HD system vs PC

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Caisson, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. Caisson

    Caisson Guest

    Can someone give me the benefits of having an HD system over a PC or vice versa.

    Ive been using a pc for about 2+ years and im always seeing studios with a protools hd or motu hd system, so I ask the question is this a better system to run for quality stability etc......

    or can some just explain what it does or does differently
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    It stands for Harley-Davidson. Just kidding.

    Everybody is into " high-definition" these days. High-definition video. High-definition sound. Just more marketing crap! Time to keep up with the Joneses. You cannot see the difference in high-definition video unless you are too close to the screen. You cannot appreciate high-definition audio with your Walkman. Generally, most of us slow pokes still rely on CDs that must be compliant with 16-bit 44.1kHz sampling. Barely adequate but better than scratchy vinyl and crappy cassettes.

    With many of these newer systems, you have the ability to record at higher bit rates and sampling frequencies, such as one of the more popular recent standards of 24-bit 96kHz. Systems are also available up to 32-bit 192kHz. Alas, I think PCM sounds like PCM sounds like PCM (which I have the ability to hear regardless of bit rate and sample rate) and although the systems claim to be " high-definition" I don't find much of an advantage. Now if you are talking about the newer type of digital recording such as "DSD" or "Direct Stream Digital", now you're talking a superior sounding digital recording system. The cost? Infinitely higher than any PCM system (pulse code modulation).

    Because we are all still listening to 16-bit, 44.1kHz CDs, that is still my choice for recording as it's not so much the system as it is the technique. No, I don't like the sound of 16-bit, 44.1kHz sampling but it's adequate. No manner of higher definition will improve your sound if you don't know what you're doing with it. Of course it's like having a V-8 engine in your Toyota as opposed to a 4 banger. It still gets you from point A to point B regardless of engine size and by the way, wheels are still round!

    If you're into performance as opposed to just quality, go high-definition and then you can feel more important on this forum. Of course, recording with high-definition equipment, you'll have a better archive for storage purposes in the end, which can also be down converted to 16-bit, 44.1kHz so it can be squeezed onto a current CD. There are higher definition CDs and DVDs now available but again, you will pay a premium for that. Just remember that all kinds of grunge, hiss and other aberrations never kept a hit off the charts. Everybody in this forum loves to be so technically clinical and perfect. I love spontaneity. I'm a classic who loves to rock-and-roll.

    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. timtu

    timtu Guest

    Are you talking about "hard drive" systems?

    I'm a little confused.
  4. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    your question is a bit vague. What HD-system? Let us assume you mean ProTools HD.

    If you want to know what that is, go to the producers homepage and read up a bit. You will find that it is built around a PC, or perhaps a bit more often a Mac. You add a number of processing cards, converter boxes, mic preamps and so on for taste. It starts out a bit above the average hobbyist level in price, so clearly it is aimed at a professional market. Professional in the mean that the people are paid for using the system.


    Now, the benefits. Well, it depends what you want to do. It is a bit like comparing a car to a bus. Generally buses are made to run day out and day in with a lot of passengers in them. They might in themselves be a bit boring but they get the job done. Cars might be much more exciting and cheaper and run faster, but if you want to cram a bunch of people into them and get them from point A to point B every day according to a timetable the bus often is a better choice.

    Same if you look at ProTools HD system. They use quite a bit of hardware to give you a stable platform to move sound from A to B every day to a schedule. You could probably get about the same with a very well tuned and well built PC. PT HD might in itself not be very exciting, it is a platform to build from. If you look at realworld installation they most often has quite a bit of money invested in extra plugins, real hardware processors, mixbords, microphones, monitors, acoustically treated rooms and so on. These more exciting things is what makes the sound happen, PT HD is simply the bus where the cocktail party is happening.

    Now, this is probably not a very good analogy, but then again I am just a poor amatuer who does not afford a PT HD system. Neither do I think I need one.


Share This Page