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Old 07-18-2004, 09:01 PM
bilco bilco is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 309
Default Pro Tools Free vs. Cakewalk, n-Track, Audacity

OK, I have had PTF on my Dell Latitude CPI for over a month and it is very solid, only the occasional "interrupts" error, no big deal. I have also had 5.1.1 with an AMIII on my desktop for almost a year and it is rock solid. I am vexed about the 2 simultaneous track record limit on the laptop though and I can't afford a new XP based laptop and even an Mbox, so once again I pulled out "the other software," the aps I ran before I was assimilated by Digidesign (resistance IS futile.) I also downloaded some newer versions of things just to see what would happen. Here are the results:

Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro

Completely choked, vapor locked, 4 paws up in the middle of the road, refused to run with the built in Crystal soundcard on the laptop. How hard can it be to work with a generic builtin soundcard? Then it all came back to me. I ran Cakewalk 9, Music Creator and Guitar Tracks Pro on several different computers with a Turtle Beach Montego II and later on a Santa Cruz. Inevitably, they all seemed to crash right in the middle of a critical take!! Usually OE errors due to a VST or DX effect they didn't like. How quickly I forgot!! Arggh, Settings/Control Panel/Remove Program!!! Yurouttaheah!

n-Track

Okay, now Flavio is on version 3.3, I downloaded it and imported some wave files from my PTF sessions. I really want to like n-Track. It tries so hard to provide everything we could want. The best meter display anywhere. He is providing a lot for a very reasonable price. But I can never figure out how to configure the preferences or edit anything and the GUI is too busy for my taste. Every time I tried to change the view it froze on me and no matter how high I set the buffers, it kept intermittently hiccuping on playback. Sorry Flavio..... Settings/ControlPanel/Remove Program...

Audacity

I actually like this one and I have not removed it from the PC yet. Simple layout, muted colors, did a great job of importing files and playing back the session. It is also cross platform, Mac, Windows and Linux! No meters yet, but I may use this one with my Santa Cruz to record 4 tracks at the same time, then move them over to PTF to overdub, edit and automate the mixdown. Nice job guys and it's free!! (They do accept donations though...)

PTF and PT LE 5.1.1 on Win98 SE

Okay, back at the ranch... I fired up PTF and reopened the same files I had tried on these other aps. Even if I didn't have PT LE and the AMIII on my desktop, PTF would have still hooked me. What can I say? Pro Tools IS the best. It is solid and for doing as many complicated things as it can in the way of editing, (unlike Cakewalk GT Pro,) it is really pretty intuitive and easy to get going for a basic session. It is easy to do the basics and it goes as deep as you could ever want to go. When I can, someday, I will definitely buy a used Digi 001 and when I can afford a state of the art PC or mac laptop, it's on to 6.X and the Digi 002. Say what you will about PTF; it works for me and Pro Tools rules!!!!! bilco
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:32 PM
Ruben_B Ruben_B is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 316
Default Re: Pro Tools Free vs. Cakewalk, n-Track, Audacity

Hi Bilco,
you might also want to give Sonic Foundry's Acid Pro 4 a go. I bought the 002 control surface last year and have just been using it as a standlone mixer until i save up the funds for a good computer.
I use the 002 control surface with protools free and Acid Pro and more times than not i actually prefer Acid.

Cheers
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