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PT HD looks like a mid-term marketing move

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Jon Atack, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    I have to say, all the brouhaha around this release has left me wondering what the big deal is.

    * You have to buy new hardware, converters and computer
    * No support for 3rd-party converters
    * The same old internal TDM bus math

    All these drawbacks just for higher sample rates and more tracks if you work at 44.1 or 48 kHZ.

    Let the buyer beware. The PT HD looks like a mid-term marketing move, not a revolution. It will be obsolete rather quickly...and I am doubtful it will catch on in a big way like the MixPlus did.

    On the other hand, the MixPlus systems will be more affordable now.

    Anyone else underwhelmed by the new PT?

    Jon
    Capitol Studios Paris
    http://www.capitolstudiosparis.com
     
  2. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    For those of you who "mix in the box" and were hoping for improved internal mix processing in PT, check out this excerpt from the DUC......


    Rail Jon Rogut
    Member # 1857
    posted January 17, 2002 09:02 PM
    Currently the stock mixer other than upping the time slots and the sample rate - is for all intents and purposes the same as the existing mixer. There is a second dithered mixer in the DAE disabled folder which doesn't give as hard a hit on the HD system as on the Mix system (supposedly).


    Bushpig II
    Member # 6551
    posted January 17, 2002 09:25 PM
    Oh God!! So it's still gonna sound like ProTools. AAAAAHHHH!!!


    Rader Ranch
    Member # 1853
    posted January 18, 2002 10:21 AM

    someone not associated with digi has posted elsewhere that the old problem where complex mixes that required more than one chip for the mixer plug would have to truncate from 48 to 24 bits to pass from one chip to another is now eliminated, ...the path will stay 48 bit. if a Digi DSP engineer could clarify that, that'd be pretty cool...


    Rail Jon Rogut
    Member # 1857
    posted January 18, 2002 11:10 AM
    I had an hour long meeting with Dave Lebolt at NAMM yesterday -- as I posted above, the mixer still relies onplug-insto dither down to 24 bits back out to the TDM bus and at each mixer node the data can only be 24 bits wide.... So other than having an optional dithered mixer which is in the disabled folder -- the HD mixer, other than upping the time slots and sample rates, is the same as the existing Mix mixer. This is predicated on their choice to continue using the Motorola chips for many reasons.

    Rail
    --------------------
    Recording Engineer
     
  3. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by Jon Atack:
    ...the HD mixer, other than upping the time slots and sample rates, is the same as the existing Mix mixer. This is predicated on their choice to continue using the Motorola chips for many reasons.

    IOW, "consumer be damned". I expected as much.
     
  4. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Yep, typical digi.

    Release a "new" product that is not only not a real improvement of the current soundquality. But at the same time immediately devalues the current owners systems to probably about 30-40% of what they have invested into it.

    The next step, as in usual digi fashion, will be to stop development of any future software developments for the old systems. Thereby forcing their current users to spend a small fortune to upgrade to the new system. (even though it's not an improvement."

    By the time they have developed new software, that might sound better (doubtful), it will be too late for their current trade-in offers.

    That's right, bend over and say "Please sir, can I have some more".

    And all of this because the "pro's" bought into an inferior sounding product from the beginning.

    I remember when all those guys were so high on analog. Did you ever see them talking about how great a Tascam 1" or 1/2" 24 track sounded?

    No, it had to be the most expensive 2" machines , studers etc.

    They went from neve consoles and studers to the biggest piece of $*^t sounding HD recording system out there.

    Well, unless they smarten up and tell digi to go ^#$% themselves, they're stuck with it. So instead of buying nice new shiny cars, they can "upgrade", and spend a fortune on new interfaces, and new hardware that won't improve $*^t.


    There. I'm done for today.

    :D
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you'll have more tomorrow. :D
     
  6. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    The same old internal TDM bus math

    The summing bus is pretty simple maths, it's just summing. How would you like Digi to change this, maybe make the summing algorithm calculate 2+2=5?

    So instead of buying nice new shiny cars, they can "upgrade", and spend a fortune on new interfaces, and new hardware that won't improve $*^t.

    To understand how higher quality converters are going to improve sound quality you need to understand the basics of digital audio theory, which you obviously don't otherwise you wouldn't have said this.

    They went from neve consoles and studers to the biggest piece of $*^t sounding HD recording system out there.

    My advice then is to use a Neve console and record into the mini jacks of your laptop, and to leave PT to the people that know how to use it.

    Thanks Jon for posting up that excellent example of why the DUC can be a dangerous place unless you really know what you are talking about.

    Greg
     
  7. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Uh, Greg?

    TDM math processes audio at 48 bits but truncates the result to 24 bits at many points in the internal signal path. The effect is cumulative.

    The disappointment of many folks stems from the fact that Digi did not improve the internal bit width in the system, most particularly when the new system requires the user to buy all new hardware.

    Most high-end PT users I know are at least as concerned about PT sound quality as they are about having more plug-in DSP (which was available anyway by purchasing additional Mix Farms) and tracking at higher sample rates. The high-end users who are using Apogee and Prism converters also do not particularly appreciate the new policy that Digidesign converters are required in order to use the new system and that they are the only converters that can connect directly to the cards.

    Greg, I'm all for debate and am happy to see you posting here. I do feel, however, that each RO member should be able to post here without being subject to comments calling into question his/her competence or level. I would appreciate it if you would apologize or edit those parts of your post.

    Back to the debate! Who is already planning to trade in their current PT for the new system?

    Jon
    Capitol Studios Paris
    http://www.capitolstudiosparis.com
     
  8. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Originally posted by Greg Malcangi:


    My advice then is to use a Neve console and record into the mini jacks of your laptop, and to leave PT to the people that know how to use it.

    Greg


    Thanks for the tip!!!

    I'm pretty sure the converters on my Sounblaster card, combined with Logic or Nuendo, WILL sound better. And it won't cost me a small fortune either.
     
  9. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Originally posted by Greg Malcangi:


    To understand how higher quality converters are going to improve sound quality you need to understand the basics of digital audio theory, which you obviously don't otherwise you wouldn't have said this.
    Greg


    Well,

    Since everybody agrees that the audio quality issue is the shitty sounding software, converters mean dick.

    And, given digi's track record in selling some of the crappiest sounding converter's, but advertising them has high quality (888/24's), I would think twice about buying into their advertising campaign again.

    But, I'll grant them this, they are a smart marketing company. They fully understand the concept of brainwashing and that people are sheep. And with enough marketing, you can sell anything.
     
  10. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    Originally posted by Henchman:
    I'll grant them this, they are a smart marketing company. They fully understand the concept of brainwashing and that people are sheep. And with enough marketing, you can sell anything.


    That's what I don't get. I am a PT user, but this is like "Drink the KoolAid"

    What's up with all these people dumping their systems and ordering this stuff sight unseen...and unheard?

    I read the DUC daily, and from what I see, these *aren't* the features everybody has been asking for, yet everybody seems to be throwin down some serious coin for this new and *unproven* stuff.

    Also, Digi hasn't exactly been known for their clocks and conversion, yet everyone seems to believe these new boxes are going to rival, or even surpass the competition (Apogee etc) ...based on what, the Digi brochure???

    Some people may be in for a big 15k let down when they find their stuff sounds the same as it use to.
     
  11. Obostic

    Obostic Guest

    Digi fooled me once, shame on them!
    Digi fool me twice, shame on me!

    Maybe next time!!!!

    (ha,ha,ha,ha)
     
  12. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Bassmac and Obostic,

    True. Many folks have been so hopeful for years that the new PT would sound better, they are feverish to upgrade and are ready to believe in just about anything.

    I love PT, don't get me wrong. I'm not yet a Radar 24 or Nuendo owner, though I consider them to be attractive systems. But you won't see me drinking the kool-aid unless most of my clients do, which I hope won't happen.

    One other thing. I fortunately don't have to mix in PT very often, but if I did and was upgrading to the HD version, I would be pretty pissed off that there still is no automatic delay compensation forplug-insand inserts.

    Jon
     
  13. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Henchman, I'd have to disagree when you write that converters mean dick.

    Converters mean quite a bit, as does the clock, perhaps even more so for folks like me who use PT extensively but not as a mixer. I try to avoid the internal math truncation by leaving all faders at unity, using no plugins except for separate fx, and outputting each track individually to an analog desk.

    That means that not only does the converter influence all the audio going into PT like for most folks, but in this case there are also 48 channels of conversion going back out to the desk. Yes, I think converters matter.

    Everyone,

    It will be interesting to hear about the first comparisons of PT+ApogeeSE versus PT/HD+Digi192.

    Keep it coming.

    Jon
     
  14. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Originally posted by bassmac:


    Some people may be in for a big 15k let down when they find their stuff sounds the same as it use to.


    Probaly what will hapen, is that these people will not want to admit that there is no improvement, and tell everyone how much better it sounds. And everyone will uy into it. And a year down the road they might start to admit it don't sond so great. Just like the current system.

    "Yeah, check out the comparison. This PT mix sounds just as good as the mix we did on the Oxfordor the SSL."

    "Hey, this new Lexicon plug-in sounds s good as a 480L"

    "Hey, this Focusrite Red Plug-in sounds as good as the hardware"

    Sound familiar? Do I need to go on.
     
  15. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Henchman, that's very true. People tend not to bad-mouth equipment they've just sunk $10-$30k into.

    Jon
     
  16. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    What I meant with the converters meaning dick was, that with the current systems, there are enough high quality options available.

    With the new system, your'e actually worse off, because:
    A. The sofware engine hasn't been improved
    B. You're basically stuck with digi's converteres now. (yeech)
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Guest

    hey I'll chime in, just for the abuse..

    First,

    Jon, how is the SSL? I lost track of the progress, just wondering how it is working out.

    Second,

    I was completely uninterested in HD until I heard two way cool features that matter to lil ol me.

    1) I can upgrade to HD and get almost double theDSP power ( I mix and record at 44.1) for a bit less than the same money as buying new farms..

    2) HD gives you 50' between the interfaces and the computer.. previously i was loking at a MADI unit to get the CPU away and keep my AES and analog patching nearby ( not interested in gutting walls and rewiring the place )

    Oddly enough #2 was the first thing I was even interested in HD for. boy is that pathetic.
    If I didnt need to record so much stuff that had to be heavily edited, I would switch to RADAR in a second.

    Steve Smith
     
  18. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Hi Steve,

    Those are valid reasons to upgrade, provided you don't mind buying the mandatory Digi converters.

    Thanks for inquiring about the 9k. I haven't installed it yet, though I'm not really at liberty to tell you why at this time. Let's just say that I hope to have some interesting news to announce in the next few weeks.

    Jon
     
  19. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    FWIW here are some more posts about PT/HD, this time from David Frangioni's board...


    meltmedia@aol.com

    As I questioned everyone I could today at the NAMM show, I couldn't get anyone to tell me that PT/HD was a phenomenal step-up in sound quality. The best I could get was from Colin from McDSP who thought theplug-inssounded better at 96K.

    I find it odd that for such a monumental kept secret, biggest ever Digi upgrade - as was told in the HD demo, why isn't every Digi rep at the show not running around like their hair caught fire, ecstatically telling me how blown away we will be by how much better this new system sounds. They were much more enthusiastic when they showed 5.1 last year.

    From what I can tell, I'm not expecting the mixes to sound much better than they allready are with the Mix hardware. It appears that Digi's true motives in issueing this upgrade are more of a marketing focus and a Microsoft monopoly sort of mentality in trying to freeze out anyone it might consider competition, including companies it has always touted as development partners (Apogee). That being said, at least their upgrade pricing seems to be fair. It's gonna be a tough call to determine if it's worth it or not.

    Kenny Meriedeth
    Melted Media Music

    ======================

    Rail Jon Rogut
    posted 01-18-2002 04:46 PM

    DAE is now a DLL (Dynaminc Link Library) -- any app can load it if they know how.

    As for the HD mixer - it's still 24 bit wide, due to their choice to stay with the Motorola chips (to make it easier for their plug-in developers, etc.) -- so other than the upped sample rate and time slots, the HD mixer will sound exactly the same as the current Mix mixer.

    I was told the only sonic difference will be due to the better converters and if you clock externally then the 192 sounds markedly better than an 888/24 clocked externally.

    --------------------
    Rail Jon Rogut
    Recording Engineer

    ======================

    Nika
    posted 01-18-2002 07:12 PM

     
  20. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    OK as a PT user and reliant on the PT internal mixer here's what I have learned....

    1)
    The Mix+ system has to do some digital compromises when the track count gets over 32 tracks

    PTHD does not have to do this digital compromise - this is a new benefit.

    2)
    The Mix + system has to do some digital compromises when if buses to AUX's..

    So does the PTHD - the 'no change there' aspect has depressed many anxiously waiting for one.

    3)
    It appears plug in companies now have enthusiasm to out do each other in the 96k Plug in quality stakes... This bit of good news will only benefit owners of PTHD and represents - along with the higher sample rate - the only true 'exciting future' of the platform.

    4)
    No one yet knows how the new interfaces actually sound!

    To recap:

    The second run at plug in development looks to be where all the improvement will lie. Plug in makers have gotten off lightly regarding PT internal sound quality issues, but they KNOW what must be done. With Sony on board now the bar has been raised.

    -----------

    IMHO

    Using the dithered mixer

    Just use auxes for FX sends, not 'main audio'

    Using Sony plug ins

    Try to keep sessions under 32 tracks

    Are steps a Mix + owner wanting to mix 'in the box' can do to preserve fidelity..

    -----------------------
    96k
    Better sounding + "astounding"/ whacky featured plug ins (like the Serrato DJ Scratch plug in)
    That 'non truncation' over 32 tracks thang
    as many tracks as you like
    still avoiding use of too many auxes

    = what PTHD folks can look forward to...

    ---------------------

    Last word?

    See what the power users have to say about it over the next few months.

    :w:
     

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