Pro tools shopping need help

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by jackaroo, Dec 14, 2004.


  1. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    I'm getting a new hd system in the next month or so. I'm leaning towards the HD 2 core and one 96k interface.

    But now I'm looking at computers and trying to suss out what options are needed...or if I should just get the fastest baddest mutha they got? What do you guys think? What's optimal...how much RAM? Lots of options...please help!

    Thanks,

    JD
     
  2. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    For the most part, the processing is completed on the hd cards. I'm running two hd2 sytems, one on a G4 450 and the other on a G4 dual 800. Track counts and stability are good. Make sure that you follow all of digidesigns specs and you'll be a happy camper. For example, the 1.8mHz G5 is not approved by digi... DO NOT BUY THAT COMPUTER. I'd load up on RAM, it'll help in the world of audiosuite processing.

    The 96 interface is ok but seriously consider some second party converters such as Lavry or apogee. 96kHz for recording isn't the be all end all although it is better than 48k. That said, if your converters are good and you have a stable clock (apogee big ben) you can make far better recordings at 48k than you can with digi's converters at 96k.

    Follow this link for some serious reading on converters:
    http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/f/38/893/

    and most of all, enjoy!
     
  3. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    What KFL said. Pretty much any computer supported/recommended by DigiDesign will do fine since the HD cards do the hard work :)

    Max out the RAM if you can - that will help keep things running smoothly.

    I would also recommend putting as many hard drives as you can into the machine. You'll definitely want at least 2, 1 for your system & software and 1 to use as your 'tape'.

    I have a friend that runs a *minutely* profitable studio, and his HD system runs on an *old* G4/400 with NO problems.

    --chiba
     
  4. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    That's what I thought...lots of RAM- processor not the most important but big enough. Is Digi OK with the Dual 2 gig? that's the machine I'm leaning towards.I've been told not to get RAM from Apple as it is way overpriced there...any truth to this? how much RAM are we talking about? 2G more is about $1000.

    As far as converters...I've done a bunch of work on the HDs (multiples) and never had any clock issues, plus I'm going to be running all in the box mixes anyway and I wont be locking up multiple interfaces. With this and the price in mind I'm wondering how much better the appogee or other stuff is. Plus don't you have to have at least one Digi interface hooked up? BTW is the second party route more expensive too? It must be.

    I'm also going to just stick with 44.1 for CD music and 48 for film/tv work so the highest I'd go is double that...but pretty infrequently as storage space is an issue and I'm pretty happy with 44.1 and 48. If it sounds good at 44.1 I'm apt to just keep it there and skip the hassle of dithering etc...probably just psychological, but I'm wierd like that I guess.

    For hard drives I'll have my computer on one, tape on another and my firewire drive for drag and drop backup/storage.

    I'm toying with the idea of picking up some type of HUI. I'm leaning towards the digi stuff to do away with any compatibility issues, plus I want to just do it once and not really swaet upgrading. I think the control 8 will be just fine...but I've yet to use one on a session. Any thoughts there?
     
  5. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    One more thing... here's what I'm looking at specifically...where am I going wrong?

    • Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
    • 4GB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 8x512 ***Do I have enough space for this?
    • 160GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm ***can I put a second and separate drive in?
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra w/64MB DDR SDRAM
    • Apple Cinema Display (20" flat panel) I have a CRT for plugins
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • 56k V.92 internal modem
    • 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW)
    • Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English
    • Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • APP for Power Mac (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit
     
  6. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    Talk to your apple reseller about memory. If they are good people they wilnot steer you in a bad direction. 2GB of ram should be plenty, others can chime in if I'm wrong. It really shouldn't be $1000 BTW a 1GB chip from apple is $300 so take about 30 to 40% off that and you should have your real price.
    You won't have clock issues, you will have an audible difference in jitter. I didn't think the apogee big ben was going to have as much difference as it did. A stable clock is HUGE. :dude

    You do have to have a digi IF hooked up but is the clock being driven internally or externally by something more stable. There are other good clocks beside the big ben. That said, I settled on the big ben because of how my studio is set up. BTW, if you're sticking with the digi gear as your converter, I really recomend the 192 over the 96. Even though you won't be using that high of sampling rates (niether will I) the converters on the 192 sound a bit more open to me. FWIW better clocks and converters can always be an add on down the road, but I do think you would like the 192 better than the 96 IF.
    Not wierd just economics, do what right for you and your clients
    Happy Clients = Happy Studio Owner...usually
    I really suggest having your clients buy their own drives. It's like buying 2" tape. It's their master and they own it. Keep a raft of firewire drives aroud for backups. When the project is over, backup their drive to another drive that they own or multiple DVD's. I currently have for 160GB firewire drives in use as backups for ongoing projects.
    It's just a big glorified mouse. A better aproach is learn every key command available and you will run circles around any control surface. The control 24 may make sense if you are in need of a bunch of extra preamps.

    Have Fun!!!

    Oh yeah, sure it's a dent in the pocket book but buy apple care. It's saved me a few headaches.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    All of KFL's advice is right on the money. And I mean all.

    I completely agree with his thoughts on the HD converters. The 192 sounds great to me, but short of that a better clock will make a huge difference. I always use the clock on my Apogee converter when mixing or editing. Converters have their own sound... I also like Apogee because to me it sounds like really good tape.

    >> A better aproach is learn every key command available and you will run circles around any control surface.

    Agreed. But if you're accustomed to mixing intuitively with your fingers on the faders then it might make sense.

    The first thing I do when I buy a Mac is max out the memory slots. It's too cheap an improvement to pass up. Here's where I buy memory, secretly recommended to me by my Sweetwater rep (Sweetwater sells memory so he could have caught ****... but he's no longer with them anyway). Great prices and 100% compatible with ProTools:

    Data Memory Systems
     
  8. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

  9. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    Thanks to everyone for all the help. Please keep it coming- as we are finally getting to the nitty gritty stuff!

    I agree that the control one is just a big mouse. I'm pretty down with key commands for operation of PT- But... I need something for headphone mixes and control room volume, and there are times when a fader feels a bit more organic than a mouse- so I figured that it wasn't a bad choice considering how compatible it is. Am I wrong?

    How exactly does the clock factor into the equation if there is only one interface and a stereo out from the computers 2bus? Can there be syncing issues if the whole mix is in the box out of one converter/interface? I just figured that there couldn't be any issues...am I wrong? I haven't heard any problems with my HD sessions (or even mix sessions) but who knows?

    Jitter? What's that? Sorry....

    How do you work around the proprietary nature of Digi and their whole..."you must own at least one of our interfaces" thing?

    Specifically...how many memory slots are there in a G5? Is 2Gs enough, or should I rock out with 4? That seems like a ton of RAM to me. As far as RAM being 300 bux from apple...I'm looking at 450 for 2 gigs on 4 cards or 1000 for 2 gigs on2 cards. That's their website prices. I know there is cheaper stuff but it's nice to have apple stand behind the stuff that's inside the computer rather than chase down warranties from some third party. How many plug ins will a HD2 setup handle I love to use waves and Mc DSP stuff for eq and comp?

    BTW- I agree about clients buying a firewire drive as "tape". So cool and cost effective. But I need a system for me too. I want a drive... say 100g for my projects plus another 40-60g for my computer stuff that's not music related... and one 120G drive fire wire drive for backup storage etc.

    I'd get apple care with this system for sure.

    Thanks again to everyone. Just one more go around and I think I'll know what to do. My last studio was a HD3 setup wit a dual 500 so this should be pretty kick ass too.

    Thanks to everyone for their insight- I really appreciate it.

    Best,

    JD
     
  10. joseph

    joseph Member

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    Please let us know what you end up with and how it's working, as many of us are looking into upgraded DAWs also - thanks ;)
     
  11. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Most of your questions could be answered with a minimal amount of research rather than asking people to type out answers for you.
     
  12. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    I thought that's what this place was all about!

    Thanks anyway,

    JD
     
  13. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't mind sharing ideas nor do most people here. Recommendations, hints, suggestions, tips, personal preferences, even just BSing about gear, all fine with me.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't like to be asked simple questions that can be answered by a glance at a manual or a web site. Of course it's easier to ask someone else than to look things up for yourself, but it's disrespectful of other people's time and effort.

    Jitter can be looked up on Google. How many memory slots a G5 has can be easily found out from Apple or your dealer. You had already asked the question about clock and it was answered. If you want the controller, go ahead and get it. We've made suggestions about memory and you've decided where to buy it, but if you don't want to spend the money on it, don't. As far as I could tell nothing else was really a question, so I think that covers it.
     
  14. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    I see you decided to have that second cup of coffee...

    Take it easy,

    Jack

    BTW I've been given quite a bit of conflicting info off of websites and from salespeople regarding a system as complex as this. And I have been doing my own research. I don't think it's as simple as you do, and these are my questions. And for that very reason I'm asking for your advice...because to me it's a little fuzzy what the right thing to do is.

    Anyway- like I've said in just about every post...Thanks for the help, wisdom, and suggestions.

    Cheers and sorry if you're feathers got ruffled/time wasted etc.

    Peace,

    JD
     
  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    No, it's not you... I apologize for being an asshole. Rough morning and I took it out on you - no excuses.

    Anyway, my advice is get the clock because using an external dedicated piece of hardware IS more stable than using the computer's clock and you'll hear the difference, skip the control surface because you can always add it later, max out the memory and buy it from the site I showed you to save money. You don't need a warranty on memory.

    Again, sorry.
     
  16. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    No hassles.

    Anyway... I found RAM through RAMseeker.com. The link I got here didn't work so great. But I think this site is cool. Apparently, I can get the max RAM available for the G5 a whopping 8 Gigs!!! For $1960.00. Too much? On Apple's site that ammount is $4650.00! Ouch! They told me that the chips are the same exact Samsung chips that Apple sells. What do you think? Overkill? They're "gauranteed to work" whatever that means, but still I'm inclined to go for it. Some confusion about RAM...apparently some G5s have only 4 slots while others have 8.

    The kind folks at Sam Ash have told me that as long as I'm only using one interface and not linking up a bunch of digital stuff that the internal clock is just fine. I've never heard any issues on the external clock free HD setups I've worked on, and budget seems to be saying no to Big Ben right now...perhaps later. How does jitter sound? is it very audible on a system like what I'm describing? Or is it more likely to be a problem in a big studio with lots of digital devices all in need of a clock?

    I think the command 8 is still going to get bought for the headphone/control room stuff as well as the all the other things it does. Yes, I probably could get by with something else, but I like the fact that it's calibrated and optimized for PT plus it's a cute little bugger. Not too expensive.

    A 20" flat monitor. I have another CRTscreen if the urge to go with two sceens takes over.

    Glyph fire wire drive for recording. Lacie Cobra for backups. Internal 160G for applications.

    One issue everyone seemd fuzzy on was SCSI. Some say not needed some say must have. What gives? With firewire drives it's not needed right?

    Then there's plugins, real audio hardware and all the peripherals.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Damn!

    Jack
     
  17. RevolutionMan

    RevolutionMan Member

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    I'm learning a lot from this thread, good questions, great responses, this forum is terrific. Thanks too all.
     
  18. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Senior Member

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    LIARS!
    I definately understand this as an economic move.
    Jitter manifests itself as a harsh brittleness and a colapsing of imaging. Think of your left and right being randomly offset by less than one sample. That can drastically affect the sound from anything 2-3kHz up. A lot of that is in the range where I can still here. The better the clock the less the problems.

    It is quite an audible difference on the 192 but not nearly as severe as it was on the old MIX systems.

    Happy Recording!
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    The guys at Sam Ash sound like the same dimbulbs who have been working there since I was a kid.

    It's not that the internal clock necessarily will give you audible problems that you can put your finger on and say, "that's not right." It's that using an external clock is a vast improvement. But you can always add it later.
     

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