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  #1  
Old 02-03-2003, 11:03 PM
Siberian Siberian is offline
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Default I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

Okay, after further research it has come down to these two choices... I need between 9 and 10 simultaneous mic inputs (to mic my drums) so whether I go with the Digi001 or the Digi002 I am still faced with buying an 8-channel outboard preamp to supplement the built in pre's on the 001 or 002.

I had set a rough startup budget of around $4500 for everything to get up and running. Then as I grow and become a better engineer, I'd upgrade and add more plugins, mics, and pre's down the road for whatever future needs I may have. According to my estimates, if I went with the Digi002 ($2200) and bought the Presonus Digimax preamp ($800), I'd be at around $3000. Then I still need to get a PC, ($800 for the "Allen" system), and finally monitors, which I figured maybe ($500) give or take. Total that up and I'm at about $4300 and I still need to get mic's, cables, stands, etc.

Now if I went with the 001 I'd be at about $2900. ($800 for the 001, $800 for the Digimax preamp, $800 for the PC, and $500 for the monitors). That would leave me PLENTY of extra money to buy some mic's, cables, stands, etc to get up and running, and maybe even spend a little more on the monitors. HOWEVER, I think if I got the 001 I would also want to buy some extra plugins and the cost could go up by $200-$300... maybe.

Up to this point the choice seemed pretty clear... get the 001 and add plugins and control surface down the road as my needs change.

HOWEVER, I recently was browsing through the musiciansfriend website and happened across this 8-channel preamp by SM Pro Audio... it's the SM PR8, 8-channel preamp for $199.00. Now I realize that the sound quality of this preamp is probably crap, and it doesn't have digital output so I'd have to just run the direct out's from each channel to the eight analog in's on the Digi002. But if I went with this preamp instead of the Presonus, I'd save about $600 bucks which would allow me to have enough to get the mic's and accessories I would need to get my basic studio off the ground.

The presumption being, that if I DID go with the cheaper preamp, I would eventually upgrade to the Presonus Digimax when the funds allow it. And with this package I would be getting all of those great Digi002 plugins and the control surface.

And seeing as how I am new to recording, I have a lot of learning to do anyway, so I wouldn't expect my recordings to come out all that great for awhile anyway. So I figure while I am practicing and learning, I could get by temporarily with the lower-end preamp for drum mic'ing. I figure I'd use the four good pre's in the 002 for the kick, snare, and overheads, then throw the toms on the cheaper preamp.

So based on those scenarios, what do you guys/gals think is the better way to go? I know that ultimately only I can decide, but if you were in my shoes, what would you do? Personally, I think I am slightly leaning towards the 002 with the cheaper pre.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2003, 11:41 PM
Phil O'Keefe Phil O'Keefe is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

From what I read in your post, I'd say it sounds like you've pretty much answered your own question - it sounds like you're leaning towards the 002 with the cheap preamp.

I'd probably opt for that too if I was in the exact same place as you. Better to upgrade the preamps than to upgrade the 001 later IMO. That way, you still have use of the control surface, additional plug ins, better converters and preamps right now, and don't have to upgrade them later - just the preamp.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2003, 02:37 AM
Kilmaim Kilmaim is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

Currently, I have the same dilemma. My siuation is as follows. I have a Mackie 1604vlz pro (no digital out) and some really nice condensor mic's. So as far as mixing and monitoring, its all good.

I recently moved from Chicago to Richmond and hooked up with some new musicians. I'm a guitarist, so I don't have to worry about all the drum mic's etc., plus I like to record digitally-direct, in which case I use my Line6 Pod Pro. I'm running SonarXL 2.2 for my recording software and use Wavelab 4.0 for my editing.

My "soon to be history" Creative Live! Drive has been a good unit to record solo projects, and has done ok with being plugged direct from my mixer, but the driver won't let me record on mulitple inputs simultaneously. So, my point is this...

I thought about exactly the same thing you did, except, I fortunately don't have to worry so much about my budget, but I am concerned with getting my money's worth! I started looking into control surfaces some time about two years ago, at which time, there was no budget. So over the last two years, I've never used one except for my mouse and keyboard--all of which can be programmed like all of the control surfaces out there (the Pro Tools Custom Keyboard is a standard keyboard with all the progamming built in to its Pro Tools driver... all for a suggested retail price of a whopping $250! A little pricey for a Keyboard, don't you think?).

So I'm to the point where I'm not really concerned with a control surface. And most people who I know with a small home studio, don't have them either. One of my friend's has a full blown pro-setup studio and has everything "but" a control surface--he uses his keyboard and mouse.

So besides the 2 extra mic preamps, the 8 analog and 8 adat optical and 2 S/PDIF I/O's are the same for bot units. The 002 control surface is actually a 8x4x2 mixing board--if you do get such control surface, you should realize that you'll be having a redundancy of mixing boards. A digital mixing board is nice to have, but two of them? If that's the case, you're better off taking the combined total worth of both pieces of equipment and investing in a "really" nice digital mixing board with twice as many channels and or buses, or souping up your pc a little more. Remember! You don't want to have to upgrade! Unless you plan to go full blow recording studio and plan to make some killer cash off of it, you DO NOT want to have to upgrade! What you want is to have all your needs met and to have those requirements kept for some time.

With the the 001, you're still getting the same amount of I/O's minus the 2 extra mic preamps on the control surface for $1400 dollars less--which can go into a really nce mixing board!

So, you have to ask yourself, would you be better of with a nice digital mixer and the 001, because you're not going to be that much better off with the 002, except that you'll have a real nice control surface, but if you go to musicians friend.com, all of the top of the line control surfaces are about $1K. so you'd still be saving $400.

As for the pluggins, download kazaa, and do a search for protools or cakewalk or cubase etc., and you can download all the plugin's you want for free, that is unless you have a moral dilemma by not purchasing them; even so, you can look at it from the point of view, maybe I would like to try it before I buy it!

Using Cakewalk guitar tracks pro before upgrading to Sonar, I always wanted more pluggins, but couldn't afford them. When I got Sonar2, it came with a whole bunch, plus, I downloaded everything on the market for free--even still, depending on what you're doing, you'll find that there's only going to be so many that you're actually going to use and so many that you'll like.

I had just about every pluggin on the market, but after about six months, I realized that over 75% of them were only taking up my hard drive space. Moreover, depending on the DAW (digital audio workstation) you'll be using (dependent on processor strength) there's only so many pluggins you'll be able to run at one time, whereby you might end up kicking yourself for spending too much money on pluggins and not on processor speed and more memory!

So you need to ask yourself, what will "meet" your demands. For me, I'd rather kill the control surface (extra mixing board) and use the mouse and keyboard and get a really nice digital mixer--which will result in a better product from the get go. Besides, in the end, which is now only the begining, you need to be worried about the amout of simultaneous tracks you want to record at one time. If its 10 tracks, a digital mixier with 10 buses will be perfect because you'll be able to run ten direct lines to the host (DAW); if its 12 then twelve buses etc., Either way, you want to make sure that for every simultaneous recorded event, there is a seperate bus for each one and that you also have inputs for sub groups etc. There's nothing like kicking yourself over screwing up a planned budget--all for the cost having 2 extra mic pre-amps and an extra digital mmixing board!

Either way, keep me posted with you're decision and the outcome. Also, I built pc DAWs and know exactly whats required for certain needed demands, such as audio production, video production, or both etc. And you'd be surprised to know that people are paying good hard earned cash for cheap setups because they just don't know any better. So if you have any questions, let me know and if I'll help you out if I can. And I hope I've been of some help here. I kow I've thoroughly racked my brain! Peace...
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2003, 04:19 AM
Keith Lowdon Keith Lowdon is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

Hi Siberian,
Yes you do have a tough choice. If it were me I wouldn't buy the SM PR8, 8-channel preamp for $199.00 unless I tried it. If it is garbage, you are just throwing money away. Regardless of which unit you buy 001/002 you will ultimately want a good preamp.
Keith
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2003, 05:48 AM
da BaSsTaRd! da BaSsTaRd! is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

i'd go for the 001 + ai3 adat converter + a nice 12 or 16 channel mixer. if a control surface is really important, maybe you should look at a digital mixer. the yamaha 01v seems to be a pretty good value now.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2003, 07:47 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

IMHO I'd go with the 001, outboard converter/pre(I personally liek the Octapre over everything else) and a controller/mixer(Eventelectronics EZbus or Tascam) leaving you a good chunk of money for mics and better than decent monitors (2 pairs) Monitors are key. If you scrimp on them the rest is worthless no matter how good it is.

Hope this is helpful.
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  #7  
Old 02-04-2003, 06:15 PM
Siberian Siberian is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

Thanks for the input all! I'll continue to evaluate my options and see what happens. A friend of mine has the 001 with no control surface and I am going over to check it out this Friday.

Any other opinions are welcome in the mean time.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2003, 12:09 AM
el matador el matador is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

Well I guess I'd ask, how crappy is that SM PR8. It cant be too bad. if anyone tries the SM PR8, let us know.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2003, 12:22 AM
Bloux Bloux is offline
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Default Re: I\'m torn.. Digi001 with better preamp or Digi002 with cheaper preamp/future upgrade

yeah,

I saw that beast also and was wondering about it. musicians friends is selling the SM PR8 $199.00 so that should tell us something?

the same company came out with SM PR8 MKII at NAMM ...looks quite a bit better????

SM PR-8

SM PR8 MKII
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