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why should I buy Pro Tools?

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by chris, Oct 26, 2000.

  1. chris

    chris Resource Member

    Sep 6, 2000
    Sure is allot of talk about Pro Tools. I read about Soundscape now and Digital Performer on chats

    Why should I buy the Pro Tools.

    I have an old computer apple so I will buy a new one as well.
  2. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    My guess is that you decided not to blow
    your money on a one-time shot in a studio, and have decided to become part of the DAW
    phenomenon. Congrats!
    Top Ten reasons for choosing ProTools:

    1) ProTools Rocks!
    2) 001 has the best bang for the buck in
    it's price range.
    3) Very user friendly.
    4) It runs on a Mac. smile.gif
    5) Excellent interface.
    6) Standard of the industry.
    7) Digidesign User's Conference (The DUC).
    8) Solid, established, American company.
    9) Excellent upgrade policy.
    10) 'Cause audiokid uses it...

    For less than $5000 you can be up and running. Shop carefully on the internet, and
    you can get good deals on every piece of gear you'll need. Check the Digi website for
    compatibility before you buy, AND consult with the pros on this site or on the DUC for
    the best recommendations.
    You'll find that, with ProTools, pros will
    bend over backward to help you every step of the way. You just can't get this kind of
    never-ending support from any other company or users.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    Hey, now thats what I call a good reply!

    Pro Tools is so sweet I can't say enough about it. If you buy a PT rig you will be with the best.

    Go for it!
  4. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Have you ever heard a producer ask an engineer if they had "Digital Performer", or "Logic" in an audio situation? No- they always say "Do you know "Pro-tools"! If I have a problem with one of those 'swap-meet' daw's, I'm screwed. If I have a problem with Pro-tools, I can call about 20 people & ask questions (plus the web support). If your doing MIDI-intensive stuff, you might wanna look at the others. But it's just a matter of time before PT's midi is just as good as the rest.
  5. MMazurek

    MMazurek Guest

    I am definitely a beginner in recording & mixing. Up until a year ago I've been aquiring different gear (mics/pre's/mixing boards/adats/effects/computer/logic/etc...)

    When I decided I REALLY wanted to get into this, I researched and found out an investment in ProTools was the ONLY real choice. (I always research things to death on major purchases)

    I wouldn't have trusted any other system or company. (DAW related)

    After 8mo's, I'm still elated with the purchase. I feel now I have a studio, not some studio equipment.
  6. Hi Sue,

    << Why should I buy the Pro Tools. >>

    Without knowing exactly what you want to do, it maybe that PTools isn't the best way to go. If you are doing exclusively MIDI then Logic would be a much better choice for you than PTools. If on the other hand you are doing a lot of audio recording, Digi 001 gives you, IMHO, the best price to sound quality ratio of any of the packages currently available.

    Going up a step, the same is true for the PTools TDM. Going for a full system with a Pro-Control you are looking at around $40K but again in that price range PTools gives you the best quality/flexibility.

    SonOfSmaug mentioned that PTools is an industry standard, most large professional studios have an edit suite fitted with PTools. This means that if you want to get a "big studio" feel in your music you can take your Digi 001 mix and in theory integrate it easily into a big studio without having to start again from scratch.

    I'm a great fan of PTools but don't get me wrong. If I had an unlimited budget I would probably still use PTools but only for editing. I would choose other (non DAW) equipment for recording, mixing and mastering.

  7. Audio Mask

    Audio Mask Guest

    refer to the "Soundscape" thread
  8. chris

    chris Resource Member

    Sep 6, 2000
    Greg , what would you buy?

    It's going into my cottage studio, for personal use but I want to produce the best sound I can. I want something that is pretty easy to opperate but I will hire someone as well in the end if needed. I understand the computer a bit too. Mac seems to be a good choice. I'm very excited!

    I'm okay with spending about $40.000 if it's going to hold it's value. Pro Tools sound like allot of producers are going that way. You say it is good as well but better for editing. I'm a bit confused now. I understand about digital noise and if you use good preamps it makes things warmer. Could I get a complete system for that amount?

  9. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    YOU'RE OK WITH SPENDING $40,000???
    I remember your 'First time in a studio'
    post, I was there. You are even more of a newbie than I am, and I sure wouldn't be OK
    with spending $40,000 on recording gear!
    Don't take that badly, or as an insult, PLEASE! As a fellow RO member, I'd simply like to give you a different perspective, a little advice, and as much help as possible.
    Most of the people who make that sort of a large investment in recording gear have the schooling, training, knowledge, and
    experience to use it, unless they just hit the lottery. Unless you, or someone very close to you, has all of that, you may be biting off more than you can chew, and you may be purchasing beyond your current needs.
    If you are hell-bent on buying a system of that caliber, I strongly suggest that you get a lot of input from top-notch producers and engineers before doing ANYTHING. If it were me, I wouldn't even consider laying down that kind of cash unless I had first gone to school for technical training. If
    you can't take full advantage of your investment, and can't fully understand and
    operate the equipment, then what's the point?
  10. Hi Sue,

    << I'm okay with spending about $40.000 if it's going to hold it's value. >>

    It's not going to hold it's value. The digital recording industry is based on technology, and technology goes out of date quite quickly. Fortunately Digidesign (the makers of PTools) have a decent upgrade policy but you will still have to look at a certain amount of re-investment every couple of years.

    << Pro Tools sound like allot of producers are going that way. You say it is good as well but better for editing. I'm a bit confused now. >>

    PTools is the best multi-track audio editing out there. For mixing, the plugins are good and I'm sure will improve but they are not quite at the level of the best hardware equivalents. Neither is the sound quality of PTools itself quite as good as the top end desks and recording systems. To get this highest level of quality though you will need to double your $40K and then put a zero on the end!

    << I want something that is pretty easy to opperate but I will hire someone as well in the end if needed. >>

    I think you probably will need to hire someone in. PTools is quite easy to use relative to other products in it's price range. However, by design it is quite complex, which allows for all the features and flexibility required in a professional product. Although there is a learning curve just to understand how it all works, the real learning curve is in understanding how to apply that flexibility to create the sounds you are looking for.

    << Could I get a complete system for that amount [40K]? >>

    If you are talking about the PTools system alone, yes you could get a complete system for roughly that amount. Mac G4, PTools TDM Mix Plus, Pro-Control + Fader Pack, Apogee AD8000 ADC, various plugins. If you are including mics, pre-amps, studio monitors, etc., you will probably need to add another $10,000 - $15,000. Bare in mind also that to get the best out of this setup you will probably need a specialist to come in and apply some acoustic treatment to your live and control rooms.

    I know a lot of this sounds negative but in the price range we're talking about or even if we were to double it there is nothing out there I would recommend above PTools.

    Hope this helps,

  11. MMazurek

    MMazurek Guest

    There are some concessions you could make in that range to keep your quality the same.

    I opted for a HUI to save several thousand dollars. It allowed me to buy a nice desk, treat my room well, collect a few nice preamps & compressors, a WHOLE lot of cabling, a BUNCH of plugins, etc...

    This I can build on as the needs arise.

    Just my .02
  12. Hi MMazurek,

    A HUI + a nice desk.

    Even if you are talking about something like a d8b + a HUI, I would far rather have a ProControl. The ProControl is more flexible and quicker/easier to use than a HUI + desk. It would also be more familiar to any engineers that Sue hire's in.

  13. MMazurek

    MMazurek Guest

    I'm sorry, in saying nice desk I meant a physical desk to put it in (not mixing desk). I bought an Argosy console to custom fit the HUI. The extra cash for the difference went for the mic pre's etc. I would have loved a ProControl, but needed clean signal paths in to PT right away. Also didn't want to work with just a mouse for a while. The HUI seemes a nice 'in between' with its monitoring, dedicated buttons, extra features over the CM Automation peice.

    I only chimed in because I just spent about $40,000. I think the ProControl IS worth the money, but I had to sacrifice for immediate functionality. (I won't have anyone hired in either) This is my personal studio in my home.
  14. Fezziwig

    Fezziwig Guest

    I disagree with the earlier assessment that Pro Tools is the best in sound quality. Yes, I agree that most professional recording studios are still set in their ways, and generally still use Pro Tools exclusively. This alone might be the only reason, in my mind, to get Pro Tools . However, it is, quite simply, WAY overpriced. This includes the TDM plugins which are overpriced as well. There are numerous, much! cheaper systems that can be put together where the sound quality of the recordings is on an equal level with Pro Tools.

    As one example of a proprietary system that has gained substantial favor in Europe (XTC recorded their most recent album on it, and it sounds awesome) is the Radar24 system, which is now being sold direct for under $5,000. Add in the rest of the equipment you'll need with the Radar24 and you'll still be way under 40k.

    The Radar is just one of many systems you can get where the sound quality will be equal to Pro Tools. Sound quality is really dependent on the converters you use, the mic preamps you are using, the recording space, etc. I have heard small studios use Cubase VST/32 and produce recordings equal to that produced by Pro Tools. They just bought good equipment to go with the DAW, and that equipment still cost less than Pro Tools.

    Finally, if you want an integrated system capable of doing MIDI as well as audio tracking, forget Pro Tools. The MIDI support is lacking, even at this point. Many users use Cubase or Logic for their MIDI needs. I can go into more detail, but the possibilities are endless.

    P.S. Other systems that have been recognized for their sound quality are Paris (lacking in MIDI, but new software coming out soon) and Nuendo. Don't know much about Soundscape at this point, but I have heard good things.

    Also, I'd get concerned by the amount of time it has taken Digidesign to get off their asses and provide some GOOD MIDI support. That doesn't show good comsumer support in my mind. It seems that as long as they can milk you for bucks and make you think that they're the only thing out there, they're happy, and why shouldn't they be!

    [This message has been edited by Fezziwig (edited December 15, 2000).]
  15. Sorry Fessiwig I have to disagree. I personally prefer the sound quality of a TDM system with AD8000 converters over a Radar any day. Regardless of this personal opinion, to give Radar the same functionality of PT TDM, you would need 3 Radar units to provide the same track count. You would then need to add a digital mixing desk with at least 64 channels. You would need to buy MIDI sequencing hardware/software. And of course you would need to buy hardware equivalents to plugins for your mixing.

    Still think for $40K that a Radar based system can compete with the functionality/quality of a full PT TDM system?

    << Finally, if you want an integrated system capable of doing MIDI as well as audio tracking, forget Pro Tools. >>

    MIDI support in PT is not lacking, it supports the full feature set of the MIDI standard. However if you spend a lot of time manipulating MIDI information then specialist MIDI sequencing software could make life easier. PT is audio software with MIDI features added. Logic, DP, etc., are MIDI sequencers with audio features added. Different products for different jobs. None of the MIDI sequencing software packages has mixing/editing facilities for audio as good as those within PT TDM.

    << This alone might be the only reason, in my mind, to get Pro Tools . However, it is, quite simply, WAY overpriced. >>

    Depends on what you are comparing it with. Compare it with the bottom end of the semi-pro audio market; like Digi 001 or Cubase, then yes, TDM seems very expensive. However, this is not the market in which TDM is competing. Now let's go to the other end of the scale, the marketplace where every studio uses well over $1millon of equipement. TDM provides a level of functionality/quality nearly comparable with these high end systems but for a tiny fraction of the price. In this marketplace, a fully spec'ed PT TDM/ProControl system is considered a budget option!

  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    Well said Greg!
  17. Soundscape

    Soundscape Guest

    Refer to my reply to Wolfgang Post on the Soundscape forum.............

    Joel Gette
    Soundscape Digital
  18. Borgbilly

    Borgbilly Guest

    Comparing RADAR to Protools is like comparing apples to sushi. RADAR is a very fine digital multitrack recorder but I don't think it qualifies as a DAW. It lacks the intensive editing power of Protools and has no internal provisions for a mixing environment. Sure it doesn't cost much, but you need a ton of other gear around it to make it jump through all the hoops a PT system can (try time compression on the RADAR - ouch!). Paris! Plleeeaaase! Not on my watch.

    I think you guys are missing one of the strongest points of the PT system and that is the enormous support Digidesign has garnered with the plug-in manufacturers. Plugs are what seperate the DAW environment from the hardware based studio. If you buy a good quality compressor plug-in, you can use it as many times in a session as your TDM hardware (or processor speed) can handle. A really nice hardware compressor will set you back at least $1200. Say you want to use 10 of those compressors in a tracking or mixing session. $12,000 worth of compressors starts to eat into the overall budget in a big way. By the time you buy 2 or 3 digital reverbs, a dozen or so Pultec EQ's and a couple of Harmonizers, you wont have enough money left to buy console to plug that RADAR into.

    On the issue of PT's MIDI implementation, I agree - it's weak, but here's something to keep in mind. MIDI is by all technical standards very simplistic. The MIDI interface board in the back of your latest greatest KORG MegaTriton super workstation still runs at the same speed and bit rate as that Yamaha DX7 that came out in the early eighties. That's because the MIDI hardware implementation standard can't be changed without making every existing MIDI device obsolete. With that in mind, think about MIDI sequencers. There is very little new under the sun as far as what the MIDI part of those programs can do. Performer, Vision, Cubase, and Logic haven't made any really bold strides in the mechanics of their sequencers since 1994 with the exception of graphics and interfaces. Those sequencers really don't do much more than they did 10 years ago if you ignore their digital audio features. My solution - find an older Mac for sequencing.

    I've been using Vision since the early eighties and even though Opcode is out of business, I have no reason to move to another sequencer. The MIDI features of any of the popular sequencing packages require minimal amounts of RAM and take up virtually no hard drive space. Most modern sequencers, when used in MIDI Only mode will run comfortably on an early Power PC 6XX computer. You can get into a Power Mac 7200 for peanuts (64M RAM, 2G HD, 15" monitor for around $400). On top of that, everyone is dumping their trusty serial MIDI interfaces that wont work with their new USB machines - they can be had for peanuts as well. Sync the sequencer to Protools with MTC or SMPTE and you have your favorite flavor of sequencer plus full throttle Protools. You also gain the benefit of having the sequencer on a seperate monitor from Protools. It's an elegant and cost effective solution.

    Richards Outpost Audio
    "Ain't Life Grand?"
  19. Fezziwig

    Fezziwig Guest

    Well, obviously someone wasn't reading my post in its entirety. First of all, I should say that I don't have anything against Protools. However, I know, based on my experience, that I can get as good a recording on a system with Cubase VST/32 (version 5.0) as I can with Protools. By spending SO MUCH LESS on the actual DAW, I can then purchase awesome converters and mic preamps, or perhaps a really good mixer. I would have more flexibility with the type of sounds I can get to the hard drive. I'm not sure what you mean when you tout the TDM plugins, Cubase and Nuendo, by my recent estimate, have even a larger number. And honestly, so what! I can buy awesome outboard gear with the extra money I'm saving by not buying Protools, and I think outboard gear, when applied well, still sounds better than most software plugins.

    As an aside, an earlier response to my earlier message stated that I would need to buy 3 Radars? So what, that's only 15k at most! Then get some good mic preamps and a good mixer and you still beat Protools in cost. It depends on what you like, but I question anyone who says that, for example, the Foo Fighters album "Colour & The Shape" (recorded primarily using Protools) sounds better than XTC's "Wasp Star" (recorded primarily using Radar). In my opinion, its the mic preamps, converters, skill of the person doing the mix, and the recording space that affect the recording quality the most.

    BTW, Paris has announced that its new software should be out in February. It will have full Midi support according to the specs. I have heard awesome recordings coming out of Paris. Is it better than Protools? Who's to say, but you CAN get "professional" recording quality out of it. Honestly its absolute bulls**t to say that Protools is the only DAW to allow for prosfessional sounding recordings.
  20. Sorry Fessiwig, I can't let you get away with that.

    << By spending SO MUCH LESS on the actual DAW, I can then purchase awesome converters and mic preamps, or perhaps a really good mixer. >>

    What do you mean, "perhaps a really good mixer". If you want to compare a Radar based system with a TDM/ProControl system you have to include a mixer. To be comparable it would need to be a good quality digital desk that has 64 digital "tape" inputs, say 8 or more analog inputs in addition to aux returns, as well as 32-buses and the other features of TDM/ProControl. You tell me how much a mixer like this would cost. Add that to the $15K for your Radars, add your ADCs and other out board gear and you won't be able to get anywhere near the price of a TDM/ProControl system.

    << I would have more flexibility with the type of sounds I can get to the hard drive. >>

    This statement is just blatently untrue. The AD8000 is one of the best ADCs on the market, I can't see why anyone would want to use anything else unless they wanted something cheaper and poorer quality. In which case there is nothing to stop anyone using a cheaper ADC. Mic preamps, plug any mic preamp you want into your ADC. So if one can use any preamp with just about any high end converter with TDM how on earth can you say that a Radar based system or Cubase will give you more flexibility with the types of sounds you can get to HD?

    I can understand that in your situation you may not need such a high track count and all the processing power that a high track count requires. So for you, many of the features of a TDM system are uneccesary and therefore it seems expensive. But that is just from your viewpoint. Because of the type of work I do TDM/ProControl is extremely cost efficient. Furthermore, I keep a very close eye on the competition and to date there is no other product or combination of products on the market that fulfils my set of requirements at anywhere near the price of my TDM system.

    Now you can argue all you want but you can't argue with the truth of my situation or of the many other people in a similar situation who have also made an informed decision to purchase a TDM system.


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