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Another Pro Tools Question

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by Michaelm, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. Michaelm

    Michaelm Guest

    Okay, everyone's comments are actually understood now. Now just a couple of experiential questions for y'all.
    My project - make my CD. I'm not trying to make a demo here. I'm trying to make a pro quality sounding CD. I just spent two years learning how to record, learning the hard and easy ways. I have good monitors, nice expensive mics, good preamps, etc., and I know how to record and how to use effects, etc. I can mix, but will be getting mixing done professionally, as well as mastering. I'll be doing most of the parts myself, but will have others do some things.
    While not thrilled about the idea Pro Tools being yet another learning curve, it can't be that bad.
    Now, my whole reason for considering PT is that it will sound good. I was planning on making my CD on VS2480 and I know it can be done. Commercial CD's have been made on the VS1680.
    But if Pro Tools will sound better, in the end, than VS, I'm there. I've gone through some of the digidesign site and figured out that I'd be most likely Going Pro Tools LE with dig 002.
    My question is (after very long winded into), will this work? I can't afford much else, so this would be it.
    I know that 24/96 is an important option, but both the VS2480 and Akai's DPS24 have that, albeit at track counts of only 12.
    Another consideration are the plug ins - the range of effects that come with VS workstations are now 56 bit and are quite numerous. They may not be Lexicon quality, but they do the job and there are a lot of them - and I myself find them useful. I'm wondering about limitations with PT as far as effects go, since I'm not going to be buying any external ones.
    There! I'm done.
    What thinks ye all?
  2. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    As a PT devotee, I think if you feel the need to upgrade from your current setup is there, then digi002 is right for you. You say you have decent mic pre's, mic's, monitors, etc., so really the only expense you're encountering in this upgrade is that of the software/hardware, which are bundled in the 002 setup. If you intend to do your own mixing, then the 002 with the control surface is the way to go. If not, as you seem to suggest, then the 002R without the control surface is perfect for you. You'll be sufficiently compatible with larger facilities to handle your mixing for you.

    Plug ins are those little third party applications that are used within PT as effects, which you have expressed concern over in this thread. There is definitely an advantage to the Mac side of this equation, as there are fewer plug ins presently available for PC based systems running digi002. However, depending on the I/O configurations of the Roland units you presently have (I'm not familiar with them), you may possibly be able to use those simply as outboard effects units that you can interface with digi002. This means that if you are happy with using the effects in these units, you can use them with your PT system as outboard effects units. You'll learn how to do this as you get deeper into learning your way around PT software and hardware. So, your concerns up front about the availability and quality of PT's effects out-of-the-box may be less substantial than you think. Again, I do not know these units, so I'm only speculating. Others may correct me here if interfacing these two systems is not possible for such purposes.

    As for the learning curve, don't sweat it at all. You say you've spent the past two years learning to record. Consider this simply a continuation of that curve, not an impossibly steep mountain. I've been using PT for years now, and just learned something new in it tonight on a polka session of all things. The learning curve NEVER ends, but I personally find it to be extremely intuitive and easy to get around in (the software, that is).

    Good luck in your endeavor. Hope you're finding all the info here useful. Digidesign's website is extremely helpful in becoming familiar with their line of systems. PT Free, while not something I've ever found useful in terms of realistic functionality (too much latency, extremely limited in terms of track count/ I/O options), is a great introduction to the GUI of the software and its functionality for editing and mixing. Download that and play around with some audio with it just to get a feel for how PT works. Otherwise, have no fear about jumping all the way in. You will not regret it.
  3. Mundox

    Mundox Guest

    I have used both the roland VS machines and the ProTools LE stuff (digi001). Without much hesitation I can say go for the 002. You already have nice pres right? So you don't need the16 mic inputs on the VS2480.If you are getting it mixed professionally you kinda have to discard the idea of the roland. Mixing on it SUX! The faders are so lame, and short. D-verb plug that is bundled with 001 is miles better than the roland verb.( I don't even wanna mention the poorly written manual, is that english?) Finally getting your songs from Roland to a professional system is not as easy as swapping drives. On the other hand, with digi you can take your entire albums worth of data to the biggest studio in the world on a firewire drive. :w:
  4. Michaelm

    Michaelm Guest

    I hope I'm not driving you all nuts with questions after question! I've been looking into what computer I'd need as I only have a Pentium 3 running 98. I've looked into G4's and of course, getting a Pentium 4, brand new actually, seems a lot cheaper. I also noticed some of you quoted G4 specs below those recommended at digidesign. Do those computers, like the one I'm using now, really perform less or about the same? I'd have to get a brand new one anyway, as XP wouldn't install properly on this system anyway. Are there a lot of limitations with plug ins and PC's, or just a few?
  5. Roly

    Roly Guest

    The limitations are the number of plugs available for pc not their implimentation. If you are going pc go to this post first.
  6. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Just checked the link, go to page 1.
  7. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member

    I am about to get a PT system too. However I'm a bit confused here. Do all versions of PT software and hardware support TDM plugins? Can someone explain me what the differences are? It's not clear to me from digidesign web site.


  8. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    hey , in the other thread of yours that are lots of important info already!re-read that again!

    Pt is pretty nice, stable, specially if you work with the very debugged 5.1.1/OS 9.2 combo.

    6.1/OS X is still a little cloudy. I myself decided not to move into new ground for a while.

    PT directly accepts TDM/HTDM/Audiosuite/RTAS plugs.
    You can not use RTAs on sends and Aux tracks.
    hope it helped ya
  9. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member


    You have no need for concern in supporting TDM plug ins in a PT HD system. An HD system will support TDM, RTAS, and Audiosuite plug ins.

    PT LE systems (001, 002, 002R, etc.) do NOT support TDM plug ins. They support RTAS and Audiosuite plug ins ONLY.

    So no, not all PT systems support TDM plug ins, but the system you are looking at does.

    TDM plug ins rely on DSP chips on the PCI card that comes with the PT HD system for processing. Since the processing for TDM plug ins takes place on the PCI card, there is no drain on your computer's CPU when using TDM plug ins.

    RTAS plug ins are host based, meaning they use the computer's CPU when processing audio.

    As a general rule, and realize that there are a number of factors that play into this statement (mainly depending on how demanding your recording/processing needs are for what you do), it is more important to have a powerhouse of a computer for a host based recording system (which would utilize RTAS plug ins) than it is for a TDM system. This isn't to say it doesn't matter what you build an HD system around, it's just to say that with a host based system, all the work is done by your computer's CPU, as opposed to the work being done by dedicated hardware being supplemented by the computer's CPU, as would be the case in a PT HD system (TDM plug ins).


    You say you cannot use RTAS plug ins on Aux Tracks???

    In my digi001 system I always create Aux Tracks and apply RTAS reverb and dynamics plugs to them for Aux Sends and sub-groups (all bused internally). Is this a difference between the Mix/HD systems and LE systems? I'm confused......
  10. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    no, sorry, you are right. Aux tracks are ok.

    I have seen lots o people use nice TDM Mix systems even with older MACS, like G3 beige´s and even 9600´s.

    I myself have a G3 233 here that was being used until 2 years ago, running solid with no hassles.

    However to run systems like digi 001 and digi 002, you do need a mighty machine.
  11. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member

    Thank You very much for such thourough explanation. The question comes to my mind however: how many TDM plugins will I be able to run on a HD system? Do I need to buy additional dsp cards or the basic system will take care of all of them? Another concern are virtual samplers/synths. Are there any virtual samplers playing akai samples? In logic I have EXS24. Is there something like that in PT? What about virtual synths? Is there a native support for them in PT HD? Please help.


  12. Hi Jamie,

    I think that in TDM systems, RTAS pluins only may be used on Audiotracks. Well, I never was able to open a RTAS plugin on a Auxtrack, as well is impossible to open a RTAS plugin on a Audiotrack that contains a TDM plugin opened yet.
    (oh, my version is 5.1)

  13. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    How many plugins you can run depends on which plugins you have, Some use a partial chip, others use a whole chip. I have had no problem doing 60+ tracks with plentiful plugins using HD2. But many of the newer more capable plugins like Sony Oxford, GW Parametric EQ, use a little more power. Also things like Reverb one and Pitch Blender use a whole chip. So you need to be judicious in your use of these for best results (i.e. use an aux for reverbs or fx and use sends from individual channels).

    If you go to Digidesigns Plugin List you can search on synths and you will find about a dozen or so, One of the coolest things is how you can run Reason as a plugin via rewire.
  14. For example:

    A Amp Farm or a Auto Tune requires 100% of a chip.

    A Focusrite D2 with 2bands eq -> 4%
    A Focusrite D2 with 6bands eq -> 16%

    A TC Master X requires 50%.

    Ok ??

    Oh, good remember you that, once you open a Plugin (like Focusrite D3) this chip only will open Focusrites D3, too. And when you have a PT Mix (with only a Mix Core), you have 6 chips
    TDM: 1 for MixEngine (1 dsp/32 voices), 1 for the StereoMixer24 (on minimum) and 4 chips for the plugins. That is, you can open only 4 types of plugin (on maximum) for session...
    (this serves for a PT HD 1 at 24bits/96k, too)

  15. white swan

    white swan Guest

    I think you can, if you just drag the existing TDM plug-in down to a lower slot so that the RTAS is first in the chain (i.e. occupying the first/highest slot).
  16. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    1. In a TDM and TDMII (HD and HD Accel) you can use any plug in on any channel. There is an order to the plug ins used, that as all.

    2. If you go with an HD system, you will have to get a G4 or G5, as it requires OS 10.2. If you go with any non-TDM system, you should still consider a new G4 with dual processors and 2GB (max) RAM. This would be the optimum system.

    3. When using ProTools LE (host based) version on a non-OS 10 Mac, you will have to manage your DSP. The greater the power, the less you have to. But you will have to.

    4. The higher the sampling rate, the less channels and plug-in options. Not all plug-in manufacturers make all plugs for every platform (RTAS, HTDM, TDM, etc). Not all plugs work at every sample rate.

    5. I would consider a high-end converter and master clock at some point. The converters in the 002 are ok, but if you are tracking one or two at a time, I would recommend it.
  17. 3dchris

    3dchris Active Member

    If I switch to PT then it will be for sure PT HD. Any other PT make no sense to me at the moment. I'm pretty happy with my logic audio setup. The problem is I'm working on a PC at the moment. And logic is not supporting PC platform anyway. I could switch to mac and still use logic but I will not support assholes (that's how I think about logic at the moment no matter who owns it). Logic is gone for me. I will either stay with PC and switch to Nuendo 2.0 or get a PT HD. PT HD is a better choice but way more expensive for me. Yet I'm willing to go this route, providing I have a clear understanding of how virtual samplers and synths work in PT HD.

    thx for the help

    BTW I work in 96/24 only
  18. You're right.

  19. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    tc Master X 3 runs with one dsp farm chip. TC MAster X 5 band needs one mix farm/mix core chip.

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