The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Pro tools 8 HD vs LE Audio Interfaces
Old 19th April 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Pro tools 8 HD vs LE

Hi, I'm currently using Pro tools LE 8.03 with mpt2.1. The results I'm getting are great, but the big guys are still using HD and not LE... Why HD???

Peter Gabriel still used LE 001 in +- till 2006. Now I'm interested in upgrading to HD, just not sure why anyone should go to HD with such expence's.

So my question is: HD vs LE? What's the difference(s)? exept for the core cards

cheers,
Werner
Old 19th April 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Automatic delay compensation. higher track count, allows more channels, better plugins, and better converters.

I personally don't think the upgrade is worth it. having no ADC is not that huge of deal for me when there's ATA mellowmuse. and I can get my 003 modded for better pre's and converters for a good price. I really don't see my self tracking more than 18 channels at once. and I really don't think it'll be too often that I'll build a session up to 128 tracks, thats insane. That stuff is for like sound designers and film composers.

But that's just me
Old 19th April 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanx for the reply... I just have one more qeustion, does the HD daw sound different to LE daw?

My life is music, and would the best I can afford, $10 000 for HD? I don't know?
Old 19th April 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
If you get the Black Lion mod to the 003, the convertors would be definitely comparable to the HD system. As far as the software sounding 'better' with HD, there's not a lot of definitive proof either way.
Old 19th April 2010
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrysb93065 View Post
If you get the Black Lion mod to the 003, the convertors would be definitely comparable to the HD system. As far as the software sounding 'better' with HD, there's not a lot of definitive proof either way.
The DAW doesn't really make it sound better. The DAW itself in LE and HD are 99% identical with the exception the plugins which do effect the sound. Other that, there really is no difference.

I say save your money. mod an 003 Rack. get some good pre's and mics in addition. and go with LE. and later on you can expand with outboard and such.
Old 19th April 2010
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrysb93065 View Post
If you get the Black Lion mod to the 003, the convertors would be definitely comparable to the HD system. As far as the software sounding 'better' with HD, there's not a lot of definitive proof either way.
The DAW doesn't really make it sound better. The DAW itself in LE and HD are 99% identical with the exception the plugins which do effect the sound. Other that, there really is no difference.

I say save your money. mod an 003 Rack. get some good pre's and mics in addition. and go with LE. and later on you can expand with outboard gear and such.
Old 20th April 2010
  #7
TDM offers big advantages for tracking (zero latency monitoring with plug-ins, etc.). ADC is a must if you're using any serious plug-ins.

I'm VERY glad I went HD from an LE system.

BTW, do a search - there was a really good thread on this recently.
Old 20th April 2010
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
TDM offers big advantages for tracking (zero latency monitoring with plug-ins, etc.). ADC is a must if you're using any serious plug-ins.

I'm VERY glad I went HD from an LE system.

BTW, do a search - there was a really good thread on this recently.
But is ADC REALLY worth 10k? I say no. I think a small chore that takes 2 seconds to correct this problem is well worth it to save $9000.

And that's 9k that you can use for everything else that's important. Like a BL mod, more pre's, mics, acoustic treatment/isolation, good monitors, outboard gear, good cables... You could do a lot with that extra cash to really juice up your sound
Old 20th April 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
The DAW doesn't really make it sound better. The DAW itself in LE and HD are 99% identical with the exception the plugins which do effect the sound. Other that, there really is no difference.
No one ever mentions the automation - VASTLY better in HD (Yes I have a vested interest in saying this, but it's the truth!)

Also, voice counts and I/O are still heavily in HD's favour - even with the 128 voices you get from the MPTK.
Old 20th April 2010
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
But is ADC REALLY worth 10k? I say no. I think a small chore that takes 2 seconds to correct this problem is well worth it to save $9000.

And that's 9k that you can use for everything else that's important. Like a BL mod, more pre's, mics, acoustic treatment/isolation, good monitors, outboard gear, good cables... You could do a lot with that extra cash to really juice up your sound
Your 2 click theory is neat, but doesn't work in practice. Start working on a project (with live musicians) and then need to do some overdubs after you've been adding plug-ins and such in with an LE system and you'll be SOL for doing phone mixes, etc.

I'd go with used HD ($3-4k). I agree that the $5k extra in new LE (upgraded to try to meet HD standards) vs new HD would be better spent on better gear, but if you're in a serious production setup LE will not work anyway. Sorry. I tried it. I can tell you've not used an HD system - it takes out all the frustration of LE. Unless you're working on big projects, you may not have cared. Another big problem with LE is the limitation of 18 I/O.

If I were just working on my own material for myself I'd avoid Pro Tools altogether, honestly. I'd DEFINITELY avoid LE.

The only way I got by with LE was using my Fireface and TotalMix for monitoring. LE is completely worthless in a professional environment.

LE is for people that want to tinker with PT and don't need features required for serious productions. Not trying to shoot anybody down here, but if you need PT you need HD. If you don't need PT you owe it to yourself to get something that will do the job without the limitations Avid's imposed on LE. Cakewalk, Steinberg, Apple, PreSonus, etc. would all be better suited to the task.
Old 20th April 2010
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey MTC View Post
No one ever mentions the automation - VASTLY better in HD (Yes I have a vested interest in saying this, but it's the truth!)

Also, voice counts and I/O are still heavily in HD's favour - even with the 128 voices you get from the MPTK.
Like I said, for doing standard band sessions like me, the voice count, the I/O, the track count and everything else in LE most definitely suffices.

Still don't think more automation options is worth all that money.

If I were to spend 10-18k on Pro Tools HD, it at least needs to come with some nice pre's with it's interface or something. Digi really needs to think of another solution for their HD stuff cuz logic 9, an apogee ensemble and some nice third party plugins can do just as much if not more for around 5k
Old 20th April 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
bigdoghat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
The DAW doesn't really make it sound better. The DAW itself in LE and HD are 99% identical with the exception the plugins which do effect the sound. Other that, there really is no difference.

I say save your money. mod an 003 Rack. get some good pre's and mics in addition. and go with LE. and later on you can expand with outboard and such.
Sorry but I hugely beg to differ here - I use HD in work all day and use LE at night at home - there's a massive difference in the sound - LE sounds like complete crap - masked and muddy and the pres are absolute rubbish as well - I agree with get a 003 and mod it - HD isn't that bloody amazing sounding to drop that kind of money. Haven't heard the BLA mods but there seems to be many people here who find it more than workable.
Old 20th April 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
cuz logic 9, an apogee ensemble and some nice third party plugins can do just as much if not more for around 5k
Except for the automation. Nothing I know touches HD's automation until you get into six digit systems.
Old 20th April 2010
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdoghat View Post
Sorry but I hugely beg to differ here - I use HD in work all day and use LE at night at home - there's a massive difference in the sound - LE sounds like complete crap
difference in sound your hearing is the D/A converter, not the DAW. With a BL mod that's also fixed. And also I imagine there are other factors between your LE and the HD at work. Like different monitors and the acoustics of the rooms.
Old 20th April 2010
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey MTC View Post
Except for the automation. Nothing I know touches HD's automation until you get into six digit systems.
Darn, guess I'm gonna miss out. I'll just have to settle for my other junk
Old 20th April 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 

If your concern is purely sound, you'd probably be best off getting the black lion mod and spending the rest of your money on outboard pres, summing, and compressors....as well as upgrading your monitors/room treatment. Putting 10K on that end will take you much further sound quality wise than going to HD.
Old 20th April 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
Your 2 click theory is neat, but doesn't work in practice. Start working on a project (with live musicians) and then need to do some overdubs after you've been adding plug-ins and such in with an LE system and you'll be SOL for doing phone mixes, etc.

I'd go with used HD ($3-4k). I agree that the $5k extra in new LE (upgraded to try to meet HD standards) vs new HD would be better spent on better gear, but if you're in a serious production setup LE will not work anyway. Sorry. I tried it. I can tell you've not used an HD system - it takes out all the frustration of LE. Unless you're working on big projects, you may not have cared. Another big problem with LE is the limitation of 18 I/O.

If I were just working on my own material for myself I'd avoid Pro Tools altogether, honestly. I'd DEFINITELY avoid LE.

The only way I got by with LE was using my Fireface and TotalMix for monitoring. LE is completely worthless in a professional environment.

LE is for people that want to tinker with PT and don't need features required for serious productions. Not trying to shoot anybody down here, but if you need PT you need HD. If you don't need PT you owe it to yourself to get something that will do the job without the limitations Avid's imposed on LE. Cakewalk, Steinberg, Apple, PreSonus, etc. would all be better suited to the task.
(Oops, apparently I missed this oneheh)

I've had a year's experience working with Pro Tools HD2 so far, and I can honestly say that I never had a project too big to take home to my LE rig at home. Sure I had to ping some tracks, but if bitched about that and refused to do it I wouldn't be a very good or resourceful engineer.

Now I'm not sure what you do in your line of work but I primarily only do standard band projects (8-10 mics on drums, one mic for each guitar if more than one, a couple of vocals, Di or mic for bass, stereo mic a grand piano or just one DI for a synth equivalent at the very most) Thats 16-17 channels all at once for a live session for a fairly big ensemble. And a lot of that can be overdubbed easily. Even if you somehow exceeded the 48 tracks of 24-bit 96kHz max track count there's a software from digidesign that expands it to 128 tracks for just under $400.

My question is... When the hell would I need more than that?
Old 20th April 2010
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
I'd go with used HD ($3-4k).
That's a great deal tho. And a great suggestion. I'd take it for that price. Though It would be more reasonable on digi's part to sell it at that price new
Old 20th April 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
bigdoghat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
difference in sound your hearing is the D/A converter, not the DAW. With a BL mod that's also fixed. And also I imagine there are other factors between your LE and the HD at work. Like different monitors and the acoustics of the rooms.

Actually my monitors are identical, custom hand built - I'd be very surprised if the clocks are the same in LE and HD? Also, where exactly is your info coming from - is this factual or speculative on your part - this guy is trying to make an informed decision, so facts would be helpful
Old 20th April 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdoghat View Post
Actually my monitors are identical, custom hand built - I'd be very surprised if the clocks are the same in LE and HD? Also, where exactly is your info coming from - is this factual or speculative on your part - this guy is trying to make an informed decision, so facts would be helpful
It's all factual. What part of it exactly seems questionable? I've reviewed my claims for the OP and my own sake, and they seem to be accurate. Lots of facts were included in relation to his original question which I answered honestly and as thorough as necessary.
Old 20th April 2010
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdoghat View Post
I'd be very surprised if the clocks are the same in LE and HD?
I'm pretty sure, getting a better clock for the 003 isn't that hard. Especially with the extra cash you didn't spend on HD
Old 20th April 2010
  #22
Gear Addict
 
Mr. Light's Avatar
I was using a 003 up until last year when I bought an HD3 rig off craigslist for $5k including the G5 computer. Best investment I ever made. It's opened up a lot of doors for me professionally. I now have no excuse to not make incredible recordings. Anything sub-par is on me.

I was scared dropping that kind of cash at first but the fear only lasted a few hours, now I can't imagine life with LE. It's a slippery slope though, once you get HD, you're gonna want better pres, yer gonna want that CL1B....want....hell you're going to NEED them!

The smartest logic that people have already stated is: LE is great if you horse around with recording, or even get into it seriously on the weekends. If recording/mixing is your business, your cash cow, how you bring home the bacon, you need to have HD. It's a waste of money if you don't make a living doing it
Old 20th April 2010
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdoghat View Post
Actually my monitors are identical, custom hand built - I'd be very surprised if the clocks are the same in LE and HD? Also, where exactly is your info coming from - is this factual or speculative on your part - this guy is trying to make an informed decision, so facts would be helpful
Room identical too?

The pt daw engines null between le and HD.

Converters are the difference. The 192s are perfectly good sounding converters fwiw.

Don't disagree there's a sonic difference, but it's nothing like as drastic as some like to make out.

Personally I think opinions on if HD is worth it or not should only be considered relevant if that poster has experience on it (not referring to the poster quoted) - far too much random guesswork in this thread.

Simple answer is you KNOW if you need HD or not - if you have to ask, you don't need it.
Old 20th April 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
bigdoghat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
It's all factual. What part of it exactly seems questionable? I've reviewed my claims for the OP and my own sake, and they seem to be accurate. Lots of facts were included in relation to his original question which I answered honestly and as thorough as necessary.

There's a lot of hearsay around here in terms of what the differences between the two are - I could look at the black lion mod and go, oh okay, they change the clock, the pres, the D/A and this is what's worse about LE. I'd love to know where the actual hard technical data is, as in from Digidesign, in terms of what the actual differences are

There are many more components that make up the sound of an I/O - pres, input and output transformers, IC chips, clock, caps etc. This guy needs hard facts to make an informed decision - we're talking a lot of cash here which is why my response was based on hard facts in terms of in the past, on many occasions, listening to identical source material on both systems on identical speakers
Old 20th April 2010
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgomez15 View Post
(Oops, apparently I missed this oneheh)

I've had a year's experience working with Pro Tools HD2 so far, and I can honestly say that I never had a project too big to take home to my LE rig at home. Sure I had to ping some tracks, but if bitched about that and refused to do it I wouldn't be a very good or resourceful engineer.

Now I'm not sure what you do in your line of work but I primarily only do standard band projects (8-10 mics on drums, one mic for each guitar if more than one, a couple of vocals, Di or mic for bass, stereo mic a grand piano or just one DI for a synth equivalent at the very most) Thats 16-17 channels all at once for a live session for a fairly big ensemble. And a lot of that can be overdubbed easily. Even if you somehow exceeded the 48 tracks of 24-bit 96kHz max track count there's a software from digidesign that expands it to 128 tracks for just under $400.

My question is... When the hell would I need more than that?
I use 20-24 typically.

I usually take 11 mics on drums. Mic and DI on bass, 2 mics and DI on each guitar (we're making records, afterall), vocal, 2 keyboard, one talkback.

That's 23.

LE simply can't do it, but worse, can't provide no latency during monitoring for the headphone sends once plug-ins are being used.
Old 20th April 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 

i used to run an LE system. I had the same problems with monitoring, inputs and outputs, pres, and especially the converters. i always thought that i needed to make the switch to protools hd.

But...

An SSL Alpha link, an apogee big ben, and an Toft ATB 24 later things sounded much better. The board provides me with direct outs for tracking, busses for zero latency monitoring and better pre's than the 003 and the clock keeps everything in line.

But thats just the way i like to work. It might not work for you. If you absoleutly need HD or if working more in the digital realm is what you need then go for it. HD is an amazing tool to have. But it is not necessary to become a half decent engineer.
Old 20th April 2010
  #27
Gear Head
 

Also remember that HD is based around PCI-e cards which do their own processing. This takes the load off of your computers processor.

To replicate this you could use hardware based plugins such as the TC system 6000 or the UAD cards and combine that with a PCI-e interface such as a MOTU HD192 or 24 I/O.
Old 20th April 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
andsonic's Avatar
 

18 i/o

This can not be said enough. If you are working OTB, or are doing largish tracking sessions, PTLE does not cut it.
Ours pretty much gets used for archiving and the extremely rare PT overdub session.

If it made economic sense for our "2 guys in a barn" recording situation to upgrade to HD, we would.
However most of those resources go to outboard & maintenance.
Old 14th April 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Geddyleewannabe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGreen View Post
3. Not hearing,.."my voice has a delay on it", and having to monkey with buffer settings to get it right,....D
Does reducing the buffer setting down to 256 bps or 128 bps to get rid of the delay in the headphones during recording cause a reduction in the sonic quality of the recorded source when played back?
Old 14th April 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddyleewannabe View Post
Does reducing the buffer setting down to 256 bps or 128 bps to get rid of the delay in the headphones during recording cause a reduction in the sonic quality of the recorded source when played back?

No.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
relaxo / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
3
relaxo / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
relaxo / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump