entering the world of DAWs (detailed post...hopefully)

Discussion in 'Computing' started by andrew269, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. andrew269

    andrew269 Guest

    here's the skinny fellas - i'm about to graduate with a bachelor of music with a concentration in music recording technology and am currently interning in harrisburg, pa for my last semester. obviously coming out of a 4 year program i have basically no money in the bank. my ultimate goal is to own/run my own studio and production company but at this point it's clear that i'm going to have to build up to that...paying some dues being an industry gofer/coffee b!tch, you know how it goes.

    anyway, i've been researching software/hardware configurations for quite a while now but have been unable to come up with a solution that is, at the moment, affordable for me but also has potential for expansions and upgrades.

    presently i am considering starting slow with the firebox from presonus. the 6 inputs and midi control would be more than enough for me at the moment (for now i am mostly concerned with mixing and production) and the cubase le software leaves open great possibilities for later upgrades to cubase sx or even the jump to nuendo. and since so many hardware interfaces are compatible with the cubase software, the possibilities seem endless are far as upgrades and expansions. the easy integration of the UAD pci cards and the T.C. powercore is also a major bonus. (logic would be another daw route that i haven't really looked into that much)

    the only problem i have with this angle is the fact that pro tools dominates the industry at this point. is a studio running cubase going to be an attractive solution for people looking for professional results in a world of pro tools? obviously the steinberg software can hold its own but compatibility with other studios will be somewhat important. i already have one contact that would like me to mix his projects long distance and i know he does his basic tracks at a studio that uses pro tools. the issue here is that there is no way i can jump into pro tools tdm now, and probably not for a great many years. i don't know if the current 002 line is really what i'm looking for, especially since it locks me into pro tools le with no real possibility for upgrading to thirdparty interfaces.

    let me try and break this down:

    CUBASE or LOGIC system:

    pros- upgrade and expansion (hardware & software), vst plug in support, bundled plugins and instruments (logic)

    cons- integration with other studios

    PRO TOOLS system:

    pros- pro tools, i love the editing features of pro tools- the pencil and region tools especially (i am unsure if cubase has similar features)

    cons- $$$, limited upgrade and expansion

    just to give you all an idea of what computer system i am running - i am a dedicated apple user currently running a 1 ghz g4 w/ 640 mbs of ram. this will be more than enough for my mixing and production needs of the near future. once the cash flow and pro recording possibilities present themeslves i will instantly upgrade to the g5 power mac (or g6 or g7 depending on how long it takes for me to reach that level :wink: ).

    anyway, i hope this post hasn't been THAT redundant around here. i've been lurking and reading some of these discussions but i would really like some advice tailored to my situation that i have hopefully presented clearly for you all. i look forward to the discussion.

  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Quakertown PA
    Hi Andrew, Welcome to RO.

    This question seems to be on a lot of people's minds so your not alone.

    We have quite a few members who either own or owned commercial studios who will probably weigh in on this but here is my take FWIW.

    If it were me I would go the Cubase/Logic route now as not all clients will demand PT and you could start making money to pay for a PT system when the budget is sufficient.

    In the meantime if a client does demand PT you should be able to rent time on a PT system and charge them accordingly.

    I know it's not ideal and maybe not the answer you were looking for but it sure beats turning down work or taking on a debt you may not be able to pay off.

    BTW are you a Penn Stater?
  3. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    If you go the mac route you might want to consider digital performer instead of logic-
    its half the price of logic pro, plus it makes a great front end for protools, should you decide to go that way later. I hear logic has issues when used with protools
  4. andrew269

    andrew269 Guest

    thanks for the replies so far. i've basically decided that pro tools (in any form) will not be a viable solution for me right now. i think i've come to the conclusion that DP4.5 will be my best bet as it is tailored to the mac platform, is compatible with the powercore and uad products, and can be used with most interfaces on the market.

    i just have a few more questions. namely, is it possible to pass sessions from DP to PT and vice versa? obviously i'm not expecting plug-ins to carry over but it would be nice if there was a way for regoins and audio files to at least show up correctly without manual placement.

    also, unfortunately with DP there is currently no software/hardware bundle available. is there a more affordable but good quality interface out there that would be worth me checking out or should i just save up for the 828 or 896 motu firewire interfaces? i can't support a pci system (laptop).

    no i'm not a penn stater. i go to a small private college near hershey.
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2003
    I run Cubase quite happily. 99% of the time when asked if I run ProTools I ask the bands what they mean by that.

    Generally it transpires that they think Pro Tools are some set of professional audio editing tools but they aren't quite sure what they do.

    When I explain that its just a DAW same as Cubase, they are quite happy.

    YMMV but my clients are on a budget and have little studio time behind them, and they are quite happy with this.

    My attitude if I am asked to transfer a mix to PT is that there are 2 options - they get the raw data as identically sized broadcast WAVs and strip it back in either with or without plugins bounced in.

    If they want to remix or add other tracks elsewhere that should be done from scratch as the mix will alter unrecognisably anyway, and if they want my mix to go somewhere else to be finished, but are happy with the plugins used, then they can suffer them as-is.

    My clients may be of lower expectations or less demanding, but this works for me.

    If I transfer a song it just gets transferred in its entirety, the way I (generally) recorded it. If they wanna bugger around on their own time or somebody elses they can re-region it as they want.

    This only usually happens when people want to go and record live piano which I don't own a piano.

    Its never been a huge problem or issue for me...I think you will be fine with whatever system you choose....clients looking for the top end of professional results will also be looking for you to have a £10k mic cabinet, large fancy live rooms, plenty of nice drumkits, amps and outboard, possibly accomodation, and if you get to the stage you've got all of that, then the DAW at the heart of it is your concern, not theirs.

    Maybe my clients just aren't at the level where PT is an issue or maybe the UK has a differing attitude, but for the amateur, and semi-pro market which is where I work, its never ever been an issue, just a confusion.
  6. andrew269

    andrew269 Guest

    i wanted to ask again if there was any way to transfer sessions to and from pro tools if i'm working on DP 4.5. obviously plug-ins won't transfer but it would be nice if regions etc were in the correct place as opposed to having to place all of the audio files into a session manually.

Share This Page