Hey, Mac-Heads....Question on Protools!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by razor_usmc, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

    Okay, so I am still debating between a PC and a Mac for my new studio. I am very interested in going the "Bandwagon" Pro-tools LE route with the digidesign 002 firewire interface. I will be doing a lot of acoustical recording (vocals guitars drums) and some midi work with my Triton and X3 keyboards. (I am really interested in using plug-ins as well) Can you Mac-heads tell me if an Imac G5 single processor with 1-2 gigs of Ram will be enough? IF not, I have been given advice on getting a used dual G4 powermac. What is the general consensus here? I am rather leary about buying used computers, but would be willing IF the right deal became available. I have a limited budget and would hate to sink a majority of my funds into a used mac that goes down and now isn't under warranty and I have to put my recording on hold to wait for expensive parts/repairs. (plus used stuff generally isn't transferable under warranty) but THAT is another matter. What would you guys recommend to me as the minimum requirements for me to get seamless and reliable performance from my machine? Oh and If I get a mac with a firewire port and enough ram, etc. are there any other add-ons I should expect to have to buy, or can the 002 interface just plug into the macs firewire port and just let the digidesign software do the rest?

    Thanks in advance to you for your time and willingness to help the ignorant :cool:

  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    I suggest buying a slightly used Mac G4 Dual 1ghz or 1.25ghz off of Ebay. You MUST get a Dual processor.
    I bought two Dual 1.42Ghz's and paired them up to Digi 002 Racks.

    Both systems run flawlessly and make $$$ every day.

    They are pretty much just plug and go.

    But, you will want to buy an external firewire drive. Try to buy a Digi recommended one.
    Also, buy a third party Firewire card. Mac G4's firewire port doesn't support both the 002 and a firewire drive very well. You can get this for around $40.

    Take the time to read all the info carefully on Digi's site, it will save you time and a headache or two.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    If you get an imac G5 single processor with that much ram TECHNICALLY it should work fine. But ACTUALLY is another story. I've heard about a lot of people having problems with the G5's, and since they are new you can't expect them to be as reliable as the trusty G4.

    I think it's fair to say that at this point any G5 won't be as reliable as a G4. Software developers need more time to get all the bugs worked out.

    For the time being the most "seamless & reliable" setup is still a G4 with at least a 1Ghz Dual Processor with at least a gig of RAM.

    I run a DIGI 002 on a 1.25 Ghz Dual G4 with a gig of ram and it runs absolutley flawlessy. And I can run quite a few plug-ins as well.

    As for add-ons you'll definatley want to get a second hard drive to back up all your stuff on.


    Here are some things I have learned in my whole Digi 002/Mac experience:

    -Before you install PT wipe your hard drive totally clean, and reinstall your OS.

    -Don't use your computer for anything other than PT.

    -Always back your files up.

    -Be prepared for the power harness in your Digi 002 to go out because it probably will.

    -If your very serious about recording you will probably out grow PTLE, but you'll be stuck with it.
  4. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    - G5's are great

    - use your mac for everything you like

    - you can make great productions with 32 tracks..... less is more

    - always back your files up
  5. oakman

    oakman Guest

    Even on a G3 Mac with sufficient RAM, PT LE will only use a fraction of the processing power. OS X, however, will burden the processor a lot on a G3. I have a G4 dual processor. It works flawlessly with Pro Tools. I have also run the PT TDM systems on both Mac and PC. The PCs were only 500mhz, but had no processing power issues, though it took more power to run PT that on a Mac.

    My biggest problem with the PC was a Windows/PACE problem. The Pace anti-piracy thing is written right into the header of the system drive. I don't know why. Every time we upgraded any software, including Pro Tools, we would loose authorization on most of our plugins and it was a real pain to get them reauthorized. We usually had to have help from Digi and re-install the plugins to get it done. Never had that problem on Mac.
  6. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Wiping your disk is not required with OSX, I do everything on my powerbook, G4 desktop, video, websites, graphics editing, surfing no problem.

    in ten years of Mac use I have never had to reinstall the OS. Only in OS9 could you run into software conflicts, none so far in OSX. Haven't even shut my machices down except for software updates.

  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    I hear that they are coming out with a single G5 1.8 for $1500- its supposed to be faster than the fastest G4 so its something to consider- of course for 2K you can get a dual 1.8 so that would be even better!
  8. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

    Mac questions

    Maintiger, (and fellow Mac-heads)

    Just went to their site. (apple.com) :shock: The new G5 Looks very nice.

    After I added the extra memory, and a monitor all I have to do is sell my kidneys and liver and I can pay for it!

    I did price them though.

    If I got the Imac 1.6 with the RAM maxed out, I could probably swing it.
    I dont know what would be better, a dual G5 1.8 with 512 of Ram or a single Imac 1.6 with 2Mb of RAM? Is this a no brainer? Some have said the Dual is the key! But a G3 running flawlessly with Protools and the single G5 maxed out being unstable? Is this speculation or fact? Not questioning anyone, I know squat, but I would think with the recent G5 coming out, a fully stocked G5 Imac would be PLENTY, but, what the Frick to I know?

    Dont get me wrong, I would much rather have the Dual G5 with a zillon gigs of everything and a 200" plasma monitor, I just cannot afford it. I also think that if I got a maxed out Imac new and it would do a very fine job for me and my applications (despite maybe being a bit slower than a dual G4) than it is an option for me.

    When we talk about difference in performance of a program like protools on a dual G4 versus a maxed out Imac G5, are we talking about killing a rat with a single barrel 20 guage shotgun versus a double barrel 12 guage? Either way that friggin rat is dead and the jobs done with narry a hitch.
    Is this a comparable analogy, or will I my Imacs performace be so hampered and frustrating that I should save up for a loaded G4 or very decent G5?? Would protools or comparable program with lots of plug-ins running going to get slow and choppy and make me wanna throw it against the wall, or are we literally talking milliseconds here? Please don't be afraid to be frank with me, I would rather face the reality that I cannot buy what I need and go another direction than sink a ton of money into a product that wont be up to snuff.

    Oh, and a quick question about RAM. Why do 2 RAM chips of memory cost so much less than a single chip with the same amount of RAM??

    Here are the Imac Specs
    2GB DDR400 SDRAM - 2 DIMMs
    • 80GB Serial ATA drive (I would get a second drive)
    • Final Cut Express 2 preinstalled
    • Keyboard and Mouse + Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • 17-inch widescreen LCD
    • 1.6GHz PowerPC G5
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra w/64MB video memory

    How would that do for something like protools? Maintiger, I know your first choice would be a dual G4, but the loaded ones on Ebay can be more than this Imac costs and thats with no monitor. I want to go firewire, does anyone know anything about the mobo? would I need a firewire card for this Imac?

    Lastly, is there anywhere else I can buy a new Mac besides Apple.com and not pay RETAIL?? No experience buying a mac, but I know if I were building my own PC I have a slew of cheap choices to buy gear. What are my options?

    I appreciate your time, everyone. Thank you for looking and a special thanks for responding.

  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    which one did you get?
  10. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest


    I apologize. you replied while I was editing some flaws in my post. I didn't get anything yet. still debating. The $$ will be in, in a couple weeks. Just researching the crap out of this stuff. I know a lot of theses decisions is a cakewalk (no pun inteded) for you seasoned pros, but for us newbies, droppin approx $5 Grand for a new system requires a sh*t-load of research to avoid a huge, costly mistake. Please let me thank you, however, for being such a wondeful resource for my Mac questions.

  11. oakman

    oakman Guest

    Apple has been known to give a discount if you speak to someone on the phone.

    I would prefer the full blown, dual G5. The main reason is card slots. Ya' never know when you will want to ad some harware to the box.
  12. razor_usmc

    razor_usmc Guest

    Good Point. Got my Lotto ticket ready, let's see if we can buy it soon. Probably not. :D

  13. Thomas_Fodor

    Thomas_Fodor Guest

    Don't touch 002's

    If you want to spend the rest of your days making crappy recordings and watching the courier walk away with your DAW Because it died again, buy a Digi 002 rig.
  14. oakman

    oakman Guest

    Re: Don't touch 002's

    It is a wee bit pricey compared to other rigs with the same capabilities, but... curious. Are there stability issues or are people experiencing frequent breakdown with digi 002? The Pro Tools TDM systems I've used and digi 001 has always worked flawlessly for me. Haven't explored 002 yet.
  15. Thomas_Fodor

    Thomas_Fodor Guest

    These are not stability issues, they are smoke pouring out of the shitty things issues. We used to sell them, they had the highest return rates of any gear on the shelves, and thats a "fact". Mainly the LE gear but the big rigs are not much better. The control 24's are the biggest pieces of crap Digidesign have ever built.... We don't carry any of it any more and our lives are now a whole lot less complicated. Besides, if you by an LE system you only get half a software package so what is the point. They sound crappy, the build quallity is crappy and the software is so cut down that it too is crappy compared to most other native packages, so why would you bother?
  16. DCD

    DCD Guest

    Just sold my Digi 002 Rack. Nothing but a cheap sounding mixer. The software is way to Limited for the price. Don't get caught in the Protools trap.

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