Hardware Inserts on a PT10 Native/Firewire Rig - Am I wasting my time?
Hey Guys -
I've been searching the web for the last few days trying to get a grasp on what seems to be a really dark corner of the Native PT users' knowledge base: Hardware Inserts. From what I'm reading, the situation is seeming a bit bleak. However, I wanted to ask the questions myself, hoping to get a little more definitive information for or against the idea.
My situation is that I've recently started acquiring a few nice pieces of outboard to compliment my ITB, native PT mix rig. Kush Audio Fatso, a few EQs on the way as well. I'm resolved that the best way for me to integrate these pieces is to do hardware inserts on the channels within PT. No problem there, I have plenty of I/O on my SSL Alphalink (which I feed into PT via an M-Audio Lightbridge ADAT interface).
The problem came when I started digging into my round-trip latency, taking measurements trying to configure my I/O delay settings. As I'm sure most of you know, PT Native will only compensate down to a tenth of a millisecond (as opposed to samples). As close as I can get, it's not close enough upon playback. Parallel processing is completely out of the question, etc.
SO! I find myself trying to figure out the best way to accomplish the goal of inserting my new hardware pieces into my mixes without having to insert the outboard post-PT fader via a summing box of some kind. Here are the initial options that pop into my head:
1. Get an HD rig. Don't want to do this. I've got plenty of DSP power. Tracking goes beautifully. It's way too expensive for a few workflow improvements. I'm happy with Native.
2. Switch to Logic 9 for mixing. I used to be a Logic head, still hate editing audio in it, but it has a cool "ping" feature for measuring round-trip latency and compensating by samples. I could see myself mixing in Logic if it solved the problem. Not excited about the idea of splitting my work between two DAWs, especially since I'm extremely fast with PT, but I'll do it if I have to.
3. Try a PCIe ADAT interface instead of the Firewire Lightbridge I'm using at the moment. I've seen a few mentions of firewire interfaces being "a moving target" as far as latency goes. I'm not sure if I'm reading that correctly, but it seems to be an issue others are having.
Anyhow, I'm hoping we can get a discussion going here about the various latency issues Native, non-HD mixers may be facing when trying to integrate outboard into our workflows.
Bottom line, I'm a PT10 native mixer, want to start inserting hardware, but need virtually sample-accurate delay compensation to work as it should.
Thoughts? Thanks folks!