Controller Or No Controller?

Discussion in 'Microphones & Recording' started by stealthy, May 18, 2008.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Recently, I've been looking alot into the Digi 002R. My remaining question is, what are the pros/cons of a control surface such as the Digi Command or the Mackie Universal?

    I finally convinced myself to get away from purchasing a mixer, and using something such as the Octapre, 8pre, Octane, or similar to use for preamps and i/o. So I'm trying to see what is the most logical purchase for me. BUT, would it hurt to go with an 12-16 XLR input mixer (Mackie CFX or VLZ3, Soundcraft MPM or MFX, Allan & Heath ZED, Yamaha MG?) instead, just to use it for its preamp? What would have a better quality? Keeping in mind I'm trying to stay in the $600 range, while adding 8 QUALITY XLR inputs!

    I'm sure this has been covered, but after using the search feature I was unable to uncover anything of help, but, if you dont want to repeat yourself and know of a proper thread, please link me.

    Also, off topic (for a friend)....he is looking into a budget/beginner PT setup with a Digi 001 and Mac G4, what are the suggested minimal requirements for the G4?

  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Are you recording all 8 XLR inputs you want to pre-amp?
    A digi002 only has 4 inputs...
    As for the Mac question, the minimum requirements is money. Mac price fixes so getting the best for your dollar can be tricky. Try finding the local rep and twisting his arm/greasing his palm or poke as many sales people as you can till one gives up the goodies. Anything can be done on a Mac, it's just how long it takes.
  3. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Maybe you misunderstood what I was saying...I have nothing. Pretty set on going with the 002r. I would like to be able to record 12-16 tracks simultaniously (XLR inputs).

    As for the Mac.....He is looking to buy a used G4, probably on ebay, so he's just wondering what minimal requirements he should be looking for in a used G4.

  4. Greener

    Greener Guest

    A DigiDesign 002rack has "18 channels of audio I/O: 8 analog (with 4 mic preamps), 8 ADAT optical, and 2 S/PDIF".

    "to be able to record 12-16 tracks simultaniously (XLR inputs)."

    You would need three or four 002r's.

    Or one 002r and a wierd array of xlr to ADAT and xlr to s/pdif converters.

    What are you recording?
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    For location recording I use a 001

    I add six of MY mic-pres to the line inputs
    add an 8 channel ADAT box

    either with the mic-pres that come with it
    OR I add 8 more of MY mic-pres

    I may use the Mic-pres on the front of the 001 for 15 and 16

    I never use the SDPF in ... but it is possible if you want to NOT use the SSM2017 chips on the front of 001

    You want a 002
    all the above is possible
    add an API3124 for 4 Mic-pres
    add an ADDA80000 for a very cheap ADAT unit
    or a more expensive one with a selection of 8 external Mic-pres

    as for a control surface
    I don't think I've seen one yet that has a good balance of features vers price.
    my advice is to dabble and experiment with some of the small cheap single fader packs
    and perhaps a single 8 pack for faders and pans
  6. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Thanks fellas, good stuff.

    I suppose my remaining question is directed toward the suggested preamps (read quote below from first post).

    BTW - this is for a home project studio. I would like to be able to do 12-16 tracks simultaneously via XLR inputs. So, from my understanding, an 8ch preamp stip similar to an 8pre, OR a mixer used purely for its preamps.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Your options to run 16 mic channels into the 002R are:

    (1) 4 XLRs on the 002R for channels 1 - 4

    (2) channels 5 - 8: an external 4-channel preamp (eg API 4124+) into the 002R 4 line inputs (may need in-line attenuators)

    (3) channels 9 - 16: external 8-channel digitizing pre-amp with ADAT outputs. Lots of these around from the ADA8000 upwards. You get what you pay for.

    You could consider a Mackie 1200F to do both (2) and (3).

    Note that you have a maximum sampling rate of 48KHz using the 002R and the ADAT input. You would also have to set the 002R clock source to be ADAT.
  8. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    Very well, Boswell. Thanks.

    However, I still dont understand why I cant simply use Ch.1-4 on the 002R and then get an Octapre or 8pre for Ch.5-12? Then I'd hae 12 Ch. simultaniously. OR use Ch.1-4 on the 002R and for example, a Mackie CFX16 for its preamps for Ch.5-16?

    I'm not familiar how to use or when to use a converter, I guess I need to look into that more.
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Sure, you can use an Octopre (with option1 - ADAT out) or something similar, and that gets you 12 channels total. To go up to 16 channels you would need to use a additional 4-channel preamp feeding the 4 line inputs of the 002R. I don't see how a Mackie CFX16 helps here - it's an analog mixer with very average preamps and no channel direct outs. You could, I suppose, use 4 channels of it and take the insert outputs to feed the 002R line inputs, but it does nothing for you for the remaining 8 channels without using an ADC between the insert outs and the 002R ADAT in. You need to get away from the idea of using a mixer for this setup.

  10. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I agree I need to get the mixer concept out of my head...traditional aesthetics is what keeps it in there!

    Ok, so I think I will just go with an 002R and Octopre or 8pre so I can have 12 Ch. If I decide I want more, I will just add another Octopre or 8pre.

    I guess what I was getting at with the mixer is the quality of preamps compared to the Octopre or 8pre. However I didnt realized I'd have to convert a/d. And I'm assuming the Octopre and 8pre are already digital which works the the 002.

    Speaking of the Octopre and 8pre, those are the two I've narrowed it down you or anyone else have suggestions on which to choose? Or, maybe one of each if I decide to go with 20 total channels, for a little different sounding preamp?
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    The Octopre/8pre are OK, nothing special. I see you have started another thread about those two, so good luck in getting some other opinions.

    However, I think you have missed the point about the total number of channels - it is limited by the 002R. The 002R has only one ADAT input connector, and this carries 8 channels at 44.1/48KHz, adding to the 4+4 channels of the 002R to make a total of 16. No amount of expanding the external preamps gets you any more, except that you could add another 2 using coax S/PDIF if the S/PDIF and ADAT devices were synchronized to the same clock.
  12. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    So the only way I can achieve 20 channels is by using S/PDIF and synchronizing them? If thats possible then fine. I dont want to be limited to 20 (XLR) channels!

    Thanks for your help!
  13. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    You can get 18 max on the 002. 4+4 on the 002 directly (thats 4 xlr and 4 1/4" - you'll need 4 mic preamps to get them all xlr), 8 with the ADAT and another 2 with S/PDIF. Thats a total of 18 and the max you will get.
  14. Greener

    Greener Guest

    16 + 2 = 20

    I'm not helping but, stealthy, write down "what you have equipment wise", "what you want to do and how much money you have". Someone might be able to advise you on what to buy.
    Also make up your mind on what you want to do, you started out at wanting to add "8 quality XLR's" then went to 16, now you feel the need for 20? Or are you just keen to buy something that you can expand on later. If so include this in the "what you want to do". section.

    Thanks, I like typing.
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I still wanna know how anyone can need 20 channels of XLR inputs.
  16. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    especially at a sub pro-sumer quality
  17. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    I have nothing that is applicable to this thread...which is why I want to understand everything before I go and get stuff. I wont normally do this, but I want to be ABLE to if I really needed to: 8 drums, 2 guitars, and 1 bass all at once. I want to be able to do this the most efficient, easy way without spending a ton of money. This is for a home project studio with a budget of $2200 for a 002r unit and enough preamps to do what i listed above.

    However, I also have a plan B. If I can just track 8 drums at a time, for a great deal less that plan A said above...then so be it. But the way I see it, atleast get a 002r and 8ch preamp.

    I will be the first to admit I dont know much on the technical aspects of these particular setups, and that is why I ask so many questions and try my best to learn and understand what makes things work. So far, I've learned a ton from this forum and I hope to learn alot more since I've only learned probably 3% of what there is to know :wink:
  18. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Given a xlr cable is like what 15-30 bucks (unless you want to mix in the middle of the band)?
    20 is $300 to $600.
    20 mics is a lot.
    "I'm trying to stay in the $600 range"
    Needs and wants time.
  19. stealthy

    stealthy Guest

    That $600 number i threw up was purely for 8 ch of preamps.
  20. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I missed your second last reply before running with Codemonkeys' tune. Umm, sorry :p

    Anyways, I understand more now where you are coming from.

    But for those kinds of dollars, aim to record one thing at a time. Drums being the hardest tracks to get, a cheap drum mic pack consisting of a kick mic, snare mic and 2 overheads could be a good place to start.
    For me, spending my money I would get.
    kick drum mic, don't stress too much about quality just get a mic that can get the looow freqs.
    sm57 * 2 (all round tough instrument mic)
    sm58 for vocals.

    You can use that to record a kit fairly well, then butcher to record other instruments later (whilst they listen to the drum track through headphones).

    Basically you wont be able to afford to record everyone at once with any sort of quality.

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