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What are your thoughts on Pro Tools?
Old 24th March 2007
  #1
Gear maniac
 

Thread Starter
What are your thoughts on Pro Tools?

I just figured I'd try to get this thread started since you mentioned talking about it. Do you like it at all or is it satanic?

Darryl Reeves
www.darrylreeves.com
Old 26th March 2007
  #2
can of worms...

hello,

i've been avoiding this question because i know how much typing it's going to involve. first, for the record, i don't really hate pro tools as an editing tool, but i don't like the head aches it's created in my work environment. most of the time, it has not made anything more effecient for me. i don't like the way it sounds and i don't like the ergonomics. there's more...

tracks:
it used to be, you walk in the session and there were 48 tracks you had to deal with. there might have been times when the tape was crammed with instruments on every available space of tape. (eg: the sax track would be sharing the track with the bridge guitar and a tambo in the chorus.) but that was worst case scenario. when pro tools started creeeping it's claws in, the amount of tracks just kept getting more and more. it went from 48 tracks to 80 tracks in one year! it's getting back under control a bit now, but i think when it first came out, people just went mad and kept opening tracks just 'cause they could!

flow:
tell me if this sounds familiar. you get the files, you open the session, and suddenly "ERROR, blah, blah, blah!" or you open the session, BOOM, your computer crashes! or you open the session and..."MISSING FILES...blah, blah blah." shall i go on...no you get the point.

also everyone has their own way of organizing their tracks within pro tools. so if you've got 80 tracks or more, if the last engineer who worked on the session was not very organized, you could be spending a few hours just organizing the session.

latency:
have you ever reamped something out of pro tools and record it back in? sure you have. but then you decide you want to blend in some of the original sound with the new reamped sound. what happens? they start to phase! so you zoom in, and holy ****, the reamped track is playing slightly behind the original.

sorry, there's more...be right back
Old 26th March 2007
  #3
no ssl yet
Guest
Russ are you discussing an HD rig or a rig from before there was delay compensation? (OF course delay comp is not perfect though )

Just curious?

Dart Stovall
Old 27th March 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
chymer's Avatar
 

I think this is a very current topic.
Even thought this topic is about Pro-tools, I think this applies to most workstations out there...and I dont use pro-tools BTW.
I hear what your saying Russell.
chymer
Old 27th March 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 

Do you have a different DAW of preference? Maybe one that fixes all these issues you listed with Pro Tools?
Old 2nd April 2007
  #6
I'm back...


disclaimer: my postings are not intended in any way to discourage the use of pro tools or any digital device for that matter. i'm just saying...

Quote:
Russ are you discussing an HD rig or a rig from before there was delay compensation? (OF course delay comp is not perfect though)Just curious? Dart Stovall
hello again,

i'm talking about pro tools HD (HD for: Heavy Downtime or Huge Dissapointment)heh
i don't know about other DAW's because pro tools has the market cornered in the "pro" world as well. and digidesign doesn't always make it easy to be compatible with other formats. so studios only invest in HD rigs and don't bother with other DAW's. and i won't invest my money in a "better" DAW. then i have the worries of converting the session, etc. so i don't know what experiences other people have outside of the pro tools world.

why doesn't digidesign ever address this issue though? and i'm not talking about latency from a plug-in. it should automatically shift it for you in the same position as the source...no?
i never had to worry about a variable that is so crucial, such as that, with tape...if you have a good tape machine with the proper alignment, then what you put in, is exactly what will put out. and it's physically there on the tape! i believe that in 5 years we might have the processing/storage thing figured and we could have better sounding convertors and clocking. But even then, it won't be able to capture the quality of tape. that's it, isn't it? it's the quality...it's the texture and depth.

okay i sound like a snob, right? in the end you can get a good mix with whatever tools you have at your disposal. "it doesn't matter how you get there", is the saying...right? the digital revolution has effected (or infected) all forms of art, film, photography,etc. and there's amazing things i've heard and seen. heck, i can get a good mix going if i wanted but we all have our preference. (yes, i have to change my preferences everytime i pull up a new pro tools session).

cheers
Old 2nd April 2007
  #7
no ssl yet
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post

disclaimer: my postings are not intended in any way to discourage the use of pro tools or any digital device for that matter. i'm just saying...

hello again,

i'm talking about pro tools HD (HD for: Heavy Downtime or Huge Dissapointment)heh
i don't know about other DAW's because pro tools has the market cornered in the "pro" world as well. and digidesign doesn't always make it easy to be compatible with other formats. so studios only invest in HD rigs and don't bother with other DAW's. and i won't invest my money in a "better" DAW. then i have the worries of converting the session, etc. so i don't know what experiences other people have outside of the pro tools world.

why doesn't digidesign ever address this issue though? and i'm not talking about latency from a plug-in. it should automatically shift it for you in the same position as the source...no?
i never had to worry about a variable that is so crucial, such as that, with tape...if you have a good tape machine with the proper alignment, then what you put in, is exactly what will put out. and it's physically there on the tape! i believe that in 5 years we might have the processing/storage thing figured and we could have better sounding convertors and clocking. But even then, it won't be able to capture the quality of tape. that's it, isn't it? it's the quality...it's the texture and depth.

okay i sound like a snob, right? in the end you can get a good mix with whatever tools you have at your disposal. "it doesn't matter how you get there", is the saying...right? the digital revolution has effected (or infected) all forms of art, film, photography,etc. and there's amazing things i've heard and seen. heck, i can get a good mix going if i wanted but we all have our preference. (yes, i have to change my preferences everytime i pull up a new pro tools session).

cheers
OK so what are your "workarounds" when you are on protools. IS there anything specific you do to make it work (other than splitting out to a console)?

Do you avoid plugins? Are they any that do something you like?
Do you think the depth/quality of tape is lost in conversion, recording/storage or just in the platform period?
Old 4th April 2007
  #8
the standard...

the stage is set:

intro: (bustling in the audience...man thinking aloud)
i wonder if anyone from digidesign has been reading any of my posts. i really hope i'm not pissing anybody off. i realized this when i was writing my last post which is why i wrote the "disclaimer". i must be coming off as a total hater. but like i said, it's only a matter of preference and i'm only expressing why...

act l: (men in white coats bustling about)
normally, clients will ask me how i want the pro tools sessions organized. i tell them to turn off all automation, put all faders to "0" and take all plug-ins off. i usually like to start with a clean pallette. the exceptions are if there's a plug-in effect that i can't recreate and the artist is "married" to the sound. most of the time i can recreate it and make it better with one of my effects. so yes, i do avoid plug-ins because my ears are so used to the quality of the analog version.

interlude: (man in tattered clothing, rantings)
i don't like the sound of digital. my references don't come from the digital world and it doesn't sound natural. so if i have the resources to make it better, to my ears, i will. i don't cut corners when i'm mixing. i'm very meticulous when i'm tweaking an effect. it has to sound just right to me, otherwise it sounds like a gimmick. i spend time with it and make it alive.

act ll: (dark, smokey room, man with scruffy beard and half crazed look turning knobs and pushing buttons)
so with that said: i spend time warming up tracks with tube gear and good eq's. sometimes just filtering the top will help take the harshness out. i'll spend time eq'ing the tracks that are the most bright or brittle. so going back to early postings, i'll group all the percs, for example, to a pair of pultecs in stereo and warm them up as a whole group. and within that group i might also be eq'ing some of them individually. of course digital harshness comes in varying degrees and varies from session to session. and i can tell straight away when the recording has been done on quality equipment or if it's been done with cheap equipment.

act lll: (old equipment scattered about...smoke everywhere)
this brings me to my point: before pro tools, there was a "standard" of quality in recording. there was a method, that's been tried and true. something passed on. you had to know how to get a good sound and get it to tape and you were careful with the alignment, and you check and double check your levels. you check which tracks you have in record, your assistant had a hundred things he was responsible for. you're clients are paying good money for the studio, you had one chance to get it right...you had to be good! the quality of recordings have gone way down. where has the standard gone? instead of getting a tape that had the proper tones and the tracks were all laid out and organized and done in a proper studio with proper gear and technitions, you get a hard drive that came from someone's house, who had an engineer who hadn't come up in a studio and doesn't know what the "standard" is. he has no reference to compare. i'm not saying you can't get a great sound in your bedroom, but the majority can't. it's a sub-standard and below standard should not belong in the professional world. you would think that as more time passed in my career the better the sounds would be that i had to mix. well it's been moving backwards. and that's my point...learn your craft. if you're serious and want to make this your career, then you have to pay your dues. there's no substitute for experience.

monologue: (old man with cane, smoking a pipe, speaking to himself)
i'm speaking purely from my opinion and you should do what you can to make better sounds with whatever means you can. i realize some peoples options are limited, i'm just here to give advice, not to discourage.

yours truly
Old 4th April 2007
  #9
Gear addict
 

how do you hook up your analog gear with pro tools?
Old 4th April 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
obostic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post
the stage is set:

intro: (bustling in the audience...man thinking aloud)
i wonder if anyone from digidesign has been reading any of my posts. i really hope i'm not pissing anybody off. i realized this when i was writing my last post which is why i wrote the "disclaimer". i must be coming off as a total hater. but like i said, it's only a matter of preference and i'm only expressing why...

act l: (men in white coats bustling about)
normally, clients will ask me how i want the pro tools sessions organized. i tell them to turn off all automation, put all faders to "0" and take all plug-ins off. i usually like to start with a clean pallette. the exceptions are if there's a plug-in effect that i can't recreate and the artist is "married" to the sound. most of the time i can recreate it and make it better with one of my effects. so yes, i do avoid plug-ins because my ears are so used to the quality of the analog version.

interlude: (man in tattered clothing, rantings)
i don't like the sound of digital. my references don't come from the digital world and it doesn't sound natural. so if i have the resources to make it better, to my ears, i will. i don't cut corners when i'm mixing. i'm very meticulous when i'm tweaking an effect. it has to sound just right to me, otherwise it sounds like a gimmick. i spend time with it and make it alive.

act ll: (dark, smokey room, man with scruffy beard and half crazed look turning knobs and pushing buttons)
so with that said: i spend time warming up tracks with tube gear and good eq's. sometimes just filtering the top will help take the harshness out. i'll spend time eq'ing the tracks that are the most bright or brittle. so going back to early postings, i'll group all the percs, for example, to a pair of pultecs in stereo and warm them up as a whole group. and within that group i might also be eq'ing some of them individually. of course digital harshness comes in varying degrees and varies from session to session. and i can tell straight away when the recording has been done on quality equipment or if it's been done with cheap equipment.

act lll: (old equipment scattered about...smoke everywhere)
this brings me to my point: before pro tools, there was a "standard" of quality in recording. there was a method, that's been tried and true. something passed on. you had to know how to get a good sound and get it to tape and you were careful with the alignment, and you check and double check your levels. you check which tracks you have in record, your assistant had a hundred things he was responsible for. you're clients are paying good money for the studio, you had one chance to get it right...you had to be good! the quality of recordings have gone way down. where has the standard gone? instead of getting a tape that had the proper tones and the tracks were all laid out and organized and done in a proper studio with proper gear and technitions, you get a hard drive that came from someone's house, who had an engineer who hadn't come up in a studio and doesn't know what the "standard" is. he has no reference to compare. i'm not saying you can't get a great sound in your bedroom, but the majority can't. it's a sub-standard and below standard should not belong in the professional world. you would think that as more time passed in my career the better the sounds would be that i had to mix. well it's been moving backwards. and that's my point...learn your craft. if you're serious and want to make this your career, then you have to pay your dues. there's no substitute for experience.

monologue: (old man with cane, smoking a pipe, speaking to himself)
i'm speaking purely from my opinion and you should do what you can to make better sounds with whatever means you can. i realize some peoples options are limited, i'm just here to give advice, not to discourage.

yours truly

Quite refreshing to hear, I hate the sound of protools!
Old 4th April 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

WOW, great post !
Old 5th April 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
halfguard's Avatar
 

Russell, your post about the mackie 24x8 sounding better than itb really has me thinking. could you talk about this a little more. you can actually get a 24x8 for less than 1300$ im on an le system. using your mackie theory. what would you think would be an nice (usable) home studio set up? thanxxxxx
Old 6th April 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Finally someone verbalises all the things I think in compact and informative way!

This must be the post of the year

Everyone needs standards, and we ain't got none anymore..........
Old 7th April 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambroise View Post
WOW, great post !

Agree.
Old 9th April 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

I think there is a box in the I/O setup (right below on your I/O naming) that on both the input tab and the output tab, in which you can "check" and I believe it realigns the rerecorded audio. I don't have PT open, so i can't remember exactly....won't solve all PT issues, but may help a bit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post

disclaimer: my postings are not intended in any way to discourage the use of pro tools or any digital device for that matter. i'm just saying...

hello again,

i'm talking about pro tools HD (HD for: Heavy Downtime or Huge Dissapointment)heh
i don't know about other DAW's because pro tools has the market cornered in the "pro" world as well. and digidesign doesn't always make it easy to be compatible with other formats. so studios only invest in HD rigs and don't bother with other DAW's. and i won't invest my money in a "better" DAW. then i have the worries of converting the session, etc. so i don't know what experiences other people have outside of the pro tools world.

why doesn't digidesign ever address this issue though? and i'm not talking about latency from a plug-in. it should automatically shift it for you in the same position as the source...no?
i never had to worry about a variable that is so crucial, such as that, with tape...if you have a good tape machine with the proper alignment, then what you put in, is exactly what will put out. and it's physically there on the tape! i believe that in 5 years we might have the processing/storage thing figured and we could have better sounding convertors and clocking. But even then, it won't be able to capture the quality of tape. that's it, isn't it? it's the quality...it's the texture and depth.

okay i sound like a snob, right? in the end you can get a good mix with whatever tools you have at your disposal. "it doesn't matter how you get there", is the saying...right? the digital revolution has effected (or infected) all forms of art, film, photography,etc. and there's amazing things i've heard and seen. heck, i can get a good mix going if i wanted but we all have our preference. (yes, i have to change my preferences everytime i pull up a new pro tools session).

cheers
Old 9th April 2007
  #16
Gear addict
 
babyface_finsta's Avatar
 

Very insightful... Yet very depressing... Moreover, there will never be Standards for "Using your Ears instead of your Eyes"...
Old 19th April 2007
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug_hti View Post
I think there is a box in the I/O setup (right below on your I/O naming) that on both the input tab and the output tab, in which you can "check" and I believe it realigns the rerecorded audio. I don't have PT open, so i can't remember exactly....won't solve all PT issues, but may help a bit...
hello doug,

thanks man, i'll have to check that out. i wouldn't have thought to check in the I/O setup. you would think this would not be an option you would want to turn on or off huh?

cheers
Old 21st April 2007
  #18
no ssl yet
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado View Post
hello doug,

thanks man, i'll have to check that out. i wouldn't have thought to check in the I/O setup. you would think this would not be an option you would want to turn on or off huh?

cheers
That's why I originally asked if you were referring to HD rigs. I assumed you knew it could be done in Ptools HD. Or Pro Stools (depends on how u look at it).heh
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