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  #1  
Old 01-25-2010, 06:49 AM
tonygoodall tonygoodall is offline
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Default Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

I've had Digi hardware running on Windows since 1995, TDM from 2000 and HD2 since 2002, other than buying incompatible motherboards (easily resolved), it's worked fine. Over the last 2 years, I've bought more and more RTAS plugins for amp sims, FX and Virtual instruments, and it wasn't working well on my dual core. To address this I bought an 8 core Dell T7400 (equivalent to the 2008 Mac Pro) with 2 Xeons at 3.2GHz, 4GB quad channel, etc. It's still not working for me, dur to OS/PT issues, I wonder if I need to get a Mac - can anyone help?
Btw: Until I sold my synths and went virtual, Windows was fine, this is not about OS preferences, just what PT can do now.

I have HD2 PCI-X and nowadays run about 75% virtual instruments, 25% audio - mostly guitars with amp sims, 10-25 stereo tracks
I cannot seem to run more than 5 or 6 virtual instruments + 4 amp sims, I cannot get the RAM use beyond 1.4GB for PT8 (incl the RTAS). I can only use about 35-40% of my CPU power
Maybe I should wait for full support on 64 bit windows, or look at other DAWs, but for now can I ask the big question:

Should I buy a Mac? For this I need to know how many virtual instruments would I be able to run on an 3.2GHz 8 core MacPro with 8GB+
I hear there are ways to go beyond 4GB in the 64bit versions perhaps using a separate host like PLAY
I've seen many complaints similar to mine on these boards about plugins, and it sounds as if it is not a foolproof exercise to match the OS version, hardware to PT and the plugins

My plugins are:
Komplete 6, 5 - I have lots of professional Kontakt libraries, big drum sets, which I am finding it hard to use
Kore 2, again - I bought lots of libs that eat RAM
Arturia
IK stuff (Miroslav, Sampletron), FX
Korg M1, etc
Kitcore
BFD
Antares
Waves stuff
Velvet, transfuser, structure LE
TL space, Eleven LE
+ others

Since I can't freeze tracks this is a big problem for me.

My other alternatives include selling the TDM kit and getting Digi003 or lower- would a MacPro 8-core be much different to HD for max RTAS plugins?
Note: This is for my upmarket home studio with max 16 I/O channels, not for a studio charging by the hour, so I can accept some compromises, especially on I/O, and I would need to crossgrade to PCIe or buy expansion boxes to move my HD cards to the Mac

So to summarise:
1. On an 8 core 8GB Mac, can I really use all the RAM, can I load more plugins?
2. Which MacPro Config would be best for my needs?


thanks
Tony
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2010, 09:10 AM
gsilbers gsilbers is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

have you tried running the VIs outside of pro tools?

on a slave PC or better yet with plogue bidule and audio via rewire?

check out www.cinesamples.com/videos

its with DP but the principle is the same.

then youll have extra power to run audio and audio fxs.


with mac its the same. pro tools is 32 bit in mac still and u said u got the same system but on pc? then i think hosting virtual instruments outside of PT would be an idea solution.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2010, 09:15 AM
gsilbers gsilbers is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

btw i have 2 computers and can load a whole orchestra (symphobia, true strike, LASS, SD2, sonic implants, war drums, vienna, 3 omnisphere fully loaded, stylus, etc)

one is a mac pro 8 core (like the comparable pc u have) and the other is a intel q6600 2.4ghz 8gb ram crappy clone pc.
both computer have bidule that host all of the above.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2010, 11:29 AM
stanonbass stanonbass is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

HD has been great on my Mac Pro. Thats not to say there arent bugs and glitches. But it has been fairly reliable for the last 3 years. This studio runs all day everyday. I just now had to reformat my internal and reinstall stuff. Only had to do it once though.

I am a PC guy at heart but i must admit protools mates up to a mac pro very easy and runs good. You plug stuff in and go. Very easy setup.

Downside to macs is there not very upgradable and if something major burns out like a motherboard its really expensive to fix. 1200 dollars or more. Upside is you can take you mac into a mac store and get free tech support. They will tell you whats wrong with it for free. If its something you can fix yourself it cost you nothing for the appointment. My mac wouldnt boot and they troubleshooted it for free and told me to reformat my drive. I ended up buying a new system drive and throwing a fresh install of OSX on it. Runs like new now. Didnt even lose any files. I was able to copy what i needed off of my old drive. It still showed up under my hard disks. OS was the only thing corrupted.

I say go for it.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2010, 01:02 PM
misterloop misterloop is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

remember, in your case it´s not just the mac pro, you´ll have to upgrade to the pci-e cards! mac pros don´t accept pci-x
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2010, 01:37 PM
tonygoodall tonygoodall is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

I know about the PCIe cost, the crossgrade is about £2500, Digi will only give me £500 more trade-in discount than they give to someone trading in an MBox. Not a very attractive offer, since my HD2 cost me £12,000. I wonder whether to just move to Logic and sell the HD2 kit to avoid repeating this experience

Hence I have to be certain that a move to Mac is essential. My other option is an expansion chassis if I want to keep the HD2 PCI-X cards

Cheers
Tone
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:33 PM
tonygoodall tonygoodall is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers View Post
have you tried running the VIs outside of pro tools?

on a slave PC or better yet with plogue bidule and audio via rewire?

check out www.cinesamples.com/videos

its with DP but the principle is the same.

then youll have extra power to run audio and audio fxs.


with mac its the same. pro tools is 32 bit in mac still and u said u got the same system but on pc? then i think hosting virtual instruments outside of PT would be an idea solution.
thanks immensely for the tip, I never heard of bidule, I have the demo version in test now. The demo is standalone, and seems to work fine, I have stacked up more than 1GB of VSTs into it, and it can connect to an external IO as well as rewire. So this is the way I would use a slave PC I assume

I will report back later with my test results

thanks
Tony
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2010, 03:31 PM
gsilbers gsilbers is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

yep

or via rewire on the same computer. thus bidule will use the processing power of other cores not used by PT.

the issue with rewire is that its program to use one core so if u get cpu spikes then its due to that.


the other common method is to use whats called an ADAT loopback which is outputting adat from your interface and inputting to THE SAME interface on the same computer.
but im not sure with pro tools as it wont allow 3rd parties to use the same I/O.
maybe connecting an adat FW interface and its ouput goes into the 192s adats.

or a cheap slave pc and use midioverlan and an adat card like the maudio ones.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2010, 04:44 PM
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TOM@METRO TOM@METRO is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

I have an HD3 on Mac, it made me money. Then I replaced it with a far more powerful LE system, put the HD rig in the corner and never looked back. Things are good. I have at least doubled my power with Native and this year I will again upgrade to a six core, there wail never be a HD system that can keep up. None of my clients care about which version I'm running as long as the work gets done. Before you spend more money, do yourself a favor and get outside the box a little.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2010, 06:03 PM
tonygoodall tonygoodall is offline
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Default Re: Should I move my HD2 to Mac?

Well Bidule works fine, rewire works fine with the demo, and Bidule adds extra facilities like arpeggiators etc. It would be better to choose to use them whe desired, and use plugins directly in PT, but this is a great workaround for both Win XP, and I assume 32 bit PT running in a 64 bit OS (WIn or Mac).

my PT was collapsing at 1.4GB usually, and I could never get past 50% load on the CPU with VIs. With this extra Bidule host, I can get past 2GB, and the CPU is what maxxed out, not the memory. I did have to increase my H/W buffer to 1024, which is not really OK, but I was driving every VI from the same midi in the test, so not a fair test. I think it was OK with 512 when I had a normal amount of load. I assume if I use win 64 bit I can use whatever RAM I can get.

My current favourite ideas are to stick with PC + HD, or get a mac and go native with LE and play with Logic too. Still not certain yet.
If I stick with PCs, I may also get one of the new i7 laptops too - there is a sony one with 8GB and 64bit Win 7 for the price of an airbook, and I could slave that when I need to with PLAY or Bidule, and use it as a meaty portable native LE setup as well

Cheers for the help everyone, especially gsilbers

Any further advice is welcome

Tony
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