AES: Digi 002 On Show

Digi 002 firewire audio interface/mix surface is up and running      09/10/02

Buying Choices

Digidesign were showing off their new Digi 002 firewire audio interface and controller. I didn't get a full demo as there was always someone ahead of me in line it seemed, but I did watch from "over the shoulder". I also had the opportunity to play with a display Digi 002 for a while. First impressions: It's a bit bigger and bulkier than it seems in the pictures, definitely giving the vibe of nice solid construction. Faders feel good, and buttons have a solid feel with a clean click when you press them. Some of the knobs were a bit sticky, due to the rubber on the knobs rubbing against the surface of the controller. I'm assuming that these were prototype or very early production units and this minor fit and finish issue will be solved. The LCD displays above each channel are larger than expected and very clearly readable from a distance. No need to lean forwward to squint. A great feature is that the LCD's are close enough together that they can also function as one large LCD to display longer messages. Longer words or short sentences are spread out across several LCD's, a very nice touch. Another first impression is how well the hardware is integrated with the software. While a mouse still seems needed, most normal recording/mixing chores can be handled from the 002 controller. For example, adding eq is as simple as selecting a channel and then hitting the eq button. The eq plugin pops up onscreen and you can edit it with the 8 multi-function knobs above the channel strip. Finished editing - just put the eq away by hitting the eq button again. Features include:
  • 8 analog inputs with 4 mic pres with individual gain and high-pass filter, 48v phantom power enabled on channel pairs.
  • 8 analog outputs, Outputs 1&2 are mirrored on 1/4" TRS monitor output (with dedicated volume control), and -10 fixed output on RCA connectors.
  • 8 channels of ADAT I/O or 2 channels of optical SPDIF I/O.
  • 2 channels of SPDIF I/O on RCA connectors.
  • Alternate source input for direct monitoring of -10 dBV audio equipment like tape players, CD players, etc.
  • 24-bit/96 kHz converters, up to >108 dynamic range and > 98 dB THD+N (0.002%).
  • 8 touch sensitive motorized faders.
  • 8 motion-sensitive rotary encoders used for pan/send/meter/plugin control.
  • 10 scribble strips for track name, pan, send, fader, plugin values adn timeline position.
  • Transport control.
  • Midi I/O. 1 in port, 2 out ports for 16 channels in and 32 channels out.
  • Footswitch for QuickPunch control. The Digi 002 can also be used as a stand-alone 8x4x2 mixer. In that mode it has built in EQ, dynamics, delay, reverb and snapshot recall. Digi claims near zero latency from input to output in this mode. Plugins bundled with the Digi 002 include: the usual Digi Rack plugins, Native Instruments Pro-52 synth, Sample Tank SE, Waves Renaissance Collection, IK's Amplitube, and Digidesign's D-Fi, D-fx, and Maxim. What I'm not sure of is whether these are demo plugins that expire or full registered versions that don't expire. Earlier versions of PT LE have the D-Fi/D-fx/Maxim plugins, but they expire. Nevertheless, it is a great collection of bundled plugins. List price is $2,495. For more info: Digidesign Albert


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