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  #1  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:59 AM
tehguitarist tehguitarist is offline
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Default New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

So pretty much need a PT system for the recording room at a writing and production studio because they want to stop outsourcing, and they've got a studio with a bloody neve in it (don't know the model because i don't know the models that neve have personally.) But this is a nice control room, great sounding drum room, and piano room up the back which is now a writing and production room, but its there if we need it.

So basically i was put in charge in putting together the recording system because the room comes with some great mics, the neve and some other bits of tasty tasty outboard, but no computer and no interface.

So with a budget of 20 grand (any left over cash will go into rent/other gear/maintenance/general studio stuff) I need to work out whether to get a native system or hd2.

Here is a little background if this will help people.

The studio is predominantly a pop and rnb studio, but we get our fair share of rock too (its also a pseudo B room for another studio that does a lot of rock, metal, indie etc.) So more than likely, large track counts will be encountered with all the production that's going on. When i say pop i mean large scale pop, not 4 piece band pop.

So the computer will more than likely be the Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” mac pro with more ram (8-12gb), 128gb SSD for system drive and a couple of 1tb for audio and samples/VI's.

Now i've used HD2 systems in the past, and its been great, the only problems i've had are on larger sessions where you need to allocate more voices/do some careful plugin choices etc.
I also have a PT9 setup on my laptop so i have a rouughhh idea of what native can do without TDM.

Now, my two trains of thought are:

TDM:
Track with plugins
Less strain on computer
TDM only plugins (heat, phoenix etc)
Lower latency

but there is a voice limit, and with large pop productions, i'd hate to run out of voices and need to get another accel card. Thats a PITA. Also probably wouldn't be buying many TDM plugs if any because i really can't justify it.

Native
Cheaper by far
Potentially higher track/voice count
Don't have to buy TDM plugins (i personally own none, all mine are native)
From the mixed reports i've seen, absolutely fine for mixing, weirdish for tracking if you're used to TDM (doesn't affect me because i don't usually track with plugins, but i haven't done heaps of large scale pop)

So it sorta comes down to is the HD2 worth the extra 5 grand? Anyone done any proper comparisons or could lend any advice? Seen a couple of people, but it seems pretty evenly split.

From the people i've talked to already, guy at the store says HD2, engineer/producer i work with says native, but that may be because he doesn't want me with a better system than he has (he has hd2 and 96io on a 3 year old mac pro)

So yeah, any help would be awesome.

Oh also FWIW how does the native tracking workflow stack up? I see a lot of people saying if you're tracking bands that tdm wins hands down but with no real explanation, it just seems they say you can track through tdms, low latency and set up cue sends, but you can record low latency with rtas fine and i use sends for headphones in my usual workflow anyway. Is there anything else? I can't think of any TDM specific things i do at the moment... only thing might be amp farm? But for rough guides a pocket pod or something will do fine.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:16 AM
HD2 HD2 is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

How soon do you need to get the system?
The reason I ask is the new thunderbolt (formerly light peak) line of products will be announced very soon, possibly at NAB. Watching the video of the demo unit that Avid has it would do away with a lot of the TDM stuff. Not sure what's in the box yet but it looks very promising.
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  #3  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:37 AM
squinkys squinkys is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

I work in a primarily pop/hip-hop mixing studio with a smaller production room attached to it. Most of the artists who track here are tracking through plugins, mostly Autotune. If you're going to be doing something similar, definitely go the TDM route. I know the RTAS version of Autotune EVO induces somewhere around 1,300 samples of delay, while its TDM counterpart is nowhere near that (I'm not in front of an HD rig at the moment and can't post exact figures...someone please jump in and correct me if I'm wrong!).

Another thought; if you opt for Native, Low-Latency Monitoring mode only gives you a stereo set of outputs, which means if you're setting up your cue sends in the box, you can't have multiple LLM cue mixes.

Lastly, if you opt for the TDM route and you're mixing, you may find that HD2 isn't going to cut it in your room and find yourself looking for another Accel card. Just something to think about.
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  #4  
Old 02-25-2011, 12:47 PM
Syn-g Syn-g is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

HD2 in a pop/r&b large track count environment will most likely not cut it. You will need HD3 or above (magma Chassis+) if you want to work with less hassles. Native will give you large track count but not the other advantages of TDM.
For me it's TDM all the way.... at any cost.... I hate compromise and i'm willing to pay to avoid it.
But that's me.....
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  #5  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:36 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

so how many inputs do you want/need 16, 24, 48? (for a full band I want at least 24)
going to mix in the box or dump back out to the Neve? so outputs may be a concern
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:28 PM
tehguitarist tehguitarist is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

We need it in the next few weeks unfortunately so lightpeak won't be an option for us.

Didn't know about the sends thing though, and handy to know about the autotune latency, thats definately a concern. (I use melodyne, but i'll be buying autotune... can't do pop and rnb without it!)

As for inputs, we're gonna see how we go with 16 ins and outs for now for two reasons, budget, I've been dealing with 16 ins and outs at another studio for the past year (STILL can't use the bloody ssl in that room, but thats because we go back to reason one), and also, the neve only has 16 channels, so we may upgrade in the future if necessary (probably will) but 16 should do us for the time being.

Unfortunately budget restraints are what is stopping me from hd3, and i don't know when the budget will become available for another accel card or two, i'd hate to have a studio thats operational but majorly crippled until we have a spare few grand to throw around.

Another option would be to buy the HD3 second hand/from the states (i'm from Australia) and then get the converters and computer here, which would actually be about the same cost, but warranty and shipping concerns me on things like those cards.

So i guess now it comes down to get a hd3 system from overseas and have no warranty (unless digidesigns warranty is worldwide which i'll check now) or deal with native unfortunately.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:35 AM
nevertold nevertold is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

HD3 PCI, + brand new Magma Chassis (PE6R4i), + 1 x 192io (with extra AD card) sourced from ebay and dealers will set you back less than $7000. Brand new computer on top and you should have heaps of spare cash for either more i/o, plugins or spares in case of failure.

BTW I just went from a native system to TDM and I won't be going back. Much better for tracking.
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2011, 09:12 AM
WernerF WernerF is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

I've bought a number of used Process and Accel cards on eBay and have never had a problem. You can get a Process card for under $500. Two of them, along with one Accel card, are sitting in a PE6R4 and add up to an HD 6 system. The use ones work just as well as the ones that I bought new. No need to sweat the brand new thing.
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:47 PM
Tom Hartman Tom Hartman is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

People....please understand this....Pro Tools Native is NOT Logic and is NOT Cubase....Pro Tools Native will not give you an unlimited voice count, it gives you the same voice count as HD2.

Don't get me started on how insane this is.

TH
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2011, 08:13 PM
HD2 HD2 is offline
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Default Re: New HD system with mac pro. HD2 or native with 16X16?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hartman View Post
People....please understand this....Pro Tools Native is NOT Logic and is NOT Cubase....Pro Tools Native will not give you an unlimited voice count, it gives you the same voice count as HD2.

Don't get me started on how insane this is.

TH
Get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning Tom? Or did you just respond to the wrong thread? I don't see anyone on this thread comparing Native to Logic or Cubase.
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