Going with Pro Tools...questions

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mandobass, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Mandobass


    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    i've decided that im going to go the pro tools route for simplicity and functionality.

    i have a few questions:

    i have heard so many good things about the M-audio audiophile 2496 soundcard, but with the M-box i won't even need it because it becomes the computers souncard via USB connection(which is cool).

    also, the number of inputs is limited, so would my best bet for doing a multi mic'ed session be in a mixer, which would then go into the mbox?

    also, what's the deal with running 2 soundscards? i have a soundblaster live from about 2 years ago, which is great for games and stuff.

    any way i can use them in tandem?

    also, if there is a better route than Pro Tools, please let me know. i'm really open for suggestions, as i'm just trying to get the best studio for the buck right now.

  2. If you record from mixer to M-Box then you're only going to be able to record the stereo mix, and the benefit of having each track separately (for editting, EQ, etc.) will be lost. If your mixer has a digital output (SPDIF or somesuch) then you might be able to use these as additional channels (not sure though).

    Running 2 soundcards together ought to be no problem at all especially if one is USB. That ought to allow you to record >2 inputs at once.

    Pro Tools (even PT Free) can be very picky about your system setup. If you list out what you've got (OS, RAM, CPU speed etc.) then it ought to be easier for others to comment on whether it's likely to work well.
  3. Mandobass


    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    win xp pro
    p4 1500
    256 mb rambus
    60 gigs
  4. ZonPlyr


    Apr 29, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    Your system should work fine, I personally would up the ram though, probably to 512 or even a gig. PT on windows likes to eat ram. Another option for multi mic setups might be to go with the Digi001 though. More inputs than the mbox. Just a personal/money decision though. If you are going to do lots of recording/mixing/editing you may want to look at a scsi disk down the road, if you get up there in tracks you may find ide a little laggy for your liking. just my opinions some may disagree with me.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I never liked Protools, check out Cubase SX.

    The highend Protools stuff is good, but the lowend stuff isn't that amazing, there are alternatives.
  6. Mandobass


    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    hey thanks for your input guys. the main reason i wanted pro tools was because of the USB function so i could easily use it with a laptop on the go. also, having two mic preamps is a nice built in feature as i know nothing about mic pre amps.

    if i went with cubase or an alternative, would getting the external/internal audiophile be my best bet? and if so, what do i do about the mic preamp. would i need a DI box, or could my amp go right into the soundcard?

    thanks yall
  7. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I'm in this same boat.

    I want to set up a computer-based home studio, but I am somewhat in the dark about what I'll need other than a monstrously better computer.

    I was leaning toward ProTools, mostly from name recognition. Tell me alternatives, please.

    I would mostly use only an instrument and a mic at the same time. But I would like to be able to record several tracks at once, should the opportunity present itself.

    My current setup is a BR-8. It is truly not the most user-friendly device in the world. The last one before the BR-8 was a TEAC reel-to-reel 4 track. I would like something as intuitive as the TEAC was.
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Hey B2DB,

    Personally, I think that standalone DAWs are a better bet than PC based systems. I know what computers are like, and with Windows, frankly I don't trust 'em :D

    Also, I imagine, although I'm not sure, that the PC system with protools and the necessary hardware will cost you more than a standalone DAW.

    I use a Roland VS-2480CD, and I can definitely recommend it. There is also the Yamaha AW4416 which I have also used, and is also a good machine. You might also want to check out the Akai DPS24.

    I don't know how much all these machines go for at the moment, and in the US - but mt 2480 was £2,350. I think the Akai DPS24 is of a similar price (a little more?) and I know the AW4416 is cheaper.

    If you don't need as many tracks as that, you could have a look at the smaller models, e.g. the VS-1680.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of system, obviously, so I guess you just have to try both out and see what floats your boat.
  9. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Regarding USB:

    Make sure it is USB 2.0. USB 1.0 is quite slow.
  10. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    I have a PC based DAW with an MBox and ProTools LE. For a small setup, it works extremely well. A couple of things I would raise in addition to the above:<BR><BR>ProTools LE requires Windows XP service pack 1 at least. I had a great deal of difficulty with SP1 but it was all caused by Microsoft not ProTools.<BR>Definitely increase your RAM. You can never have too much anyway. I have 384MB in my system and wouldn't want any less.<BR>Current MBoxes do not support USB 2.0 so don't worry about it. If you have it anyway, that's fine but don't upgrade specifically. USB 1.1 works fine with the two inputs on the MBox anyway<BR><BR>Check out somewhere like http://recording.org or http://www.prorec.com for further advice and some unholy flame wars between ProTools users and everybody else ;) It's a daunting decision and I'm more than happy to share my experiences if you want to drop me a PM
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have the digi002 with a mac g4 dual 1.25 ghz, and i've also used it with p3 1 ghz 512 meg ram. worked fine. furthermore, i've used cakewalk/sonar for the past 7 years, with a korg 1212 / oasis card for much of that time, and i've never had any real showstopping problems.

    i would _not_ get a standalone daw. if you ever want to take your stuff to a pro studio to get some work done on it or with it, your daw is probably going to be incompatible with what's available at the studio. every studio worth it's salt has protools or at least access to a protools rig.
  12. Can't Nuendo save files Pro Tools can open?

    I've been running Nuendo 5.x and love it. Cost a lot less than PT as well - my only reason for going that direction.

    Haven't had to worry about other studios opening my sessions. Will you? If so PT might be the way to go.
  13. Here's my twist on all this. I think recording is much easier with a stand alone work station like a Fostex, Roland, Yamaha, etc. 1st of all they are portable, they are setup with all the inputs and outputs already there. I feel the computer is much better for mixing. You can see a visual representation of the track and can plot volume changes, effects for each individual track, touch up and edit little problems much easier than with a stand alone. I record with a Fostex Ff16, burn the tracks to CD, load the tracks into the computer and then mix down and burn with Cool Edit. I'm sure that there are better units and software but the principle is the same. You can take your recorder on location and still have the benefits of computer editing. jmho
  14. I'm with Mr. Turner on this one. I recently had the luxury of recording bass tracks from my house and shipping them off rather than having to travel to the studio(s). That happened because my system was compatible with their systems.

    I've got a low-end G4 (733, 768MB RAM) with OS X and PT LE. I'm using the MBox since I rarely record more than one track at a shot and an 80GB Glyph Drive. PT runs great on this system...

    It all depends on your tastes, budget, and what you want to do with your recording.
  15. MrBungle3


    May 16, 2002
    I have heard alot of PT slamming in some mac forums, and its understandable. The sides of the arguments are:

    1) for the price, you can get hardware/software better than protools LE. The only protools worth having is the HD which costs lots and lots of $$.

    2)Protools is easy to operate, and is universallly accepted.

    what Im going to do is get a program that saves my work in a protools accepted session (digital performer 4)

    I like cubase on pc, it does some cool stuff, and is very easy to operate for pretty cheap, check it out.
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You know, I was all set to get an M-Box. Then I noticed that ProTools LE requires you to disable Hyperthreading. What's up with that? Grumble. HT is very cool. I'd feel like a dummy getting an HT P4 and then disabling HT.
  17. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    <BR><BR>Hey, Geshel...Where did you read this? I have an MBox already and was considering upgrading my main system some time soon (for important stuff like Doom III and HalfLife II :)) and may need to do some more research :rolleyes:
  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Right on the Digidesign webpage. :( Products -> M-Box -> M-Box Compatibility Windows

  19. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Bugger. Hmmm....How annoying is having to reboot anytime I want to use ProTools going to be? :(