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Old January 1st, 2009, 11:45 AM   #1
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Recommendations for protools me system

I'm looking to assemble a protools/macbook pro setup for our company. Does anybody have any suggestions on best configurations and packages out there? Looking in the $10k range for whole setup with basic 5.1 capabilities
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Old January 1st, 2009, 12:22 PM   #2
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You'll probably want to go the Pro Tools HD route. A 5.1 system can be done in a Pro Tools LE system, but it gets very complicated setting up that sort of system as LE is not designed to handle surround.

It is also possible to run a PT HD system on a macbook pro, but you'll need to add an expansion chassis to handle the PCI cards. Even though I've read that doing it this way might be stable, I personally wouldn't recommend it.

Full PT HD systems get pricey quickly as well. Just the PT HD|1 system starts at 8k, then you have to add an interface for another 2-3K, then there may be additional things you'll want to add.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Honestly....Pro Tools is highly overrated. I've taken many classes in and it always go back to Sonar Producer. First off it's CHEAP. Secondly its not proprietary and works with all kids of great I/O's (input output/recording device). The biggest downfall? It's only for Windows. While I'm a Windows person, it would be nice sometimes to have a more stable OS to do my audio on. Logic and Cubase are suppose to be great as well. Logic is only for Mac. Cubase, myself along with other experienced audio guys just don't "get it". Initially it's a pain in the butt to get setup for some reason. However alot of people swear by it so maybe we're dumb.

Now yeah "We run Pro Tools HD" sounds way cooler then "We run Sonar" and your customers go "run what?"...(they probably will either way actually, haha). But...don't unless you're willing to invest about 5x that amount...don't go Pro Tools HD. You might even want to look at Pro Tools LE but I don't believe it supports 5.1.

Also Pro Tools his a massive resource hog, you will need a Mac Pro if you really want to do this right. In fact even if you aren't going with Pro Tools, get a real computer, not a laptop.

Finally, I'd call someplace like SweetWater because all their sales people who are actually knowledgeable about the products they sell and alot own recording studios themselves. This way you don't get someone from Musicians Friend that's reading out of a book haha.

In the end...what exactly are you going to do with this setup? bands? strictly film? all of the above? What have you tried this far?

Good luck.
Dustin
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Old January 1st, 2009, 02:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dustin Alcock View Post
Honestly....Pro Tools is highly overrated. I've taken many classes in and it always go back to Sonar Producer. First off it's CHEAP. Secondly its not proprietary and works with all kids of great I/O's (input output/recording device). The biggest downfall? It's only for Windows. While I'm a Windows person, it would be nice sometimes to have a more stable OS to do my audio on. Logic and Cubase are suppose to be great as well. Logic is only for Mac. Cubase, myself along with other experienced audio guys just don't "get it". Initially it's a pain in the butt to get setup for some reason. However alot of people swear by it so maybe we're dumb.

Now yeah "We run Pro Tools HD" sounds way cooler then "We run Sonar" and your customers go "run what?"...(they probably will either way actually, haha). But...don't unless you're willing to invest about 5x that amount...don't go Pro Tools HD. You might even want to look at Pro Tools LE but I don't believe it supports 5.1.

Also Pro Tools his a massive resource hog, you will need a Mac Pro if you really want to do this right. In fact even if you aren't going with Pro Tools, get a real computer, not a laptop.

Finally, I'd call someplace like SweetWater because all their sales people who are actually knowledgeable about the products they sell and alot own recording studios themselves. This way you don't get someone from Musicians Friend that's reading out of a book haha.

In the end...what exactly are you going to do with this setup? bands? strictly film? all of the above? What have you tried this far?

Good luck.
Dustin
The fact of the matter is Pro Tools is the industry standard. Sonar, DP, Nuendo, Logic and all those other apps are great, I have used all of them, and are definitely within Pro Tools range.

Pro Tools LE doesn't support 5.1, but supposedly there are plugins, and ways to assign channels, and all that junk needed to get it working.

Pro Tools LE may put some stress on the CPU, but for Pro Tools HD pretty much most of the processing is done on the core/accel cards. You can get a lot of performance out of high-end laptops, but I would only use them if mobility is a high priority.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jeffery Magat View Post
The fact of the matter is Pro Tools is the industry standard. Sonar, DP, Nuendo, Logic and all those other apps are great, I have used all of them, and are definitely within Pro Tools range.

Pro Tools LE doesn't support 5.1, but supposedly there are plugins, and ways to assign channels, and all that junk needed to get it working.

Pro Tools LE may put some stress on the CPU, but for Pro Tools HD pretty much most of the processing is done on the core/accel cards. You can get a lot of performance out of high-end laptops, but I would only use them if mobility is a high priority.
That's the thing though, you can't put those cards for PT HD in a laptop. You'd have to have an LE system for on the road then put it over to HD when you get back. However, there are some PCI conversion units where you can put the card in this unit and then use it with a laptop. But it seems like you'd lose some speed. since it's not native anymore.Magma Home Page Is the company that makes it.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 04:02 PM   #6
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Actually Pro Tools 8 introduces surround capabilities (up to 7.1) for LE systems; you just need to get the Complete Production Toolkit and an interface with at least 6 outputs. I would recommend getting the 003 which is also a control surface, but, considering your using a Laptop maybe you want your setup to be moderately portable, in that case an MBOX 2 Pro is the way to go.

I Hope this helps.


Andres.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Andres Montana Duret View Post
Actually Pro Tools 8 introduces surround capabilities (up to 7.1) for LE systems; you just need to get the Complete Production Toolkit and an interface with at least 6 outputs. I would recommend getting the 003 which is also a control surface, but, considering your using a Laptop maybe you want your setup to be moderately portable, in that case an MBOX 2 Pro is the way to go.

I Hope this helps.


Andres.
Good to know. I haven't really had a chance to take a look at PT 8, but $2000 for the Complete Production Toolkit is an interesting find. Good to know that it can also go up to 7.1 surround. Very good alternative for Jeremy.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeffery Magat View Post
Good to know. I haven't really had a chance to take a look at PT 8, but $2000 for the Complete Production Toolkit is an interesting find. Good to know that it can also go up to 7.1 surround. Very good alternative for Jeremy.
Yes it is really difficult to swallow the "bump" to get the Production Tookit so you have access to things like SMTPE and surround. I use Logic but I am on a Mac however the price tag is $500 for a full meal deal Digital Audio Workstation with scoring, full MIDI, SMPTE is there, mind blowing synthesizers and great sampled instruments. ProTools has lots of competition now and they know it. They finally added real MIDI tools to ProTools 8 after all of the rest have had it for years.

It should be mentioned that MOTU's Digital Performer is a very good DAW along with Sonar, Cubase, ProTools and Logic. The learning curve is considered among the shortest.

I will get ProTools some day but from my perspective unless you are running a recording studio for musicians or have serious client base that is working in ProTools for their audio I would not go there. Almost all the other solutions have fairly good export utilities to get things ProTools compliant although you will have to spend some time getting the workflow down.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:31 AM   #9
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Thanks guys! Wow, a lot of great feedback quick. I've talked to a few people already and this would also be a system being run by someone who does this fulltime. Mobility is a factor so that's the reason for looking at it running on a MCP. This would mainly be film audio - not a ton of producing music/scoring here. Going the PT route rather than other options at this point also opens up some of the workflows we have for faster finishing since we'll work in both FCP and on PCs in Premiere.

We've worked up to this point in both Vegas on PC and STP/Logic on the mac. I really like the STP/Logic setup myself but if my sound guy can work quicker in PT and we can get in and out of it faster and safer then it's worth it. I talked to a studio here that is running LE and loves it. I guess the biggest question now would be should I consider other options for being mobile and include a mac pro for the processing power.

Thanks again all!
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