Digidesign 003 Factory Bundle : Hatsubai's user review
"Beginner's studio in a box"
Digidesign is fairly well known throughout the community as being a great company to buy starter packages for beginning a studio from. This time, they offer everything the 002 pack had and then some. The 003 is a nice control surface that has 8 motorized faders, 8 rotary encoders for pan/send/meter and other controls, a dedicated mute/solo/select/record switch per channel, nifty LCD display per channel, jog wheel, firewire, 18 I/Os, decent mic pres, phantom power, S/PDIF and more. This also comes complete with Pro Tools LE to help get you started with everything you need.
Pro Tools LE has always been one of the more stable DAWs out there. It is fast, easy to use, intuitive and handles things pretty well. There are some issues that can occur when it comes to converting VSTs to RTAS, but that is more of an issue with the wrapper than the actual Pro Tools application itself. It also depends on how the VST was made and a bunch of other things. The 003 console is a pretty decent device, but I think it feels kinda cheap at times. I might be a bit too used to the higher end consoles, but considering the price, I guess it's not too terrible. I've only had a limited experience with this, so keep that in mind.
I'm not a huge fan of cheaper bundles with the lower end mixing consoles such as this. However, if you're in the need for something like this, it might not be too bad. Personally, I'd rather get a better pre and just use the DAW's own built-in environment for all of my mixing and console related applications. That said, the device itself is great, and Pro Tools is an awesome DAW that won't let you down if you do decide to drop the cash on this.