Academy Dashboard Forum Production Digital Recording Digigrid system or similar in your studio?

  • This topic has 7 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Matt Graham.
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  • #28094
    Lem Meador
    Moderator

      Anyone own or working in a Digigrid studio or similar? I'm at a crossroads where I want to add compression, limiting, EQ, etc. to my record chain so that my recording sessions are printed with better signals. My initial intent was to expand my analogue gear with a lunchbox with 1073's, 1176's, etc. But, I'm pretty deep into Waves and native DAW plugins now for mixing, and have started looking at the Waves DSP/Digigrid system, where I could utilize my software plugins for tracking and monitoring, simultaneously. I've been to a couple of training events and watched FOH engineers demonstrate how they are using these types of systems for live sound production and simultaneous concert recording, and I have to wonder if this is the way to go "in studio" now.

      • This topic was modified 6 years ago by Lem Meador.
      #43509
      Samuel Botstein
      Participant

        I am also interested in the DigiGrid system. However, I am interested in the possibilities of low-latency and networked I/O in the studio, and have absolutely no interest whatsoever in Waves plugins. My hope is that if I can live with the I/O limit associated with running Pro Tools HD without an HDX card that costs thousands of dollars and runs DSP (in which I also have zero interest), I could afford a much better interface right away.

        As such, I would be extremely interested in any comparison, especially as related to latency, between running DigiLink (Avid Pro Tools HD hardware stuff) and DigiGrid interfaces with Pro Tools. If anyone has experiences to share, I would be highly interested.

        As far as I can tell, there are numerous advantages to running DigiGrid over Pro Tools HD (hardware cards):

        There's no proprietary stuff between the computer and the interface, just regular Cat6 gigabit ethernet cables that most any computer could run.

        There's no need for Thunderbolt, or PCIe cards, or expansion chassis.

        There's no need for fans. The Pro Tools HD hardware all have fans in them that are audible and run all of the time. One could acquire or build a fan-less computer and potentially not bother with a machine room or IsoBox.

        Tape safeties are easy. One could just connect another cheap computer with any DAW to the local network, press record once at the beginning of one's day, and be insulated from Pro Tools crashes.

        Monitoring is made really easy. Just connect something to the network again and route it to a headphone/loudspeaker amp where needed and musicians can mix monitors, "more me," etc digitally, inexpensively, and non-destructively.

        The main downside seems to be the I/O limit associated with using Pro Tools without the PCIe cards/DigiLink interfaces.

        • This reply was modified 5 years ago by Samuel Botstein.
        #45354
        Lem Meador
        Moderator

          Samuel, did you ever get any additional information? I see that my post was from last year. Since then, I bought a DiGiGrid system and a Waves SoundGrid Impact server to provide near zero latency monitoring, with or without plugins. Let me know how things are working out for you.

          #46364
          Matt Graham
          Participant

            I am interested in your system Lem. I'm a Waves user as well. Would you car to discuss it further ie pics, functions, pros and cons? I'm not "there" yet but very close so I would like to learn more about it.

            Cheers!

            Matt

            #46372
            Lem Meador
            Moderator

              Absolutely. In fact, I've produced some videos that go into detail for the Academy. Not sure if they have been posted yet. Let me get with the admins and see where we are with getting those posted. I'll drop you a link when I know more. Stay tuned!

              #46373
              Samuel Botstein
              Participant

                Hi Lem,

                I have not yet taken further steps to get in to SoundGrid, and am still pretty intrigued by some of the possible benefits, none of which are related to using plugins. I like the idea of just adding a device to the network for additional tape safeties and monitoring, and being able to work with something brought in (like a client's laptop with some BS DAW) very quickly.

                I'd have to figure out the situation with I/O and sample rates and channel counts, latency, and cost versus Dante.

                However, I am definitely leaning away from an HDX card now, as the I/O limits in Pro Tools seem to have been relaxed, and least doubled on my personal system. (Avid's site is inaccurate and not up to date. It's effectively useless). I'm going to investigate sample rates versus channel counts and latency expanding my Orion 32+ with MADI to a Burl Audio B80 Mothership before I think about ditching it for a SoundGrid/Dante Mothership.

                I hope to speak with someone at Waves soon, and/or test out SoundGrid in a local store.

                #46391
                Lem Meador
                Moderator

                  Hey, Samuel and Matt, there's a good public Facebook group called Waves SoundGrid Connection. There are some folks in there that are deep into SoundGrid, with a lot of expertise with integration into HDX and all kinds of systems. Because I was building my studio from scratch, I didn't have to worry about integration. The folks in that group seem genuinely helpful. I follow it pretty closely, even though about half of it is about integration with systems that I don't have. There's one guy that is amazingly helpful. He may actually be a Waves employee. Not sure, but he does moderate the group and keep it clean. His name is Ümit Ceyhan. He is also the moderator and guide for another private group called DiGiGrid Connection. I belong to that group, too, since I actually own DiGiGrid equipment.

                  I'm checking with Matt D. to see if they have ever posted my videos that will give you an inside look at how I use my system. As a starter, I have this equipment:

                  MacBook Pro 2011 (maxed out)
                  DiGiGrid iOX (12 channel interface with 4 headphone outs and 3 stereo pair outs)
                  DiGiGrid D (desktop interface with 4 additional inputs) I use this one as my monitor controller in the control room.
                  Impact Server (the smallest of the servers, but so far has been more than sufficient for even the largest mixes with 60+ tracks)
                  A Waves certified Netgear switch (8 channel)
                  Yamaha HS8's with the matching sub

                  That's the core of my system. With just that limited amount of gear, I can track a live band with 5 musicians, capturing live drums (9 mics), bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, stereo piano and a scratch vocal. I still have one input left over and sometimes use an extra mic on the drum kit or add a cabinet to the electric guitar or the bass, depending on the musician, which pedal boards they bring, what the song needs, etc. With that limited gear, I can also provide all 5 musicians with individual mixes. Everybody gets exactly what they want. I can also provide effects like delay and reverb in ear for tracking, if wanted, while tracking clean to disk. I can also apply the effects and track dirty and have in ear dirty. I can even track dirty and have in ear clean. I always track through the new Scheps Omni Channel plugin, for all tracks. I don't track dirty with it, but I don't really have to. With the way the I use the system most of the time, the musicians hear the effects (EQ, compression, etc.) from the Omni Channel plugin in ear while tracking. Then, when they step into the control after tracking, the playback automatically includes the same plugin and treatment without any changes at all by me. It's not printed that way, but the playback automatically switches from the "input" mode to the "output" mode, identical to what happens when I start mixing with a plugin. It's crazy cool. Great technology. As you've probably seen, for probably 50 to 60% of the plugins that Waves make, they can track with the SoundGrid system with no additional latency. The system has a default of 40 samples (.8ms) which is undetectable by even the most time sensitive musician.

                  Okay. That's a start. If we don't get the videos posted soon, I'll just upload them to this thread. Hope this is helpful. Cheers!

                  #46408
                  Matt Graham
                  Participant

                    Wow, that's an awesome set up! Thank you so much Lem, I'll start investigating this asap.

                    I hope your vids are made available. If not, are they on youtube or Vimeo?
                    My system is very much small and mobile for spot recording. I use my mid 2012 MacBook Pro also maxed out, Logic ProX, Prism Sound Atlas. My only outboard gear at the moment consist of a BAE1073 mic pre (EQ) and the UK Sound 1173. I am capable of live off the floor recording or tracking against scratch tracks. With 8 inputs on the Atlas, I can get what I need from a small drum kit.

                    If the session requires more, I'll use my Presonus RM32.

                    So far I have not recorded a session where multiple artists have required their own mixes. I have done ONE live off the floor recording, one drum session where I laid down guitars and bass against the drums the following day. So, I need to get this stuff under control! LOL

                    You rock buds!!! Many thanks...

                    Matty

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