pro tools 002 le vs cubase

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by craigexit, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. craigexit

    craigexit Guest

    Hi gang--great forum! I am building a PC with and am trying to decide what I should get in terms of recording programs/interfaces. The computer is all up to par as far as specs go...AMD processor, low latency 1 gig ram, separate 250 gig hard drive, etc.

    I'm trying to decide between Pro Tools and Cubase, and everyone (which doesn't shock me) have their own opinions. I am looking at the Pro Tools 002 rack or Cubase with a Yamaha I88x interface. I will be adding Reason 2.5 as well.

    I am going to use a V-drum kit to input into it, as well as either an M-Audio Ozonic keyboard or M-Audio Pro-88 controller. Later I will be recording acoustic drums and inputting guitars, basses, etc.

    I have researched the prices and it seems to me that Pro Tools and the Cubase with Yamaha I88x will run about the same. As far as the Yamaha interface, yes, I could go with a M-Audio 410 but I figure I have the money so why not go big and have everything at my disposal instead of having to upgrade the interface later.

    My opinions? I know that PT is the industry standard and it has a great resale value. I would definitely like to learn this system because most recording studios have it. However, a pro audio guy where I will be purchasing this stuff swears by Cubase (ironically, they don't have PT for sale there so he might be just trying to sell me what he has).

    Any help you guys can give will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I have Digi002 Rack with ProTools LE on Mac G5. I 'm happy with it.
    You have already made a point I value a lot - compatibility with the
    studios. Also, the Reason comes with Digi002 package.
  3. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    I think it all comes down to a few things: first of all the use you'll be doing with the setup, and I mean if you are handling more audio than MIDI or vice versa; in the first case I'd go with Pro Tools, in that its editing and audio managing capabilities surpass Cubase by far (IMO), while the MIDI side altbeit a bit limited is more than enough for average programmings, and now with Reason and other synth or RTAS instruments available thru Rewire the expanadbility is no problem. If you plan on doing lots of MIDI programming and VSTi then Cubase is a bit better choice.

    Second thing is the integration of the software with the HW side: Pro Tools is written to work with its hardware and it does its job as a rock solid unit with the 002R (I have it on a PC too and it's working OK), while Cubase being an open platform is capable to run on whatever HW interface you choose, but will not have the tight integration with it that Pro Tools has.

    Third is compatibility with bigger facilities: bring your LE created session to an HD equipped studio to mix and voilà, you can instantly open it and start mixing with TDM plug ins and all the bells and whistles.
    Plus, I think that the 002R is a brilliant step up in audio quality compared to its older 001 predecessor, really tighter sounding with focused bass and detailed high end, the two weak points I found in the previous hardware, on top of that you also have four decent sounding preamps built in and up to 18 phisical I/O to hook up outboard both analog and digital.

    On the downside, with Pro Tools LE you have the track limitation to 32, although that can be overcome with the dynamic voice allocation (that brings you to 64 available tracks, 32 of which can play at the same time), if you plan to spread your sessions wider than that you'll have to be a bit creative with submixing...also, PTLE doesn't have plug in Auto Delay Comepnsation...that Cubase has..but it seems to be coming in a next release, also no 5.1 or whatever surround capability yet...unless you DYI.
    Pro Tools is a bit more demanding on your system (although the specs of the system you listed make me think you shouldn't have any problem power-wise), but I think this is coming back with better audio quality.

    In the end I think that the best solution would be to get the 002R (Pro Tools LE 6.4 coming with it) and get Cubase SX also, it can be run on the Digidesign hardware via the ASIO driver which works OK and have the capability to use all of the I/Os even within Cubase; that way you'd have the best of both worlds, audio editing and mixing with PT, MIDI programming and VSTi with Cubase, on the same machine. Try them both out before buying, because a big part of the game is how you feel comfortable working with the software, and how you interact with it, if it's clicking with you or not. If you go with pro Tools make sure you PC hardware is compatible with the specs posted on the Digidesign User COnference (DUC).

    Hope this helps

  4. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Unless you are going to track at home and mix at a real ProTools studio, I think you would be tying your hands behind your back by getting a ProTools Lite setup. All of the proprietary limitations of ProTools, with few of the benefits of an HD system :p .

    If you are going to be your own recording entity all the way, I think there is so much more you can do with a Cubase kind of setup.
  5. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Sorry, but...what's not "real" about Pro Tools LE?

    It depends on the caliber of work that one's going to do; I edited and mixed the large bulk of my work in the past 4 years on an LE system (and that consists of a pair of dozens of commercially released CDs, several indie DV shot movies, both short and long form, TV commercials...) and I didn't feel like I had my hands tied behind my back at all except for a pair of opportunities, where I needed motre tracks, but that's where the compatibility with larger TDM studios is handy...I just drop the session on a removable drive or DVD and head for a nearby HD equipped sweat.

    To me that's not the problem, as I can mix within my environment by using plug ins and real hardware units together (Lexicon and Eventide reverbs connected digitally, hardware compressors and EQs...) the thing is very versatile and if one learns how to truly take advantage of all its features the "limitation" of 32 voices and no DSP processing is a minor shortcoming, considering the price of the package.

    Anyway, to each his own... :D

  6. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    i second the 002 hardware with Protools or of both worlds and can experiment...maybe the LE is not the "real" Protools but can do a great job...i remenber when a 32 tape studio was considered "pro"... :roll:
  7. Right now i'm running the 002r with Nuendo (basically Cubase "delux") and the hardware works much better with nuendo than it does with slow tools. i can keep the HW buffer lower in nuendo without problems at a higher track count with lower latency. I still do use pro tools when someone requests that i do but its like pulling teeth to me at this point..


    Nuendo has better editing
    Nuendo has better MIDI integration
    Nuendo has better HW integration
    Nuendo has better integration with the 002r (dont ask how)

    While it is true that pro tools is "industry standard" i think it is only that way because people are cattle and move with the masses. No i dont work for stienberg and no i dont think digidesign products are crap by any means. I have used both for many years now and i have formed my opinion and preferance.

    Also. yes you "could" use all your 32 tracks then tell who ever you are tracking to wait around while you 2 track so you can make space for new tracks but do you really want to waste everyones time?
  8. Aziel

    Aziel Guest

    I agree with all Nuendo stuff...except editing...i think, IMHO, Protools is the best editing program EVER...
  9. Jonhedin

    Jonhedin Active Member

    Sep 18, 2001
    Faroe Islands
    Home Page:
    What can I say. I'm using Pro Tools, Cubase and Nuendo, and I like them a lot.
    But I have to admit that I do prefer Pro Tools, but it's just because I'm using it a lot. Maybe just an old habit? :lol:
  10. rhydian

    rhydian Active Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Southwell, Nottingham, UK

    I use protools LE with a powercore firewire in VST to RTAS wrapper. I can use all the VSTis I like, have DSP power for reverbs and mastering, and have great audio editing. I'm very happy.

    There again I've not tried anything else!
  11. PCM

    PCM Guest

    I think that's a rather short sighted and cynical way to look at it. People use Pro Tools because it's a common program- Most REAL studios have a pro tools rig and taking your LE session into a TDM / HD studio without having to go through OMF- AIFF/BWF conversion is priceless. And it's become a common program because the GUI is very logical and covers the middle ground for most people (unlike logic, cubase etc.). Are there people on the extremes who don't get enough out of it? Yes- MIDI guys for one. BUt I can't think of a better platform to be standard than PT, and I've used them all.

    FTR, I also use DP 4.5.

    Yes, Nuendo is great, but I have to spend an our or so prepping a track to take it into the Nuendo studio I mixdown in. If there was a PT studio with the same rates that was convenient to me, I'd choose it in a heartbeat over the Nuendo studio.

    Just the way it works.
  12. rmccam

    rmccam Guest

    I have both a Pro Tools TDM set up and an Mbox for the road and both systems work incredibly well for me. I admit that I trust my TDM system more BUT that's only because of it's dedicated processing (which neither the 002 or a cubase system will have). I have been very surprised at how well the Mbox holds up though... I only have it running off of my iBook and I can get a full recording running smooth enough to mix in the box (drum kit, bass, several guitars, keys, several vocals, etc.). Oh, and the Pro Tools plug-ins are nothing to write home about but they're certainly usable and probably the best plug-ins that you'll get packaged with a system.

    I hope that helps!
  13. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    I have a Digi 002 rack with a Rosetta 800 and a G5 Dual 1.8 with 2 gig and I get better performance than an HD 1 sytstem with software like the Waves mastering bundle, which won't even run on the HD 1 system at 96khz without an accel card. The one limitation is track count.
    There seems to be some perception that Protools LE is somehow a cheaper/crappier version than the TDM version, but I have not ever noticed a difference and I have worked on both.
  14. craigexit

    craigexit Guest


    Some great posts--thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it!
  15. mrbwnstn

    mrbwnstn Guest

    I'm thinking about purchasing Digidesign's LE rack. I have a bunch of outboard gear (ie EQ, Compression, etc). I've looked on the back for aux in's and didn't notice any. Does it work well with outboard analog gear.
  16. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    You just plug your outboard gear (better using a patch bay) to the analog I/Os that are on the back, and assign them as inserts or aux sends in the Pro Tools mixer, I do this all the time with my setup, works great; the onlything you have to be aware of is latency, as sending a signal for a round trip out and back in the interface will cause some samples of latency, thus delaying the processed track; this is easily fixed by making a playlist of the track (duplicating it) and sliding it ahead of its original position by the same amount of latency generated by the hardware insert. If you use digital I/Os the latency is reduced to just a few samples, and it's unnoticeable (I link my outboard reverbs this way).

    Hope this helps

  17. That is not true, Creamware offers cards that look remarkably similar to the ProTools HD Core Cards. They are priced from attainable ($500USD) to the higher end($2500USD). They seem to be able to run ASIO drivers (Cubase,Nuendo, Sonar etc.) and also come bundled with their own Synths and Plug-Ins. Although they don't seem to run the entire load of the audio application, it appears they take more of the load off the CPU then say a UAD, or TC Powercore card. But then again I don't have on so...

    Link removed

    Some one buy one already...

    I am dying to get my hands on one, or at least hear a review.

  18. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    I don't know about the Creamware stuff, but so far the only DSP cards that have been tested on LE systems are UAD-1 and Powercore. They both work but there's pros and cons to this approach: the pros are obviously acces to top notch plug ins developed by the respective manufacturers and the use of DSP power that lightens the stress on the CPU by a large amount while allowing to run several heavy plugs without hiccups.
    The cons are that you have to use a dedicated VSR-RTAS wrapper to use theose plugs within the Pro Tools environment, as they are VST only (and this is a minor shortcoming), while the most important thing is latency, as the trip of the signal to the DSP card and back induces a huge latency on the track; yes, there's the delay compensator, but it only works for a certain amount of latency, so you have to adopt the same ol' metohd of sliding the track forward to this worth it? Some say it definitely is, others say it's not, you try it for yourself and decide.

    Hope this helps

  19. freelight

    freelight Guest

    Neundo 3 is being released very soon. Previous Neundo versions were based around the same engine and interface as Cubase SX, but apparently Neundo 3 is supossed to be remarkably better. I run Nuendo 2.2, granted not everyone can afford $2,500 recording software, but its by far the best program you can get, as far as im concerned...compatible with just about every VST and DX plugin you can throw at it. Plus Steinberg has amazing quality and service...

    I'm not going to say Pro Tools is lame, because its obviously a very reputable program and i dont have much experience with it. But i would DEFINITELY recommend either Steinberg Cubase SX or Nuendo 2/3...
  20. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Jan 10, 2005
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Lorenzo sez:

    ...also, PTLE doesn't have plug in Auto Delay Comepnsation...that Cubase has..but it seems to be coming in a next release...

    I sez:

    By that do you mean that you have to manually adjust the track backward in time for latency after recording? And if so is it a big deal or is it simply a mouse click and you're on to other things?

    Lorenzo sez:

    also no 5.1 or whatever surround capability yet...unless you DYI.

    I sez:

    I have understood that to mean you were talking about Pro Tools 002, that it didn't have the 5.1 capability, but that the Cubase does. Do I have that right?

    Second, do we know if there are plans to make the 002 create the 5.1 surround? (I currently don't need it, but I think it's where the recording industry will head in the near future, so I suppose one ought to at least be able to create it, no?)

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