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View Full Version : powerbook musicians UNITE! please help


808
Mar 11, 2005, 03:37 AM
its going to happen.
the switch...

i plan to sell my desktop pc DAW for a powerbook 15" 1.67GHZ

anyone use cubase sx?

recommendations on waveform editing software. (gonna miss soundforge)

does mac support ogg vorbis, even . wav files?

recommendations for mobile (inexpensive but not cheap) usb and audio interface?

stable enough to be my ONE DAW?

musicians hear me now! what is the love factor and production efficiency of these silver sleek beasts?

thanks in advance.

808

JFreak
Mar 11, 2005, 04:55 AM
forget cubase, just get yourself protools which comes bundled free with all digidesign hardware. the cheapest option will be the mbox, but i can wholeheartedly recommend a bit more expensive 002R system which operates through firewire and can be expanded to 18 i/o very easily.

(i very often use a 1.25GHz powerbook in front of live audience, so yes, it is stable.)

Little Endian
Mar 11, 2005, 06:00 AM
I second what JFreak said. Pro Tools is far superior to Cubase. Though you can use whatever you want as long as it suits your needs. You were not to specific on what kind of Audio work you wanted to do on a Powerbook.

bartelby
Mar 11, 2005, 06:19 AM
Reason is a very good program.
Vesion 3 has just been released.

doumbek
Mar 11, 2005, 07:36 AM
Another vote for the Protools. I have heard some good things about Logic but I've never used it. Hopefully some Logic users will chime in.

Check out the digi website: Digidesign (http://digidesign.com/)
It's got a lot of useful info. Check out the DiSK section it has some how to films that will give you a good idea of what the software has to offer.

And just a little tip, get as much memory as you can into that powerbook, the plug ins love the memory. But get it from a third party seller, and not from Apple.

Good Luck with your powerbook.

JFreak
Mar 11, 2005, 08:02 AM
just a little tip, get as much memory as you can

actually, if there's no plan to use soft-synths in excess, everything over 1GB is useless. and the more accurate performance tip would be "always add two identical memory cards" because the memory bandwidth is slightly better that way. i myself have 2x512MB and everything is fine with protools.

doumbek
Mar 11, 2005, 08:24 AM
actually, if there's no plan to use soft-synths in excess, everything over 1GB is useless. and the more accurate performance tip would be "always add two identical memory cards" because the memory bandwidth is slightly better that way. i myself have 2x512MB and everything is fine with protools.


Thanks for the info, I don't have a powerbook (I have a powermac), and it is always good to get clarification.

It's just that when I started, I got my system with the stock memory (256mb), and it was a big jump in performance when I increased to 1.5gb.

Thanks again. I only wished that I knew about this forum before I bought my system from a reseller.

Chocobot
Mar 11, 2005, 10:03 AM
I am a very happy Cubase SX 3 user - I have used ProTools before and like the software, but I find having to use their I/O as dongles too restricting. I use a Metric Halo Mobile I/O 2882 (without DSP) and I think it smokes the A/D on the ProTools LE systems.

-Julie

WinterMute
Mar 11, 2005, 12:55 PM
I am a very happy Cubase SX 3 user - I have used ProTools before and like the software, but I find having to use their I/O as dongles too restricting. I use a Metric Halo Mobile I/O 2882 (without DSP) and I think it smokes the A/D on the ProTools LE systems.

-Julie

Absolutely, if you compare it to the 001 or the Mbox, but the 002 is a completely different beast, particularly in it's desk format, and carries the best AD conversion short of Apogee and the Digi 192 interfaces.

I have Protools and Mbox on my PB (17") as a support for HD systems, it works a treat, but I'd look very seriously at Logic if you intend to do anything other than basic work with MIDI. Logic is the MIDI king in my book, although I like Digital Performer as well.

The M-audio interfaces are good, and Focusrite have a very nice interface coming out soon, won't be particularly cheap though.

Engagebot
Mar 11, 2005, 02:54 PM
granted, i'm a 002r user myself, but still... these days you can't rule out the firepod. i mean, for $600 retail you're getting 8 NICE pre's too...

i can't leave protools though. too many plugins now to justify changing from RTAS...

By the way, my pbook has 768MB memory, and it can run PT like a champ.

Edge100
Mar 11, 2005, 03:10 PM
I second what JFreak said. Pro Tools is far superior to Cubase. Though you can use whatever you want as long as it suits your needs. You were not to specific on what kind of Audio work you wanted to do on a Powerbook.

While ProTools TDM is vastly superior to Cubase of any flavor (in terms of audio, NOT MIDI!!!), ProTools LE really only has one thing going for it: direct compatibility with ProTools TDM. So, if you plan on moving to a large commercial studio with PT TDM, then I would say PT LE is for you.

But, if you want the most bang for the buck, and a MUCH better, native solution, go with the MOTU 828mkII plus Digital Performer, Logic Pro, or Cubase SX 3.0. Any other these will provide FAR better MIDI than PT and are really more suited as production/composition machines, rather that PT, which is really much better as a tape machine replacement, rather than a composition environment.

Digidesign sells its MBox/002/002R on the basis of its popularity in the professional arena. For pros, no doubt, PT TDM wins hands down (for now!), but for semi-pros/serious amateurs, there is no reason to pay the premium for Digi hardware.

P.S. I'm a Logic user myself and I would definitely recommend it. Its the most flexible of the major DAWs, and Logic Pro comes with a plug-in set that has no equal! However, it is the hardest to learn, but that is really a relative term. Logic is still pretty straight-forward.

zeeb
Mar 11, 2005, 04:06 PM
Hey. Cubase SX3 would do, you're already used to it. Logic 7 pro is your best bet, imo. Once you get over the learning curve you'll realize there are so many more things you can do in logic than Cubase. I started out in Cakewalk way back in the day, then migrated to Cubase at VST all the way to SX2, then moved to Logic 6 then to 7. I too sold all my Pc's for a mac and have been infinitely happy ever since. As for an editor, Bias Peak.

It's definetly stable enough to be a DAW, you'll see. I've never had a major system crash while running my software.

dood email me if you have any transition questions
~B

808
Mar 12, 2005, 12:24 AM
all of the feedback has been really insightful.

i would say i am a intermediate musician willing to take the quantum leap
:eek:
on my desktop PC i mostly record audio (ie... beats from korg esx1) and
overdub tracks via hardware synths and soft synths.

with the pb 15"

i plan on getting into dp
down and dirty with midi and more soft synths
at the same time multitrack live drums into....cubase? dp? pt? not sure
continue to overdub

merge the sonic potential into a live situation
incorporating all of the above into waves of sound, groove, glitch hop.

im just worried about the learning curve for new gear...dp. pt.
im hoping the transition will be fluid...

thanks

808 :)

zimtheinvader
Mar 13, 2005, 01:39 AM
imho Live 4 is excellent for Live ( :) ) situations as parameters can be mapped/changed on the fly or programmed as much as you like. Live4+Reason3 is an excellent mobile setup right now that would not tax your PB at all!!

Also, maybe check out the new MOTU Traveller interface ($849) it features an integrated dsp digital mixer (handy!) I am using it now having switched from a digi001 and am extremely happy w/the performance and stability, as well as the 4 nice pres PLUS 6 I/O plus digital I/O all on a single FW 1/2 rack space unit. Plus it works great w/ all major DAW software.

PT (LE) is fairly easy to use, though I am no fan of being forced to use their specific hardware. Logic is NOT easy to learn, at least was not for me, to the extent that I sold my copy in frustration after many failed creative moments and got Cubase, which I am MUCH happier with. Seriously though Logic seems like an incredible hit (at least w/ many pros :confused: ) or totally migrane inducing vomiting hating- using nightmare (for me :mad: ). So powerful, so incredibly complicated/archaic... Also some composers seem to like DP, Cubase is still the most modern-interface/easy to use (though also most resource hungry) of any pro DAW app...

I would go
==Motu Traveler (or 828 for cheaper)+ Live 4+ Reason 3.0+ Cubase SX3 +dedicated ext 7200 rpm/8mb cache hdd==
if you can afford it. I you are a student most of the software can be purchased for much cheaper by submitting your ID and getting the "Academic Version" which is the same but just discounted for students/teachers/ect.

Seriously though, unless its your full-time occupation or you have PT to fall back on for sketch work, Logic is a very serious piece of software for very specific midi/full-studio integration needs and probably either DP or SX3 would better meet the needs of a composer or student. Strange, as I've found Apple's other pro media apps like FCP to be much more accessible... :confused:

808
Mar 14, 2005, 02:17 AM
im thinking about getting the edirol ua-25

yeah i know...kinda low budge. but thats all i can afford, and really all i need
right now...anyone have it? opinions?

for the price and the function it seems pretty cool, im just worried that it is usb 1.1...hmmmm

or maybe ozonic?
or mackie onyx?


damn...havent even gotten the pb yet. still daydreaming...

pulsewidth947
Mar 14, 2005, 04:01 AM
I would say ignore Pro Tools.. It used to be the only software you should use for recording, but if you are used to Cubase, then Cubase is the way to go. IMHO Cubase is a lot friendlier than Pro Tools. I'm biased as I've been a long time Cubase user and I've had lots of problems with Pro Tools. Its more hassle than its worth. I also believe Cubase is more user friendly than Logic, but thats because I always use Cubase. I had to use Logic in one of the studios where I work and it took me 30 minutes to work out how to use a Virtual Instrument. Most of the learning curve is down to different naming in both the packages - you say "Audio Object" i say "Virtual Instrument" :)

And if you do anything to do with MIDI forget Pro Tools, as its MIDI support is a joke (come on Digi - your on v. 6.7, and still only basic MIDI support!). There are a few things I like about Pro Tools, mostly its hardware. I really like the TDM hardware, as it reduces the strain on your CPU. Also its pretty stable (if you dont use it on a network - the only time a mac has ever fully crashed on me - kernal panic). The other main disadvantage is Pro Tools will only run with a Digidesign Audio Interface (e.g. 002, Mbox), and they are reasonably expensive, although with the exeption of the Mbox are all really nice quality.

So I would recommend Cubase. As for hardware, I'd recommend Firewire interfaces over USB. There arent enough USB2.0 devices yet, and USB1.1 is only really suitable for stereo in, stereo out applications at less than 24bit 96kHz.

I recently got introduced to the MotU Traveller, and thats one of the most impressive external interfaces I've seen in a while. So look at that, and see what you make of it.

How many inputs/outputs do you require? What are you going to be using the DAW for?

As for 2-track editing software, look in to Bias Peak. It seems to be the biggest editor on the Mac platform.. You should be able to get Cool Edit Pro (now called Adobe Audition), which I've always prefered to SoundForge.



Oh from the looks of it you only need 2-in, 2-out. I'd recommend M-Audio hardware as they are outstanding quality for the price. Again though I'd recommend Firewire over USB1.1, better speed so better bandwidth for your audio. USB1.1 wont allow you Full Duplex 24/96 audio, which you may not require but its always nice to have. If you are using 24/96, it might be worth buying a nice fast external drive.

Hope this helps!

808
Mar 14, 2005, 06:58 PM
thanks for your help everyone

i really like m-audio too, but i need something bus powered and serves as a midi interface as well.

can anyone recommend any models? my budget is around $250

getting closer....

kanker
Mar 15, 2005, 02:15 AM
Absolutely, if you compare it to the 001 or the Mbox, but the 002 is a completely different beast, particularly in it's desk format, and carries the best AD conversion short of Apogee and the Digi 192 interfaces.I think you'd find a bunch of folks who'd disagree with you on the 002. ;)


808, i'd recommend taking a visit to osxaudio.com (http://www.osxaudio.com/forums/index.php) and browsing the forums. Most of the answers you want have been discussed in detail there, and they're always more than willing to help out.

kanker
Mar 15, 2005, 02:19 AM
BTW - If you want to take Logic for a spin once you get your Mac, there is a demo available for Logic Express (http://www.apple.com/logicexpress/quicktour/index.html) available from Apple.

Southbridge
Mar 15, 2005, 01:50 PM
whats a good Midi Controller? Im thinking between 25-32 keys...

w3xft
Mar 16, 2005, 01:49 AM
I got a Edirol FA-101 Firewire based audio interface...

i'd recommend it..the other one i was considering was an m-audio solution around the same price range..it was a firewire based solution as well..1820 or something..


anyway...go both programs...stick with cubase for a while if SX 3 has everything you need..and slowly learn your way into logic 7. :)

wilmor42
Mar 16, 2005, 03:39 AM
sorry to go against the flow but cubase and logic are poor, they're immitations of an original program developed for mac in the early days while macintosh was still a baby. Digital performer by Mark of the unicorn is the only real contender in my eyes.. its been out for about like 20 years! live is great i use it regularly for a live situation-no arguments there but everytime i look at anything else it just seems like the develover has been given a copy of Performer and has been told to make something as good as that.
i use a 1ghz powerbook, M-audio keystation49e, digital performer 4.5 and im away, not ever had a hitch.. :D

Edge100
Mar 17, 2005, 08:53 AM
sorry to go against the flow but cubase and logic are poor,

Hmm, that must explain the MANY pros that use Logic DAILY. While I used to HATE Cubase (VST on OS 9), SX isnt really too bad, and its plug-in delay compensation and ability to incorporate external FX and instruments is better than any other Mac DAW.


they're immitations of an original program developed for mac in the early days while macintosh was still a baby. Digital performer by Mark of the unicorn is the only real contender in my eyes.. its been out for about like 20 years!

What a crock! Logic has been out for just as long. If you want to get technical, Logic was originally Emagic (actually C-Lab) Notator on the Atari ST, then the Mac. Cubase has been out just as long. Digital Performer was orignally just Performer. All of them were strictly MIDI sequencers. They've ALL been out for years, and are ALL mature, stable programs.

live is great i use it regularly for a live situation-no arguments there but everytime i look at anything else it just seems like the develover has been given a copy of Performer and has been told to make something as good as that.
i use a 1ghz powerbook, M-audio keystation49e, digital performer 4.5 and im away, not ever had a hitch.. :D

Live is great, but its really not a serious replacement for a full-fledged DAW. But its absolutely one of the most useful tools for composing loop-based music and for live performance.

One must understand that good results are obtainable with ANY of the current crop of DAWs. Some excel at MIDI (Logic, hands down), some at audio (ProTools, hands down), some for live work (Live), and some are just all around solid (Logic, Cubase, DP). To say Logic and Cubase are poor is just ignorant. They are different, and different people will take to them differently. Despite the claim that Logic is hard to learn, I've always seen it as the simplest to get MY head around. I cant stand Cubase. And DP is just a little better. But Logic makes sense to me. It may not for you.