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Digidesign Factory Bundles

An easy way to bag a whole lot more sound

By Stephon Fraley

Finding the right pieces of gear for converting your analog sounds into digital data requires judging specs such as bit and sampling rates, I/O, software compatibility, etc. And, equally important, price.

Digidesign Factory Bundles
An attractive blend of the former results in good sound. An attractive number for the latter results in more cash for all the other stuff you need. But you still need your audio to sound good, not like you used a single-track recorder with the mic from your sister's karaoke machine ... even if you did. There is an easy answer. From the bedroom to the big-time studio, Digidesign has a handle on digital audio.

Digidesign's Pro Tools LE systems, the MBox 2, and Digi 003 Factory Bundles make it easy to get professional-sounding results. And now Digidesign has sweetened the deal even more with the Factory Bundles. A result of the savvy acquisition of Bomb Factory's (BF) line of world-class plug-ins, these special packages combine up to $2,000 in BF plug-ins with a Digidesign Pro Tools LE system for a fractional price increase.

Which means the time to move into Pro Tools is now. BF excelled at getting their soft sound processors to behave in very hardware-like ways. They even produced software versions of classics like the JOEMEEK SC2 and moogerfooger effects. With these plug-ins in your arsenal and a Pro Tools system under your arm, great digital audio is right around the corner.

Mbox 2: Kiddie pool or hot tub?
For those just looking to get their feet wet in the world of digital audio, the MBox 2 Factory Bundle will do the trick. Rest assured, though, you'll do way more than just get your feet wet. The MBox 2 is a friendly looking and easy-to-use piece of gear with enough muscle to get stuff done. And you'll get lots done with the extras included in the MBox 2 Factory Bundle.

The moogerfooger delay may be the warmest, richest delay plug-in available, which is totally appropriate considering its roots as a legendary piece of Bob Moog-designed gear. Joe Meek was legendary for the use of his own homemade, very musical compression and EQ equipment. With the SC2 and VC5 BF units, you get the exact same circuits, sounds, and response made famous by the originals. Cosmonaut Voice is a plug-in destined for universal acclaim. Shred your vocals with everything from distortion and white noise to sounds like telephone voice and space radio transmission. An intelligent limiter, Maxim boasts peak-recognition ability and transparent limiting that will far exceed your expectations.

So the MBox 2 is small. There's nothing wrong with small, especially when you're trying to save desk space or looking for a portable recording partner. And thanks to the miracle of modern technology, small doesn't mean that you miss out. The MBox 2 provides 24-bit A/D/A (analog/digital/analog) conversion at either 44.1kHz or 48kHz and 100 decibels of dynamic range, so your guitar or vocals will sound flawless. 2 Focusrite mic preamps with 48-volt phantom power let you use nice condenser mics for voices and acoustic instruments.

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Secret agent 003
The Digi 003 Factory Bundlescome with the same software and plug-ins as the MBox 2, but they up the ante with some alluring additions. The first is the BF-3A. This sweet compressor adds fat smoothness and sonic texture to any signal-perfect for making sounds jump out of the mix. Next, the moogerfooger Ring Modulator makes it easy to add clangorous textures to any signal. The SansAmp PSA-1 is a BF replica of the classic analog preamp used over and over to achieve righteous guitar sounds onstage and in the studio. Looking for luscious delay with a unique feel? The Tel-Ray Variable Delay has all the appeal of the '60s original and will add warm echo and delay to anything. And finally, you'll use the VoceŽ Spin and Chorus/Vibrato effects over and over for vintage rotating speaker sounds and B-3-like vibrato. And of course, you also get the Digi 003 Rack. For those ready to come up from the basement, or at least get into some serious recording projects, the 003 Rack is for you. This 2U FireWire interface can handle up to 32 streams of pristine audio. If mixing and manipulating audio with your mouse makes you see red, then the 003 Rack will definitely please. With it, you won't just record sounds-you'll own them. Right at your fingertips lay a wealth of controls and indicators-even motorized faders. Plus special transport controls let you handle your audio in Pro Tools without leaving the 003.

Whether you need a simple home setup to make your songs sound pro or are a project studio owner looking to take your first step into Pro Tools, these Factory Bundles make an easy choice even more obvious.

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