Protools...Money For Nothing?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Davedog, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Hey Kids!This was going to be a poll but thy're no fun so we'll do it this way.I've been on the edge of acquiring a computer set-up for some time now.I cant quite bring myself to do it.I basically hate computers so its been a stumbling block for me.
    So....theres really a couple of questions to ponder and discuss.For those of you who are not recording for your own project studios,and you use a DAW, what program do you use and why.....And for those who are in it for the money,and record with a computer,what programs,why,and does having something which says 'Protools' bring you income or not.Harddrive recorders also welcome(Iam one)

    I dont intend for this to become a bashing of this or that particular choice of medium.Those who have adhered to tape please step up and give yer whys and wherefores.Those use a combination please...some input will be welcome.Maybe we can get a few of the computer guys out of their lair to help out.
    Theres a similar thread going on the hardware side of this....I just want to get more in depth as to the whys of chosing the particular route we each have done.How easily can you mix in your particular medium?What are the benefits of it?The downsides?How about the sound?

    [ August 29, 2003, 09:01 AM: Message edited by: Davedog ]
  2. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    I'm one of the "in it for the money" people or, a professional if you will.

    Using a DAW allows you to keep multiple takes and comp as needed (although I would rather not as I like continuous performances from the energy/artistic point of view). Punching in (at least on PT) is completely error proof; late or early punches can be fixed and no there is loss of the original track. You can setup and keep unlimited mixes and recall them at a moments notice. Backup is easy and relatively painless. I do miss the fun and excitment of "performing" a mix on an analog console, which went hand in hand with having to get that great performance to tape with few or no punches. It's just a whole different world than it was 20 years ago.

    If you are in it for the money the magic word is Pro Tools with the average guy/gal looking to buy studio time. If your clientele is big names they don't really care as long as they can work efficiently and get the sound that they want. Being a Pro Tools engineer has definately gotten me a lot more work.


    Uncle Bob

  3. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Thanks Uncle Bob...this is the crux of what I'm getting at....some anecdotal asides are always welcome and perhaps also the reason you switched(if this is the case).....Okay! We should make 100 posts prob :c:

    (the 100th poster gets to come to my house where I'll buy em some of that great northwest micro-brew!!!)
  4. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Hey Dave,

    IMHO, for the money a PTLE 001/002 rig is an affordable investment just for the fairly simple interface, software w/fairly good midi. If you are tape based you can fly the tracks into PT to preserve the "Tape" sound etc, and fly it back to tape after editing.

    As far as a return goes the name has a built in promotional base because of it's tenure in the business. If you decide to open to the public it is a "good sell", especially if you learn the program well.

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;

    Some guitar stuff. :D
  5. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001

    I use Logic professionally...a strictly "economic" distinction, but professionally nevertheless.

    I use it because I originally needed hardcore, MIDI-geek sequencing capabilities. The audio integration, to me, was pretty much seemless and one can do many of the same things to both audio and MIDI.

    Logic works for me because I use it for basically every paying job I have. From doing Ringtones to manufacturer content creation to recording...I end up using it pretty much all day, every day. As a consequence, I'm quite familiar with its operation.

    Now, I'm in the position of being able to make capital equipment investments. At the top of the list is Pro Tools which would probably recoup its investment rather quickly, especially here in LA. The upside is, I can run PT hardware with Logic so I don't _have to_ learn PT software although I suppose it would behoove me to do so.

    Pro Tools brings you money because its a standard. When you're losing enough business to pay for a Pro Tools rig, it might be a good consideration to get one. However, like all things audio, its simply a tool...knowing how to use it is vital to one's livelyhood.

    A close second is a Radar system which I'm seeing more and more of. With Radar, you're also looking at getting a proper "desk" and that's not an insignificant prospect.

    I'd much rather pour that money into good front-end stuff that will always be of value. Let's not forget the supporting infrastructure like good road cases, wiring and patchbays. However, that won't "pay off" as quickly as a PT least, I don't think it will.

    For my own writing, I'd love to get a 1", 8-track machine. I feel more creative without having endless tracks, cycling overdubs, etc. One of the worst things for an artist to experience with a DAW is endlessly cycling tracks while in solo. Every out of time ("feel") nuance is magnified, every slight pitch variation ("soul") scrutinized...odd that the advantage of random access is actually, in my opinion, a detriment.

    Let's roll tape and do the damn thing!
  6. dabmeister music

    dabmeister music Active Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Woodbridge, Va
    Home Page:
    Well I'm one who's not in it for the money. I guess I'm "beta testing" my setup for the moment. I currently work from a native setup that recently has performed somewhat flawlessly since I upgraded the hardware earlier this year. I would'nt mind owning a pro-tools (TDM) setup though , but at the rate these native hardware & software setups are progressing , I would'nt be surprised if native will be the thing of the future. There's talk about Intel rolling out the next generation of its flagship processor sometime in the very near future. But like anything else , it's just talk for now. Also I currently use Cubase SX ver 1.06. I like SX because of it's layout , the ability to route and bus your tracks which is very important and similar to an analog mixer. When everthing is working & stable , then I'll look forward to being open for business. :D
  7. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Thanx fer da responses so far...Lets hear from everyone on this subject.I put this up not just for my decision making process, but for everyone to get to know each other a bit better!

    Nate...I know where theres a nice old 1" 8track for sale....Otari 7308(?) needs minor regular adjustments.....1K....I LOVE those machines!Also theres a Sony 1/2 track with center time readouts and in very nice condition.....
  8. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    I'm a Cubase fanatic. Not that the other programs are bad but i never checked them out. I'm in it for the money. Although i'm not making music. I make samples. And Cubase does a great job in that role. I only need it to run VSTi's and to do some mastering (not intending to open up a can of mastering worms here ;) )
  9. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Here you said you were "on the edge" of purchasing.

    JD( o}===;;;
    Some guitar stuff. :D
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    JD...thanx for the reminder :roll: ...I just wanted this thread to roll with its own merits rather than as a personal suggestion box for me...and yes I would like to get into the computer without my usual 32oz hammer.... :eek:
    and maybe through the opinions of our great wealth of talented members I will find something in it to motivate me in that direction.... :s:
  11. Marcus Black

    Marcus Black Guest

    I´ve done the change from tape to adats to DAW and if you ask me it´s a very smooth and efficient way to work. Just remember: you don´t have to record a million takes and have options for everything and correct every little faulty nuance (soul) only because it can be done. Consider it a taperecorder without tape with pretty impressive editing and other possibilities.

    My opinion about ProTools is that it´s extremely overpriced. It´s a nice, solid platform but... the hardware is far from astonishing (HD a step in the right direction though), it´s not trouble-free and, after all, one dsp-card doesn´t possess $4.000 of computing power... BTW, Anyone looked at the similarities between the digidesign HD192-interface and the Motu 192-interface ? You get almost 3 Motu interfaces for the price of one digi, and´s the same converters (please correct me if I´m wrong, this I´ve been told). Anyway, no matter which rumour is true or not, I think you get a lot more bang for the buck with a native system with, say, a couple of Motu 192 interfaces, a G5 Mac, Logic or other software of choice, UAD-1 and TC powercore poweredplug-insand some other goodies for the price of a far from complete PT-rig. The brand digidesign is the Mercedes-Benz of DAW, they could make a crappy system and people would still shop for it like crazy. Because of the brand. And it´s priced like a Benz aswell. I think you can´t charge "Benz-prices" for DSP-power that basically doubles for half the price every six months. Makes no sense. Just my opinion.
  12. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    I used to have an MX5050 "back in the day". Not the greatest deck but it was what I had. That and an old Yamaha RM1608 was kinda hip. Mixed down to a Sony PCM converter that stored mixed on VHS! I thought I was cool as the other side of the pillow!

    I like the idea of the 1/2 track w/ time code. Wasn't there an Ampex deck like that? ATR-104?
  13. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Feb 28, 2001
    Marcus, I totally agree with all the philosophical statements. Its just that out here (Southern California) one can get a lot more work with PT than MOTU. Plus, PT opens the doors for "better" least, this is my perception. I bet RM has a better grasp on this than I. I wonder what he typically works with as a storage medium.

    Man, where's my wire recorder? Heh...
  14. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    So far this year the score on sessions is:
    Analog 2" = once
    Pro Tools = everyone
    Digital performer = once
    Logic = 2
    that's how the sessions I've been on in LA have gone. Oh and all of the above (including the other daws sessions) also had PT on them. So, this year in LA [for me] PT = 100%
  15. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    Pro Tools....aaahh, the most pronounced word in the audio community nowdays :)
  16. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I have yet to jump on to PT and am still using good old Cubase/VST for my DAW needs, which for the most part is just for editing. Cubase was the first program I ever used back when it was just a sequencer.

    Although I feel forced to comply with PT just so I fit in, I have also noted that PT has become the standard way for users to share a complete multitrack project with one another more than it has become the only way to do music production.

    I constantly hear and read about engineers who are not satisfied with the plugs, or the tracking/mixing interface, or even more importantly the sound of the busing and/or how the 2-bus mixed output degrades the sound so they are preferring to use the big, flexable, great sounding analog mixers. A digital console assuming for the moment, that can sound as good as an analog console, and yet have all the faders, knobs, interface flexability, routing and digital automation is likely to cost about 10X the price.

    And while it is a cheaper as well as a nice and clean concept to mix all in the box, it just plain fricken SUCKS overall! The little you lose going out digital back to analog to mix and then back to digital as a completed mixed project is not as much as you seem to be able to gain by the benifit of an analog console. First off, you already have it avaialble and just sitting there. And you still need it for it's multichannel recording capability while tracking. Second, the sound of a good analog console can be as much a part of the overall tone and texture of the music as using any outboard gear. Thirdly, it is way more flexable to easily interface outboard gear. Lastly, it is just way easier and more intuitive to use as you already know it well in getting something done as well as getting it done quickly which is often overlooked.

    So I guess my point is that I resent being forced into accepting PT or least having to have PT compability, and being forced to do it all in the box because Digi doesn't place a very high value on analog, yet alone on analog interfacing or the use of superior analog tools.

    I'll leave it at that as most of you probably don't want to hear how I really feel...
  17. white swan

    white swan Guest

    For some of us non-pro's doing our own music there are so many advantages to working in a DAW. doing as many takes as it takes to get it right, without worrying about running out of tracks. not worrying about accidently erasing something critical when doing punch-ins. the fact that the worst thing can happen is your computer will freeze up, in which case you simply reboot. (no more eaten tapes) being able to track stuff like drums and piano in a "real" studio and then taking everything home on a hard drive and doing your own vocals "off the clock". being able to edit a "perfect" take from pieces of alternate takes as easily as cutting and pasting in a word processing program. (no more razor blades). being able to load your project onto a laptop and being able to work anywhere.

    ...and a whole lot more things I'm sure I'm forgetting!

    And the tradeoff is it probably won't sound as good as a 2" machine with all analog processing.

    For some of us, though, that's not really an option anyway!
  18. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Obviously, professionals feel the need to use Pro Tools because their customers are "demanding" it.

    My vote is to buy a copy of PT LE (MBox or 001 or something), then use what you want (Can you say "Nuendo"? :D ).

    If your customer calls and asks if you have PT, you can say "Absolutely, come right over"!!! ;)

    They will never know that you used Nuendo instead of PT...

  19. acousticsman

    acousticsman Guest

    I'm forced to agree with the others about Pro Tools being the way to market yourself. But I cannot agree with those who've said that analog is 'superior' to digital. Most of the problems I hear stem from over-processing the signal. I'm convinced that the primary reason that people hear a sujective difference between mixing in the digital and analog realms, is the sheer amount processing that one is tempted to use when one does not have to pay for expensive hardware.

    The last six CD projects that I've both tracked and mixed, have averaged less than 6db of total eq on each project. All of these were tracked, mixed and mastered completely in the digital realm and all were a minimum of 24 tracks. Also, I used compression very sparingly, and only three plugin's for reverb. Absolutely nothing else!


  20. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    In my opinion a studio should rest on it's own merits not on the software it uses. Folks should want to record in your studio because of your reputation for getting great recordings. Of course there will always be producers looking for a certain console, outboard gear, and perhaps familar software but I think you get my drift here. I'm been constantly busy making money in my studio and I've NEVER had anyone insist that I use Protools. If you've been in the business a while and you know without a doubt that a pro tools rig will bring you income and pay for itself in your enviroment then that's a different story. For most folks they'll be working a long time just to reach their break even point. I personally believe that Pro Tools days are numbered and that native is the future. Good quality outboard gear may still be around 10 or 20 years if I can trust my hazy crystal ball. Tape or DAW whatever works. I've got both and for some music digital is better than tape. Systems like the RADAR are showing folks just how good digital can sound. Excellent converters can make all the difference in the world.
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