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  #1  
Old 07-24-2015, 01:22 PM
nuno81291 nuno81291 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 11
Default Back from injury...system advice 8.0.5/budget

Hello all,

I finally have gotten cleared from devastating hand injury that all but destroyed my career as a guitarist... my doctor thinks I am OK to finally put in the long hours after much Physical Therapy. Anyways, it has been years since I used my setup (depression got me bad!) but I am dusting the ol' desk off and trying to get back into demoing for a new project. I have a budget of about 1k to upgrade my computer (macpro, old aluminum deal) and either my PTMP 8 software or some other gizmos to help my workflow. I will go into detail about my computer and protools rig and ask the community to advise how you would spend my budget to make my rig as stable/useful for my needs.

I am a rock guitarist, I primarily use my setup to demo instrumentals or record rehearsals. I use a profire 2626 with its onboard pres. I do not use VIs except for EZdrummer (the old one) to just give a simple beat when writing on my own.

I just installed the update for 8.0.3 to 8.0.5.

my mac pro is running 10.6.8, has 2x 2.66 GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon, with 5 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM.

I have only had this computer for about 2 months before my incident that crushed my hands! At that point I had only a few demos on it and yes like an idiot I recorded to the system drive (only 1 drive on this currently). I am not a techie by anymeans but this Macpro was far more stable than my XP/Vista/7 hodgepodge PC I had before... I would like the harddrive to remain 'in the box' since I have open bays for it...I figure my current drive can remain my system drive and the new one will be for recording to. I do not use samples or have a library of anything other than Ezdrummer so I probably do not need a seperate drive for that (again I sporadically use ezdrummer...when my analog human bandmate is MIA ;P )

SO. if you had 1k in your hands, and used a DAW the way I do (rock music, demos, basically a writing pad for me, or being able to handle 8 inputs for getting the majority of the band on "tape") what would you do?

Off the bat I know I need a harddrive. Are SSDs approved for my old version of protools or should I stick with a "fast" HDD? Is it worth it to upgrade my RAM?

I am an old analog guy and like the tactile feel of faders on a console (I HATE using the mouse for automation/volume/pan etc...just not my bag) so I was thinking of throwing money as a control surface to keep me from cursing my mouse any more! I was looking at something like the Faderport with HUI...a single fader/transport controls would do it and the price is right. But I am willing to consider something like the Mackie Universal Control so I can have 8 faders under my hands...again old school rock guy here that is more used to cutting tape than fiddling with mice and all that jazz...I am willing to separate the control surface into a separate budget and save for the mackie HUI if you guys think it is worth it for my purposes.

I am very hesitant to up/crossgrade protools to the latest configuration for $250 (software + new iLok fee?) and would rather be spending that money to get my first better tube pre and use the AD/DA capabilities of the Profire2626. I assume if I upgraded my Protools version to the latest, I would also have to be upgrading my mac OS to the latest as well and that is some serious coin for a musician who just gets by on his work...

I thank you all kindly for any help and consideration and will gladly provide more information about my system if it will help you give advice.

Nuno
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2015, 02:36 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: Back from injury...system advice 8.0.5/budget

Hi Nuno, sorry to hear about the injury.

Keeping budget in mind I think you are on the right track to keep what you have for now and so some select upgrades.

Yes you can put a SSD in for a second drive but you would see better results if you made the SSD your System drive and got a good spinner for your session (Western Digital Black is the common consensuses) Samsung; 840/850 Pro is first chose, 840/850 EVO is second chose.
You should also get an external drive(s) for backups that you can keep in a safe place. (old adage: if you don't have 3 copies of your data, you don't have your data) this can be a slower "green" drive

Pro Tools pre 11 can only access less than 4GB of RAM so you don't have to load the machine up but 5GB means you have mixed sizes of RAM sticks (I'm going to guess you have 2 512MB and 2 2GB sticks) best to get them all the same (pull the 512MB and replace with 2GB. Non matching sticks is kind of like having a shoe that pinches a little bit, you can ware them but your not happy.

Mackie Universal Control will only work in HUI mode.
A used Pro Control can be had cheap (I have the divers to let LE use it on a Mac). Down side it will not work in 11 or newer.

You should get an iLok v2 at some point (Slate normally has a deal running that you get a free iLok with a purchase that can be the same price as just the iLok)

Then keep you eye open for a deal on a copy of PT10 (10HD even better) you can keep most of your older plugins but also open the newest sessions (.ptx)
__________________
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"Fly High Freeee click psst tic tic tic click Bird Yeah!" - dave911

PT11 System Requirements link http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/C...m-Requirements


Thank you,

Craig
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2015, 05:02 PM
nuno81291 nuno81291 is offline
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Default Re: Back from injury...system advice 8.0.5/budget

Craig Thank you for the kind response! Open my eyes to a lot of issues!

Hard drives: would you recommend ditching the stock 250GB drive? I looked in the system profile and it does not list the writing speed. My search of the model number appears to show it as a 7200 RPM disk...since it is stable and working (and not slow by my old standards) would it be OK to leave it as my system drive (just because it has the OS/apps on it currently and is working) in bay 1 and then add a HDD (western digital black?) to bay 2? Would a SSD for the system drive help protools perform any better (stability?) or would it just be faster?

Memory: I would never have found the 4GB accessibility issue. My MAC shows slots as follows: first: 2GB, second: 2 GB, third: 512 MB, forth 512 MB. the next 4 are empty. So you would recommend pulling the (2) 512s and replace with (2) 2GBs? Do these need to be apple branded/any recommendation on specific sticks to get?


I will research the procontrol...I am a bit adverse to used items that aren't guitars or amplifiers after my Project Mix (first interface when it came out) had 2 faders **** the bed right after the warranty period ended (rats!)

PTMP 8 has all the functionality I need for my simple purposes (and more than I can wrap my brain around....must get the Berklee PT101 book or watch some YOUTUBE videos one of these days) so I do not wish to keep up with the Jones' unless there is remarkably improved stability. But I don't do a lot of processing/plug ins and my machine seemed to be OK. Would new protools let me use more RAM? This sounds like a slippery slope of $$$...

Thank you again!
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2015, 06:21 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,591
Default Re: Back from injury...system advice 8.0.5/budget

It is fine to leave the stock system drive, an SSD would make things a little snappier but I would not say better and nothing for stability (such youtube for SSD boot disk comparisons)
yes a WD Black like this one for sessions http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-625-_-Product

I'm a Crucial man myself http://www.crucial.com/ but there are other good suppliers that provide a lifetime warranty
No need to pay an Apple tax

I got on a roll and forgot you were on MP not LE, I don't know if a Pro Control will work with MP.

v11 was a 64 bit rewrite/recode that lets Pro Tools access all the RAM the machine can hold. 10HD adds a RAM Disk that loads the session into RAM outside of the 32 bit code cap (32 bit code has a 4GB RAM cap, 64 bit's cap is like 64TB of RAM)
There are mixed reviews on stability. You would be looking at a much larger upgrade to
__________________
...

"Fly High Freeee click psst tic tic tic click Bird Yeah!" - dave911

PT11 System Requirements link http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/C...m-Requirements


Thank you,

Craig
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2015, 07:08 PM
nuno81291 nuno81291 is offline
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Default Re: Back from injury...system advice 8.0.5/budget

With the price of HDDs it seems I may just play it safe and not worry about moving the OS/apps to a SSD (my father is a major SSD proponent) but the budget is king here.

Yes I am weary of Apple branded components being an ex PC guy who built a few purpose computers when I had the patience...these days I just want plug n' play and no troubleshooting (in an ideal world eh).

V11 sounds intriguing with 64 bit and the RAM potential...alas I think buying a second monitor screen, sub, control surface versus upgrading the computer to play catchup along with Protools will give me more mileage/improve my workflow which really wasnt hindered in 7...I don't really know what I gained upgrading to 8.

So it is decided then: a new external hard drive for backups, an internal HDD for sessions, replace the 512s with 2GB sticks, and let the rest of the loot go towards workflow/peripherals/etc etc.

killer advice man...time to find what Control Surfaces have the best seeming compatibility with PTMP 8...the project mix was about all I wanted (without pres...) in terms of tactile feel/useful controls/transport. Would rather sink the money into a surface with a warranty that is well integrated than go through another round of ProTools upgrades...alas my buddy's more pro studio has the fancy HD rigs and C|24 and all the bells and whistles...I go there to track anything serious....gotta keep my budget and purpose in mind! Dont fix what ain't broke eh? good ol saying.

Thank you so much!

Nuno
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