Pro Tools performance concerns...


Aug 14, 2001
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!

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:


Your problem #3 is due to your sound card, i have the same problem with PTFree. I assume the midi problem would be fixed, I would suggest, if PT 5.1 LE does offer a solution to problem #1, if your doing alot of midi, do the midi in Logic or Cubase, then import the midi files into PT, I did this because PT 4.3 doesn't have a midi instrument list. But I have only used PT versions 4.3 and 5. I haven't used 5.1 yet. So don't take my word as the gospel.


Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2001
Don't make judgement on PTLE based on experience with PTFREE. They are chalk and cheese. I don't work with a lot of midi (just minor drum programming, and that works very well) so I can't really comment to much on your first point, although it seems to be generally accepted that midi in Protools is improving. Go and post this topic on the DUC and you'll get more help from people who do more with midi.
[=""]Digidesign User Conference[/]
For your second point, no, 5.1.1 still doesn't support midi patch names. You have to scroll through a bank of numbers and find what you want. This is something that a lot of people are screaming for on the DUC.
Your third point I can assure you is not a problem with PTLE. As Darryl mentioned above, PTFREE relys on your computer's soundcard and these are typically substandard sonically. Latency is an issue with some people, but generally people don't have a problem with it, me included.

I would suggest that you try a 001 system out first if you can get access to one. If the store you are planning to purchase it from doesnot have one on shop display, they should be able to tell you who does.

Good luck


Aug 14, 2001
Thank you both for the replies; It looks like I need to stick to two programs for MIDI:
1-Pro Tools for Piano Roll and MIDI editing

2-Sonar for sound selection and Audio plugins... (way too expensive for PT plugins)

3-Mastering done in Pro Tools...

This method works fine, but I was hoping to stay in one environment. When PT fixes th instrument patch issue (very easy to setup, they can even let the user create the configurations), I will stay only in PT. All they have to do is allow an .INI file with the instrument listing and midi control parameter (ie inst # 1, bank # 3) then we can add in our patches, I just can't run SoundDiver or Unisyn along PT, it chokes... -Azure.

robert jaybird

The 001 lacks drivers for direct x. Could you afford the waves power packs..or even a gold bundle?? If so, and the midi works enough for you might as well just do it all in pro tools. If your using sonar how is it??? What do you want from pro tools? Its a good idea to learn the program if you want to make a career of it, but the 001 doesnt "play nice" with direct x or asio apps.

Also, logic works fine with the 001, if you wanted cheap plug ins and the ability to use softsynth(PC pt le lacks direct connect hense no softsynths) logic would be a MUCH better choise as it works with digidesigns direct i/o drivers. That would be a potent 1..2 punch I think.


Aug 14, 2001
"Just FYI; This reply was previously posted by me, but addresses this issue here too !"

Thanks to all for the great information. I haven't priced out all the PT plugins, but the ones I have seen are $50 for VST/Directx versions, sold at $500 for PT, that is a big difference for the same plugin !! Just compare the prices for pitch correctors and you wil see the gap there ! I bought a perfectly workable pitch correction plugin for sonar, it was only $40 and it does the same exact thing as the $500 Antares PT pitch correction plugin. 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