View Full Version : Ideal computer for pro tools?
01-19-2003, 09:29 PM
I purchased pro tools 001 a couple of months ago after playing around with it in school. I am a sound engineering student at a studio here in my town. My next class at the end of this month is all pro tools which is why I bought it. Is there a system out there that is ideal for running pro tools or is building a computer for it a better option? I have been running it on a HP pavilion with a celeron processor just to get familiar with it. I also know that once I get into some serious recording that this computer will not be able to run pro tools with some plug-ins. I've upgraded the RAM but the processor is just not fast enough. So, now I want to get a computer to run pro tools alone, and nothing else on it. Is speed and memory my main concerns or is there other things I need to take into account as well? I do not want to spend a small fortune trying to find a good setup for this. Want to get it right the first time. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
01-20-2003, 08:58 AM
Check out the 001 page on www.digidesign.com, under products.
Look at the system requirements. I know the 001 is currently not compatible with AMD processors or the SiS chipset. Your key items for a good DAW are a high quality motherboard and process, a good amount of ram, and fast hard drives.
If you're building the machine just to be a DAW, leave out anything you don't need (IE soundcards, modems, ethernet cards) and try to get a motherboard that doesn't have onboard sound (can sometimes cause conflicts).
01-23-2003, 03:10 PM
Justin has the right idea. The Digi web site should be considered the ultimate
guide in properly configuring your computer for Pro-Tools. Obviously if Digi has
"pre" tested a computer you can be reasonably sure that it works. More
importantly however is once the machine has been successfully tested it goes on
the Digidesign supported list. Unfortunately if you don't use a supported
machine it could leave you ineligible for tech help. I don't think Digi would
leave you out in the cold but if major problems persisted they would likely
suspend support. Too often that supercomputer that someone built, no matter how
super, ends up being the wrong choice for Pro-Tools.
In the end you can't go wrong by following Digidesigns advice. Any other choice
leaves room for
potentially big problems.
01-23-2003, 08:26 PM
I think you guys are right. I'm probably better off getting something that's been tested and proven to work rather than build one that may or may not work. The problem I have now is PC vs MAC. I've always owned a pc and i'm very comfortable with that. I've heard pro-tools runs better on a mac, on the other hand, pro tools has run pretty well on my HP pc in which digidesign says is not compatible with pro-tools. We are going to be learning on a mac in our pro-tools class so you know what they reccommend to use. It appears to me pro tools will run just as well on a pc with the right setup as on a mac. It seems to me that a mac or pc is just a matter of preference. I would feel most comfortable running pro tools on a pc but is the mac a better choice? I'm leaning toward a pc because I know it better. Is this a wise decision?
01-24-2003, 08:13 AM
If you're using the machine for just Pro Tools, then don't sweat it and get a Mac.
The interface is visually almost identical on both.
Really MacOS isn't that hard for a PC person to learn. I'm normally at home on Win98, and I picked up navigating around the mac in a few days playing with one in college.
01-24-2003, 10:31 AM
Here's where I'm going to disagree with Justin. Perhaps putting things in historical perspective might help. Clearly Digidesign has in the past leaned heavily on the Mac OS. I don't believe it was a "we like Mac's better" thing. Much more that the OS stayed somewhat similar, from a developers stand point, over the course of time. Imagine being assigned the task of writing code for Windows 95's. You're in your cubicle for 9 months, you've got everything running great, burst away from your desk with your Pro-Tools Window 95 disk in hand proclaiming to the world "I've got it" only to hear that while you where deep in code writing Window's 95 v3 has come and gone and now we're three months into Window's 98. Not to mention the third party developers could NEVER keep up with the never ending changes in the Windows OS. Ever notice the lack of third party PC support for Pro-Tools LE?
Ah but times they are a changing. There seems to have been a commitment to rally around and focus on the XP OS. I'm not privy to high level negotiations between software manufacturers but clearly Digidesign has made a major commitment to Windows XP. To make things even more encouraging lot's of third party developers are following Digi's lead.
So where does that leave us? It seems to me that for the first time (at least for Digi users) us audio guys and gals can get away from the oh so old argument about which computer makes for a better recording tool. Maybe now we can get on with what I fear many have forgotten in this titanic struggle..............THE AUDIO!
If your comfortable with the PC go for it. The 001 will run wonderfully.
01-24-2003, 10:48 AM
I agree. I'm a Mac/DP guy (at least for audio), but with XP (which is the OS I'm typing this in), I don't think it makes much sense to switch platforms if the app you're looking at runs well on either one, and you're already comfortable with Windows.
I'm using DP, which necessitates having a Mac, but if it were available on WinXP, I'd think long and hard about staying on the PC platform myself.
01-24-2003, 01:53 PM
Oh, I by no means was trying to say it worked better on the mac.
I just meant if you're considering buying a mac because the class is taught on one,
and it's in the supported hardware list, don't let the GUI scare you.
I'm a pc guy to the core. I'm just saying there's no real reason to get spooked
by the learning curve of an OS anymore.
At home I have 1 win95 machine, 1 dual booting win98se and SuSE Linux, and at work I'm on MacOS 9.2. So it's all good. :)
Course I always have trouble finding my hotkeys...
First, Pro Tools (originally Sound Tools - but PT was basically the same technology) was developed while the Mac was still on System 6 (though by the time it came out things had moved to System 7), and PC's were running on either the original version of Windows or just plain old DOS. It absolutely was a "We like the Mac better" scenario (I've talked to some of the developers). The hardware and software of the early NuBus Mac machines were much better suited to the sorts of things one needed to do with a system like Pro Tools back then. Clearly a number of other prominent music software developers felt the same way.
Granted this isn't really all that important in the context of what's being discussed here. I just wanted to set the record straight.
01-27-2003, 11:41 AM
Jeez you guys are sharp,
Yes DAS is absolutely correct. My choice of "historical point of view" was a poor one. And I agree your assessment that the NuBus machines were a better choice (at the time) is true.
My idea wasn't to provide a history lesson but more a simple explanation as to why one currently should feel comfortable using either a Mac or PC with the 001, and perhaps to shed some light on how we got to that point.
That said, your point is well taken!
02-11-2003, 06:06 PM
I use PC's myself and I would suggest a mac because windows is so darn unstable. There would be nothing worse than to almost finish a song and have the computer lock up. Although if you're used to pc's then go for it. The only thing is Digi's requirements are pretty strict so read they're website first (like the other guys said). You'd still comme out a lot cheaper going with a PC though, especially if you build it yourself. check out www.tigerdirect.com They have really cheap stuff.
PT on PC? Despite the optimism for WinXP there are some things to keep in mind:
-PT 6 (and most other updates) came out for Mac 1st. They still like Mac better!
-I have WinXP and Mac OSX - XP has WAY more problems!
-The new Mac OS is even MORE stable than the old ones (which were already WAY more stable than Windows!)
-XP has MAJOR security problems - consider that when you want to use Digidesign's online collaboration program. (Also there are way LESS Mac viruses)
I know that the Mac will cost a bit more, but the old adage holds true: "you get what you pay for".
02-18-2003, 08:49 AM
I was just wondering where your claases were. I am a student at Full Sail in Orlando Florida and it seemed that you might also be a student there. I am also planning on buying a Digi001. If you are close, maybe we can get together.
--> Full Sail
Hey there! I just graduated (feb. 7) from Full Sail! Now I'm out to California to rock the world! :) Actually just got my digicert as well! What month are you in? Make sure you study hard and get at least 90s in WS, AWS, Session, and Post so you can take the pretest .. then pass that, and you can take the digicert.
Hey, if you need anything or have any full sail questions, drop me a line: TWOZ1976@yahoo.com .. l8ah
03-09-2003, 10:58 PM
The schools usually use PT on the Mac platform because they (hopefully) are training you for the "Real World" job market you will be in after school. I have used both, not a whole lot of difference between the two interface wise. Mac blows windows away in the performance dept. though. In the end, if you are going to seek employment in a studio after school, go with the Mac as do most of the pro studios and Post houses...
04-08-2003, 10:11 PM
will there ever be a digital performer for xp?
04-08-2003, 10:29 PM
I REALLY doubt it. MOTU has a hard enough time keeping up with the Mac OS. Still waiting for everything to get sorted out for OSX. MOTU would have to re-write their entire code yet again to be Windows compatible, and seeing as they haven't done it yet, I'm not expecting that they're going to do it.
Unless Apple really buddies up with Emagic. But I think you'll see DP discontinued before you'll see it on the Windows platform.
04-09-2003, 08:17 AM
By the way, not sure if you're aware, but DP4 for OS X is out now. :)
It's pretty doubtful that MOTU will be porting DP to Windows, they've never supported it or mentioned wishing to build support. They seem to be pretty happy being very good one one platform, rather than to sacrifice quality and divide their efforts between two.
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