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Pro Tools performance concerns...

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by AzureCrystal, Aug 14, 2001.

  1. AzureCrystal

    AzureCrystal Active Member

    Grateful thanks in advance for any help ! I have been evaluating PT Free for a few weeks now, getting ready to decide whether or not to invest in a DIGI001 system. I have some questions regarding features and performance, which so far are not up to par with other setups (Sonar & Tascam US-428, etc...) I have tested. My hope is that this is just a product of the PT FREE limitations and will not exist in PT LE with the DIGI001...

    System specs:
    Mobo: ASUS A7A266 (bios ver. 1006)
    CPU : AMD T-Bird 1ghz, 266FSB
    Ram : 256megs DDR
    OS : Win 98 SE
    HD : Maxtor 40gig, 7200rpm
    vid : 3Dfx Voodoo 3000
    Aud 1: Tascam US-428 (Default in PM)
    Aud 2: SoundBlaster Live!


    PT ISSUES:
    1- Very poor Midi performance: PT Free chokes and pauses on many of my projects that have more then 8 Midi tracks and dense Midi events (like panning, filter sweeping). I play the same MIDI file on any other sequencer (Sonar, Logic), no pauses or chokes.

    2- No Midi instrument list: I know It would be there for MAC OMS, but I'm on Win9x platform. I see it mentioned on the 5.1 video, will I get this for the "PC" platform with PT LE ??

    3- Poor Audio performance: Mainly when bouncing to final mix, cracks, pops. Must keep very high latency settings in order to record anything, granted this is not DIGI hardware, but some of the performance issues I see are related to software. In Sonar I have absolutely perfect performance at HW latencies of 10ms !! I imagine this will not be the case with the DIGI001, so I am not that worried about "Audio" performance.

    I can live with #2, or #3, but #1 is a deal breaker, and I have no way of knowing for sure that buying the DIGI001 will solve this. Again, any help will be appreciated, I am on the fence right now although I simply love PT when it works for my setup!

    Regards, -Azure. :roll:
     
  2. curtom

    curtom Guest

    Azure,

    I would look at your setup on your computer first. I used to use Logic Platinum (PC) and I tweaked it until I could get 48 tracks of audio with several plugins with ZERO problems. Anyhow, here are a couple of things you can look into.

    1. The USB - 428 will work with the Digi001. However, I would go with an AMT8 or Motu if at all possible. Also, this will allow you to make the jump to ProTools TDM in the future. Make sure ProTools LE is the ONLY APPLICATION on your computer other than a stereo editor and maybe winzip. ProTools likes to be the king of the entire computer. Make sure you have a drive(s) that is strictly dedicated to Audio only. DO NOT try and process your tracks on the same hard drive as Windows 98 resides on. That will cause problems with timing and accuracy of your tracks as well. Hope that helps :)

    CIII

    <blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<hr>Originally posted by Azure Crystal:
    Grateful thanks in advance for any help ! I have been evaluating PT Free for a few weeks now, getting ready to decide whether or not to invest in a DIGI001 system. I have some questions regarding features and performance, which so far are not up to par with other setups (Sonar & Tascam US-428, etc...) I have tested. My hope is that this is just a product of the PT FREE limitations and will not exist in PT LE with the DIGI001...

    System specs:
    Mobo: ASUS A7A266 (bios ver. 1006)
    CPU : AMD T-Bird 1ghz, 266FSB
    Ram : 256megs DDR
    OS : Win 98 SE
    HD : Maxtor 40gig, 7200rpm
    vid : 3Dfx Voodoo 3000
    Aud 1: Tascam US-428 (Default in PM)
    Aud 2: SoundBlaster Live!


    PT ISSUES:
    1- Very poor Midi performance: PT Free chokes and pauses on many of my projects that have more then 8 Midi tracks and dense Midi events (like panning, filter sweeping). I play the same MIDI file on any other sequencer (Sonar, Logic), no pauses or chokes.

    2- No Midi instrument list: I know It would be there for MAC OMS, but I'm on Win9x platform. I see it mentioned on the 5.1 video, will I get this for the "PC" platform with PT LE ??

    3- Poor Audio performance: Mainly when bouncing to final mix, cracks, pops. Must keep very high latency settings in order to record anything, granted this is not DIGI hardware, but some of the performance issues I see are related to software. In Sonar I have absolutely perfect performance at HW latencies of 10ms !! I imagine this will not be the case with the DIGI001, so I am not that worried about "Audio" performance.

    I can live with #2, or #3, but #1 is a deal breaker, and I have no way of knowing for sure that buying the DIGI001 will solve this. Again, any help will be appreciated, I am on the fence right now although I simply love PT when it works for my setup!

    Regards, -Azure. :roll:
     
  3. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Azure,

    I've only seen 001 a couple of times and always on a Mac, so I can't give you much help. Curtom's advice seems good to me though. The MIDI timing in PT has never been as tight as some of the top sequencers like Logic for example. However, you certainly shouldn't be experiencing pauses or chokes.

    For many years PT was solely audio recording, editing and mixing software. The TDM version was and is still the best at doing this. Due to popular demand MIDI features were added about 3 years ago and have been improved in subsequent updates. However the sequencing side of PT, while very usable, is still weaker than the other top sequencers. If you are working mainly or exclusively with MIDI you will find more features and accuracy working with one of the programs that were specifically designed as a sequencer. Again, Logic is the best one I've tried.

    As far a latency is concerned, you are going to suffer with this problem with every host based system on the market. PT TDM pretty much solves the problem but there is no way round it with host based systems. Although the latency issue can't be addressed you should certainly not experience clicks and pops using the 001 hardware.

    Greg
     
  4. AzureCrystal

    AzureCrystal Active Member

    Thanks to all for the great information. I do some video game and cable TV work, so in my case I rely heavily on MIDI and General MIDI soundsets (Along with GigaSampler) to "very" quickly produce timing critical and incidental music pieces. What attracted me to Pro Tools was how the interface did everthing I expected in a logical and user friendly manner. More so, many of the features on my wish list for all the other sequencers where incorporated in the editing facilities of PT. It feels like a musician designed it, not an engineer... Once I got used to Pro Tools, I hated all the other sequencer's interfaces ! I guess the best of two worlds would be:

    1-Use Logic or Sonar to select the sounds/patches and record the initial midi tracks with the patch change events included in all tracks.
    2-Import the midi file into Pro Tools and do all editing and adding of automation.
    3-To work around the midi timing issue, I would probably have to export the finished midi file into Logic/Sonar and record the initial digital audio there, since I have no discernible midi timing slowdowns with those products.
    4-bring the initial audio tracks back into PT and master there...

    Only two issues remain on my wish list for Pro Tools: *tighter Midi timing, *synth instrument list (could be user configuable, an .ini file, we can fill in the patches "pgrm=1, bank=2, name="Flute"), *optionally integration with something like SoundDiver(patch librarian). If DigiDesign eventually addresses the needs of MIDI musicians, and I believe that group is growing every day, they would have in fact the best music sequencing product out in the market, bar none.

    Warm Regards, -Azure ;)
     
  5. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Azure,

    You are correct IMHO, about the need for improvements in the MIDI side of things to make PT the best audio software/sequencer on the market. I believe that Digi recognises this too, which is why they added MIDI features in the first place and why all the upgrades since then have provided significant enhancement in MIDI functionality.

    The way I used to do my MIDI and the way some people still do is as follows:

    Run PT and Logic at the same time, sync locked together using OMS. IE. Pressing "Play" in Logic causes PT to play. All the MIDI is written and output from Logic and all the resulting audio is brought back into PT. While this works great it is still an annoyance to have to learn and use two completely different programs at the same time.

    Greg
     

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