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  #11  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:30 AM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
Actually I think DSP based systems are growing, in the professional world anyway. With the way Post Production and even Music sessions are growing in complexity, and plugins are increasingly sounding more authentic (UAD) and require more and more processing power, what you can do with a HDX 3 system at 96k you woould need to link several native systems (computer, and interface, and pre amps etc.) together. Sure what you do doesn't require much processing of that magnitude, but people that record 30 piece orchestra or larger for movie sound tracks and so on. I know you or I might not need to record 150 tracks simultaneously @ 96k, but somebody does. I know you said that it is not invalid, but I think you are underestimating the need for it.
But the professional world is shrinking. Significantly. Very, very few studios are around that are still recording 30-piece orchestras for movie sound tracks, and even then a lot of it is being done in Eastern Europe and Pro Tools is less prevalent; you're more likely to see Nuendo and stems delivered.

Is DSP needed in post production? Depends. Even then, how many BIG post houses are there that need 150+ tracks? The HD-Native + Omni seems to be built specifically for post.

I don't find UAD more authentic sounding at all; in fact, there's a question about aliasing they produce. People might be listening with their eyes when it comes to UAD.

How many top-tier studios are left in the US? $7k for a single HDX card for a big budget studio is not a big deal, but how many of those are around? Are there 5,000? Doubt it.

Now, get on to music production and those second-tier studios; the cost of entrance for HDX is $7k for a single card and then the cost of interfaces. Assuming you want 32 I/O, you can look at another $10k if you want Avid's converters. Not a huge amount of money, but considering the competition for business and the cost-effective alternatives, why would someone trying to eek out a living spend $17k for an Avid HD system when they could easily consider an Apogee system for under $9k or an RME system for about the same or an SSL system for about $6k? You have to weigh the lure of "Hey, we have Pro Tools HDX!" as marketing at the point, because those alternatives are more than valid. And honestly, don't underestimate the cheaper alternatives. One of the sonically best albums of the 1990s in my opinion was recorded through MOTU converters; that Trident board didn't hurt, though. :)

You can get 48 I/O from MOTU for less than $2k.
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2012, 10:40 AM
Fooks Fooks is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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Originally Posted by getz76 View Post

Now, get on to music production and those second-tier studios; the cost of entrance for HDX is $7k for a single card and then the cost of interfaces. Assuming you want 32 I/O, you can look at another $10k if you want Avid's converters. Not a huge amount of money, but considering the competition for business and the cost-effective alternatives, why would someone trying to eek out a living spend $17k for an Avid HD system when they could easily consider an Apogee system for under $9k or an RME system for about the same or an SSL system for about $6k? You have to weigh the lure of "Hey, we have Pro Tools HDX!" as marketing at the point, because those alternatives are more than valid. And honestly, don't underestimate the cheaper alternatives. One of the sonically best albums of the 1990s in my opinion was recorded through MOTU converters; that Trident board didn't hurt, though. :)

You can get 48 I/O from MOTU for less than $2k.
All good points, but lets look at the cost of the Avid HDX, which you are not quite right on. If you were to by the old HD3 setup it was like $14,000 for 3 HD cards and Pro Tools HD software. If you buy the new HDX system, you buy 1 card, about the same processing power as an HD5 setup, you get the Pro Tools HD software, AND you get (lets go with the HD I/O 8x8x8) HD I/O for $11,000 then you can buy another HD I/O for an extra 16 I/O for $4,000, for a total of 32 I/O at $15,000. That is $2,000 less than what you stated and $13,000 less than the equivalent older HD rig.

I agree that a lot of albums were recorded thru MOTU converters in the 90's I'm sorry, but there is a reason why there are not as many anymore. Yes the MOTU's sound good, but they just don't compare to anything from Apogee or Avid or Lynx. You also mentioned the Apogee, so lets look at what Apogee can offer to match what a single HDX system can.

If you buy an Apogee Symphony I/O (outstanding unit which is compatible with HDX and HD Native) with the 8x8 analog/digital card (same as HD I/O 8x8x8) you pay $3,700, then you have to buy the Apogee Symphony 64 card, another $1,000, so you are at $4,700. No software, so lets get Pro Tools HD software, can't get it without buying an HD Native or HDX rig, ok, lets get Pro Tools 10, $600, also lets get the Complete production Toolkit (makes Pro Tools 10 the equivalent of Pro Tools HD 10) another $2,000, which puts the whole system at $7,300, which is now only $3,700 less than a new HDX rig. Ok still cheaper, that is fine, but you still have less latency because the Apogee stuff still has Core Audio drivers to go thru, and the Avid HD I/O is a much tighter integration with HDX, I think the HD I/O is getting 1.9 latency round trip, and HDX is getting 0.7 no mater what you put your buffer setting at, and you are missing all that DSP power, to garantee your track count. Oh yeah and the 64bit mix engine. From a professional stand point $3,700 is worth it.

I know you can throw out Logic (which I use) because it is only $199 for download. No VCA's, 5.1 surround instead of 7.1, amount of Video tracks (64 in Pro Tools HD) using the 2 in conjunction is an awesome weapon. But Pro Tools is still made for audio editing which is still at the top of its game.

If Lucas Limited tried doing what they have done on a Pro Tools HD rig on a Logic rig with Apogee, they would have to buy many more systems, which I'm guessing would cost far more. An HDX 3 will do 192 tracks of I/O at 0.7ms. Who records that many at once? People who do analog summing, or rerecording etc.

I like a lot of native systems, RME, Apogee, Lynx, UAD, Presonus, etc. But just because it is what I have doesn't mean it is the way to go, or the be all end all of systems. Because I don't know what somebody else actually needs.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:59 AM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

I'm with you on most points, Fooks.

I disagree in the quality gap of converters; the newest converters are better, but as has been shown in multiple double-blind tests, most TRAINED ears cannot tell the difference. The thing is, "adequate" tends to be good enough. The quality of affordable converters is pretty staggeringly good, but we gear-hounds tend to chase a gear-nirvana. I think the difference between a VERY GOOD analog front end with adequate converters can be differentiated, even in the lower-quality delivery formats we see. I think the money is much better spent there, and I think budget matters a lot more now that it use to.

I just wonder about the viability of these DSP systems when Avid is struggling, the market is not as big as it use to be, and native systems are adequate for the vast majority of applications that 10 years ago REQUIRED a DSP-based solution. HD3 was REQUIRED for most second-tier studio less than 10 years ago. I wouldn't worry about booking time in a native studio these days for a project. Will Avid make any money on HDX and be able to recoup their development cost and production? If it doesn't, it's bad news for the entire platform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
I know you can throw out Logic (which I use) because it is only $199 for download. No VCA's, 5.1 surround instead of 7.1, amount of Video tracks (64 in Pro Tools HD) using the 2 in conjunction is an awesome weapon. But Pro Tools is still made for audio editing which is still at the top of its game.
Yup. It is going to be interesting to see what happens when/if Logic X drops, and what it will look like. It's due.
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2012, 04:26 PM
Fooks Fooks is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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Originally Posted by getz76 View Post
I'm with you on most points, Fooks.

I disagree in the quality gap of converters; the newest converters are better, but as has been shown in multiple double-blind tests, most TRAINED ears cannot tell the difference. The thing is, "adequate" tends to be good enough. The quality of affordable converters is pretty staggeringly good, but we gear-hounds tend to chase a gear-nirvana. I think the difference between a VERY GOOD analog front end with adequate converters can be differentiated, even in the lower-quality delivery formats we see. I think the money is much better spent there, and I think budget matters a lot more now that it use to.

I just wonder about the viability of these DSP systems when Avid is struggling, the market is not as big as it use to be, and native systems are adequate for the vast majority of applications that 10 years ago REQUIRED a DSP-based solution. HD3 was REQUIRED for most second-tier studio less than 10 years ago. I wouldn't worry about booking time in a native studio these days for a project. Will Avid make any money on HDX and be able to recoup their development cost and production? If it doesn't, it's bad news for the entire platform.



Yup. It is going to be interesting to see what happens when/if Logic X drops, and what it will look like. It's due.
I do agree that lower end converters have increased in quality quite substantially, but the high end converters have also. The gap in quality while has closed some there is still a gap. Not only does the sound of the converter matter but the speed of converting plays a role also. Lower end converters sound good but they cause more latency than higher end converters, Avid, Apogee, RME, etc. Where I really have nothing against MOTU, anytime a new piece of gear comes out, Mbox 3, UAD Apollo, no one ever asks how the sound of the converters compare to MOTU. It is always, Apogee or RME. Why? Probably because they have all-in-one interfaces that have high end converters in them. I know that MOTU and RME make a DSP based mixer for "zero" latency monitoring, but again MOTU is not a go to, for comparing apples to apples. They had their day in the sun, which I'm sure Avid has their day in the sun and will become a back burner company.

While Avid is struggling, is because they either cater to the high end, or cater to low end hobbiest. There is nothing in between, when they had in between, the quality was the same as the low end. I think that is why people always scream at Avid for something good, doesn't have to be the absolute high end, but good, like MOTU, or UAD now, or Apogee, decent pre-amp, nice converters, thunderbolt, jsut some nice mid range features. The other reason why Avid struggles is because they are still the top dog at the moment, here in America we like to tear down the guy on top. We put them there then complain about them. You know who makes a great living using Avids equipment? The people who don't complain, but use it to the fullest everyday, and use its strengths.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2012, 07:05 PM
Fooks Fooks is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

I'd like to add, that I don't have a problem with native systems, I actually like the thought of spending money wisely, that's just common sense business. What irritates me is when somebody who has a dsp system thinks native systems are useless and can't be used or worked with, and guys that have native systems think that what they have should be good enough for everybody, and dsp is outdated.
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  #16  
Old 08-01-2012, 07:54 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

Personally, I don't NEED DSP as my quad core does all I need and then some(but if the Apollo had 24 inputs, I'd have been all over it). As nice as the Nucleus looks, $5K is too much(for me anyway) for a controller(I would spend $6K on a used C24 instead). Besides, a local facility has installed 5 Nucleus' in a brand new building and are reporting a number of issues that are somewhat annoying(although not total deal breakers). For that studio, one major appeal of the Nucleus is its size as it fits on a cool portable cart/stand with a big LCD above it(handy editing station beside analog desks). I may have to bite the bullet and go with a couple of Artist units...........
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  #17  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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All good suggestions, but most control surfaces (Nucleus, avid artist series etc.) already provide programmable soft keys so you can make shortcuts to fit your needs, instead of having to learn a set button. I like the Bank select idea. Can still leave the preamps out. All that is going to do is make the unit cost more, when there are already outstanding preamps out there, they will just put crap pre's in it. You won't see the same pre's as you would in the Omni interface or the Avid Pre, you will get average or below pre's to keep the price somewhat low, but if they want to compete price wise, make something of good quality, programmable, EuCon protocol, meter bridge, 16 faders, weighted Jog wheel, and make it 2-4,000 in price. Let us worry about monitoring and talkback there are plenty of great interfaces for that
That is true up to a certain point, how many programmable soft key is there vs the permanently assigned and always at a finger reach key? How many pages of soft keys would you have to go through to get all these options, vs having them automatically on the board without having to surf through pages and pages. The artist series doesn't have enough softkeys without having to go through pages of them, which is truly not easier or faster than just reaching for the right key. There's only 12 physical soft keys on the artist control and the rest through the backlight touchscreen and just with this
•Push button for editing modes (grid, slide, spot, shuffle)
•Push button for editing tools
•Push button for copy/paste/delete/duplicate
•Push button for automation (latch, write, read, off, touch)
•Push button for marker imput
•Push button for punch in/out
•Push button to set the inputs/outputs*
•Push buttons for inserts and sends* (instead of the old plugins assignation mode for inserts which was not fast to use at all) spanning the 10 slots of each insert and sends. That automatically opens the plugin windows/sends faders windows A bit like the old pro control.
•Push buttons for option/apple/shift (alt/control/shift) that actually works with pro tools
you're already at 42 buttons needed. So if you were to add all the others, that would be a hell of pages that you would have to go through and lose more time.

As for pre's I do like the suggestion of having pre's of the same caliber as the saffire line. That would be a huge step up from the octro pre they are using, and be right in the targeted price range suggested. I haven't seen or even experience the saffire line of pre's as being crap. Now would M-audio chose that? it would be up to them, but having that and all the option suggested at the price suggested with the possible fader packs.. that would give a good run in to even the C|24.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2012, 09:59 PM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
Lower end converters sound good but they cause more latency than higher end converters, Avid, Apogee, RME, etc.
That's not true, actually, for anything but the very-low budget gear. Roundtrip latency in most of these units are negligibly different when the same interface is used (PCIe, FireWire, USB). In fact, MOTU is actually still near the top of the heap here.

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Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
Where I really have nothing against MOTU,
Neither do I, and I never said it was ever considered to be top-class.

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Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
anytime a new piece of gear comes out, Mbox 3, UAD Apollo, no one ever asks how the sound of the converters compare to MOTU. It is always, Apogee or RME. Why?
Why? Because people are gearwhores. Subjective descriptions of AD/DA is interesting, but even more interesting is the fact that all of the double-blind tests that are done show that supposedly trained ears can not distinguish between AD/DA after a certain level of quality. And actually doing loopback tests, LIKE THIS ONE, are pretty revealing. Maybe not 100% accurate, but they do provide a relative ranking. Personally, I want transparent converters; I'll take care of the sound either ITB or OTB.

So marketing plays a big part here, and a lot of people listen with their eyes.

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Originally Posted by Fooks View Post
While Avid is struggling, is because they either cater to the high end, or cater to low end hobbiest.
Avid is struggling because they cater to a shrinking professional market and a prosumer market that has significantly cheaper alternatives. Can Avid survive on the professional market alone? Not in its current form.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:05 PM
getz76 getz76 is offline
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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but having that and all the option suggested at the price suggested with the possible fader packs.. that would give a good run in to even the C|24.
Breaking down the price of the components, it really should be do-able. I mean, the faders are $20/each retail. Buttons and step-pots, LEDs and some LCD or OLED displays for scribble strips? Potentially using a platform controller like Arduino?

Honestly, the most expensive thing would end up being the casing and the power-supply.

The problem really is that the market is so limited. You still need someone to develop it. Maybe we should start a Kickstarter compaign.
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  #20  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: How bout a hybrid.

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Originally Posted by getz76 View Post
Breaking down the price of the components, it really should be do-able. I mean, the faders are $20/each retail. Buttons and step-pots, LEDs and some LCD or OLED displays for scribble strips? Potentially using a platform controller like Arduino?

Honestly, the most expensive thing would end up being the casing and the power-supply.

The problem really is that the market is so limited. You still need someone to develop it. Maybe we should start a Kickstarter compaign.
Hehe, or start making one then sell the design to a company .. hmmm
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