Does DP need a dongle?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Jo, Mar 6, 2006.


  1. Jo

    Jo Silver Supporting Member

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    Does Digital Performer need a dongle to work? I believe that both Pro Tools and Logic require dongles.

    What other Mac recording software doesn't require a dongle?

    This will probably play a factor in what I end up buying as I really dislike having to worry about misplacing a dongle, especially if I'm moving between different computers.
     
  2. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Not as of DP 4.6. Caveat: I upgraded from 4.0, so I don't know how they ship it these days. or what they'll do with 5. BTW, DP works fine for me as an overdub machine, which is my main use for it. Files are files; export as WAV and they go right into PT for mixing. MOTU interfaces aren't bad, but I recommend Apogee converters in front, really helps the sound quality.
     
  3. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I had never heard of the word "dongle" until a guy came to work here and started using that term to refer to "Y" cables to be able to plug 2 devices into an ethernet jack. None of us had ever heard that, and as this dude was none too bright- we figured someone had made the word up to get him to say "we need to dongle this PC and printer..."

    I just now realized it's a real term that is actually refers to something...

    :D
     
  4. Jo

    Jo Silver Supporting Member

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    As far as I'm aware a dongle is a silly little hardware key that needs to be plugged into the computer for the software to work. It's a pain in the ass really, but these days with USB dongles, they're a lot smaller than they used to be years ago.

    Maybe they're called something else now? Or I'm using some sort of "Euro" word for what you're used to describing.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    As someone posted, DP 4.61 does not use a dongle, it has a serial number authorization pasted to the inside of the manual, and when you enter that correctly, it authorizes the program.

    However, DP's Mach Five and Symphonic Instrument require an iLok dongle. I wouldn't be surprised if they start using one on DP 5, which is coming out soon.

    I don't care for dongles, either, but even Waves has moved to the iLok.

    Jo, if you buy 4.61 you can use it for 100 years and not run out of features to learn, so if not having a dongle is the thing that floats your boat, go for it! Incidentally, one of the few good things about a dongle is that if you have multiple computers, you can legally install the software on all of them, and simply move the dongle from machine to machine.

    DP is a very sophisticated and professional program, with an incredible number of features, especially for film and video scorers, producers, composers, etc. It does have a fairly steep learning curve.

    If you're simply recording your guitar, vocals and a band, it's probably overkill. The MOTU interfaces come with free software based on DP, and it's um...free...and uh...it's free...and er...no dongle, and it's actually quite powerful. Free being the operative word here... ;)
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>Files are files; export as WAV and they go right into PT for mixing. MOTU interfaces aren't bad, but I recommend Apogee converters in front, really helps the sound quality<<

    Actually, you don't have to export the files as WAVs if you want to use PT (I prefer mixing in DP anyway); DP uses Sound Designer II format files, which is what Pro Tools uses (it's a digidesign format introduced with the old Sound Designer program by digidesign, which predates Pro Tools by several years).

    Incidentally, I use the MOTU converters (and have used their hardware for years) for national television commercials, film projects, and CD projects, several of which won national awards. They sound great; and sure, the Apogees sound a tad better, but knowing Jo from many years on the old PRS forum, the Apogee converters would be overkill for her purpose (in fact, I have argued, and will continue to argue, that in most cases fancy converters are less important than a good analog summing amplifier and high quality analog channels in achieving the "big sound" that most of us associate with major label recording projects, but that's a matter for another day. And yes, I do own some very nice so called "high end" converters by Theta Digital that I occasionally drag out for classical sessions or certain vocalists, but I still feel that the analog signal path going into and out of those converters is more important. In fact - rant mode on - I have to laugh when I go into studios that have noise problems, ground loop problems, poorly maintained analog console or outboard, crummy wiring, poorly designed or inoperable patchbays, lousy or inappropriate for the selected room monitoring systems, uncorrected room mode problems, and worst of all, mediocre talent on both sides of the glass, where the engineer turns around and tells me about his #$@%@ apogee converters like that's a big @#$%^@#$ deal! - rant mode off, and I'm not implying that your studio has these problems).
     
  7. Jo

    Jo Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks Les, you're right. It probablywould be overkill for me. I'm already having a tough enough time just figuring out how to use a Mac after all these years on Windows.

    I'm always scared to death of losing the dongle (I have one for a $3k piece of software I use). That tiny piece of plastic is worth too much money.

    I'll probably wait for MOTU to bring out their Ultralite. It looks like it'll fit the bill perfectly.
     
  8. Orren

    Orren Member

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    FWIW--while Pro Tools Mac still can handle SDII (split stereo only) files, the default file format in Pro Tools since their first Windows version has been Broadcast WAV. Obviously, Pro Tools Windows nor any Windows software can utilize SDII files, which is why Digi themselves have all but abandoned their own format.

    Orren
     
  9. Orren

    Orren Member

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    Logic Express
    Ableton Live
    GarageBand

    Orren
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Orren! Being a Mac guy, all the PT files I've gotten from other studios (for years) have arrived in SDII format, without my even asking, so I figured those were still the default for PT.

    You know, you're making it difficult for me to act like Mr. Know-It-All if you're going to go and know more than I do. ;)
     
  11. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    Yeah, no offense taken, and there's no point in gear overkill for the desired application. I just noticed a quality upgrade with an Apogee Rosetta in front of my MOTU box somewhat like the quality upgrade I heard when going from 16 bit to 20 bit ADATs, and later with the Rosetta in front of the 20 bit ADAT--that didn't stop people from making great records on the older formats, but why not go for it if you can.
     
  12. MuseCafeChris

    MuseCafeChris Senior Member

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    I work in the adult industry. The title of this topic sounds dirty to me LOL!
     
  13. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Jo - Ableton Live does not require a dongle (as has been stated previously), is very nearly as powerful in the features you need to get started doing multitrack recording for the casual or semi-pro musician, and it's about 30 times easier than DP. I was beating my head against the wall with DP for months, finally used Ableton because the lite version of it came with some M-Audio stuff, and after a moment with the Lite version I went off and bought the full version because it was exactly what I needed.

    Just my $0.02, but I think it's well worth looking into it.
     

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