ProTools M-Powered, Guitar Center and Pace iLok

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by FFTT, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #1
    Last week I went down to the local Guitar Center and spent 4 hours agonizing over which DAW to purchase.
    I previewed Cubase SX3, Logic Pro and ProTools LE.
    They didn't have M-Powered loaded into any of their demo DAW's

    I actually liked the features, the interface and ease of use of CubaseSX3
    the best, but GC had ProTools M-Powered 6.8 on sale for $249.00 with
    a free Digi online upgrade to version 7 or $15.00 for the CD once you register.

    I figured what the heck, for $249.00 I'll give ProTools a shot to see what it's all about. I'm also poor! So Cubase SX3 for $599.00 would have to wait.

    The sales staff there has always treated me well, so the next part of this story is no reflection on them personally.

    Yesterday morning, I finally had a chance to install the software and plugins
    on my G5.
    I warmed up watching the M-1 training DVD which I had also purchased
    due to my fear of the learning curve.

    The installation was done and I restarted as required and had the iLok key
    in my front USB port, figuring the next step would be registration and purchase of the version 7 upgrade CD.

    Just imagine how I felt when I launched the application and received an error message that said THIS SOFTWARE HAS ALREADY BEEN REGISTERED TO ANOTHER USER.

    To make matters worse, Safari immediately connected to the Pace Anti-Piracy web server OVERRIDING BOTH OF MY FIREWALLS!

    It's bad enough that this USED software was in circulation, but what really
    had me fuming with anger was the absolute abuse of my personal security
    forcing a web connection with no permission or warning.

    I legally purchased this damn software and hated myself for supporting
    Digidesign's proprietary snobbery AND absolutely find the use of Pace iLok insulting to any musician.

    For all intents and purposes, both Digidesign and Pace Anti-Piracy are
    essentially viewing musicians, composers and audio professionals
    as thieves and scum and I find it absolutely distasteful.

    For them to override my security settings to report me as a thief when I
    purchased the software legally, goes beyond copy protection to outright
    abuse of my privacy.

    So now Pace Anti-Piracy probably has my IP address flagged as a thief
    and I feel violated doing any business with them or ANY development partner that uses these extreme measures against the music industry.

    This experience justifies a boycott of all Pace iLok protected products.

    Guitar Center will gladly exchange or replace the software I purchased or refund my money.
    Apparently someone used the software and it was accidentally returned to stock.

    Digidesign and Pace can kiss my A$$!
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    toronto
    #2
    i don't understand this part.
     
  3. Quantum Man macrumors member

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    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Sounds like something popped up, sending his info to their server as to flag him, or something to that effect.

    FFTT, sorry to hear about your ordeal. I haven't had any Digidesign related problems so far, knock on wood, but I can emphathize with the distaste for being forced to use proprietary hardware and the iLok. I only own an MBox for the time being just to use Pro Tools, eventually I'll be upgrading to the 002R, but even then I'll still be bypassing its pres/converters, but I have to use it to be "privileged" to use PT.
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    more specifically, it's the firewall thing i don't understand. does he have port 80 blocked?!?!
     
  5. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
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    #5
    If I had port 80 blocked then I would not be able to connect anywhere.

    I tried blocking port 80 in Little Snitch after it was mentioned and I couldn't make any connection at all.

    I'm no networking expert. I just know that when other apps attempt to connect Little Snitch asks if it's O.K.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
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    #6
    hence my confusion :)

    i've read the thread at osxaudio, so now i understand what you're on about. you really going to make a go of it with ardour? i think your ongoing experiences with it would be valuable to a lot of people.
     
  7. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #7
    probably...

    the software has a specific port it uses to search for other registered copies. This is fairly common with office applications, esp. MSOffice. To defeat this, you have to know which port the app uses for its search, and shut that one port off, though whether this would enable you to finish the install is (in my mind) questionable; after all, if it cannot find the port it's looking for, the installer may simply shut down.

    The reason the firewall software didn't stop the communication is because it does not know to deny incoming communication use of that one particular port.

    Here's a list of available port numbers for MacOSX, in case you're interested
    http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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  9. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
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    #9
    I installed the latest version of Ardour and it's coming along but without
    a user guide, I'm lost.

    I'm just barely beginning to understand using these DAWs with a few limited trial versions and so far the only one that I seem to have any luck at all with is Cubase.

    I wanted to go with Logic Express, but had a really rough time even getting
    a sound out of it.

    I'm sure most of this is pilot error, but man it's frustrating.

    I felt so lucky to get a copy of all of Big Daddy's Vintage Drums, but I haven't been able to get one single application to access them correctly.

    This latest experience with GC Digi and Pace just added to the frustration.

    If you find the time, maybe it would help me and everyone else if there was a STICKY on Exactly where which type of audio files and plugins belong.

    I thought I had it figure out seeing where the installers were placing them, but apparently the different DAW's seem to access them in different ways.

    I accomplished more with a cheezy Tascam 488 and a Mackie 1604 than I
    ever have with all this stuff.

    I'm losin it!
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #10
    coming from a tape background, i found pro tools to be the most straightforward. i've used DP and dabbled in Logic and, granted i've not given them the same kind of attention i've given to learning PT, PT works the best for me:
    1. audio editing is intuitive
    2. signal routing during mixing makes the most sense
    3. i like the 2-main-windows paradigm
    4. easier to find menu items
    5. automation is the most straightforward
    6. transport start / stop makes the most sense

    i'm sure all lovers of DP, Logic, Cubase, GB and what have you will disagree with me on all points and more. i am NOT claiming that PT is better than those others, only that it works best for me, the way my brain works, and for what i use it for (recording and importing audio, doing mixdown with external hardware, no sequencing).

    FFTT -- i say all this because you're coming from a board/tape-machine background, and PT software may be the easiest for you. it sucks that GC put you in a crappy position, but don't let it push you into a less than optimal final solution.

    and i'm not trying to talk you out of ardour, 'cuz i am really curious to hear some real world experience with it. i just hate to see you toss out a potentially good solution in such a manner.
     
  11. ibn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    #11
    wow... that's surrising that GC would let you buy used software. if it was still shrinked wrapped, then that's uber shaddy. and if it was sold as new software, that's down right illegal, i believe.

    FFTT, personally i wouldn't be satisfied with a rufund or replacement. i would ask to be given cubase in return for the inconvience. most musician stores are very haggable(is that a word?:)) and an upgrade to cubase shouldn't be too much to ask for, imo.
     
  12. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #12
    Even if things had turned out differently, I still hate the way all of these extreme measures are deliberately targeting musicians.

    You rarely see this manner of extreme protection being used in other
    professions.

    Just imagine if they iLoked Microsoft Office or the applications being used
    to run Chinese manufacturing complexes!

    I also find it interesting that Digi only started this with M-Powered.
    If you buy their proprietary hardware, it's a different story altogether.
    They just get you on the plugins.

    That's why I'm rooting for the folks putting together ardour.

    I know that Guitar Center should have been more responsible with their software and I assure you that the store manager and I will have a serious discussion.

    This kind of negative PR could seriously damage their licensing relationship
    with Digidesign.

    I may be better off going for free lessons so I can finally start getting something accomplished.

    Otherwise, I think I've made it pretty clear where all of these companies can stick their dongles.
     
  13. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #13
    Sadly the issue of software piracy is a very real one for the developers, and the iLok situation is a double edged sword in my book.

    I don't believe any of the developers are targeting musicians directly, particularly not the honest ones who actually buy the software they use, but it sure feels like that doesn't it?

    Speaking as the technical designer of a 26 studio and 2 multi-machine lab facility, we spend a stupid amount of time and money ensuring that we are legal and up-to-date software authorisation-wise, and yes the responsibility seems to be ours for proving that we actually own software. it gives us no end of headaches when trying to administer systems with student accounts, lecturer accounts and admin accounts.

    The bottom line is that most young musicians won't buy their plug-ins, they will pirate them and use an iLok-trasher to reset the demo date, most of them would pirate Logic and ProTools were they not dongle/hardware protected, and this is why you are feeling insulted FFTT. Sadly if we want to continue to enjoy the quality of product from these companies that we currently do, iLok remains their weapon of choice against the scumbags.

    A word of advice from an old analog-head who is now exclusively non-linear:

    Don't expect this to be an easy transition, the modern DAW's are hideously complex and powerful systems that are wrapped up in a thin shell of user-friendliness, on the face of it Protools is an easy system to understand, but underneath that pretty skin is a serious audio manipulation and routing engine that is as complex as a modern large scale recording studio.

    Don't be fooled by the look, you do need to know a good deal about studio technique to get the best out of these apps, and it is a steep learning curve (especially with Logic...)

    Someone who has never used analog systems is in a better situation I think, but us old-timers (!) have to un-learn to an extent.

    My advice is to give it time and don't forget your basics, and above all remember that these things are tools, not an easy way to make music.




    I think Protools is the best recording system on the market, but I hate the arrogance of Digidesign and their partners, however I understand the needs of the developers to protect their income so that they can carry on making great software.

    Like I said, a double edged sword.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #14
    This is very true. I am currently studying Audio Engineering and have worked hard to save up the cash to buy a decent computer, Logic, Reason etc. I find it really galling that almost everyone else on my course is using cracked and pirated software. Even some of the lecturers are implicitly condoning this.

    There is kind of a vicious circle - the software itself is very expensive, so people will be more inclined to pirate it, which in turn contributes to keeping the price high.
     
  15. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    Location:
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    #15
    It will probably never happen , but I think Digidesign would be better off
    adopting the policy of making it easier for musicians to buy the software
    rather than making it harder to copy it.
    Perhaps they should offer "Band Bundles" with limited small grou licensing
    at a nominal fee.

    Apple has been very successful with family pack, multi user licensing and of course look at what happened when they made music affordable for everyone with iTunes.

    Ya know more flies with honey!
     
  16. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #16
    No! Don't inflict even more pain on him!

    Seriously, this whole situation sucks! Because piracy is SO rampant in the pro audio world, companies have taken drastic measures to avoid falling victim. But this has encroached upon the average buyers' right to be presumed innocent. They basically assume you're going to steal the software, and then make you prove otherwise. I don't have any iLok-based software, and I never will. I do have a Logic XSKey, which is as far as I'll go, and even then its only because I can't get my head around any other DAW. Plus, the XSKey is only for Logic...all my other plugs are dongle-free.

    BTW, Cubase also requires a dongle, so you're basically getting the same deal there too. Only DP doesn't require one, so if this is a real issue for you, I'd say try out DP for a while. Its (IMHO) a lot better than Cubase, and has a shallower learning curve than Logic, although I personally prefer Logic overall.
     
  17. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    A lot of smaller manufacturers are doing this. They keep prices low, thereby discouraging piracy because the plugs are so damn cheap. And then they make the difference up in volume.

    Digi will NEVER do this. They have a monopoly on people's minds. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me, upon hearing that I do pro audio production, "Oh, so you use Pro Tools?" And these are people with NO affiliation to audio recording. They just know the brand name, and think that's all there is. Digi knows this, and they exploit it. There's a great thread going on over at OSXaudio right now about how Digi basically forces some developers to make TDM/RTAS plugs only (Eventide and Bomb Factory are two examples). No AU/VST allowed, or they drop support for those companies.

    Digi knows they have power, and they exploit it. They will keep charging 2x the value of their equipment to people who think they HAVE TO use ProTools, even if its PT LE, which is seriously limited compared to many of the other 'lite' DAWs out there. $2200 for the 002 is CRAZY, especially when you can get an M-Audio Project Mix, which is essentially the same product, plus Logic Express for about half that and have far better features. The only thing you get with the 002 is the PT name. Hell, you could buy the Project Mix and Logic Pro for the same price as the 002, and get a WAY better system than the 002/PTLE setup.
     
  18. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    Jul 18, 2002
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    toronto
    #18
    i use PT because i like the software. i don't think much of digi's LE hardware, and i don't like some of digi's policies, but the software allows me to do what i need to do, quickly and intuitively, with few hiccups.

    Logic isn't out and out better than PT. comparisons must be made to suit the tasks, workflow and people involved. for me, PT works better.
     
  19. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I have no dobut that PT (even PT LE) is better than Logic for some things, and vice versa.

    And if you have a specific need for PT, then so be it. We have to accept that PT (HD and TDM) are the professional standard, and PT LE integrates well with it. At the top end, I think PT is the way to go, even if it means TDM hardware with another host (Logic, DP).

    But for the project studio, I think people should consider a few other factors besides the name. In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to spend the extra money and use PT. But in others, you're paying more for less by going with PT.

    As for the Logic/PT comparison, you're quite right. Audio editing is better in PT. MIDI is (still) better in Logic. As is the software instrument implementation (although PT 7 is getting better). I prefer Logic because I understand it, it makes sense to me, and is hugely customizable. I hate it because its quirky and its hugely customizable ;-)
     
  20. airkarol macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    #20
    About Pro Tools M-Powered, I got that at studica.com for $149, and free shipping :D
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    absolutely.

    heh heh.

    it's a shame i don't like Digital Performer more. i'd been using Performer for years for sequencing, then didn't do music for a while, then picked up DP. Performer used to run great even on my 512 ke. but DP on my dual g5 powermac is slow. it's ridiculous. no beachballs, but there may as well be for the delay between my pushing a button and something happening. that, and i didn't like the routing schemes while mixing.

    so much for my effort to wean myself from PT.
     
  22. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #22
    I'm beginning to feel like a blind puppy trying to figure out which of his mum's teets to suckle! :cool:
     
  23. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #23
    fftt -- with the big 4 (Logic, PT, Cubase family, DP) you're going to get a lot of functionality, nearly all of it overlapping. each has its strenghts and weaknesses and each has its own way of working.

    maybe i missed it or forgot, but i'm unclear on what you're hoping to do with a DAW and what your focus is. audio recording? midi editing? programming softsynths? hired mixer? such a focus may lead you in one direction or another, but in general you're gonna be able to get a lot done with any of them.
     
  24. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #24
    Well Zim, I'm doing everything solo, so I need digital drums that sound good and are easy to sequence including time signature changes within some songs. And I need good real sounding virtual instruments, strings, horns and so on.
    Then I can build adding multiple guitar, bass and vocal tracks in some order.

    Generally I work off click and hi hat tracks with a scratch vocal and guitar, then take it from there building to final mix.

    I'm nearly deaf now, so I have to be extremely careful about overdoing it.

    As you know working solo, that's easier said than done.
     
  25. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #25
    Unfortunately, the manufacturers of complex software (that is, software that requires significant and ongoing development and support - as opposed to small programs that can be sold for $20 - $40 and essentially unsupported) are forced to put on copy protection. Propellerheads (the Swedish makers of the insanely good Reason and Recycle) almost went bankrupt because the piracy rate on their software was over 80 % -- that is, they were supporting 4 - 5 stolen versions for every one they received any revenue for.

    Musicians are targeted for copy protection, for two reasons... 1) The overall market for music software is several orders of magnitude smaller than the market for an Office app or a utility. Yet music software is difficult to program and support intensive. So the publisher has to make their initial investment back over only a few thousand sales, not a few hundred thousand.

    2) Musicians steal. Sad but true. Whether it is the sampling-of-other's-songs ethos or the i'm-a-poor-artist-I-have-no-choice ethos; musicians on computers as a group just about lead the pack in terms of piracy.

    eBay is absolutely full of people selling pirated sample libraries. The 'warez' community of musicians rivals that of gamers. (Games are another heavily copy protected software segment -- and a game title will outsell a music title 1000 to one.) Please don't be surprised that the music SW market has divided into small inexpensive programs, and large copy protected expensive programs. Without the copy protection, there would be about 1/4 of the music software firms remaining in business.
     

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