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Is Pro tools suitable for home recording?

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by Dmkk09, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. Dmkk09

    Dmkk09 Guest

    Hi all i'm looking to upgrade my home recording studio. I currently use a Boss Br900CD but i find using it to its full abilities it still sounds amateurish and the programmed drums are too monotonous. Is pro tools good? I have a windows xp so i can only use up to edition 7. What hardware do i need to get for pro tools 7 and what price am i looking at. Also is pro tools an industry standard?. How good of a sound can i get out of it?
    Thanks in advance. :lol:
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Here is the compatibility list for Windows XP . Make sure you check your system components for compatibility as well.

    ProTools LE is designed for home users. However, you need to be diligent to ensure that your computer is fully compatible. There are many potential conflicts. Mind you, just because your computer is not specifically supported on their compatibility list does not mean it won't work. Only that it is not supported.

    There is lots of educational material available and Each Mbox 2 comes with a dvd tutorial.

    If you are set on ProTools, try your best to get version 7.4. Version 8 is supported on XP Pro but many people are having issues with it.

    On the other hand, take a look at the other options. There are many other interfaces which are compatible with most other DAWs. Find something with features you like and go with it. Make sure it has a good software package.

    M-Audio devices come with a DEMO of PT M-Powered. Most other units come with lite versions of some software. The ones that come with Cubase AI or Cakewalk Music Studio are the most robust in terms of track count and plugin packages.With the exception of ProTools LE based units of course.

    So bottom line, most of the sub $1000(and anything Digidesign under $20,000) range interfaces are directed toward home users. Pick one that you like and stick with it. Once you've gotten to know it, you'll know what you're missing.

    Lastly, amateur is not determined by the hardware. Hardware can make it harder to produce quality work but it does not determine the quality of your recordings. Editing is much easier in a graphical environment though.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Motu 896 mk3 or digidesign 003 RACK +, both can achieve a professional level of sound i used and heard both of them and they are good. these are the 2 best in the 1000 dollar range in my opinion.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'll beg to disagree. The Konnekt 48 and the RME Fireface 400 are both significantly superior to the 003 and the Motu 896. That's the problem with making a blanket statement like that kmetal. I pretty much haven't heard an 00* pre that I like yet-or M-Audio for that matter.

    Of course your mileage may vary and dealer dock fees will still apply.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Theres only a few interfaces out there that get anywhere close to RME's abilities and price point.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The pre's are quite mediocore but NO interface even the RME stuff, can compete with a good standalone preamp. Software is also a big consideration in my statement. If you want pro tools you have to except 96k instead of the 192k in the Motu or RME, but now your up to almost $2000 by the time u spend 600 on a recording program. Since i haven't heard the RME for myself i didn't reccomend it, although it has gotten excellent reveiws anytime i read anything about it. With only two preamps onboard of the Fireface 400 your looking at another thousand (minimum) dollars for 2 more channels, this could be prohibitive depending on how many channels he needs. Hope this clarifies my statement a bit. Cheers!
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    First off, 96k vs 192k is a very moot point. Not very many people that aren't full time engineers have any use whatsoever for 192k. There aren't even very many full time engineers that use 192k unless the client is willing to fork over big bucks.

    As to the pre's, since you haven't heard the RME stuff it's hard for you to make a statement regarding their quality. The stand alone pre's that are comparable to the RME Fireface series or surpass it are more than the OP is willing to spend I'll bet. Better pres come with names like True or Neve or API or Grace. The Digi stuff isn't in the same league nor are any of the many versions of the M-Audio dongles. The ART MPA isn't either without some modification and then maybe only just. 003 Rack no bundle~$1300 new. 003 with bundle ~ $1500 new. Fireface 800 that will smoke the 003~$1600 new. Konnekt 48 ~ $1100 new.


    The real issue with ProTools is being stuck with the Digi or M-Audio hardware. If it floats your boat-great. If you don't like being chained to Digi then there are plenty of other DAWs out there that don't require proprietary hardware.

    Tracktion is regularly found on eBay for $50-100 bucks. An Education license for Audition 3 is quite reasonable at $150 on sale. Reaper is an indefinite free trial and a mere $60 for non commercial license. Basically, software cost is negligible in comparison to hardware until and unless you get into purchasing plugins. Then non-digi stuff still has a significant price advantage.

    Hueseph pretty well layed out the pros and cons of Protools in a non judgmental way.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Hey Jack attack,
    I'm enjoying your posts, and i am just curious as to why pro engineers don't use 192k, even though they have it at their disposal, and why would they charge buku bucks? Does it have to do with hard drive space or the fact that it's most likely going to be converted to 44.1k? Thanks for your patience.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Really, I think you answered your own question in a way. 192k/176.4k takes up massive amounts of drive space when you do multitrack recording and editing. Additionally, 192 is hard to keep in sync past a certain number of tracks without expensive equipment and a great master clock. Many large projects (movies or whatnot) might be 80 or 100 or more tracks. That's where your Pyramix and your PTHD and similar machines come into their own. Expensive equipment and effort-especially taken to remote location-requires a corresponding remuneration.

    Another reason not to record that high is that many or most people can't hear much difference just between 88.2/96 and 176.4/192. That makes much of it hubris unless your final project is SACD and then DSD 1 bit recording is the King. Perhaps it enables the engineer to hear a mix more clearly-and some would debate that.

    In the end, when you go to CD it's still rendered to 16 bit/44.1k. So the real question is this: can you hear the difference in the final product (16/44.1) when it's mixed at such high sample rates or not. For me, recording at 88.2/24 is solely for the benefit of me mixing the session and applying FX and not really for the final CD.

    These thoughts are jumbled as I'm doing about 12 things at once here at work but the gyst of it is there.
  10. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    If you are putting together a home studio solely for the purpose of personal gratification than any DAW and interface that fits your budget will be satisfactory. Once you get over the $500 threshold the mic pres in the interfaces (which usually come bundled with some sort of LE DAW) will be superior to what you are used to with the Boss.

    If you are planning on a career as a recording engineer then you should learn Pro Tools. It is the standard, not because it is any better, but because it got there first. Other DAWs are making headway into the pro facilities, but the clients want Pro Tools, because it's usually the only name that they know.

    The biggest reason to go PT is track count. As an old fart - my first multitrack unit was a Tascam eight track reel-to-reel - I can't understand why dozens of tracks are needed to record most of the music I hear on the radio these days.
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Just a few thoughts here.

    1 - The statement:
    The pre's are quite mediocore but NO interface even the RME stuff, can compete with a good standalone preamp.
    isn't quite accurate. In fact, I use an RME Fireface 800 (same pres in the 400) and along side it, for orchestral recording, I use True Systems, Grace and Focusrite ISA preamps. I never hesitate to reach for the RME preamps to supplement the track count. They stand up just fine.

    2 - 192kHz - I have it available to me and I do use it. However, if I'm rolling 8-16 or more tracks, it starts to eat up hard disc space like mad. I would never considering doing higher than 88.2kHz for rock/country/pop and most cases, never over 44.1kHz. Partially because of space requirements but also because processing capabilities are cut down, workflow time is messed up and no one will be able to tell the difference. For classical, there are many instances where I'll record to 176.4kHz or DSD, but we're talking 4-8 tracks (albeit usually 1-2 hours in length...)

    3 - the DAW itself - I'm not a fan of PT for several reasons. First and foremost, the "LE" version is underpowered and clunky. Also, for the price, there are tons of applications and hardware that are better. If (big if) you need to be compatible with PT HD for some reason or you just need to learn PT for some reason, the PTLE is a fine DAW. If, however, you're doing this for your own pleasure/excitement/enjoyment...skip PT and go with something more scalable. A good DAW software package is cheap nowadays. A good interface is reasonable and usually allows you to add to it later.

    BTW and FWIW, the RME Fireface comes with a "lite" version of Samplitude. That adds some value right there!


  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Interesting thoughts guys.

    Uncle Bob-

    i think the main reason for these rediculous track counts is simply to put off decisions till the last possible second while mixing. I've read "Behind the Glass" by Howard Massey a couple of times, and the Nile Rogers section comes to mind right now.

    Massey: "You had a limitation of tracks, too. You were lucky if you had two tracks and could do an alternative take."

    Rogers: "You know what people do now when they want me to overdub on a record? They send me an album with a mix and like, 22 open tracks for guitar i can put down. So now you guys are going to figure out what my part is."

    Also, we can re-amp our DI'd track through every amp, mic/mic placement, and effect in the studio, print it, and potentially consume alot of time while fishing through/comping that master take. re-amping is an old technique, we are just able to take advantage of a computer's power (track count), and maybe waste alot of time doing so.

    Artist also are aware that we can comp, say a vocal track from they're syllables, if we need to. So i think current technology/methods lend themselves to a lot more lazy/ uninspired takes, that can waste alot of time during the recording/mixing process. But, we now have more room to experiment and refine what we've recorded (all 5,000 takes)... Tradeoffs.

    I still actually have my Tascam 428 mk3 4-track. I'm waiting for a pluggin company to make a pluggin to get that "4-track sound", just for giggles.

    (long post sorry)

    Nobody says anything bad about the RME stuff, seems like great peices of equipment. Any negative critisisms? Plus, it funny that my "to buy" preamp list in order is - UA 2- 610, True Systems Precisiion 8, Isa 428, Gml 8302 (you own/use two of the four on my list.). I think it would be cool to do like a "blind listening test" to see if i even preferred these tools, to stock RME pre's. I stick w/ the 88.2/92.6 khz, beacuse its the highest PT LE will handle. I feel personally, after a year and a half, that LE is very processor heavy and limits my dual core (1.66GHZ) laptop to about 12 tracks w/ about three stock/ or waves plug-insper channel. This is minimal to me, considering an eq and compressor already takes up two of those effects. Yes, i can use more Aux sends, but i'd rather each channels have their own effect settings when possible. I do like the way PT LE works as a Daw. I also have used Adobe Audition a couple years ago, and N-track before that, but PT LE is the most streamlined of the three i think. In a home studio setting (which i am in) there are a lot of good options, so i'd tell anyone to try them all and pick the software they like the best, and the best sounding interface they can afford. Bottoms up! (yes i'm done for now)...(finally)

    Hard drive space is getting super cheap these days, hopefully people won't feel the need to sacrifice quality for hard drive space, even if we can't hear it now, one day these "high" sample rates will be the norm. So i think it's beneficial to preserve this quality for the future. On the contrary, a new formats will most likey come out and my point could be null and void. Hopefully manufacturer's will keep transer rates in mind when making these enourmous hard drives. I don't see many Best Buy hard drives advertising esata or firewire 800 in their ads yet. (don't worry it won't be the first, or last time someone's called me crazy!) OUTY!!!!

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