Author Topic: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.  (Read 750 times)

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« on: December 06, 2019, 04:00:14 PM »
Hi, 

Cubase user from atari up.  Want to dabble in Pro Tools.  Dont want to get swallowed up with a trillion billion modern day DAW. 

Can anyone tell me what Id need to get started with PT on OS9.  Guess Id like the latest edition.  I understand you have to buy hardware.  Would like 24 track and ITB FX. 

Anyone explaine what I need. 

PS - What a great forum!  Thanks

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2019, 07:36:26 AM »
Ok so ive done an enormous amount of research here.  I must say this pro tools range for the novice is incredibly hard to follow. 

There seems to be multiple versions of the thing.  24 Mix and then LE?? Which one do I go for and why? 

Also the hardware optuions.  I now understand I have to buy a sort of cradel to hold various cards in.  Seems as I need 16-24 channels I guess I need a few of them.  Then as much DSP power as I can get, so i think the max you can run is 3? 

Cant any guru just offer a little hand holding here.  I mnean this thread has been read over 20 times and no one has even said hello to a brand new user.  Yes I get it do a search bl;ah blah, but ALL information is oin the net somewhere.  So whats the use of a forum then?  Pleae can someone just chat?  I mean if I stand and talk to someone abnout the weather at a bus stop he could just say do a google right?  Hey the weather is on there.  Great a socioty where no one interacts. 

This is the whole reason im looking at a G4.  Im stuck in the 90s.  To me a much better time where people just talked things over.  No searches or googles.  Yeeeeey

I promise once I get going to help other members and even donate to this forum.  Just give me a chance.

Sorry just have to use this smiley.  So cool  -afro- -afro- -afro-

Offline mrhappy

  • Platinum Member (500+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 1041
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 08:43:03 AM »
Basically the 'LE' versions run using only the computer's power while the 'Mix' versions use processing power from PCI cards.

Plugins: LE uses 'RTAS' versions only (which use only the computer's power for processing)
             Mix uses 'TDM' versions (which run from the PCI cards) AND RTAS (from the computer)

You don't mention what you're using for a computer (which will determine your interface options) or what your trying to accomplish with a PT system ( which will allow others to advise you without resorting to mind reading techniques) :)

So... Mainly midi fake music?.... VI's?... Voice over? Solo Zither?? Medal rock hero??

Lots of knowledgeable peeps here that would be glad to help. ;D ;D

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2019, 11:08:03 AM »
Hi Mr Happy. 

Re LE   Ahhhhhh   now I see,  I think TX would be the way to go.  Not sure there are many hardware options for sale here in the UK thought.  I did a completed / sold listings search and everything seems to be US. 

Using a 1.25 G4 powermac.  I like very much Cubase VST.  I just thought about trying to upgrade and maybe go the PT route, something I have never considerd much before.  My music comprises of a totally 100% hardware studio.   Juno 6/101/303/Norld Lead 3/Akai S5000 USB (hence G4 to edit)  and MPC2500 JJOS running the thing.  All mixed via a Allen & Health Zed.  Rack of outboard and Alesis HD24XR. 

So my PT would be for my G4 1.25 and I gues what I would be trying to accomplish is an HD24 replacment with built in FX.  IE loading PT with stems, utilising built in FX and outputting that lot to my Zed mixer  (I could never just mix with a mouse and keyboard sorry) 

But then doesnt Cubase VST do all the above anyhow?  What would PT offer more that that?


PS - This image varification of each post is killing me.  I am Dyslexic!!  Im not a sodding robot though, promise. 

Offline Protools5LEGuy

  • Global Moderator
  • Platinum Member (500+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 2330
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2019, 12:18:07 PM »
You can use Protools (5) Free with any hardware(OS 9 era) with only 8 tracks, and Protools 3.4 for up to 16 tracks, but I strongly suggest to buy an Protools LE interface: Audiomedia III, Digi 001 or M-Box.

You can go TDM route or HD, but that is something that will come after learning some more about Protools.

I suggest to keep using Cubase instead of learning another DAW. I always install protools over the DieHard Instant DAW and get a lot of VST juice. The Cubase included is AWESOME and you will have tons of plugs and good sound.

Rereading your post you should look for a Digi 001 in a LE environment or a small TDM rig. Having a small console is great, but you want the Zed as Preamplifier only feeding acoustic sources (microphones). Most of your gear is line level and can be recorded to even a 888 TDM interface (No preamplifier).

You have a zed6 or 10 or 14?

I would want all my machines conected to interfaces. The Allen Heath could induce or add noise if you dont use it properly. So I would look for an interface of more than 2 Ins.

If you can live with recording only 2 or 4 tracks at once, I would choose a cheaper LE setup, like an original M-Box or a Audiomedia III

Audiomedia and 001 can work at 128 samples (latency) and can record in real time with some plugs, but M-Box cant (256 and higher latency)
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline Protools5LEGuy

  • Global Moderator
  • Platinum Member (500+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 2330
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2019, 12:44:08 PM »

Would like 24 track and ITB FX. 


You have 24 tracks on LE and 32 with an update.
Using a 1.25 G4 powermac.

That will give you some RTAS p˛wer. In Waves terms 6 renaisance compressors, some reverb and delay and not much more.

IE loading PT with stems, utilising built in FX and outputting that lot to my Zed mixer  (I could never just mix with a mouse and keyboard sorry) 

But then doesnt Cubase VST do all the above anyhow?  What would PT offer more that that?

Protools LE have different setup of plugins than TDM. VST (Logic/Cubase) have other plugs.

Weight if you enjoy mixing your stems with the zen or if you prefer to make the DAW put automaticly levels you choose on each part and you playing another stem instead of mixing it.

Protools offer compatibility (among other things). 90 percent of studios have it. But that doesnt mean your Protools 5 session will sound the same on a Protools 10 HD rig. Only that the tracks are there synced, but the plugs suite on 5LE and 5TDM are different than the ones from PT 6, 7, 8, 9...

There are some plugs that are on all versions like EQ II and Comp II from Digirack (Digidesign included ones).

Protools also offer more stability than the VST platform IMHO, but folks with cubase swear it is the best. Digital Performer sounds fine to my ears too.

At last, every platform with a curated set of plugs can do wonders.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 12:56:32 PM by Protools5LEGuy »
Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 01:05:39 AM »
Hello PT5LEguy.  You sound well qualified to help me .

Right, well im brand new to PT but old school to recording and music production and such.  I started in the 80s.  My desk (the ones you mention are tiny, how would I connect my gear ha) is a 436.  Honestly I would highly reccomend one of these Zed 4 series to anyone.  Best bang for buck desk I have ever came across.  It replaced a Topaz and sound the same with way less noise and no huge power supply for a fraction of the origibnal price.  The desks you mention are prosumer ones.  Theres a huge diff between the A&H 4 buss stuff.  Of course the Zed 4's are no SSL but for the price and to my ears are as good or at least approaching fast on the TOFT my mate has.  The TOFT is 5 times more wonga. 

I personally wouldnt ever want to plug all my sound sources into an interface.  I have to have an analogue mixer.  Maybe its the dyslecia I mentioned above but screens dont do it for me. I get what your saying, my engineer Ed is always on my back about this, but then were always both seriously satisfied by how low noise the Zed4's are.   But yes it definalty adds something your not asking for, no matter how small.

I get a lot of requests for Remixes and such.  I just prep all the stems on a computer (Cubase VST32) and when done dump them into my HD24XR.  Hell I dont even want to see a screen when im creating (I sequence with an MPC).  Hence my wondering if I need Pro Tools at all.  I mean it sounds great but is it not just another Ableton Live?  I have Ableton Live 8 and its jaw droppingly powerful.  But there is lies the rub.  I end up making music 100% on a computer and there are 2 issues I have with that.  First is I feel more like an accountant than a musician.  Second is I seek perfection and just go around and around for ever.  Nothing ever is done. 

Very greatful for the time you took to write that detailed reply.  I now see why I was so confused by it all.  Even after you explained everything its still hard to get ha.

See I found this forum as I wanted to go from my aging Windows 98 VST computer and get a Mac.  But again thats it with computers.  You get sucked in!  Here I was looking to replace the tools I use, like recycle, rebirth, VST etc and now im contemplating a PT rig I probs don't need. Ha.  I think one of the main lures for myself is the studio I use to do the final mix down (Let me name drop Giant Wafer in Wales, awsome service time and time again,  no not afiliated, their in a diffrent country to myself just credit where its due) well Ed the engineer there uses PT.  I guess I just thought it may be easier to pass stems to him.  Also instead of dumping them onto my HD24 I could have prep's and just play'd them from a Mac.  But that Mac would require 24 outputs. 


I guess to finalise and summerise a question out of my above rabbiting on, what would I need to give a G4 24 outs

Offline Astroman

  • Gold Member (200+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 02:51:04 PM »
I'm miles from being a PT guru, but a late starter who got his Mix24 TDM system (2 cards plus 8-channel 882 io-box) for an amount to low to refuse, 200 bucks).
Thought: it's an Access Virus and can do some realtime fx, nothing to lose.
First impression: horrible visuals... but then it revealed more quickly then expected and it turned out rather usuable. Took about a month (maybe 2) and arrange and mix were quite convenient.
Most of that time trying out whatever plugins were available and settled with about a dozen 'essentials', trashing the rest.

I have 2 Windoze DAWs, one of them featuring a Creamware Scope System.
Native Intel VST never was my cup of tea, with very few exceptions, but I demoed a lot.

The interesting part: the Scope system has a different soundprint than PT TDM and Intel native is different from both. So this new color on the acoustic palette was most welcome.
(I'm not interested in competition, but in sound only - today one can find the proper tools in any environment)
PT HD (nor native) has been reported to be closer to Intel than to TDM's Motorola DSP sound.

TDM has low CPU demands (as most processing is done on the cards), I'm running it on a 2nd generation 450 Mhz G3 Blue-White from a 1GB Disk-on-Module that's plugged into the IDE connector. A copy of the DOM is on the shelf in case the active one stalls.
Project data is saved to a regular IDE drive atm.
Any G4 should be fine, but I'd pick a model with 4 PCI slots for extension cards sake.

According to my taste that 'TDM Sound' is a slight advantage as it got out of public focus over the years... disregarded for age and no updates, etc bla bla ;)


Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2019, 07:57:57 AM »
Hi mate,  sorry  I missed your reply until now.  Thank you for sharing your experience. 

Ok,  So if I buy a Mix Core and a Mix Farm card these fit inside my power mac G4 125Ghz?   So whats this cradle peeps keep mentioning?

Guessing you fit one card inside the mac and then can fit way more cards for way more PT power?  Is that right?



EDIT  Done much research.  Im guessing the Digidesign MH477 or Magma P7R4 are usual choices here? Can anyone please claryfy and offer any further info.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 08:15:48 AM by Kola »

Offline Astroman

  • Gold Member (200+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2019, 03:27:25 PM »
You either put 1 Core card and up to 3 Farm cards into the G4 (if it has 4 slots, like the Quicksilver, MDD and some AV Macs.

Or you put the special PCI card of the external PCI box into the Mac and all Core and Farm cards go into the extension box.

To each Farm or Core card you can connect one 8 or 16-channel IO-Box
(or two 8-channel boxes using a split cable iirc)
So 3 cards in a Mac give you upto 48 channels of input/output, no need for the expander.

But just in case you're interested in the latter: carefully check the model and that both connector cards are included (1 for the Mac, the other inside the expander)
Not all of these boxes work with all versions of PT.



Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2019, 01:45:26 AM »
Hi Astroman,

Thanks for the great info,  got it now. 

Theres a 16 in/out box?  What model is that?  If I ever got into this I was looking at multiple 888s.

Offline Astroman

  • Gold Member (200+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2019, 08:12:17 AM »
The 16-channel box is called 1622, but 888 and 882 are more common, there are 16, 20 and 24bit versions (myself having a 882/20).
For completeness: the Adat Bridge (16bit) and Adat Bridge 24 (24bit) feature 2x8 channels of digital io. With a regular cable only 8 channels are transmitted, with the split adapter this is extended to the full 16 channels.

888 and 882 are frequently offered in multiples from rack mounts, check if cables are included.
(there are different cables, some are difficult to identify on low res photos of cable offers)

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2019, 11:58:29 AM »
Hi,  if I got the ADAT bridge could I then use my Adat HD24 as front end?  For only 16 channels admitedly

Offline Astroman

  • Gold Member (200+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2019, 03:08:31 PM »
yes, and you could even use the TDM system like an external live effects rack to extend your current workflow  8)
TDM is practically identical to hardware, there's no DAW buffer involved.

Offline Kola

  • Enthusiast Member (25+ Posts)
  • ***
  • Posts: 25
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2019, 12:43:38 AM »
Is it that tight?  I did try this many moons (years) ago with Ableton 8 rigged up to a R16 mixer.  The Allen & Heath R16 (https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/allen-heath-zed-r16) is designed to use as you say, being able to intergrate hardware with software. One of the detailed workflows that appealed to myself was the ability to use your DAW as an effects ack. 

Well, that may well have been the therory but everything was hopeklessly out of sync with each other.  Sounded god awful!  I now of course know that it takes the computer time to process the audio hence the delay. 

So are you saying a TDM system will not have such isues?  It will be like using hardware effects?   That would be most cool -afro-

Offline Astroman

  • Gold Member (200+ Posts)
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • new to the forums
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2019, 01:35:42 AM »
I didn't benchmark PT's timing, but once did for a Creamware Scope system which has the same architecture (DSP chips and IO on dedicated PCI cards).
A full Adat roundtrip (Scpoe channel to Adat out into a Korg RC168 mixer, mixer Adat out into Scope) resulted in about 20 samples (the number was constant, no drift).
You may check the figures for PT in the docs, the delays in samples are mentioned under latency.
I have no problems to send/return from an iPad with an iConnectAudio4+ into the 882/20 via analog channels.

Offline channelite

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Re: Newbie to Pro Tools Any guru able to advise please.
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 07:25:36 PM »
Got my old G4 400mhz up and running which still has Pro Tools 5.1.1 LE which has the audiomedia 3 card. This was my system in the early 2000s. I tried Pro Tools First on my Hackintosh and really I like 5.1 better. If you get the 001, you have the adat interface and midi too.