Help with my setup

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by paulmontes, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. paulmontes

    paulmontes Guest

    I'm just starting my major in music production and we're required to get an Mbox 2 and Protools LE with our G4 Powerbooks. This is the first time anyone has told me anything about recording that the first 5 pages of an instructions don't tell you, and I've spent the past 3 or so years recording on a Fostex VF-16 track. I've recorded a lot but it's all been entirely unscientific trial and error. Now I'm gonna start learning.

    Anyway. I have this Mbox and I absolutely need to record 8 tracks at a time. 002 is expensive. Firepod looks nice but its not compatible with protools. Instead it comes with Cubase LE. I need to learn protools for school so I want to use it as much as possible.

    So it says on the prosonus website that you can convert your cubase tracks to protools. I want to know: Is this obnoxious? Is there a loss of quality? Is there any reason that I really shouldn't do this? Do you have any better ideas?

  2. SeniorFedup

    SeniorFedup Guest

    Cubase has a better sound engine. isnt protools only 16 or 24 bit?
  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    I'm not saying that Cubase doesn't have a better sound engine (i have Cubase and love it), but I sure would like to know what you base that comment on.

    Is it Obnoxious?
    Not really. In your case, some sort of transfer is necessary unless you were to buy an 8 channel interface for your Pro-Tools so that you could record 8 channels at once.

    Is there a loss of quality?
    No. You can record into cubase at 16/24 and bring that audio file into Pro-Tools and there will be no quality loss.

    Is there any reason that I really shouldn't do this?
    Sure. You have a perfectly good VF-16. Record your 8 channels into that then transfer them into Pro-Tools. You will have to do this at most 2 tracks at a time and there will probably be a bit of a loss of quality as the material will be going through the VF-16 before getting into Pro-Tools.

    Do you have any better ideas?
    Get a different audio interface that has 8 channels
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    protools uses 16 or 24 bit file format as there is no advantage to using any more bits for the file format.... mostly all a/d's utilize more than 20bits..... the rest is just noise...

    but what is important is that the mixer is 32bits floating point..... as it is in cubase.....
  5. paulmontes

    paulmontes Guest

    Well do I get the tracks on my VF-16 to sync up with protools?
  6. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    If you need to record 8 tracks at a time, it is simple.

    It may take a bit of planning in how you start a project. I guess the need for many simultaneous recording channels might be only when you lay down the drum tracks. If do that first things are no problem. Then you can move over to PT and add instrumenst or voices one by one using the MBox.

    Simply use any program or hardware and record. Export the files out of that program as standard audio files. I believe the most standard format to be Wave files but ProTools LE can import quite a few other formats. And if it does not support exactly your sound file format there are conversion programs available. Doing this is very simple generally.

    There are things that can be more difficult, but I guess you have not quite reached that stage yet.

    -- overdubbing. That is if you have parts of your song already recorded and want to add one more voice or one more instrument or whatever. I recommend that you always do these things inside ProTools. Most of the time 2 mic inputs should be sufficient.
    -- multiple takes and comping. Say you have recorded the verse of a song, and then ask the talent to sing the part over and over again. Once done you may want to choose a short phrase or even a single word from one take, and other words from other takes (this is what comping is). I also recommend you to stay in one environment doing this.

    So all-in-all, simply track with your VF-16, move the files into your computer and then import them into ProTools. When you import them you can place the sound files anywhere on the time line. Anything recorded later will be synched to that.

    Does this answer your question?


    Some obviously unknowing poster said that Cubase has a better sound engine, asking whether PT is only 16 or 24 bit. To keep that discussion short, no. On both accounts. Several golden ears has tested the sound engines of PT LE and Cubase and there is no big difference either way. On the other hand, some of the older Cubase version really did sound bad (I have a copy of Cubasis VST 4 at home if anyone wants to try out how bad that engine is).
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    The VF-16 has a midi sync out section where you can set it up to output MTC (midi time code). Set Pro-Tools so that it will sync to MTC. You need to make sure to set the MTC frame rate to the same value on the VF and in Pro-Tools. Then when you hit play on the VF-16, make sure that Pro-Tools starts recording. I do this all the time, so I know it works but I use Cubase so I don't know the specifics of how to set this up in Pro-Tools.

    The alternative would be to set up the VF-16 as a slave. In this mode instead of sending MTC it will receive it. So you'll need to make sure that Pro-Tools is sending MTC.

    Although syncing them together would be best when dumping the tracks, it's not absolutely required. You could just record the tracks into Pr0-Tool without any sync and then line them up appropriately.
  8. paulmontes

    paulmontes Guest

    sort of answers my question. I don't know how exactly to get the files onto my powerbook as waves. I have the older VF-16 with no CD burner, and the manual isnt available online and mine is in a different state for at least a month. I asked the Fostex forum but not many people have this older model. The backpanel has an ADAT optical in/out, which, by the way, is missing a cover. Does this mean that it is damaged? Regardless, i have no idea how i would use that anyway. It has a SCSI and an analog RCA out, too. If anyone has any ideas, please offer.


    Oh and also. How much quality am I looking at losing?
  9. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Turn every channel down. Turn channels 1 and 2 up and pan them hard left and right. Send the main outs of the vf-16 to the Mbox inputs. Press record in Pro-Tools, press play on the VF-16. Then do the same for the next two tracks until you have everything in the computer.
    I use the same VF-16 and the manual and all the user guides ARE online.
    No, just uncovered
    You'll have to try it to find out. Make sure that your outputting the tracks at the highest level possible without distorting in Pro-Tools.

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