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Holy cow -- Pro Tools Free actually works on my PC!


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I'm evaluating audio programs today and was [b]*SHOCKED*[/b] to find out that Pro Tools Free works on my current PC setup! (I had once wasted an entire weekend trying to get it to boot up with two different PC configurations to no avail.) I'm using a Delta 1010 now. As far as I can tell, PTF only allows two inputs to be recorded at once and 8 track playback. I think PTF uses the Windows drivers for sending audio to/from the soundcard, so there's a noticable latency when recording in real time. However, this seems like it might be a very cool tool for editing mixes. I have two questions: 1) Is anyone else out there using PTF on the PC, and if so, what's your experience with it? What do you use it for? 2) [i]This[/i] is the kind of user interface I am most comfortable with for PC recording/tracking (I'm a former analog/DA-88 multitrack studio guy, plus I used to do some Pro Tools stuff)... What other PC DAW will work with the Delta 1010, has a Pro Tools-like interface, yet isn't Pro Tools? I don't have the budget for a full blown Pro Tools system, and I'm not interested in the Digi-001 (I like having 8 ins/outs on my Delta 1010). Cubase, Sonar, and Logic all kinda fall short in the user interface department for me... I'm looking for something which handles more like a multitrack tape deck for tracking.
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I've been playing around with Pro Tools Free this afternoon and have been exclaiming "COOL!" every few minutes. :D Despite its limitations, I have a feeling this is gonna be one of my favorite pieces of software. As far as tracking goes, everything I'm looking for in the user interface is in an intuitive place. Ctrl+= to toggle between the mixer and track view. Ctrl+Shift+N to create new tracks (and given the option to create more than one track at a time). Being able to use the number pad for transport functions. It's very useable at 800x600 resolution (Sonar 2 wasn't, and 1024x768 is hard on the eyes with my monitor, even with large fonts installed). It's graphically functional and easy to view (Logic Delta used so many shades of grey I had to turn up the contrast). What I might end up doing is tracking drums on one program (don't know which), do a temp submix of the drums to mono, import that to Pro Tools Free, use PTF for overdubs (like I said, the user interface is [i]exactly[/i] what I'm looking for), then export everything to another program which can handle more tracks with mixing. Speaking of mixing, is there any way to use DirectX or VST plugins with Pro Tools Free? Is there a converter plugin you can buy or download so you can use DX or VST (not instruments, just signal processing plugins)?
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PT Free does use the Microsoft sound routing. It is limited to only 2 recording tracks at once, and only 8 tracks of playback. And it only records at 16 bit, 44.1 KHz. There is currently no way to use DX or VST plugs with PT - with ANY version of PT. BTW, maybe now would be a good time to go buy a lottery ticket! ;)
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[quote]Originally posted by thisDude: [b]Hey Phil, My version of PTF gives you the option of a 24 bit or 16 bit session when you create a new one. [/b][/quote]Likewise, same here. The documentation makes some sort of reference to [i]working[/i] with 24 bit sessions, but I don't think it mentions anything about recording true 24 bit files. I bet you [i]record[/i] 24 bit files, but you only use 16 bits of it, since my understanding is that the MS sound system can only do 16 bit in or out. So the audio output you get is probably only 16 bits as well. It's not a big deal to me, as I'm considering using my old Cubase (which only does 16 bit) for tracking drums/mixing and Pro Tools Free for overdubs. I do think Cubase's mixer and signal routing capabilities are excellent (the closest I've seen in software to working with a physical studio), and the tracking features of Pro Tools Free (from what I've seen so far) are exactly what I'm looking for -- a simple virtual tape deck with an excellent user interface and intuitive editing. As an aside, it's interesting that a product a company is giving away for [i]free[/i] has more power and flexibility than the tape decks, mixers, and signal processors the Beatles used... :cool:
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[quote]Originally posted by posterchild: [QBAs an aside, it's interesting that a product a company is giving away for [i]free[/i] has more power and flexibility than the tape decks, mixers, and signal processors the Beatles used... :cool: [/QB][/quote]Yeah, so if you are hooked up with 4 other geniuses, that is just on more [i]very little thing[/i] you have to worry about ;)

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital

www.bullmoondigital.com

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