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Topic: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

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  1. #1

    To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    I'm a Cubase user and I like it, but I recently went through a rather painful process of using another studio to add some vocals to a project I had started in my studio. Since they were on ProTools, I had to export sub-mixes to WAV files, making sure all files started at 0:00:00, send them off, and the reverse for the WAV files that I got back from them. It ended up taking quite a lot of time and got me wondering about integrating with other ProTools studios in the future. Now a good friend of mine is building a pretty big-time studio facility that's going to use a HD system, and I'll probably be doing a fair amount of work there, and I'm wondering if I'd be best off making the jump to a ProTools LE system so that I can more easily make round trips between my studio and his. This would be a good time to make the switch if it makes sense, but I've heard that while ProTools is the best for integrating with other studios, it's not the best for composing, working with MIDI and doing soundtrack work - all of which I'm focused on.

    I'm wondering what people's opinions are out there with regard to using ProTools LE for soundtrack work. Not asking so much about Cubase vs. LE specifically, but more on how good LE can do the things I need to do, like sync'ing midi bars with video hitpoints, maybe some of the fancier midi features like groove quantization etc., and how I can use a 2nd/3rd computer for orchestral work (I can't use FxTeleport or VST System Link like I do now).

    I have Vienna SE and Chamber Strings, Colossus, Absynth, GVI, FM7, Altiverb, etc.

    Any opinions are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    buzz

  2. #2

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    I sequence and record in Pro tools everyday, for a long time and I love it. I have gotten quite used to it though. At one time I have used all of the major products, DP, Logic and cubase. Granted these have made improvements in the years, but I just loved the simplicity of audio editing in pro tools. It is its strongest feature. The Midi in pro tools was sub standard a few years ago, but over time, they have greatly improved its functionality and I use it. So you may have a little hard time switching at first, but in the long run, if you are going to be tradiing sessions back and forth with this place, you definetally want to make it as easy as possible. The biggest draw back on an LE system is that you are limited to 32 track voices, unless you get the music production software that will allow you to use 48 stereo tracks, or the DV toolkit that will add SMPTE capability and 48 stereo tracks.


    Have you thought about using OMF transfer from pro tools to cubase?
    www.energiestudios.com

  3. #3

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    I have owned Pro Tools when it was called "sound tools", Digital Performer before the word digital was added and Logic back when the Dongle was adb.

    For a studio - PT HD is required.
    For a composer - use whatever you like. each app has its pluses and minuses and it needs to fit your workflow.

    That said - if you are going to do any amount work at another studio - invest in PTle and get the cheapest Mbox.
    To the transfer in your own studio on your own time. The mbox will pay for itself in one session. And after doing that sort of transfer a couple times you will be way faster than any studio engineer would be.
    You will end up with perfect pro tools files and after tracking sessions - go home and export the files you need.
    It's really super simple.

    oh yeah - OMF is a joke. More problems than it is usually worth. The reburning audio from Measure 1 is most often the fastest way to go.
    Export a standard midi file.
    Import the audio from measure 1.
    Done.
    Or you can add the measure number to the start of each tracks name (m1, m25 etc) - that way you'll know to plop them down at that measure number.

    Life is too short to keep changing daw's. Use what makes your brain happy and whichever requires the least amount of advil.

  4. #4

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    Hey Ed, I used Performer before it was digital too!

    This is all good advice. Though there is a lot of Digi bashing out there, get Pro Tools, you will not be sorry, even in an LE version.

    One thing you will have that is without question better than anything out there is product support, Digidesign is really customer service oriented when it comes to helping with problems, and once you are on the Digi user group you will even see Digi releasing maintainence updates to fix problems that either Digi has found, or customers have had a bad issue with free of charge. These often appear without even anyone gripping about anything...don't see that much with anyone else, if at all.

    it is still the easiest and fastest way to edit audio, IMHO, and I compose in it daily with no problems. Good luck!

    Tom
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

  5. #5

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    Tom - does that make us as old as I fear it might!?!?!
    Performer 1.1 on a mac plus with dual floppy drives (couldn't afford the 60 MEG hard drive for $1800!)

    Email was done on stone tablets and delivered via carrier pigeons.


    On the PT thing - that's all solid advice.

  6. #6

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    I actually didn't have any issues with some omf sessions I got, granted they were from Avid I believe not Logic or DP, but it worked for me. But yeah, since you can scoop up an mbox rather cheap, though that runs off of USB rather then firewire like the 00 series.
    www.energiestudios.com

  7. #7

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    Quote Originally Posted by ed hamilton
    Tom - does that make us as old as I fear it might!?!?!
    Performer 1.1 on a mac plus with dual floppy drives (couldn't afford the 60 MEG hard drive for $1800!)

    Email was done on stone tablets and delivered via carrier pigeons.


    On the PT thing - that's all solid advice.

    Ed you bet! I too got a Mac Plus...also with no hard drive...I still remember the day when I got my first MACII and Performer released an update that not only ran on it, but RAN IN COLOR! Later programs started coming with TWO disks...remember having to insert the disks back and forth? Yikes, sounds like my Dad talking about walking ten miles to school in the snow

    Tom
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

  8. #8

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    Quote Originally Posted by tomhartman
    sounds like my Dad talking about walking ten miles to school in the snowTom
    Dual floppies was WORSE than walking 10 miles in the snow!
    I'd have walked that 10 miles for any sort of hard drive back then.

    Cheers to you fellow old guy!

  9. #9

    Re: To ProTools Or Not To ProTools

    Quote Originally Posted by tomhartman
    Ed you bet! I too got a Mac Plus...also with no hard drive...I still remember the day when I got my first MACII and Performer released an update that not only ran on it, but RAN IN COLOR! Later programs started coming with TWO disks...remember having to insert the disks back and forth? Yikes, sounds like my Dad talking about walking ten miles to school in the snow

    Tom

    Ha! Now that's funny! I got Digital performer when it was version 1.2 in a desperate attempt to figure out the Logic of Logic - then I decided Logic was more logical and never updated DP until I had to in order to be more compatible with one major client I was working with - I updated to DP3 - Then that client switched to Protools - based on my suggestion - which is quite funny since I was running Logic.


    Back to the topic of this thread - I can't get over Logic for sequencing and MIDI stuff - if you're into cubase then PT will be a BIG disappointement.


    HOWEVER - Now that I have ProTools HD I personally can't go back to tracking or doing any of the painful audio stuff in Logic.


    Bottom line is figure out what you'll be working on and pick the best platform - Logic, Cubase, DP etc did MIDI first and they are much better. PT did audio first and it's much better - get over it, buy a steak at a steak house, a chicken at a chicken joint, and seafood at a seafood place - but don't expect good steak at a vegetarian's house (I've learned that from my wife!!)


    The transfer process to PT from cubase can end up in big files but shouldn't take that long. Logic has a function called "Export all tracks as audio" and it bounces EVERYTHING down from bar 1 beat 1. Way more reliable than OMF files ever were.

    On the other hand if you do a lot of audio PT really is the most intuitive and technically the most flexible. It's great. And I think it's greater every day I use it! But don't expect much from the MIDI side of PT - and don't listen to those who say it's improved - it HAS improved, but it's FAR from German MIDI engineering.

  10. #10

    Thumbs up You can't go wrong with Pro Tools

    I agree here....
    If your main thing is audio, PT is it. I see that you have a lot of VSTi's. Therefore, if producing with midi is your thing, then I will just stick with what you are using now. Cubase is a very serious application for midi production. It depends on how you produce. For some reason, a full blown PT HD system is amazing. I used Cubase back in the 90's, but even today, I still don't like the summing with Cubase audio. For example, take one track of audio and listen carefully. Now add another track and listen carefully. Somewhere around three tracks when sequenced together, the summing sounds different. It gets a little dull or something. http://www.johnvestman.com/DAWSUM.htm
    You just can't go wrong with PT and it sounds great too! Listen at this recording by Lynn Fuston. This is as real as it get with PT audio. http://www.3daudioinc.com/mixes/050901strings.mp3
    Just my 2 cents
    --Al

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