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Preamp for Digi 002/003


Hello. I'm looking into purchasing a digi 002 or 003 and had some questions i hope you, that are more educated in this field, would be able to help me with.
I'm looking for preamps that will expand the 4 pres on the digi too 6 or even 8. At first i was looking at the digimax so i could use the ADAT option for the main purpose of recording drums, but then i realized i wouldn't really need that many pres overall and thought i could better use my money and get a couple more hi end pres. So this is where i could use some help. I'm looking for a 2 - 4 preamp unit that can handle drums, vocals, guitars. I guess the main purpose would be for vocals, but i would also like to use it for drums and guitars.
Thanks in advance for the help,
May 7, 2007 @08:29pm

With the 002 units, I really like being able to bypass the analog stage, and go straight in digitally. Not that the conversion is horrible, but higher end units will sound cleaner and fuller. I recommend the Focustrite ISA 428 with the digital card for a few reasons. First, it has 4 preamp and DI channels that sound fairly decent, hi fi kinda sound. But with the digital card, not only do you get the 4 channels of pre's going in digitally, but it also has an extra 4 analog channells that you can use for other things to go in ADAT to pro tools. So I have the UA 2-610 taking advantage of the focustrite converter, which in my tests is better then the onboard 002.
May 7, 2007 @08:56pm

I'm actually using an iMac so I won't be able to use anything that needs a card. any other ideas?
Also, with the focusrite ISA 428 you say you can go straight in digitally...do you mean straight through the digi or directly into the computer via the card?
The reason I ask is that it seems many people get the digi and then substitute other pieces of gear and don't even use its standard equipment; just seems like a bit of a waste...
May 7, 2007 @11:50pm

The digital card is on the Focusrite, not the computer, allowing you to now use ADAT format to go in digitally into your 002 or 003. So you now have 4 additional pre's without using any of the Analog I/O space on your unit.
Its not a waste to get the 002 or better yet 003. Just when you prefer the sound of outboard gear, it will help your recording. there is nothing inheritenly bad about the Analog stages in those units for the price, just as you do more and more recording, you will appreciate the subtle differences higher end gear will bring, and that is why we add on to stuff like the 002.
May 8, 2007 @12:07am

Digi just needs to make an ADAT 8 ch interface with headphones and monitor outs. LE system. Simple.
May 8, 2007 @02:33am

Thanks for the feedback audioholic. The focusrite looks and sounds like an excellent choice, but does anyone else have any input on what would work well with a digi 002? I started this post to get a broad look at what pre amps people are using with their digi's. So keep the answers coming.
May 8, 2007 @07:20pm

Sorry to be the only one posting so far, but also check these out, though not all of them have a digital converter with them
there are a ton of good 2 channel mic pre's out there, depends on what your flavor is.
May 8, 2007 @07:41pm

I'll agree with Audioholic on the Great River and the PreSonus ADL, but I've also heard nice things about the Vintech 473 if you're looking for 4 channels.
Also I recently had my 002R modified by Black Lion Audio. It made a HUGE difference in the quality of the audio. I think that if you get a 002 or 003, the black lion mod, and the Great River or ADL going into the additional analog inputs, you'd be money.
Forgive me if this goes over your head, but that way you're not having to worry about sync from one unit to the next and setting the master within your session, etc... With the clock worked on by BLA, you'll be best running off of internal on the 002 rather than syncing over ADAT.
May 9, 2007 @05:15am

I had never heard of Black Lion Audio. Checked out their website; sounds like they do an awesome job. But anyways.
I own the Vintech 473 and it is a very nice unit, I would recommend it. If you are looking to record mainly vocals and guitars AND drums as well, then it might be a better idea to go with a 4 channel unit as most drumsets are recorded with more than 6 mics. More than 8 even. But at least with 8 you'll be closer to a full close-mic'ed drumset. You might want to check out the Pre-Sonus Digimax units as well. Those are pretty affordable and if you connect them into the ADAT in on your 002, you will end up with 12 pre's. If you are looking to spend around $3,000 (which is what a 473 or a similar 4 channel piece costs), I would buy the Digimax LT and a nice 2 channel pre. Check out Vintech, API, Great River, Chandler, and Universal Audio. That would give you two REALLY nice pre's which could cover pretty much everything (vocals, guitar, bass) and a total of 14 channels which would be more than enough for drums.
Hope this helps,
P.S. Don't forget Mics!
May 10, 2007 @12:00am