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  #1  
Old 09-19-2006, 02:15 AM
ASPSA ASPSA is offline
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Default Upgrade Path Options?

I plan to upgrade (read, "eliminate") my ADAT-based system and move into the world of non-linear recording. Having investigated all the top-of-the-line applications out there (you know which ones I mean), I came to the conclusion that ProTools was for me. However, after an exhaustive search of Digidesign's web site, I was unable to find any information regarding upgrade paths. Granted, the information may be there; I just was not able to locate it. So, I ask this forum to please indulge my questions here.

Ultimately, I intend to purchase a ProTools HD system (on Mac). That's a no brainer. The question is does Digidesign offer upgrade purchasing paths from non-HD systems - namely, ProTools M-Powered and ProTools LE? Naturally, the question extends to the packaged plug-ins and to third-party plug-ins. That is to say, I trust there are plug-ins designed to work only with a specific ProTools version and that they are not, or most of them are not, upgradeable to a different version of ProTools. Furthermore, if I recall correctly, the M-Powered and LE versions do not support TDM/TDM II plug-ins, and possibly neither the RTAS plug-ins. I may be wrong and do not intend to place misinformation here. In fact I am posting this to give those in the know an idea of where my confusion lies.

Next, we have another huge factor that will determine my purchase decision. With the new Intel-based Macs, we have an entirely new architecture (a specially designed version of the Intel Itanium processor as I recall reading in one of the trade journals). In any event, historically, software development lags well behind hardware development/change. I realize that ProTools HD 7.2.1 runs on that hardware, and it supports PCIe slots. However, the external hardware options on such a system are unclear. Also, third-party plug-ins will require time to port over their software.

Now, I'm not looking to purchase immediately. I want to inform myself, and hopefully this forum will provide me with some food for thought. Let's say I'm about 6 months out from a purchase. Would anyone kindly care to address my concerns and educate me on my options?

I truly appreciate your feedback... Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2006, 02:05 PM
Kryst Kryst is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

Quote:
Furthermore, if I recall correctly, the M-Powered and LE versions do not support TDM/TDM II plug-ins, and possibly neither the RTAS plug-ins
Well.... I can say LE supports RTAS. Otherwise, what plugins would you expect us to use? VST isn't accepted, unless you use the Adapter.

I'm not familiar with an ADAT system, but I would think if you haven't got any Digidesign products to turn in to get an 'upgrade', they may not offer you an upgrade path. I think this mainly because if you are not using a program or devices from a company, then you couldn't consider a first purchase as an 'upgrade', as you have nothing of theirs to upgrade from.

Otherwise, if you do have some stuff from them, maybe you can find a path.

If you plan to buy LE or M-Powered in order to try to quickly move up to HD in some upgrade, I think you may not want to buy LE or M-Powered at all...
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2006, 04:11 AM
ASPSA ASPSA is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

First, Kryst, thanks for your reply.


> Well.... I can say LE supports RTAS. Otherwise, what plugins would you expect us to use?
> VST isn't accepted, unless you use the Adapter.

Okay, that's good to know. Still in terms of TDM (and now TDM II) vs. RTAS, I've read that
(1) RTAS is a more efficient model (in terms of exection time) than TDM
and/or
(2) TDM may be phased out in favor of RTAS


> I'm not familiar with an ADAT system, but I would think if you haven't got any Digidesign products
> to turn in to get an 'upgrade', they may not offer you an upgrade path.

Perhaps I did not make myself clear. I realize there is no upgrade path from ADAT to ProTools (would be nice...lol). My point was that after a search (and I will search s'more) I could not easily find upgrade path information from within the ProTools family of products.


> If you plan to buy LE or M-Powered in order to try to quickly move up to HD in some upgrade,
> I think you may not want to buy LE or M-Powered at all...

At this point I am in the information-gathering stage, and my final decision will be based upon several criteria.
(1) Cost (including software, hardware, etc.)

(2) Upgrade path
(a) Factors that play into the feasibility of upgrading between ProTools versions.
(i) Which versions support what DSP engines (RTAS, TDM, TDMII, etc.)?
(ii) Which I/O device to use? 192 I/O? Some other company's I/O device?
(iii) Which third-party plug-ins support what ProTools version(s)? If a third-party
plug-in supports different versions, what's the upgrade path of that plug-in
for compatibility with better verions of ProTools?

(2) UI
(a) The Control|24 looks nice, but it's a control surface. I'll need to consider a
recording console for serious work. Are the converters on the Control|24 good enough
to bypass purchasing a dedicated I/O device, like the 192 I/O?
(b) ICON, you say? $$$...
(c) With respect to remotely controlling ProTools, just how compatible is an external
console? For example, the Mackie Digital X Bus owner's manual, under "DAW Emulating
Mode Submenu", states that it supports "DigiDesign Pro Tools HUI". How does that
measure up with the various ProTools versions?

(3) Portability to Intel-based Macs
-------------------------------
My intent is to buy a Mac. By year's end, I believe, Apple will discontinue
production of PowerPC-based Macs, and move exclusively to Intel-based production. On the
positive side, this means there are deals to be had with PowerPC Macs. On the negative
side, we're back to upgrade paths. Suppose I get a good deal on a PowerPC Mac, and
somewhere down the line decide to purchase an Intel-based Mac. Do you see where I'm
going? ProTools, plug-ins, third party plug-ins, PCIe on an Intel-based Mac (currently
not supported by ProTools, if I read that right) will force a decision on the
Accelerator card and expansion card versions. For example, if I were to buy a PowerPC-
based Mac, I'm good with the PCIe. As of now, if I purchased an Intel-based system, I'm
out of luck with that hardware, or I'll need some delegate hardware to mediate between
them (yuck). Besides, let's face it, even if Digidesign is aggressive in porting its
entire software line to Intel-based Macs, that says nothing of third-party plug-ins. You
know the deal. Historically, software development is way slow in catching up with
new/changing hardware architectures. I'm not complaining; many of these shops simply
don't have the financial resources or the manpower to address this quickly enough.

Heck, that's a lot to chew in one post, and I definitely have my research cut out for me. Still, I'm hoping to get many more responses from this forum, especially since I plan a paradigm shift in terms of recording. I know there are plenty of you out there with the knowledge and experience that can address these questions. If you have a few moments of spare time, I will certainly appreciate your feedback.

Thanks to all and happy recording!
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2006, 10:32 AM
Kryst Kryst is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

Quote:
> If you plan to buy LE or M-Powered in order to try to quickly move up to HD in some upgrade,
> I think you may not want to buy LE or M-Powered at all...

At this point I am in the information-gathering stage, and my final decision will be based upon several criteria.
(1) Cost (including software, hardware, etc.)

(2) Upgrade path
(a) Factors that play into the feasibility of upgrading between ProTools versions.
(i) Which versions support what DSP engines (RTAS, TDM, TDMII, etc.)?
(ii) Which I/O device to use? 192 I/O? Some other company's I/O device?
(iii) Which third-party plug-ins support what ProTools version(s)? If a third-party
plug-in supports different versions, what's the upgrade path of that plug-in
for compatibility with better verions of ProTools?
(1) easy to find out for yourself

(2) and maybe (2a) again, I've never heard an upgrade path from LE or MP to HD, but if your research finds it, let me know!
(i) I'm pretty sure MP and I know LE support RTAS and VST only if you use the Vst to Rtas Adapter. Otherwise, I don't think any other plugins are supported.
(ii) That'll be a matter of preference
(iii) Well, third party RTAS plugins for LE are limited to find. Using a Mac, I think you can find more than on XP. But with the VST to RTAS Adapter, you should be able to use almost any VST (*.dll) plugin. As for upgrade paths here, I don't know. Just watch out for Waves' WUP.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2006, 02:44 PM
Len Grantham Len Grantham is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

As for an upgrade from LE to HD there is a price list on the digi site. Just click on hardware exchange on the main page.
Or click HERE

Hope this helps,
Len
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G5 dual 2.7 OS 10.4.8 400gig HD w/3 gig ram
DIGI 002/ PT 7.3.1
Waves, Sony, McDsp, Audio Ease.....
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2006, 04:48 PM
Kryst Kryst is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

Haha, I was just going to post that link! Pretty funny that in a matter of days since the original post on this thread, they offer something major.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2006, 09:19 PM
ASPSA ASPSA is offline
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Default Re: Upgrade Path Options?

Thanks. Yeah, I just noticed that recently myself... lol.
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