protools on an mba

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by james-thescalie, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. james-thescalie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    #1
    im getting an air soon and does anyone know how protools runs on it. Not very intensive tasks, just a few simple tracks with some e.q mabey.
    Or if anyone knows another audio program (pref. not garage band) thats good it would be good to hear about.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Esrb99 macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2008
    #2
    I personally wouldn't, as they say they don't support usb interfaces, and the mbair does not have FW. I wouldn't know if this is actually the case as I use Logic, but that's a definite bind.

    I would look into Logic express, seeing as apple makes it.
     
  3. CalumC macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #3
    I'm pretty sure Digidesign have never said they don't support USB interfaces, what with them manufacturing a USB pro tools interface (Mbox 2, micro). Unless you mean the MBA doesnt support USB interfaces, which i've never heard before.

    OP: If you're only doing low demand sessions, you'll have no problem as far as i can see. You'll just need a USB pro tools interface, presumably an Mbox 2, which will do the job just fine. The only stumbling block is the data transfer method of USB (packets rather than streaming), when you start introducing large amounts of data to your session, thats when you'll start getting into trouble, merely because you're playing a lot of stuff back out through the interface for monitoring, on a relatively limited movement of data.
     
  4. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    Jul 29, 2005
    #4
    It works with Logic Studio and 8 in / 8 our audio interface (NI Audio 8 DJ). The problem you are going to run into is lack of HD Space and only having one usb port. Not a problem for me since there is no iKey but you might have a problem with only having one USB port.

    PT users. Please confirm that you do need an ikey to run PT LE or PT M-Audio edition. I know PTHD you need one but I have no idea on the others.
     
  5. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    You don't need the iLok to run PT at all, but you simply won't be able to authorise any of the 3rd party plug-ins...

    Not sure if an M-box will run off a USB hub, I'd seriously doubt it tbh.

    The MBA is going to be a pain to run PT on with any functionality, but it will run.
     
  6. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #6
    I think he's referring to the scratch disk, since they only support using an external drive, which has to be firewire.

    I've actually done a lot of remote recording to the system disc on a laptop, on a separate partition, but that's not supported, either. It works, though...but so does substituting water for milk in your mac & cheese, which is unsupported by Kraft.
     
  7. CalumC macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    Good analogy!

    I should think that as long as the OP partitions say 5-10GB of HD for audio, record to the partition on the HD, then back up projects to external HD. The issue should just be that the HD is only 4200rpm, which could be noticeably slow. MBA should be fine for portable recording of small projects, but never for large stuff.
     
  8. james-thescalie thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #8
    cheers for the feedback, yeah its the mbox2 i was looking at as i have been using them in college. my tutor uses his MB and it runs fine with small sessions i might just take the chance and see if it goes okay. I will post again after i have ;)
     
  9. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #9
    Yes, please do post your findings, I am curious if it works. I never tried it with my Air, but the mad scientist in me wanted to test it.
     
  10. james-thescalie thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #10
    sorry guys wimped out and swapped it for a late '08 macbook. may get the air again closer to the summer when cash is (hopefully) more plenty :p

    then ill just do it for ***** 'n' giggles :D
     
  11. junior macrumors 6502a

    junior

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    Mar 25, 2003
    #11
    I'm pretty sure that since 7.x, you need the ilok to start up PT. Why else would the authorization be in the ilok?
     
  12. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a

    MWPULSE

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #12
    protools on an mba

    you dont need an ilok for protools LE, any of the versions.. this is because the authorisation is linked to the audio interface you happen to be using.. the 2 are "binded" together essentially. You do need an ilok for the M-powered versions of protools, and also an M-audio soundcard, thus making it tricky to configure on a mac book air i guess seeing as it has the one port. You cant use Protools interfaces through a Hub, because of the data fallout/transfer rate that might be jeopardised by you trying to print sommat off a hub as well, or have a MP3 player/iPod connected etc.
     
  13. junior macrumors 6502a

    junior

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    Mar 25, 2003
    #13
    Ah, got confused with HD I guess.
     
  14. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #14
    Well, I picked up a "Rev. A" MBA the other day since they're $999 refurbed for the 1.6GHz HDD variety. I decided to do my mad scientist experiment and put Pro Tools 8 LE on it.

    I used an Mbox 2 with it and PT installed just fine, I kind of expected it to tell me to get out of town, but it didn't. The Mbox installed just fine, too. Of course, I can't use an ilok since there's only one USB port, maybe I'll try a hub if I run across one.

    I loaded up a project I had saved with a drum track, two guitars, and bass. To my disbelief it ran just fine with the file on the desktop. So, a 4200rpm HDD ran a PT8 LE project from the desktop on a MBA Rev. A.

    Recording, I'm expecting, will be interesting. I haven't tried it yet, but I will try some today if I have time.

    Reason 3 choked really badly until I upped the samples in the buffer, which would probably make live recording a problem. It seems to be fine for messing around with light projects, which is cool.

    CPU and Mem use never pegged during either application, maybe I'll try rewiring Reason to PT and see if that does it. Playing a prores QT video over Reason did get the CPU to max out usage, though...not surprising.
     
  15. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #15
    Dunno if anybody is even following this anymore...

    Well, I stared deeper into the abyss that is Pro Tools on the Air. Using my Rev. A 1.6GHz/80GB HDD Air I installed Pro Tools 8 the other day. Tonight I did something crazier, I tried getting the Mbox and ilok to play together on a powered USB hub.

    At first, with the ilok and Mbox plugged into the Linksys powered hub Pro Tools would hang on setting up peripherals and I'd get the dreaded OS X pinwheel of death. Upon unplugging the Mbox Pro Tools closed, as expected. Next I tried the Mbox by itself on the powered hub and Pro Tools opened just fine. I tried again with the ilok and Mbox and again it hung. This time I unplugged the ilok and Pro Tools would keep opening. I found that upon inserting the ilok into the hub PT would immediately stop and the pinwheel of death would show up.

    After all of the messing around I found that if I open Pro Tools with the Mbox on the powered hub, then plugged the ilok in after Pro Tools had opened, it would work just fine.

    Pushing it even more, I plugged in my normally FW 800 external HD via USB on the hub. To my surprise it worked, too.

    I opened a project with 8 tracks and played and edited some with no problems. I had reverb and SansAmp one some tracks and the CPU never got over 50%.

    Overall it was a pretty surprising experiment. Next up, recording guitar with SansAmp. I don't have much hope for this one, but we'll see what happens.
     
  16. james-thescalie thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 12, 2008
    #16
    nice one! I really didnt want to part with the money just for it to not work if i tried haha. PLUS I did save £4 going for the MB ALU which seems fine. Just waiting for ram and my degree course to start to get 60% or something off digidesign products :p. Anyone go to a college/uni with Pro school plastered all over it?
     
  17. CalumC macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #17
    :eek: How the hell are you getting that sort of discount!
     
  18. dehory macrumors regular

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    Sep 17, 2008
    #18
    This is pretty impressive. I play with Reaktor 5 just for fun, and many ensembles push the CPU too hard for them to work at all, much less do anything fun with.
     
  19. james-thescalie thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    #19
    I go to a college where digidesign have set up a "pro-school" ill take a photo or something of the poster next time im in (tomorrow) because i think the posters misleading about the specific amount of discount. Need to be on a degree course though and im not right now, but should be after the summer.
     

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