You may have heard something or other about “Digidesign Trade-in Programs,” but usually it involves high-end Digi equipment costing thousands of dollars. Now, Digidesign has a trade-in program for “the rest of us”:

Turbocharged LE Trade-in Promotion

Here’s my take on whether you’ll actually want this:

Basically, if you’ve got a Digi 001, Mbox, or Digi Toolbox, you can upgrade to a Digi 002 and either get the Music Production Toolkit for free or for a steep discount. (I read the promotion wrong as I first looked at it and thought they’d actually give you an 002 free for you 001, but . . . no, they want to stay in business, evidently.)

Note that trading in your Mbox may not be for everybody. The original Mbox is an excellent mobile interface and since Pro Tools LE only runs with hardware plugged into it, you probably don’t want to be tied exclusively to an 002. If you’re happy with your Mbox, you can upgrade to Pro Tools 7. Digidesign also now lets you install M-Powered on the same machine as LE, so I think a smarter upgrade for some might be to switch to Pro Tools M-Powered and have your choice of M-Audio interfaces.

You will want this, though, if you’ve got an 001, because unlike the Mbox, the 001 doesn’t support Pro Tools 7 — meaning it also won’t be supported on Intel Macs. And the 002 Factory with its integrated control surface (shown) is a pretty nice piece of kit.

As for whether the Music Production Kit is a great deal, that really depends on your needs. If you really love Pro Tools, getting some extra synths and effects in the deal could be terrific, and these are all top-notch offerings. For those of us on other platforms, though, it’s hard to get excited: compare the multitude of excellent synths and effects in either Apple Logic Pro 7 or Cakewalk SONAR Producer Edition to the grab bag offerings of the music production kit, keeping in mind that these packages don’t tie you down to one vendor’s hardware. Then again, I’m not sure that’s the point. We’re at a generation in DAWs where it’s more about slowly growing your user base and keeping loyal users happy than it is about wooing large numbers from other platforms. (Or, at least, that appears to be the net result.) So, I say, developers, keep on spoiling us. Really.

Now, if only some keyboard vendors would start taking trade-ins on those . . .

  • thesimplicity

    I'm a bit confused by the Music Production Toolkit… if you upgrade, do you have to purchase it? The wording doesn't really make it clear. Upgrading my 001 would be nice (because of the compatibility issues mentioned above), but since I just use it for multitracking and monitoring I could care less about the toolkit.

    And I'm not terribly familiar with the Digi002… I thought there were just two editions, the rack and factory versions, but the trade in also lists a 'rack factory' model. I assumed it was just a rack-mountable factory model, but it's so much cheaper then the regular factory model. I can't seem to find anything about it on Digidesign's site.

  • Digidesign's marketing materials often confuse me, so you're not alone . . .

    No, you definitely don't have to purchase the Music Production Toolkit. The discount in this case just happens to be tied to it. So, if you don't want MPT, eBay your old interface and pocket the change! 😉

    I *think* the rack factory model has a different software bundle than the rack model. I'm sure a reseller could tell you. I'm still waiting on Digidesign to tell me more about Intel support of plug-ins — early in the year, they promised all those plug-ins would be Intel ready concurrent with this in May (which you notice they got just under the wire May 31). Since I haven't seen a plug-in Intel announcement, I can only suspect that maybe that's not done? Not sure. I'll let you know.

  • Rich

    Does anybody know if Digi has released the path for computers with duo core processors? They sai it would be out in May.


  • thesimplicity

    Thanks, Peter.

    I called the nearest Digidesign reseller (which is a two hour bus ride away… ugh, sometimes I hate New England) and the difference between the rack factory and the normal rack is the bundled software, as you said. With the rack factory, you get:

    •Bomb Factory BF-3A

    •Joe Meek Compressor & Meequalizer

    •moogerfooger Ring Modulator & Analog Delay

    •SansAmp PSA-1

    •Cosmonaut Voice

    •Tel-Ray Variable Delay

    •Voce Spin & Chorus

    as well as an iLok with everything already authorized.

    In other words, you save a crapload of money if you opt for the rack factory in the upgrade program. It's a pretty great deal if you're interested in any of those plugins.

  • Excellent, thanks!

    Though it shouldn't matter, again, if you trade in your hardware unless you want the Music Production Toolkit. The price of Rack Factory is still the same. (But Rack Factory is definitely worth the extra cash — I'm a big fan of all those plugs, particularly the moogerfoogers and Meek plugs. They are the things that make me a little jealous of the Pro Tools users.)

  • me, here

    Funny how the cut off date is approx 3 weeks before AES….

    I'd bet $$$ Digidesign have a new interface and/or controller coming out at AES & want to unload as many of the 002s as they can beforehand…

    FWIW I'd never buy a 002 mixer – buy the rack version & then you can choose between the many controllers on the market…

    Also odd how they only offer the Music Production Toolkit, how come not DV Toolkit 2? They already forced a lot of people to buy it by making DV Toolkit 1 no longer supported!? If you dont upgrade it before the deadline then you have to rebuy it from scratch!? Who else does that to you? i would happily swap the moogerfooger and Meek plugs you so like for quality customer support & loyalty such as what ableton provide… Digidesign is the Microsoft of the audio biz 🙁

  • Possible you're right, Rich. On the other hand, they may just be trying to get people off of the now-unsupported 001, since it's the Music Toolkit they're unloading more than the 002. Digi doesn't usually update hardware that often, and the Mbox2 was just revised, so it's definitely not going anywhere.

    Oh, and I don't see any mention of improved dual core support, or any other plug-in support, so now it's not clear to me that if you get ANY of this stuff that you'll be able to use it with an Intel Mac.

    And yes, I agree. I'd rather just spend my cash the way I want to rather than having it dictated to me by Digidesign — which is probably why even their M-Powered version is gaining popularity, since you can at least choose among M-Audio hardware (though not anybody else's). I'm really happy with my Logic + Live setup at the moment (plus standard plug-ins I can even drop into things like Max/MSP).

  • Yaniv


    I need to know, I Have digi001 rack, want to upgrade for digi002, what is the deal and where in my homeplace please ?

    Im From Israel, Tel Aviv (TA)

    Which contact place or man ?

    Thanx in advacne

    Yaniv Bitran

  • does anybody know if the music production kit can be used in one than more computer?

  • more than one computer* (correction)