Flashback – Classic Digidesign 001 Promo Video Recording Session

If like me you started out in "Pro Audio" at the beginning of the new millennium or close to that time you might have come across the Digidesign 001 Audio Interface, Back then the computer audio world was just starting to blossom for the home and small project studio user. Gear was becoming more accessible and computer power and speed was beginning to get to the point where it was actually possible to do a decent amount of multi-track recording with fairly large sessions.
Before the 001 multi-track recording into Pro Tools was pretty much a rich man's game with a TDM DSP based system (the equivalent to Pro Tools HD back then) with expensive SCSI hard drives and the only option for a smaller cheaper Pro Tools set-up was the Digidesign AudioMedia card with stereo input and output until the Mbox came along.

digidesign-digi-001-276 Digidesign 001 Rear
The launch 0f the 001 changed things quite dramatically, suddenly it was possible to use Pro Tools in a far more expansive way.
The 001 consisted of a PCI card that connected to a 1U rack mount break-out box via a multi-pin umbilical cable which sported 8 analogue inputs and outputs (the first two channels sported Mic Preamps/line ins on Combi XLR/Jacks) 8 more channels were available via optical ADAT ports on the PCI card plus stereo co-axial Spdiff and MIDI io on the rear of the box.
If you coupled the 001 with an 8 channel ADAT converter you had a whopping 16 analogue io's and could record a whole band at once which was pretty huge for non TDM Pro Toolers back then.

Myself and Robin here at PTPC worked for a fledgling Pro Audio PC manufacturer (born from the most famous music store in London) called "Carillon Audio Systems" and we worked very hard to get our systems actually qualified and approved by Digidesign for use with Pro Tools as you can see in the system compatibility list here (yeah we've been at this game a LONG time !), and the 001 was a pretty big seller for us.

If like me you owned a 001 ( I most recently ran mine on Windows XP Pro and a Pentium 4 with "Hyperthreading" !!!! and still have two of them somewhere) I'm sure this brings back fond memories for you. The 001 shipped with Pro Tools version 5 and was discontinued at Pro Tools 6.4.1 - What??? just one PT version number change and it was killed off??? Yeah people complaining today about 10 year old hardware being killed don't know the half of it right?  😉
But to be fair I seem to remember versions going a few years between big number jumps back then but my memory is a little hazy with that.
Oh! and remember that awful demo song??? "Be There" Yeah of course you do !

Anyway, sit back and watch this video and be reminded of that terrible song, that terrible American dress sense that looked like it came straight off the set of Miami vice and think how lucky we were, and are now.

Also available in Spanish here

And for those who have no idea about the 001 but want to know more here's a Sound On Sound Magazine write up with all the details and the 001 Qucickstart guide.

Did you own a 001 ? leave us a comment with your memories below, share this story with your friends and if you want more of this kind of content delivered straight to your email inbox sign up for our mailing list right here.

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