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  #1  
Old 01-28-2003, 02:43 AM
Siberian Siberian is offline
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Default Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

(First of all, my apologies... I accidentally posted this topic on the "Windows User Configurations" board when I meant to post it here. So sorry for the cross post!)

Hello all. I have been researching home studio gear for my band's recordings. Previously we would go into local studios and pay hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars for recording sessions, only to be dissatisfied with the end results.

Finally we decided as a band to invest in our own gear and do it ourselves. Between my guitar player, who has had some formal Pro Tools training, and our keyboard player, who has been using Roland VS recorders for a few years, and myself doing exhaustive research on different recording packages, we do have some recording knowledge within the band.

That said, and based on the budget I want to spend, I have narrowed it down to two possible solutions... one being the Digi002. The other being the Roland VS-2480.

I realize there are pro's and con's for both systems. What it comes down to is this... The Roland would give us all of the basics we need to get up and running right out of the box, for less money up front.. $3200.00+ the cost of a VGA monitor, which actually we could get by without the monitor for all practical purposes. And it is a very powerful and stable machine capable of yielding some very high quality recordings. However, the biggest drawback could be the track count which is limited to 24.

Under most circumstances, 24 tracks would be enough. However depending on the song, we could run out. My drum kit alone could take anywhere from 8 to 12 tracks. Our keyboard player usually has two or three tracks in stereo. The guitar player usually uses two. The bass uses one but we could run into situations where we want to run two... one direct and one mic'ed and then layer them together. And finally the vocalist usually does one lead and on the average, two background tracks. So in rare extreme cases, we could run short by maybe two or three tracks. I know you can play games with bouncing tracks but for the sake of arguement, let's assume I'd rather keep all the tracks active and mixable at the same time.

Now I have spoken to many local music store salesmen at Sam Ash and Guitar Center, and every one of them recommends the Digi002 over the 2480 because, as they say, "the whole industry uses Protools so you might as well get with the program". However I shyed away from the Digi002 because I was under the impression that I would need to spend a lot of extra money up front on more hardware just to get it up and running. Although the Digi002 is only $2200, I thought I HAD to get a Mac G4 which is minimum $1600.00. Plus, I know for sure I will not have enough Mic pre-amp inputs on the Digi002 so I will definately need to get something like the Focusrite 8-channel preamp for around $800 just to get me up to 12 simultaneous microphone inputs to track my drum kit. Now all of a sudden, I'm up to about $4600.00 which is $1400.00 over the startup price of the Roland unit. OUCH! However, then I would have the capability of running 32 tracks, and obviously more compatibility with the outside world as far as 3rd party plugins and having final mastering done at professional protools studios.

Well, after reading some threads on this board, I seem to have discovered that I DON'T necessarily have to have a $1600 dollar Mac G4 to get good performance. I have seen references to this "Allen" system that has been configured for around $800.00. Now all of a sudden the Digi002 seems more within reach as far as finances go. Assuming that the Allen system will work well with the Digi002. Most of the references I have seen link the Allen system with the Digi001.

So one of my main questions is, will the Allen system work with the Digi002 on 32 simultaneous tracks with a "moderate" amount of plugins?

My other question is this... for a novice first time engineer, would you say it is fairly easy or fairly difficult to learn the basic functions of Protools LE to get up and running?

I really want to lean towards the Digi002 because I know it is much more powerful than the Roland, and I do like the idea of having a wider variety of 3rd party plugins available. I am just struggling with the budget thing. I originally wanted to keep the entire startup budget (not including mic's and cables) to under $4500 bucks. With the Roland system I would have used the money I saved to buy better monitors and some extra mic's. With the Digi002 I'll have to wait on some mic's and just beg, borrow and steal from friends to get me by until I can invest in my own. And for monitors, I'd either get by with headphones for the short term, or just step down a notch in quality and lower my monitor budget by a couple hundred bucks.

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded post. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can about Protools LE and any advice you folks can offer.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2003, 02:53 AM
stut5 stut5 is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

I don't know if the Allen system works on a digi 002 but the digi 001 gives you 32 tracks for 800 bucks.so digi001 800
Pc 900
Focus pre 800
total 2500 up and running with 32 track full automation.youve got some money leftover for some good drum mics or waves gold bundle. Hope this helps. By the way I love the digi001 Stu
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2003, 07:23 AM
J. FO J. FO is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

yeah, why are you hell bent on the 002 if you're on a strict budget? the 001 will have all the same features (minus 2 pre's and the firewire thing). i'd say go with the 001 if you're not going to get a laptop. and get the waves gold bundle if you have the money. you'll have all the plugs you need, and it will sound better than the 2480. plus, the interface is much more like a REAL studio than the 2480. the only drawback is that it's not very portable, where as the 2480 definitely is. but, maybe you don't need to take the 2480 on the road?
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2003, 08:14 AM
basschair basschair is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

The 002 is pretty cool, and if it's what you need, I'd say go for it over the Roland. You might want to consider the 001 instead, not because it's the better buy, but for the following:

You mention that you're on a budget. You can save about (roughly) $1400 by going with the 001. So, with Allen's machine ($800), 001 ($800), Focusrite channel strip ($800, by your price). After spending the $2400 on these, the extra $1400 may not sound too bad...but consider this: you'll have 10 mic pres to record simultaneously, but do you have 10 mics to record with?

Also, don't max yourself out with costs: you've got to remember that you'll be buying stuff you may not haev thought about: 10 mics (possibly), mic stands, XLR cables, extra pluggins (to save money, I'd say Waves Native Power Pack, unless you want to go Gold right away), etc, etc.

I like what you said about begging, borrowing, and stealing: if you're ready to do that, you're right on track [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] . As far as PTLE being difficult to work with, it really isn't once you get over the initial main functions. Just remember what functions you can undo and which you can't, and you should be okay...

Good luck!

Paul
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2003, 09:17 AM
Siberian Siberian is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

Thanks for the input so far. The 001 sounds like a tempting idea, and I have considered it. However, with that, I wouldn't have a physical control surface to work on. I would prefer to have actual physical faders and controls to work with rather than just a mouse. And isn't the 001 only 24 tracks? I thought I read that somewhere.

Also, those two pre's on the Digi001 are, by all accounts, inferior to the pre's on the Digi002. No? Or so that is what I have been able to gather from the research I have done so far.

Okay, so let's say I did get the 001, and "got by" without a control surface to start out. Could a 3rd party control surface be added down the road? Like say, a Mackie?

And as for fire wire... forgive my ignorance, but what is the advantage of having fire wire and what will I not be able to do without it?

Also, if I decided I wanted to use some outboard rack mount effects processors, could I do that with the 001?

And finally, I really like the idea of the extra plugins that come bundled with the 002, but I suppose I could just buy the ones I NEED with some of the money saved.

Thanks so far for your input... keep it coming!
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2003, 09:52 AM
bjoneill74 bjoneill74 is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

The Digi001 with Windows XP and PTLE 5.3.1 has a 32 track limit.

The Windows 98 versions are all 24 track.

As for the Pres you are right, the pres on 002 are supposed to be better than 001, but if you bought a focusrite octopre and used the lightpipe in, the pres on that would likely be better.

If you are however looking for a control surface, then yes.. the 002 is probably the best bet for your needs.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2003, 11:01 AM
Calvin Calvin is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

And isn't the 001 only 24 tracks?
As said before the XP version is the full 32 tracks. The only difference in the software between the 002 and the 001 is that the 002 has a little extra code to control the 002.

Also, those two pre's on the Digi001 are, by all accounts, inferior to the pre's on the Digi002. No?
You are right, the pre's on the 001 arn't the best in the world and the 002's are deffinately a step up. However most of us have either a presonus digimax or octopre or some other kind of pre that we can use with the lightpipe inputs and never even use the inputs of the 001.

Could a 3rd party control surface be added down the road? Like say, a Mackie?
Yes, There are many people around here that are using control surfaces. Some digital mixers I believe can be used as a control surface. There are also control surfaces that can be added for around 900 bucks like the Motor Mix or mackie just released the information that their pro-control will soon have the ability to control pro-tools.

And as for fire wire... forgive my ignorance, but what is the advantage of having fire wire and what will I not be able to do without it?
Well the deal with firewire is that it makes the digi 002 portable. With the 002 you merely have to take it to another computer with the firewire card and the software. With the 001 you have to open up the box and unplug the card and take the entire card with you.

Also, if I decided I wanted to use some outboard rack mount effects processors, could I do that with the 001?
Yes, It is the same process that you go threw with any of the digi units.

And finally, I really like the idea of the extra plugins that come bundled with the 002, but I suppose I could just buy the ones I NEED with some of the money saved.
This is very true. With the money you save you could buy some very very good pluggins. The pluggins that come with the 002 are good but the ones you can get in the waves gold bundle will be much more usefull more often.

For a review of the digi 002, check this out.
Phil's Digi 002 Review

Many of us here use the 001 and get very good results. It should deffinately be an option to consider. Check the the "Lets hear your latest" thread to hear some of the great work done by people around here.

I hope this helps
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:02 AM
mjames08 mjames08 is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

You could always add a control surface to your 001 later.. And the mouse isn't really that bad [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2003, 02:58 PM
Allen Hallada Allen Hallada is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

Quote:
Originally posted by mjames08:
You could always add a control surface to your 001 later.. And the mouse isn't really that bad [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Yes the current setup I have listed is compatible with 001 and 002, more so than any other board out there right now. Many people are using the new A7N8X with no improvement in track counts from what I can see, and requires a separate 1394 (firewire) card besides not being a digi approved motherboard so you can forget about getting tech. support from digi. Personally unless you really need that control surface of the 002 for only 8 tracks, I'd go with the 001, a great preamp and A/D converter like then ones suggested and Waves Platinum bundle. YOu can get the 001 now for under 650.00. Get a Mackie or Yamaha control surface down the road.
Good luck,
Allen [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:36 PM
Bastiaan Bastiaan is offline
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Default Re: Hello... newbie here. Have lots of questions.. about to invest in home studio gear..

the mackie control will be supported, they announced it at NAMM...
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