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Upgrade from Digi003 to HD96,or HD Native

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Audiofreek, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I've been working on a PC,and Pro Tools LE since 5.1, and now 10, Live tracking bands ,using a 003 with a Ramsa DA7 digital mixer.
    With Avids move to 64 bit in the upcoming PT11 release, abandoning all of there legacy products, it seems the time is right for me to move into an HD system.I've been getting tired of firewire latency, but overall, the system has worked well, and gives me 18 simultaneous ins,and a few analog outs for HP mixes.
    I have found a seller with a Mac G5,PT8HDw/ilock,96i/o,HD2 core and Process cards and cable for $2,000.00. This sounds like a pretty good buy,and I have the cash for it.
    On the other hand,I could purchase a used Nahalem 4 core,for about $1400.00,and another 5 grand will get me into Pro Tools Native.I don't have the 5 grand.
    The Omni interface seems like a bit of a joke,with only 4 simultaneous analog,and 8 total simultaneous inputs into PT.This seems like a step backwards,so I would need at least and 8x8i/o for live tracking bands.
    Should I buy the G5/HD system,or should I be patient,and take the more future proof option,and get ready for Pro Tools 11.

  2. mberry593

    mberry593 Active Member

    I have a few comments that may help you decide.

    First, a while back everyone assumed that things like the 003 would not work with PT11 but comments from Bobby Lombardi have given some hope that they may work, just not be supported. Here is some discussion.

    Old Digidesign and Avid HD Hardware Will Work With Pro Tools 11 - Pro Tools Tips, Tricks & More... - Pro Tools Expert Blog

    Next, I completely agree that the Omni is "a joke." I just don't get the joke. It seems to be a terrible value. I don't understand what the designers had in mind. IMO the 8x8x8 is a much better way to go.

    Next, I used to use an Intel Zeon W3550 with Pro Tools. That is a Nehalem/Bloomfield with 4 physical cores. It just wasn't good enough for me. I had to do all kinds of work-arounds (like bouncing virtual instrument tracks to audio) to conserve cpu ability. I don't have big sessions but I do use up quite a bit of power with things like multiple instances of Auto Tune. A few months ago, I bought an Intel Zeon W3680 on ebay. That is a Gulftown/Westmere with 6 physical cores. The W3680 also lets me run my memory at 1333MHz rather than the 1066MHz that I was limited to with the W3550. This was a very significant improvement for me.

    Also, in general I am not really anxious for PT11. Here is why (I am a native). Avid has stated that RTAS plug-ins will not work with PT11. I really do need at least Waves and Anteres to port their plug-ins to AAX before I can even consider PT11. I don't really need the 64bit addressing. I never do sessions that big. I am quite happy with 10.3.2. It is stable for me and doesn't cause me any problems. If PT11 came out tomorrow and Avid offered me a free upgrade (HA!), I could not take it.

    So, I didn't answer your question but I hope you find the discussion to be of some value.
  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Although the interfaces such as the 192 I/O, 96, I/O will likely work with Pro Tools 11, interfaces such as the Digi series will likely not, unless you are using a third party 64 bit ASIO driver. The HD core cards also will NOT work with Pro Tools 11 as they will not be getting an updated driver AFAIK. According to Avid a 64 bit driver for the HD cards is not only unlikely but impossible.

    If you can be satisfied with PT 10 I would go with the HD 2 setup. It's not as powerful as HDX and you won't get many of the benifits of 64 bit but, you have lived without 64 bit all this time and things are fine. The HD cards are still powerful by many people's standards and I can guarantee, there are many studios out there that won't be upgrading for quite some time. I'm sure there are plenty of studios out there still running PT 9 or lower.

    Mine is a very biased opinion. I have long since stopped using Pro Tools. I have moved on and find that with a "less powerful" DAW I have more stability and less errors.....add to that clip based gain, ram caching, object based editing, 64 bit engine, off line rendering.....I could go on.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i use a g5 and it is relatively reliable, and it records 24 tracks live without breaking a sweat. with hardware monitoring, we have no latency, at the expense of not hear any effects within digital performer. for this purpose, we use dsp, based processing, which in our case is built into the digital mixer. no latency.

    while i'm happy w/ the setup, at this point in the current state of the art, it's all but obsolete. i recently purchased a waves pluggin bundle, and i have to downgrade my license to version 7, instead of the current 9. this was because they don't operate on non-intel based macs. so with an eye toward future trends, if i were gonna buy something new it would at least be able to run a 64 bit OS. probably nothing less than an 8 core. is your pc not able to be upgreaded to something that could run the programs you want?

    if you ask me the hardware from avid has always been the weak point. you could get a motu 2408, and the expansion chasis (which is basically just another 2408, w/out the a pci-e card, to which you can hook up as many as four 2408. this will run you about $1500 new, and around 1k used. this setup will allow 24 channels in digital, and 24 in analog, with built in dsp, @96k. and respectable sound quality surely on comparable and likely better than the 003.

    also what about the UA apollo? dsp effects for mixing built in, and a nice interface. i haven't used it, but read alot of reveiws that were extremley positive. with the DSP you don't need a very powerful computer. you can really get a lot more for your money, if you don't go avid hardware, and you can get the current state of the art, instead of something that's been discontinued.

    then there's the issue of plugins. the UA stuff is gonna smoke the avid stock plugins. and so your stuck w/ the choice of spending twice as much for the plugins, than they const native, and they are out of date. this isn't to say they won't work well, but this is definatley another transition point, so to upgrade to something that's almost parellell to what your using doesn't make kuch sense to me, financially. and any stock pluggin as gonna be about as good or a little better than the avid ones. so i think the consideration is about third prty pulggins.

    for a little over 2K you could get a used 8 core mac, a used motu 2408mk3 interface, A UAD solo dsp cards (which comes w/ 5 plugins), and a focusrite liquid mix 32, which gives you 32 channels of DSP eq/compression thru firewre, (the smallest buffer is 256) so i only use it for mixing. and the inface has dsp built in for monitoring. the aopollo has a thunderbolt option card, which is never a bad thing.

    Fwiw i still us PT 7.3 at home, and DP 7 at the studio, along w/ a couple of motu 2408 mk 2's. which have no dsp, and are very cheap used and sound fine, they also have a mximum sample rate of 48khz, so it maybe not be what your looking for. i guess what i'm trying to say is even though the setups are older they still work well, and have been rock solid (motu/g5) for years. so i wouldn't spend hard earned money on anything that wasn't relativly state of the art. i'm not saying that it's necessary to have the top of the line, but just something that should keep you current, in the feild, for at least a few years. w/ the DSP not going anywhere, an 8 core cpu should be plenty of horsepower for quite a while.
  5. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    All good advice,the UA route is definately alot more future proof.My current PC is an Asus P5K,using DDR2,so it suffers at mixdown.I've got a Macbook Pro,i7 quad,so the thunderbolt option is also a consideration.
  6. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    After pondering all of the advice,I think I've decided to go with a Universal Audio Apollo Duo,and use my existing Asus quad.If I need more DSP,I can add a UAD2 card,or another Apollo for more inputs.I'm not sure how much the plug-ins run for,haven't pulled the trigger on it yet.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A smart move I think. UA is solid and we all know that their plug-ins are the most respected in the industry. There Hardware is solid too so they aren't going anywhere but stable and up. Avid is on really shaky ground and going down slow and steady IMHO. The Apollo is only going to improve. Being able to track into it with plug-ins, sets it apart from all the rest.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You know, I have a brand new StudioLive 24.4.2 here that I am selling only to fund more hardware. I love this thing. Its my second one and I'm doing it again ( parting with it and I just got it a month ago) never even opened the box. They are unreal! If I was you, I'd seriously take a look at that too. 24 channels, great software and low CPU draw. They are very cool.

  9. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I could definately see replacing my DA7 with the StudioLive,does it have ASIO drivers for Pro Tools?I really like using Pro Tools,and that's one of the reasons I like the UA Apollo,and the UA RTAS integration.I agree that AVID is on shaky ground,there is alot competition in the prosumer market,and they lost their shirt with the M-audio,and ensoniq stuff.I think this could be why they are delaying Pro Tools so long,if it flops,it will be their demise,so it`s going to have to be very good,and not just at picking our pockets.
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    the studio live series doesnt have motorized faders, otherwise i'd buy one for studio. live i just used one for the first time, tonight at a live gig. instead of being stuck in a crappy random are most bar type gigs stick me, i used an ipad in any spot i wanted, i.e, a legit FOH spot.

    i didn't like the lack of metering on the compressor display, or the latency inherit from wifi controling (gues54kbs), or the lack of bandwith setting on the eq's (i pad only?)

    i loved the ability to walk around w/ my virtual control surface, and the fact that w/ proper gain staging, the band could get a nice multitrack rec. as someone who's used to assigned controls, i had to adjust a bit to selecting an eq band, then making adjustments, you can do this in the eq's window, by just hitting the "dot", but it was not well suited for precise adjustments. i'm very used to layers, after a few years of control surfaces/digital mixers, so this was no prob, just a workflow thing, by hour 2 of gig i was able to almost be as fast as in an analog setup. If you figure the sheer amount of onboard equipment that mixer packs, i can argue that i was almost faster, on anything that would be rack-mounted like the limiters,compressors/gates. by the time i reach 3ft down and to the left, a couple wirtual button pushes got me to where i wanted.

    i think is a very nice board. i'll take these compromises live all night, until i'm at a level of "touring foh" dude. being able to be in the proper mix position is worth every penny, and more. studio use i'd think it's cool, good front end, good routing. Motorized faders is where i think they should have made a seperate edition for. at double the price, (still a bargain) they likely could have included fader motors, and hui control. boohoo get a control surface right? i left the rack at home, had more options (i kept it simple), than any analog setup i'd had acees to, and the band loved it, and i was comfortable. the studio live gets my thumbs up for overall live. theres def better mixers, but they on;y do that, so for anyone interested in having an all in one solution, i like it.
  11. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I think there is a StudioLive 24.4.2. m series that has motorized faders.At least that's what the Sound on Sound review said,they loved it,said the mic pres sounded great.
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    are you sure about the "m series", i just goggled sos studio live reviews, and presonus m series. nothing mentioned motorized faders,. did i miss it? i could very well have. but from what i sussed up it's not in existence. i'm not shy about just riding the faders during 'final pass' repeatable or not in 'the final mix'.

    i'd be very happy to see a link about studio live incorporating fader motors. even a mod-head link would interest me.

    i think it would require a hardware, and software adataptaion, to the current incarnation that i used. is it real yet? hope so.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    dvdhawk, here, might be using protools with his SL24 but you may consider switching because StudioOne 2 and capture is pretty sweet, amazing as a package. But below explains more on your question. yes, its possible.

    studiolive with pro tools - Google Search

    Moto faders aren't going to happen on the SL anytime soon. Maybe in the future but IMHO, forget that feature altogether unless you plan on spending thousands on another control surface. They are nothing but a PITA. Virtual is where its all going and SL is already there. You can control the DAW via an ipad or iphone http://www.presonus.com/products/QMix but that technology is still plagued with latency. Its a feature idea for mixing away from the console. Moto faders are pass-aye, bad investment period.
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Go for at least the Quad and try to go for the Octo. I love the UAD plugins and once you get hooked you will run out of DSP space very quickly.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    There is a used basic Apollo on the slutz for $1750.00.(Dead Link Removed)
    I'm with Bob, I wouldn't even consider anything less than the Quad. Nothing worse than running out of DSP. I sold a Quad last year for $1100 here. That was about par
  16. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    Yeah the Octo wiil not happen immediately for me,I don't like using credit.There is only one used Apollo Duo on ebay right now.for another $300 I can get it new.
    You are right about the Studio Live,there is no M series.I was thinking about the review for the Behringer X32.

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