Comparing Digi001; M-Box; Motu 828, to use with my PC for acoustic piano CD
Posted on Jan 01, 2003 08:45 pm
Member Since: Dec 15, 2002
I'm a newbie looking for opinions. I'm wanting to record mellow solo acoustic piano music by burning my own CD on my Dell 4400 PC. I want a professional quality recording as possible on a low budget, that requires no over tracking or special mixing effects etc. I'm willing to spend $1000 for two condenser mics and one of the three pieces of equipment in my ad title. Does anyone have experience enough to know what would be best the Digi001, the Digidesign M-Box, or the Motu 828? I've been doing some literal cutting and pasting of printouts to line up the tech info on each, the 001, M-Box, and Motu 828. I need a "quiet" recording as my piano style has long sustain chords with lead melodies. I can't have any "self-noise". The Mic part of my decision process is very close to being satisfied as being two Studio Project B3 condenser mics. What do you think of the above items? Any advice is appreciated!
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Jan 02, 2003 08:54 am Before offering opinions, might I ask why you are choosing from those three in particular? Are you open to other ideas or married to getting one of those three. Considering your rather light usage there are many, many others to choose from.
Do you have any other gear already, such as preamps or a mixer?
Jan 06, 2003 04:45 am Dear Administrator:
The three pieces of equipment I'm wondering about are what I've gathered by reading and going to various forums. It seems in my category of needs that the 001, motu 828, and M-Box, is the general ideas tossed about out there. It is mind boggling the amount of equipment to choose from and the various ideas and opinions. I hope for as professional sounding a recording as I can achieve for my low budget. In the same way, reading, seeking advice, I've narrowed down mics to the Studio Projects B3. The overall opinion I've found is that sound cards do not sound "good", good meaning among those very concerned about a quiet sound floor or as "professional" a recording as they can get. I'm willing to pay a little more for such outboard equipment just because I feel I can save a lot of pain over inboard equipment. I've heard good about the M-Box and the prices have been around $450. Maybe I'm spending about $200 or so more than a soundcard. I feel that once the initial investment is made and shipping paid and the time to learn to use equipment also makes me think that $200 or so more is worth the extra cost. It will be interesting to learn from your input on this -- what you feel is best for my solo acoustic piano recording low budget needs. Your opinions and advice is most appreciated.
Most Sincerely, Winfred
Jan 06, 2003 05:10 am It seems to me that the other boards you are visiting are, like many boards, full of blow hards that are more interested in bragging rights than actually sound quality. Two of the three pieces you mention are DigiDesign, which is the company that makes ProTools. I am guessing you have also been told that ProTools is the app you should use. Am I right in that assumption?
Not too many years ago ProTools was really the only game in town, not so any more. There are many high-quality apps available in many price ranges.
Myself, I have been doing audio professionally in my home studio for a few years and have never used any DigiDesign product. A few other folks at this site are the same way.
You have a seeming very simple request of any professional level sound card, and it seems to me that you could get by very well with something like an M-Audio Delta 44 and Sonar software (or any of 3 or 4 other packages).
Don't get me wrong, DigiDesign and ProTools are great products, they do a fine job, but they are much more costly and don't do anything that many other packages don't do.
In my humble opinion...
Jan 06, 2003 03:15 pm I just thought I would toss in my two cents here as a Digi 001 user. Personally, I LOVE ProTools. It's very feature packed, well supported and has tons of room for upward mobility. I know several artists who have used ProTools LE systems to produce full-length, pro-quality records and am in the middle of doing the same myself.
That having been said, the big draw-back to the Digidesign route is cost. It's certainly a great system and I feel was worth the extra expense, but for your specific application, I'm not sure it would really be worth it. I haven't run accross any other ProTools users on this site and if you listen to the music that this community is making, you'll hear that they're getting great results from less costly solutions.
In the end, you really need to consider what your long-term plans for your home studio are. If cost is high priority, I would definitely veer away from the Digidesign path. However, if you want to jump in with both feet into a solution that is being widely used by professional studios (of course, they use the much more expensive TDM version), I personally don't think that there is a better system available than ProTools.
Jan 07, 2003 03:58 am Dear Administrator:
Thanks again! You gave me food for thought on the soundcard vs outboard route. I'm going to have to explore your site more and go to, I think< the "Music & Composition" area and listen to some of the recording results with soundcards like the Delta 44. I'm making a very gradual investment, very very gradual ha, as I recall at first, about a year ago, I was reading a lot about soundcards and I recall vaguely that the Delta 44 came out about a year ago with excellant reviews. I was also considering at the time the Echo Mia, and I have now forgotten, several other cards. I was also even considering building from scratch my own DAW, my own PC, which I'm glad now I did not undertake as it is no simple task, plus I have the tech backup with my Dell. Wow, you've given me food for thought and I'm going to step back, like an artist does with a canvas in a sense, and think again. Oh, my mics, if I run two Studio Projects B3's I think I'll need a pre-amp. It seems I recall the Delta 44 has a mic pre in it. On the mic pre subject, I was also told the M-Box has a very good mic pre, but that's in the "outboard" realm of things. Again, thank you very much for your input. If you have any additional to my message here it will again be interesting to hear from you. Sincerely, Winfred
Jan 08, 2003 01:29 pm First of all, I haven't checked in a while, but I'm not sure the M-box works with a PC. I think it's Apple only and is fire wire. You keep saying outboard. Well the M-box is fire wire but the digi 001 is a card with a breakout box, just like the M-audio Delta 44, Delta 66 and Delta 10101.
The Delta 44 has good mic pre.s and should do fine for what you're wanting to do. I would also look into N-track. It is under $100 for the 24 bit version and is very good sounding. I believe Digidesign and Motu are both better supported in Apple than PC. That is something to think about.
Jan 08, 2003 01:40 pm It is true that DigiDesign tends to have greater support for Mac than Windows, but the M-Box is compatable with Windows XP. There are, however, a couple of known incompatablilities and you should check them out on DigiDesign's website before you buy. The M-Box connects to your computer via USB cable so there's no worry about having a firewire card if you're using a PC. You can check out the compatability information by going to:
Go to "Products" then "M-Box"
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