DAW considerations.....

Discussion in 'Computing' started by jdsdj98, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO
    So I need a little support/advice from the community here. I'm an audio engineer working in and A/V production facility that is well established, but isn't always too forward looking in gear upgrades/updates. However, we have one of the highest hourly rates in our market, higher even than some fully equipped music tracking/mixing studios. I'm afraid I'm about to find myself in a dilemna that I'm not sure how to work through.

    I'm pretty much a Pro Tools devotee, as are the vast majority of other audio engineers these days. Our Pro Tools system at work is v4.1.1 running on a Session 8 card in a 100mHz Nubus slotted Mac clone. It's rapidly approaching (actually, it's already past it) its usefulness and functionality, and has grown increasingly cranky over the past several months (mainly hard drive and computer issues, not software/PT issues). Herein lies the problem. Our video editor (who also holds great influence in purchasing decisions) is in love with Cool Edit Pro for two main reasons: 1. price point, 2. it's the only audio editing software he knows anything about.

    He's trying to push me into considering CEP2 running on a PC as a replacement for my cranky Pro Tools system. I refuse to budge. I feel that such a move would be incredibly unwise and would put us out of sync with the rest of the professional audio community. We're a voice studio only, with the occasional acoustic guitarist/singer, so we're not talking about a situation where a full blown overhaul of the place is needed, but a digi001 system would more than satisfy our needs, would allow us to continue using Pro Tools as a selling point, and would keep us in sync with the rest of the world. Not to mention the fact that on a purely selfish level, I have no desire to abandon my PT experience to pick up something that is non-marketable as a job skill in this industry. Bottom line - I'm an audio engineer whose tools are being chosen by someone who does not use them, but only considers price. Should I fail to influence these guys in this decision, quitting my job would not be out of the question. I feel that strongly about what I feel would be a stupid decision. HELP!

    How do I convince my superiors that this would be an unwise move? And if I'm being stubborn, could someone using CEP or CEP2 in a professional environment please address the multitrack functionality, the nondestructive waveform editing features (I've only seen destructive editing in CEP), and the equivalent of Memory Location Points for editing purposes as CEP and PT stack up against each other.

    Thanks in advance for your time.
  2. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    2002. Get with it. The learning curve on protools is nothing compared to CEP. I can't think of a single pro A/V house in LA that uses CEP.
    If you wanna be "In Sync" (pun intended) a Digi001 ain't gonna do it. Get a good computer upgrade, and a used D24 system with a usd (If you don't have a usd already). This won't have as much dsp, but would be much better for what you are doing if budget is an issue. If you don't need to sync, I'd suggest an M Box which is an even better value than the 001. If you have a prob on CEO, you're kinda stuck on your own. With PT, there's a huge community that can make suggestions.
  3. weezy christ

    weezy christ Guest

    I use CEP professionally. I'm not in LA either, but my work is on national TV. I could never use CEP and CEP alone, and while it's pretty basic, it is a decent little audio 'swiss army knife' type application.

    Have you actually sat down with it and tried it out? If you've never used it, how can you know if CEP is not going to work for you? PC based platforms are getting better everyday - consider that a Nuendo-based DAW can basically do everything a similar PT system can for less $$$.

    and then we find ourselves getting into the whole 'Mac vs. PC' thing, pfffft. :roll:

    pro tools, schmoe tools.
  4. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    Oct 22, 2001
    You might want to look into Nuendo as a solution. And keep the Pro=Tools you have, for those clients who thinks it's "the $*^t".
  5. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Thanks for the replies/suggestions.

    Sync is not an issue. We've never had a request for extensive audio for video editing that couldn't be handled within Avid. I have a 001 setup at home (running on a PC, no less) so I'm aware of its limitations, but also of its potential. I do have some outboard at work that I interface directly with my DAW, so the 8 analog I/O setup is pretty much necessary, requiring a 001 setup over an Mbox.

    I have used CEP extensively on non-critical projects (the old lady's 1/4" reels from 1968 that she wants put on CD for her grandchildren, etc.) as a stereo editor, much the same way as we use Sound Designer in the PT world. I definitely get the feeling from working with it in that realm that it is a Swiss army knife type tool, and I definitely need something closer to the scalpel level. I must say I've got some pretty clever PT editing chops, and I haven't been able to find a way to make the same types of edits in CEP. Plus, as I mentioned before, I only see that CEP edits destructively, so if I need to save a safety before I start editing, as I like to do, I wind up taking up twice as much disk space. I've just grown really comfortable and confident knowing that when I edit, I'm only editing a roadmap, and not the actual sound files. I like my original files to remain intact, under all circumstances.

    As for the Mac vs. PC thing, I only mentioned the possible change in an effort to detail the situation, not to stir up a debate. My 001 runs great on the PC (although it did take a fair amount of tweaking Windows [98] to make it work). However, considerations need to be made for 3rd party product development plug-ins etc.), which is far more extensive for the Mac platform, and that occasional out of town client whose voice talent is here, but prefers to have the raw session burned to disc and sent to him for editing. Pro Tools on a Mac (vs. Pro Tools or any other DAW on a PC) wins hands down in my book for 1. compatibility with other studios, 2. 3rd party support.
  6. k.w.blackwell

    k.w.blackwell Active Member

    Mar 2, 2001
    FYI: CEP has UNDO, and the sound file is not destructively edited until you tell it to save it (without give it a new name). By the way, I use CEP but never have used PT. I think CEP is nothing to sneeze at, but it's clear even to me that PT is pretty much the industry standard. A professional studio should at least be able to deal with projects coming in and out as PT data. More important is that you've got the PT chops. Efficiency is very important. Those are the 2 important selling points for your proposal, I think.
  7. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Nov 5, 2001
    Home Page:
    I don't know CEP so I can't comment on it. I've used PT since '96 and am primarily in the same business as you (V/O's, commercials, film/video audio post etc...).

    I'd suggest you go with PT, if only for compatibility with Avid (OMFI) and other PT based studios. I record v/o's and send the whole PT session out to some clients. Other clients start their PT sessions in-house and bring me their drives to finish the mix on.

    OMFI allows to finish all sorts of Avid work with much more audio power than any Avid system I've ever seen. Also, you can import QuickTime video into PT for sound design and scoring.

    Are you doing much web based work? PT is a great DAW for file creation for web/cdr/telephony work. If you're not doing this work now maybe this kind of work would justify buying into PT. I do a lot of this work and it's a great profit center.

    I'd look into the HD systems 'cause they're the newest and so you'll get more years out of it before Digi forces you to choose between upgrading or stagnating. However, since your still working Nubus, maybe a used Mix+ system would be best for you. Good luck!
  8. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Hmmm...a DAW discussion without me...this can not be! lol
    I think Curious G put it best with the OMF thang. Right now OMF import into Nuendo is still dodgy as far as I am aware. One of these days I'll sit down with cool edit pro but if you want a good combination of tools here's what you do...
    Nuendo 2.0(when it comes out!) with Wavelab 4.0
    Nuendo with it's video implementation is great! Perfect for recording and editing. Wavelab is your two track editor plus! With the Audio Montage feature you have the ability to do multi track recording if need be at the last moment!
    CD indexing, PQ indexing, CD Text...blah blah blah...you get the point.
    I will say that the performance of a PC is truly two fold that of a Mac...sorry to say it but it's there technically. Mac's are still stuck in a low FSB ratio, IDE controller speeds and chipset architecture. Next year alone will make PC's the true performance oriented machines with the release of Intels new Prescott and AMD's new Hammer series...
    BUT...in your case it sounds like you don't need much horsepower to begin with.
    These are the things that are needed for concidering which way to go.
    In the end it's really what you are most comfortable with....which sounds like Pro Tools to me...There are plenty of people selling their old PT Systems(Ya know..Mix, Mix+) for dirt cheap..I would snag one of those and be done with it...
  9. Durepo

    Durepo Guest

    I think your mind is already made up and for the better. I would think that you would be best to stay with the Pro Tools also. The main reason is the Avid, why make more work for yourself and possible problems with SW issues. I would assume that your boss likes the Avid why not try to sell him on the fact that it is the same company. I think the 001 would be a great buy for you it is not to pricey and should do enough tracks at one time for you.
  10. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    stay with Pro Tools
    It's a standard (if there is any)
    You say that your rate is good...so why couldn't you afford it.
  11. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    It may not have a bearing on the out come but what video edit system is the video editor using ??
  12. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Jun 8, 2002
    Denver, CO
    Ha! I win!

    Had a talk with the boss today. He's a Pro Tools guy all the way. Possibly a digi002.

    Our video editor works on an Avid, but lately he's loving Premiere, just 'cause it's running on an XP platform with a 2gHz processor, so efficiency wise it's beating the Avid.

    We just sold our mirror mother machine in our video department, and the boss is gonna funnel some of the funds into the audio studio.

    Thanks all.
  13. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    congratulations...and need i say...one more pro tools studio defines the "standard"
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