Upgrade to Protools... confusion!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Ardroth, Mar 14, 2008.

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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    I'm currently planning to upgrade from a Presonus Firepod DAW to a Protools DAW... but man is Protools confusing! I'm trained in operating protools, but I am having a hard time figuring out the actual hardware componments.

    I'm looking at the Digidesign 002. First off, In order to record 8 mic tracks you must have TWO?! Could I just use a XLR>1/4" cable for the other 4 mics? Also, this unit has built in pre-amps, correct?

    I'm also trying to figure out whether my DAW is compatible. I have a 1.66GHz Intel C2Duo processor... will this be fast enough? On the compatibility guideline from the digidesign site most processors were no less than 1.83 GHz. I'm worried mine is too slow in processing speed.

    Lastly, does protools support Windows Vista?! According to the site, the 002 is only compatible with XP. I was considering upgrading to Vista 64-bit (stability and I have the ability to support 64-bit)... but if it doesn't, than I'll have to stick with XP 32 bit.

    Here's the site I'm referring to in case you want to view:

    Thanks for your time.
  2. fourone3

    fourone3 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    The 002 has 4 built in pres, and four 1/4" analog ins for your outboard pres. It also has an ADAT I/O for an A/D/A.

    You didn't mention which version of PT you'll be going to. 7.4 is not compatible with Vista 64-bit, so I wouldn't go there. Personally, I wouldn't go to Vista period - consider XP Pro (not x64), or just stick with Home.

    I'd also make sure you have at least 2GB - I think 1GB is the min, but 2GB is recommended.

    Here's a good link to ensure your computer is compatible. compatibility
  3. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    Yes, that link is the one I was using.

    So I'd have to seperate pre-amps in order to get full access to 8 mic inputs? I'm thinking protools might be too expensive of an investment for me (I'm still a student). I liked the ease of the "all in one" Firepod. I think Digidesign requires tons of seperate purchases...

    I believe I will use PT 7.0 (that's what comes with the 002 Rack)... the highest compatible version at least.

    Why should I not consider Vista? I have no plans yet to upgrade, but I've been thinking about it. Also, what about XP x64? I'd like to have a 64 bit OS to utilize my 64 bit processor to it's max potential.

    Are you referring to RAM? I have 4 GB (but in XP only 3 GB is recognized and used).

    What about the processor? Is 1.66Ghz too little?

  4. Discrete

    Discrete Active Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    I don't know anything about ProTools, but I know some stuff about computers.

    A 1.66ghz Dual Core should run fine as long as you're not trying to record 8 tracks at near-zero latency. You have more RAM than the system will probably ever access, but that will help make up for some of the lacking clock speed of the CPU. What is also very important is memory speed, L2 cache, Hard drive speed and cache size, (16mb/SATAII is prefered) If you're still running a 5400rpm IDE drive, processes will take a lot longer, but you shouldn't have a problem tracking. You may consider looking into what processor upgrades are available for your system. And you probably already know that you should be recording to a secondary hard drive. Also, search for articles on DAW optimization. They'll take you through some steps to make sure you're getting the most out of your hardware.
  5. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    I know this... but I don't understand it. I usually track just using my 5400rpm stock drive in my computer with my Firepod. I'm upgrading to a 7200rpm 16MB cache drive in the very near future, but I've had very little problems so far (been using this setup for a year with only a few issues). It says that on the protools website too: that you should always record onto an external firewire 7200rpm drive. But if it works to record on the boot drive (as I do), then why not?

    My memory speed I believe is 667Mhz. I thought about upgrading my processor, but I might as wel just get a new computer... I've already upgraded the RAM, soon the harddrive... next the processor? Eventually I'll have spent almost enough to get a "protools certified" computer!
  6. Discrete

    Discrete Active Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    You're right about the cost issues. This is always a balancing act.

    A 5400rpm drive will work fine, but process that require a lot of reading/writing will just not be as fast. Say you're applying reverb to a couple 4 minute vocal tracks. Well, the computer has to read those tracks, processor/software makes the computations and then the hard drive has to write all the results back to disk. It just happens that the mechanical limitations of a hard drive are usually the "weakest link." So 7200rpm is just that much faster. That said, an IDE channel has speed limitations anyway, so I'm not sure that a 7200rpm IDE drive makes much sense. SATAII on the other hand is rated at something like 3gb/sec, which can more than handle the speed of the drive.

    The reason for having the separate drive is simply that your OS doesn't have to run processes off of the same drive (and the same I/O channel) that you're recording on. You can get data loss, dropouts, what have you from this. Also, you're using the entire bandwidth of the I/O channel for your audio data, instead of sharing bandwidth with whatever else the computer might be doing. I run two 5400rpm IDE drives on the same cable and don't have any issues, but I think the idea of Firewire external drives is that you're using a completely different I/O channel and not sharing that cable between drives.

    I hope this explains things and doesn't convolute them instead.
  7. Ardroth

    Ardroth Guest

    Certainly does! I have had a few issues with random dropouts (I call them "hiccups") and stuff of that sort. But very rarely... Not enough to get concerned about.

    I'm going to give digidesign customer support a call tomorrow, and just ask if my computer is capable of handling their products. From the guide they provide on the site I found that the only thing holding me back is my processor's speed (1.67Ghz) and my 5400rpm boot drive (Soon to be upgraded to 7200rpm 16MB cache).

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