DiGiGrid DLS ProTools I/O with DSP

64-channel I/O for Pro Tools|HDX and Pro Tools|HD, with Built-in SoundGrid DSP Server and Network Switch
DiGiGrid DLS ProTools I/O with DSP image 1
DiGiGrid DLS ProTools I/O with DSP image 1
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DiGiGrid DLS ProTools I/O with DSP
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Add New Potential to Your Pro Tools System

The DiGiGrid DLS interface will seriously enhance your Pro Tools|HD or Pro Tools|HDX system. Made for Avid and third-party Pro Tools interfaces alike, the DLS gives you 64 channels of connectivity plus a built-in SoundGrid DSP server. With full integration for TDM, AAX, and SoundGrid-compatible plug-ins, DLS lets you record and mix with hundreds of plug-ins with only 0.8ms latency. Whether you use Pro Tools software or use Pro Tools interfaces as a front end for another DAW, you can add amazing processing power and network flexibility with the DiGiGrid DLS SoundGrid DSP interface.

DiGiGrid DLS SoundGrid DSP Interface at a Glance:
  • DSP power to record and mix with hundreds of plug-ins
  • Connect up to 64 channels from your Avid or third-party interface
  • Network capabilities can improve your studio layout
DSP power to record and mix with hundreds of plug-ins

Whether you use Pro Tools software to record and mix, or simply use your Pro Tools hardware as a front end for a different DAW, you'll be impressed at the DSP power of the DiGiGrid DLS SoundGrid DSP interface. With fully integrated support for TDM and AAX plug-ins, plus SoundGrid-compatible plug-ins, you'll be able to add hundreds of outstanding plug-ins without taxing your existing system a bit. Best of all your workflow won't be interrupted - you activate SoundGrid plug-ins just like you would any other plug-in within your DAW. And with incredible low-latency of just 0.8ms, the DiGiGrid DLS is a powerful solution for both tracking and mixing.

Connect up to 64 channels from your Avid or third-party interfaces

All you need to do to take advantage of the DiGiGrid DLS and its awesome processing and network power is to connect your Avid Pro Tools interfaces or third-party interfaces to the DLS with a standard DigiLink cable. Connect a DigiLink cable and an Ethernet cable from the DLS to your computer and cards, and you're ready to go. The DLS also helps maintain compatibility between older interfaces and newer cards, extending the lifespan of your existing system.

Network capabilities can improve your studio layout

If you record and mix in a multi-room installation, Sweetwater knows you'll appreciate the network capabilities of the DLS combined with DiGiGrid expansion interfaces like the DLI (sold separately). You can easily put multiple Pro Tools interfaces and a DLI in a separate room, and connect them via simple Cat 5e/Cat 6 Ethernet cables to the DLS in your control room. If you're planning a new installation or upgrading your existing studio, call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer to learn the best way to take advantage of the DiGiGrid DLS' network capabilities.

DiGiGrid DLS SoundGrid DSP Interface Features:
  • Pro Tools interface with built-in SoundGrid DSP server and network switch
  • Allows you to use TDM, AAX, and SoundGrid-compatible plug-ins all in the same session
  • Ultra-low DSP processing of just 0.8 milliseconds is perfect for tracking through plug-ins
  • Dual DigiLink ports connect up to 64 channels of I/O from Avid or third-party interfaces
  • Can expand your system by linking to other DiGiGrid interfaces with a simple Cat 5e/Cat 6 Ethernet cable
  • For use with Pro Tools|HDX, Pro Tools|HD, and other DAWs using Pro Tools hardware as a front end
Supercharge your Pro Tools system with the DiGiGrid DLS SoundGrid DSP interface!

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity Ethernet/DigiLink
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 64 x 64
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes
Digital Inputs 2 x DigiLink
Digital Outputs 2 x DigiLink
Clock I/O 1 x Word Clock
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Width 19"
Depth 14.96"
Manufacturer Part Number DLS

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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The best way to AAX-DSP enable your Mercury Bundle!

There are switches on the rear of the chassis to change which "mode" of operation the DLS runs in. When in I/O mode the DLS is recognized by Pro Tools as being an HD hardware I/O device just like other Avid hardware I/O. Simply connect the Digilink port on the DLS to your HDX or HD Native gear. The included Waves Studio Rack AAX-DSP plugin lets you use your Waves plugins as if they were all AAX-DSP. In a past life when Waves wrote TDM plugins for Pro Tools HD, the Mercury TDM Bundle was $15,000. Today there are numerous paths to get you into Waves plugins, or even the Mercury Bundle, for much, much cheaper than off the shelf pricing, especially during major holiday sales events. At the time I am writing this the DLS has dropped in price to $1995, so now I can AAX-DSP enable my Mercury Bundle for $1995, which brings my total cost of ownership down to a fraction of the cost compared to the days of Mercury TDM pricing and the hardware can be leveraged for more than just Pro Tools.

DLS with PT11HD, Avid HD I/O 16 & 192

Real world application: Anyone in the market for a used HD Native Card? Hahahhaa. Awesome problem to have. Right out the box I was up and running within 15 minutes running my Avid HD I/O 16, and 192, via the DLS. For me, SGP mode offers the most versatile solution. So, while I had been running with a PCIe HD Native Card, now that I've gotten the DLS, I am not even using it. For me, this is great. I am impressed with what my Mac Pro 5,1 Quad 3.2 with 32GB RAM will handle, but I have had some larger sessions (Songs) that got close to being capped out. With the DLS I'm not even close! HUGE sessions with HUNDREDS of plugins, and my Mac Pro is still sitting there trucking along at 12% !!! My workflow is substantially improved as I no longer have to be cautious of playback buffers, and I can track into a session at any time without any workarounds whatsoever. So, I can start recording directly into session templates with loads of plugins, without having to worry about buffer and latency conflicts inherent to native systems. Set and forget your playback engine buffer. No need to fiddle around. You can track into a hefty session late in the game, without buffer concern, no matter how crazy heavy it is on plugs (so long as they are in SoundGrid DSP mode via StudioRack), and track with virtually zero latency. Sound Grid Studio and eMotion Mixer: I strongly suggest reading the manual and putting focus into understanding the routing and mixer as much as possible in order to configure everything to best suite your needs. There is more than one way to skin the cat here. SoundGrid Studio automatically maps your I/O to a standard 1 to 1 fashion so you are up and running immediately, but it is also fully customizable to fit whatever workflow and routing you can dream up – and then some... For personal monitoring, eMotion Mixer can provide you with custom headphone mixes that in super low latency.... It can operate independent of the Pro Tools mixer and playback buffer, allowing you to input monitor at 1.2ms at 96KHz and 1.6ms at 44.1KHz. The StudioRack plugin component can be set to Auto and automatically handle these input monitoring modes, keeping the workflow in the DAW seamless. When you enter record mode in Pro Tools, audio is split directly back out, thereby skipping the round trip through the PT mixer (of course audio is still routed to Pro Tools for recording as well. Think of this as a splitter). Exit record, and the track automatically goes back to normal. In Auto mode, eMotion Mixer bypasses inserts on the audio track in Pro Tools itself. For monitoring effects, eMotion offers insertion of up to 8 plugins per channel, so setting up effects for you talent monitoring is easy, and the setups can be saved (and set to default), so you really only need to do this once. A novel could be written on everything you can do with SoundGrid Studio and the eMotion Mixer routing and configuration, so I'm going to move on... The DSP (and I/O) Powerhouse: The DLS offers up to 64 voices for DSP. A Mono instantiation of StudioRack is 1 voice. A Stereo instantiation of StudioRack is 2 voices. Each instantiation has 8 plugin slots. So, 64 Mono instantiatons equals up to 512 plugins to be hosted via DSP (512 Mono, 256 Stereo). Sessions with DSP instantiations are fully compatible for systems without SoundGrid hardware. StudioRack automatically handles this, and runs in Local mode without a server. The DLS runs in one of two modes: I/O, or SGP. In SGP mode, the unit offers up to 64 I/O and 64 voices of DSP (though SoundGrid network is capable of 128 channels). In this mode the DLS uses all it's 64 Voices for DSP regarldless of converter configuration. the StudioRack plugin allows you to seamlessly toggle back and forth between Local and SG DSP. Simply load StudioRack, set to SoundGrid mode, and instantiate plugins. Simple. Note Regarding Pro Tools: Pro Tools limits 3rd Party interfaces to 32 Channels I/O.... So, while the DLS works to it's full capability of up to 64 I/O in I/O mode, in SGP mode it is limited to 32 I/O (While still retaining it's 64 voices for DSP)... More than 32 can be connected, but only 32 can be active and seen at a time. This can be configured and changed in SoundGrid Studio, and can be saved as presets for fast and easy recall. (Again, this is a limitation of Pro Tools... So, a user could run 64 Channels of I/O and 64 DSP in Logic Pro X in SGP mode.) In I/O Mode, the DLS is integrated with the PT system and connected with the Avid card. I/O offers 64 channels. These can be divided into configurations of actual hardware inputs and outputs, or, voices available to DLS to be used as hardware inserts to allocate voices to the unit for DSP. So, if you have 16 I/O, you would have 48 voices free for DSP (32 I/O and 32 DSP, and so on). There is just one additional step of inserting a hardware insert in front of StudioRack. The insert allocations are set in the SoundGrid Studio eMotion Setup Tab, and are assignable in banks of 16 voices. In Pro Tools, the available banks are shown as 192 Digitals in the I/O setup. The available number of banks (up to 4) will vary depending on your converter configuration and how you are hooked up. When you insert a hardware insert, it allocates it to the StudioRack instantiation... very simple. Again, all this is automatically configured for you in a default setting that is very straight forward. You may want to go through and name I/O channels in the PT Mixer, as you would with any hardware (You could name them however you want: ie, SoundGrid DSP 1, SoundGrid DSP 2, etc). Expandability: Just a Cat5e/6 cable away.... I can easily and cost effectively add Converters, Remote Controlled Mic Pre's, Custom Mixed Headphone Distribution with Effects, and more DSP with just a single cable now. The system can easily and cost effectively grow with me as needed. I can also easily take my rig with me with a laptop. I can also easily integrate into live rigs. Summary: The DLS offered everthing I needed to cover my I/O bases, add DSP, improve my workflow and functionality, and integrate my system into the SoundGrid Network. My system performs better, but more importantly -- working with the SoundGrid Network in conjunction with Pro Tools HD has actually inspired better performances and mixes. Priceless.

DigiGrid DLS + DLI with AVID 16X16 I/O and Pro Tools

I have been using a DigiGrid DLS + DLI and AVID 16X16 i/o with Pro Tools 11HD for 4 months. The highlights for me are:- Super Low Latency for tracking regardless of buffer size (1.2ms/96kHz)- Lets me use my AVID i/o without HD or HD Native hardware- Sends audio to and from computer with simple CAT6 (or Cat5E) Ethernet cabling- Easy expandability using Ethernet cabling- Easy effect chains by using presets in StudioRack- Rock solid performanceThe System:SoundGrid is the name of the technology created by Waves for routing audio over Ethernet. DigiGrid is the name of the joint partnership between Waves and DigiCo to manufacture the DigiGrid I/O boxes. The DigiGrid DLS and DLI are SoundGrid Interfaces that connect any DigiLink enabled I/O to a SoundGrid network. DigiLink is the format that connects to all older Digidesign and early AVID I/O. With a passive adapter cable you can also connect to Mini DigiLink which is the standard for the newer AVID I/O. Several third party vendors over the years have released DigiLink add on cards for their I/O including Apogee and Lynx to name a couple. With the DLS/DLI all of these can now be used with a SoundGrid system.System SetupAll of the I/O through the SoundGrid System is configured using SoundGrid Studio. This accomplishes mapping the available I/O from SoundGrid to Core Audio in a MAC (or ASIO in a PC). It took a bit of time to really get familiar with SoundGrid Studio but once I did I set things up so that in my normal workflow (one part at a time) I never leave the Pro Tools window when recording. PT enforces a 32 channel limit with third party drivers regardless of the software being regular PT or PTHD. Regardless, one can simply take the same hardware setup and by using Cubase 8 Pro or Logic Pro X have up to 128 simultaneous I/O with SoundGrid. One could also have several SoundGrid Studio Session Files to map particular sets of more than 32 inputs to the 32 allowed in ProTools.In UseI find the process of using this system very easy. To record a part I put StudioRack on a track, put it in SoundGrid mode, toggle the Auto switch to ON, select the inputs to match the track I am working on and configure the effects I want. Once that is set up I hit record in Pro Tools and do a take. To hear it back I just push Play in Pro Tools and the track automatically goes to playback mode (thanks to the Auto button in StudioRack) and I hear it with all effects in place. Hit Record in Pro Tools and I am back in record mode to do more takes. WRT the effects - after a few takes of vocals or guitar I pretty much have a default effects chain so I save these as presets in StudioRack to shorten the process.When using StudioRack in Record mode (labeled as Input mode in StudioRack) it defaults to muting the Pro Tools mixer (although it is recorded in Pro Tools just fine). This eliminates the problem of getting the low latency sound from SoundGrid mixed with the delayed sound from Pro Tools. Unfortunately this also mutes all the Sends in PT. So to get Reverb going for the Artist when recording takes one more step. The easiest way to do this is to put a Reverb in the StudioRack effects chain of the track (not my usual solution). A second method is to put a Waves Reverb in the Waves eMotionST mixer and feed it from one of the sends in StudioRack (easily done and only needs to be configured once). The sends in StudioRack are only active when a Track is in Record mode. So I usually put a Renn Reverb in the eMotionST mixer and in my PT session file. Then I set the send in StudioRack the same as the track. This lets me hear a no additional latency Reverb when recording and the same Reverb on playback. Things are going to get even better when the new Waves H-Reverb is released. But these are not the only ways. I can also configure a stereo StudioRack Send to an Aux Track in ProTools (via the eMotionST mixer) and then have the AUX track in PT routed to my main PT Reverb. In this configuration whatever Reverb is in my PT session (Lexicon Native PCM for instance) will be heard in Record and Playback. There will be a little extra delay on the Reverb in Record mode for this routing but for a Reverb this is like adding extra PreDelay. So as you can see - SoundGrid is super flexible and can adapt to many workflows.I also typically set up a series of effects and leave them all in SoundGrid mode. This includes a few delays, some Kramer Tape instances and some Reverbs. Having these all in SoundGrid mode takes the FX processing off of my CPU. The result is super low latency (1.2ms/1.6ms 96kHz/44.1kHz) at an almost laughable CPU load - 10% usually for me (on a new Mac Pro Hex core). ExpandabilityIn my first Studio setup I was only using a DLS + Avid I/O. Since I mostly record solo instruments and Voice featured Singer Songwriters it is important to keep both my mixing and recording rooms free of fan noise. The DLS (like my AVID i/o) has an internal fan. I measured the noise at 1 foot in front of it to be ~41dBA. For many this would be a non issue but for me I wanted this away from both the mics and the mix position. Luckily with this system relocating the DLS is just a CAT6 cable away. A 50 foot cable set me back $20 and I was - almost - done. It was tempting to just put the AVID I/O with it but for a few reasons I wanted this one near to my mix position. In my case I added a DigiGrid DLI to the mix room and coupled the AVID I/O with it. The DLI is a one rack space unit that enables the connection of up to four DigiLink I/Os but has no DSP - and for my uses also has no fan. So I daisy chained my computer to the DLI and then added a 50 foot CAT6 cable to the DLS. It is great to know that I can easily expand again anytime. My next thought is to add an IOX to the mix room (no fan) and put the AVID I/O with the DLS (now all fans are in the same place!). Then I can take the DLI up to my office and couple it with an AVID OMNI and access my whole studio from there!ConclusionThe MAIN thing for me is that DLS + SoundGrid system allows me to continue working with industry standard AVID I/Os in Pro Tools or almost any other modern DAW with DSP power to enable recording at 1.2ms latency for any buffer setting. I also get super easy expandability via CAT6 (or Cat5E) cabling to add or move I/O anywhere in my facility (which is a house in my case :-). Lastly I also have no loss of performance or stability in Pro Tools 11 versus my HD Native setup that I was using before this.
Music background: Musician/Studio Owner (Tape, ADAT, PT since 1998)

Nothing but problems

Having nothing but problems. I'm using it with an Apogee 64 and I've been on the phone with Waves longer than I've used it. Had it working for about a month..updated to their latest driver and poof I've had to call them for some issue every session since. Hardware seems stout but software is buggy.
See also: pro tools hd interface, DiGiGrid, DiGiGrid Pro Tools HD Interfaces