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phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 08:47 AM
OK, so, I bought my iBook in March, partly by convincing my wife that I would use it to record and produce my musical friends and relatives. So now I'm ready to go for it and it *seems* like the Mbox with ProTools LE is the way to go, although I've seen a lot of reference to a few other programs on various threads here at MacRumors. I've checked out their individual sites, but think I've only confused myself more. So my question to all you Mac Musicians is, am I missing something, or is the Mbox the way too go?

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 08:49 AM
sorry to double post right off the bat, but I forgot to ask if the two analog "ins" on the Mbox limits in any way your ability to record "live" (i.e. not in a studio type setting). Thanks!

Kwyjibo
Aug 15, 2003, 09:47 AM
I think were gonna need more of a budget before we decide any software thats good from you....also if you have a second thought right after you post all you have to hit is edit and you can add that information!

alset
Aug 15, 2003, 10:13 AM
With regards to DigiDesign, I see them as the M$ of Pro Audio. They offer you what sounds like a solid deal, then slap you with limitations. For example, the MBox will not reach a 96k sample rate. To achieve this you will need to buy a Digi002. The Digi002 will still only run PT LE. PT LE is limited to 32 audio tracks. This hardly seems fair after buying a $1k system.

But it's even better: PT will only work with DigiDesign hardware, so if you want to take advantage of a great sale price on a high-end converter you will have to evaluate your options for bringing the sound in and out of PT. Digi hardware also secludes itself from other apps.

For example, the MBox still can't play through iTunes. This may not seem relevant until you consider that you just recorded and mixed a song on a set of monitors or speakers whose sound characteristics you are very familiar with. Now you convert the track to MP3 to send over the net. You can't compare it through the reference monitors that you used to mix it. How can you accurately judge that you have a solid transfer?

An even more important problem (IMO) is that you can't use iTunes to play CDs through your monitors and develop your familiarity with them. I have music playing through my monitors and my converter at all times, so I have a pretty good feel for how they really sound when I mix my own tracks.

Finally, DigiDesign has a weak support system. Imagine this: you call tech support with a critical error that is stopping a recording session. The message system at DD only plays you a recording stating that this is a high call volume time of day. It then suggests calling back later and disconnects the line. Personally, I'd rather have an option to wait on the line and get my problem fixed. By suggesting that I call back later, they simply frustrate me and leave me feeling helpless. How can I guess when they will have a clearer phone system? I guess I just keep calling back and hoping that I get lucky.

There are other companies out there who will work harder to please you than DigiDesign.

Hope this has been informative.

Dan

alset
Aug 15, 2003, 10:22 AM
Sorry for my own double post - the one above was a response that was typed before the thread opened.

To the question of 2 inputs and live recording, a couple answers. You could buy a small mixing board and run multiple mics into it with the stereo outs going into the MBox. You would do all the mixing on the board.

Another option is to place two mics in a stereo technique and take them direct to the MBox. You'll have problems with Phase Cancellation if you don't know how to measure out the distance between the mics, or just do well listening to your results and massaging the mic placement to fit.

Dan

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by Kwyjibo
I think were gonna need more of a budget before we decide any software thats good from you....also if you have a second thought right after you post all you have to hit is edit and you can add that information!

good point - not that I'm cheap, but the <$500 for the software and hardware bridge really appealed to me what with me having no experience with this sort of thing. Basically, I'm looking to "get started" and see if where it goes justifies an upgrade in the future. So for a solid "estimate," I'd say $500 - $750 as this is going to be a VERY part time hobby for at least a year. . .

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by alset
Sorry for my own double post - the one above was a response that was typed before the thread opened.

To the question of 2 inputs and live recording, a couple answers. You could buy a small mixing board and run multiple mics into it with the stereo outs going into the MBox. You would do all the mixing on the board.

Another option is to place two mics in a stereo technique and take them direct to the MBox. You'll have problems with Phase Cancellation if you don't know how to measure out the distance between the mics, or just do well listening to your results and massaging the mic placement to fit.

Dan

double post again! maybe I should change the name of the thread to reflect ;) Thanks though for the tip regarding the mixing board, and thanks for all the insight regarding DigiDesign - sounds like they've got quite a racket. Perhaps the post I just submitted sheds some more light on my situation. My impression was that a mixing board would be somewhat costly, and I am aiming for full portability as I will be coming to them, and not them to me, but I certainly am not averse to this option, again consideriding my "budget" and experience level. Placing two mikes and dealing with phase cancellation should be manageable with LE, right?

crenz
Aug 15, 2003, 10:41 AM
I'd say better do some more research before you spend your money. There are several options out there.

For example, I am considering the emagic Gold Production Kit ( http://www.emagic.de/products/collections/emi62m.php?lang=EN ). It has the EMI 6|2m USB interface, Logic Gold and a couple audio units (e-piano, b3 organ, sampler). It's a good deal, actually, since the USB interface and Logic Gold alone cost a lot more than the package (can get the package for 600 here). The USB interface has 6 inputs and 2 outputs as well as MIDI.
You can get a cheaper Logic Audio collection, but without the USB interface.

There's also a package from Steinberg that retails for 279,- here, featuring Cubase SE and a couple VST instruments, but you'd need to get a USB interface yourself. E.g the Terratec Phase 26 (300,-; 5+1 surround outputs, stereo in, stereo phono in, mono mic in, midi) or the M-Audio Quattro USB (300,-; 4ins/4outs, MIDI).

Note that I didn't try any of these. I'm just mentioning them since I'm in the same boat (researching for audio hw/sw to buy).

alset
Aug 15, 2003, 10:51 AM
I am gonna have to back up the idea of using Logic. You can get a large or small interface (let's say you got something to run 8 channels) and then pick up Logic Platinum. My buddy got LP for about $300 using a student discount. I don't know if that applies to you. If not, perhaps the Gold package, as stated by crenz. I use the emi 2|6 (cousin to the 6|2 that comes in the package above) and love it. Ultra portable.


Stereo micing and phase are considerations of the quality of mics you have and where they are placed in a room, keeping in mind the placement of instruments relative to each other and the mics. Also, the acoustics of the room will come into play, here.

I recommend the book, "Basic Guide to Home Recording For Dummies." I was surprised how much it taught me when I was starting out. Also, check the periodicals. The UK based ComputerMusic is geared towards electronic music, but every issue has a tutorial about identifying the gear you need to get started. It's worth reading in the book store.

Take notes on all your research. Better to have too many notes and have to sort through them than too take sparse notes and find that you are unable to track them back to their sources. Pretend you are creating a bibliography. It helps a lot when you are getting started by allowing you to cross reference reviews, prices, etc.

Other thoughts?

Dan

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 10:54 AM
thanks crenz; I've looked briefly at Logic but I'm looking more for recording / editing and MIDI and additional voices is not as important to me. But, it looks like Emagic Audio and the Audio Interface combined might do the trick. What do y'all think?

Yellowtooth
Aug 15, 2003, 11:54 AM
I recently had an MBox and was rather disapponited with its performance. As with any DAW software, there are latency issues to contend with, and right now the MBox has a rather high latency and no auto-correction software to correct for it. Every time you record a track, you will be 128 samples (I believe) delayed from the tracks you just recorded, meaning it will sound muddy, out of time, etc. You have to physically go in with the mouse and drag your track back 128 samples to compensate, and this is for every track you record.

I had a Digi 001 unit which worked great, but still had the same latency issues (though to a lesser degree). This would be a very simple problem to solve through software that auto corrected for the latency, but Digi has been a little behind the times lately, and Pro Tools LE 6.1 is no great major improvement.

I would say if you are using OS 9, get a hold of Pro Tools Free from the Digidesign website, buy a cheap breakout box, and start messing around for 3-6 months with it until you feel you have the hang of it. Hopefully by then Digidesign will have a Firewire Mbox version with less latency and auto-correction software of some sort.

If you don't stick with Pro Tools, I think Logic is the next best thing.

f-matic
Aug 15, 2003, 12:08 PM
i use the 2|6 with logic audio and it's a great combination - the 2|6 has good drivers, nice quality sound, and it's light and portable. the 6|2 seems even better for you since it has more inputs, plus midi, which can be fairly helpful.

that said, if you're just looking for something to start off with doing recording work, i'm not sure logic is the best way to go. it's very powerful, very open to configuration, but also very hard to learn -- it took me a while slogging through the hefty manual to even begin to work out how to use it, and even now i'd say i'm unfamiliar with most of the features on there. but don't forget you can use the emi 6|2 with other programs, such as cubase, sonar, etc, with roughly the same degrees of success. and didn't apple come out with some kind of intro music program? soundtrack perhaps?

i'd recommend checking an apple store if you get the chance - they usually have logic installed somewhere in the store and you can play around to get a sense of how you like the program.

hope that helps!

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 01:27 PM
Dan - thanks for the "Dummies" reference; I'll be sure to check it out. Also, thanks to the advice I'm going to look more seriously at Logic - didn't Apple buy it recently? Anyways, just a clarification; when you say "8 channels" is that like saying "8 tracks" on a conventional sound board or are you referring to the 6 in / 2 out? And is it specifically a "student" discount or an "education" discount? Not that I can't check it out for myself. . . :)

Yellowtooth - thanks for the additional insight into the Mbox; sounds like a pain in the a** to go in and reconfigure every single track. And I don't use OS 9 but I looked at the PT Free; it doesn't work in Classic emulation and I'm not sure my iBook double boots so I wouldn't be able to use it. But I'll double check into that. One question though - by "breakout box" do you mean something like the Mbox or EMI 6 / 2 to connect to the computer to run the audio in?

f-matic - thanks for the additional info on the 6 / 2, and the suggestion to see about Logic at the Apple Store. Maybe I'll hit Lenox Mall this weekend and see what I can see. The expanded compatability between Logic and the other programs might prove more useful than I anticipate.

Thanks to all y'all for your insight and advice: continued input is appreciated, especially cost effectiveness opinions. . .

davdchai
Aug 15, 2003, 04:25 PM
Have you thought about Mark of the Unicorn 828 Mk2, it's $749, but it firewire and 22 inputs as well as free software called Audiodesk, which if you don't need midi is great...

www.motu.com for details. I use the 828 mk1 and it's been great, used it with desktops, laptops, just plug and play. Also the cuemix feature allows you to monitor with zero latency up to 4 different mixes on the new mk2. It's not that much more than MBOX, but has unlimited audio tracks. And you can always step up to Digital Performer if you want to get more serious... for another $299. check out www.samash.com or www.sweetwater.com for places to buy it.

I also use an m-audio mobilepre, which is only $149, and it does similar to the mbox, but the specs are not as good, no focusrite preamps, but for hobby recording it's great, it's cheap and it's bus powered like the mbox. Latency is going to be a problem with all usb devices...

Just my thoughts,
David Chai :D

alset
Aug 15, 2003, 04:26 PM
Yes, Apple owns Emagic. We're all holding our breath to see what neat tricks they pull out on that one.

Dan

phrancpharmD
Aug 15, 2003, 05:23 PM
Thanks for confirming my hunch regarding Apple and Emagic Dan. And thanks for the tip on MOTU davdchai; it seems at first glance though that it's more than I need right now. It seems that whatever route I go will probably be more than I need right now though, and it will require a good deal of dedication with probably a pretty steep learning curve to figure out how to make it all work. I can tell y'all that I'm leaning much further away from the Mbox at this point and more towards the Emagic Gold Production Kit as it sounds very much like what I'm looking for right smack in the middle of my price range. My local Apple Store is justs starting to have Logic trickle in and expect a Logic workstation around the time they start getting their G5s in. I'm going to spend some time down there checking it out once they have it all set up. I appreciate everyone's input so far and welcome additional comments. Thanks!
Frank

alset
Aug 15, 2003, 08:20 PM
It's worth noting that PT really does have some great features. I'm a Logic man all the way, but for the sake of an accurate portrayal...

It's a shame that you can't run it without Digi hardware, or I'd probably pick up a copy just for some of the editing options.

Also, check www.macmusic.org , www.osxaudio.com , and www.musiconmac.com

I think that you will find audio people are often just as about their tools as geeks are about their OS. It's so much fun being part of a horde!

Dan

actionslacks
Aug 16, 2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by davdchai
Have you thought about Mark of the Unicorn 828 Mk2, it's $749, but it firewire and 22 inputs as well as free software called Audiodesk, which if you don't need midi is great...

www.motu.com for details. I use the 828 mk1 and it's been great, used it with desktops, laptops, just plug and play. Also the cuemix feature allows you to monitor with zero latency up to 4 different mixes on the new mk2. It's not that much more than MBOX, but has unlimited audio tracks. And you can always step up to Digital Performer if you want to get more serious... for another $299. check out www.samash.com or www.sweetwater.com for places to buy it.

I also use an m-audio mobilepre, which is only $149, and it does similar to the mbox, but the specs are not as good, no focusrite preamps, but for hobby recording it's great, it's cheap and it's bus powered like the mbox. Latency is going to be a problem with all usb devices...

Just my thoughts,
David Chai :D


I second this opinion. MOTU products are the way to go. Avoid Protools if you can. A lot of people use it becasue they don't know any better and they think it is the "professionals choice." A lot of engineers use it (especially in TV/Film) because of compatability, but they most will admit that they don't use it at home - just like windows. Digidesign conquered the market awhile ago and hasn't looked back.

Don't get me wrong, ProTools Pro line is great, but their entry level stuff is pretty crappy for what you pay for it. Digital Performer is a much better program, seriously. And if allows you to use MOTU gear which is high quality, less expensive, and way better for upgrading if you want to later.

hugemullens
Aug 16, 2003, 04:24 AM
i thought all the ibooks were os9 bootable?? :confused:

junior
Aug 16, 2003, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by actionslacks
I second this opinion. MOTU products are the way to go. Avoid Protools if you can. A lot of people use it becasue they don't know any better and they think it is the "professionals choice." A lot of engineers use it (especially in TV/Film) because of compatability, but they most will admit that they don't use it at home - just like windows. Digidesign conquered the market awhile ago and hasn't looked back.

Don't get me wrong, ProTools Pro line is great, but their entry level stuff is pretty crappy for what you pay for it. Digital Performer is a much better program, seriously. And if allows you to use MOTU gear which is high quality, less expensive, and way better for upgrading if you want to later.



Ofcourse, you can use the nice MOTU gear with Logic. Although I haven't tried it yet, I 've heard the new Digital Performer is still very buggy. Is this true? And by the way phrancpharmD, your iBook is dual bootable. Check out PT free on it. If you really like the software interface, like I do, then it could be your thing.

mymemory
Aug 16, 2003, 10:51 AM
I use both Protools LE and Digital Performer and I use Pro Tolls for capturing and DP for the rest.

For some reason I feel better capturing audio with PT, the thing is that PH has all the tools already there while in DP you have to open windows all the time.

But yes, DP is more frendly and it comes with more and better plug ins and there is not such thing as a LE version.

I'm more a DP user because I work with midi and audio, something that I can not do well near as close with PT in my 7 years in to pro audio.

phrancpharmD
Aug 16, 2003, 11:01 AM
Yep, my iBook double boots; I'll probably check out ProTools Free just for the heck of it, but I don't have any input devices (save my built in mic) right now. But it should probably be good enough to get an idea. And thanks for all the "seconds" on MOTU, I'll look a little more at them and see what they offer and for how much and try to figure out whether it's worth it right now. Mymemory, that was an interesting comment regarding opening multiple windows; that's something I should probably keep in mind since all I have is my 12.1 inch iBook screen - no external monitor here at home!

zimv20
Aug 16, 2003, 11:24 AM
the software:

Pro Tools LE
pros:
- easy to use
- great audio editing environment
- free w/ purchase of h/w
cons:
- runs only on digi h/w
- MIDI stuff relatively weak
- uses RTAS plug-ins only

Logic
pros:
- powerful and flexible
- owned by apple
- can use AAU plug-ins
- good integration w/ s/w synths
- works w/ other vendors' h/w
- lots o' good plugins included (esp. w/ platinum)
cons:
- steep learning curve
- costly
- needs h/w dongle
- VST plugins available only through wrapper

MOTU
pros:
- powerful
- lots o' good plugins included
- works w/ other vendors' h/w
- straightforward to use
cons:
- VST plugins available only through wrapper
- included plugins are MAS
- non-standard interface
- costly

(there are a thousand things i've not mentioned, just wanted to stick to some highlights)

my setup:
- i own all 3
- use a digi001
- do almost all my work in PTLE
- am learning logic
- started using MOTU in '86, don't use it anymore

regarding the latency issue -- i haven't noticed it w/ my digi001, as long as i've got Low Latency Monitoring turned on in PTLE. but i usually monitor what i'm recording through my mixing board, anyway

zimv20
Aug 16, 2003, 11:34 AM
the hardware:

i'd advise to choose your s/w first. the only gotcha, as has been mentioned, is that protools runs only on digi h/w.

i've not used the mbox, but have considered buying one for the portability. i'll probably pick up the digi002 rack (still undecided), 'cuz i just found out that digidesign will buy back my digi001 (the pci card is not compatible w/ the g5).

so if i do that, then i've solved my portability issue.

lots of people are happy w/ their MOTU gear, lots are happy w/ their Emagic gear. though probably more than you want to spend, you should check out the Metric Halo gear.

to get started, though, the MBox/PTLE combo is relatively inexpensive ($450). by the time you get the Logic Big Box and the EMI 2/6, you're getting closer to $600 (still a nice deal). just know that the latter is harder to use.

zimv20
Aug 16, 2003, 11:35 AM
http://www.osxaudio.com/

actionslacks
Aug 16, 2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by junior
Ofcourse, you can use the nice MOTU gear with Logic. Although I haven't tried it yet, I 've heard the new Digital Performer is still very buggy. Is this true? And by the way phrancpharmD, your iBook is dual bootable. Check out PT free on it. If you really like the software interface, like I do, then it could be your thing.

DP 4 is great. I haven't had any problems. I prefer it to logic, but yes you could use MOTU gear with Logic as well I guess.

My point is that whether it is Logic or DP, you have so many more options than being stuck using Pro Tools with only their equipment. And I frankly think the MOTU interfaces are of much better quality than ProTools interfaces -except maybe the HD stuff which I doubt too many people here are buying.

zimv20
Aug 16, 2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
I frankly think the MOTU interfaces are of much better quality than ProTools interfaces

in what way?

actionslacks
Aug 16, 2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
in what way?

it is a subjective opinion, but in my experiences comparing pro Tools convertors to MOTU's I have gotten much better sound quality for a better price. The low end ProTools products are just not very good.

But there are a lot of factors that go in to getting high quality audio in to your computer besides just the a/d convertor. Mics, boards, cables, (etc.) all contribute.

I'll boil it down to this. If you go MOTU you will be able to expand (add new hardware to your existing set up) as much as you want. Plus you can use it with Digital Performer OR Logic, if you so choose. With ProTools you are stuck with whatever they decide to come out with and what they charge you for it.

phrancpharmD
Aug 16, 2003, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
I'll boil it down to this. If you go MOTU you will be able to expand (add new hardware to your existing set up) as much as you want. Plus you can use it with Digital Performer OR Logic, if you so choose. With ProTools you are stuck with whatever they decide to come out with and what they charge you for it.

Thanks for the "condensed" version; and thanks to everyone so far for their input and for providing links. I have a new bookmarks folder now with a lot of great stuff in it. Glad I came to y'all; I really still have a lot of research to do. . . Keep your suggestions coming please!

alset
Aug 16, 2003, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
in what way?

Low end PT gear has crappy pre-amps. The D/A converters suck some of the life out of a performance, rather than addind to it.

Someone mentioned the dongle for running Logic. Well, the MBox is the biggest dongle I've ever seen!

Dan

zimv20
Aug 17, 2003, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
in my experiences comparing pro Tools convertors to MOTU's I have gotten much better sound quality for a better price. The low end ProTools products are just not very good.

i didn't know if you meant better feature-wise or better sound-quality-wise.

when you mentioned "low end" digi gear, do you mean just the mbox? or are you considering the digi002 (rack or not) low end?

junior
Aug 17, 2003, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by alset
Low end PT gear has crappy pre-amps. The D/A converters suck some of the life out of a performance, rather than addind to it.

Someone mentioned the dongle for running Logic. Well, the MBox is the biggest dongle I've ever seen!

Dan


Actually the lowest-end Digi gear, the mbox, has two focusrite pre-amps, which are far from crappy. The second low-end gear, the 001, I can tell you is of absolutely fine quality. I work in the music production business, so I'm constantly working with PT 24Mix plus and PT HD. The 001 for the price, along with the LE software that comes with it, is a very good value for money.
I'm certainly not knocking MOTU though, cause there gear is getting better and better, and amazingly, cheaper! They make some great gear.

JFreak
Aug 18, 2003, 01:40 AM
in the end it's all about opinions and personal preference. choose what you like. but keep in mind that protools is the apple of all audio recording systems - it's THE pro's tool.

if you plan to make final tweaks to your project in a real studio, mbox is THE best buy for you simply because you already record your project in the pro format. you can transfer your project to big studio's system in 5 mins and not pay big dollars for nothing. i'd hate to spend half a day transferring some dp4-project to protools because moving protoolsLE project to protoolsTDM system is faster task than having a cup of coffee.

this is just one thing to think about. if you're simply recording 2trk stereo for little post processing (home movie soundtrack maybe?), then i'd say it doesn't matter budget-wise what you choose. but if you're planning to go from project studio to a real studio some day, better plan ahead and start on the right platform.

protools is for pros, there's no alternative. tdm systems are though in totally different league. you cannot even talk about them and logic/dp in a same sentence. however protoolsLE is capable of 32 tracks and that's plenty. needing more you should be in a real studio.

it doesn't matter if you have 2 or 8 or whatever number of inputs if you mainly record one track (be it mono or stereo) at a time. you only need more when recording drum kit, or plan to take a whole band live. you have to think what you want to do SIMULTANEOUSLY when deciding about the input count. if mbox's not enough, consider the 002 rack version. double the price, quadruple the inputs. plus, with 002r you double the sample rate also.

protools is the (only) way.

daveg5
Aug 18, 2003, 04:03 AM
currently using cubase sl ($99 upgrade) i am the only one that loves this program in osx along with rolands vm3100pro mixer (about ($300 on ebay) a real "sleeper" bargain,
it gives me 2 real hardware effects processors 8 inputs including mic and phantom power transport and fader control (havent got the fader and transport to work in osx yet they work great in os9 though with cubase vst and logic) loads of output possibilities the faders and transport control work with the free bias deck 3.5 demo though. very good 24 bit sound 8 channel recording at once is easy, very solidly built oops but that is pci only. i have also heard very good things about the tascam us 122 for those on a budget every bit the equal of the mbox. for much less. however my favorite by far is the tascam fw 1884 and fe8 this is much better then logic control because it has an 8in 8 out 24/96 bit audio and 4in 4 out midi box motorized faders for just $300 more and 8 channel expansion boxes with more faders it looks the best and this is tascam the multitrack pioneers and quality hardware makers $1299 no lcd track names, sort of like a less expensive digi 002/ yamaha 01X but more expandable though

legion
Aug 18, 2003, 08:49 AM
I'd have to respectively disagree with JFreak on ProTools. I work in a major LA studio and even though we have multiple high-end ProTool rigs, we are starting to bypass them because they're so limiting. ProTools=Vendor Lock-In and excessively priced equipment. The other day I was glancing through one of our studio rigs and just noticed how much of the protools equipment was turned off because there are better computer-based solutions. From the outside, I can understand how ProTools looks like the way to go (for most recording engineers, that's where they start) but when you're looking to move to the cutting edge or thinking outside the box, ProTools doesn't seem to cut-it. As for transfers between studio systems across software platforms, it's a piece of cake and if you're transferring to film editors, you wouldn't use ProTools formats anyway. In high-end setups, the up-and-comers and marketleaders in software and hardware for the audio market are Steinberg, Euphonix, GigaStudio, Mackie and Yamaha. ProTools is a leader only by virtue of it's (current) marketshare, but is fading as studios modernize.

Peter Kim
Aug 18, 2003, 08:58 AM
Originally posted by legion
I'd have to respectively disagree with JFreak on ProTools. I work in a major LA studio and even though we have multiple high-end ProTool rigs, we are starting to bypass them because they're so limiting.

so what do you use now?

phrancpharmD
Aug 18, 2003, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by JFreak

if you plan to make final tweaks to your project in a real studio, mbox is THE best buy for you simply because you already record your project in the pro format

protoolsLE is capable of 32 tracks and that's plenty. needing more you should be in a real studio.

it doesn't matter if you have 2 or 8 or whatever number of inputs if you mainly record one track (be it mono or stereo) at a time. you only need more when recording drum kit, or plan to take a whole band live

Several good points here JFreak; thank you. I will probably NEVER get into a "real" studio as I plan on this being not much more than a "hobby" (I'm a pharmacist educator and don't see myself changing anytime too soon!) :) Yes, 32 tracks is more than enough for me, but I would MOST likely be recording live - bringing my iBook and equipment to whomever I am going to record, and not in a true "studio" setting (although that is an eventual possibility) - thus more inputs might be important. And as this is my first foray into recording / producing, I don't think the 002 would be right for me now.

daveg5, thanks for the tip on the Roland mixer. I'll check it out.

junior
Aug 18, 2003, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by legion
I'd have to respectively disagree with JFreak on ProTools. I work in a major LA studio and even though we have multiple high-end ProTool rigs, we are starting to bypass them because they're so limiting. ProTools=Vendor Lock-In and excessively priced equipment. The other day I was glancing through one of our studio rigs and just noticed how much of the protools equipment was turned off because there are better computer-based solutions. From the outside, I can understand how ProTools looks like the way to go (for most recording engineers, that's where they start) but when you're looking to move to the cutting edge or thinking outside the box, ProTools doesn't seem to cut-it. As for transfers between studio systems across software platforms, it's a piece of cake and if you're transferring to film editors, you wouldn't use ProTools formats anyway. In high-end setups, the up-and-comers and marketleaders in software and hardware for the audio market are Steinberg, Euphonix, GigaStudio, Mackie, Yamaha. ProTools is a leader only by virtue of it's (current) marketshare, but is fading as studio's modernize.



From my own experience, I would have to respectively disagree with legion.:)
As I mentioned in my previous post, I work in the music production business, and over the last two years, every single respected studio I have used have had ProTools installed. They also have the SONY PCM-3348 digital recorder (this is the standard recorder in all top studios in Japan for some reason.).
The products you mentioned : Steinberg, Euphonix, GigaStudio, Mackie, Yamaha. They have nothing to do with recording in a top notch studio. Console-wise, you certainly ain't going to see a Mackie around. In general, the studios are likely to have SSL or NEVE. Euphonics make amps, Gigastudio is a sampler, Yamaha's consoles are for smaller studios, and Steinberg? Don't tell me your studio has ditched protools TDM for Cubase or Nuendo!
Are you sure you work in a MAJOR LA recording studio? So what are you guys using instead of ProTools?

legion
Aug 18, 2003, 09:23 AM
Software:
Steinberg Nuendo 2 and Cubase SX
Multiple (TASCAM) GigaStudio 160 platforms for sampling. Scope. VST streaming.

Hardware:
Euphonix,
Mackie and Yamaha control surfaces

TC Sys 6000 for effects (which rocks :cool: )

(...and yes, ProTools is almost always kept running somewhere as a safety net for the rec newbies and DigiDesign TDM racks are maxed, but mostly off to one side-- mostly just sapping power. Everytime we look at designing a new studio or re-racking a room it's a question of what to do with really expensive equipment that has only the single purpose of running ProTools (which has fallen out of favour) it's quite a waste of money (imho))

Then there's still alot of favoured analogue synths that require A/D racks (slowly moving away from this but there are still some things hard to replace by VST, especially if you already own the equip :rolleyes:.)

junior
Aug 18, 2003, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by legion
Software:
Steinberg Nuendo 2 and Cubase SX
Multiple (TASCAM) GigaStudio 160 platforms for sampling. Scope. VST streaming.

Hardware:
Euphonix,
Mackie and Yamaha control surfaces

TC Sys 6000 for effects (which rocks :cool: )

(...and yes, ProTools is almost always kept running somewhere as a safety net for the rec newbies and DigiDesign TDM racks are maxed, but mostly off to one side-- mostly just sapping power. Everytime we look at designing a new studio or re-racking a room it's a question of what to do with really expensive equipment that has only the single purpose of running ProTools (which has fallen out of favour) it's quite a waste of money (imho))

Then there's still alot of favoured analogue synths that require A/D racks (slowly moving away from this but there are still some things hard to replace by VST, especially if you already own the equip :rolleyes:.)

Then sorry but I just can't see your place being a MAJOR recording studio in LA of all places. It sounds more like a studio specifically designed for internal production, rather than for rental purposes, which would justify all the equipments you mentioned. Basically you just can't charge much rental money at all for the equipments you mentioned, simply because they didn't cost much to purchase in the first place.
I promise you that a major recording studio in LA will very likely have either a SSL, Neve or a custom built console, and they certainly won't waste their hundreds of grands worth of console by connecting it to Nuendo.

Killswitch
Aug 18, 2003, 09:37 AM
Hey there... I'll tell ya what I'm currently using, and perhaps that will help.

Powerbook g4/800 running Logic Platinum, EMI 6/2 and tons of AU's and Wrapped VST's. I also use Reason 2.5 and Ableton live. This setup replaced an entire garage of hardware synths and samplers. And I can haul it in a backpack!

To start, I would probably steer you in the direction of the Logic Gold production kit. Especially if you plan to expand your music making endeavours in the future.
There is also a new book out from Peachpit Press for helping the new logic user get up to speed.

Spend your moneywisely... an Mbox is a quick and easy solution...but not an expandable one. Purchasing a good sequencing/mixing app is a good, lasting investment..and you can update it when you eventually get a G5 :) .

--make music and have fun.

legion
Aug 18, 2003, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by junior
Are you sure you work in a MAJOR LA recording studio?

If our choice in equipment makes us "small" I'm happy with that :) ... we still make quite a commotion in the recording industry (sounds a little like a company named Apple :D ) and we never suffer from a lack of clients (which pays the bills ;) .)

Didn't mean to make this into an anti-ProTool rant (especially since I really really like Avid for personal film projects.) Just figured that if I was going to start again today, without any previous financial investment, I wouldn't take the ProTool route when there are other solutions available.

phrancpharmD
Aug 18, 2003, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Killswitch

I would probably steer you in the direction of the Logic Gold production kit. Especially if you plan to expand your music making endeavours in the future.
There is also a new book out from Peachpit Press for helping the new logic user get up to speed.

Mbox is a quick and easy solution. . . but not an expandable one

make music and have fun.

Sounds like a recurring theme in this thread :) Thanks for the tip on the book, too. From what I've heard about Logic's "steep" learning curve, I'll probably need to pick some sort of tutorial up. . .

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by Killswitch
Logic Platinum,[...] Wrapped VST's.

what are you using to wrap the VSTs?

actionslacks
Aug 18, 2003, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by JFreak


protools is for pros, there's no alternative. tdm systems are though in totally different league. you cannot even talk about them and logic/dp in a same sentence. however protoolsLE is capable of 32 tracks and that's plenty. needing more you should be in a real studio.

protools is the (only) way.

I work in Film/television Post Production and ProTools is used almost exclusively. It also makes my life a hell of a lot easier.

BUT, there are alternatives. It is NOT the only way. And it is not always the best way just because it is the most used (Windows?). Over the next few years Digidesign will begin to loose market share just like Avid (although, Avid is the best product for the job regardless of the money).

I am not saying that ProTools is a bad product, but I will not agree that it is the only way, further, I will seriously Disagree that it is the best in terms of quality.

Do a google search for "alsihad" and find out what kind of reputation ProTools equipment has amongst recording engineers. Sound purists will use alternatives if they have the chance (i.e. the corporate types don't force them to use it because they think "it is the only way to go"). They may use ProTools software, but they will avoid the convertors for sure.

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 08:24 PM
for all the anti-pro-tools people, what a/d unit should i buy to replace my digi001?

my requirements:
- portable (i.e. firewire or usb), rackmount preferred
- 2-8 quality preamps w/ phantom power
- good a/d d/a converters
- headphone preamp w/ own volume control
- ability to accept (and pass to computer) some kind of optical input
- works w/ my preferred DAW*

nice to haves:
- ability to side-chain inputs post-preamp and pre-conversion
- stereo monitor out & stereo main out
- # of analog outs >= # analog ins

* right now my preferred DAW is Pro Tools LE, but i'm learning Logic and, once i become as proficient at that as i am in PTLE, i may switch. must also work w/ Reason. all osx, of course.

actionslacks
Aug 18, 2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
for all the anti-pro-tools people, what a/d unit should i buy to replace my digi001?

my requirements:
- portable (i.e. firewire or usb), rackmount preferred
- 2-8 quality preamps w/ phantom power
- good a/d d/a converters
- headphone preamp w/ own volume control
- ability to accept (and pass to computer) some kind of optical input
- works w/ my preferred DAW*

nice to haves:
- ability to side-chain inputs post-preamp and pre-conversion
- stereo monitor out & stereo main out
- # of analog outs >= # analog ins


MOTU 828 MKII

[i]
* right now my preferred DAW is Pro Tools LE, but i'm learning Logic and, once i become as proficient at that as i am in PTLE, i may switch. must also work w/ Reason. all osx, of course. [/B]

Um... If your preferred DAW is ProTools then stick with that. It is good software and you will be compatible with the mainstream.

In case it hasn't become painfully clear in the previous posts - ProTools only works with Digidesign hardware. Check their website for your options.

alset
Aug 18, 2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by junior

As I mentioned in my previous post, I work in the music production business, and over the last two years, every single respected studio I have used have had ProTools installed.

True, but that doesn't make PT the best tool by any means. Studios are aiming for compatibility. I believe someone already made the allusion to M$ Windows and it's installed base having nothing to do with it's quality.

I wouldn't call PT the tool of pros, I'd say it's just one more tool in your garage. The problem, as someone else stated above, is the systematic lock-down DigiDesign forces on your studio. They have a brilliant business plan, and I really respect them for making such a smart move. The results, however, can be detrimental to the user.

Imagine if you wanted to fix your engine, but the Craftsman tools wouldn't work with tools made by any other manufacturer. Sure, you might be able to buy everything you need from Craftsman, but now it's not even an option to look into some of the potentially great deals you can find elsewhere. It may not bother some, but it bothers me. Hell, I love Logic, but I'm still irritated by their new system of supporting only AudioUnits. Imagine if I was under DDs thumb.

Dan

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
MOTU 828 MKII [...] ProTools only works with Digidesign hardware.

that's the big sticking point -- i'm not ready to give up PT and must stick w/ digi gear.

regarding the MOTU unit, which i've considered, it's got 2 XLR inputs vs. the 4 of the digi002 rack.

for those two reasons, i'm leaning towards the digi002r. plus, if i trade in my digi001, the 002 is a good deal less than the MOTU unit.

actionslacks
Aug 18, 2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
that's the big sticking point -- i'm not ready to give up PT and must stick w/ digi gear.

regarding the MOTU unit, which i've considered, it's got 2 XLR inputs vs. the 4 of the digi002 rack.

for those two reasons, i'm leaning towards the digi002r. plus, if i trade in my digi001, the 002 is a good deal less than the MOTU unit.

??

Of course it is cheaper if you have a trade in! The question is - How much is it going to cost you when you want to trade in your Digi 002? With MOTU you can just keep adding I/Os for expansion rather than replacement.

Anyway, what is the point of this? Clearly you want to stick with ProTools so your decisioin is made.

legion
Aug 18, 2003, 09:22 PM
zimv20

Take a look at Echo (Layla or Mona systems with PCMCIA cardbus interface) or Digigram (who've been around forever) with their VX series or RME Hammerfall with cardbus interfaces. RME, in essence, uses it's own proprietary firewire-ish connector and I belive Echo's Layla/Mona uses a FireWire cable with it's own protocols. All of these are very interesting for the sake of portability (and taking any load off of the system) I think all of these range from $600 US to $1K (and the Echo and RME can have separate PCI interfaces rigged for your home system to use the same box.) I haven't played with the VX cards, but their specs seem interesting (especially the VX Pocket 440) If you want to go for cheap but good with major portability (no external power necessary) the ECHO i/o is interesting (it can be found for $179.) Of course with such mobility comes connection limitations, but there's always a tradeoff.

These will all run with most DAWs (Steinberg, eMagic, MOTU), but once again, ProTools must stick with digidesign.

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks

Anyway, what is the point of this? Clearly you want to stick with ProTools so your decisioin is made.

my near term needs (i'm suddenly working w/ some well-known people) demand ProTools, cuz that's what i know and i've got to be at the top of my game.

but asking what else is out there is, imo, a valid exercise for several reasons, including that there's a lot of pro-tools bashing but few alternatives offered. i'm wondering what people are using.

further, is the digi gear really _that_ bad, or is it being bashed because of non-operability?

here's my opinion of my digi001:

- the preamps suck. the ones in my mackie board are better
- i'm outgrowing the a/d converters

from what i hear, both are better in the 002.

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by legion
Echo (Layla or Mona systems with PCMCIA cardbus interface) or Digigram (who've been around forever) with their VX series or RME Hammerfall

thanks, i'll have a look.

i hear good things about the metric halo gear (mhlabs.com), but haven't had a chance to play w/ any.

zimv20
Aug 18, 2003, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by legion

Take a look at Echo (Layla or Mona systems with PCMCIA cardbus interface) or Digigram (who've been around forever) with their VX series or RME Hammerfall with cardbus interfaces. [...] Of course with such mobility comes connection limitations, but there's always a tradeoff.


seems they all require a PCMCIA card, yes? (i may have overlooked other options)

i have an ice ibook, may buy a powerbook in the next year, so initial survey suggests none of these will be compatible. or am i missing something?

legion
Aug 19, 2003, 12:11 AM
Sorry, I didn't realize you were using an ice book; I just wanted to give you options outside of usb and firewire because if you're running enough tracks, you can saturate the bus and will need to increase buffers (which leads to increased latency.)

Cardbus, however, gives you performace much closer to a desktop/tower workstation since it's bus mastering.

USB draws on the processor to manage the controller but the concern with firewire lies in if you're recording to an external HD, you'll want to make sure you're using 2 different firewire busses or you'll have performance issues with the streaming of data transmissions. So when using a laptop, if you can use PCMCIA, that's the way to go.

(this is one of the main reasons the lack of PCMCIA on the 12"PB is so disappointing for me...)

All is just my humble opinion.

actionslacks
Aug 19, 2003, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
my near term needs (i'm suddenly working w/ some well-known people) demand ProTools, cuz that's what i know and i've got to be at the top of my game.


Nobody cares that you are working with "well known" people. The mere fact that you would even say something like that discredits you completely. What are you trying to prove? Do you want to impress people with the work you do, or the stuff you buy? Owning ProTools does not a good engineer make.
[i]but asking what else is out there is, imo, a valid exercise for several reasons, including that there's a lot of pro-tools bashing but few alternatives offered. i'm wondering what people are using.[/B]

If you want to know what people are using look at websites like www.prosoundweb.com were the mods are very talented engineers. There you will have much better luck than in a Mac Rumors forum.

[i]further, is the digi gear really _that_ bad, or is it being bashed because of non-operability?

here's my opinion of my digi001:

- the preamps suck. the ones in my mackie board are better
- i'm outgrowing the a/d converters

from what i hear, both are better in the 002. [/B]

Cool. You are a perfect ProTools user. You found out that the gear sucks so instead of going with another manufacturer your first thought is to just give digidesign some more of your money.


My advice: Stick with ProTools. Switch to Windows. Get famous Cuz.

zimv20
Aug 19, 2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by legion
So when using a laptop, if you can use PCMCIA, that's the way to go.


i'll be sticking w/ the apple laptops in all likelihood, so it seems it'll have to be firewire w/ an external drive. still, it's rare that i'll track as many as 6 mics, usually one or two.

zimv20
Aug 19, 2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by actionslacks
Owning ProTools does not a good engineer make.


and yet i get work w/ my crappy setup. go figure.

legion
Aug 19, 2003, 01:14 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
i'll be sticking w/ the apple laptops in all likelihood, so it seems it'll have to be firewire w/ an external drive. still, it's rare that i'll track as many as 6 mics, usually one or two.

I was a little confused by the "sticking w/the apple laptops" statement. The 15Ti and 17" PB have a PCMCIA slot that works really well for this purpose.:)

zimv20
Aug 19, 2003, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by legion
I was a little confused by the "sticking w/the apple laptops" statement. The 15Ti and 17" PB have a PCMCIA slot that works really well for this purpose.:)

oops! forgot about that -- i keep looking at the 12". i'll have another look at the RME et. al.

junior
Aug 19, 2003, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by alset
True, but that doesn't make PT the best tool by any means. Studios are aiming for compatibility. I believe someone already made the allusion to M$ Windows and it's installed base having nothing to do with it's quality.

I wouldn't call PT the tool of pros, I'd say it's just one more tool in your garage. The problem, as someone else stated above, is the systematic lock-down DigiDesign forces on your studio. They have a brilliant business plan, and I really respect them for making such a smart move. The results, however, can be detrimental to the user.

Imagine if you wanted to fix your engine, but the Craftsman tools wouldn't work with tools made by any other manufacturer. Sure, you might be able to buy everything you need from Craftsman, but now it's not even an option to look into some of the potentially great deals you can find elsewhere. It may not bother some, but it bothers me. Hell, I love Logic, but I'm still irritated by their new system of supporting only AudioUnits. Imagine if I was under DDs thumb.

Dan


Then name me a better software/hardware combination than ProTools and the 192khz HD i/o.
Top studios won't connect the output from their SSL or Neve to anything else (in terms of software/hardware) because nothing else still can beat the quality on offer. Although a lot of people go for the Apogee i/o which, by the way, works with Pro Tools which goes against a lot of what you guys have been saying. And I ahappen to preffer apogee, though it's probably very subjective.
All the other alternatives mentioned are brilliant, and better than PT, for creaters and musicians, but not for top recording studios. Not yet anyway.
I must say though, in terms of sound quality, analog reel to reel recorders still rule. We did a test at a company I used to work for, recording the same thing at once onto ProTools and the analog recorder, and the difference was amazing!

Killswitch
Aug 19, 2003, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
what are you using to wrap the VSTs?

FXpansion VST-AU Wrapper

actionslacks
Aug 19, 2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by junior [/i]


Then name me a better software/hardware combination than ProTools and the 192khz HD i/o.
Top studios won't connect the output from their SSL or Neve to anything else (in terms of software/hardware) because nothing else still can beat the quality on offer. Although a lot of people go for the Apogee i/o which, by the way, works with Pro Tools which goes against a lot of what you guys have been saying. And I ahappen to preffer apogee, though it's probably very subjective.
All the other alternatives mentioned are brilliant, and better than PT, for creaters and musicians, but not for top recording studios. Not yet anyway.


I agree with you on the HD l/o, but most people on these forums aren't going that route and can't afford it. Would you really recommend the ProTools consumer line? I just don't think it makes sense for most people who are recording music at home.


I must say though, in terms of sound quality, analog reel to reel recorders still rule. We did a test at a company I used to work for, recording the same thing at once onto ProTools and the analog recorder, and the difference was amazing! [/B]

Can't agree more. Too bad it now seems like such a pain in the ass to use.

crenz
Aug 19, 2003, 12:26 PM
Since a couple people here seem to own the EMI 6|2 or 2|6, what kind of latency are you getting? A friend of mine today told me he's getting about 20ms latency on a G4 400. That's quite bad... plus he isn't able to do hardware monitoring on inputs 3-6, since somehow the audio/midi config on OS X won't recognize them. With that kind of latency, software monitoring is too slow...

Anybody made better experiences?

sedarby
Aug 19, 2003, 01:23 PM
Unless you are in love with Protools software you have many choices. Personally, 2 analog inputs was too stifling for my setup so I went with the EZBus which has faders and allows many more inputs. It really depends on how you plan to record. 2 inputs can be way limiting. Personally I like everything connected and not having to uplug and replug everytime I change instruments.

Hope this helps :)

f-matic
Aug 19, 2003, 03:29 PM
as i only use the emi 2|6 for sample processing, and i don't use live inputs ever, i can't give an accurate assessment of the latency. however, i know that the drivers for sale ($50) at http://http://www.usb-audio.com/ advertise 7ms latency, and they include the emi 2|6, as well as a whole host of others too.

hope that helps!

Originally posted by crenz
Since a couple people here seem to own the EMI 6|2 or 2|6, what kind of latency are you getting? A friend of mine today told me he's getting about 20ms latency on a G4 400. That's quite bad... plus he isn't able to do hardware monitoring on inputs 3-6, since somehow the audio/midi config on OS X won't recognize them. With that kind of latency, software monitoring is too slow...

Anybody made better experiences?

Peter Kim
Aug 19, 2003, 04:19 PM
[oops]

Peter Kim
Aug 19, 2003, 04:21 PM
In regards to the 6|2, i know it's 6 inputs but are they all 1/4" inputs? i think i read somewhere something about rca's. at the most i'd want to simultaneously record three inputs (stereo keyboard from my P-800 and vocal) or maybe 5 (same as before + another vocal and guitar). so i guess what i'm asking is:

- what kind of inputs does the 6|2 have?
- how many can i record simultaneously?
- if they are rca's is it recommended to use a 1/4">rca adaptor or is there a better solution?


thanks!

daveg5
Aug 19, 2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
Originally posted by junior [/i]


I agree with you on the HD l/o, but most people on these forums aren't going that route and can't afford it. Would you really recommend the ProTools consumer line? I just don't think it makes sense for most people who are recording music at home.



Can't agree more. Too bad it now seems like such a pain in the ass to use.
i thought motus 24/192 used the same converters as protools 192hd and you can use that with nuendo/ cubase/logic/dp4/metro/deck os9 osx and all the windows app for input andn output. however you must use software plugs or hardware plugs from other manufactors like mackies uad, yamaha dspfactory/protools hardware dsp/powercore/etc.
protools is mainly a compatability thing more then a its better thing its a standard ;ike microsoft office you want to be compatable with it somewhat to exchange ideas easily with others but its not a necessity for most

daveg5
Aug 19, 2003, 08:07 PM
Digidesign digi 002
Yamaha 01X
Tascam FW1884
all 24/96 8i/0 all digital i/o some adat i/o
all to1- 4 midi i/o
all motorize fader some with expansion
all with transport and daw controls
some with lcd info panel
from $1299 tascam, $1599 yamaha to $2299 protools
this seem like the perfect all in one solution since older pci based solutions wont work with the g5's pcix slots or powerbook (without pci adapter)
the question is how good do they sound and work with osx
anyone with real input please reply

actionslacks
Aug 19, 2003, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by daveg5
i thought motus 24/192 used the same converters as protools 192hd and you can use that with nuendo/ cubase/logic/dp4/metro/deck os9 osx and all the windows app for input andn output. however you must use software plugs or hardware plugs from other manufactors like mackies uad, yamaha dspfactory/protools hardware dsp/powercore/etc.
protools is mainly a compatability thing more then a its better thing its a standard ;ike microsoft office you want to be compatable with it somewhat to exchange ideas easily with others but its not a necessity for most

1. Did you edit the quote out of my post? it looks as though I am saying something that I did not. The last line is a response to a comment about Tape vrs. Digital.

2. Please re-read my earlier posts because you seem to be reiterating what I have been saying throughout this thread.

3. I am not sure about the convertors on the MOTU 192 - because I haven't used it. I have heard the reults of the ProTools 192HD because it was used for the past two shows I have worked on.

4. This thread is about solutions for ameteur music enthusiasts at home. Or at least it was. Simply put: I don't recommend the Mbox or the Digi 001 when ther are so many hardware softwware combinations that will allow you to expand, use many different apps, sound better, and cost less.

phrancpharmD
Aug 19, 2003, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by actionslacks
This thread is about solutions for ameteur music enthusiasts at home. Or at least it was. Simply put: I don't recommend the Mbox or the Digi 001 when ther are so many hardware softwware combinations that will allow you to expand, use many different apps, sound better, and cost less.

Yeah, y'all kinda lost me there. But I get the basic point of future expansion possibility. Again though, it seems like the two inputs on the Mbox vs six on the EMI 6/2 is a more important consideration for me right now, even though the Mbox is about $200 less than the Logic Production Kit. And thanks to whomever recommended checking out the "Mixerman" chronicles! That is some serious comedy. . .

actionslacks
Aug 19, 2003, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by phrancpharmD
And thanks to whomever recommended checking out the "Mixerman" chronicles! That is some serious comedy. . .

I think that was me, well at least I recommended prosoundweb, but that is one of the greatest web diaries ever. I got hooked on it a long time ago. You really have to read it from the beginning. He hasn't updated it since I think January and everybody is still wondering who the band is. Let me know if you find out.

On another note: There are some seriously knowledgeable people on those forums, but they are mostly sound engineers who can be very sarcastic. They are very good at what they do and not to kind to outsiders. If you can get past the harrasment, you can get some great info.

sedarby
Aug 19, 2003, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by Peter Kim
In regards to the 6|2, i know it's 6 inputs but are they all 1/4" inputs? i think i read somewhere something about rca's. at the most i'd want to simultaneously record three inputs (stereo keyboard from my P-800 and vocal) or maybe 5 (same as before + another vocal and guitar). so i guess what i'm asking is:

- what kind of inputs does the 6|2 have?
- how many can i record simultaneously?
- if they are rca's is it recommended to use a 1/4">rca adaptor or is there a better solution?


thanks!
The 6|2 has all RCA inputs and outputs. Be careful though because it has serious limitations. All will be revealed when you visit http://www.emagic.de/products/hw/emi62/index.php?lang=EN. Read carefully so you know exactly what you are getting. Personally, I would keep looking and probably look into the new firewire devices.

daveg5
Aug 19, 2003, 09:59 PM
i may have by accident i was reading motu's add on the back of a keyboard mag where they made light that they use the same convertors as protools 192HD
yea i agree both 192 are out of range of most people and yes there are a ton of choices nowOriginally posted by actionslacks
1. Did you edit the quote out of my post? it looks as though I am saying something that I did not. The last line is a response to a comment about Tape vrs. Digital.

2. Please re-read my earlier posts because you seem to be reiterating what I have been saying throughout this thread.

3. I am not sure about the convertors on the MOTU 192 - because I haven't used it. I have heard the reults of the ProTools 192HD because it was used for the past two shows I have worked on.

4. This thread is about solutions for ameteur music enthusiasts at home. Or at least it was. Simply put: I don't recommend the Mbox or the Digi 001 when ther are so many hardware softwware combinations that will allow you to expand, use many different apps, sound better, and cost less.

Peter Kim
Aug 19, 2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by sedarby
The 6|2 has all RCA inputs and outputs. Be careful though because it has serious limitations. All will be revealed when you visit http://www.emagic.de/products/hw/emi62/index.php?lang=EN. Read carefully so you know exactly what you are getting. Personally, I would keep looking and probably look into the new firewire devices.

am i missing something? i read everything there and it never really mentioned specifically the input types or how many simultaneous tracks that can be recorded. it only goes as far as saying that it is possible to track more than one input at a time.

i would love to go the firewire route but i'll be getting an external firewire hd soon, taking up my only fw port - unless i buy the new fw800 lacie drives.... does the 6|2 sound appropriate for what i want to do? i'm pretty much set on using logiic so it would be nice to have something specifually built for it. basically i'm looking for portable, yet functional. i tried the mbox but the 2 inputs were a little too limiting for my tastes (but just barely). the motu 828 is too big and is probbably overkill, and i hate the idea of using a big rack unit. any ideas??

thanks again

junior
Aug 20, 2003, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by Peter Kim
am i missing something? i read everything there and it never really mentioned specifically the input types or how many simultaneous tracks that can be recorded. it only goes as far as saying that it is possible to track more than one input at a time.

i would love to go the firewire route but i'll be getting an external firewire hd soon, taking up my only fw port - unless i buy the new fw800 lacie drives.... does the 6|2 sound appropriate for what i want to do? i'm pretty much set on using logiic so it would be nice to have something specifually built for it. basically i'm looking for portable, yet functional. i tried the mbox but the 2 inputs were a little too limiting for my tastes (but just barely). the motu 828 is too big and is probbably overkill, and i hate the idea of using a big rack unit. any ideas??

thanks again



Why don't you just get an adapter to put on your FW800 port? That should give you the firewire option you want for your i/o.:)

daveg5
Aug 20, 2003, 06:00 AM
Originally posted by junior
Why don't you just get an adapter to put on your FW800 port? That should give you the firewire option you want for your i/o.:) i agree and also
check out the forums at www.osxaudio.com they are a pro logic site.
if you even mention cubase or dp or vst or bias or metro, rtas, or mas there be prepared to get flamed, but protools is safe. i am very careful there not to mention i use logic in os9 and cubase sl in osx, or i will be ridiculed to death, they should rename it logicaudio,com anyway they have a lot of logic users there that have tried almost every interface. it seems like the maudio firewire 410 at $299 i believe seems to fit your bill perfectly, but check users comments

daveg5
Aug 20, 2003, 06:22 AM
if you are on a really tite budget pick up the transit usb audio sound card 24/96 for under $100, along with some cable adapters and buy your own software program. if you are doing no midi you can use the demo of deck 3.5 for free or buy the 12 track $99 dollar version to get your feet wet. both emagic and steinberg have low cost bundles avail with instruments and daw for around $300 also
http://www.steinberg.net/en/ps/products/bundles/studio_case/index.php/

http://www.m-audio.com/products/m-audio/transit/

logic big box
www.bias-inc.com

alset
Aug 20, 2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by junior

Top studios won't connect the output from their SSL or Neve to anything else (in terms of software/hardware) because nothing else still can beat the quality on offer.


We have a Neve and and SSL running into PT, but they get used more for the Fairlite system. I don't see the point of using such and old system, but they still sell well and get the job done. To suggest that only PT is competent is blind hero-worship.

There was a question about inputs on the 6|2, and I'd like to verify that they are RCA. I am surprised Emagic (it's not eMagic!) hasn't knocked out a new interface to make up for that. Sound quality is good, but even I have to agree that you'll be better off with a FW option.

Dan

edit - btw, the latency is not an issue - i'm usually surprised to hear even slight doubling when i record - that seems to be related to the audio engine in x, and is solved by resetting my drivers if my mac has been running for more than a couple days

plehrack
Aug 20, 2003, 01:23 PM
This is a timely thread for me because I too am looking to get into a home solution with about the same budget. I have been researching this issue for some time and have talked with some fairly heavy hitters when it comes to pro audio. I have used Protools Free for about a year and have outgrown the 8 audio track limitation, so the natural question was whether to stick with Protools, or switch to something else. After talking to a friend who has used most major titles, his opinion echoed what I came up with on my own. We like Protools. He uses everything under the sun at work and uses a Digi001 at home.

For anyone looking to get out of their Digi001 setup, let me know.

zimv20
Aug 20, 2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by plehrack

For anyone looking to get out of their Digi001 setup, let me know.

why not get the digi002 rack? you're aware that the digi001 is incompatible w/ the g5, yes?

http://www.digidesign.com/compato/osx/g5/

plehrack
Aug 20, 2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
why not get the digi002 rack? you're aware that the digi001 is incompatible w/ the g5, yes?

http://www.digidesign.com/compato/osx/g5/

Hmmm, the only reason I don't get into a digi002 is that my budget is $500-$600. If anyone wants to get rid of a digi002 for reeeeal cheap, then I'm game!

legion
Aug 20, 2003, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by alset
I am surprised Emagic (it's not eMagic!)

sorry :rolleyes:

I was the one who used "eMagic," just figured sooner or later Jobs would gang up with Ives on emagic and say, "well, wouldn't it just look better with a lowercase 'e' and a capital 'M'"... at which point the Germans would get huffy and leave the room

Anyway, isn't it actually "emagic" (all lowercase) and not "Emagic" :D :D

(ok, I'm just getting nit picky... at least I'm not the guy who wrote "Euphonics" instead of "Euphonix" and then claimed that they produce only amps amps[/B] :eek:] "EuPhonics" happens to be an audio software company out of Colorado who was bought by 3Com :confused: )

On a sidenote, I went to Digigram's website and saw that they're actively advertising cards compatible with the G5 (PCI X)... [i]very interesting (said in my best German accent), though I didn't price them out

alset
Aug 20, 2003, 07:52 PM
legion, that was one of the most entertaining posts I have seen in this thread. You will note that I didn't address "Legion." :)

Dan

legion
Aug 20, 2003, 09:20 PM
Well, I just figured, if the shoe fits...

(I'm also one of those abhorred Mac users who refer to the operating system as Mac OS "Ex" not Mac OS "Ten." Everyone around me hates me for doing so, but you know what, I can't believe Apple will ever leave the "X" when it's time to move to Mac OS "Eleven." (At which point, Jobs will say it referred to the UNIX underpinnings all along...) Possibly the next will be Mac OS "Y"-- no, I guess that would just be bait for Mac critics to use in headlines.)

So what's the decision on the audio enthusiasts choice? Looking at the yamaha 01X, I really want to check it out. I've been using the DM2000 for some time and it sounds great (though there are some quirks) Both the Tascam and the Yamaha mentioned are missing items, but at least the Yamaha is easily upgradable to make up for deficiencies. When the Yamaha comes out, I'll be checking it out for the "tactile" senses-- it could make a great sub-$2K rig. I looked over the Metric Halo, but I'm not impressed for the price.

As for DigiDesign, I'll leave the sleeping giant alone while the smaller, more adventurous companies innovate and collaborate.

junior
Aug 20, 2003, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by alset
We have a Neve and and SSL running into PT, but they get used more for the Fairlite system. I don't see the point of using such and old system, but they still sell well and get the job done. To suggest that only PT is competent is blind hero-worship.

There was a question about inputs on the 6|2, and I'd like to verify that they are RCA. I am surprised Emagic (it's not eMagic!) hasn't knocked out a new interface to make up for that. Sound quality is good, but even I have to agree that you'll be better off with a FW option.

Dan

edit - btw, the latency is not an issue - i'm usually surprised to hear even slight doubling when i record - that seems to be related to the audio engine in x, and is solved by resetting my drivers if my mac has been running for more than a couple days



A fairlite system? Is this studio for MA and certain visual syncing purposes or or a pure audio recording studio? If it is only used for audio, what makes fairlight better than PT HD? I'm not nocking fairlite, because tons of MA studios I go to use it. Just very curious about its advantages that you guys might be getting from it. Would be very interesting to know.
By the way, what I said was not blind hero-worship. I was merely stating a fact that at least 95% of top studios use or have Pro Tools systems, and not just because of its compatibility. It sounds like the Microsoft figure :) but I dor one don't consider Pro Tools to be a Windows of this word. The software is simply great for audio. Midi is complete and utter cr*p.

junior
Aug 20, 2003, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by legion
sorry :rolleyes:

I was the one who used "eMagic," just figured sooner or later Jobs would gang up with Ives on emagic and say, "well, wouldn't it just look better with a lowercase 'e' and a capital 'M'"... at which point the Germans would get huffy and leave the room

Anyway, isn't it actually "emagic" (all lowercase) and not "Emagic" :D :D

(ok, I'm just getting nit picky... at least I'm not the guy who wrote "Euphonics" instead of "Euphonix" and then claimed that they produce only amps [I'm sorry, what's that they sell, oh yeah, consoles and recorders-- not amps :eek:] "EuPhonics" happens to be an audio software company out of Colorado who was bought by 3Com :confused: )

On a sidenote, I went to Digigram's website and saw that they're actively advertising cards compatible with the G5 (PCI X)... very interesting (said in my best German accent), though I didn't price them out


Yeah, you got me! I checked up on it later to embarassingly find out the mistake I made. My appologies on that particular point, though I still stand by my other points. Haha. Damn.:eek:
And sorry for the double post guys.

daveg5
Aug 20, 2003, 09:34 PM
So what's the decision on the audio enthusiasts choice? Looking at the yamaha 01X, I really want to check it out. I've been using the DM2000 for some time and it sounds great (though there are some quirks) Both the Tascam and the Yamaha mentioned are missing items, but at least the Yamaha is easily upgradable to make up for deficiencies. When the Yamaha comes out, I'll be checking it out for the "tactile" senses-- it could make a great sub-$2K rig. I looked over the Metric Halo, but I'm not impressed for the price.

i thought the tascam was the most complete and upgadable between the yamaha 01X, tascam fw1884, and digi 002
the tascam has adat and 4 i/o midi and is the only one with add on fader modules, it lacks built in fx and lcd display, and software fx plugs, the digi 002 also gives you protools le
with the tascams low price you 4i/o midi you can get logic6.2/ bigbox/gold/plat,cubase se/sl/sx, dp4, and still come out cheaper. i am intersted in one of these all in ones so please let me know what the tascam is lacking cause it seems like the clear winner

zimv20
Aug 20, 2003, 10:39 PM
for those who are at least semi-serious, it looks like the mbox doesn't quite cut it. i was talking to someone who's used one and he pointed out something i hadn't thought of. because it's bus-powered, the pre-amps aren't able to draw enough juice to do their job.

the digi002, otoh, has a decent-size power supply. though digidesign doesn't officially say it, i believe it's well understood that they're using some decent focusrite preamps.

i'm still looking at the 002 rack, w/ a future expansion, via the digital i/o, of different preamps and converters fed through the digi.

e.g.
focusrite octopre (http://www.focusrite.com/products/platinum/octopre/index.html)
presonus digimax (http://www.presonus.com/html/products/digimax_96k.html)

edit: spelling on octopre

crenz
Aug 21, 2003, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by alset
edit - btw, the latency is not an issue - i'm usually surprised to hear even slight doubling when i record - that seems to be related to the audio engine in x, and is solved by resetting my drivers if my mac has been running for more than a couple days

Are you talking about the 6|2, or a different hardware? I'm aware that PCI-based solutions usually don't have latency issues on OS X, but I'm just worried about USB hardware.

phrancpharmD
Aug 21, 2003, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by daveg5
seems like the maudio firewire 410 at $299 i believe seems to fit your bill perfectly

Thanks for the tip! A quick look at osxaudio.com definitely put it in the running. I'll continue digging and see what else I can find out about it. Looks like hardware + software which is definitely appealing to me, but I haven't heard anyone on this thread mention Maximum Audio Tools. Any thoughts?


Originally posted by crenz
Are you talking about the 6|2, or a different hardware? I'm aware that PCI-based solutions usually don't have latency issues on OS X, but I'm just worried about USB hardware.

Yes, more info would be welcome. I saw on the emagic (didn't want to get that one wrong!) website they have a "software" solution built into Logic to attend to latency. But maybe it's not necessary?

legion
Aug 21, 2003, 10:41 PM
Most higher-end software has "software" solutions for latency. emagic's implementation doesn't break any new ground, it's just that software compensation is no match for hardware (ie, or complete lack of latency from the get go.)

(In otherwords, minimize latency at all costs and don't rely on software otherwise you'll be disappointed)

Never used Maximum Audio Tools, so can't comment, but it appears to be shovelware compared to most audio software packages.

M-Audio also owns Propellerheads (Reason, reBirth, reCycle) and Ableton (Live). Both of these groups provide interesting beginner apps to work with (and later integrate into a solution that is less amateur.) I believe all of these products run ReWire interface. (I've only used Reason and Ableton Live and both are very easy to use and master)

benny_j
Sep 23, 2003, 07:14 PM
I'm not sure if I'm too late to come in on this and I'm sorry if I'm repeating what others have said (there were just two many posts to read them all) but I thought I'd add a couple of things.

The question you should ask yourself is what do you want to get out of this? I've used all the major audio software packages and at the end of the day I've discovered you get what you pay for. If what you really want is a glorified tape machine then I'd go with Logic (or cubase but I wouldn't recomend it) especiacally if you're hoping to use midi (although a the logic midi guys defected to digidesign when apple bought emagic). You can use whatever hardware you like it sounds good, plugins are great and cheap and editing is not bad . The main downside to logic is that it does not hold phase on playback ie records 8 drum mics and when they play back they will be played a few samples randomly out. Not much, but enough for me not to be able to use it.

If you want to get serios you've really got no option than pro tools. Yes it is expensive but the speed and ease of audio editing absolutely blows any competition out of the water. I recently recorded an album on a TDM system through an SSL G+. To save the band money I edited the drums at home on my Ibook and MBOX. This was a punk band with most songs at 140 BMP with a drummer that rushed all his fills (oh, and the tracks weren't played to click so they sped up and slowed down every 4 bars!). I cut every single drum beat out by hand (no beat detective) put them all in time and stuck it all back together without one flam or glitch......12 songs in 5 days. Try doing that in logic and you'd still be slogging away after a month.

I would disagree with anyone who argues for any of these products on the basis of sound quality. All similarly priced products will sound about the same unless you've got a stack the most expensive tube condensers a 44.1 24bit recording will give a proffesional quality recording of a SM58, especially in a home situation. I'm afraid to say that people who sell stuff on the basis it has bigger numbers written on it are usually salesmen of bull****ters!

All I can say is go out and try some of this stuff, you'll be able to download most of it off the net anyway (www.limewire.com) so you can try it FOA before you buy!

Good luck

phrancpharmD
Sep 24, 2003, 08:12 AM
Thanks bennyj; what you added does confirm what several other folks had already said. You're definitely not too late, I probably won't make a move until late winter anyway so any suggestions are helpful. Based on what you added it seems that when it comes to Logic vs. ProTools the right choice for me right now is Logic.

amiteswamp
Sep 24, 2003, 12:43 PM
From what I understand of your original post, it seems that you are interested in recording live music. If this is the case, I would like to recommend a simple solution. Buy a simple mixing unit that will allow you to mix your signals (mic, instruments, etc.). This could be as little as $50 depending on your needs. Then send your stereo output to your iBooks line in. This is done with simple adapters. Then, buy a program such as AudioX ($20, available on Apple's downloand site). This program will record your file as a quicktime recording. The benefit is that you can convert the file to .wav, .aiff, or .mp3 which makes it usable in iTunes. That way you can make a nice recording very cheaply and burn it to a cd. Of course, this solution is only valid if you are looking to record "live" exclusively. Realistically, if you aren't sure how much recording you will do, it doesn't make sense to buy a bunch or recording equipment that will just end up on eBay in a few months. Go with the easiest and cheapest solution and then invest money as your abilities and interests grow.

alset
Sep 24, 2003, 01:08 PM
You may want to look into Nuendo. I've just been introduced to it, and I can happily report that it has all the ease of audio editing that PT does, without having to invite DigiDesign into your home. It also has better MIDI than PT, so you're getting quite a deal. More learning curve, but a fine app. I'll throw more info up when I've had a chance to evaluate it, but perhaps someone else has some info? Anyone?

Dan


edit:
Originally posted by crenz
Are you talking about the 6|2, or a different hardware? I'm aware that PCI-based solutions usually don't have latency issues on OS X, but I'm just worried about USB hardware.

I'm talking about the 2|6. Two inputs, six out.

zimv20
Sep 24, 2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by amiteswamp
Buy a simple mixing unit that will allow you to mix your signals (mic, instruments, etc.). [...] Then send your stereo output to your iBooks line in.

this eliminates all possibilities for post-production. even when recording live events, it's useful to be able to adjust relative volumes (not to mention fx, pans, EQ, etc.) later.

amiteswamp
Sep 24, 2003, 11:12 PM
Post-production is only going to be an issue if you are looking to "produce" music, not capture it. The original post mentions record and produce, but given the users level of experience, it's my opinion that he'd be better off learning how to capture a live performance first with simple equipment. This is the heart of any music production involving live musicians. Then, once he outgrows this level, it would be wise to invest further in better software etc. My suggestion is cost effective and in no way limits the user's ability to add to his setup as his abilities grow.

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by amiteswamp
Post-production is only going to be an issue if you are looking to "produce" music, not capture it.

?????

if one records sound and does anything other than leave the recorded tracks untouched, then one is producing -- even if simply making an mp3 of it.

in your scenario, the user is making mix decisions at record time. that's production. and it's a bad time to make such production decisions -- post is a better choice.

sure, your recommendation is low-cost, both to get into and out of. but please don't pretend that production isn't a part of a live recording.

Genie
Sep 25, 2003, 12:37 AM
I would go with the MOTU 828 Mark 2 and digital performer.

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Genie
I would go with the MOTU 828 Mark 2 and digital performer.

if we're gonna spend his money like that, i'd recommend Logic Platinum and a Metric Halo unit.

maka
Sep 25, 2003, 06:50 AM
The emagic gold production bundle is excelent value. For about 630 you get software and hardware that separately would cost more that 1500

You get Logic Gold, the 6|2 usb interface and three virtual instruments

Even if you don't like the 6|2 usb interface, you can easily sell it and get maybe a M-Audio 410 fireware...


The main downside to logic is that it does not hold phase on playback ie records 8 drum mics and when they play back they will be played a few samples randomly out. Not much, but enough for me not to be able to use it.


hmmm.... this is worring... can anyone else confirm it? Does it happen on the latest hardware and software? It's difficult to believe of such a professional software...

phrancpharmD
Sep 25, 2003, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
if we're gonna spend his money like that, i'd recommend Logic Platinum and a Metric Halo unit.

HA!

Thanks for defending my bank account zimv20! Seriously, glad to see the discussion heat back up again.

Thanks for your suggestion amiteswamp, but I agree with zimv20 that production is inherently integral to recording. I will be new to actually doing the recording but know enough about recording and production that your suggestion, while potentially easy and cost effective, is not really the direction I want to go. Also, carrying around a mixing board could potentially limit my portability.

And Dan thanks for the heads up on Nuendo; please keep us posted as you get more into it!

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by maka
The emagic gold production bundle is excelent value. For about 630 you get software and hardware that separately would cost more that 1500


good recommendation


hmmm.... this is worring... can anyone else confirm it? Does it happen on the latest hardware and software? It's difficult to believe of such a professional software...

i've not heard that, which leads me to believe it's an isolated problem.

perhaps some forum searching at osxaudio.com would relieve your worry.

Genie
Sep 25, 2003, 11:57 AM
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://geniesongs.com/personal.html)

Digital Performer has the advantage of not using iLok or any other hardware-based copy protection.

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Genie

Digital Performer has the advantage of not using iLok or any other hardware-based copy protection.

all right...

we don't need to turn this into a religious war of DP vs. Logic vs. PT vs. whatever. there are dozens if not hundreds of factors to consider, the least of which, imo, is a USB dongle.

alset
Sep 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by maka

hmmm.... this is worring... can anyone else confirm it? Does it happen on the latest hardware and software? It's difficult to believe of such a professional software...

I don't know what he was talking about. I can track multiple sources without error.

Dan

WinterMute
Sep 25, 2003, 03:14 PM
We have tested multitrack timing coherence on many systems as part of the Music Tech degree work, it's an assignment for the students to test phase coherence in stereo and multiple file inputs.

ProTools and Logic come out even with phase locked audio, there is no measurable movement in stereo or multiple sources, although USB hardware does have some issues.

Cubase wanders a little occasionally, and seems to be a function of how much work the DSP has to do on the input and what kind of processing power is avaliable.

Incedentally, output from multiple tracks is almost never a problem, outputting sine waves from a 2/6 into a 5.1 rig yields cycle accuracy, as does ProTools hardware from the 001 up.

I agree that the M-box mic amps suffer from a lack of power, but who wants to use the baby Focusrites anyway, they suck, you'd be much better off with a good stereo pre-amp and come in line-level.

The 001 is not a particularly musical interface, and the TDM 888 isn't a market leader by any means, but the new 196 interface on the HD range is very nice in both the digital and analog version, as is the 8 way mic pre, although I'm a big fan of Rupert Neve's work for Amek.

Sure the HD rigs are expensive, but they effectively replace an entire recording studio if need be, there is no longer the need to use a large format desk for recording, as long as the input stage and the monitoring are up to scratch, you can record/mix from the rig itself.

None of this helps the original poster, except to say that ProTools is still a force to be reckoned with in audio and post pro, but in the end you pays your money and you takes your choice.

I have an M-box LE system on my PowerBook for editing and remote tracking, and use HD1 or HD3 for heavier recording needs and mixing to stereo or surround formats.

I'm an enginner from the old school who genuinly venerates Neve, Harrison, Studer and 3M etc, but I really like the flexibility and functionality of ProTools.

If I was more MIDI orientated, I'd use Logic, which I think is probably the most complete production package. ProTools MIDI imp is not as good, but is still very usable.

Logic currently has problems on the G5, but they are under consideration, as is the 001 problem.

I'd recomend the Big Box Logic package, and live with the steep learning curve.

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute

ProTools and Logic come out even with phase locked audio, there is no measurable movement in stereo or multiple sources, although USB hardware does have some issues.

Cubase wanders a little occasionally, and seems to be a function of how much work the DSP has to do on the input and what kind of processing power is avaliable.


good info. thanks.


Logic currently has problems on the G5, but they are under consideration, as is the 001 problem.


i thought digi's answer to the g5/001 issue was to offer trade-ups. i got my digi002 rack a few days ago.

are they thinking of issuing a new 001 PCI card?

WinterMute
Sep 25, 2003, 05:44 PM
This is the case as far as we know, currently there are no advertised plans to release an updated card, although candidly Digi are thinking about it.

At the mo, getting a cheap 002 rack is a bit of a pain, but it is a MUCH better product, and if you can afford it, moving to HD is a must.

I'm glad to see the HD cards are supported, and the M-box obviously is, bring USB.

Incidentally, the new Accel PCI cards for the HD2 and 3 systems are going to be excellent, they carry over twice the DSP power of the originals.

zimv20
Sep 25, 2003, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
if you can afford it, moving to HD is a must.

can't afford it. i'd rather spend my $$ on nicer mics, pre's, and a few outboard bits. maybe even a nicer a/d converter, some day.

haven't used TDM; how much better is it than LE? LE does pretty much everything i need it to. i think :-)

maka
Sep 26, 2003, 02:25 AM
Originally posted by WinterMute
We have tested multitrack timing coherence on many systems as part of the Music Tech degree work, it's an assignment for the students to test phase coherence in stereo and multiple file inputs.

ProTools and Logic come out even with phase locked audio, there is no measurable movement in stereo or multiple sources, although USB hardware does have some issues.


Thanks, :) that is a relief...


I'd recomend the Big Box Logic package, and live with the steep learning curve.

Is there much difference between Logic Audio and Logic Gold? (The Big Box comes with Logic Audio, the weakest of the three)

If he needs an audio interface, the price of the big box plus an interface is going to get very close to the Gold Production Kit...

phrancpharmD
Sep 26, 2003, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by maka
If he needs an audio interface, the price of the big box plus an interface is going to get very close to the Gold Production Kit...

I do need an interface, but I had already thought of going with the Big Box and the 6/2 separately but the price really is close to the Production Kit once you do that. Although I think the Big Box comes with even more instruments than the Production Kit does, which isn't really a compelling reason for me to go with the Big Box. I've been checking eBay periodically and the prices for the 6/2 alone and the Production Kit usually butt right up to (e)retail. . .

WinterMute
Sep 26, 2003, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
can't afford it. i'd rather spend my $$ on nicer mics, pre's, and a few outboard bits. maybe even a nicer a/d converter, some day.

haven't used TDM; how much better is it than LE? LE does pretty much everything i need it to. i think :-)

The real differences lie in the DSP power and the ability to mix directly to surround from the screen rather than via a desk.

DSP power is the secret to the ProTools experience, having the power to run as many Bomb Factory 1176's and Oxford EQ's as needed is unmissable, plus using convoluting 5.1 reverbs like Altiverb sucks power and HD lets you use them along with other stuff without having to bounce tracks to audio.

LE is a great package, but lacks the real grunt for full on mixdown, adding something like the TC electronic firewire powercore rack really helps the deal, LE becomes a real flier under the extra capacity.

I use LE for pre-mixing and remote tracking plus arranging and editing, as well as foley and sound design against video.

maka:

The main difference is track count in the audio and midi sections, the cheaper the system, the less tracks you get. All the plug-ins etc work with all the systems. There are some sync issues as well I think, but it really only applies to 9=pin operation with video tape machines.

Genie
Sep 26, 2003, 04:38 PM
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)
My friend Rock recommends a program callled Traktion- search for it- pretty cool and only about $70 I think.

zimv20
Sep 27, 2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute

LE is a great package, but lacks the real grunt for full on mixdown


yeah, i'm always running out of CPU. guess my dual 500 g4 isn't up to the task anymore. sigh.


adding something like the TC electronic firewire powercore rack really helps the deal, LE becomes a real flier under the extra capacity.


i checked out the unit (online, not in "real" terms) and it seems to deal only w/ VST plugins, whereas LE uses RTAS. what am i missing?

Genie
Sep 27, 2003, 03:26 PM
I'm using Digital Performer on the Dual2, and it's totally amazing. Not a hiccup in two days, running about 50 tracks at 24 bit with effects. Smooth as silk.

http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)

zimv20
Sep 27, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Genie
running about 50 tracks

wow! why so many tracks?

Genie
Sep 27, 2003, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
wow! why so many tracks?

I record most things stereo, and usually use 50 to 100 tracks just of background vocals, kinda like Enya.

Examples are here:

http://www.geniesongs.com/products/closeups/geniesongs.html

zimv20
Sep 27, 2003, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by Genie
I record most things stereo, and usually use 50 to 100 tracks just of background vocals

again, wow. i've yet to hit the PTLE 32-track limit.

that's a real piano, yes? how are you mic'ing it?

Genie
Sep 27, 2003, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
again, wow. i've yet to hit the PTLE 32-track limit.

that's a real piano, yes? how are you mic'ing it?

I use digital performer mostly. Sometimes Pro Tools but Digidesign annoys me.

Real Steinway B, (on some recordings it's an O).
Nowdays it's a B with a Lawson L47 on the low strings and a Blueberry on the high strings. Blueberry through a Martech Mss10 pre and the l47 through a Voxbox. Both into a Waves L2 A/D convertor.
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)

zimv20
Sep 27, 2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Genie

Real Steinway B, (on some recordings it's an O).
Nowdays it's a B with a Lawson L47 on the low strings and a Blueberry on the high strings. Blueberry through a Martech Mss10 pre and the l47 through a Voxbox. Both into a Waves L2 A/D convertor.


that's some pretty serious cash. more than i've spent anyway. are those steinways yours, too?

are your vox also through the voxbox?

Genie
Sep 27, 2003, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
that's some pretty serious cash. more than i've spent anyway. are those steinways yours, too?

are your vox also through the voxbox?

http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)
Some of the vocals on the Wildflowers CD were through the Voxbox. Nowdays I record the voice directly from the L47 into the Martech Mss-10 mic pre and then into the A/D. I used to used a Manley Variable-Mu compressor but I am expreimenting with using no compression.

Oh- the Steinway O was rented, but the Steinway B (7') is now mine. Or my bank's, for a few years, I should say.:rolleyes:

WinterMute
Sep 28, 2003, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
i checked out the unit (online, not in "real" terms) and it seems to deal only w/ VST plugins, whereas LE uses RTAS. what am i missing?

It actually uses a proprietry format from TC themselves, the plug-ins that come with the unit are awesome, and most other manufacturers are providing versions of their plugs that'll work in the PowerCore.

Still, it's worth the price for the internal plug-ins.

WinterMute
Sep 28, 2003, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Genie
http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/Genie-G5Computer50pix.jpg (http://www.geniesongs.com/genie/endorsements/apple/g5opening/index.htm)
Some of the vocals on the Wildflowers CD were through the Voxbox. Nowdays I record the voice directly from the L47 into the Martech Mss-10 mic pre and then into the A/D. I used to used a Manley Variable-Mu compressor but I am expreimenting with using no compression.

Oh- the Steinway O was rented, but the Steinway B (7') is now mine. Or my bank's, for a few years, I should say.:rolleyes:

I ran a couple of DPA 4040s through Amek Purepath pre's on a Steinway (a D I think, do they make a D?) a few feet out from the case pointed horizontally at a 45 degree lid. Sounded awesome, recorded into HD1 at 24/96.

I'm a big fan of Bosendorfer pianos too, but the Steinways really cut.

alset
Sep 28, 2003, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by Genie


Examples are here:

http://www.geniesongs.com/products/closeups/geniesongs.html

Very nice!

zimv20
Sep 28, 2003, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
It actually uses a proprietry format from TC themselves, the plug-ins that come with the unit are awesome, and most other manufacturers are providing versions of their plugs that'll work in the PowerCore.

Still, it's worth the price for the internal plug-ins.

thanks for the tip. it's something i'll keep my eye on.

though my sol'n might be to buy a g5 next year...

Genie
Sep 28, 2003, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by WinterMute
I ran a couple of DPA 4040s through Amek Purepath pre's on a Steinway (a D I think, do they make a D?) a few feet out from the case pointed horizontally at a 45 degree lid. Sounded awesome, recorded into HD1 at 24/96.

I'm a big fan of Bosendorfer pianos too, but the Steinways really cut.

Sounds like you have very good ears, and budget!

Genie
Sep 28, 2003, 11:55 PM
Examples are here:
http://www.geniesongs.com/products/...geniesongs.html
Originally posted by alset
Very nice!

Merci! Feel free to download them and pass them around.

WinterMute
Sep 29, 2003, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by Genie
Sounds like you have very good ears, and budget!

Can't buy 4040's for love nor money these days, they only made 100 pairs I think, and they were 6000 odd then. I happen to know a fellow with great ears and a huge budget who lends them to me occasionally. I do, however own the Amek and HD systems, and I monitor with Dynaudio M1's or M3's:D

The 24/96 really becomes apparent on monitors like those.

sedarby
Sep 29, 2003, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by JFreak
in the end it's all about opinions and personal preference. choose what you like. but keep in mind that protools is the apple of all audio recording systems - it's THE pro's tool.

if you plan to make final tweaks to your project in a real studio, mbox is THE best buy for you simply because you already record your project in the pro format. you can transfer your project to big studio's system in 5 mins and not pay big dollars for nothing. i'd hate to spend half a day transferring some dp4-project to protools because moving protoolsLE project to protoolsTDM system is faster task than having a cup of coffee.

this is just one thing to think about. if you're simply recording 2trk stereo for little post processing (home movie soundtrack maybe?), then i'd say it doesn't matter budget-wise what you choose. but if you're planning to go from project studio to a real studio some day, better plan ahead and start on the right platform.

protools is for pros, there's no alternative. tdm systems are though in totally different league. you cannot even talk about them and logic/dp in a same sentence. however protoolsLE is capable of 32 tracks and that's plenty. needing more you should be in a real studio.

it doesn't matter if you have 2 or 8 or whatever number of inputs if you mainly record one track (be it mono or stereo) at a time. you only need more when recording drum kit, or plan to take a whole band live. you have to think what you want to do SIMULTANEOUSLY when deciding about the input count. if mbox's not enough, consider the 002 rack version. double the price, quadruple the inputs. plus, with 002r you double the sample rate also.

protools is the (only) way.

Actually, Logic Audio Platinum allows you to save your project in the Pro Tools format. Whether Pro Tools is THE product used only by Pros or not, it really comes down to what you want to use. Seriously, download Pro Tools Free and give it a try. I use it on my iMac Rev A and it works great. It allows 8 tracks of audio and something like 32 tracks of MIDI (not sure the exact track count) but does give you a chance to use the software and see if it is what you want to use. Remember its support of MIDI is not thorough as in other programs. For instance, it does not provide any notation capability if that is important to you.

Good Luck in your search. BTW, I was in the same quandry and ended up with the Logic Big Box and the EZBUS. Not a bad combination.

maka
Sep 30, 2003, 08:31 AM
Also, I'm told lots of professional studios use Logic software on Protools hardware... That seems to be powerful :)

Edit: That's what I like about Logic: You can use it with almost any hardware, from the simple Mac I/O to the most powerful Pro Tools HD... Nicely scalable...

phrancpharmD
Jan 25, 2004, 10:53 PM
Greetings to all! I would like to restart this thread by thanking everyone for all the valuable opinions, insights, biases :) and contributions previously discussed!

Well, it has been several months and I have done LOTS of research. I decided to resurrect this thread rather than restart a new one, so as a quick reminder to everyone, I will shortly begin a digital recording and editing hobby. When I last left y'all last fall, I was leaning towards the EMI 6/2 Production Kit with Logic Gold. I then learned more about the MOTU 828mkII with AudioDesk, and while it really is an extraordinary piece of hardware for the price, it really is much more than I need now and more than I would like to spend at this time. So, I am back to the EMI 6/2 Production Kit, and need some final pieces of advice from y'all.

First, the connections on the 6/2 are RCA. I didn't find anywhere that this could pose a problem, but I would appreciate input from anyone with an opinion (no lack of that in this thread!).

I am no longer concerned about latency (I figure I probably won't notice or will be able to fix it with software if I do), but I am still not clear as to whether or not simultaneous live recording with multiple inputs will be a problem due to the 6/2 being USB. I figure I will usually need two of the six inputs simultaneously, but may need up to four or even all six. Any thoughts?

One of the many nice features of the 828mkII is that two of the inputs are preamped with phantom power. This is not a feature on the 6/2, and I would appreciate any input as to what I should look for in a preamp. Please remember that portability is important, so something bus powered would be great, especially if could still be plugged into a wall outlet when possible.

Finally, I have decided on the Sennheiser HD280 headphones for monitoring, but I have no idea what to look for regarding cables. Is a cable just a cable? Likewise, are all RCA to 1/4" adapters all pretty much the same?

I have posted similar questions on various forums on osxaudio.com and macmusic.org, but there's nothing quite like the MacRumors family for getting advice! Thanks again to all, and hopefully I can finally get this stuff rolling!

crenz
Jan 26, 2004, 03:16 AM
Connecting microphones is a problem with the emi6|2. For me, I only need one or two mics at the same time, so I can handle it using my small mixing console from Yamaha (MGM10/2).

Anyway, the Logic Gold Production Kit might not be available for a long time anymore. You might be aware that Apple changed the Logic product line to just two different variants in the meantime. If you still want Logic Gold, try to find a place that still has it in stock and get it from there (quickly!), emagic doesn't seem sell it anymore.

Otherwise, you will have to settle for Logic Express, which is cheaper, but also offers less functions (might be enough though) or fork out more money for Logic Pro. I think Logic Pro will be offered at $999, so you can get the Production Kit for about $600 and get the update for Logic Pro for $199 later, if you want.

phrancpharmD
Jan 26, 2004, 09:15 AM
Originally posted by crenz
Connecting microphones is a problem with the emi6|2.

What is the main problem? I can get a pretty good deal on the production kit (about $475), but don't want to spend more than about $150 - $200 more on any additional equipment like a preamp or mixing console. More than that and I might as well go with the 828mkII / AudioDesk solution. Also, I have not looked at mixing consoles at all, so along the same vein of a preamp, what should I look for in a basic mixing console (besides portability)? I have about $100 budgeted for the headphones, and have about $150 - $200 budgeted for mics/cables/stands (I'm thinking two AKG D770 or D880), and maybe ~$150 for 512MB RAM from Crucial to max out my iBook. My total budget is right around $900 - $1000, and need to keep it there to avoid wrath from my wife. Is this going to be doable?
:)

phrancpharmD
Jan 26, 2004, 09:28 PM
So crenz, I found your Yamaha MG10/2, but I don't understand how it is different from a "preamp." It seems like the console offers more options while still providing mic preamps and phantom power. A console like this would be placed between the mics and the 6/2, I suppose, but would it exert any additional control over what actually gets into my iBook? I really just don't understand. . .

phrancpharmD
Feb 8, 2004, 10:25 PM
Friends,
I have decided upon the EMI 6/2. It should arrive next week some time. I have also decided to sell my G3 iBook on eBay, and I got a winning bidder earlier tonight. I am putting the proceeds towards a G4 iBook, but cannot decide if the price difference between similarly configured 14" models is worth the extra scratch. I'll be running Logic Gold, and the extra 67MHz will cost me an extra $155. I know that's not a lot of money, but every little bit "counts" - or at least is being counted by my wife! Anybody have any thoughts? I know some of you run several effects / software instruments at a time; would an extra 67MHz make that big of a difference to you and be worth an extra $155? Thanks!
Frank

zimv20
Feb 8, 2004, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by phrancpharmD

I have decided upon the EMI 6/2.

i'm not certain, but i don't think that unit has any mic-pre's. what happens now?

JFreak
Feb 9, 2004, 12:46 AM
mbox!

crenz
Feb 9, 2004, 03:59 AM
phrancpharmD, sorry for not replying earlier. The problem with connecting microphones I referred to earlier is that you need a preamp (like e.g. the ones in a small mixing console) -- that's all. I don't think the extra 67 MHz would justify the price, but the bigger harddrive sure comes in handy (recordings take a lot of space...). In both cases, you need more ram though. Bump it up to at least 512 MB RAM.

phrancpharmD
Feb 9, 2004, 07:10 AM
crenz - thanks for the opinion regarding the extra 67MHz. And thanks for the additional info regarding connecting mics to the emi6/2. By the way, it didn't look like the M10/2 is bus powered - correct?

JFreak - I've already purchased the EMI 6/2 production kit, and based on advice from this thread I do not want to get locked into a nonupgradable ProTools solution. Thanks though!

zimv20 - while learning how to use Logic Gold I will be recording my brother; he uses a California Blonde which has two line level outputs on it, so I do not have an imminent need for preamps. Once I'm ready to go beyond two (microphone) inputs, I guess I'll have to look into pres or a small mixing board like the one crenz has. I know something bus powered will be more appealing than something that needs to be plugged in, but seeing as how I will likely need a plug for my iBook it probably won't make that much of a difference. . .

(sorry for thinking out loud and rambling; it's pretty early for me!)

zimv20
Feb 9, 2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by phrancpharmD
Once I'm ready to go beyond two (microphone) inputs, I guess I'll have to look into pres or a small mixing board like the one crenz has. I know something bus powered will be more appealing than something that needs to be plugged in

mic pres need lots o' juice to sound good, so i would recommend not going that route. you can get two excellent pres, in a small package, for $475. it's the best pre you can get at that price, imo: FMR Really Nice Preamp (http://www.fmraudio.com/rnp/index.html)

the RNP is _way_ better than any pre you'll find in a sub $3000 mixing board. nothing else in the price range comes close.

phrancpharmD
Feb 9, 2004, 07:58 PM
Thanks zimv20 - that was a very informative read! That RNP looks ultra portable, and I definitely understand now what you mean about not going with something bus powered. Makes sense. . .

crenz
Feb 10, 2004, 03:33 AM
zimv20, you are definitely right. However, I didn't have that kind of money available for a mic preamp, so I decided to get the $110 Yamaha Console to start out. I know the preamp doesn't really compare with good mic preamps, but at least I have something I can work with. By the way, the console does have phantom power, so that is not a problem.

JFreak
Feb 10, 2004, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
mic pres need lots o' juice to sound good.

that's why an mbox would have been great choice; its preamps are studio-grade, and the preamps alone are worth its price of 400usd. and given that protools is included, the price is a steal.

how much the emi interface and logic will cost together? as i recall even the logic express costs about 300 dollars.

(edit: spelling)

crenz
Feb 10, 2004, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by JFreak
that's why an mbox would have been great choice

Depends on what you need. For me, two analog inputs are too limiting. And I also don't want to use ProTools. For my needs, Logic is more suited. So the Mbox doesn't really give me what I want.

JFreak
Feb 10, 2004, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by crenz
Depends on what you need.

yes, true, and i prefer protools. i chose digidesign's 002r because of protools and decent input count; with an external preamp through adat i have total of 16 simultaneous inputs and 8 outputs (plus a 2-channel spdif i/o), which is quite enough most of the time. there have been so little use for 16+ inputs that i haven't even considered upgrading to HD.

sometimes i'd even prefer taking an mbox on the road instead of the 19" rack where my gear is installed, but haven't yet justified the cost for only mobility's sake. some people find mbox enough for everything, but they are the people who don't record an acoustic drum kit ;)

phrancpharmD
Feb 10, 2004, 10:26 AM
Not to turn this into a ProTools vs. Logic thread or anything. . . ;)

I ordered the EMI 6/2 production kit for $480 (original retail was $700 or $750 I think, still available for close to $700). It includes the 6/2 USB interface ($300 from eMagic, ~$200 on eBay), Logic Gold 6 (no longer available, retail was around $300, I think), two software instruments, and a software sampler (no idea how much they cost separately). Pretty good value, and considering that I can run straight out of my brother's California Blonde until I figure out how to actually use all this stuff with any hint of proficiency, the preamps included in the MBox is a moot point. The driving difference between the 6/2 over MBox is that the 6/2 offers much better flexibility for recording "live" at clubs and such which is what I will eventually be moving towards. At that point, it seems like a preamp will be unavioidable, but going with something that I can input six devices into will be much more appealing even with a stand alone preamp than going through a mixing board and squeezing into the MBox' two inputs. . .