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Pro Tools

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by outofthere, Nov 16, 2000.


  1. outofthere

    outofthere

    Oct 18, 2000
    I've heard this 'Pro Tools' gear mentioned quite a few times now lately in magazines of promininent musicians using it to record on the road and so forth.

    Can anyone tell me anything about it?
     
  2. Babs

    Babs

    May 5, 2000
    Sandy Utah
    It is suposedly the best digital recording based program out there. It is hardware based, has really cool plugins, you can tweek anything you want, and it cost $15,000.00-$20,000.00. or so.
     
  3. jondiener

    jondiener Guy in the corner, looking at his phone on break. Supporting Member

    ProTools (DigiDesign) is giving away a 'FREE' version of ProTools on their website. Does NOT work with external hardware (other than internal Mac soundcard or PC sound card), but it seems to work fine for those who just need the basics.

    Worth a look!

     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Pro Tools is fast becoming the "industry standard" for digital recording in professional studios - Steely Dan used the package for their last album. Almost all the big studios in the UK have it now.

    I have only seen it used in very high-spec, pro - studios, with millions of pounds worth of equipment, so I can't comment on the "give-away" version - I would think you'd need a very high spec PC to run it though, with huge amounts of hard-drive space.
     
  5. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Netherlands
    I've tried the free Pro-Tools version. On my system (PIII 600 30Gb UDMA100 TNT2 MX300, yep a gaming system) it does not even play the demo song. It stops playing and complains about 'the system held of interrupts too long' or something like that. Cubase demo and N-Track run fine on this system.
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I use a ProTools TDM (hardware dependent) system for my day job. It truly is an amazing system. There is nothing (NOTHING) you can't do with it. Very intuitve, but very expensive. ($14,000 or so, not counting the computer)

    At home I use steinberg's Nuendo, a host-based (uses your computer's power, not DSP cards) system. On a home-made PIII 550, with 128 megs and 30 and 8 gig drives, I'm getting 24-26 tracks, handfull of plug-ins (including some pretty demanding reverbs) completely glitchless. Conversly, ProTools Free wouldn't run on my system, either.

    If you're rich, go with ProTools (everyone is using it, so you're compatible with them). If you're not rich, there are a lot of good and even a few great host-based HD recording systems available.

    One last thing, it's not really the gear that makes a good recording system (just like it's not a good bass that makes a great bassist). It's all about ears.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Jon - hope you don't mind me asking - but you mention US Army on your profile. Does this mean the Army is using Pro Tools now? Or is your day job elsewhere?

    I agree with all your comments on Pro Tools - I haven't got "hands on" but have stood behind people a lot and been amazed!
     
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    yeah, the army is using ProTools on an isolated basis (meaning those units that can fit it in the budget can get it)
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Wow! I don't think the British Army have got enough money to buy a Fostex 4 track cassette!

    What sort of things do you "produce" or work on?
     
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've done "demo" CD's for people trying to audition for higher level bands, national orchestras, etc...I've done CDs for some of our small groups (brass quintet, woodwind quintet, jazz combo, etc.). The long range plan is to do full CD releases from our shop of the Concert band and big bands.

    I've gotten *very* experienced at editing over the past few years, more than mixing or anything else. I "fixed" a friends 8 track master where the engineer on the session really screwed up (I got 2 bass tracks and *no* snare track!) I actually ended up doing an edit every time he hit the snare, but you cant tell on the final. Took forever tho!
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually now I come to think of it, this does make a great deal of sense. I know that in the UK there are CDs with like the massed bands of the Royal Air Force that do very well - especially things like "Dambusters March" "633 Squadron " etc.

    I can imagine that in peacetime, this would be a good way of supplementing income! I did actually know someone in Plymouth who was in the Royal Marines Band and he told me about how it was a very good life if you wanted to be a full-time paid musician.

    I often go to airshows in the UK with a strong presence from the US Airforce who sell things, and they seem to do very well.
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    but actually, we're not allowed to sell them. We can only give them away. It's a public relations thing. It's not a *bad* life, if you want to make a living being a musician, but it's not the best, either.

    I think Reedo35 is an Army bandsman, too.

     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually the US Airforce might have been giving stuff away as well, but looking for donations to a relevant charity in return.

    I suppose there aren't that many options left to being a full-time musician now. Some of the Jazz musicians I meet tell me about how it's impossible for them to get a loan for a house or car, as their income isn't seen as secure in any way. I can see the "services" as one of the very few secure ways left to earn your living from music.
     
  14. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    I am using ProTools "Free" on my home Mac. In fact, I spent much of the last two days dumping old recordings from cassette to HD, then ripping to both aiff and mp3. I'm running a Mac G4 dual 450 w/256MB RAM (you have to run ProTools with virtual memory off) and a 30 Gig HD. Runs like a champ. I've also run it on my G3/400 Powerbook with no problems. I can't speak for running it on a wintel system...I avoid that whenever possible (which is almost always).
     
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've tried the ProTools free on PC....and dumped it immediately. Digi's really not got the stuff together as far as PC architecture goes. Maybe in a few generations of software, but not right now.

    On the same system that I'm getting 26 or so tracks with Nuendo, I can't get *2* tracks to run the ProTools stuff...so, forget it (for me)
     
  16. Hey! I represent that remark! :D
    Yeah, we do the same thing in my band. We get requests all the time for Recordings. Man, if we sold them, we could
    probably double our budget.
     
  17. maestrox

    maestrox

    Oct 8, 2000
    Well, I think your better choice would be to forget the pc and get a Mac. ;)
     
  18. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Maybe it's your sound card? Do you have a bus master driver installed? It shouldn't make any difference whether it's for PC or Mac.
    I downloaded it (just for fun, I don't record stuff too often), and it worked just fine on my PIII-733/128/SB Live! system. And the SB Live! isn't the best card for PC hard disk recording, either.
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    thanks, I'm using Aardvark cards, and I've been doing the digi audio thing for some time. Read the beginning of this thread and see that I get 24-26 tracks with plugins on other high-end software and you'll probably draw the same conclusion that I did....it's the software, not the hardware.

    And with Digi stuff, it *does* make a difference between PC and Mac, as it does with most other HD systems. Mac is *far* superior for digi audio, I just couldn't afford to sink so much $$ into a whole different system.

    Try Nuendo if you want great performance on a PC.
     
  20. I tried out that Protools free. Do the definitive versions have a similar Interface? I didn't like that interface at all.