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Building a new DAW - Help requested!

Member for

21 years

I have a Pro Tools TDM MIX+ rig (Mix+ and 5 Vintage Farms) and I am selling it because I am a home recording guy that cannot afford to upgrade to HD. The MIX+ rig is really a dead end for me - I can't upgrade my computer, I can't use the latest O/S versions, I can't do 96K - I'm basically trapped and I want out... :wink:

I want to replace the MIX+ system I have with a host based system and am considering an M-Powered rig since I have deep experience with Pro Tools. Here are my requirements:

1) I never record more than two tracks at once
2) I never go over 32 tracks
3) I use tons of plugins (used to be TDM, now would be RTAS)
4) I want to stay with the mac platform instead of going to PC
5) I want to get high quality mixes, but as I said, I'm not a Pro doing this for a living.
6) Mostly record hard guitar instrumentals
7) Heavy midi use for drums, etc.
8) Lots of overdubbing, editing, etc...

Here is what I was thinking (I already have Mackie HR824s, Great Rivers MP2NV, good direct box, midi interface, RTAS s/w sampler, Waves plugs etc...):

Mac Pro
(Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
16 GB - I can get aftermarket memory to hit this for $632
250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB (single-link DVI/dual-link DVI)
Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
One 16x SuperDrive
AirPort Extreme card (Wi-fi)
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
Mac OS X - U.S. English)

Pro Tools 7.4 M-Powered software
Profire LightBridge (32-channel Lightpipe I/O via FireWire)
Mytek Stereo96 ADC (2 channels premium ADC)
Mytek Stereo 96 DAC (I'd monitor through this DAC)

Is this how you guys would go? I know PT M-Powered limits tracks, sample rate to 96K, etc. I've heard that the workflow is different than I'm use to with my TDM system? I've heard something about monitoring latency issues and I know you don't get ADC (automatic delay coimpensation) for plugs, etc, however, I thought this wasn't as much of a problem with host based systems. Also MIX+ doesn't support ADC either... I also have to say, I'm very intrigued by the PT 7.4 Elastic Audio capability where you can edit audio almost like midi. Does any other recording software package provide something like this? Can you use stereo aux tracks in PT M-Powered? Any other issues moving from HD to M-Powered I need to be aware of?

Anyway... after selling my MIX+ and some other stuff, I'd have a $7K or so budget. What would you do if you were me? I would consider other than a PT solution, however, as I said, it is all I've ever used to record. What sort of system would you build? Will the one I spec'd meet my needs?

Thanks for any help! I know it is a lot of questions, but any help would be great!