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Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

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Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Lemec » Mon May 06, 2019 11:30 pm

Hi,

I have a home-studio with the following current setup;

Avid Digidesign 003 Audio Interface
Golden Age Premier PREQ-73 mic preamp
AKG C314 Mic
Shure SM58 Mic
Roland ep7 Master Keyboard
Avid Pro Tools 12 DAW

I mainly do a lot of voice-over work (audiobooks, audioguides, web promo spots, e-learning courses, etc...) and small music pre-production (electric gtrs, acustic guitars, vocals, bass and sampled instruments MIDI) in a relatively good (as good as my budget allowed) sound treated room.

The Golden Age Premier PREQ-73 recent addon made it clear the deficienty of the pres of the Digi003 and also some electrical "noise" issues it seems to have.

My newly updated PC has USB2, USB3 and Firewire connection

I would most appreciate if you could help me as i'm searchign for a new Audio Interface for my home studio.

Thank you in advance
Lemec
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Lemec » Tue May 07, 2019 8:41 pm

Hi,

After a search and regarding the needs that i mainly have in my daily works (Voice-Over thru an external MicPre, music production with the use of VI - Midi, recording of electric/acustic/bass guitars) meaning that i usually can work with max 2 mic/line input in the AI, 2 balanced inputs for the external MicPre, and MIDI interface for the MasterKeyboard, i came up with this list (limited with my current budget of 670$/600€);

Zoom UAC-8
MOTU 8 Pre USB
MOTU UltraLite-mk4
Arturia AudioFuse
Focusrite Clarett 4Pre USB
Presonus Studio 1824c

Any feedback/suggestions/advices ?

Thank you in advance
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby James Perrett » Tue May 07, 2019 10:19 pm

I'd add an RME Babyface to that list - their driver quality is legendary and there are people around here who really rate the Totalmix software that goes with them. My RME interface on the studio computer is too old for Totalmix at 17 years old but is now only just starting to show its age.
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Matt Houghton » Wed May 08, 2019 10:58 am

How many simultaneous inputs/outputs do you require? What budget do you have available for this upgrade?

I'm another RME fan, but there are loads of options from them and from other manufacturers to suit different budgets and requirements...
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Lemec » Wed May 08, 2019 6:33 pm

Thank you James Perret...actually i'm In doubt between the RME Fireface UC and the new RME Fireface UCX... What's your opinion ? Worth the diference ?

Thank you Matt ...As for my actual recording needs;

I use an external micpre/DI (GAP PREQ-73) for Voice-Over, vocals, acoustic/electric/bass guitars connected to one balanced input of the Digi003 Console and masterkeyboard thru midi to use VI's (Kontakt, Superior Drummer, Omnisphere, etc...).

I never record more then 1 instrument at the time but i would like to at least have 2 micpres in the interface....Just in case.... Midi is obviously needed and enough outputs for monitoring /recording and still get the sound of my comp.

The audio quality level i need is quite high as i work a lot for many "big time" international companies (specially in the VO world)
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby James Perrett » Wed May 08, 2019 9:08 pm

Lemec wrote:Thank you James Perret...actually i'm In doubt between the RME Fireface UC and the new RME Fireface UCX... What's your opinion ? Worth the diference ?

I must admit that I'm more interested in their digital only interfaces but, from a quick look, it appears that the UCX has built-in DSP to give you Eq and compression on each channel if you need it. There is also mention of slightly lower latency but even my ancient RME interface is pretty good on that front so I'm not sure whether that's a big advantage. Hopefully someone more experienced with these models will contribute...
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu May 09, 2019 9:54 am

To be honest, any number of interfaces would do what you want perfectly well, including any of those listed above. Especially if you're happy using a separate USB/MIDI interface (which are cheap enough...). You might also check out the various Audient interfaces, which offer great sound quality for the price, though I'm not too familiar with the software side of things.

As has been said, though, RME have a particularly strong record of supporting their products for many years and having drivers up to date very quickly after OS updates, and of having good, stable, low-latency performance. I've only just retired my RME Fireface 800 which is many moons old, and that only because they don't play nicely with the latest Macs (it still sounds great and works fine with Windows machines...). That's why I'm happy to keep using them, and recommending them (no, I'm not paid to do so!!!).

Like James, I'm more interested in their digital interfaces now, but in your shoes I think I'd probably be looking at the Babyface Pro, to which you can always add an eight-channel ADAT mic pre at a later date if you need more inputs...
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby uncleswede » Thu May 09, 2019 11:27 am

I'll add my vote for the RME Fireface UCX which I personally run over Firewire.

8 inputs (2 x XLR), 8 outputs (if you include the headphone out). 2 MIDI I/O ports (with the breakout cable).

Their ASIO drivers are, indeed, legendary. In my DAW (Reaper) I get a round trip latency of 7ms (with buffer 128 samples) with unnerving stability :-)

TotalMix is an added bonus with it's routing capabilities and onboard DSP FX.
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby Lemec » Thu May 09, 2019 1:13 pm

Thank you Matt and Uncleswede for you kind replies and input....

Can you share some light regarding the pre and adda conversor quality of the babyface pro vs the fireface UCX ?
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Re: Time to retire my AVID DIGI 003 Audio Interface

Postby James Perrett » Thu May 09, 2019 2:47 pm

Lemec wrote:Can you share some light regarding the pre and adda conversor quality of the babyface pro vs the fireface UCX ?

The Babyface Pro is a newer design and the specs are slightly better but, unless you are listening to very critical material in an exceptionally good listening environment, you are unlikely to notice any difference.
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