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A lot of DAW hardware can be physically intimidating, especially units with over-the-top “if you’re not an engineer, stay away” appearances. DiGiGrid has released an expandable interface, the DiGiGrid D, that is super easy to understand.
It looks like a simplified mixer, with each input labeled with the universal symbols for microphones or instruments; it features (2) XLR inputs and (2) ¼” TRS inputs, as well as (4) outputs; Monitor and Line out. A headphone output tops out the connections. Connection to the computer is via an Ethernet (Cat 5) cable. This enables the unit to be networked with other DiGiGrid units, such as one of their cube interfaces through their DiGiGrid S unit. All of the control surfaces have bright LED level metering, and the knobs and controls feel robust, with durable rubber finishes. It’s an added touch that not only does the headphone output have its own large knob, but also a separate one for monitoring. It’s a simple and functional layout that is easy to work with. Its design lends itself to portability, and not being tied down to a fixed location. We’ve even seen artists take these out on the road for use in a live setting – an added bonus and feature we’d like to see in more hardware units (being fit for stage and studio).▼ Article continues below ▼
Setup is relatively easy, however to truly get all the benefits and connectivity, downloading and installing their SoundGrid software is a must. This is a little more involved getting this configured, but yields maximum benefits overall.
Once set up, it interfaces with any recording software imaginable, and works well on Mac or PC. Sound quality is excellent, and the overall functionality is fantastic. The street price is just under $700, and while there are interfaces that have more inputs, the ability to have their remote cubes in various locations makes it a great expandable system. While we didn’t have any of their cubes to test, the idea of having one in a far off area, such as using a bathroom as a vocal booth, makes this a great “add as you go” idea. Remote devices can be placed about 250 feet away, and since CAT5 cable is pretty easy to come by in long runs, the benefits become clear almost immediately. With 4 remotes the inputs get maxed out at 8, which is plenty for most home studios. For a studio’s “B” room it’s well suited for voiceovers or overdubs, without taking up a lot of crucial desktop space.
For the home studio that wants to become more, this is a sure way to go.
Expandable, well designed, easy to understand hardware.
Maximum 8 channels (with remotes), initial startup of software is a bit involved.