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  #1  
Old 06-03-2010, 12:46 AM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

I know you can't put Native plugs on any channel which is on "input", but aside from that, does anyone know why one wouldn't go Native rather than TDM? Thanks in advance for any info you might have...
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2010, 02:10 AM
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DrFord DrFord is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

Well latency on TDM is considerably less, and because of that you are able to record with TDm plug ins on the track and active... which makes recording a bit more enchanting.

TDM plugs also use the chips on your pci(e) cards and don't use system resources, which lets your system resources stretch farther, especially when you are running multiple programs at the same time.

Not to mention the different bus architecture of PT HD and the 24 floating point versus 48 fixed (I think I have that right) or the different pan laws based on whcih mix bus plug in you choose (stereo, stereo dithered, surround, surround dithered)
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:11 AM
spicemix spicemix is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

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Originally Posted by DrFord View Post
Well latency on TDM is considerably less, and because of that you are able to record with TDm plug ins on the track and active... which makes recording a bit more enchanting.

TDM plugs also use the chips on your pci(e) cards and don't use system resources, which lets your system resources stretch farther, especially when you are running multiple programs at the same time.

Not to mention the different bus architecture of PT HD and the 24 floating point versus 48 fixed (I think I have that right) or the different pan laws based on whcih mix bus plug in you choose (stereo, stereo dithered, surround, surround dithered)
All TDM plugins have a few samples higher latency than their native counterparts, due to the hardware architecture. The only benefit of recording through them is the i/o roundtrip latency is lower (you don't have to pay the RTAS hardware buffer time) if you stay pure TDM. But a roundtrip latency through RTAS at 128 samples isn't terrible.

Note that just because a plugin is TDM, doesn't mean it doesn't have its own latency. Some have thousands of samples of latency.

All TDM plugins are restricted to 24bit fixed point i/o, while RTAS plugins have 32bit floating point i/o. This means that RTAS plugins have 900db more headroom in and out than TDM plugins do, which all will hard-clip just like a converter once you exceed 0dBFS. Some developers purposefully cripple their RTAS plugins to hard-clip like TDM plugins do, I guess wanting to maintain identical behavior, but I think that's unfortunate.

TDM plugins tend to be twice the price and honestly I don't think you need any plugins to track through other than the ones that come in the box (EQ3, Dyn//Exp/Gate3, Delays and TL Space). If you are really trying to print tone you ought to use outboard which has the best sound and lowest latency of all. Your mixer will probably yank out any plugins you use anyway. Getting a faster computer will take care of native performance needs cheaper than going with TDM plugins.

The main argument for 3rd party TDM plugins as I see it is Pro Tools HD burns up voices and latency calling into native. If you have an HD1 or HD2 you can easily run out of voices (and ADC), and there are rules you have to follow to minimize voice loss when using RTAS. If you stay TDM you keep all your voices but then you start running out of DSP...the voices burn up DSP too. And then again you have to wait for TDM plugins to reallocate themselves around all the little old chips.

Basically if you bought the HD rig you are going to be forced to get at least an HD3 with 2x192 i/o's or 3rd party equivalent. The smaller rigs are demos. It's designed to make you decide whether you are a big spender on ITB digital or not, and if not, your best bet is to migrate out to Logic and put the money into native plugins (Logic has most everything you need anyway, included at no extra charge, and yes, they are VERY good plugins) and a new computer every couple of years instead. That's what I've decided to do for my place, and I use other studios' HD rigs for large tracking projects, just with a handful of stock TDM plugins where absolutely necessary.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:14 PM
RaySoul RaySoul is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

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Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
The only benefit of recording through them is the i/o roundtrip latency is lower (you don't have to pay the RTAS hardware buffer time) if you stay pure TDM. But a roundtrip latency through RTAS at 128 samples isn't terrible.
Actually, you can track(provided you have the right computer, of course) with a hardware buffer of 32 samples in general. 64 on heavier(CPU) plugins a lot of the time, which is fine. But, isn't the real advantage being able to track with plugins that have higher general latency values(e.g. Waves Linear EQ which has about 2600 samples)?
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2010, 02:46 PM
spicemix spicemix is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

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Originally Posted by RaySoul View Post
Actually, you can track(provided you have the right computer, of course) with a hardware buffer of 32 samples in general. 64 on heavier(CPU) plugins a lot of the time, which is fine. But, isn't the real advantage being able to track with plugins that have higher general latency values(e.g. Waves Linear EQ which has about 2600 samples)?
If it has 2600 samples of latency on RTAS it will have 2603 (or more) on TDM.

You can look it up.

I find 128 samples the lowest practical limit on an original Mac Pro. It's possible the new machines can work reliably at 32. But I don't track native through DAW monitoring; I go straight analog with outboard and a console. Beat that latency, or alias-free tone.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2010, 03:19 PM
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DrFord DrFord is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

Spicemix,
ya I knew I was wrong about the 24hard and 32 float. And I'll be first to admit I'm not an "Engineer", but I do track with compressors on vocals which you can't do with Rtas, unless you creatively bus through an aux track, which I do with Guitar Amp sims when tracking guitar DI. Whereas the guitar players don't seem to mind the 1ms (guess) of latency, singers do and it always trips them out.

I agree with everything you said about HD3 minimum rigs, and I will be buying soon to upgrade my HD2 to HD3. I have also heard certain people say plug ins sound different from Rtas to TDM, but I myself have not experienced that.

I have however found PT HD sounds drastically different to LE, but mostly its because of the outboard gear I am using, whereas in an LE box you are forced in various ways to make do with the subpar OE converters, clock, and mic pre's it comes with or go to black lion. Yes I know you can route outboard gear through the optical in, but its still a forced upgrade to but the 003r+ for the extra ins and then you still have to go out and buy the mic pres and converters if you want 16 ins. Not to mention the track expansion for LE which is another forced upgrade.

That all being said, The REAL advantage of TDM plug ins is that you only get to use them if you have an HD rig, which means you get ADC.

The debate over the 900db of headroom is in itself ridiculous because there is absolutely no need to push audio into that range, as it is going to be forced to be 24fix when it hits the output of the master fader. So either people don't know how to properly use their devices by pushing over limit to necessitate the extra headroom of an Rtas plugin, or they have to degrade whatever HUGE sound they acheived coming out of the final brickwall limiter by using Metallica like mastering compression.

I'm just sayin...
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:00 PM
spicemix spicemix is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrFord View Post
Spicemix,
ya I knew I was wrong about the 24hard and 32 float. And I'll be first to admit I'm not an "Engineer", but I do track with compressors on vocals which you can't do with Rtas, unless you creatively bus through an aux track, which I do with Guitar Amp sims when tracking guitar DI. Whereas the guitar players don't seem to mind the 1ms (guess) of latency, singers do and it always trips them out.
That's just on HD rigs, you can track through RTAS on LE/MP systems just fine.

Quote:
I agree with everything you said about HD3 minimum rigs, and I will be buying soon to upgrade my HD2 to HD3. I have also heard certain people say plug ins sound different from Rtas to TDM, but I myself have not experienced that.

I have however found PT HD sounds drastically different to LE, but mostly its because of the outboard gear I am using, whereas in an LE box you are forced in various ways to make do with the subpar OE converters, clock, and mic pre's it comes with or go to black lion. Yes I know you can route outboard gear through the optical in, but its still a forced upgrade to but the 003r+ for the extra ins and then you still have to go out and buy the mic pres and converters if you want 16 ins. Not to mention the track expansion for LE which is another forced upgrade.
All intentional cripples to separate you and your money.

Quote:
That all being said, The REAL advantage of TDM plug ins is that you only get to use them if you have an HD rig, which means you get ADC.
Well you still get ADC on an HD rig even without TDM plugins. But the ADC is card-based which means you burn up the meager amount of RAM on those cards (they were never designed to have ADC) very quickly. If you mix and match RTAS and TDM plugins, the hardware buffer time eats up your ADC limit (which is ~4000 samples). It can work to mix with only RTAS plugins in an HD session.

Quote:
The debate over the 900db of headroom is in itself ridiculous because there is absolutely no need to push audio into that range, as it is going to be forced to be 24fix when it hits the output of the master fader. So either people don't know how to properly use their devices by pushing over limit to necessitate the extra headroom of an Rtas plugin, or they have to degrade whatever HUGE sound they acheived coming out of the final brickwall limiter by using Metallica like mastering compression.

I'm just sayin...
A lot of the argument over "which DAW is better" centers around workflow. Let's say you have a perfectly nice gain structure in HD, with none of the plugins turning red (they never do in LE/MP, because they don't clip). Now you want to EQ out a frequency you think sucks, so you do what everyone does, and make a narrow Q bell boost and sweep it to find the offending frequency. Problem is making that boost in an HD system makes the audio clip, which confuses you to no end: new frequencies are being generated as harmonics from the clipping making it hard to hear what you are trying to remove. So you have to do the additional steps of soloing the track, lowering the EQ's input level, turning up your monitors to compensate, sweeping the frequency till you find it, and then undoing all of that manually from memory...all of which lost you your context for making the decision in the first place...

That completely sucks and that is a twenty-times-a-day workflow for your average mixer. In a floating point system as long as your master has enough headroom (easily enough adjusted via master fader if it doesn't) you don't have to re-gain-structure just to do that dead obvious task. This is among the many reasons the entire world has moved onto floating point leaving only ancient Pro Tools HD as a legacy holdout.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:41 AM
Samuel Axelsson Samuel Axelsson is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
All TDM plugins have a few samples higher latency than their native counterparts, due to the hardware architecture. The only benefit of recording through them is the i/o roundtrip latency is lower (you don't have to pay the RTAS hardware buffer time) if you stay pure TDM. But a roundtrip latency through RTAS at 128 samples isn't terrible.

Note that just because a plugin is TDM, doesn't mean it doesn't have its own latency. Some have thousands of samples of latency.

All TDM plugins are restricted to 24bit fixed point i/o, while RTAS plugins have 32bit floating point i/o. This means that RTAS plugins have 900db more headroom in and out than TDM plugins do, which all will hard-clip just like a converter once you exceed 0dBFS. Some developers purposefully cripple their RTAS plugins to hard-clip like TDM plugins do, I guess wanting to maintain identical behavior, but I think that's unfortunate.

TDM plugins tend to be twice the price and honestly I don't think you need any plugins to track through other than the ones that come in the box (EQ3, Dyn//Exp/Gate3, Delays and TL Space). If you are really trying to print tone you ought to use outboard which has the best sound and lowest latency of all. Your mixer will probably yank out any plugins you use anyway. Getting a faster computer will take care of native performance needs cheaper than going with TDM plugins.

The main argument for 3rd party TDM plugins as I see it is Pro Tools HD burns up voices and latency calling into native. If you have an HD1 or HD2 you can easily run out of voices (and ADC), and there are rules you have to follow to minimize voice loss when using RTAS. If you stay TDM you keep all your voices but then you start running out of DSP...the voices burn up DSP too. And then again you have to wait for TDM plugins to reallocate themselves around all the little old chips.

Basically if you bought the HD rig you are going to be forced to get at least an HD3 with 2x192 i/o's or 3rd party equivalent. The smaller rigs are demos. It's designed to make you decide whether you are a big spender on ITB digital or not, and if not, your best bet is to migrate out to Logic and put the money into native plugins (Logic has most everything you need anyway, included at no extra charge, and yes, they are VERY good plugins) and a new computer every couple of years instead. That's what I've decided to do for my place, and I use other studios' HD rigs for large tracking projects, just with a handful of stock TDM plugins where absolutely necessary.
Sorry but, this sounds like a lot of bs to me.
"Demo rigs" like mine can run like 48 stereo waves ssl 4000 channels (of the most demanding out there) and a lot of more without touching my CPU. And I can use it for tracking or printing the input equalization just like a normal board. And without latency.
Try that with logic or LE.


TDM plugs make sense only if you use HD. If you use only TDM the resources of HD are huge. And TDM plugs cost lot less than upgrading your computer each three years...

Even if you mix RTAS and TDM plugs there are rules to avoid loosing voice count. Actually you can mix them and use them as much as you want and you don't need to lose a single voice or add any latency. You just need to know how.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:04 AM
Marsdy Marsdy is offline
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Default Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

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Originally Posted by spicemix View Post

Basically if you bought the HD rig you are going to be forced to get at least an HD3 with 2x192 i/o's or 3rd party equivalent. The smaller rigs are demos. It's designed to make you decide whether you are a big spender on ITB digital or not, and if not, your best bet is to migrate out to Logic and put the money into native plugins (Logic has most everything you need anyway, included at no extra charge, and yes, they are VERY good plugins) and a new computer every couple of years instead. That's what I've decided to do for my place, and I use other studios' HD rigs for large tracking projects, just with a handful of stock TDM plugins where absolutely necessary.
I don't buy this at all.

Why does it have to be either native or TDM? Does it have to be that black and white?

With HD and a fast Mac you get ALL the advantages of both.

In my case with HD3, my Mac's CPU is always 100% free to run VIs. This is not the case in LE or Logic. Even Logic will struggle at buffers of 32/64, even 128 with a lot of VIs going on. Personally, I'm not able to use Logic with buffers lower than 256.

For the most part, I'd say the plug-ins included with Logic (which I've been using since version 2) are just OK at best. There are FAR better 3rd equivalents of pretty much everything both native and TDM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:16 AM
muhis1 muhis1 is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Any real advantage of TDM plugs versus Native?

I think it's great the you all NATIVE dudes out there think that you have the same amount of latency in your rigs as in a HD rig!! HAHAHA!!!


Keep on recording!
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