You have 3,000 bucks....what do you do with it?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by BenjaminWickerson, Jun 29, 2004.

  1. Ok, so there's the situation.

    A good friend of mine has just built a loverly, beautiful little PC and now we need the hardware to go with it. We have a pretty big location project in Wales coming up in September and we are looking at complete solutions for multitrack i/o. With budget of around 3,000 pounds, what would you go with? All ideas and suggestions greatly appreciated!!

  2. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Well, I'm not up with UK prices, but if the PC is up to Digidesign specs, then I'd be looking very seriously at the Digi002.
    Control surface with 4 preamps (not brilliant, but still very usable) and decent ADDA.
    The control surface can also be used as a stand-alone mixer.
  3. yeah..have checked it out, however, we will be drum tracking - will be needing around 8 channels worth...just to be safe, of course ;)
  4. ok, so we are also looking at a Motu 828mkII with seperate micpre's and a/d conversion through Adat optical..what do you all think about that kinda setup?
  5. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Well, with the 002 you'd only need to purcahse 4 more channels of outboard pres to get your 8.
    The MOTU is a nice system, but I think the 002 is a little more versatile.
    How much is the 002 over there?
  6. 002r is 810 pounds while the 828 runs at 629 pounds....

    So, through some more research tonight, it looks like we are getting to some conclusions here....

    its a 002r vs. 828 battle.

    I have to say that I am leaning towards the Motu. What do people think?

    As far as getting into the 002r/Motu, the Focusrite ISA428 looks pretty tasty....
  7. imissthewar

    imissthewar Guest

    A Digi002 rack and the Sytek 4 channel pre that gets such rave reviews would run you about 1150 quid.
  8. get the digi 002, i agree with Markd102 its much more versitile then the 828.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    MOTU is a Mac based product line .. is the "PC" you built an IBM clone or a Mac? That will make the difference ...

    None of the pres mentioned here are anything to write home about. A simple Mackie 1604 would be as good. Syteks are ok and will do in a pinch, just be careful not to hit them too hard ... they run out of headroom.

    The converters mentioned don't do much for me either..

    All converters that use the ADAT lightpipe protocol have chipsets from Alesis ... What makes the difference in the more expensive ones is the clocking. In any DAW the converters are clocked by the host program.. so the Alesis clocks never come into play unless they are used stand alone or as the master clock ..

    You need ;
    1) A software recording program
    2) Converters ....

    What bit rate do you want to record at? If 24 bit is all you need you should be able to get off quite inexpensively.. Frontier Designs Dakota card and a pair of Alesis AI3's will give you 18 channels of ins and outs for around $1100 .... the balance of your budget can go to some good pres... IMO a set up like this will sound much better than a 96 k rig with cheesy converters and mic pres.

    I think good mic pres do more to get great sound into "the box" than anything else..
  10. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Actually Kurt, the 002 preamps are a deffinate step up from the Mackies, and are quite usable when there is nothing better around. But yes, it is easy to overload them, so on drums I'd use them for overheads and rack toms.
    I can't speak for the Sytek as I have no experience with the box.

    That is a VERY unfair statement. The 002 converters, while still not being in even the Apogee league, are far from cheezy. They are a large step up from the 001. (Now those you can call cheezy :wink: )

    Wholeheartedly agree with you there.
  11. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    Actually, the MOTU stuff works on PC too, just their Digital Performer software is Mac-only nowadays.

    I use a 828mkII with my PC. I like it. The converters are good enough (not world-class or anything, but then the ones on the Digi002 aren't either) and the Cuemix thing is surprisingly useful.

    The mic pres on it suck big time, though. OK, maybe not big time, but they are your generic cheap pres. Too noisy, run out of headroom very fast. I wouldn't use them for anything mildly serious.

    I do prefer the MOTU to the Digi stuff, though. The mkII converters are much better than the previous generation of the 828, and I actually thought they sounded better than the Digi ones (could be my mind pulling tricks on me though, that was in a music store).

    I second the recommendation for good pres: that will get you closer to a pro recording faster than anything else.
  12. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Take your $3000 pounds to the casino, wager it and turn it into $6000 pounds, let it ride and then with $12,000 pounds you can really do some serious damage! (just kidding but don't you wish!)
  13. Well, we are NOW looking at the RME Fireface 800. Its running at 999 Pounds Stirling. It looks a pretty hot little unit. What do ya'll think?
  14. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    The RME looks nice. And RME gear I have used is quite decent.

    The thing that swung me to Digidesign in the first place was the fact the both hardware and software came from the same people. If there's a problem it's a stop support shop.

    There's nothing worse than the software manufacturer blaming the hardware manufacturer etc. And I've seen that MANY time.... and not just with audio gear.

    And now I've fallen in love with ProTools and just can't imagine seriously using anything else. :D
  15. Bhennies

    Bhennies Guest

    I agree. I love Pro Tools as well, and I love RME gear, so why not have both (unbiased opinion :) ?

    BTW, I think that the 002r pres are pretty decent, I just did some location recording with them on drums, and they actually had me pretty impressed. Not what I was expecting. The converters are fine as well.

    If you get the 002rack, you can always use it with other software, but if you get the MOTU, no Pro Tools. That would make the decision for me...I wouldn't count on the MOTU pres anyway, so the DIGI pre versus MOTU argument is moot- you're gonna have to get outboard pres anyway. The ISA428 sounds like a great idea- get it with the converter card and you've got a solid front end with 4 excellent Focsurite pres and 4 very decent digi pres for probably right around your budget.

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