ProTools or MOTU - that is the question

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Logic, Pro Tools, Digital Performer?

Logic Studio 8
2
50%
Pro Tools
2
50%
Digital Performer
0
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Total votes: 4

bassjones
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ProTools or MOTU - that is the question

Post by bassjones »

Got a new macbook last night - yeah for me! Not the pro, just the standard white 13.3" macbook with 1 gig of RAM. Brand new, in the box, with Office 2004 for Mac and a free shoulder bag.

I have an 828 I can borrow and I have Digital Performer 3 with the 4.12 upgrade. However, DP3 won't load into Leopard and therefore the upgrade to 4.12 is worthless, plus it's still not the the newest version of DP.

So, do I take DP3 and the upgrade to Sweetwater and see what it will cost me to trade up to DP5, thus using the 828, or do I just spring for the mbox (I want midi, so the mini won't do) or maybe even mbox pro?

I know the learning curve on ProTools is easier, but I also know people don't really like the converters and preamps on the LE hardware. So, I'm torn on what to do. I think that upgrading to DP5 will be the cheapest way to go, especially since I basically have the 828 "as long as you want to use it for free", but I'm not 100% sure it's the best way to go.
Last edited by bassjones on Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Silencio »

Learning ProTools is not easier than learning DP in my experience.

Digital Performer will give you much, much better MIDI control than ProTools. while giving you what I've found to be an equal flexibility in editing audio. Also, you won't get better-than-828 converters on an mBox.

I was a MOTU user before there was a Digital Performer, switched to ProTools back in the Session 8 days, got disgusted with Digidesign's upgrade path (yeah, right), ditched it for an all-MOTU system when the 2408's came out, and have been completely happy with both the hardware, the software and MOTU's regard for their customers. I'm running 5.13 on Leopard withMOTU hardware and Waves, Antares and Native Instruments plugs running under Apple's Audio Units, and it's trouble free.

So, if it were me, I'd go Unicorn.
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Post by bassjones »

Thought you might say that :) Did you just upgrade from 4 or did you have to buy a new version of 5? This is my first real trip into computer recording land, so I want to start right. I'm probably going to go ahead and upgrade the laptop to 4 Gig of RAM ASAP and I know I need to get a dedicated audio hard drive (external). Other than that, any tips?
"brad!
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Post by Silencio »

I upgraded from version 4 (I've been using DP since 1.something). The usual deal with MOTU is dot-something upgrades (5.0 to 5.1) are free, upgrade to a whole new version number (from 4.21 to 5.0) cost bucks. Every upgrade has been worth more than I paid for it. Currently, an upgrade from any previous version of DP to 5.13 is $195 from MOTU.

4 gigs of RAM is probably overkill: I've got 2 gigs on my studio machine and have never even come close to the ceiling.

The separate drive is a good idea. 7200 rpm is plenty fast for audio (you don't need video speeds).

Spend your money on good audio sources: good preamps, good mics.
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Post by bassjones »

okay, cool. $200 isn't too bad. Better than the $500 for the whole thing.
"brad!
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adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

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Post by Silencio »

And Sweetwater may discount that price... I just got a stupid low price on my most recent Waves upgrade by going through a dealer instead of the company online.
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Post by therecordinghouse »

if you are planning on doing alot with virtual instruments, an upgrade in ram would be very beneficial. however, if you are planning on just recording live instruments, 2gig should be plenty.

here is the thing about converters. honestly, the converters in both the pt le interfaces and the 828 are fine. seriously, converters now days are well beyond what they were a few years back. are there better ones out there? yes, but you cannot use the converters in interfaces in the le line up as an excuse for your music sounding like crap. that said, my personal preference is protools. think of it this way, you buy a digi interface, you get pt le with it. then, if you want, you can use any other software with it. fwiw, digi does make some pretty solid interfaces compared to others in their price range.

you must know, however, pt le is not yet qualified to run on leopard. which i am assuming you have since you just bought your macbook. however, i have 7.4 running just fine on 10.5.2. the only glitch is a graphics glitch with 2 plugins.
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Post by QWETTY »

get more ram, save the frustration.

2g = huge difference.

http://www.myspace.com/forgloryandempire

That was done with Pro tools I believe and I think it sounds pretty good.
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Post by bassjones »

or.....
after speaking with a friend of mine, who is an audio engineer at Sweetwater, I'm seriously looking at Logic 8. He's basically "a slave to Pro Tools" because of what he does every day and where he does it, but he said if he was setting up a studio from scratch, he'd base it around Logic. Much improved over version 7, tons more included virtual instruments and plug-ins than either MOTU or PT, and much more intuitive now, while still being very deep. Works flawlessly with MOTU interfaces or I can upgrade to Apogee (the duet)... Poll time.
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

www.bradjonesbass.com
http://groups.myspace.com/northeastindianabassplayers
www.myspace.com/bassjones
www.myspace.com/whitehotnoise
www.esession.com/bradjones - hire me for your session from anywhere in the world.
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Post by therecordinghouse »

i also have logic 8 working flawlessly with my 002r. (which came with pro tools le) the best of both worlds... ;)
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Post by deek »

Why isn't there a voting option for Microsoft Sound Recorder...I have that dialed in and it works perfectly!!!
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Post by bassjones »

Because I'm weighing options for recording pro audio with my macbook...
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

www.bradjonesbass.com
http://groups.myspace.com/northeastindianabassplayers
www.myspace.com/bassjones
www.myspace.com/whitehotnoise
www.esession.com/bradjones - hire me for your session from anywhere in the world.
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Post by deek »

bassjones wrote:Because I'm weighing options for recording pro audio with my macbook...
You can run windows on that...
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Post by bassjones »

"pro audio" :)
"brad!
...your tunes and your playing sound really great... all the best to you and god bless-
adam nitti" www.myspace.com/adamnittimusic

www.bradjonesbass.com
http://groups.myspace.com/northeastindianabassplayers
www.myspace.com/bassjones
www.myspace.com/whitehotnoise
www.esession.com/bradjones - hire me for your session from anywhere in the world.
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Post by JamminJeff »

I might be late on replying but I've spent some serious hours on Pro Tools/Mac this past year and it's really not about the software. Ask 5 people on DAW software and get 5 answers. PT works very well for me but I mainly use it to record the band live and add other parts later, etc.

The editing power of PT does require some learning time and if approached like a tape machine and console, it makes total sense. Musicians who like to capture real performances usually like PT but we are all really lucky to have so much gear on the market these days. Sifting through the budget stuff is hit or miss but the higher end stuff is a better bet but not always. Capturing sound is an illusive mutha sometimes.

The real meat of any studio are mic preamps and mics however. Some would say the other way around. Word Clock arguments abound but that's a story for another day.

Since bass is probably an important focus here, a good preamp with DI is critical. There are many with with digital outs but it's not really neccessary. Analog outs into a Firewire Interface works well. Avalon rules in the studio for bass DI but it cost some bread and toast. Jam is up to the player. Countryman among others makes a nice DI.

The PT LE hardware preamps are OK. The 002 and 003 are different from each other but not really worse/better. Flavors, etc. There are much worse out there.

The bottom line to getting a good DI bass signal into the "box" is through a preamp and the until you hit about $500.00 for a single channel unit, they all sound very similar. The sound goes down with price.

A good thing for DI bass is a compressor, especially for the fast transient stuff. Set to preference of course. Some unit have the pre, the comp and eq, etc. Preamp quality before other feautures is a good way to go.

Another reality is the Sample Rate. Unless you have a separate audio hardrive (which I do) and want to eat huge holes in it with a 96 sample rate (which I don't) most project guys record at 48 or 44. (48 is like having a thin sheet over the sonic guality but the performance goes farther than the gear limitation.

Maybe I went to far with this reply but maybe it will save some others time and money. No matter what digital gear you buy, it's not going to sound like the great analog recordings of the past. No way, no how. No digital studio can reproduce analog warmth and depth, and it also includes those great analog consoles and other chained studio equipment. Good cables do matter.

When it comes time to mix, analog tape saturation is missing, that and those magical million dollar budgets and 5 million dollar rooms.

No matter the software, the Mac is a rock solid platform.
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