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  #1  
Old 02-03-2014, 12:45 PM
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davetatemusic davetatemusic is offline
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Default PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Hi everyone,
I have been mulling over an upgrade purchase for my studio. Any help in understanding how either of these upgrades could help would be appreciated.
Here's what I'm choosing between:

Avid Mbox Pro Family to PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O at $4000
once I trade in my 003 rack
-or-
A Mac Pro
3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache
64GB (4x16GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
256GB PCIe-based flash storage
Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

Here's what I have right now:

Mac Mini 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB RAM
version 10.8.5

003 Factory Rack with Protools 11.

I need to be able to run more CPU intensive plugins and offload the burden to the HD system -or- through a new computer. There is only so much my Mac Mini can handle, even with the 16 GB RAM. Would upgrading to the HD Native system increase my systems capacity to cope with high CPU plugins and CPU-intensive sessions? If it would than having the addition of the higher HD convertor quality might be a better choice. On the other hand getting 32 or 64 GB of ram on the Mac Pro and 6 cores would seem to be more than enough to handle large sessions even with the 003 rack. This also might be a better long term choice if, as I've heard rumors of, HD is on it's way out.
I appreciate your feedback.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2014, 01:26 PM
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Mike496 Mike496 is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Do you need the number of IO of the omni or 003? An new macpro will provided significant CPU benefits over switching to HDN. Faster than real time bounce should really help you make decisions and print your audio freeing up CPU.
I'd say keep the Mac mini, or get a new one when they are released and use your money on room treatment, converters, and monitoring.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:28 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

HD Native won't take that much off the CPU, the only DSP is for I/O stuff not PI stuff
To take load off the CPU you would need an HD DSP system in a TB to PCIe box

I'd probably go with the new computer but the Flash storage seems to be a problem from what I've read
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Thank you,

Craig
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:55 PM
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davetatemusic davetatemusic is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike496 View Post
Do you need the number of IO of the omni or 003? An new macpro will provided significant CPU benefits over switching to HDN. Faster than real time bounce should really help you make decisions and print your audio freeing up CPU.
I'd say keep the Mac mini, or get a new one when they are released and use your money on room treatment, converters, and monitoring.
I think the IO are the same for the 003 and Omni, 4 XLR, 4 line, with optical cable you can get an extra 8 and with SPDIF and extra 2. Am I off on that? By convertors I assume you'd mean the Omni, or did you have something better in mind? Sounds like good advice.

@ Mike496 - I could definitely use some room treatment and am running some Yamaha HS80M monitors, but would like to get a pair of Adam monitors. I have some good Neve 511 pres, so I'm getting good sound quality to my ears, but was just worried if I was loosing too much signal with the 003 convertors. I'm honestly not sure how they compare side by side with the omni.

Thanks for the feedback guys!
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2014, 03:59 PM
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davetatemusic davetatemusic is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Yeah I'll look into the flash storage issue for sure. I would be running all sessions off of a separate solid state drive.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:36 PM
nst7 nst7 is online now
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Dave, the Omni I/O is not the same as the 003 at all. It's a max of 8 in, 8 out, regardless of analog or digital. And there's only 4 analog ins.

If you want I/O similar to the 003, you need to look at the HD IO 8x8, and then you'd also need a monitor controller.

However, one thing you're getting with the HD Native system is the HD software, if those extra features are important to you.

And since you'd be getting the HD 11 license with the system, you could sell your existing PT11 license, offsetting your costs a little (only the 003 hardware is required for the trade in).
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:54 PM
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Mike496 Mike496 is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

How many channels of audio will you be recording at once? If you mostly produce in the box and track vocals then you need less IO. If you track bands then you need at least 8-16 channels of IO. Having a solid monitoring environment and set up will pay immediate dividends over other components, IMO, that why I would recommend you start there. Reason being is you will actually be able to really listen to and hear detail of what you're working on.
To upgrade low count IO economically you could look at something like a Rosetta 200. They're going for 7-800 on the used market.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:21 PM
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davetatemusic davetatemusic is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

I will need 12-16 channels for sure so it's sounding like the Omni would not work for that. Extremely good to know. I'll take a look at the HD IO 8x8 and a monitor controller. I mix in the box band sessions as well as smaller sessions. I don't think the extra features of HD are super important to me with track counts so high on PT11. It's more the convertors that were appealing. But the HD IO 8X8 looks promising at 16 I/O. Anyone know what kind of monitor controller I would need should I decide to go that route, now or in the future. Better monitors are moving up the list here too. Thanks all.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2014, 05:42 PM
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davetatemusic davetatemusic is offline
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

Found it.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HDX0M-TBAna/

Anyway. It's good to know the options. Thanks for your help everyone.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2014, 08:14 PM
nst7 nst7 is online now
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Default Re: PT|HD Thunderbolt + Omni I/O or Mac Pro for quicker performance.

I mentioned the HD 8x8, but the one you linked to is the best solution, since you need 12-16 channels.

For monitor controllers, there are many choices, but don't go too cheap.
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