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Does ProTools HD Sound Better Than LE
Old 18th October 2009
  #1
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Bob Vinsick's Avatar
Does ProTools HD Sound Better Than LE?

With the new incentive from Digidesign, I've been thinking about going to an HD2 system. I'm sure others have taken this exact path. I know there are major differences in the mix buss in HD as compared to LE. Although I have never been able to evaluate the difference between TDM and RTAS plugins, I would assume the TDM plugins would sound better.

I'm wondering for the guys that have updated or have worked with both, does HD sound better? If so, how much better?

Last edited by Bob Vinsick; 18th October 2009 at 02:41 PM.. Reason: Left off ? mark
Old 18th October 2009
  #2
RTR
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do a search..there was a shoot out done a week back and from what I understand...NO..there is no sound difference.(Putting on flame suit)
Old 18th October 2009
  #3
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no.

Most often they're exactly the same. Sometimes - and generally only on older plugins, they're "different".... with RTAS being the preference. These are plugins such as the old Focusrite D2 etc - lot's of unintentional internal clipping if you're not careful. Most modern plugs - Abbey Road limiter being an exception - sound the same.... even polarity nulling completely.
Old 18th October 2009
  #4
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So how is the mix buss? Any differences there?
Old 18th October 2009
  #5
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The only difference is if you clip the channels on LE.
Le will tolerate it whereas HD will distort. I own HD2 accel. When newbies bring in tracks from their home M box to me for mixing they generally distort. You only have to turn all the tracks down though. No biggie.
Old 18th October 2009
  #6
MKZ
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Well, HD offers the option to use the "dithered mixer" and as far as I know LE doesn't
Old 18th October 2009
  #7
the converters are the only thing that will make a difference. buy Hd because you need HD, not for any phantom sound difference.
Old 18th October 2009
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR View Post
do a search..there was a shoot out done a week back and from what I understand...NO..there is no sound difference.(Putting on flame suit)
Me and a couple other GSers were the ones who did the shootout.

Everything (except for the modulation fx and reverbs, which is to be expected) cancelled completely.

One interesting find was that the Mellowmuse ADC does not function the same as PT's ADC; in other words, the LE mix with Mellowmuse ADC did not fully cancel against the same mix using HD's ADC. I suspect it has to do with the ADC of aux sends and channels.
Old 18th October 2009
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
the converters are the only thing that will make a difference. buy Hd because you need HD, not for any phantom sound difference.
Exactly. When I did my upgrade I went from Digidesign's 001 (Best LE systems they ever sold) to a 96 i/o and the difference was definitely there. Much more dimension and less of a cloudiness.
Old 19th October 2009
  #10
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thumbsup


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Moore View Post
Exactly. When I did my upgrade I went from Digidesign's 001 (Best LE systems they ever sold) to a 96 i/o and the difference was definitely there. Much more dimension and less of a cloudiness.
Old 19th October 2009
  #11
RTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKZ View Post
Well, HD offers the option to use the "dithered mixer" and as far as I know LE doesn't
I am not sure if this is what you refuting to but in LE options digi dither is a default ..always on unless you turn it off of course
Old 19th October 2009
  #12
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To the Original Poster.

Yes, there are significant ways (many of them) in which LE sounds different than HD. Too many to list.

Not only has this been "studied" (in some probably unscientific tests), but it's a natural fact that is talked about plenty in their various Pro Tools Operator/Expert books.

The systems are fundamentally different. Just as Sonar would sound different than, say, an API - or than Pro Tool HD for that matter.
Old 19th October 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynaForte View Post
To the Original Poster.

Yes, there are significant ways (many of them) in which LE sounds different than HD. Too many to list.

Not only has this been "studied" (in some probably unscientific tests), but it's a natural fact that is talked about plenty in their various Pro Tools Operator/Expert books.

The systems are fundamentally different. Just as Sonar would sound different than, say, an API - or than Pro Tool HD for that matter.

Other than converters, what would be the other, many, significant differences in the actual sound, not processing be? My understanding is that your 'sound' difference in HD would be mostly due to the 192's and clocking?
Old 19th October 2009
  #14
Vum
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The quality of TDM plug-ins for a start is better than the RTAS. The delay compensation is better by its existence alone. I use ATA on an LE System and it is a joke. It doesn't completely work on all plug ins. This is a minor thing, but I think VCA automation makes things sound better not by its function but by its functionality.

I've used an LE rig for many years now and feel that I've gotten more than my money's worth out of the unit and program. However I am going to trade up to HD during the "special" time.

To buy all the third party gear to make my system as fucntional as a modest HD rig would cost about the same as my upgrade, all going through a firewire cable. For me it's time to move up and I'm excited about spending money on fleeting platform!
Old 19th October 2009
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Everything (except for the modulation fx and reverbs, which is to be expected) cancelled completely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DynaForte View Post

Yes, there are significant ways (many of them) in which LE sounds different than HD. Too many to list.

Not only has this been "studied" (in some probably unscientific tests), but it's a natural fact that is talked about plenty in their various Pro Tools Operator/Expert books.

one of these statements must be incorrect

do you think it is the one where people actually tried the experiment and got a FULL NULL , or the one where someone is repeating rumors he heard others say?

bgrotto's null test isolates the 'sound' of the software's processing from converters, interface, room, monitors, respiratory ailments, and any and all other considerations.

If you take the time to understand what a full null means, you will understand how definitive this test is. It truly should end all discussion of the contribution of the software.
Old 19th October 2009
  #16
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most RTAS and TDM plugins cancel. Notables that dont - Abbey Road Compressor, Bombfactory 660 , Joe Meek.

Most of the good ones - do.
Old 19th October 2009
  #17
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In PTHD the "zeroes" are more round and less distorted than the "zeroes" in PTLE. The "ones" are shorter in PTHD and that results in greater headroom.
Old 19th October 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revmen View Post
In PTHD the "zeroes" are more round and less distorted than the "zeroes" in PTLE. The "ones" are shorter in PTHD and that results in greater headroom.
I think the 1s and 0s are slightly further apart in HD as well, which gives a more spacious sound...
Old 19th October 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
no.

Most often they're exactly the same. Sometimes - and generally only on older plugins, they're "different".... with RTAS being the preference. These are plugins such as the old Focusrite D2 etc - lot's of unintentional internal clipping if you're not careful. Most modern plugs - Abbey Road limiter being an exception - sound the same.... even polarity nulling completely.
hi narcoman,
how does the RTAS Abbey Road limiter differ from TDM? we have that one. thank you sir.
Old 19th October 2009
  #20
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raal View Post
hi narcoman,
how does the RTAS Abbey Road limiter differ from TDM? we have that one. thank you sir.
doesn't seem to differ at all really - but they don't null !! Both seem to do the same thing...guess it must be some time domian harmonic modelling or something.
Old 19th October 2009
  #21
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexK View Post
I think the 1s and 0s are slightly further apart in HD as well, which gives a more spacious sound...
quite true quite true. And it's a special form of binary that allows the occasional 2 in because well modelled analogue is a little unpredictable.
Old 19th October 2009
  #22
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vum View Post
The quality of TDM plug-ins for a start is better than the RTAS. The delay compensation is better by its existence alone. I use ATA on an LE System and it is a joke. It doesn't completely work on all plug ins. This is a minor thing, but I think VCA automation makes things sound better not by its function but by its functionality.

I've used an LE rig for many years now and feel that I've gotten more than my money's worth out of the unit and program. However I am going to trade up to HD during the "special" time.

To buy all the third party gear to make my system as fucntional as a modest HD rig would cost about the same as my upgrade, all going through a firewire cable. For me it's time to move up and I'm excited about spending money on fleeting platform!
stop with this crap

just duplicate any track with a plug and make 1 rtas and 1 tdm..phase invert one they will NULL

unless it's a chorus or other moving effect
Old 19th October 2009
  #23
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narcoman's Avatar
 

egg sack lee
Old 19th October 2009
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
doesn't seem to differ at all really - but they don't null !! Both seem to do the same thing...guess it must be some time domian harmonic modelling or something.
hmmm. thank you.
Old 19th October 2009
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
one of these statements must be incorrect
do you think it is the one where people actually tried the experiment and got a FULL NULL , or the one where someone is repeating rumors he heard others say?
bgrotto's null test isolates the 'sound' of the software's processing from converters, interface, room, monitors, respiratory ailments, and any and all other considerations.
If you take the time to understand what a full null means, you will understand how definitive this test is. It truly should end all discussion of the contribution of the software.
You really shouldn't open yourself up for trouble.

Someone states they performed a test and got a "full null" - as if this was a term at all - and you believe it.

In fact, you believe his one anecdotal account (where was this study performed and by what scientist and what documentation is there) over constant documentation to the contrary?

I mean come on man... Get real.

PS: Full null? Are you kidding me right now...

............Back to reality...............

LE and HD are FUNDAMENTALLY different. The LE mixer and the HD mixer are not even the same coding. They are as unique as Logic might be to Sonar.

And - as I say once again - a search on Digidesign.com as well as the instructional manuals will explain in depth (the kind of depth Bob Katz is known for in his book) on why these two systems are different.
Old 19th October 2009
  #26
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rtas and tdm in an hd sytem full null when phase inverted... i did a whole mix 1 in rtas one with tdm and imported them both into 1 session a nd phase invered ..the only audile artifact was a chorus effect

i took that out and got a full null on a mix with at least 60 instances of various plugs

sorry science beats..well err beating off

it's REAL SIMPLE..go to your computer and do it
Old 19th October 2009
  #27
They both sound like shiiiiiiiiite

Flame suit mounted.
Old 19th October 2009
  #28
I guess the quote above me :
"Any opinions above are worth exactly what you paid for them."
Anonymous
stands to be true. Even after it was proven that they are sonically the same, I guess some people still have to justify buying a $10,000 Pro tools system in some way.
Old 19th October 2009
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
rtas and tdm in an hd sytem full null when phase inverted... i did a whole mix 1 in rtas one with tdm and imported them both into 1 session a nd phase invered ..the only audile artifact was a chorus effect

i took that out and got a full null on a mix with at least 60 instances of various plugs

sorry science beats..well err beating off

it's REAL SIMPLE..go to your computer and do it
Sigma - yes, RTAS and TDM in an HD system are the same! Because they're the same coding. The difference is simply which process executes the code.

And RTAS in an HD should process the same as RTAS in an LE, since the coding is the same.

Thus ruling out plug-ins as a candidate....
Old 19th October 2009
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
I guess the quote above me :
"Any opinions above are worth exactly what you paid for them."
Anonymous
stands to be true. Even after it was proven that they are sonically the same, I guess some people still have to justify buying a $10,000 Pro tools system in some way.

1. It wasn't proven

2. Who bought a 10 grand PT system for the SOUND? Nobody....
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