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pullin out my hair...pro-tools

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Caisson, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    Im trying to be smart and do research. I get good feeback from everyone on this site, but theres one question thats seems to get me stomped. Is pro-tools better for me in the long run or not.

    I mainly track vocals out of my home studio, and I am in desparet need to upgrade my interface. Im trying to take my time so I don't end up regreting my purchace, or have to start buying things twic or having to change my direction.

    Every time I go to the music store, I get everyone telling me "pro-tools is the way to go" and then I get on RO and everybody is saying pro-tools is just a hype, or that I will only be limiting myself.....

    This leaves me stuck because I don't know which would be better for me in the long run. Now, I could.. get an RME or an E-MU just for my interfacious ventures, but I also want a strong package overall

    As of right now im mainly looking for an interface, but im also at the crossroads of my recording stage where im tired of changing my whole set-up because of this and that.

    My interface is a 2496 audiophile(m-audio) I run Sonar 3 PE on a PC.

    I know that nobody will have the overall right answer for me, but my qoal is to have a solid set-up with quality everything and if protools is the way to achieve that over-all......then thats that

    I just need to know is protools(software/hardware combo's really the best overall for some trying to obtain that profession sound?
  2. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    If it's really the best sound you're concerned with, I'd stick with your Audiophile card and get a higher-end preamp and converter combination. There are lots of options available there depending on how much you're willing to spend. Sofware-wise you could stick with the software you have, go with Pro Tools since it's compatible with your card, or look into other options. The software itself won't directly affect your sonic quality significantly.

    As to whether Pro Tools is right for you, it may be a good choice if compatibility with other studios in the future is a big concern. If it's not then it may or may not be depending on how the software itself appeals to you.

    Depending on your budget, though, the price of Digidesign's M Box just dropped a bit, so you can get one new now for about $50 more than the Pro Tools software to go with your card would be by itself. That will get you two decent mic preamps to boot, and you can still eventually add more outboard gear if you outgrow those.

  3. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Since you're on a PC, I wouldn't recommend Pro Tools at all. It's doable, but it doesn't have a reputation of being stable on a PC. Pro Tools is good, but most of it's reputation comes from being the first real "Pro" software for audio work that was widely adopted. Now there are plenty of other programs that work just as well, better on PC. If you really want to switch software go with Cubase or Nuendo, depending on your needs.

    Duardo is right though, if you're trying to get a better vocal sound, a good mic and pre will be money better spent than on new software. The interface you already have is decent, and Sonar 3 is definitely useable software. It wouldn't be my first choice, but you should be able to get good results with it.

    I'm not sure what your mic/pre setup is now, but there are a few pre's that would cost about the same as a new daw setup that would do you well probably.
  4. Markd102

    Markd102 Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2001
    Man, where have you been?
    Ever since the WinXP version of ProToolsLE, stability has been a moot point. I literally have not had one crash since I went XP.

    Caisson, I would say that you are a perfect candidate for an Mbox.
    2 channels I/O is enough for vocals, and you shouldn't be bothered with the 32 audio track limit. Protools really is the most intuitive program for recording audio. (And from what I hear, the upcoming version 7 has vastly enhanced midi features.)
    But it depends on your budget. If you can afford an Mbox, a nice stereo AD converter (Mytek, Apogee etc) and a nice preamp, then you'll have as good a signal chain as you'll get anywhere.
    If you can't afford that, then the DIGI002R will get you better preamps and converters than what the Mbox has onboard, but not as good as external units. (But the same goes for RME, MOTU, EM-u etc.)

    good luck
  5. roguescout

    roguescout Guest

    I'll have to second Mark on this one.

    Since I built my latest machine (nearly 2 years ago):

    P4 2.5 oc to 3.0 Windows XP SP2
    1.5GB Premium Crucial RAM on MSI 845 Max2 mb
    NVidia 6200 (now)
    Cooler Master Aquagate System
    Pro Tools LE 6.9
    Acid Pro 5.0
    Sound Forge 8

    ...I have not had a single crash. Since Pro Tools 5.3.1 I have not had a single crash.

    I think what the end user needs to consider is what sort of app they want their primary audio app to be. And how does that relate to the type of product they want to put out?

    I went this route because I had to learn Pro Tools (the industry standard) and also wanted a quality program for sequencing (Acid) and mastering (Sound Forge). I do commercials and voiceover. This setup kicks my ass on all levels.

    Here I am 2 years later and I still have as much capability as I did when I started. I have never felt shorthanded with this setup.

    BUT... There are programs out there that "do everything" under one banner.

    Remember though... You get compromises in design and integration with that. As the industry moves on and becomes more innovative and homogenized, this becomes more important.

    My only regret is not getting involved with Gigastudio... something I am still considering.
  6. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    the delta card sounds better than the mbox....

    get protools m-powered and a pre....
  7. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    As far as cost...im not really worried about that, I am just tired of the get this get that type thing. I was in quitar the other day, and one of the guy's I always talk to was telling me about his set up....and when say protools, im not just talking about the Software...im really talking about the oo2r or maybe even the mixer/interface 002, anyway this set up looks like a quality set-up because its all one brand with everything in it "world class stuff" and im able to get the rack for about $1099.99
    ...this is not alot for me, and I don't mind paying for it if it gives me all I need. but on the other had I can grab a 1820 E-mu or and Rme for cheaper and be good too. Its just than in the past i've bypass things because of money, and then later on ended up going back to get that piece. If someone could tell me that getting an e-mu or rme or lynx would be equivalent or better than a oo2r (overall) than that would be great (consider the overall as in---Software, Pre-amps-converters,

    My front end is -AT3035-Mogami-grace101-compressor-mixer-audiophile
    im going to up grade the mic to an R-NTK get rid of the mixer and swap out the interface. Now some someone said the 2496(m-audio) is alright, but im limited on outs/ins and are the converter really that good? plus I don't want an alright converter I want a great converter something that can run with the best.

    also markd102
    I thought the M-box was the interface/converter, are you say that it would be good for me to get an M-Box and then get a stereo AD converter too?

    and for those who have given advice in this thread....can you give me chains or set-ups? greatly apprecitate
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    if you are on a PC i say worth looking into sequia by magix, and stay away from digi hardware, even if you decide on pro tools go rather m-audio or anything else compatible but digi hardware NO, unless you want through money out the window! just my opinion, that is.
    i would look into sequia on PC (if you don't want to swap to mac and logic!!) and an RME fireface 800. (yupp, it doesn't come cheap but i think well worth saving up for!)
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    If you are concerned with limitations and being "world-class," but not concerned with price, get a Mac and ProToolz HD and don't look back. Anything less and you will continue to wonder "hmmm, what am I missing out on...."

    I don't think an Mbox is going to be a big step up from your audiophile.
  10. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    That's a pretty subjective thing. To my ears the M Box's converters sound better than the Audiophile's.

    If quality is your main concern, and you don't need more than two ins and outs, then I'd recommend sticking with your card and getting a better converter and going in digitally. I'd only recommended the M Box as a sort of "intermediate" step that's only a little bit more than buying the Pro Tools M-Powered software for your card, and the LE software has a few more features than the M-Powered version does.

    Otherwise, there are plenty of options out there if you need more ins and outs. But if quality is your main concern and you don't need lots of ins and outs I'd put your money into a better signal path.

  11. Digger

    Digger Guest

    I second what Reggie is saying, but my sense is that you don't have a truly endless budget.

    I own and operate a Digi002R on a PC and I have not had any issues. When I was looking to take the plunge into a new system I was considering going to Mac but as an 18 year PC user I can't stand the MAC OS. I was infinitely more comfortable working in a PC environment and I believe that has worked to my advantage.

    The Digi002R is pretty solid which is really what you are paying for when you buy Digidesign hardware - reliability. Sonically there are obviously better mic pres and A/D-D/A converters out there, but there is enough flexibility on the 002 to get what you want and need.

    I record primarily acoustic recordings and I occasionally find the 32 track limit to be bit annoying and that is the only down side to Pro Tools LE (MAC or PC) that I have encountered. If your medium is mainly electronic music you will definitely avoid this problem. I would consider looking at Cubase as well if you want to remain in a PC environment.

    As far as acheiving a professional sound that is really up to you. You can comfortably record acoustic based recordings at 24 bit x 48K and word class albums have certainly been recorded on less. If you are recording multiple tracks of acoustic music it becomes a little trickier as you will be relying heavily on room acoustics, microphones, preamps, processing equiptment, playing talent, engineering experience etc....all of which are factors that have nothing to do with your interface and software choice.

    If you have the aforementioned in place than yes you can make outstadning sounding acoutsic recordings on a Digi002. In the electronic realm your odds of making music that sounds outstanding is increased exponentially and can certainly be attained on a Digi002.

    Hpoe this helps and Good Luck!
  12. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    My experience with PT is limited. It was an older Mac based system a few years back. It was good for what we were doing (audio tracking/editing). Obviously that is a rather limited sample I suppose but based on my experience with it I would still keep my Cubase / RME setup. The midi tools are better (the engineers opinion, we weren't using midi on my sessions) and the sound is absolutely as good.

    Protools is the standard because it was the first adequately functional software platform on the market. They of course do everything they can to leverage that position. The reality is that there are several platforms just as capable these days. The A/D/A conversion and the signal chain feeding it is the real deciding factor in the sound quality in my opinion. Compatability and other non audio issues are what keep PT as the "standard". If a solid platform independant format were to emerge I thing PT would take a serious hit but of course they would never embrace for jsut that reason.
  13. iznogood

    iznogood Guest

    have you made a direct swap test with controlled levels?? and on what monitoring??? just curious.... as you say it's subjective...
  14. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    I have PTHD and love it, but if you're not making a living doing this, there really is only one factor to consider: are you going to be interfacing with a bigger studio for drum tracks et. al.? If you are, then having PTLE will save a lot of hassle. If you won't be doing this, than there are many other options that I believe are more competitive than PTLE. If you're making tracks in your basement, you can use anything and spread your money around more evenly to get great converters/mics/pres/instruments/etc.

  15. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    all great info. keep it coming
  16. Reggie

    Reggie Distinguished Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    This is great advice. Get a converter BETTER than the ones in ProToolz and run in the SPDIF of your Audiophile. Through this converter, run a great mic through a great preamp , and the only thing to blame for lack of quality is yourself. Or perhaps your room and monitoring.

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