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  #1  
Old 11-27-2002, 12:57 PM
ringr ringr is offline
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Default Pssst: Entry-level configuration questions

I've pored through the recent threads and, head spinning, am looking for as straight an answer or advice as possible on getting started on digital audio.

I have about $1500, maybe a bit more, to spend on a PC (no monitor needed) plus a sound card or USB interface plus recording software.

I am not up to ordering individual components & assembling them on my own, although it does sound tempting, from what everyone says.

This is mainly because this new computer is really a family PC (internet, e-mail, word processing, etc.) and I'm trying to sneak through digital audio capability without freaking out my wife.

I'm a lone guitar guy, nothing fancy. I want to record multi-track songs with guitar, drum machine and vocals. I barely know what MIDI is, so I won't be doing much of that.

Equipment already in house:
Analog Yamaha 4-track with stereo RCA outs
Lexicon 200 effects processor with 1/4 inch outs and coaxial digital outs

Probable PC purchase:
Dell or HP
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
512 DDR RAM (or RDRAM)
chip set? not sure what they put in these babies
7200 RPM hard drive
separate video card
separate audio card (to be replaced or removed)
Windows XP Home or XP Pro

Potential Purchase (under wife's radar?)
second hard drive for audio; possibly a SCSI drive with controller

That said, I have questions:
1. If I spring for the new MBox for PC, will it work? Will I be able to play back a bunch of tracks (6, 10, 15?) while recording a new track -- without latency?
2. Does the new MBox take USB 2 into account? Or does it limit its bandwidth to the old USB standard?
3. If it is old USB only, why would anyone buy one? Why not wait until the USB interfaces catch up?
4. Since this is a desk-based PC, not a mobile setup, should I look for a PCI card, like the Audophile 2496? Would this work with my limited setup?
5. Does the type of RAM matter (DDR or RDRAM?)
6. Will MBox or anything else work with Windows XP? Does it matter whether it's Home or Pro?

Eternal gratitude to whomever can help!
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2002, 02:59 PM
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QuikDraw QuikDraw is offline
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Default Re: Pssst: Entry-level configuration questions

Quote:
Originally posted by ringr:

1. If I spring for the new MBox for PC, will it work? Will I be able to play back a bunch of tracks (6, 10, 15?) while recording a new track -- without latency?
2. Does the new MBox take USB 2 into account? Or does it limit its bandwidth to the old USB standard?
3. If it is old USB only, why would anyone buy one? Why not wait until the USB interfaces catch up?
4. Since this is a desk-based PC, not a mobile setup, should I look for a PCI card, like the Audophile 2496? Would this work with my limited setup?
5. Does the type of RAM matter (DDR or RDRAM?)
6. Will MBox or anything else work with Windows XP? Does it matter whether it's Home or Pro?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">1. Yes, it will work. There have already been several posts on the DUC from happy customers. You'll likely be able to play back up to 31 tracks while recording a new track (32 track limit minus the new track you're recording). Without latency? No. All digital audio systems have latency. The M-Box has a latency bypass feature, however.

2. The M-Box does not take USB 2.0 into account. It is limited to the bandwidth of the old USB standard.

3. Why would anyone buy one with the old USB standard? Because the M-Box doesn't require any more bandwidth than the old USB standard provides. It would not benefit from the higher bandwidth of USB 2.0 because it doesn't require that much bandwidth for all of its capabilities.

4. I can't answer this question due to lack of experience.

5. Does type of RAM matter, DDR or RDRAM? Probably not with the M-Box. Any P4 (with Intel chipset) running at 2GHz or better should be plenty fast enough with either type of RAM.

6. Of course it will work with XP. It won't work with any other Windows version! It doesn't matter whether it's Home or Pro. On a budget? Get Home. Got an extra $100? The extra features (not related to Pro Tools) might be worth it.

A side note: You mentioned getting a SCSI drive and controller. Don't waste your money! Get a USB 2.0 external drive (running at 7200 RPM), or Firewire (with Oxford 911 chipset). They're a LOT cheaper than SCSI, easier to set up, and run great as audio drives for Pro Tools LE

Mike
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2002, 03:41 PM
ringr ringr is offline
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Default Re: Pssst: Entry-level configuration questions

Thanks, Mike.

Regarding latency -- maybe I don't fully understand the concept.

I guess what I'm wondering is: when I record a new track while monitoring playback through headphones or speakers, will the new track be in synch with the previous tracks? Both during monitoring and on the recording itself?

As long as I can play along in time via headphones with a drum track and previous guitar parts, without dealing with a delay, I'll be happy.
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Old 11-27-2002, 04:40 PM
Bastiaan Bastiaan is offline
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Default Re: Pssst: Entry-level configuration questions

The tracks will be in sync, but shifted. The newly recorded track will have to be nudged to the left a bit after you recorded it.

Regarding question #4: You cannot use non-digidesign hardware with ptle. Ptle only works with amIII/digi001/digi002/mbox.
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Old 11-27-2002, 04:43 PM
Bastiaan Bastiaan is offline
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Default Re: Pssst: Entry-level configuration questions

Oh...another thing. Make sure you read the compatibility pages very careful before you go out and buy a new pc. It would be dissapointing to get a nice new pc, only to find out it isnt compatible with protools....
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