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  #1  
Old 03-05-2021, 05:38 AM
innerbooty innerbooty is offline
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Default Need some HDX upgrade advice

Hi,
I posted previously related to some issues with an Ebay HDX purchase that went south. I want to give the upgrade another go, and just had a few more general questions about doing a methodical, careful upgrade:

1. Computer - I just finished flashing a 2009 Mac Pro 8-core to 5,1 and now have the SSD drive upgraded to High Sierra. Are there issues I would need to be aware of relating to running HDX on this system?

2. Pro Tools - I am inclined to at least initially sign up for the monthly subscription plan for the (gulp!) $80/month. Does this make sense? High Sierra is as high as I can go on my Mac Pro. Wondering how long until that OS is no longer supported? Or, if there is a previous, rock solid recommended version of PT that I can get a Perpetual license for, does that make more sense?

3. HDX Card - I plan to buy a used HDX card. I initially will be continuing to use my Apogee AD/DA-16Xs with X-HD cards. Will I be able to run DigiTest on the HDX card to verify it works while using the Apogees as my interface, or will I need to have an Avid interface connected? Do I need to be concerned about the age/vintage of the HDX card?

4. Interface - Wondering if the HD I/O would be a significant sonic upgrade to the Apogee AD/DA-16X's. I like them, but they are getting long in the tooth. I want to make sure I'm optimizing the sonic upgrade of going to HDX.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:09 AM
Mark Ziebarth Mark Ziebarth is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by innerbooty View Post
Hi,
4. Interface - Wondering if the HD I/O would be a significant sonic upgrade to the Apogee AD/DA-16X's. I like them, but they are getting long in the tooth. I want to make sure I'm optimizing the sonic upgrade of going to HDX.
Imho you can’t improve much by upgrading the interface. I’m still using my old Digi 192 I/O and am still satisfied. HD I/O is pretty old as well, they recommend Matrix Studio right now.
If you flashed your Mac Pro 2009 it should be able to run even newer macOS than 10.13, doesn’t it?
I would prefer a perpetual Pro Tools license with an annual license fee for upgrade/support.
As the Hybrid engine used in Carbon should be available for HDX later this year I think a relatively new macOS and a actual Pro Tools Ultimate version is recommended.

Best

Mark
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Mac Pro 2010 3.66 GHz six Cores, HD Native, 192 I/O, Avid Dock, Artist Mix and Pro Tools Ultimate
Mac mini 2018 i5 64 GB RAM, RME Fireface, Pro Tools 2020, Euphonix MC Control
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2021, 07:21 AM
innerbooty innerbooty is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Thanks for the reply! As far as I understand it (I may well be wrong) High Sierra is the highest I can go on the 2009 Mac Pro - even flashed to 5,1 - without upgrading the processors.

And yeah, I would ideally like to stick with the Apogees, unless there is a compelling reason to spend the multiple $K to upgrade.

I think I will gain more by upgrading my monitor/mix section. My console right now is a Soundcraft Ghost, which is old, and is having all kinds of issues. The question would be what to upgrade to? Don't need 32 channels, that's for sure. SSL SiX? Wish it were the SSL 12 or something like that. But that's a whole other thread topic... Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:51 AM
innerbooty innerbooty is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Reading more about Carbon now. Hmmm... sounds pretty cool. Would it make more sense to just jump to that vs. an HDX card? Pros? Cons...?
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2021, 10:09 AM
originalscottyg originalscottyg is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Carbon definitely only works with macOS 10.15.7+
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2021, 10:45 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by innerbooty View Post
Reading more about Carbon now. Hmmm... sounds pretty cool. Would it make more sense to just jump to that vs. an HDX card? Pros? Cons...?
Why are you asking others? Folks here have **no clue** what you are doing or why you want HDX in the first place. You would likely get better answers if that was clear.

What can't you do on native that you would like or (better) need HDX or Carbon for?

And you've got Apogee interfaces (what models?)... folks here are unlikely to go back wading though other threads, you would have been much better off keeping everything in one thread.
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Old 03-05-2021, 10:56 AM
innerbooty innerbooty is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

I did actually start from scratch with this thread, but I guess I didn't give enough background about what I do, my needs. I did mention in the first post that I am using Apogee AD/DA-16X's with X-HD cards. Sorry if I am kind of musing out loud here about the various options...

I run a small studio out of my house, bands, singer-songwriters, my own stuff. I had a MIX++ rig for 12 years, then went to HD2 Accel in 2013. I very much like having zero latency, as I am often overdubbing while in mix mode. I can use 8-10 channels of outboard hardware I/O inserts when mixing.
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Old 03-05-2021, 01:30 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Wow sorry for that, I don't know what I was looking at but I missed the stuff you said in the first post.

I'm not sure at all there is a simple answer, or even simple opinions. My 2c...

If live tracking with plugins is really hurting you now then sure look at HDX. I'm guessing there that your sessions are small enough to work on HDX1... that most of the plugins you want to use are available as HDX-DSP.

But by the time you buy a HDX card you might actually want to swap in a Carbon interface ... OK but your old Mac Pro Cheesegrater is not compatible... you might be able to smack away on that and run later versions of macOS but then I'm not sure if AVB will work--maybe not off the built-in Ethernet and you may need to add an Ethernet NIC card. Google around. If it was me I'd want to find a dealer who would loan me a Carbon to test out over weeks. Might be hard.

If for any reason your sessions do get large, maybe mix up native and DSP plugins a lot, please do some rough calculations to see if it will fit on a HDX1. And while talked about Avid has not delivered the hybrid mixer for HDX so I'd probably not go there over-optimistically and then get trapped and need a HDX2.... even if you have PCIe slot available. If/when a Hybrid mixer comes out I expect you'll need to be on a pretty recent version of macOS so you might have the same problem and need to smack around your Mac Pro to get it on a later macOS version.

As for buying a used HDX card... call me a coward, personally I would not buy a used card unless I knew the seller or could verify the card ran in a system recently and was pulled out and sold.

Damn the configuration/decision matrix for all this stuff gets complex fast, maybe doing nothing and staying native is the right thing... maybe until you move beyond your current Mac Pro and/or Avid releases something new in HDX land. And if you are working with a hardware console today and it's giving problems... maybe I'd just replace that.... do you really need something as big as a Ghost (what 32 channels?).
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2021, 12:01 PM
innerbooty innerbooty is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Thanks for the thoughts. And I agree, the "configuration/decision matrix" can indeed get complex fast. I will have occasional upgrade thoughts, then I hit the wall trying to hash it all out, and it falls by the wayside. I am continuing to lean toward the HDX card option. Carbon sounds cool, but has a lot of stuff I don't really need, like 8 mic pres. And I would almost certainly need a new Mac. Meanwhile I have this extra newly flashed 5,1 cheese grater all ready to go. I can get pretty serious mixes going on my current 2009 4,1 with HD2 Accel. Another bit of info is that I have a UAD Octo card that does a lot of heavy lifting as well. I bought my 2 Accel cards used and had good luck with those. So I'm hoping if I get an HDX from a reputable buyer and can run DigiTest when it arrives, I will hopefully be ok. I still haven't determined if I can run DigiTest with the Apogee AD/DA-16X's and X-HD cards as my interface, or if DigiTest will expect an Avid interface


Yes, the 32-Channel Ghost sits here looking cool, and I did at one point use the pre's a lot when tracking bands. But at this point it's just an over-sized monitor for my main Pro Tools outs. The SSL SiX looks pretty cool
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:39 PM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Need some HDX upgrade advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
But by the time you buy a HDX card you might actually want to swap in a Carbon interface ... OK but your old Mac Pro Cheesegrater is not compatible... you might be able to smack away on that and run later versions of macOS but then I'm not sure if AVB will work--maybe not off the built-in Ethernet and you may need to add an Ethernet NIC card. Google around. If it was me I'd want to find a dealer who would loan me a Carbon to test out over weeks. Might be hard.
I tried an Intel i210 PCIe card in a MacPro5,1, was not recognised as an AVB interface under macOS. Maybe a card with a BCM57762 chipset (the one used Apple's Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter) would work, I haven't tried it though.
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