Buying a Legacy Pro Tools system. Good Idea?

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:10 pm

No.

Going and buying an old PT rig, is a little like buying a Chevy Vega and thinking it will perform like a today car.

If you are a "pro" and charge for your time, and run a facility open to the general public, you really should get a current DAW setup. Maybe not Pro Tools HD, but Nuendo, Logic Pro, or others.

Unless you happen to have clients that keep uttering the word "Pro Tools" then go get one, in will pay for itself very fast.

Keeping the client happy is Very Important. especially to the bottom line.

Cheers
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Post by trodden » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:04 pm

noeqplease wrote:No.

Going and buying an old PT rig, is a little like buying a Chevy Vega and thinking it will perform like a today car.

If you are a "pro" and charge for your time, and run a facility open to the general public, you really should get a current DAW setup. Maybe not Pro Tools HD, but Nuendo, Logic Pro, or others.

Unless you happen to have clients that keep uttering the word "Pro Tools" then go get one, in will pay for itself very fast.

Keeping the client happy is Very Important. especially to the bottom line.

Cheers
I've been just fine keeping my clients happy with a non-current DAW. But I don't know if i'm "pro". Are you "pro"?

edit: that was rude, sorry too much weed in my cookie. I just know that there are people making great records in "pro" and "non pro" situations using all kinds of set ups. Keeping clients happy, no problem, i don't think i need to have a brand new DAW to do it.

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Post by Gentleman Jim » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:28 am

trodden wrote:
I've been just fine keeping my clients happy with a non-current DAW.
Yes. It's funny how there's this perception that all non-computer gear should be vintage, but all software and computers should be bleeding edge. I've never heard anyone complain about the age of a tape deck or tube mic.

HOWEVER...

There's a huge difference between buying a used 002 running PT 7.0 on a PC that's been sitting on the shelf for a year, and buying a G4 and 3 888's.

I'm all about using what you have for as long as it works, but buying stuff that won't be supported from the minute you own it is a mistake, IMHO.

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Post by firesine » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:14 am

farview wrote:Only if they are 888/24's. The original 888's were 16 bit and started to distort at -4dbfs.
Ahh, didn't know that. I have never have the pleasure of working with 16 bit 888's.
farview wrote: Plugins that people take for granted like Drumagog never had a version that would work on a mix system.
I'm curious about this, because I have used Drumagog on an HD system running 6.4 and it worked fine. So, it should work on a Mix system running 6.4 as well, right?
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Post by farview » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:32 am

firesine wrote: I'm curious about this, because I have used Drumagog on an HD system running 6.4 and it worked fine. So, it should work on a Mix system running 6.4 as well, right?
I would have to look that up. Drumagogs Protools compatability came sometime after the mix systems went away. (it was originally a DX plugin, then VST only) I know that Drumagogs midi capabilities were not used in Protools until Digi changed something in the way it talked to the plugins. I don't know what version that was and I don't know if it was a hardware restriction or a software restriction.

I think Gentleman Jim hit the nail on the head: Support for old software is non-exsistant. Couple that with having to use an outdated computer with limited parts availability, newer plugin incompatability, etc...

That's one of the dangers of running a DAW studio: If the computer or software take a dump, there is no work-around. (At least with digital tape machines, you could swap out machines. Or do a submix on the machines that are working so you can continue to overdub while the broken one is getting fixed...)


Eventually, there will be a failure that you will have no support for or a client will expect you to have some capability that was not available when your system stopped being updated. You will end up having to replace it with something newer, probably not long from now.

Spend cheap, spend twice.

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Re: Buying a Legacy Pro Tools system. Good Idea?

Post by audiogeek1 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:40 am

Mklein wrote:
As far as a computer, it looks as if a solid dual-core G4 powermac, period correct for the mix systems, can be had for $300-$350. If I were to sell my Macbook in the process of downgrading computers, This would put me at a $350-$400 surplus. So here's how I figure it:

Mix Core card --------------------------- $350
3x Digi 888 i/o boxes @ $225---------- $675
Powermac G4 --------- ---------------- $350
Mac downgrade surplus ---------------- -$400
________________________________________
Total $975



So you need to spend a bit more money. The Mix core only gets 16 channels of I/O and that is via a Y cable. Then you need another card that is connected via an internal ribbon cable (that hopefully comes with the cards) to connect a Mix Farm card and extra I/O card or a DSP Farm. The DSP farm will only give you another 8 I/O. The Mix farm and the I/) will give you 16 via the y cable.

Otherwise the Mix Core will give you 8 I/o once you connect to the card. Remember to buy your interfaces with the cable that it needs. Otherwise they do also cost money.

I used to own 2 different Mix Plus systems both with at least 24 I/O with 888/24s. They were work horses. Both are still in use making people money. One is still on a G3 running version 5.13. I help keep the system going that is how I know. This guy works and his clients are happy. That is all that matters. He does have some trouble from time to time getting things from other PT Studios but via a save copy as to older version he is able to get it. A few minutes of waiting and slight inconvienience. But he has had this system that I bought in 1997 running since 2002. It is now 2009 system works he makes money. His overhead is low. He does not worry about plug in compatibility because if he brings something in from outside they were unhappy and want him to fix it. So why use someone elses settings?

Just a few thoughts.

Good Luck

Mike

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:33 pm

trodden wrote:
noeqplease wrote:No.

Going and buying an old PT rig, is a little like buying a Chevy Vega and thinking it will perform like a today car.

If you are a "pro" and charge for your time, and run a facility open to the general public, you really should get a current DAW setup. Maybe not Pro Tools HD, but Nuendo, Logic Pro, or others.

Unless you happen to have clients that keep uttering the word "Pro Tools" then go get one, in will pay for itself very fast.

Keeping the client happy is Very Important. especially to the bottom line.

Cheers
I've been just fine keeping my clients happy with a non-current DAW. But I don't know if i'm "pro". Are you "pro"?

edit: that was rude, sorry too much weed in my cookie. I just know that there are people making great records in "pro" and "non pro" situations using all kinds of set ups. Keeping clients happy, no problem, i don't think i need to have a brand new DAW to do it.
No problem. Mainly, it's better to stay more modern on the computer side, as if you want to or need to get a specific plugin, or need a lot of horsepower, it's not a big deal. If you're stuck with unsupported outdated stuff... eventually it will be frustrating. Plus the newer plugins are better at their tasks, ie use less CPU cycles, and sound better, at least some of them.

Once you're in DAW - land, its better to have too much power under the hood, cause the client will always eat it up, somehow...

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by japmn » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:07 am

It is good idea if staying at the home and making the hair fall out by pulling it is what you desire but not making the recording.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:58 pm

japmn wrote:It is good idea if staying at the home and making the hair fall out by pulling it is what you desire but not making the recording.
"Pro Tools Mix Barber Shop"
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Post by Danly » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:32 pm

I'm putting together a mix system. Here's what I'm gonna do. Use Mix for tracking and mixing strictly out of the box. Or transfer to Logic or Reaper for in the box mixing. I believe those programs can utilize the DSP processing on the farm cards.. -- My G4 only has 600 megs or ram, and I think maxes out at 1 gig. So you and I are definitely gonna need to factor in some farm cards too. That's an extra 250-750 bucks. Then you gotta get the expansion chassis. Woof. Kind of a PITA. But I do think it could be worth it, if you can actually find all the stuff needed to get it up and running.. hehheh.
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Post by firesine » Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:15 pm

I love tracking and editing in PT, but ITB mixing on a TDM system sounds like a nightmare.
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Post by japmn » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:58 pm

I still says WHY? You buy the 2 Delta 1010 and the Cubase for the same moneys as the Protools and get all the good drum sounds and the good guitars too. Same price.
Plus you no talk to asshole at Digi. Fuck that guy.

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Post by farview » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:30 pm

Danly wrote: I believe those programs can utilize the DSP processing on the farm cards..
Are you sure about that? I've never heard of anything but Protools being able to address the farm cards. Besides, those programs run VST plugins, not the protools ones.
Danly wrote:-- My G4 only has 600 megs or ram, and I think maxes out at 1 gig.
You might as well give up right there. You would be hard pressed to run logic with that. You might have a hard time finding compatable memory for an old machine like that.

Vintage digital is not cool. Those 16 bit converters are part of the reason why people think that digital sucks...

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Post by sonicmook56 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:42 pm

farview wrote:
Danly wrote: I believe those programs can utilize the DSP processing on the farm cards..
Are you sure about that? I've never heard of anything but Protools being able to address the farm cards. Besides, those programs run VST plugins, not the protools ones.
I run some of the Arturia soft synth stuff on my TDM core card and it barley taxes it. Runs so smooth. Running the same instrument on my G4 733mhz almost kills it. The animated graphics are choppy, and it has latency of over a second.
It is good idea if staying at the home and making the hair fall out by pulling it is what you desire but not making the recording.


I don't understand this comment. While the TDM system is older, and you can't upgrade it, that's the part I embrace. It's a rock solid professional system that you don't have to worry about upgrading.... Ever.

You can focus on music production and not how much ram your going to need when you upgrade to the newest whatever.

I highly suggest a TDM if your a serious amateur or you main income is not generated from music production.

~B

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Post by trodden » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:18 pm

japmn wrote:I still says WHY? You buy the 2 Delta 1010 and the Cubase for the same moneys as the Protools and get all the good drum sounds and the good guitars too. Same price.
Plus you no talk to asshole at Digi. Fuck that guy.
some of us been using protools for awhile and like using protools. I'm not really into figuring out a new software.

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