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  #1  
Old 08-23-2020, 09:43 AM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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Default Revert back to 003?

I recently added a few synths to my setup and I have a question about signal conversion and interfaces, which may have an impact on the DAW and interface I use....

This is my setup:
- I have an Apollo Twin Duo Thunderbolt (only a stereo balanced +ADAT optical)
- I also own a Digi003 console (but this has been superseded by the Apollo)
- I’ve switched from ProTools 12 to Ableton Live as my main DAW
- I have a MacBook Pro 2012, i7, 2.6, RAM maxed out; I believe this is the last config that works with the digi003 because of the fw connection
- I have the need for the following instruments (needs for inputs):
1) Kemper (via S/PDIF digital)
2) Yamaha EX5 (AES/AEB digital)
3) Yamaha Motif ES7 (stereo balanced TRS)
4) Roland JV-1080 (stereo balanced TRS)
5&6) Mic for vocals / guitars (2 mic inputs)

My assumptions are (please could someone confirm?)
- I assume that keeping the digital signal is better than converting to analog and back to digital, therefore ideally I find an interface with AES/AEB input or 2 optical ins. I can convert the AES/AEB to optical (toslink or S/PDIF)
- While mic pres vary widely in quality and sonic color, digital signal transfer is the same regardless of the interface quality (e.g., Behringer, Avid, Apollo digital inputs are the same)

Questions:
- the Yamaha EX5 distorts at a certain volume level (signal seems to be saturated), which is why I am trying to use the AES/AEB digital output. Am I right by thinking this will be better as there will be no “analog distortion”?
- Am I better off just reverting back to the Digi003, which has all the necessary inputs but it’s older technology? (I would have to sacrifice the UA plugins)
- What else should I consider?
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15" MacBook Pro 9,1 mid-2012 15in 2.6HGz i7, 16GB RAM, OS 10.12.1 | OWC 320GB FW400 7200rpm
Digi 003 | PT 12.4
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2020, 12:29 PM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Revert back to 003?

Don’t forget the 003 console as control surface trick, described in this post by me ...
http://duc.avid.com/showpost.php?p=2434397&postcount=8

I can confirm it still works with Pro Tools 2020.5. This way you get to use the far superior UA Apollo as the audio interface, while still getting to use the control surface features of the 003.
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Mac Pro 2009 with 2010 firmware, 12-Core 3.46ghz, 64gb RAM & working Thunderbolt, OS 10.14.6 and Windows 10
Macbook Pro 2011 17", 2.2ghz i7, 16gb RAM OS 10.12.6
Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
Various apps, soft synths, FX plugins.
Plenty of hardware synths, rack gear, microphones etc.
And then there's the studio ;-)
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2020, 01:58 PM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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Default Re: Revert back to 003?

Thanks for the link. Can you still use the 003's inputs or is it only limited to be the control surface?
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Digi 003 | PT 12.4
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2020, 05:45 PM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Revert back to 003?

No you can’t use the 003 audio inputs, you just use the control surface.

Best of both worlds, the UA apollo audio ins and outs are far superior to the 003.

How many things do you need to record at the same time?

The Twin’s optical input can be set to receive 2 channels of S/PDIF, or 8 channels of ADAT.

So if you need more than the two mic/line inputs simultaneously, you could get an analog to ADAT convertor, something cheap and cheerful like the Behringer ADA8200 for under £200, or the sky’s the limit if you have a bigger budget. That would give you 8 extra analog inputs, so you would have 10 in all.

If you want to record the AES output of the EX5, because you think the analog outputs are distorting, then get an AES to S/PDIF convertor, under £40. Do you think the EX5 analog outputs are faulty? Or is it just a gain staging issue?

Do you need everything connected at the same time just for convenience? Or because multiple people will be playing instruments at the same time.

If just for convenience, and because you don’t want to be continually plugging/unplugging leads from the apollo, you could use a small patchbay.

If multiple people, then Analog to ADAT convertor is the way to go.

PS when using the 003 as a control surface, the midi connections will still work too.
__________________
Mac Pro 2009 with 2010 firmware, 12-Core 3.46ghz, 64gb RAM & working Thunderbolt, OS 10.14.6 and Windows 10
Macbook Pro 2011 17", 2.2ghz i7, 16gb RAM OS 10.12.6
Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
Various apps, soft synths, FX plugins.
Plenty of hardware synths, rack gear, microphones etc.
And then there's the studio ;-)
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2020, 10:42 PM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 174
Default Re: Revert back to 003?

Thanks for the thorough response! Here are my responses

- yes, I looked at Behringer’s ADAT option, but wouldn’t that quality input be lower than the 003? My understanding is the quality is as good as the weakest link and the B converters are not that great. (I’m actually looking at a fireface 400 or 800, but that’s costly)
- I need the inputs for my own convenience to not have to hook up things on and off and just have a good workflow. I have a Behringer mixer that I hate - I tested recordings with and without it and the difference is night and day
- can you point me to the right place to find the $40 converter! I can’t find it myself. I bought a Hosa 312 and an AES/EBU cable to go optical to the Apollo, but would be great to see this other option
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Digi 003 | PT 12.4
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2020, 01:27 AM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Revert back to 003?

Regarding analog to ADAT, yes there are way better convertors, but it is what your budget will handle.

The newer Behringer ADA8200 is better than the original ADA8000, the MIDAS mic preamps in the newer model are better, and at least as good as the 003.

One thing to be very careful of, and something that has caught many people out, the XLR mic socket and TRS jack socket are both active at all times, whereas most kit is switching, where plugging in a TRS jack breaks the XLR circuit. DO NOT have both XLR and Jack plugs connected to the same input at the same time, depending on what is connected that can badly affect noise levels.

I suggest using mics via the Apollo and use the Behringer (or something more expensive if you can afford it) for the keyboard outputs. Bear in mind that the keyboard outputs are probably the weakest link in terms of noise, but with correct adjustment of gain levels, coupled with some simple eq on the channel in your daw, you will keep it down to a level that shouldn’t trouble you.

As for cheap AES to S/PDIF convertor, in the UK we have this ...

https://www.studiospares.com/studios...ter_465760.htm

and it only costs £34.99!
__________________
Mac Pro 2009 with 2010 firmware, 12-Core 3.46ghz, 64gb RAM & working Thunderbolt, OS 10.14.6 and Windows 10
Macbook Pro 2011 17", 2.2ghz i7, 16gb RAM OS 10.12.6
Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
Various apps, soft synths, FX plugins.
Plenty of hardware synths, rack gear, microphones etc.
And then there's the studio ;-)
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2020, 01:47 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is online now
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Posts: 35,956
Default Re: Revert back to 003?

I doubt that anyone will hear a quality difference between the ADA8200 and the 003. But, if you can budget around $900, the Midas XL48 is stellar fro recording drums
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