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Whats the latest top of the line PTHD rig
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rickrock305
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#1
23rd March 2011
Old 23rd March 2011
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Whats the latest top of the line PTHD rig

So I've been tasked with putting together a new room, and it's been a while since I shopped for an HD rig

What's the latest, greatest, most rock solid rig going? It needs to be HD, no native. And it needs to be running on a Mac, probably with an expansion chassis as well

So PCI-x, PCI-e? Which Macs are playing the nicest with HD and a Magma chassis?

Just looking for some advice, or "stay away from this particular model", etc.
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23rd March 2011
Old 23rd March 2011
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Any of the qualified Mac Pro computers would be just fine. I'd personally stick with an 8-core or above depending on your needs and use of VIs. PCIe is the obvious way to go as that is the latest and greatest from Avid.

You can fit an HD3 (one CORE and two Accel) cards in a single Mac Pro. If you need to expand beyond that with additional Accel cards you will need to get into a Magma Chassis.

Beyond the computer and the cards you will need interfaces and I highly recommend the Lynx Aurora16 with the LT-HD option card. That'll give you 16x16 analog AND 16x16 AES/EBU i/o per unit (yup, 32x32 half analog and half digital). You can have one Aurora16 per HD card (i.e. with an HD3 you can have 3 Aurora16s).
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rickrock305
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23rd March 2011
Old 23rd March 2011
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Yea, I'm 90% sure we're gonna go with a Magma chassis. I'd like to have at least HD3 plus a UAD card.

Any known Magma issues with PCI-e? Haven't looked into the expansion chassis much yet, but my experience in the past is that they can be finicky.

The Lynx seems to be a nice option. Would need at least 48 outs to feed a Duality, an having a few extra certainly wouldn't hurt. I don't have any experience with Lynx but I've heard a lot of positive stuff.

What's the word on the new Avid interfaces?
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
What's the latest, greatest, most rock solid rig going?
Whatever it is, I'm sure we'll see 16 cores from Apple and Thunderbolt (Light Peak) IO from Avid in the near future.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
Yea, I'm 90% sure we're gonna go with a Magma chassis. I'd like to have at least HD3 plus a UAD card.

Any known Magma issues with PCI-e? Haven't looked into the expansion chassis much yet, but my experience in the past is that they can be finicky.

The Lynx seems to be a nice option. Would need at least 48 outs to feed a Duality, an having a few extra certainly wouldn't hurt. I don't have any experience with Lynx but I've heard a lot of positive stuff.

What's the word on the new Avid interfaces?
If you're going HD3 a magma chasis would be a waste of money.
If you want UAD why don't you go for the FireWire option?
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post

What's the word on the new Avid interfaces?
they kick ****in ass!
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
If you're going HD3 a magma chasis would be a waste of money.
If you want UAD why don't you go for the FireWire option?
I'd like to leave open the possibility of further expansion, plus the UAD card.

I haven't looked into the FireWire option. Call me old fashioned but PCI seems to be a better option when faced with the two. I have always experienced better performance with PCI vs FireWire or USB.

But feel free to show me I'm wrong.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
Yea, I'm 90% sure we're gonna go with a Magma chassis. I'd like to have at least HD3 plus a UAD card.

Any known Magma issues with PCI-e? Haven't looked into the expansion chassis much yet, but my experience in the past is that they can be finicky.

The Lynx seems to be a nice option. Would need at least 48 outs to feed a Duality, an having a few extra certainly wouldn't hurt. I don't have any experience with Lynx but I've heard a lot of positive stuff.
No issues with the Magma chassis except that you should understand your latency will increase a bit by using one. It probably won't be an issue but you should be aware. Seriously, if you are only getting an HD3 forget about the UAD card. There are so many amazing TDM plug-ins that you really won't need to bother with UAD. If you absolutely have to have it for some reason, get the FW box. Yes, PCIe is going to be faster but we aren't talking about interface cards, we're talking about plug-in processing power. FW should be just fine for that.

The Lynx Auroras are awesome. With your HD3 you get 3 Aurora16s and you'll have 48x48 analog AND 48x48 AES/EBU digital all at the same time. Plus they are both sample and port accurate to PT|HD so there's no manual compensating for delay times. Just plug in and go.

Remember, you can always buy a Magma expansion chassis down the road if you decide you need more processing power. There's really no sense in buying one right off the bat. An HD3 system has a lot of power, and you're going to be mixing on the Duality anyway so I imagine plug-ins will be kept to a minimum.
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24th March 2011
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I have 2 HD3 systems and 2 UAD Quad Satellites and I can't see how a UAD Quad even comes close to an HD3 UAD run a few Studer tracks a couple of Manley's ad 3 or 4 Fatso's and a UAD Quad is nearly done (see screen shot)
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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I would SERIOUSLY consider the new Avid interfaces over the Aurora's from what I've heard. Seriously nice, as is the new Apogee....
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
An HD3 system has a lot of power, and you're going to be mixing on the Duality anyway so I imagine plug-ins will be kept to a minimum.
I agree that the HD3 is plenty... especially with a console!
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Hi Rick,

just make sure you avoid PTHD 8.0.3 with a Duality that saves the TR and Autoomation via MIDI sysex-dumps.

You will lose all mixes due to a bug in PT. All versions after that are OK.

If you use the Ethernet-connected Duality, this doesn't affect you, of course.

HD3 with PT 8.0.4 is working great with a Quadcore and an AWS 900 here.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
I'd like to leave open the possibility of further expansion, plus the UAD card.

I haven't looked into the FireWire option. Call me old fashioned but PCI seems to be a better option when faced with the two. I have always experienced better performance with PCI vs FireWire or USB.

But feel free to show me I'm wrong.
Just to make clear, I'm only talking about the UAD being FireWire, not PT.
The satellite is only for plugin processing power, so no need for PCIe.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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I am about to order an interface today (coming from digi 192 ) but I still don´t know which one to pick AVID HD I/O 8x8x8 or Apogee Symphony I/O with the same configuration 8 analog in/out and 8 ADAT in/out.

Everybody says they both sound great so will the best looking interface win ?
The Apogee is so ugly I can´t believe it is made 2010 :D

Please give me some advice ! There is no chance for me to listen to the interfaces before I buy as I live in the middle of nowhere...
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
I am about to order an interface today (coming from digi 192 ) but I still don´t know which one to pick AVID HD I/O 8x8x8 or Apogee Symphony I/O with the same configuration 8 analog in/out and 8 ADAT in/out.

Everybody says they both sound great so will the best looking interface win ?
The Apogee is so ugly I can´t believe it is made 2010 :D

Please give me some advice ! There is no chance for me to listen to the interfaces before I buy as I live in the middle of nowhere...
Don't hijack that thread. Start your own.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
I have 2 HD3 systems and 2 UAD Quad Satellites and I can't see how a UAD Quad even comes close to an HD3 UAD run a few Studer tracks a couple of Manley's ad 3 or 4 Fatso's and a UAD Quad is nearly done (see screen shot)
Actually I think you are a bit off the target.

A HD3 accel system is a tenth of a modern 8 core computer when comparing TDM vs RTAS plugin count. UAD quad I don´t have exact figures for at the moment because it is not so easy to compare vs native version because there is none existing. But let´s say the UAD SSL channel strip is equal to the Waves SSL TDM channel strip.
I guess you can have twice as many UAD SSL than Waves TDM on a HD3 system.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
Actually I think you are a bit off the target.

A HD3 accel system is a tenth of a modern 8 core computer when comparing TDM vs RTAS plugin count. UAD quad I don´t have exact figures for at the moment because it is not so easy to compare vs native version because there is none existing. But let´s say the UAD SSL channel strip is equal to the Waves SSL TDM channel strip.
I guess you can have twice as many UAD SSL than Waves TDM on a HD3 system.

You can only run 52 mono ssl channel strips on a UAD Quad, are you trying to say that an HD3 system will only run 26 mono waves ssl channels? That sounds incorrect to me.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeretoneAudio View Post
You can only run 52 mono ssl channel strips on a UAD Quad, are you trying to say that an HD3 system will only run 26 mono waves ssl channels? That sounds incorrect to me.
Ok, I´m not in the studio but I will do the test. I have both UAD quad and PT HD2 PCIe. Still the plugins are not coming from the same code so a comparison is not relevant anyway. But it should be easy to find some gigaflops figures and you will see that the TDM accel cards are not so powerful compared to today´s technology.
Anyway I love my TDM system.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
But let´s say the UAD SSL channel strip is equal to the Waves SSL TDM channel strip.
I guess you can have twice as many UAD SSL than Waves TDM on a HD3 system.
How Do I run My Studer/Manley and EL plugs if I am using up all my UAD DSP on SSL UAD plug-ins?
I can run Waves natively or TDM.
I run 24 Studer/Manley/EL Plugs all my DSP on a Quad satellite is gone.

Your guess is wrong - I can run 100 SSL Plug-ins TDM plus 500+ RTAS/Native
My HD3 is the equivalent to 11 - UAD QUADs when using SSL Plug-ins
also with a tiny fraction of the latency of a UAD Quad Satellite.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I would SERIOUSLY consider the new Avid interfaces over the Aurora's from what I've heard. Seriously nice, as is the new Apogee....
Yes, I agree. The Avid box is very good, and I hear it as cleaner, less "weighted" than the 192. It seems to have lower noise than other DIGI products I have used in the past. Certainly more input/output headroom too. It DEFINITELY has LOWER latency, as the way it "feels" through it the system is "tighter", than others.

The Apogee sounds incredible to me. It has an extra push of sonic "flavor" that I "favor", [plus its versatile and can be used with other systems besides Pro Tools] but I think the Avid HD I/O, and the OMNI are pushing beyond the old crop of DIGI boxes by a measure, if not only for being lower noise, and offering less latency. There has been a sonic improvement to my ear, with both of these aforementioned I/O's....
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Seriously, if you are only getting an HD3 forget about the UAD card. There are so many amazing TDM plug-ins that you really won't need to bother with UAD. If you absolutely have to have it for some reason, get the FW box. Yes, PCIe is going to be faster but we aren't talking about interface cards, we're talking about plug-in processing power. FW should be just fine for that.
There are a lot of UAD plugins that I absolutely love, and are not available for HD3.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Remember, you can always buy a Magma expansion chassis down the road if you decide you need more processing power. There's really no sense in buying one right off the bat. An HD3 system has a lot of power, and you're going to be mixing on the Duality anyway so I imagine plug-ins will be kept to a minimum.

Its more about options than processing power.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
Actually I think you are a bit off the target.

A HD3 accel system is a tenth of a modern 8 core computer when comparing TDM vs RTAS plugin count. UAD quad I don´t have exact figures for at the moment because it is not so easy to compare vs native version because there is none existing. But let´s say the UAD SSL channel strip is equal to the Waves SSL TDM channel strip.
I guess you can have twice as many UAD SSL than Waves TDM on a HD3 system.


Nope. Because what you're forgetting is that you get all that native power IN ADDITION to all the TDM processing.
#23
24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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There was a small shootout in SOS jan11/dec10 or so. Small differences but they agreed that both apogee io and avid has surpassed prism.
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24th March 2011
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There was a small shootout in SOS jan11/dec10 or so. Small differences but they agreed that both apogee io and avid has surpassed prism.

Wow, thats news to me!

The Apogee has had some issues at a friend of mine's studio. Strange audio dropouts and some other issues.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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I've read about that bug too here on GS. I recall apogee has acknowledged the problem
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphino View Post
There was a small shootout in SOS jan11/dec10 or so. Small differences but they agreed that both apogee io and avid has surpassed prism.
Yeah but that "shootout" was a joke and the stuff at SOS admitted that it was a joke too. The source was 16 bit 44.1 kHz CD Audio and also coming out from the built in DA of the CD player, so basically all damage to the audio was already done.
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24th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
How Do I run My Studer/Manley and EL plugs if I am using up all my UAD DSP on SSL UAD plug-ins?
I can run Waves natively or TDM.
I run 24 Studer/Manley/EL Plugs all my DSP on a Quad satellite is gone.

Your guess is wrong - I can run 100 SSL Plug-ins TDM plus 500+ RTAS/Native
My HD3 is the equivalent to 11 - UAD QUADs when using SSL Plug-ins
also with a tiny fraction of the latency of a UAD Quad Satellite.
Doh...
I can run 66 Waves TDM Mono SSL channelstrips on my HD2 PCIe system which makes it ...let´s say almost equal to a single UAD quad. But again the UAD SSL channel and Waves TDM channel maybe totally different beast regarding CPU consumption. My guess is still that the UAD-quad has more gigaflops than an Accelcard. I am pretty sure about that actually.

So I don´t understand your math. I can run native plugins along with both my TDM and UAD plugins. Can you only run Native along with your TDM plugins...

Sorry, I´m VERY offtopic.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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I can 100 Waves TDM SSL Mono Waves E Channel + (plus) another 500 in RTAS mode) Total 600 SSL E Channel Plug-ins

One UAD Quad Satellite can run 52 (according the UAD DSP Chart)

600 (HD3 TDM + RTAS) is 11.5 times more than 52 on the UAD.

I could can less about Giga Flops - how many plug-ins can I run?

my only point before is that with the sessions I need after 20 Plug-ins My UAD Quad Satellite runs out of DSP. Contrary to misinformed around here as a UAD owner the Quad is pretty lame on DSP power.
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24th March 2011
Old 24th March 2011
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I've read about that bug too here on GS. I recall apogee has acknowledged the problem
Yea, my friend contacted then and there advice was "it will go away eventually". And it did! Weird.
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24th March 2011
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Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post

my only point before is that with the sessions I need after 20 Plug-ins My UAD Quad Satellite runs out of DSP. Contrary to misinformed around here as a UAD owner the Quad is pretty lame on DSP power.

That's pretty surprising. I haven't used the new UAD cards, but do have experience with the older ones, and that sounds like not much of an improvement. Contrary to what I've been hearing anyway.
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