't be worth it to pre only one of them. But aside from that.

    And by beater, I mean the part where the beater hits the head except from inside.

    So I'm thinking we get the 003 Rack Factory, since it'd be better to just fork out a little more for the upgrade. And when I start feeling desperate about needing a mic pre, I'll shop for one. I'm thinking that the two overheads won't need the pres as much...? What should be my choices for using on the pres? I'd think snare, bass, toms, misc (cowbell, hi-hat, zil-bel, bell of ride if centric to the style of play).

    Many more questions to come.
  16. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Ok... news flash.

    We're debating over the 003 Rack Factory, the 003 Factory, and the M-audio ProjectMix I/O. And we have the M-powered version of PT. I'm being tossed around to figure out what to do. And I'm just kind of jumbled in the brain right now, kinda overwhelmed.

    Can someone shed light for me?

    I need to know the differences, pros/cons of the 003 Factory and the M-audio ProjectMix I/O. I'm having trouble interpreting the info on all of them.

    Here's some of the info, but the M-audio one has a lot less put in bullets, and I didn't want to just paste the paragraphs.

    Thank you so much for whoever bothers to help me.

    ProjectMix I/O

    Top Features
    record audio directly into Pro Tools M-Powered (not included) > industry-standard format
    use with Pro Tools M-Powered, Live, Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer and SONAR > total compatibility
    10-bit touch-sensitive motorized faders > totally intuitive mixing and editing
    built-in 18 x 14 FireWire audio interface > no additional hardware required
    8 phantom-powered mic/line preamps > pro input right on board
    assignable rotary encoders > control mixes, effects and synths
    LCD display > full track and parameter readout
    dedicated transport controls and jog/scrub wheel > seamless session flow
    ADAT Lightpipe, S/PDIF and word clock I/O > total digital connectivity

    003 Factory

    Integrated Control Surface

    * 8 touch-sensitive motorized faders
    * 8 motion-sensitive rotary encoders for pan/send/meter/plug-in control
    * Dedicated mute, solo, and select/record arm switches per channel
    * 6-character, 2-line LCD display per channel displays track name; pan, send, fader, and plug-in values; and timeline position
    * 5-segment LED display for viewing metering and automation mode status
    * Easily assign inserts and sends from the control surface
    * Dedicated automation controls and LEDs
    * Dedicated transport control
    * Standalone MIDI Mode functionality*
    * Jog/Shuttle wheel

    *To use MIDI Mode on 003, you must first download and update the firmware on your 003:
    003 Firmware Update for MIDI Mode

    Wide Range of I/O

    * High-speed FireWire connectivity
    * 18 simultaneous channels of audio I/O
    * 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
    * 8 analog inputs, 8 analog outputs
    * 4 professional mic preamps with individual gain and high-pass filter; 48V phantom power enabled on channel pairs
    * 8 channels of ADAT optical I/O or two channels of S/PDIF optical I/O
    * 2 channels of S/PDIF digital I/O
    * 1 MIDI input, 2 MIDI outputs (16 channels in/32 channels out)
    * BNC Word Clock I/O
    * Dedicated studio monitor output, plus alternate control room output
    * Alternate Source input for external device monitoring
    * Dual headphone outputs with individual source and level controls
  17. hueseph

    hueseph Distinguished Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Benefits of M-audio:

    1)You aren't bound to Protools.
    1)Better compatibility. Even as a legacy hardware.


    1) I'm not sure that the Factory bundle is availble for M-Powered.

    Benefits of Digidesign:

    1)It's Digi so, you know it's fully integrated with ProTools.

    2)Better preamps? It's debatable.


    It's Digi so compatibility with future systems is questionable.
  18. AnomalyAlecB

    AnomalyAlecB Active Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    I think we're getting the M-audio since it's cheaper. That basically means we can just return for store credit within a month and using that money to purchase the other, if we aren't satisfied with it.

    Not the best reason. But I'm up for learning the hard way. I don't mind. I'm willing to attempt to save around $1000. Thanks.
  19. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    No not the best reason, not the best ethics either. :?
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I don't really see it as unethical. Isn't he just working with a seller, committing to buy at least the cheaper item if it works out, but trading it in for credit on the more expensive model if not? Sounds like a pretty standard transaction to me.

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