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Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 VS Fairlight Dream II
Old 17th June 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Digidesign Pro Tools HD3 VS Fairlight Dream II

Hello,

Has anyone compared the Fairlight Dream II DAW to a PTHD3 system?
Old 4th July 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 

Hi Walter,

We are currently comparing with a decision now delayed until the fall. Our studio now has a Fairlight QDC as well as a PTHD3 with a Yamaha DM2000 controller (most of us do not like it.) EVentually we will upgrade both - we are looking at the Fairlight Constellation and the DControl. Therefore, one of the more rare users of both systems. We do mostly TV post production and some music.

Some advantages and disadvantages of both systems: (Not too offend others as some seem to be pretty touchy when it comes to DAW criticisms - these are initial impressions as they relate to how we work and what we need.)

I was demo'd the Dream II at NAB. Very nice. The way Fairlight shuttles around the edit desk is vastly superior to PT, even on the old system. Especially with uncompressed HD video in tow. Integration with HD video and Tri-level sync is quite good. The system is very fast and still incorporates clip based EQ and level control that can be adjusted in real time on the fly. I saw the wave plug-ins map out to the console, but not to the same detail as on the D-control as of yet, but effective enough. We have noticed that even our old 6 year old QDC Fairlight sounds better than PT stock HD3, but are looking to make a comparison to another 3rd party box at some point. Customer support has been very quick when required - no long musak waits and numerous menu selections. Our old system has frozen only once in the last 6 years, despite running 100 hours per week. The old QDC was proprietary and the new Dream II is on Windows XP so my experience can only relate in the sense that in the past, Fairlight products last and are very reliable. I have heard that the new systems are quite stable as well, but of course, no one cannot say they have not crashed in a couple of years...

Another convenient feature: when copying or moving a wave file, you not only see the outlines of the clip, but you can see a shadow of the copied waveform as you move the clip. That shadow can be seen over the destination waveform - very handy for sfx and music editing! Not much need for nudging (which can still be done) if you can place the clip in the right spot the first time...

If you are looking at the entry Fairlight Satellite, it was pretty good as well: 7.1 surround in the box with dynamics and 8-band EQ on every channel without opening a plug-in. the same transport/controller and software as the Constellation.

D-Control and 7.3 have made PT so much better than it has been in the past. I am a former Audiovision user and I can say that for the most part, PT has recovered features I missed from that old system, particularly from the video side. I really liked how the plug-ins could be mapped out to the channel strips - you could see and adjust anything so much easier than with a mouse which in my opinion is the slowest way one can work. (Speed matters to us in our situation, but I can understand how it is not everything and not worth the cost in other conditions.)

The main internal discussion we are having now is that we are accepting and delivering more and more PT sessions from outside. There has never been a problem converting PT sessions to OMF or AAF as we do with foley sessions for example, but there is pressure to be the same as others here. Our situation is changing and our owners are examining which way to go. Nobody here thinks that PT is hands down better, or slower in every respect. The are some things PT can do faster of course and PT is the standard - that is what we are wrestling with.



If you have any further questions, I would be glad to help! (I weighted my answers towards Fairlight since PT features are better know.) I can give better detail when I have more time.

Roberto
Old 4th July 2007
  #3
Hi there,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
I am glad someone took a bit at this thread. I am going through that exact decision right now as well. <o:p></o:p>
Roberto, can you expend little bit more about comparing the quality of the sound. because of PT market share it is difficult to consider other system unless there is a superior features in Fairlight that really stand out. also did you consider other system like Euphonic, I would love to hear your input. Do you have experience tracking music with Fairlight? how would it compare to PT? (Latency etc). <o:p></o:p>
Old 4th July 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

By all accounts the fairlight is an impressive system, but for most of us doing music we need to be able to open PT sessions that come from elsewhere...we need to be able to run all the plug ins out there that people want, and a lot of us need to have a system that other people are familiar with. That rather knocks the fairlight on the head AT THE MOMENT. I'm not in love with digidesign but PT remains extremely strong as a competitor in the music production market.

J
Old 4th July 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
Plug-ins are pretty important to the way we work, not just Eq's and Comps, but pitch correction, time alignment, virtual instruments, amp simulation, noise reduction, etc.
Old 5th July 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Plug-ins are pretty important to the way we work, not just Eq's and Comps, but pitch correction, time alignment, virtual instruments, amp simulation, noise reduction, etc.
I do not believe I said they were not important... I agree as every other DAW manufacturer seems to be in agreement with. Fairlight was late getting on board, but my understanding is that all VST plug ins work or will work soon. In my demo, I saw a Waves Diamond bundle, as well as Synchro Arts time exp and Serato working on the system. With rewire, the Fairlight CC1 had Reason on the system. It flashes up like it does on ProTools. Not having all the plug-ins these days will take you out of business. The lack of plug-ins was a major shortcoming of Avid's Audiovision, which we had, which was merged with PT for 5.0 if I remember correctly.

Quote:
I'm not in love with digidesign but PT remains extremely strong as a competitor in the music production market.
I am in total agreement here as well. My job, for our studio is to research and make the best choice for them for their specific market and conditions. I would never by a car without test driving at least 3 and practising due diligence with regards to research. I am for competition - if PT gets better competition, it will get better - if it does not... Lets see if PT comes up with a response to CC-1 technology. PT is the standard for post as well and there are resulting issues with compatibility with others. We would not even consider Fairlight if it could not deliver all of the plug-ins that we would need.

Quote:
Do you have experience tracking music with Fairlight? how would it compare to PT? (Latency etc).
We have done some music on an animated series - replacing or adding vox tracks and overdubbing some other instruments. No issues whatsoever with latency - the waveforms write in realtime across 48 live tracks in real time - no delay as the waveform is instantaneous.
Tracks sound great. We have also tracked bands and live performances with PT and with a Deva V on location. We just seem to notice that PT has a specific sound that some clients have described as 'brittle or edgy.' Same track recorded on Fairlight was more 'true' we felt. The difference though is not significant - some with less trained ears could not hear it. The difference was more significant with short peaky material - PT seemed to grab the peak and less of the material around it. You will not hear an A&B and go "wow what a difference." (Of course we know most hit records are recorded on PT and sound great.) I view it like the analog days - Neve, SSL, MCI had specific sounds - you went with a sound for artistic reasons.

Quote:
also did you consider other system like Euphonic
I saw the Euphonix controller at NAB - very impressive from the little time I spent on it. (Seemed to be layed out nicely, transport was good, the finish and materials were excellent.) If you have a need to run multiple workstations as in PT and Nuendo, or some others apparently, this would make sense. My clients are a little leary in our situation having the console talk to the DAW in the event there is a problem. PT will say there is a Euphonix problem and vica versa. For us, it makes sense to stick with the same manufacturer for the DAW and the console/controller - if we have a poblem, we have 1 manufacturer to deal with. That being said, I am a big Euphonix fan. I was one of the engineers who had it installed in the first digital TV mobile and have worked on their consoles for music and live sports productions. If you can afford it, I would consider it should you need to control more than 1 DAW.

Hope this helps!

Roberto
Old 5th July 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
beyarecords's Avatar
 

Hi Roberto,

Quote:
Originally Posted by robcap View Post
We have done some music on an animated series - replacing or adding vox tracks and overdubbing some other instruments. No issues whatsoever with latency - the waveforms write in realtime across 48 live tracks in real time - no delay as the waveform is instantaneous.
Tracks sound great. We have also tracked bands and live performances with PT and with a Deva V on location. We just seem to notice that PT has a specific sound that some clients have described as 'brittle or edgy.' Same track recorded on Fairlight was more 'true' we felt. The difference though is not significant - some with less trained ears could not hear it. The difference was more significant with short peaky material - PT seemed to grab the peak and less of the material around it. You will not hear an A&B and go "wow what a difference." (Of course we know most hit records are recorded on PT and sound great.) I view it like the analog days - Neve, SSL, MCI had specific sounds - you went with a sound for artistic reasons.
may I ask whether you were using stock PT converters or another brand (Prism, Lynx, Apogee)?
Old 5th July 2007
  #8
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
The Fairlight digital console that I had the "pleasure" of working on for an entire summer in Tokyo a few years ago was undoubtably the biggest boat anchor I've ever had to use. Constant lock up's and booting problems, etc. As much as I dislike Mackie, I would have easily traded the monster for a little 1604 mixer. Anything to get away from the Fairlight. Now, that said, I have no experience with the new products they have released. But looking back over the company from their first foray into audio with the Fairlight II, III, consoles, etc., I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling that what they design and build is going to be supported long term. I almost bought a II once. Ended up buying a house instead. Thank God I made the right decision.
Old 5th July 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Constant lock up's and booting problems, etc.
Not my experience as noted. Our ProTools HD uses stock converters by the way on a G5. It has sometimes crashed several times a day whilest recording 1 mic on an animation voice record. They have not had any success in repairing it. Essentially, it has crashed more times in 1 day than our Fairlight Prodigy 2 MFX48 QDC has in 6 years. We were so desperate once we grabbed our Deva V and used it to record the session. I doubt your experience is typical as there are tons of Fairlight systems in Japan, particularily at NHK where reliability and quality are paramount.

That having being said, I never judge a system based on 1 installation experience. Obviously, some PT users have had great success and have not had these reliability issues and we take that into consideration. I think both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

Roberto
Old 5th July 2007
  #10
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robcap View Post
Not my experience as noted. Our ProTools HD uses stock converters by the way on a G5. It has sometimes crashed several times a day whilest recording 1 mic on an animation voice record. They have not had any success in repairing it. Essentially, it has crashed more times in 1 day than our Fairlight Prodigy 2 MFX48 QDC has in 6 years. We were so desperate once we grabbed our Deva V and used it to record the session. I doubt your experience is typical as there are tons of Fairlight systems in Japan, particularily at NHK where reliability and quality are paramount.

That having being said, I never judge a system based on 1 installation experience. Obviously, some PT users have had great success and have not had these reliability issues and we take that into consideration. I think both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

Roberto
sorry to hear about the crashes! Much more likely to be the mac though - I have several HD rigs here, and one of them crashes all the time. It was/is the mac !!

gonna chuck it out the window i reckon.
Old 5th July 2007
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robcap View Post
Not my experience as noted. Our ProTools HD uses stock converters by the way on a G5. It has sometimes crashed several times a day whilest recording 1 mic on an animation voice record. They have not had any success in repairing it. Essentially, it has crashed more times in 1 day than our Fairlight Prodigy 2 MFX48 QDC has in 6 years. We were so desperate once we grabbed our Deva V and used it to record the session. I doubt your experience is typical as there are tons of Fairlight systems in Japan, particularily at NHK where reliability and quality are paramount.

That having being said, I never judge a system based on 1 installation experience. Obviously, some PT users have had great success and have not had these reliability issues and we take that into consideration. I think both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

Roberto

Have you checked the RAM on your G5. I agree with narcoman, it's usually the Mac.
Old 5th July 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 

The Ram is fine - checked by a local PT/Mac tech. (We checked all of our plugs when we upgraded to 7.3 which seemed to be fine.) But perhaps we will look further at our G5 Mac itself - who knows, maybe it is done... Good excuse to upgrade! - especially to one of those nice new quads

Thanks for the advice,

Roberto
Old 16th June 2016
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Anyone facing issues with assigning VCA's on Fairlight.. i am using Constellation Dream!!... My Fairlight V3 crashes when i assign VCA's... any fixes ???
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