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pro tools...

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
im in the process of setting up a simple home studio using my computer to record.i was going to get maybe sonar 7,or some other cheaper software to use.i have an opporunity to pick up a used mbox w an older version of pro tools for $100.this sounds like a good deal..but am i getting in over my head.ive always thought pro tools was software profesionals use..maybe too complicated?i just need to record guitar,bass,vocals with some drum tacks..any thoughts?
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,104
It MUST be the tool professionals use - it says "Pro" right there in the name!

:sarcasm

Pro Tools' popularity in the professional studios dates back to the 1990s, when it was pretty much all that was available. Back then, computers weren't powerful enough to do many channels of audio processing and effects, so Pro Tools offered external DSP hardware to offload the processing and make computer editing viable. A decade later, and the cheapest netbook at Best Buy is better than anything you could buy in 2000, so the external hardware is no longer necessary. But studios aren't going to waste money upgrading something that's comfortable and familiar, either. They're not idiots who chase the latest toys and spend all their effort on learning curve, like us. :bonk

At any rate, Pro Tools isn't particularly easier or harder than any other software. Despite all the marketing BS, recording is hard. Learning to operate a DAW effectively is hard work, just like learning guitar was/is hard work. Treat it like an instrument. Don't expect things to be easy or obvious. Expect to spend a couple of years of steady practice to get what you want out of it.

So where are you at now? Have you been able to actually get it to record audio at all yet?
 

jmysapp3

Member
Messages
164
I did the same thing you are doing about a year ago. I started out with presonus firestudio, but when I found out it was defective I got pro tools. I was kind of nervous about it when I first got it, and there is a learning curve, but it's not impossible at all. In 6 months I know how to do things that I had no idea how to do before. Just like with anything else, practice and experience is how you get better. Pro tools is definitely complicated and advanced, but easy to understand if you just want to record guitar, bass, drums ect. And 100 bucks sounds pretty good. A lot less than what i paid....

The only downside to pro tools is that you have to have digidesign hardware in order to run the software.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,312
The hardware PT is a very stable, industry-standard professional recording platform.

PTLE is not really the same thing, and IMHO, any other of the major DAW native software packages will run circles around it in efficiency, features and ease of use.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
I tend to agree with Loudboy, but when you look at it all price wise...Protools LE software plus say an mbox in Australia is cheaper than JUST sonar, cubase or logic by themselves. So by that logic, i wouldn't expect it to be better than many of them, but it can be just as good if you know how to use it properly (and this is coming from a cubase/logic user haha).

What people have to understand though is that Protools is industry standard..."Protools" refer's to Protools HD....Protools LE only really shares the same GUI. This is good in that if you grow up using LE, you'll have no real learning curve when you hit HD, but in order to keep HD so desirable, there's only so much they can allow with LE (seeing as in real terms, its only about 1/30th the price), one of the big things they dull down quite a bit is the sound engine, something most of the other companies haven't done. (I.e. the sound engine used in say Cubase 5 essentials is the SAME sound engine used in the latest version of Nuendo).

On the last note...honestly i don't think the majority of home studio owner/user's would really feel the squeeze of PTLE's reduced functionality...so don't let its limit's prevent you from using it. Why buy a car with 1000 horse power (PTHD) when all you will really use is 50-150 horse power (PTLE).
 

randombastage

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,335
I started out like that (and over a year later I haven't advanced far from there either) and I used Reaper which can be downloaded for free and it runs un crippled and then it only costs $60 if you have any honor because in theory you could keep it unregistered and unpaid for forever. Don't do that though because they put a lot of work into it and they support it quite well if you need them...
Reaper can do everything you described and much more.

I've been playing around with ProTools LE lately because I got a free copy with an Eleven Rack purchase. It wasn't too hard to find my way around having learned a bit the hard way with Reaper. From my limited exposure I don't think ProTools is any harder to learn with and maybe a bit more polished. The hardware restrictions may keep me from switching to it though. you can find many more tutorials on ProTools since it is so popular, I think that is one reason to consider it.
 

poofman

Member
Messages
30
The hardware PT is a very stable, industry-standard professional recording platform.

PTLE is not really the same thing, and IMHO, any other of the major DAW native software packages will run circles around it in efficiency, features and ease of use.
Huh?

Perhaps this is the case in your experience, but it is certainly not accurate for the majority of people I work with day in and day out.


PTLE is quite stable when correctly installed on a Digidesign approved system.

It also has about 95% of the functionality of PTHD.

If I were billyg121, I'd go to a guitar center or the like and try all the major software. They all do pretty much the same thing. They just have different work flows. Find the one that works for you.

If you plan on handing off any of your recordings to other engineers to mix or overdub in a pro studio, ProTools is without a doubt the way to go.

If not, then it doesn't matter what you use as long as it works for you.
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,312
Huh?

Perhaps this is the case in your experience, but it is certainly not accurate for the majority of people I work with day in and day out.
Just these make it a non-starter, for me:

The way that it handles crossfades, by having to generate new clips which becomes separate objects, etc. is beyond ludicrous, IMHO. It's tremendously unwieldy. You should be able to grab the end of the clip, and slide it over the new clip, making a virtual, adjustable crossfade, like every other DAW on the market.

The whole regions/playlist thing. What's the point of this?

Realtime rendering, WTF?

Track limits.

Locked into their hardware.
 

fontenel

Member
Messages
412
Just these make it a non-starter, for me:

The way that it handles crossfades, by having to generate new clips which becomes separate objects, etc. is beyond ludicrous, IMHO. It's tremendously unwieldy. You should be able to grab the end of the clip, and slide it over the new clip, making a virtual, adjustable crossfade, like every other DAW on the market.

The whole regions/playlist thing. What's the point of this?

Realtime rendering, WTF?

Track limits.

Locked into their hardware.

What's wrong with having to generate new clips for crossfades? I mean, how does it affect your workflow and/or how you use the software? I use PT professionally (post production) and personally (music) as well as Cubase and Logic, and I MUCH prefer how PT handles fades, especially considering how quickly they can be applied/removed, not to mention how quickly they can be manipulated in a hundred different ways...

I'm not sure what you mean about the regions/playlist thing, as those are two very different things in PT, but when considering each of those things separately I think they are both great. For instance, with PT 8, having the ability to record 20 vocal takes on 20 playlists and then being able to use quick keys to bump different words/syllables/sections to the main track makes comping a vocal faster and more efficient than anything else out there.

Realtime rendering? Are you saying you'd rather rely on software code to do the complicated math to bounce your mix in 20 seconds just to save a few minutes? Even the guys out here that use Nuendo professionally (there aren't many) that HAVE the ability to do offline bounces still record in realtime. There's a reason it's done that way...

I agree that the track limits, in theory, can be a bummer, but I've yet to be halted because of that. I'm sure that can be an issue for some, though.

And I've never understood this thing about "having to use digi hardware." People say that all the time. EVERYTHING in that price range isn't too great. It's not like you can get something 10x better than an mbox for the same price. They all are just OK so why does that matter?

poofman is exactly right: There are only a handful of things that make PT HD and PT LE different, but it's certainly not the difference in sound/mix engine. And although a few years ago I may have agreed with the idea that logic/sonar/cubase had more features for the money compared to PT, I'd say that's as good as over. PT 8's new implemintation of better MIDI, good packaged plugins, scoring ablities, new playlist features, etc etc etc. make it on par or better than anything out there.

billyg121, poofman is right... go to your local GC and play with as many packages as you can and find which one is best for you. For basic recording/editing/mixing at home, they will all suffice!
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
... being able to use quick keys to bump different words/syllables/sections to the main track makes comping a vocal faster and more efficient than anything else out there...
I agree with a lot of what you're saying on the most part...but i do think comping on Logic is ACTUALLY miles ahead of everything else from my experience...YMMV...highlighting the different words/sections so that they're instantly in the main track (with crossfades already in place) is MUCH faster and more efficient than using quick keys in PT to bump them...
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
And I've never understood this thing about "having to use digi hardware." People say that all the time. EVERYTHING in that price range isn't too great. It's not like you can get something 10x better than an mbox for the same price. They all are just OK so why does that matter?
Personally i don't mind the Digi hardware that much....but the idea behind that argument is choice. There IS stuff on the market thats 10 times better than digi hardware, but obviously not at the same price point, but the gripe people have is that when they want to upgrade, they only have the choice of the mbox family and then the 002/003. It's more that there is a HUGE lack of choice. The m-audio merge has opened it up to much more hardware capabilities, but people might be deterred after discovering that you have to buy Protools m-powered to use it since it won't run with PTLE (minor issue, but still an issue). The main issue at the end of the day is the ability to upgrade and expand IMO, whilst a lot of people probably won't, its still good to know that option is there sometimes without having to completely remodel the whole studio around a new program or have to bite the bullet and upgrade to PTHD which is way out of peoples price range.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
There are only a handful of things that make PT HD and PT LE different, but it's certainly not the difference in sound/mix engine.
Are you saying they have the same sound/mix engine? Because i'm pretty sure that was one of the biggest differences to begin with...that might have changed recently? Just that in my experience Protools HD has a much better sound engine than LE...that was just opening up LE 7 files into an HD 7 rig. But i'm definitely not an expert on the subject so anyone please correct me if i'm wrong.
 

fontenel

Member
Messages
412
I agree with a lot of what you're saying on the most part...but i do think comping on Logic is ACTUALLY miles ahead of everything else from my experience...YMMV...highlighting the different words/sections so that they're instantly in the main track (with crossfades already in place) is MUCH faster and more efficient than using quick keys in PT to bump them...
I agree that Logic's comping is sweet, but then you're still having to use Logic to edit the rest of the song. To me, Logic PALES in comparison to PT in editing and mixing. Producing? Writing? MIDI? Sure, Logic is cool, but nowadays I think PT rivals most of what Logic can do in regard to those things...

Nelson89 said:
but the gripe people have is that when they want to upgrade, they only have the choice of the mbox family and then the 002/003
But what other choice do you want when you're looking in that specific price range? That's my point, they are all the same. No other mfgs offers some amazing $200 interface that has 16 inputs and 8 outputs with AES and spdif and has converters that rival Apogee. Those things don't exist. What other box in that price range is so desirable that you'd be pissed that you can't get it because you're a PT user? Ya know??


Are you saying they have the same sound/mix engine? Because i'm pretty sure that was one of the biggest differences to begin with...that might have changed recently? Just that in my experience Protools HD has a much better sound engine than LE...that was just opening up LE 7 files into an HD 7 rig. But i'm definitely not an expert on the subject so anyone please correct me if i'm wrong.
The mix engines may be different in code (I'm not even sure that's true), but the different is negligible if at all. That main differences have to do with hardware and a handful of additional software options that come with PT HD. We've done extensive listening tests at the studio (we have 4 HD rooms and 3 LE rooms)... when A/Bing identical mixes in a pro calibrated room you cannot tell a difference. This is comparing mixes made from the same 50+ track songs mixed on both systems. If the difference can't be heard in a real world situation than why would it matter?
 

poofman

Member
Messages
30
Are you saying they have the same sound/mix engine? (edit) Just that in my experience Protools HD has a much better sound engine than LE.
PTHD is 48bit fixed point. PTLE is 32bit floating point. It's actually easier to clip the mix bus in HD than it is in LE. 60+ plus tracks bounced to stereo in both have nulled completely in tests I have conducted. That means they sound EXACTLY the same.
If your mixes suck in PTLE compared to HD, it's user error. It ain't the mix engine...
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
PTHD is 48bit fixed point. PTLE is 32bit floating point. It's actually easier to clip the mix bus in HD than it is in LE. 60+ plus tracks bounced to stereo in both have nulled completely in tests I have conducted. That means they sound EXACTLY the same.
If your mixes suck in PTLE compared to HD, it's user error. It ain't the mix engine...
Actually they weren't my mixes, and they didn't suck in LE. They were mixes done by a mate of mine who was hired by Sony/BMG. Were easily professional enough in LE, they just sounded that much cleaner when he upgraded his studio to an HD system. He said it had something to do with the summing...but either way he had no real use for its internal summing because he sends the files to his desk for outboard mixing.
 

billyg121

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,315
thanks for all the comments!in reading on sonar..it seems to have some basic drum samples,etc..to get me started for making some backing tracks.does pro tools le come with the drum machine software,or do you need tp purchase a plug in..ez drummer or something?
 

randombastage

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,335
The version of LE I got had something called BOOM which seemed like a techno/dance oriented drum machine but I hardly touched it so it may be much more than my initial impression left me with.
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,610
It also comes with BFD lite. And other crippled versions of VIs and other types of plugins, aside from Bomb Factory and all the other free digi plugins that come with it.

Typically if you have the "lite" versions you get a significant discount on upgrading since all you have to purchase is the upgrade rather than the full program.

However I found BFD kind of irritating and went with Addictive Drums.

I'm going to be taking another look at BOOM for a new project.
 

Nelson89

Member
Messages
3,615
I've never tried BFD lite before, but if its anything like BFD2.1 then it more or less gives you the raw tracks as if you'd just recorded the drum kit, and its up to you what to do with them in the program. So unless you're an engineer and want that control (which i did), you're much better off with EZ drummer or Addictive drummer that take care of most of the processing for you.
 




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