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  #11  
Old 11-19-1999, 02:33 PM
zingsthings zingsthings is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

?
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  #12  
Old 11-19-1999, 05:16 PM
peppertree peppertree is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

bamusicx,

I really don't know whether the 001 will have the mettle to do what you want to do, but I would imagine you'd need a fast machine (perhaps G4 400+) with an additional hard drive for audio.

You might find you can do all of that minus the recording the 2trk final mix into the computer at the same time (what you call "bounce to disk" is actually just recording a couple more tracks..."Bounce to Disk" is, in Pro Tools vernacular, a direct-digital bounce that you don't even hear...it just puts up a dialog and does it.

The latency comes in because if you did what you said (and you'll probably be able to with few plugins or less tracks) the recorded 2trk mixdown would be delayed by >10ms compared to the source tracks. Thus if you played them back at the same time without shifting them so they lined up, the mix would seem delayed compared to the source tracks. This wouldn't be a problem in most scenarios; it just illustrates the latency issue.

The speed of light causes some degree of latency; you can't get around it entirely, but in the analog domain it isn't usually a problem as long as phase accuracy isn't required. (Sorry that's not a newbie point, but it was interesting so I said it ).

You will need an ADAT optical-to-Analog 8 channel D/A converter to have 16 analog outs come out of the 001.

I don't do what you intend to do; I want to stay digital as much as possible once I'm digital, unless I have a rack of great D/A's going into an SSL or something where I really want the analog sound. The latency is an issue if you try to use an outboard effect box on one of the Pro Tools busses...your effect has an automatic predelay placed on it compared to the rest of the tracks, equal to the round-trip latency, and there's nothing you can do about it, short of printing the effected track and then mixing it (possibly after shifting it forward in time the number of samples of latency if the system doesn't do it for you).

The critical problem with doing such effect printing and then mixing in a second pass, whether to avoid outboard latency or save host-based plugin cycles; is it's a printed submix and you have no realtime control over the sound of it, just at the moment you have the best view of how it fits in with everything else (which is during the final mixdown). It's very hard to predict the right settings without hearing everything at once. This is just one reason why I go to large studios to mix anything important and only do my tracking at home. Plus I suck at mixing compared to people who do nothing but it all day; just getting good tracks is enough of a challenge in itself.

I haven't used one yet, but from the specs the 001 is fine for simple mixes and tracking, and you can probably force it to do whatever else you need it to with a variety of compromises. The 001 will improve with computer upgrade cards etc. in the future; but you'll probably want the 004 by then.

[This message has been edited by peppertree (edited 11-19-99).]
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  #13  
Old 11-20-1999, 12:19 AM
carlone carlone is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

What I basically said was that in comparing the 2408 vs. the 001 it's just about a wash. In the end it will probably be the software that makes your final decision.

I use performer and pro tools. I understand logic and I hate studio vision. The software of choice for me is pro tools but it's based on knowledge of all the products.

For me to make money I have to keep up with all the products as well as all the styles of music plus in the end I better play my ass off or nothing else matters.

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  #14  
Old 11-20-1999, 01:00 PM
bamusicx bamusicx is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

Thanks peppertree that really helps.

I don't think the only reason to want to go to analog is if you have access to an expensive SSL. I just don't like the sound when everything stays in the digital domain. It sounds chalky and grainy to me. I'm sure there are engineers that are talented enough to get a great sound completely in digital but I think they are few.

I'm just not impressed with the way Ricky's and Lenny's recordings sound. I think their recordings sound brittle and grainy. I'm sure their are great all digital recordings out there by less known artist. Someone please point me to some of them.

I also don't want to change the way I work just bacause manufatures want to take us in new directions that benifit their bottom line. I sold a lot of great analog synths for pennies on the dollar to buy digital sample based synths back in the day. I'll be GD if I do that again with my great sounding analog console. I like knobs and warm not brittle sounds.

I do believe tape is dead for tracking but not mixdown. Analog is going to be around and in time people are going to figure out what parts of the aound and signal path are best analog and what parts are best digital, at least until we get great analog simulations. Do you think the tern 'virtual analog' will creep its way into the DAW world? I really wonder how many people really listen with their ears opposed to looking at specs and feature list with their eyes.

Just my opinion
Thanks again peppertree
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  #15  
Old 11-20-1999, 02:08 PM
marcello marcello is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

here's what I am doing:

I just bought myself a MOTU 1224 because I need timecode.

I have another PCI slot for an audiomedia III card for pro tools 5.0LE.

Best of both worlds. I'll use this until I can make lots of $$$, and then I'll get myself a Mix System.

Both the 1224 and 001 are excellent choices. The Pro Tools software is simply the best I have seen for audio, but that is a subjective call. I have been a SVP user for years and really like the program. I have seen others say how much they detest it.

So just because somone says this system is better than that one means absolutlly nothing really. Check it out for yourself and find what works for you.

It's all about making music. Some well known guys in the UK still use an Atari ST and old versions of cubase/logic.

best,
m

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  #16  
Old 11-23-1999, 09:08 AM
ProdInfo ProdInfo is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

Hello Ethan,

Glad to see your interest and insightful questions regarding Digi 001. I'd like to adress your questions with more technical explantions as well as set the record straight on some inaccuracies that you received in MOTU's response to your questions.

- Our Digi 001/Pro Tools LE product was designed from the ground up to be as simple and easy to use (and hook up) as possible. We didn't start out with the intent that the 001 would be "all things to all people." It is squarely focused on the needs of home studio owners and folks who are new to MIDI and digital audio. This means that some things will be simpler and more straightforward in the Pro Tools LE/001 world than our higher-end "power on demand" system - Pro Tools TDM. That doesn't mean you can't do "pro level" work on the 001, or that the sound quality is sub-standard... on the contrary. But it does mean that we've given some thought to making a product combo that is focused squarely on a specific group of users.

- Our Direct I/O technology lets anyone use the 001 with their software, including MOTU's Digital Performer software.

- Pro Tools LE *does* let you lock to SMPTE time code (via MTC), and see the incoming time code displayed.

- The analog audio specifications for the 001 are equal to or better than the specifications for the 2408.

- The 001 is designed to allow you to use it as a true integrated home studio. It has 2 built in mic-pres, (with switchable phantom power and high-pass filters), an independent headphone monitor output, and a separate monitor output pair with a monitor level control for your speakers. The analog inputs and outputs are on 1/4" TRS balanced/unbalanced jacks (not unbalanced RCAs). It also includes a special "pass through" mode so that you can monitor your favorite 2 channel source (DAT, CD, etc.) even when your computer is switched off, and a MIDI in/out port. The 2408 sports more digital inputs and outputs, but does not include the mic-pres, MIDI in/out port, or monitoring facilities (other than headphone and main unattenuated output). The 1224 you were asking about does not include ADAT or TDIF I/O but does come with a single AES/EBU port.

On to the details (read on if you want to know more specifics)...

Third-Party Support with Digidesign Direct I/O
Digi 001 supports the same Direct I/O technology used by the rest of the Digidesign hardware family. Direct I/O allows third-party applications to access Digidesign hardware I/O without having to go through redundant or needless layers in the OS.

Direct I/O is supported by the following companies:

TCWorks (Spark)
MOTU
Steinberg (via ASIO drivers that use Direct I/O)
Emagic
Opcode
BitHeadz
Cycling'74
Koblo
AudioSynths (SuperCollider)
Cakewalk (Metro-Mac Only)
SonicScience

By supporting Direct I/O, it's easy for these companies to add support for new Digi audio devices since the same drivers are used for all Digidesign hardware. We are about to release an update to our Direct I/O Software Developer Kit (v.2.0) which includes updates that allow each company to take full advantage of 001. But even without this update, current applications which support Direct I/O v.1.0 have full access to all 18 inputs and outputs of 001. The new update simply adds ways to control 001's special features such as software controlled input gain, S/PDIF mirroring (allows S/PDIF ports to be used for digital effect sends/returns), optical format switching (the ADAT optical ports can be used for 2-ch optical S/PDIF), and software controlled high-pass filters on the mic-pres.

We also include Output Sound Drivers for the Mac's Sound Manager. This allows you to use the outputs 1-2of the 001 for any application on the Macintosh that can output sound to Sound Manager, including System Sounds. When we release Pro Tools LE for Windows 98, we will include full-duplexing Wave Drivers allowing any application that can talk to Wave Drivers to use 001.

Sync
Pro Tools LE and 001 have the ability to lock to and generate MIDI Time Code in all available formats. This allows you to positionally sync Pro Tools LE to an external time code source which can output MTC. In order for Pro Tools LE to sync to an external LTC (SMPTE) timecode source, you will need a SMPTE to MTC converter which is typically a feature on most multi-port MIDI interfaces or specialty sync peripherals. This type of MIDI interface can be run along with the 001's MIDI in/out port connections. Additionally, Pro Tools LE also allows you to set a start offset in case your time code doesn't start at 00:00:00:00.

If you have an ADAT(or other ADAT optical device, such as a digital console), and want to lock it up with the 001 you're ready to go out of the box. (If you want to trigger to a location on tape, you'll need an ADAT sync to MTC converter box like the JL Cooper DataSync (inexpensive), an Alesis BRC, or similar).In this configuration, you simply put Pro Tools LE/001 in Optical sync. Now your 001 system is resolved to the same external word clock source as the external ADAT optical device, and everything will be in sync over time if you're locked to time code.

If you wish to lock Pro Tools LE to the same word clock as an external device that has a S/PDIF port only, you will need one of two items:
- A specialty sync peripheral, (such as a MOTU Digital Timepiece,) that can generate a word clock based on the LTC speed and output the word clock through a S/PDIF port. The S/PDIF output of the sync peripheral would then be connected to the S/PDIF input of the 001 box.

Pro Tools LE would then be placed in digital sync through the S/PDIF input port which in turn will resolve the 001 clock to the external word clock. Since the MOTU audio interface boxes you were interested in would require a similar LTC to MTC converter (the 2408 and 1224 do not include this functionality), you would need to purchase a DTP or a SMPTE>MTC converter with a similar word clock>S/PDIF box as well to lock to LTC to *resolve* to time code.

- A S/PDIF device connected to the 001 which also has the ability to lock to an external word clock. Some professional time code DAT machines have this ability. In this configuration, the DAT machine is placed in external sync mode, and Pro Tools LE/001 are placed to receive S/PDIF digital sync as the clock source for the system. Now your 001 system is resolved to the same external word clock as the DAT machine. If your external device can output MTC, you can simply connect the MIDI output of the external device directly to 001 for the positional sync you will need (as described above).

These configurations are slightly complicated for a novice, but they do work. Again, the 001 was created for home-studio situations where resolving to external sync is not as important as a professional setup where this type of syncing is absolutely mandatory. Our thought behind the design was to make things as simple as possible for the home user who doesn't need to do a lot of "resolved" syncing to external sources, rather than accommodate professional needs with every system.

Analog Audio Specs
MOTU may be using different audio specifications than we do here. We publish a dynamic range for the Digi 001 of 98 dB. The only published spec I've been able to find for the 2408 is >98 dB Signal-to-Noise (I borrowed a copy of a 2408 manual and didn't see specs listed in the manual). SNR (signal to noise ratio) and dynamic range do not refer to the same audio properties. The term "signal-to-noise" with digital audio systems refers to the ratio between the amount of residual noise with no signal present and full code audio (the maximum level before clipping). Dynamic range measures the difference between the softest sound and the loudest sound a system can produce. In order to compare "apples to apples," you may want to ask MOTU to quote you dynamic range. The Digi 001's dynamic range is:
A/D Dynamic Range (with Input Reference = +16 dBV) @ 1 kHz 20 Hz - 22 kHz = 98 dB
D/A Dynamic Range (with Input Reference = 0 dB Fs +4/-10 mode) @ 1 kHz 20 Hz - 22 kHz = 98 dB

Converter Performance
Issues about converter performance can be confusing, but generally in our industry, you get what you pay for. The vast majority of converters used in digital audio products (from the lo- to hi-end) are made by two manufacturers, and are monolithic ICs. (The exceptions are extremely expensive custom converters that are used in hi-end boxes that costs lots of money!)

The quality of sound you get from a design is a function of several different factors, including the converter (of course), analog input circuitry, and the power supply. In order to hit the price goals and deliver a product with the features customers wanted, we didn't choose the most expensive 24-bit converter made (like the one we use on our 888|24). We choose a value-based converter with *excellent* specs.

In your original question, you asked the difference between the 1224 and the Digi 001. I'm sure that the MOTU 1224 uses a top of the line, off-the-shelf A/D converter. But remember, 1224 does not include high-quality mic-preamps, software controlled gain on inputs, ADAT optical ports or MIDI functionality. The 1224's 8 analog outputs use a DAC rated at 105dB dynamic range, the 2-channel main output is rated at 120dB, and the analog input ADCs are rated at 116 dB dynamic range. So you can see that even the performance specs on inputs vs. outputs can vary on the same high-performance box. The 2408 uses 20-bit converters that have the same specs as Digi 001's 24-bit converters. Again, 20-bit converters can have very good specs, as evidenced by our 882/20 interface, which uses high-quality converters with even better performance.

But I'd ask you to put aside these numbers and ask yourself "how does it sound?" At Digi, we frequently participate in blind listening tests at various audio meetings, customer sites, and internally. Blind listening tests involve setting up two pieces of audio gear calibrated as closely as possible, level-wise (say, within .1 dB). Then you feed the same signal into both boxes, and have someone else switch between which piece of gear you are listening through. This way, you don't know which is which before you start. Also, they may not be switching at all... you can't look (and shouldn't hear) them switching. Lastly, you must accurately identify which piece of gear is what more than 50% of the time or the test is bogus. If you can accurately tell which is the better sounding box (or even identify that they've switched), then that should be your basis for your buying decision.

At Digi, our first goal is to make great sounding equipment regardless of the numbers. If you look at some >$2000 specialty analog gear using tube technology, you'll find the specs are not very good. But the gear sounds SOOOO good. The reason: converters are not the be-all/end-all of audio quality, they are only a player in a team of components that makes up the final sound you hear. I encourage you to contact your local dealer and run a blind test of the audio quality of Digi 001 against anything even close to its price range. I think you'll be amazed how good the box really sounds.

I hope this helps clear up any questions or concerns you had.

Let us (or your local Digi dealer) know if we can answer any more questions.

- Robert Campbell, Digi 001 Product Manager


[Note: This message has been edited by Digidesign]
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  #17  
Old 11-23-1999, 02:03 PM
haze haze is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

Sold!

As soon as the G4 sawtooth compatibility
issue is resolved, i'm good to go.

haze
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  #18  
Old 11-23-1999, 06:22 PM
peppertree peppertree is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

Robert's message included the following:

<snip>S/PDIF mirroring (allows S/PDIF ports to be used for digital effect sends/returns)<snip>

I am very very interested to learn what exactly this means. In my posts above, I decried latency as making it impossible, or at best, undesirable, to use outboard effects processors in mixdown because of the latency issue. A predelay would be automatically placed on all effects loops equal to the latency roundtrip time.

So to be specific, I want to do a mixdown to tracks 23 and 24 in realtime, sending a bunch of stuff to a bus, routing the bus out the SPDIF jack into and out of a reverb unit, coming back in a couple inputs and mixing with the main mix bus to my two track pair. There would normally be at least 10ms of predelay added to the normal operating latency of the reverb unit in this scenario.

Now there's some magic going on here, at least it sounds like it, and you may have done something about the problem. Please reply in enough detail to let me understand exactly what is meant by this. I would appreciate one of the engineers' answer on this, but an accurate, detailed marketing response (biggest oxymoron in history, but the post above looks promising) would be good too. Can I do a zero latency all-SPDIF effects loop with this trick?

Cheers,
Peter
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Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
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  #19  
Old 11-24-1999, 12:29 AM
marcello marcello is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

Robert,

Where did all of this talk about no sync and timecode display come from?

thanks,
marcello
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  #20  
Old 11-26-1999, 10:00 AM
Dan Brodbeck Dan Brodbeck is offline
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Default Re: digi 001 vs. MOTU 1224

People keep freaking out about the 001. Nobody ever freaked out about the AMIII. What we have here is AMIII with more ins and outs for the same money the an AMIII used to cost. Great!! Stop complaining. I run a professional studio using and AMIIˆ . I used a 2" tape locked to it with a MOTU DTP. It works perfectly. Try to comp a vocal quickly and perfectly without screaming with Cubase,Performer or anything besides Protools! Get back to me. Its the software. Once people know I have Protools, thats it. I fly everything back to 2" to mix. Locked perfectly!!! Try to take the "t" from one track, an "and" from on track, line up perfect vocal doubles and BG vocals on Anything but Protools. It is a headache!! This is not an opinion, its FACT.


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