Harmony Central Forums
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pro Tools HD vs 'the rest'

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse









X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pro Tools HD vs 'the rest'

    Warning: Some people might get offended by my lack of knowledge and/or ignorance.

    This issue is two folded from my point of view. I'm hoping people in here can set the record straight. Thanks in advance for your patience.


    The price tag on Pro Tools HD puts it well out of reach for most people. If we for a moment disregard all economic contraints and only look at the hardware, I've got a few questions.

    . Are the converters (192 I/O) and the preamps (PRE) superior in every single way to the competition from the prosumer cards ie Fireface, Mackie 400F, Motu 896 ? Surely they must be BUT if you look at the price tag would you say that it really is worth X times as much ?

    . There's new technology and new cards coming out every few months and what I'm interested in is if the gap between Pro Tools and 'the rest' including Digi 002 and other Pro Tools LE systems, is closing in. Will we see an interface with converters and preamps on the level of the above mentioned HD interfaces in the near future ? The gap is perhaps not as big today as it used to be and a Mackie 1200F (or other) will serve you well with no major audible differance.

    This is the hardware side of things. I hope you see what I'm after here. Now to the other side of the coin.

    Pro Tools as a platform
    Is the gap between Pro Tools and the other sequencers closing in, in terms of studios using different solutions than Pro Tools ? If you want to take a project from your studio to a different studio would you say that having a Pro Tools system yourself would make your life alot easier ?


    To sum everything up, would you agree with this statement:
    Pro Tools is the leading studio platform and will continue to be so for many years from now and it'd be well invested money to go directly to the HD system instead of buying a new prosumer card even if it'd save you alot of money in the short run.


    Once again, thanks for patience and your input.


    All the best


    Tobias

  • #2
    The gap is closing thanks to faster native systems.

    As a de facto standard, PT enjoys wide compatibility. If compatability with a de facto standard is not all that important to you, then a compelling reason to buy PT becomes that much less compelling.

    Also, as the gap closes, PT's entrenchment as a standard has started to loosen.

    ProTools HD hardware is good but you can buy the equivalent for native systems. PTHD converters and pres would be comparable to hardware in that price range, e.g. apogee.

    Personally, I've hopped on the native bandwagon with Logic and a Mac.

    -peace, love, and brittanylips.

    Comment


    • #3
      Also remember sequencers that support OMF transfers can move files, within certain limitations, back and forth between Pro Tools and other platforms. If you're just transferring digital audio, no problem...but obviously, if you're driving a soft synth in a platform for which no equivalent exists in Pro Tools, you're out of luck. If you render the soft synth audio to a hard disk track, though, you're okay.
      _____________________________________________
      There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't really think the the PTHD converters are anything to write home about, if you're going to spend that much dough on converters there are others on the market that will do better IMO, and be compatible with any platform.

        There really isn't a whole lot of reason to go the PTHD route at this point unless you have to be compatible with someone else running Pro Tools. And even then, depending on how you're sharing duties between the platforms, it's possible to do cross platform stuff.

        I am perfectly happy with Nuendo, Sonar, Vegas et al, as far as software platforms, and I'd prefer not to be locked into certain hardware options like Digi forces you to do, not to mention TDM plugins are more expensive, yada yada. As for the 002 I wouldn't bother with that at all (unless absolutely necessary for compatibility with other systems) as you can get better converters for the same money.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">What The...?<br />
        <a href="http://www.what-the.com" target="_blank">http://www.what-the.com</a> <br />
        <a href="http://www.facebook.com/whattherock" target="_blank">http://www.facebook.com/whattherock</a><br />
        <a href="http://www.myspace.com/whattherock" target="_blank">http://www.myspace.com/whattherock</a></div>

        Comment


        • #5
          The power of Pro Tools systems lies less in its converters than in its cards. Pro Tools HD systems offer lower latency and more processing power than do basic native systems, because Pro Tools HD combines dedicated processing power with native processing power.

          There are ways to narrow the latency and processing power gaps between Pro Tools HD systems and native systems

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tubiux
            ....would you agree with this statement:
            Pro Tools is the leading studio platform and will continue to be so for many years from now and it'd be well invested money to go directly to the HD system instead of buying a new prosumer card even if it'd save you alot of money in the short run.


            Most people i know wanna move away from Pro Tools, to Nuendo mostly. I deliver rendered files to the MixMaster, so it doesn't concern me much.

            Recently i just came across this bloke:
            http://nuendousers.blogspot.com/

            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Lots of fine responses here.

              The issue you seem to not completely understand based on your first post is the difference between systems such as Pro Tools, where the processing power is in the card itself, versus host-based systems (Logic, Nuendo, etc.) where the computer CPU handles the processing.

              The price of a Pro Tools system is not based on the quality of the converters. It's based on the processing power as referenced above. Most higher-end professionals use other (non-Digi) converters with their PT rigs.

              As has been said by my friends here, the main advantage of Pro Tools is indeed its level of compatibility with other PT-based studios. But even considering that, there are more ways than ever to import and export audio tracks between various platforms.

              If I were buying a new system right now, I'd consider four things:

              1. Do I like working with the system, both hardware and software interface?

              2. Is my computer going to handle the processing power, or would I need to factor in the cost of a new computer to run the system?

              3. Does it sound good?

              4. Am I going to be able to collaborate with my friends and colleagues?

              If the answers to the above are favorable for my circumstances, I am not necessarily locked into a Digidesign (or any other) system.

              - Jeff
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><i><font color="Green"><a href="http://www.zakclaxton.com/" target="_blank">Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all</a></font></i></font></div>

              Comment


              • #8
                Dear Sirs,

                Thanks for all the input. I'll try to make myself a little clearer.

                I've overlooked the power of the PT Core and accelerator cards. Ofcourse, these are the real reason for using this system. Many good points have been brought up. Instead of rambling on I will tell you what my plans are and what I need.

                We are going to build a new house in the backyard and it'll be a studio/office. I don't use software synths. I only record live instruments. I write alot of music for string 4et etc. so I need a good setup for recordning several live musicians. This is where the low latency, high priced PT comes into the picture. I've recorded at a few local studios, National Broadcasting studio etc. They have all been using PT. This is as close as I have ever been to a PT. I basically don't know anything about it except for the fact that it works and people usually say it's great. I know a few engineers in LA and they all use PT, not that they had a choice.

                Is for example Creamware an alternative to PT Core ? I'm not at all familiar with all the DSP cards. The ones I know of like the TC is not very useful in terms of low latency and track count.

                You pretty much answered my questions regarding converters and preamps. Now, you probably wouldn't buy 6 or 8 two channel Avalon preamps for your studio. Perhaps one would do. When you need multiple preamps what would you look for ?

                All the best

                Tobias

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tubiux
                  Dear Sirs


                  You had at least one "m'am" in your respondees. Be careful.

                  - Jeff
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><i><font color="Green"><a href="http://www.zakclaxton.com/" target="_blank">Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all</a></font></i></font></div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It sounds like Pro Tools HD would do a good job for you. On the other hand, iZ Technology Corporation RADAR might be even better suited to your situation. It's also used by pros and many find it to be a straightforward and great sounding solution.

                    Here's a Mix magazine 2001 review of the then current RADAR system, the RADAR 24:

                    iZ RADAR 24

                    Best,

                    Geoff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tubiux
                      We are going to build a new house in the backyard and it'll be a studio/office. I don't use software synths. I only record live instruments. I write alot of music for string 4et etc. so I need a good setup for recordning several live musicians. This is where the low latency, high priced PT comes into the picture. I've recorded at a few local studios, National Broadcasting studio etc. They have all been using PT. This is as close as I have ever been to a PT. I basically don't know anything about it except for the fact that it works and people usually say it's great. I know a few engineers in LA and they all use PT, not that they had a choice.

                      Is for example Creamware an alternative to PT Core ? I'm not at all familiar with all the DSP cards. The ones I know of like the TC is not very useful in terms of low latency and track count.

                      You pretty much answered my questions regarding converters and preamps. Now, you probably wouldn't buy 6 or 8 two channel Avalon preamps for your studio. Perhaps one would do. When you need multiple preamps what would you look for ?

                      All the best

                      Tobias

                      Dear Tobias,

                      It sounds like you really can't go wrong, and if I were you, I'd choose the system that feels right, as much as you can predict what feels right before you actually set it up.

                      It does not sound like your recording needs are that demanding from a technical point of view, and can be sufficiently handled by either a native or TDM system.

                      As far as preamps go, one common solution is to have a decent multiple input interface, and then one or two especially nice preamps for a few especially nice channels. For example, if you were doing a native system, you might choose a FireFace 800 which is chock full of decent pres and converters. Then, you might use an avalon or equivalent for one or two higher-quality channels.

                      If you only needed four or so high quality pres and converter channels, you might look at the new Apogee Ensemble with Logic. That type of hardware will sound good, and if all you are recording is a handful of strings, you would not likely need the extra horsepower of TDM.

                      Basically, I would make sure you have good hardware on the front end, an interface with enough high quality pres as you think you will need (or a versatile interface + an outboard preamp), and then the rest - the DAW itself, whether PT or native - doesn't matter as much as it used to. For that, particularly if you are not interested in attracting clients with a "PT In Use Here" banner slung over your door, just choose what you think you will like the most and the truth is, it's hard to go wrong.

                      On the PT side, if you have the budget, I'd say that you can put together a wonderful system without having to stress about it too much. If you can put together a PTHD, at least you know it's going to work well and sound good without having to become an expert shopper.

                      -plb

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It sounds to me like you could be compatible with the studios that you have been using if you stick with Pro Tools. That could be a good thing. Having someone you can consult with when you have questions is valuable. I have Logic and Pro Tools HD running here, and I prefer each for different things. Logic is a great sequencer, and soft synth host that also records audio. Pro Tools is a great recorder that also hosts the some of the same synths, and has a good sequencer included.

                        You have to find what fits your brain and style the best and go with it.

                        Steve
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">Steve <br />
                        <a href="http://www.hippocketrecords.com" target="_blank">http://www.hippocketrecords.com</a><br />
                        <a href="http://www.extrememixing.com" target="_blank">http://www.extrememixing.com</a></div>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          hi tobias,

                          I think a CreamWare system could do a fine job for you. The software interface is intuitive, and the 24/48 mixer sounds great. CreamWare uses Analog Devices SHARC DSP chips, and offers three types of DSP systems: Home with 3, Project with 6, and Pro with 14. You can mix and match up to three cards in one system. I/O options include balanced and unbalanced analog, SP/DIF and AES/EBU, and ADAT Lightpipe.

                          The CreamWare system can run on PCs or Macs, although it is more up-to-date on the PC side. Linking cards in the same computer is helped by virtue of an internal cable that can tie two or three cards together, though you would still want to optimize your PCI bus (which is a good idea anyhow).

                          To record multiple tracks using CreamWare software, you would need to buy the VDAT plug-in. VDAT handles up to 32 bit fixed, and allows lots of tracks (depending on your drives, etc).

                          To handle MIDI sequencing, you would need one of the native sequencers such as Sonar. Some work better with CreamWare than others, and there is a lot of help available on the Planetz website.

                          For multiple pre-amps, I use the True Precision 8. When I first used it, it sounded pristine and almost clinical. I figured I'd use it mainly for drums. Now that it's got some hours on it, it has opened up a bit, to my ears at least, and it has become my default pre-amp for remote recording. It still sounds pristine, but the ever so slight clinical sound - if it really was there - seems to have gone.

                          If you want to save money, another multi pre to look at is the Behringer 8000. It doesn't seem to be a direct copy of anything. And it's cheap enough to serve as a spare pre and a spare converter.

                          In the interest of full disclosure, I do own each of the items I've mentioned. However I do my remote recording using an ADAT HD24, then mixing in CreamWare. I compared the results of a CreamWare in the box mix with a mix done using a Crest XRM, and I couldn't hear any major differences.

                          Good luck on making your decision.

                          best,

                          john

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jeff da Weasel
                            As has been said by my friends here, the main advantage of Pro Tools is indeed its level of compatibility with other PT-based studios.
                            Don't forget about the infamous wrench in the gears in the form of the VST-RTAS adapter. "What do you mean you guy's don't have (fill in the blank)?", "my whole project depends on..........."
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;If Obama wins a second term I will leave the forum&quot;. - Visconti</div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For you it could be well worth thinking about to invest into the best microphone & preamps, even a fine little console where you maybe could leave out the expensive, extra micpre for a while, and on the music production software side simply go with a logic, nuendo, samplitude or something alike, also wavelab has 8 tracks to record by now... today most software has a very good comfort to record

                              .

                              Comment



                              Working...
                              X