Upgrade time , Native System or Hardware ?



I am looking at uprading my current DAW setup but there are so many factors to consider since the technology is changing so fast . I am currently running :

MAC 9500/G3 40
OS 8.6
Pro Tools 5.0
Pro Tools III Hardware ( 32 Track )
(5) DSP Farms
(4) 882 I/0
Miro DC30+

This has been a rock solid system but I'm limited to 16 Bit resolution and unable to mix in surround .I was considering upgrading to a MIXPLUS system but the last time I bought this setup I got burned becuase Digidesign released the d24 card a month later and I really don't want to upgrade now and have some new thing come out after I made another large purchase .

I've been considering going with a native system
( Nuendo or DP3 )but I cannot figure out how it will perform on larger projects ( 40 tracks , basic eq's,some busing + video ).

I currently use Digital Performer 3 as a front end to my Digidesign hardware and it is OK when using Digidesign's hardware , but when I run it under MAS the screen redraws are slow , the counter stops , video is jerky etc .., I know it is my computer but if native systems perform that way it just won't due .My question is ,are the native systems up there yet to compete with Pro Tools or other DSP based systems ?

Ive been looking for real world reviews on Native Sytems ( Track counts,screen redraws,video playback ,etc.. ) and really can't find any info.

So if there are any Nuendo or DP3 users out there using these systems please let me know on the performance ( Track count , DSP , redraw ,video playback ) as well as your system configuration ( PC or MAC ).

Thanks in advance


Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2001
Looks like a wait untill spring / summer for the new Pro Tools stuff..

Digidesign are taking their new move right up to the wire..

Mixing within a computer is possible, what will sort the men from the boys between the new batch coming up next year, will be pure sound quality of the internal mixer & plug ins between systems.

All in one systems rule! The winner will be the one that sounds the best.

Wait till spring at least, if I were you.



Originally posted by Julian Standen:

Wait till spring at least, if I were you.


Ah yes, but things change so quickly in this area Julian.
You're not the only person in this situation earthtone, and IMHO who can afford to just wait?
You need to start researching some of the issues in depth, if you haven't already.Use this forum, Greg Malcangi's Pro Tools forum also at DAWworld here,
and Digi's Pro Tools forum for instance. I don't mean to sound patronising here, if you've done this great. If you haven't, find out what the issues are. These are complicated times to try and figure which way to go. 48/96kHz? Native v discrete DSP systems like Pro Tools? Plug ins v outboard? People up here that think all digital is $*^t anyway? they all weigh in.

I do agree with Julian, I'm waiting myself, and concentrating on improving my systems front end. But if you decide to stay with Pro Tools, and wait, how does that effect your situation now? Is it going to cause you to loose work? If like me, you decide to wait,how long can you do that before you have to make a move, regardless? Make sure you know what the real issues are for you. It will help with the frustration, the sometimes anxious times, and the various conflicting info you'll get on this topic.My own personal opinion?
Check out Julian's other post on Digi Dragging it's Feet for now. Julian talks about feet and Pro Tools, I talk about sex and Pro Tools. Different words, same point.The "natives' have been quicker to port to the Mac's new operating system than Digi.
Apple is richer than any of them, and is pumping out some pretty serious global domination hype.
Resist it. I'd be cautious about going "native". Wait but don't wait. The Zen of surviving big Corporate strategy and getting a good sound.
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Greg Malcangi

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2000
Hi Earthtone,

There is an important factor to consider; your use of video. When you playback video from your hard disk the computer's CPU has to spend a considerable amount of it's processing power uncompressing the video. As native systems rely on the CPU for their processing power it's obvious that if you're also running video you are not going to get anywhere near as high a track count or number of plugin instances as you may expect. Using a dedicated processing system like PT TDM, the available processing power should not be affected by running video. The only caveat to this is that running video will of course still impact the available processing power for RTAS (native) plugs.

BTW, if you do go down the Mix route make sure to post a message on the ProTools forum in DAWworld. There are a couple of tips worth knowing to make the whole thing run smoothly.




i strongly recommend you the nuendo-forum under http://www.nuendo.com (under "support") where you will find very nice and knowledgable people and some real pro's if you have any questions.

now, i'm also using nuendo, and it runs rockstable on my vaio-notebook which is even loaded with tons of applications.

there are also people who have achieved 100-200 tracks with dual-processor-scsi-systems.

you can also sync nuendo to additional video-hardware so that it won't affect the cpu-usage.

this, coupled with a tc-powercore and/or a uad-card gives you extremely good quality for a nice price!



it is also just software, so you don't have to buy expensive new proprietary hardware every 3-4 years, but just paying for major softwareupgrades or pc-hardware which are very cheap compared to that.

of course i don't know if it is the right thing for you, but you should at least take a closer look at and into it!

ps: if you want detailled informations on nuendo, you can download the manuals at nuendo.com!

test are mentioned in "mix"-www.mixonline.com under "archives" (you need to register first-for free!), and at http://www.nuendo.com under the "news"-section. don't forget to change "period" to longer than 3 months there!

kind regards!