Tell me about Pro Tools....

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Nickthebassist, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. How much does it cost? What are the system requirements to run it? How complex is it? How much better is it than Cubase?
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
  3. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    You can get an Mbox, which will get you a stripped down version of the Pro Tools software, and 2 tracks simultaneous recording for a few hundred. A Pro Tools HD/Accel setup will cost thousands, for 16 tracks, upgradeable to 96, and requires Mac OS 10. Digidesign SAYS it will work on a PC, but IMO they're lying--I've never seen a PC Pro Tools setup that is even remotely stable. A Digi 002 will get you a control surface and a few tracks (I forget how many) for less than $2000 US, and a lot of people like it. How much do you want to spend? Digi will find a way to take your money, and give you a barely passable to highly proffesional rig, depending on what you pay for. Their ICON console is quite a monster, offering all kinds of goodies, and they only charge $100,000 US for a good 64 track setup that used to cost half a mil.

    Pro Tools is popular, because it uses its own power to record, not your computer's, and as a result was the only viable option in hard drive recording for years. Almost every large studio has a Pro Tools setup of some kind (including the one I work for), and it's the industry standard right now. Having said that, today's computers have WAY more power, and there are lots more options than there used to be. Cubase, Sonar, Logic Pro, Cool Edit, Nuendo, Tracktion, Sony Acid Pro, iZotope Radar, and many others offer great audio with your existing system, and cost hundreds if not thousands less. Since they use your computer and not a proprietary system, you can upgrade track count, latency, simultaneous tracks recorded, plugins, etc piece by piece without mortgaging your home (usually, anyway!). I use Sonor 4.1 with an Echo Layla 24/96 for my metal band, and it cost me much less than a thousand since I already owned the computer.

    I apologize for the length, but you asked a couple of seriously big questions. There are TONS of books about digital recording, and a Google search on any of the above names will yield a HUGE number of very informative websites on the subject, from how to use DAW's to what hardware to buy to the best way to capture your bass tone on hard drive. Have fun researching, I know I do :D
  4. I think Cubase for £50 is a lot mroe realistic lol.
  5. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Cakewalk Guitar Tracks and Mackie's Tracktion are also good budget options, IMO.

    But those ICON consoles are REALLY sweet...
  6. I'd like to make a couple of comments if I can. For starters I would like to say that you definitely don't have to have a mac to run Pro Tools and I have seen PC Pro Tools systems that work just fine.

    In addition, one key thing to note is that a TDM plug-in sounds much better than an Audio Unit plug-in. The hardware in the system is designed specifically for audio processing. I have had conversations with many pros and they agree that when listening to a recording they can tell if the plug-ins were TDM, or host based.

    In addition, while most pro studios use Pro Tools, there are many studios that use the Digi hardware because that is where the true beauty of the system lies and then they'll use Logic as the front end software. Digi, while putting out a great piece of software such as Pro Tools, don't even really consider themselves a software company, they are a hardware company.

    That's what I can come up with offhand at the moment, but let me know what else you want to know and I'll be glad to share my knowledge with you.
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    OK, my Mac comment was a little tongue in cheek, but I was thinking budget when I typed it.
  8. Rav

    Rav Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2004
    Aurora, IL
    Actually if you go read the DUC at you will find that a lot of the long term users of protools are a little PO'd right now because the PC versions of 6.7 are faster and more stable than the Mac OSX versions. Reports of up to 50% faster on an AMD 64 than a dual G5 MAC with similar configuration. Previous versions of the software were pretty much the other way around but something strange going on with digi these days.

  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    It will even out eventually.
  10. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I'm a bit confused...I posted this in another thread, but this one seems more specific to my question.

    Im a total newbie when it comes to home/studio recording. I looking to learn basic home recording: guitar, bass, some vocals. I'm looking at two products and can't decide between the two. 1. Mbox w/ Pro tools LE. or 2. Tascam US-122 w/ Cubase LE

    I'm leaning towards the mbox because, I figure I will eventually want to upgrade to Pro tools. So I might as well start with it. I have a g4, and i run os X. I am also getting a g5 in the near future. Will the mbox w/ protools be compatable?

    Anyone have any experience w/ the tascam and os x? I saw a few reviews on harmony central where people were complaining about os x compatability.
  11. rubo


    Aug 25, 2003
    First you have to decide which software you like best. Contact Steinberg & Digidesign so they can point you out to a local dealer who carries that software. Most likely they have a computer set up to demo it, then you can walk in and play around with it to get a feel for the software, what ever you do don't listen to the salesman simply evaluate things for yourself and then walk away, because what ever decision you'll make you can buy ether of those two produces used online for much cheaper price then in the store.

  12. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    thats a good idea...thanks. I'll be trying them out tonight.
  13. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    the 2 choices arent cubase and pro tools, its pro tools and nuendo. Im not a fan of cubase. Realistically your gonna get into one then use that the rest of your life. I started on cakewalk and then just got into pro tools cuz thats what everone uses. You need to think about what your gonna be doing with it. Guitar tracks and a usb fastrack will probably get you where you wanna go. If you really wanna work in a studio or do studio quality recordings get pro tools or nuendo with a great recording pre. I run pro tools on a PC with amazing results. It def was designed for mac but dont be scared of pro tools if you have a pc.