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Thread: APOGEE DA16X

  1. #1
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    APOGEE DA16X

    I'm considering buying an Apogee DA16x and Dangerous music 2-bus for my Protools HD system to do analog summing. Has anyone had experiance with this configuration? null

  2. #2
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    I just ordered an Apogee DA-16X and Roll Music Folcrom. I can post my impressions if you're still interested.

    Paul

  3. #3
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    I'd be very interested! Please post your impressions.

  4. #4
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    Paul, Mike? You guys still lurking?

    Sorry it took so long to get back here. Apogee was back-ordered on the DA-16X, so it was nearly a month before it reached my hands.

    For my comparative experience, please understand that about 99.9% of my recording career has been as a project studio mercenary. My world is the MOTU/Mackie/Allen & Heath Mix Wizard/Pro Tools MITB set.

    Although I've found that an acceptable mix can be achieved "in the box" with a good A/D and an accurate clock, I've always found MITB unsatisfying. I'll spare you ambiguous adjectives. Suffice to say I prefer analog summing.

    That said, I've always found that no matter how carefully I tracked, eq'd, compressed, panned, etc., there was always that "smear" from using cheap or middle of the road D/As and mixers. I make sure my reverb and modulation fx are multiples or divisible by the tempo, I use signal generators to set levels, I take advantage of balanced I/O with the right cables whenever I can, etc. No matter, I could never get recordings to sound as professional as I wanted.

    I'm happy to report that frustration is over.

    When I ordered the DA-16X and the Folcrom, I also ordered an Apogee MiniMe and Native Instruments Guitar Rig. I was so bowled over by this combo alone, I decided to completely re-record a piece I was working on while waiting for the DA-16X. Guitar Rig sounds great and it is so nice to be able to tweak after you've recorded. With Guitar Rig, a "wrong guitar tone" is no longer a life sentence, a re-record or an excursion into extreme DSP tweaking.

    The DA-16X finally arrived. Even though I still have another guitar part to lay down, naturally I couldn't stand it. I had to hook that baby up and have a listen. After all, the Folcrom had just been sitting there for over two weeks... (here come the ambiguous superlatives...) With the DA-16X running through the Folcrom and feeding the MiniMe, all the air and 3-dimensional qualities I love about analog are there. But it's crystal clear. I can hear all the details. The lows are punchy, the mids are smooth, the highs are silky... I love it. I wanted the MiniMe anyway to do some mobile recording, but my next move will be to rent some other mic pre's and experiment with those connected to the Folcrom. I tried it with an old ART PRO MPA as a makeup gain device, but it muddies up the low end a bit. A better 2x A/D will be next.

    In conclusion, this isn't to say I'd turn down an SSL, Neve or API console, but for now, this is about the best sounding compact rig I've ever heard.

    Couple of side notes:

    I'm very impressed with the Roll Music Folcrom. This thing feels solidly built and has a superb fit and finish.

    The Apogee manual suggests leaving a rack space above and below the DA-16X empty to keep it cool. Unless you have rack fans, I feel that's more like a requirement. This thing was getting hot enough to make me nervous so I gave it the rack spaces. Runs much cooler now.

    Paul

  5. #5
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    My world is the MOTU/Mackie/Allen & Heath Mix Wizard/Pro Tools MITB set.

    What Pro Tools do you have? HD or Digi 001 / 002? Just curious because I am in the same position. I want to merge my analog with the digital stuff and I was looking at the apogee stuff as well.
    AHHHH! To Be 3D VIP!

  6. #6
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    The Pro Tools setup isn't mine, but rather belongs to the project studio I currently work in most often when I'm not in my own studio. Anyway, it's a Pro Tools Mix setup.

    Paul

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the update Paul! I've been wanting to get 16 tracks of D/A ever since I got my A/D 16 (and yes, it get's mighty hot!). I like mixing in the box for my commercial/corporate work but I miss using my hardware on music mixdowns. I've been tracking with hardware to get the sound "on the way in" with some success but the drawbacks of that are fairly obvious. Looking forward to external mixing sometime in the future.

  8. #8
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    Pauly D

    Thank you for the reply. Very helpful.
    I'm anxious to rent a similar setup and
    compare it it mixing in the box.

    Thanks,
    PaulW

  9. #9
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    Default Apogee DA-16X/Folcrom

    Thank you for the replies. I have been using the Apogee DA-16X with the Folcrom summing box for a while now. I often do a mix in the box and then the same mix summed with the DA-16X/Folcrom. The difference is not night and day but I will say the analog summing is always better to my ears. More clear, more defined, and overall just smoother with more air and none of the upper midrange/high end smear the in-the-box mixes have. It's not that the in-the-box mixes don't sound great, because they definately do, but the analog summed mixes are a little sweeter sounding and I find myself being drawn into the music a little more because the high end is a little smoother. Please keep in mind that while these differences were apparent to me while A/B-ing the digitally and analog summed mixes, if you where to hear the in-the-box on it's own it would still sound excellent and nothing would be blatantly wrong with it. It might come down to apples & oranges for many people but I definately prefer the analog summing.
    Thanks.
    -Paul
    Last edited by PaulW; 10-17-2006 at 10:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default

    I've been waiting to hear about someone using the Apogee products with their X-HD expansion cards, hooked directly into an HD Core card (in place of the normal digi interface)

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