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Interfaces for Pro Tools?!?!

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Voiceofallanger, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Ok .. so here's the deal.

    I'm going to be saving my ass off to buy an interface for my new studio so that I can use my pro tools 8 and have more inputs than my MBOX.

    I want 8 simultaneous inputs or more so that I can happily do decent drum tracks..

    At the moment I record drums in cubase and then transfer them to pro tools which is just a massive pain in the ass because for some weird reasons the tracks don't match to the metronomes right off the bat when you import them, you have to marginally shift them and it's irritating.

    Now then, someone was like..Oh buy a digidesign C24 control surface.. 1) I can't afford that.. like.. ever.. and 2) Just out of interest, I was pretty certain that is JUST a control surface with no inputs on it which just controlled pro tools through an ethernet link.

    What am I looking for ? So far I'm thinking at some stage in my existance get a Rack factory 003. I am definitely sticking with pro tools so I need to know what will do the job and work with pro tools. Is there something better than a rack factory ? (And no im not planning on going to 9 just yet).

    I'm sure this is a walk in the park for most of you so if anyone can help me I'd be most thankful :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    After spending a quarter of a million on gear over the years... Don't get caught up in all the Pro Tools hype, plugins and hardware G.A.S. unless you are wanting to go high end. No matter what you buy into from a Project studio POV, they all produce similar results. You either start thinking pro or get real and be smart.

    That being said, if I was starting our at your level right now, I would seriously take a look at the PreSonus 24.4.2 or the 16.4.2 and StudioOne. Its all there and some. If you can't get it going with that, you never will.

    24 preamps, convertion, effects, all you need then is a desktop or laptop... you are tracking and making music. If you start making money, you can go high end then....

    I totally believe the majority are spending 20 grand too much on plug-in crap and hardware they don't need to these days.

    The above and a few selected tube and SS pre's added to this chain, man, you are rocking. Pro Tools isn't going to make you better music, its only going to side rail you into thinking you need to follow the G.A.S. train.

    I'm sure most disagree, but most haven't spent the coin I have and had the opportunity to evolve and make a living in the digital world like I have either. Digital is dated before you ever pay it off. Keep it simple and put your energy into making music. There is a whole new generation evolving and new stuff coming. New ways to do it all for pretty cheap and very smart.

    Hope that helps.

    Fire away....
     
  3. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    It's more the fact that I'm trained in pro tools audiokid. And I'm really comfortable with it. That's all.
     
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    audiokid beat me to the post, but my feeling is similar: don't bother unless you spend some of the cash on a PT9 upgrade or go to a different DAW for tracking. If you remain with PT8, you are stuck with the Digidesign idea of quality when it comes to pre-amps, and that's not saying a great deal. The Mbox does not even have an ADAT input for connecting a multi-channel external pre-amp. Spending a small amount on something like Reaper for tracking opens up a whole range of interfacing options, and you can stay with PT8 for mixdown if you insist.

    If you stick with tracking with PT8, one upgrade that I have recommended for users with an Mbox 2 or Mbox 2 Pro is to get a dual external pre-amp with S/PDIF output and connect that to the S/PDIF input of the Mbox. A good pre-amp that works well for this application is the Audient Mico, but you would still be limited to the two external channels plus the two in the Mbox. Works well for vocals or guitars, but limits you when it comes to drum tracks. As it happens, tracking drums is where the native PT interfaces run into the most troubles, and that applies to the 00x ranges as well as the Mbox 2 and 3.

    Once you move to PT9 or change your tracking DAW, the world is your oyster when it comes to pre-amps and interfaces. You are probably aware that the RME FireFace800 gets good recommendations around these forums, but it's by no means the only show in town, even if you say you want good results from drum mics.
     
  5. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    That studio one is very very interesting audiokid. I really like the look of it. Would that still take all my regular vst plugins etc?

    Oh god.. I wish I had enough money to afford this stuff.. :: sob ::

    That presonus/studio one solution would be perfect but I just can't touch that... DOH...... But yeah, hypothetically, would that still work with all my VST plugins ?

    And yeah boswell.. I truely hate the limitations of it.. I guess I'm just bitter that I can't afford much and don't want to buy a new DAW as well as everything else, especially considering I'm used to pro tools.. but .. maybe it'd work out cheaper if I went with a different solution........... Argh.. so much to think about. I hate being a new guy starting out.. :D
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Reaper is cheap and very fast and definitely works with any VST. Of course if you were in PT8 are your plugs VST or RTAS? Reaper works with your MBox too.
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What I'm saying to you, and the thousand that read this thread for advise is... the majority new generation DAW musicians don't know enough about all this to be confident to believe that there are other solution that are not Pro Tools.

    Every year things change somewhat. From my experience, there is usually one company that takes the lead every few years and sets the new bar. I could go on for hours on this topic but in a nut shell, either get your wallet out or pay attention to what the older generation (who knows their stuff) and find out why you need lots of money to make it better than the majority or be smart and find out what the key things are to record good enough. You will either sound like a DAW or hybrid. They do sound different.

    Personally, you can do 2 things that are solid advice from what I see right now. These options will change down the road but right now... either prepare to spend 25 grand (start out with a serious converter) or 6 grand and get a package.
    The 25 grand won't get you much further ahead either because once you get into it, you'll soon see that is just a start and you still aren't much further because your room sucks, you need better this, that and so on.
    All those Pro Tools HD system are dated and going on the chopping block. That generation is done. Don't be fooled, its over for that system and PT 9 is where its at.

    Ask yourself what are you planning on doing with your new system?

    50 grand and the 100 grand. And... by the time its paid for, its worth peanuts and no one wants it.

    Be smart and do as Bos, John, or I suggest.

    If you still insist , buy the best interface you can afford because without that, you are crap no matter what you have. You see what I am getting at?

    Pro Tools software is awesome but that all it is (software). So there is Reaper, Cubase, Samplitude, Nuendo, Sonar etc. They will all get you there. You need preamps, converters, mics and a GREAT Room and monitors.

    It is my opinion that if I was starting out right now, definitely look at what's happening with the StudioLive Console and their software. You could have the big boy for 3200.00 and still use Pro Tools I believe. But, I would use StudioOne because its tested. Its all you need. And yes, you can use other plug-in as well.

    everyone kick me. Like how many plug-ins do we really need? Most of all the stuff is pretty lame. It clutters up music and wrecks the imaging. That's what there is so much G.A.S. in the first place. every plug-in you add, the more you try and fix that boring sound it produces.


    So, SL 24.4.2
    24 preamps and all the effects you need to make Rock & Roll. Plus, you can take it on the road. You mentioned saving up your pennies, that's what I would recommend to you.
    Now, if you were thinking high end.... I would say, anyone of the DAW's including PT 9 yes yes! (not 8)... and/or Reaper, Sequoia and Nuendo ya! and get into hybrid because that's where its starts and where high end sound is going . So, $100,000 or $6,000 . That what I see TODAY!

    All the rest is G.A.S. made possible by the Gearsluts BS babble and the forum shills making a living off of peoples passion and dreams streaming into the population.


    Typos or not... hope that helps. Its only my opinion... my god I have to get back to work.
     
  8. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Well highlighted Jack.. I always say VST for pro tools.. blahhh.. They are in fact RTAS.. That is the question I was meant to ask.. but .. I can probably get VSTs to replace them anyway.. so what do you recon.. StudioOne or reaper ?
     
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

  10. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    yo voice- i'm with audiokid and the others on this one. a daw is a daw and pro tools is no longer ahead of the pack. ii switched to cubase from p.t.and NEVER regretted it. i happen to love cubase over ppt (ymmv)
    although i still use the digi interface (for now), its only for i/o.

    if you are worried about all those projects you already have there, spend some time rendering/bouncing them to audio to import into a new daw.


    btw- why do you record in cubase then transfer to p.t.? is it for the plugs? don't most plus come iin both rtas and vst format these days?
     
  11. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    I currently use cubase to record drums because my interface for cubase has 16 inputs and my pro tools one only has 2.. thus highlighting the original issue. I just mix in pro tools because I am used to it.

    I am seriously considering that studio-one solution because it looks great, it looks more realistically affordable for someone like me and after all, I came here to take advice from people who know more than me and I trust the advice that you guys give.

    I am an IT technician after all and I am sure I can grasp any software pretty quickly so it might be worth the jump to do things that way instead. I'm also a big fan of the in built mastering suite in studioone.. that looks badass.

    So.. looks like I have a plan.. I have standard monitors but.. a FANTASTIC room. I blew all my cash on the room because I feel that it is always going to be the most important thing, more important than anything any software or plugins can give me. Now all I need is the rest... better start saving.. I currently have 200 pound after 3 months.. LOL........ life :p

    Thanks a lot for your input everyone and thank you for such detail in your reply specifically audiokid, it was very helpful for me.

    I will certainly be looking down another road than pro tools after reading.

    You have enlightened me, Jack, audiokid, Boswell, Gabriel.

    Thank you all.
     
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    What is the 16-channel interface that you use for Cubase?
     
  13. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that you know both Cubase and Protools and like mixing in PT better. With PT9, the biggest reason for switching away from PT (being tied to Digi hardware) is gone. If you didn't switch to Cubase before, why make a platform switch now? Why not upgrade to PT9? It doesn't really change your options when shopping for a new interface.
     
  14. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    I'm not going to lie bob.. it's because I can't afford it.

    At the moment I'm stuck for a proper mixing console.. and the main reason I need one is because in starting a studio, I want the image to be correct as well as everything else.. It's all cool having like a decent rack interface but I would like A) The image and B) The control. The two studios that are up and running here are not very good.. For the same reason as I am struggling.. because there is no money to be had in this area where I live. I will however always try my best to make sensible choices to jump ahead of the competition and provide a better facility for people.

    Further to this, the main reason that I don't want to go up to 9 as a standalone issue is because.. Well put it this way.. If I bought that console audiokid recommended then I would get StudioOne.. or a good version of it at least.. free... Thus meaning I don't have to splash out on a console AND pro tools.

    I literally cannot afford to spend any more money than I have to. The area where I live is poor. :(

    But I understand EXACTLY why you threw that forward and I appreciate it.
     
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    That makes sense. If you buy that mixer - and it looks great to me - StudioOne comes along for the ride so you might as well give it a good hard look.

    But if StudioOne is not what you want and you are looking for another DAW, don't hesitate to consider PT9. There is a lot of hostility to PT/Digi/Avid based on factors that are completely irrelevant now that PT9 is out. PT9 is now directly comparable to other DAWs as a straight piece of software. The fact that you are trained on it and like mixing on it is a big plus to be lumped in with all of the other pluses and minuses of the package. I'm not particularly trying to sell it. I'm just saying that the arguments against it are VERY different than the arguments against PT8. I think people in the posts above are saying the same thing, but sometimes these arguments get mixed up.
     
  16. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I'll make a case for neither... but for both, and all 43 OTHER possible combination's.

    If you have the desire to stick with Slo Stools... then stay with it and look at something like the Lynx converters and interfaces. You don't really mention what hardware/platform you're on, so about all I can recommend is skootin' over to: Lynx Studio Technology, Inc. and take a look around to build out what you need. The Aurora 8 is a damn fine bang for the buck.

    If you aren't in love with Slo Stools, and are willing to give up the other toy interfaces, hardware and hype that goes with em', then I'd be looking at the Aurora 16 and Reaper.

    Logic, cuebase, Reason, etc... are all adequate, yet not universally accepted in the "pro" marketplace due to the fact that they just aren't compatible on the video/film front... which is the primary reason to use Slo Stools in the first place. The only reason that Reaper is even remotely accepted, is because it's so damned cheap, easy to use, interfaces with most hardware and exports BWAV's flawlessly. Logic comes in third, but that's mainly because it's an Apple product that actually works pretty well, and has the support of Apple.

    All the others are simply wannabe's... That doesn't make them better, worse or otherwise as far as being able to turn out good work. - THAT, is entirely up to the 6" between the operator's ears... but from "professional standards", and universal acceptance, they just don't cut it.

    If cuebase's parent company had been heavily involved in the video/film industry, the way Avid was/has been/is, then everyone would be slammin' cuebase, or whoever is was.

    So, I'd say make your decision to either stay in PT8, or move to a solid Reaper setup and not worry about all the hype.
     
  17. davesanridge

    davesanridge Active Member

    audiokid really knows what he's talking about. I've been in sound for over 10 years
    now and everything he just said is spot on. Oh, and Pro Tools 9 is the best DAW ever
    created.

    My 2c.
     
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    the studio one, and mackie onyx mixers, both lack automated faders. If they had them, i'd pay double the price, then work at a fast food chain for 6 months. They are nice prospects, and you can automate in the box, but it's not as fun for me.
    I think software comes down to what you like workflow-wise... Hot keys, two simple windows, focused sequencing, and on, and on. They all do the same basic thing. Record, Edit. They become focussed, for different niches. Scoring, movie editing, beginners ease, mastering, and more.
    I have to use Digital Performer like a tape machine (minus the razor). I hate the annoyance of learning new software, simple things are still simple, just different. cntrl+k is another platforms' cntrl+d. Went from PT at home DP at work.
    I use a digital mixer (apogee converters), which is outdated, but i also have no worries about adding efx on the fly, becuase of the dsp cards built into the mixer. Sure i've got just 16 mono efx choices (8 stereo), But while the person is recording, i can add effx with no worries of computer strain, or even clicking a mouse.
    Until you could afford a high powerd cpu, dsp cards, control surface, I'd say just get a digital mixer. You get efx, sofware compatibilty, and you can always use a control surface for automation, or the mixer itself depending on model. You can use it live, record live in studio, and mixdown through it with efx.
    I own the highest priced (5 yrs. ago) M-soured interface, and PT 7.3, and i have inconsistant software performance that drives me wild. The hardware does what it should do, ins/outs, the quality is fine, for it's range. My cousin runs an 002,c8, and creation station very reliably/limited.
    I love being able to move knobs and faders without a mouse, i like the fact that a digital console doesn't charge you for upgrades periodically, just when things break. Yes they are limited, but they work well for everyday stuff, and leave heavy ITB cpu pocessing, for the main focus points of your mixes.
    Since outboard seems out of your budget, the ability to record 24trks with efx thru the board, at once, on a modest cpu, seems like your best bet to me.
    don't forget your cables and mics.!!!!!
    -edit- you can mixdown live on the presonus/mackie. Intense baby! fun too!
     
  19. damkenny71

    damkenny71 Active Member

    Thats a great idea! Im def going to buy another duel channel pre for my Mbox 2 to beef up the sound.

    What are your options for recording multiple drum tracks on the Mbox? Other than rerecording in different takes on PT or a new interface or even getting a mixer and just using your 2 ins to receive your stereo bus on the mixer and basically and send that to protools to be recorded.

    ***I plan on upgrading i anyway but incase I cant sell my Mbox I would like it to be useful somehow.
     
  20. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm always suspicious of the need for more than 4 mics on a drumkit unless you have a fabulous mic locker AND you are recording in a studio with really good acoustics.

    Don't multi-track your kit. If you insist on using your Mbox, try something like the Audient Mico (going into the Mbox via S/PDIF) for the kick and snare and take the two overheads into the mic inputs of the Mbox. If you can't get that combination to sound good when using decent mics, you need to be looking seriously at acoustic treatment for your room.

    Personally, I would have longer vision and plan a route into a future that avoids the Mbox.
     

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