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PT on PC? Audio Interfaces
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
jason kanter's Avatar
 

PT on PC?

I'm currently a Nuendo user on Windows XP. I'm thinking about making the switch to PT. Do I need to switch to Mac?

I know there are PT PC users out there but I also know that the majority of PT users are on Mac so it would make sense that Digi would make sure that the Mac version is stable before the Win version. So what types of issues would I be dealing with on PC?
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason kanter View Post
I'm currently a Nuendo user on Windows XP. I'm thinking about making the switch to PT. Do I need to switch to Mac?

I know there are PT PC users out there but I also know that the majority of PT users are on Mac so it would make sense that Digi would make sure that the Mac version is stable before the Win version. So what types of issues would I be dealing with on PC?
Windows computer are as stable as mac when talking about the most stable versions.

The instability arises from the problem of viruses and hacks on windows computers causing problems. Macs don't have this type of issue.

Stability will not be an issue. Here are the rules you must follow when going with windows (but even with mac honestly...)

1. Install Windows XP service pack 3
2. Install Pro Tools (the latest version is fine, or 7.4 if you don't like 8)
3. Make a clone of your system drive if reasonably possible
4. Don't install hacked software (not for moral/legal reasons, but because the hacks often cause programming problems).

Your system will as smooth as any computer could!
Old 15th November 2009
  #3
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

If you're willing to spend a little extra then get a Mac. it's worth it.
Old 15th November 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

2 cents:

I got a Mac and PT because it is the "industry standard". That is the only reason I don't regret it. If I wasn't interested in getting gigs in the "industry", I would be happier (and have saved money) with a PC and Cubase/Nuendo.

I've been using a Unibody MBP and PT for a year now, and I haven't had this many crashes since Windows ME - hard crashes. Usually, autosave has come through, but still...

Sometimes I think the success of a gear upgrade is a matter of luck, and I wish you the best.
Old 15th November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I run 2 HD3 rigs on PC. Bit of a learning curve, but worth it. PC's can be "hot-rodded" and many cool programs are available (eg, Wavelab!). Also there hundreds of great VST plugs that only run on PC- many of them free.
The Mac compatibility issue is a non-issue, PT can be easily saved or converted to be cross compatible. We deal with it every other day....

PT on PC is:

Cheaper
More Powerful
More flexible

But, probably less predictable!
Old 15th November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 

Don't fear Pro Tools on the PC!

A Digi representative once told that because there's less changes on the PC OS side, they actually prefered the PC OS, because Apple always changes a lot under the hood with every update.

The lot of updates you get for the PC are only protective measures, but nothing really changes for the DAW software.
Old 15th November 2009
  #7
Gear Addict
 
joemeek's Avatar
works!

after 15 years on PT on mac i´m on PC for 3 years now.
i don´t see me switching back in the next years...
i don´t understand why everybodys still using macs!
also you can buy PCI cards very cheap and still run with I7 processors!
on mac you have to buy expensive PCIe AND expensive Macs...no fun if money plays a role in your choices.
Old 15th November 2009
  #8
Gear Nut
 
dsteinwedel's Avatar
 

The reason Macs are considered more stable is that they are a closed ecosystem. There are only 4-5 hardware configurations available at any time, all chosen by Apple, hence drivers are well written, tested, and play together nicely.

Apple has also been known to drop support for technologies it considers 'outdated.' PCI architecture is a great example that screwed Digi and a lot of audio folks. I get the feeling they're looking to do the same thing with Firewire.

Windows has the (advantage/disadvantage) of having a plethora of hardware choices. With it you have the potential for hardware/software/driver conflicts.

If you know what you're doing and you follow instructions you can build a perfectly viable ProTools system on Windows. Just be sure to check Digi's compatibility guide for recommended (tested) hardware and stick to it.

-Dave
Old 15th November 2009
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
hummer's Avatar
 

Does PT 8 for PC permit video out PCI?
Old 15th November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
s0nguy's Avatar
 

Ive been running HD on PC for years. Its great...

I recently switched to Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit and it runs like dream. running hd8.0.1.

-s0nguy
Old 16th November 2009
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
jason kanter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradhebert View Post
2 cents:

I got a Mac and PT because it is the "industry standard". That is the only reason I don't regret it. If I wasn't interested in getting gigs in the "industry", I would be happier (and have saved money) with a PC and Cubase/Nuendo.
AFA PT on Mac and industry standards go, I know PT is standard and Mac is the norm but has anyone experienced or heard of anyone losing work from using PT on a PC? Has a client ever expressed concern or relief over the platform on which you were running a PT rig?

I have been happy with Nuendo but I realize it's a darkhorse in the post industry (at least in this country) and I'm looking to adopt the standard to be more compatible w/ others. I'm comfortable on PCs as well as Macs but PCs are the game industry standard and staying on PC just makes my life easier. With that said I want the most stable system even at the cost of convenience.

Thanks for everyone's input.
Old 16th November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

My comment came from my personal experience. When I've been around "professionals" (especially music recording studios), so many have had the attitude of "Well, you have Pro Tools and a Mac, RIGHT?". It's like people take me more seriously now that I have a Mac. It's a superficial one-up for a lot of pros.

It almost feels like an arranged marriage. I'm starting to actually enjoy using my MBP (when it's not crashing) - but I'll always know that I could have more power for less money with Windows.

edit: And I'd say moving files between Mac and PC works as well as moving a project from one Mac to another Mac.

Last edited by ergalthema; 16th November 2009 at 04:38 AM.. Reason: addition
Old 16th November 2009
  #13
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

PT8 on PC here, perfectly compatible with our studio's mac-based PT8.

Configuring a PC to run smoothly is more self-explanatory.
Old 16th November 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkautzsch View Post
PT8 on PC here, perfectly compatible with our studio's mac-based PT8.

Configuring a PC to run smoothly is more self-explanatory.
My home rig which I mix between 1 and 2 1/2 hour TV shows a week is a PT8 LE on PC.
I'm used to Mac shortcuts so I use an apple keyboard with the Key Tweak software to modify the keys to be the same as a Mac.
You'll also need Mac drive, if you are transferring files with other Mac's.
I also use acronis to back up the system Installation.
My PC is a Quad processor with 4gig of ram, it runs great.

The only thing that [email protected]%t's me is that ProTools loads so slow on a PC compared to a mac.
Old 16th November 2009
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
jason kanter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGBANGBUZZ View Post
My home rig which I mix between 1 and 2 1/2 hour TV shows a week is a PT8 LE on PC.
I'm used to Mac shortcuts so I use an apple keyboard with the Key Tweak software to modify the keys to be the same as a Mac.
You'll also need Mac drive, if you are transferring files with other Mac's.
I also use acronis to back up the system Installation.
My PC is a Quad processor with 4gig of ram, it runs great.

The only thing that [email protected]%t's me is that ProTools loads so slow on a PC compared to a mac.
Didn't realize PT loads slower on PC's. that's kind of weak but good to see so many happy PT PC users.

BTW, +1 on Mac Drive. Very inexpensive utility that's saved my butt on a number of occasions.
Old 16th November 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Use PT LE 8 with DV/Music toolkits on Vista Home Premium at home and take sessions to and from PT HD 8 on Mac at work.

Both systems work fine, with an equal amount of ProTools headaches on both systems. We all know the kind. I think it's safe to say that PT headaches are cross-platform compatible.

If you go through the tips on setting up and configuring XP or Vista for PT and mind the recommended compatible computer parts, you should be fine. If you start treading into unsupported PC parts, you could be in for some headaches. And for either system, the more you change around your system config by adding hardware/software, the higher the chance you are going to run into compatibility issues.

+1 on Macdrive. Install it and forget it's there. I wish more software was this transparent and simple.

No experience with HD on a PC, but from my experience LE8 loads up nice and fast.
Old 17th November 2009
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

A licensed cutdown version of MacDrive comes with ProTools 8 (HD & LE) for PC now (labeled as HFS+ support) and will install with the software. It'll allows you to read/write mac drives, just not create/repair mac drives/CDs which the full version of MacDrive can do.

BTW, I use Mac ProTools HD at work all day but use PT LE (Complete Toolkit, now) on a PC at home and on the side at work. Haven't had any issues in over 4 years running on my laptop and having compatibility with the Macs (though it takes a little time for me to readjust my shortcuts when I switch systems.)

The only other thing is that some plugins are Mac only (but on the otherhand, it's also true the other way around and there are a lot of cool VST plugs that can be wrapped and used in PT on the PC side.) The other bonus is almost all the great spectral analysers/wave editors work only/better on the PC side. Sometimes I trade files from the Mac rig to the PC rig just to do some processing. For instance, CEDAR Tools is PC only as is Algorithmix's EQs (wrapped) while McDSP plugins are Mac only. Luckily those things are evening out (for instance, AudioEase's Speakerphone & Altiverb going to the PC side) but it's sometimes good to be running two different systems so there's more available.

Clients... they've never cared. ProTools looks pretty much like ProTools on either system and it's not really apparent (especially if all your equipment is in a machine room.) You can get files on & off and so that's all that matters. Better yet, there's no way to write a PC NTFS drive on a Mac, but the MacDrive solution give PCs compatability the other way. I've had situations where audio had to be returned to a Avid PC and we had to transfer over the network from the Mac to a PC just to copy back to the post-group's drive.
Old 17th November 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
jason kanter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki View Post
The only other thing is that some plugins are Mac only (but on the otherhand, it's also true the other way around and there are a lot of cool VST plugs that can be wrapped and used in PT on the PC side.) The other bonus is almost all the great spectral analysers/wave editors work only/better on the PC side.

Clients... they've never cared. ProTools looks pretty much like ProTools on either system and it's not really apparent (especially if all your equipment is in a machine room.)
Wow, I thought w/ PT as long as you had TDM plugs they'd work regardless of OS.

The old hidden machine room trick, eh? Makes a nice curtain to hide the wizard behind. I'll be using one as well and didn't even thin about the hidden technology factor.

Thanks for all the anecdotal evidence, everyone. Helps to dispel the myth.
Old 19th November 2009
  #19
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
The vast majority of PT systems I have seen in the post world run on PCs.

Also, as far as I know, since Avid (a predominantly PC house) bought Digidesign, PT is first developed on Windows and then Mac-OS.

PCs are cheaper and more powerful than Macs. There is more and cheaper add-on hardware available for PCs. There is much more audio software and plugins available for PCs. Macs make little sense for audio unless you want to use Logic, DP or something like that.

Alistair
Old 19th November 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 

I too am a PC user; I have HD3 on a g5(Tiger 7.4) & can't do know where near as much as I can on my PC i7; I'm not in post but as far as Mac & PT, & being the Standard, it's only thought of by Pro Mac users along with the fact that PT started on Mac; I sort of compare most Mac guys to Cowboys Fans; Although there are 32 other NFL teams, if u don't like the Cowboys, u almost don't exist as being a real NFL fan to them & too are a COWBOY hater

U definitely can get much more power from a PC because they aren't locked as Macs are; As I said, I have both but I myself prefer PC much more...
Old 19th November 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

When PT was first ported to the PC, there were lots of problems, but at this point, it's a pretty mature platform for PT. My advice is stick with what you know... It's going to be enough to switch DAWs, switching OS's just seems needless. I use Mac, I use PC, I hate them both for different reasons...I just hate my Macs LESS.
Old 19th November 2009
  #22
Gear Nut
 
newrigel's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsteinwedel View Post
The reason Macs are considered more stable is that they are a closed ecosystem. There are only 4-5 hardware configurations available at any time, all chosen by Apple, hence drivers are well written, tested, and play together nicely.

Apple has also been known to drop support for technologies it considers 'outdated.' PCI architecture is a great example that screwed Digi and a lot of audio folks. I get the feeling they're looking to do the same thing with Firewire.

Windows has the (advantage/disadvantage) of having a plethora of hardware choices. With it you have the potential for hardware/software/driver conflicts.

If you know what you're doing and you follow instructions you can build a perfectly viable ProTools system on Windows. Just be sure to check Digi's compatibility guide for recommended (tested) hardware and stick to it.

-Dave
If I'm a ripping assed musician I got there because I spend time on my musical chops... not in there messing with my computer. This is why Macs are used by musicians!
Now, if you don't have the time to screw with a computer then get a Mac because they work and you can spend all your time doing what really matters... MUSIC!
Now if your into tweaking your system and getting involved with the technical side... the PC is a bit better for the average dude... but on the other hand, OS X is UNIX so you have to understand that it's WAY more powerful under the hood than ANY windows OS so if your technical and you like to play music... the Mac will make sure your money is well used in all areas of computing... not only "saving money" on hardware.
Would you skimp on any other gear in your studio? When an OS update comes out for Mac.. it's up to the developers to get up off there asses and utilize the new builds features and sometimes they break if a developer is a bit lazy. But you don't have to update... With windows... that's all you do is update to patch the holes every week. The Mac, if it's working... why update? You don't HAVE to!
The Mac is a better computer for a musician who is more involved with making music... I have PC's too in my studio and they are very temperamental. The Macs are way more stable once you have them set up.
The ONLY attribute to using a PC is the cost of hardware... everywhere else, they fall short of the Mac... why do you think they crack OS X to run on PC hardware? It's only evident that OS X is a better OS for music (or anything for that matter) than windows. When your in the file hierarchy in windows, you cant even hear (audio) or see (video, graphics) files! In OS X you can audition files directly within the finder and to me, that's more music and creative based than what windows offers! That's why 90% of the hottest and best performers and musicians use Macs...
Depends on what you want to get done... Macs are way faster for creating.
Sure, your i7 might be a bit faster but when I'm auditioning files from the finder and I'm getting together all my elements to create... you launching applications to audition the content. I'm already mixing etc. so whose getting more done? OK, your on a hackintosh and you saved a few dollars... I have Apple care... 3 years of no $$ spent for a processor going out or anything that happens to that machine... can't do that with budget hardware! And yes... that over-clocked processor will cook... just give it some time!
And these guy's that talk the fanboy stuff... People will always talk smack when they are cheap!
My music is worth it... is yours? That's all it really deals with in the end.
By the way, as soon as AVID acquired Digidesign they started having the problems.
Old 19th November 2009
  #23
Gear Nut
 
Mr. Green's Avatar
 

A couple of questions for you PTHD/PC guys out there:

I would prefer PC myself but have had to stay in Mac world because I need more than 3-4Gb of memory for some heavily used virtual instruments. How is PT working w/ Windows 7, and are you still able to use wrapped versions of all those XP VST plugs out there?

Also, when I last checked (2 years ago?), my 4-core Mac Pro (when using Bootcamp) would only work with 2 of my 3 HD cards. Has that been fixed yet?

TIA
Old 19th November 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Never mind all the age-old mac vs PC bull****. Go with what you and your coworkers use and know and what you have backup for. There are plenty of issues on both sides, just different ones.

Philip Perkins (CAS)
Old 19th November 2009
  #25
Gear Head
 

Actually it is down to preference. Neither is better than the other. I work with Mac and Windows side by side and my windows software crashes a little less frequently than my mac software.

If I had a bunch of money to spend and was buying a new computer, I would still buy a windows machine. It's just what I am comfortable with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by newrigel View Post
If I'm a ripping assed musician I got there because I spend time on my musical chops... not in there messing with my computer. This is why Macs are used by musicians!
Now, if you don't have the time to screw with a computer then get a Mac because they work and you can spend all your time doing what really matters... MUSIC!
Now if your into tweaking your system and getting involved with the technical side... the PC is a bit better for the average dude... but on the other hand, OS X is UNIX so you have to understand that it's WAY more powerful under the hood than ANY windows OS so if your technical and you like to play music... the Mac will make sure your money is well used in all areas of computing... not only "saving money" on hardware.
Would you skimp on any other gear in your studio? When an OS update comes out for Mac.. it's up to the developers to get up off there asses and utilize the new builds features and sometimes they break if a developer is a bit lazy. But you don't have to update... With windows... that's all you do is update to patch the holes every week. The Mac, if it's working... why update? You don't HAVE to!
The Mac is a better computer for a musician who is more involved with making music... I have PC's too in my studio and they are very temperamental. The Macs are way more stable once you have them set up.
The ONLY attribute to using a PC is the cost of hardware... everywhere else, they fall short of the Mac... why do you think they crack OS X to run on PC hardware? It's only evident that OS X is a better OS for music (or anything for that matter) than windows. When your in the file hierarchy in windows, you cant even hear (audio) or see (video, graphics) files! In OS X you can audition files directly within the finder and to me, that's more music and creative based than what windows offers! That's why 90% of the hottest and best performers and musicians use Macs...
Depends on what you want to get done... Macs are way faster for creating.
Sure, your i7 might be a bit faster but when I'm auditioning files from the finder and I'm getting together all my elements to create... you launching applications to audition the content. I'm already mixing etc. so whose getting more done? OK, your on a hackintosh and you saved a few dollars... I have Apple care... 3 years of no $$ spent for a processor going out or anything that happens to that machine... can't do that with budget hardware! And yes... that over-clocked processor will cook... just give it some time!
And these guy's that talk the fanboy stuff... People will always talk smack when they are cheap!
My music is worth it... is yours? That's all it really deals with in the end.
By the way, as soon as AVID acquired Digidesign they started having the problems.
Old 19th November 2009
  #26
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

My experience has been that the oldest OS is usually the most stable. This is probably because the most bugs have been found and fixed.

When system X came out, XP inherited the crown for most bugs fixed. I needed a PC anyway to test CDs with so I bought one and installed PTle to check it out. The experience went amazingly smooth, much easier than my friends who were struggling with their upgrades from system 9 to X and now Apple's new OS of the month club.

I'd heard all of the horror stories but haven't seen any of it. While the classic Mac OS was indeed easier to deal with, system X seems less intuitive than even XP.
Old 19th November 2009
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Wow. After all these posts, I'm regretting buying a Mac even more. However, it was necessary for me to see that side of the fence. I have now owned a Mac and can say from experience why I probably won't buy a Mac in the future.

Looks like in a year or two my Mac will be my expensive toy and a PC will be my serious workstation.
Old 19th November 2009
  #28
Lives for gear
 
BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newrigel View Post
If I'm a ripping assed musician I got there because I spend time on my musical chops... not in there messing with my computer. This is why Macs are used by musicians!
Now, if you don't have the time to screw with a computer then get a Mac because they work and you can spend all your time doing what really matters... MUSIC!
Now if your into tweaking your system and getting involved with the technical side... the PC is a bit better for the average dude... but on the other hand, OS X is UNIX so you have to understand that it's WAY more powerful under the hood than ANY windows OS so if your technical and you like to play music... the Mac will make sure your money is well used in all areas of computing... not only "saving money" on hardware.
Would you skimp on any other gear in your studio? When an OS update comes out for Mac.. it's up to the developers to get up off there asses and utilize the new builds features and sometimes they break if a developer is a bit lazy. But you don't have to update... With windows... that's all you do is update to patch the holes every week. The Mac, if it's working... why update? You don't HAVE to!
The Mac is a better computer for a musician who is more involved with making music... I have PC's too in my studio and they are very temperamental. The Macs are way more stable once you have them set up.
The ONLY attribute to using a PC is the cost of hardware... everywhere else, they fall short of the Mac... why do you think they crack OS X to run on PC hardware? It's only evident that OS X is a better OS for music (or anything for that matter) than windows. When your in the file hierarchy in windows, you cant even hear (audio) or see (video, graphics) files! In OS X you can audition files directly within the finder and to me, that's more music and creative based than what windows offers! That's why 90% of the hottest and best performers and musicians use Macs...
Depends on what you want to get done... Macs are way faster for creating.
Sure, your i7 might be a bit faster but when I'm auditioning files from the finder and I'm getting together all my elements to create... you launching applications to audition the content. I'm already mixing etc. so whose getting more done? OK, your on a hackintosh and you saved a few dollars... I have Apple care... 3 years of no $$ spent for a processor going out or anything that happens to that machine... can't do that with budget hardware! And yes... that over-clocked processor will cook... just give it some time!
And these guy's that talk the fanboy stuff... People will always talk smack when they are cheap!
My music is worth it... is yours? That's all it really deals with in the end.
By the way, as soon as AVID acquired Digidesign they started having the problems.
Back to the topic of PT on a PC, Its the same beast on either Machine.
I use both day to day. 70%mac 30% PC.
To be honest my 8 core mac is more temperamental than my PC, but it's saving grace is it boots up quicker after a crash.
There is no doubt OSX is a nice OS, but for running PT Win XP is fine.
Windows 7 will certainly help with the OS side of things on a PC.
Old 20th November 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 
pkautzsch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
While the classic Mac OS was indeed easier to deal with, system X seems less intuitive than even XP.
Spot on.
Old 20th November 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 

If I may bring the topic back to Pro Tools - it works on a PC. It works on a Mac. The biggest difference is shortcuts, and you will learn them - or do like someone else mentioned and re-map one to act like the other.

PT will always have bugs, most of them are easy enough to work around. I find the easiest thing is to avoid upgrading with 6 months of a new version coming out. That way you can sit back and see what bugs pop up and if they matter to you.
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