Recommend a ProTools Setup

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Motterpaul, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I have a Digi 002 -

    I set up ProTools back in about 2003 and kept upgrading through version 8 (I did not like 8 as much as 7). I had this on an XP computer with a Pentium 4 processor.

    I would like to rebuild a new Protools studio - most likely based on Mac (if I can find a decent used one).

    This is for a home studio - so I don't need to be tracking full bands. I will use drum machines or loops and play everything myself. Mostly I am just looking for a stable system that I won't have to tweak constantly or worry about error messages.

    What is the most cost-effective MAC-based Protools solution now?

    Also - please tell me the approximate cost, including iLok, etc. I already have mics, preamps, remote hard drives, etc. I would need new monitors.
     
  2. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    It sounds like you just need a new mac and some updated software. If you have a registered version of Pro Tools there is probably an upgrade path.
     
  3. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Yeah....

    But the thing is that I don't know anything about Macs - except that they are supposed to be more stable. Protools on Windows is very tempermental (although probably cheaper).

    I am not a Mac user at all, but I would do it for Protools if I knew it means no driver hassles for my digi 002, no blue screens of death, the ability to get plugins working just by installing them (no fiddle faddle of moving DLL files around, etc.)

    So - which MAC is most cost effective for a stable ProTools system?
     
  4. jmoose

    jmoose Member

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    I don't really see any reason to move from 7 or 8.x on a 002 to something newer... personally I'd wait for 11 to drop next year as VERY major changes are in store and you'll basically be starting from zero.

    FWIW the big Avid consoles running Toolz, like the Icon & Venue systems are actually running Windows XP under the hood. Specifically XPE and is what Robert Scovill is running his personal rigs on... Windows XP, not a mac.

    Food for thought.
     
  5. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    I think you'd be surprised with the power of just an iMac loaded up with 3rd party RAM. How much do you want to spend on the computer?
     
  6. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    jmoose...

    I know you are knowledgable because I have seen your posts. Interesting, since I do have a working XP license.

    I guess an update to an i7 Windows computer would be the best then? It did occur to me that all of my related software (addicted drums, etc) is in Windows.

    (I have read ProTools is still 32-bit so there is no real advantage to using Windows 7, is that true?).
     
  7. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I would like to keep it under $1000 - but I don't know if I'm dreaming or not.
     
  8. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I have to say I really did NOT like 8 at all. I thought all of the new tools they added (Eleven light, the drum sequencer, etc - were just pitifully bland and uninspiring). The elastic audio was the only new feature that really made it worthwhile.

    To me 7 was a solid and useful recording system - not a "sequencer, looper, hip hop hit-maker machine" like 8 is.

    When does 11 "drop" and what is going to be new in it?
     
  9. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    11 will not support RTAS or TDM. They will have something new in place of RTAS, (I think they call it AAX) and no it won't support VST either. I think 11 will "drop" later this year or early next year. So if you go with 10 now, I wouldn't bother with buying any third party RTAS stuff because you'd only have to replace it.
     
  10. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Like Julia343 said, 11 won't come out until October or November so don't wait on that. If you don't like the stuff in 8, you aren't likely to like any of the later stuff added either. But... that being said, maybe you're just a guy who doesn't like change - I don't know. Do you like Windows Vista or Windows XP better (and why)? What about Windows 7 - is that better? Have you seen how they are changing EVERYTHING with Windows 8 to make the OS more like a phone interface?

    hehe - I'm teasing a bit but there is perhaps some intimidation/fear/annoyance with new software for us all. I love PT9 - I think it's fabulous. I think PT10 is good too but there's no features in it for me to make it worth the $400 upgrade price. There likely won't be any major features in PT11 either so I'll keep PT9 for the foreseeable future.

    As for "I think I want a Mac because they are more stable", you can make your choice how you wish (of course) but I have a Mac and PCs here and I run my studio on the PC. It's because I built a super powerful PC for $1100 - and that same hardware config would have cost me almost $5000 at the Apple store (I checked - it's a dual SSD intel i7-2600K system with 16GB RAM). Mine is stable now but I did have trouble getting it stable thanks to hardware incompatibilities between my Lynx AES16 card and the motherboard. But that same problem would have happened with any Gigabyte-branded board (so it's not a Windows/Apple issue).

    $1000 should be able to get you a really nice used Intel i5-based system with 8GB of RAM along with a nice 21" monitor. If you want "new", then you can probably get the system for around $1000. I built my own for $1100 but I don't know how comfortable you are putting a computer together.
     
  11. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    $999
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC309LL/A
    You could do better buying on eBay but I think you're probably not going to save that much. Maybe $100. the reason that your $110 PC was nearly 5k from Apple was the extra RAM and SSD. if you had spec'd those from a 3rd party it wouldn't have been as obscene. That said this guy doesn't need SSD's and 16GB of RAM.
     
  12. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Yes, it was the RAM and the two SSDs that led to the bulk of the cost. But, I wanted to future proof this as much as I could - I don't want to have to replace this computer for the next 6-7 years at least. As such, maxing out on processor did it too. The difference between the Mac you referenced and the one I referenced was about an extra $1500, just for the difference in processor. The iMacs only had the Intel i5 series and then the Mac Pro only has the Intel Xeon chips! There is no middle ground - no Intel i7 series. As such it's a jump from that $1000 refurb to the least expensive Mac Pro at $2500 (source). I found a few Intel i7 27" iMacs but they were refurbs and even those were $2000.
     
  13. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    Actually with Protools I don't like change. I personally found ProTools to be a VERY non-intuitive piece of software as my first introduction to a DAW. I had NO computer recording experience (all analog) when I first got Protools LE 5, and upgraded through 6,7,8.

    I found the basics of Protools (what I use it for) remained the same, mostly, but that certain features I needed but always had a hard time remembering how to use (like updating the screen to follow the timeline, and the tool selector) got changed. Some things they should not change.

    I liked Protools best when it basically emulated a real recording console. I do not use a lot of midi. (I DO certainly use the timecode and do a lot of audio editing, however).

    I just thought the stuff they added in 8.00 was bloatware. And now you say they won't support RTAS. I think it is obscene not to support legacy stuff that is expensive. Its all just a gimmick to keep you upgrading. I should have stuck to 7. With the new 7-band EQ, the compressors and reverb/delay selections it brought it did everything I wanted.

    My $300 amplitube became non-compatible with 8. Really tee'd me off.

    I do like Windows 7 because it is much more stable. It rarely crashes on me, and when it does whatever was open is recoverable, not lost. I am no luddite, I just prefer to use my computer for my purposes, I don't use a computer as a hobby, I use it to get things done.

    I don't need a new monitor (have plenty) and yes you can use multiple monitors with PT (I have been using multiple monitors since Win95 came out).

    I built my current PT computer, it was ridiculously easy. I remember the days of having to install drivers for everything. Now you just build a computer, install Windows and every piece of hardware finds it own driver. I could easily build a new i5 machine.
     
  14. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Okay - cool. Here's mine that I built - you might could do something similar:

    Intel i7 2600K CPU
    ASUS Z68 DLX mobo
    16GB of Crucial RAM (maxed out specs)
    (1) OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for OS + programs
    (2) OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for Pro Tools/audio/samples
    (1) 1TB 7200 RPM drive for files/backups
    Case
    Seasonic 760W psu
    Cooler Master CPU fan (the $45 one)

    All of that cost me around $1100. I would go Intel i7 2600K if you possibly can - maybe skimp on the RAM or SSDs now with the intent to upgrade those later. You can easily upgrade all components on a PC except the CPU - I find upgrading CPUs to be a PIA!
     
  15. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    What are you using the for the Avid audio interface (out of curiosity?) - are your audio drives internal or external with firewire?
     
  16. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    I have the Lynx AES16 that I use to connect to my Lynx Aurora 16 converters. My audio drives are internal. I use the SSD drive for "currently working on" projects so that it's super fast. I then move/archive older projects to my SATA hard drive. I have other drives that I didn't mention as well b/c they are overkill haha.
     
  17. Audioholic

    Audioholic Member

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    I have am on 9, and have been on pro tools for almost the beggining. Being a midi guy to, I have really enjoyed all of the updates, and surprisingly, Pro tools also has pretty much stayed the same from the core to me, just a few things to get used to. I am thinking that you may need to just try to get used to any new versions because you will eventually make your system so obsolete that it is close to worthless. With software, you always have to roll with the changes, or else go to another platform, which will change too. :rotflmao

    About RTAS, its pretty common thought that RTAS is one of the less effeicient plug in formats available right now. So if they move to something else that makes the plug ins run smoother? I will be for it. It will be up to the 3rd party developers to get up to date on the new format, and will take time, I will of course not go over to anything untill all my majorly used plug ins are updated to work with whatever they come out with..


    All software is an ever evolving thing, you need to stay somewhat current or else you will be left behind, be it 3rd party or the system itself, just the ugly nature of computer based anything. As far as interfaces go, I went from a 002 to an M-audio Profire 2626 and I must say it was a huge step forward in sound, both in and out
     
  18. Joseph Hanna

    Joseph Hanna Member

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    The quick keys for edit tool selection has been the same in Pro Tools since the original Sound Tools which as I recall dates to 1986 or so. At least 25 years ago.



    Ditto on the Mix window which although has evolved over the last 25 years is for all intents and purposes exactly the same analog flow emulation as it's always been. It's (the mix flow) even (despite the changes) visually similar to the original Sound Tools.



    PT LE has never supported the use of time code. There is a time code ruler that's purchasable from the $1000.00 DV Tool Kit and that time code ruler is indeed stock in PT 9 and up. It's a ruler only. It will not however generate time code.
     
  19. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    My opinion would be to forget going with Mac. I run Protools with the 11R on my Win XP and Win 7 PC without any issues. I built a powerful machine about 4 years ago for about $1,100 and then get an 11R. Biggest things is to get a killer processor with a 64 bit mother board and 8 gig of ram.
     
  20. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    Please note that PT 9 an above REQUIRE Win 7 or Mac OS. I really would wait for PT 11.

    And I'd ask this: have you considered any other DAW? Like Presonus Studio One Pro for example? If it's just for a home studio, do you really need something that gets proprietary about stuff?

    I was a Pro Tools user and have moved over to Studio One Pro version 2 and love it. It's simple to use, stable, and doesn't have a huge footprint on your machine. It also supports VST2 and VST3.
     

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