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Making the step to HD...HD1 or HD2?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
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Making the step to HD...HD1 or HD2?

Hello all,

I am in the process of building my studio and I feel like now is the best time for me to invest in a HD system. My question is do I really need that second PCIe card? I currently have an 8-core mac pro and I would like to have the option of recording 12 simultaneous tracks. Will the PCIe core card handle that amount of tracks adequately? I'd hate to drop an additional $3,000 on an accel card, unless I feel it is absolutely necessary, but by my fellow slutz comments in other posts it seems like I may need another card. I plan on buying the 192 I/O. The help is much appreciated. Thanks!
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
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dubrichie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarGuy551 View Post
Hello all,

I am in the process of building my studio and I feel like now is the best time for me to invest in a HD system. My question is do I really need that second PCIe card? I currently have an 8-core mac pro and I would like to have the option of recording 12 simultaneous tracks. Will the PCIe core card handle that amount of tracks adequately? I'd hate to drop an additional $3,000 on an accel card, unless I feel it is absolutely necessary, but by my fellow slutz comments in other posts it seems like I may need another card. I plan on buying the 192 I/O. The help is much appreciated. Thanks!
yes, get the HD2.

it will give you more voices and tracks, which will be necessary.

don't worry about HD3, with that Mac you'll be grand for loads of RTAS.
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Agreed. You need HD2 minimum. We had an HD2 for our first year, and then we got a third card, used. (I would never pay retail for it.)

The third card does add some juice, even with our late-model MacPro.

Best of luck.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
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sfoote's Avatar
I'll respectfully disagree, bringing my significant lack of experience to the table.

My upgrade from LE to HD was one of the smartest things I did. Rock solid. That plus going outboard mixing board have made a huge difference in my mixes.

On HD2, it depends on what you're gonna do. If you need many mix and record channels (each card is 32 channels of input plus output, not 32 of both), then HD2 can do that for you. If you love TDM plug-ins, HD2 will help expand the number.

But if you're like me, running a 24 channel board, recording about 12 feeds occasionally, mixes that I don't think ever exceed 30 channels and leaning on a combination of TDM and UAD plug-ins, then you don't need the extra HD card.

I'd spend the money on getting something that's not a 192, instead. Prism and Lynx Aurora are both better to my ear, and I suspect the Mytek is as well but haven't heard it.

Sean
Old 12th November 2009
  #5
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marchhare's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
My upgrade from LE to HD was one of the smartest things I did. Rock solid. That plus going outboard mixing board have made a huge difference in my mixes.


Sean
+1. Folcrom instead of mixer. I just have HD1 on a MacPro. Haven't felt
the need to get another card yet. Love it, no regrets.
Old 12th November 2009
  #6
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

HD2 is the minimum I'd suggest -- but having an HD3 helps ALOT in plugin /track counts.
Old 12th November 2009
  #7
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JTJacobson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
HD2 is the minimum I'd suggest -- but having an HD3 helps ALOT in plugin /track counts.
+1 I'm also a firm believer in more options is better than less options. More Voices baby!
Old 12th November 2009
  #8
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DONNX's Avatar
 

Skip all that, do the Tony Sheppard HD6 and expansion chassis. You just never know when you need the extra horses... And he said he maxed the HD6 out.!!!
Old 12th November 2009
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

HD2 is more than how much hardware i/o you can have. It increases how many voices available (HD1 is very limited) so if you're overdubbing and processing and mixing, you'll want those voices plus RTAS <->TDM voice shuffling and the extra power to run the delay comp mixers. Remember every (mono) audio track is a voice, plus pushing that one voice to a send costs you another voice, plus rtas plugins cost you a voice per each mono channel. It adds up when you're mixing and that's before you get to TDM plugins.

I'd consider HD2 a minimum.
Old 12th November 2009
  #10
It all depends on whether you are going to be tracking/mixing at 24bit 96kHz or not. It also greatly depends on whether you are going to be using tons of outboard analog gear in your setup, which means you'll need to be using the long delay compensation engine. Also, are you planning on using the stereo dithered mixer instead of the regular mix engine in PT|HD?

I use a lot of outboard gear in my studio, track/mix everything at 24bit 96kHz, and use the stereo dithered mixer. I have an HD|3 Accel PCIe system and I max it out on almost every session I do. I can tell you that I really wish there was another PCIe slot in a Mac Pro because I would definitely buy another Accel card for my rig. I just refuse to use the expansion chassis.
Old 12th November 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoote View Post
(each card is 32 channels of input plus output, not 32 of both)
just to be clear, a single card gives you 32 ins and 32 outs. couldn't work out if that's what you meant?
Old 12th November 2009
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I have been doing more mixing than tracking lately. (Except today) was a vocal recording session on a Hd-1 rig. My personal PT HD setup is a PCIx based HD-2 accel. Large track counts at 96k I have hit the limits many times now. Looking to pick up an Accel card really soon as in hopefully next week!
Old 12th November 2009
  #13
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DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
It all depends on whether you are going to be tracking/mixing at 24bit 96kHz or not. It also greatly depends on whether you are going to be using tons of outboard analog gear in your setup, which means you'll need to be using the long delay compensation engine. Also, are you planning on using the stereo dithered mixer instead of the regular mix engine in PT|HD?

I use a lot of outboard gear in my studio, track/mix everything at 24bit 96kHz, and use the stereo dithered mixer. I have an HD|3 Accel PCIe system and I max it out on almost every session I do. I can tell you that I really wish there was another PCIe slot in a Mac Pro because I would definitely buy another Accel card for my rig. I just refuse to use the expansion chassis.
So what are we going to do Josh? I am in the same boat. Want 4 or 5 cards instead of 3.

And why do you "REFUSE" to use a expansion chassis? Just curious. I wish there was something smaller than a magma. Something like a 1U rack box that could hold 2 more PCI-E cards. Somebody needs to make that.. I would buy it.
Old 12th November 2009
  #14
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greyskull's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
So what are we going to do Josh? I am in the same boat. Want 4 or 5 cards instead of 3.

And why do you "REFUSE" to use a expansion chassis? Just curious. I wish there was something smaller than a magma. Something like a 1U rack box that could hold 2 more PCI-E cards. Somebody needs to make that.. I would buy it.
what... like this??
Magma ExpressBox2
Old 12th November 2009
  #15
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If I were you I would not buy an HD system right now.
Despite to what digiΒ΄s product managers are saying there may very well
be a new system on the horizon next NAMM.
Old 12th November 2009
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjplayer View Post
just to be clear, a single card gives you 32 ins and 32 outs. couldn't work out if that's what you meant?
Nope it's 16 & 16. 32 MAX I/O

You need two cards if you want 32 IN & 32 OUT.
Old 12th November 2009
  #17
I don't know why any person just getting into HD is going to NEED HD2 right off the bat. If anything, he should get into HD as shallowly as possible. The price will probably drop again regardless of whether there is a new system coming out. At which point he can save some money. Anyone who hasn't been using HD for the past 5 years probably isn't doing work that requires them to have 32 channels of simultaneous i/o

having 16 would give me everything I need for large work. If you can't track a full band, choir, circus or waffle maker with 16 channels you're nuts. If you have sessions that are REALLY pushing your max track count and you don't want to stem, then fine, evaluate the purchase of another accell card later on. I'm a mixer and producer, I track elsewhere, the reason I want HD is for the features, not for the massive i/o.
Old 12th November 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
Nope it's 16 & 16. 32 MAX I/O

You need two cards if you want 32 IN & 32 OUT.
WRONG

It's 32 in/32 out. It's 16in/16out max per interface but you can hook 2 interfaces to each card.

While were on it, a Digi192 i/o can have at max (using expansion cards) a total of 24 analogue. It can by 8in/16out or 16in/8out. It cannot be 16in/16out with expansion cards. You will have 8 channels of digital to make up the other 8 if you go to the max of 24 analogue.
Old 12th November 2009
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
So what are we going to do Josh? I am in the same boat. Want 4 or 5 cards instead of 3.

And why do you "REFUSE" to use a expansion chassis? Just curious. I wish there was something smaller than a magma. Something like a 1U rack box that could hold 2 more PCI-E cards. Somebody needs to make that.. I would buy it.
Using an expansion chassis adds to latency (not much but I love the immediacy of PT|HD and don't want any additional latency as minimal as it may be). Additionally there have been various CS updates here and there over the years that cause problems with certain expansion chassis. I just can't afford any downtime, nor do I want to start tech'ing problems with a 3rd party company.
Old 13th November 2009
  #20
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DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
Using an expansion chassis adds to latency (not much but I love the immediacy of PT|HD and don't want any additional latency as minimal as it may be). Additionally there have been various CS updates here and there over the years that cause problems with certain expansion chassis. I just can't afford any downtime, nor do I want to start tech'ing problems with a 3rd party company.

Good points Josh. Glad you chimed in with this info. Good to know the downside of it. $2600 for a 2 PCIE expanison box... Thats just friken ridiculous.. Love the size though.
.
Latency and CS update issues makes a whole lot of sense. I just hate it problems and loss of time due to PT technical problems.... One of my reasons why I use HD not LE. Less (((STRESS)))

I wonder if there is way to compensate for it manually. Like you would do with non- HD192 or Aurora converters?

Tony Shepperd is keeping it a secret for what he uses to obtain HD6. I asked, but he never said which chassis he is using. Whats the big deal?

As far all the posters encouraging "NOT" to buy an HD system. I just don't get that mentality. Its cheaper than ever now. Its not like everyone and his brothers will sell it when the new system arrives, if it arrives and if it works well. And how much better can it be than 192K , 24 bit. As for sound quality, I don't see it getting that much better.. And Digidesign will most likely have a trade in program anyway..

Possible Digi may make a DSD system? But even with that, the average consumer is not buying DSD music or movies or even have a device to enjoy DSD quality. And downgrading from DSD to 44.1k shows no improvement. At least in my testing.

Going HD Native? Will that make me sell my HD system. NO..because I got native and tdm combined at this point anyway.

Just don't see the MAJOR advantage of not buying an HD system now. You can always trade and upgrade. And its still the king of making Digital stereo audio and 5.1 audioin the industry. I have an HD3 and plan on using it for the next 5-10 years. Unless something comes along and just makes HD completely useless. People are still using the old Digi 001!!!!
Old 13th November 2009
  #21
It's not latency compensation like you would manually compensate for delay times when using outboard gear as inserts, it's the latency between when you hit a guitar string and when you hear it back (meaning recording latency), although I suppose that it also applies to mixing since the delay timing would be slightly off (never tried it so I can't speak to that side of the equation).
Old 13th November 2009
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Kittonian, you seem to be a PTHD master. Can you explain in some detail what the "stereo dithered mixer" is?
Old 13th November 2009
  #23
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
It's not latency compensation like you would manually compensate for delay times when using outboard gear as inserts, it's the latency between when you hit a guitar string and when you hear it back (meaning recording latency), although I suppose that it also applies to mixing since the delay timing would be slightly off (never tried it so I can't speak to that side of the equation).
This is Digidesign's explanation of latency induced by using a chassis:

Quote:
Due to buffering requirements in Expansion|HD, which increase efficiency between the host and chassis, some aspects of system performance are affected in the following ways:

* There is a slight decrease in the number of instances of certain RTAS plug-ins.
* There is an increase in the monitoring latency of RTAS virtual instruments. This is most apparent when playing instruments in real time and is compensated for upon playback. The hardware buffer size preference can be used to adjust the amount of latency, but the minimum amount is 256 samples (achieved by a setting of 128 in Hardware Buffer size).
It doesn't seem to me as though the problem is as severe as Kittonian has been led to believe, as it's only limited to RTAS virtual instruments.
Old 13th November 2009
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomof81 View Post
Kittonian, you seem to be a PTHD master. Can you explain in some detail what the "stereo dithered mixer" is?
It's a rather long explanation but you can find it in the manual and it goes through exactly what it is/does. You can also check out the following thread from 2007 here on GS.

Protools Stereo Dithered Mixer
Old 6th January 2010
  #25
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
So what are we going to do Josh? I am in the same boat. Want 4 or 5 cards instead of 3.
Build a Hackintosh with a mobo that has more than 3 pcie slots..

Haven't tried it but I'm damn tempted.. I'm sick of this 3 slot BS. The old Apple Powermac 9600's had like 34 slots back in the day (well, at least six I think). What the fvck are apple thinking? 3 slots and you're shot..
Old 6th January 2010
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Build a Hackintosh with a mobo that has more than 3 pcie slots..

Not a great idea for a system you're going to be using for day-to-day work. The Hackintosh systems are buggy at best. Why spend the money on a larger HD system if you're just going to use it on a computer that's unreliable in the first place.
Old 6th January 2010
  #27
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mralmostpopular View Post
Not a great idea for a system you're going to be using for day-to-day work. The Hackintosh systems are buggy at best. Why spend the money on a larger HD system if you're just going to use it on a computer that's unreliable in the first place.
I built a Hackintosh rig (HD3 PCIe) for a friend. Hasn't crashed once apparently. Very stable.
I looked everywhere for a motherboard that would allow more than three PCIe cards for Pro Tools but as yet there are none in existence.
Old 6th January 2010
  #28
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Rob King's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Skip all that, do the Tony Sheppard HD6 and expansion chassis. You just never know when you need the extra horses... And he said he maxed the HD6 out.!!!
I use to max my HD5 out often on big stem mixes. After getting the 6th card I haven't maxed the system. That was my old G5, just upgraded to an 8 core and new expansion chasis. Working flawlessly!

You would be suprised at how many guys in LA have 5-7 card rigs! Not to mention you need at least 3 cards for 96 I/O channels.

If you record at 96k an HD1 is VERY limiting as well. Go HD2! the extra money gets you more than just th ability to run more plugins. You get voices, I/O, DSP all increased.
Old 6th January 2010
  #29
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob King View Post
I use to max my HD5 out often on big stem mixes. After getting the 6th card I haven't maxed the system. That was my old G5, just upgraded to an 8 core and new expansion chasis. Working flawlessly!
Are you noticing any latency with it? Which expansion chassis are you using? Magma or the Cryptic Globe one?
Old 6th January 2010
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mralmostpopular View Post
Not a great idea for a system you're going to be using for day-to-day work. The Hackintosh systems are buggy at best. Why spend the money on a larger HD system if you're just going to use it on a computer that's unreliable in the first place.
Snow Leopard isn't much better than the latest edition of windoze....

We've hit the point in digital audio and computer technology where an embedded solution would run circles around all this computer shit for a DAW.

May not have been even a few years ago, but it is now.

Build a DAW into a large ROM.... put a few solid state hard disks on it, run a low level version of linux type kernel on it and put DSP chips on it for effects...

Perhaps do some other open sourced shit for it... No busses, all motherboard integrated to minimalize latency and have it go to 128 I/O maximum....
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