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EmbraceRandom



Joined: 17/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: United Kingdom
Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop
      #1067991 - 28/09/13 01:12 AM
Hi all,

OK, so I'm trying to work out what to do here.

I currently run Pro Tools LE 8 on a five-year-old HP desktop PC (Vista 32-bit, 2GB RAM, 2.3 dual core AMD CPU) with an Avid 003 Rack Factory. I also have a Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL.

I do a lot of location recording and primarily mix in a small-ish, untreated room with borrowed KRK RP5s. I've been taking my PC to a number of locations to record, which is obviously very impractical compared to the ease of simply opening a laptop. Furthermore, I don't have a lot of room in my new flat for a desktop PC and large 003 Rack. So, in an ideal world, I'd upgrade my desktop PC to a good-spec laptop because of it's portability and smaller footprint, and upgrade my Pro Tools to the latest version, thus allowing me to use the considerably smaller and more portable Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL, as my current version of PT only allows me to use Avid interfaces!

Now, I'm not made of money so I need to work out a long term plan for these upgrades. I'm thinking the most sensible approach is to upgrade my PT first (costing about £220), sell my 003 Rack (fetching £200-250?) and use the 1818VSL from then on. I'd buy the laptop when I could afford it. I thought that it'd be wise to sell the 003 Rack sooner rather than later, otherwise I won't get anything for it!

Firstly, do you think this is a good long-term plan or would you advise doing it differently?

My second question is: if I install PT11 on my current PC and eventually upgrade to a good-spec laptop, am I able to uninstall PT11 from my current PC and install it on the laptop without any extra expense? I.e. I don't have to buy a new PT license or anything do I?

Thirdly, where's the best place to look for laptop builds? I'm not sure precisely what spec I'd be after yet, but it'd have to be something that would last me at least 5 years and is upgradeable. I'm thinking at least 4GB of RAM and a decent quadcore processor would be the main compenents I'd need to run PT sessions smoothly.
I doubt I'd want to be spending over £600 - 800. Is that unrealistic? I do all my life admin computing on my Samsung Galaxy S3 so the laptop would purely be an "audio workstation", as such.
Is 4GB likely to be enough?
Besides the RAM and CPU, what other compenents are key to running intensive production software smoothly?
It'd be nice to one day buy a UA PCI card (or the laptop equivalent). What would I need to be mindful of when spec-ing my laptop, if I plan to buy one of these one day?
I've never ran PT or any production applications from a laptop before, so is there anything I need to know about that?
How is Windows 8 faring with production stuff? Surely anything is better than Vista? If it's looking bleak, what operating system would you advise I use? I really don't want to stray to the dark side...

Thanks,
ER.


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Lizardpoint
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Joined: 18/10/03
Posts: 493
Loc: Biggin Hill, Kent
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068007 - 28/09/13 10:34 AM
The first thing you need to consider is if your desktop will run PT11.
You need windows 7 or 8 to run PT and my perfectly serviceable HP desktop didn't have windows 7 or 8 drivers.

I would seriously consider a mac laptop.
The problem with laptops is that you never know what the manufacturers put inside them.
A used MacBook may work out as cheap if not cheaper and you know it will run out of the box.

With the software you can install it on as many machines as you like.
You just move the ilok device to the machine you want to run the software on.

Hope this helps

Lizardpoint


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5721
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: Lizardpoint]
      #1068010 - 28/09/13 11:12 AM
At home, by the time you've hooked up a printer, external drives for storage and backup, an audio interface, and mounted some decent monitor speakers far enough away to be useful, does it REALLY matter if there's one more box sitting under the table? And you might as well work with a proper keyboard and decent-sized screen. Laptops are very over-rated as base systems!

For location recording, why not take out one of the Zoom multitrackers?

Latest-version software by no means always "just works" on second-hand Macs.


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Lizardpoint
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Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1068012 - 28/09/13 11:32 AM
+1 for Zoom.
I just got a Zoom H6 for small live recording jobs.
Splendid beastie

Lizardpoint


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EmbraceRandom



Joined: 17/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: United Kingdom
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1068015 - 28/09/13 12:04 PM
Quote Lizardpoint:

The first thing you need to consider is if your desktop will run PT11.
You need windows 7 or 8 to run PT and my perfectly serviceable HP desktop didn't have windows 7 or 8 drivers.



A good point. So I'd have to upgrade my current OS anyway. I wouldn't mind doing this but I think my hardware is due an upgrade too so I'd be practically building a new PC... unless Windows 7 (or 8) would run with ease on my current system? Is 8 superior to 7? I haven't heard much about it.

Quote Lizardpoint:

I would seriously consider a mac laptop.
The problem with laptops is that you never know what the manufacturers put inside them.
A used MacBook may work out as cheap if not cheaper and you know it will run out of the box.



I'd always thought that I'd build a laptop (or at least have one built to specification) rather than my another HP laptop or the like, so I'd know what was inside it. It has crossed my mind, getting a MacBook. I really don't want to start with Apple though. It seems that if and when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong and I can't afford their extortionate repair costs. Also:
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Latest-version software by no means always "just works" on second-hand Macs.



I've heard stories that ring true with this.

Quote Lizardpoint:

With the software you can install it on as many machines as you like.
You just move the ilok device to the machine you want to run the software on.



Awesome, cheers for clearing that up.


Quote Exalted Wombat:

At home, by the time you've hooked up a printer, external drives for storage and backup, an audio interface, and mounted some decent monitor speakers far enough away to be useful, does it REALLY matter if there's one more box sitting under the table? And you might as well work with a proper keyboard and decent-sized screen. Laptops are very over-rated as base systems!



Well a laptop and an Audiobox takes up considerably less space than a PC tower, PC monitor, keyboard, mouse and 003 Rack.

Quote Exalted Wombat:

For location recording, why not take out one of the Zoom multitrackers?



This could be very interesting. I've never, ever thought of going down the Zoom multitracker route. I've always liked to record into Pro Tools, then I can do quick editing stuff on the fly to work out if the take will be usable. But maybe I can do that with standalone multitrackers? I am very interested in this suggestion but I have never used a standalone multitracker! What are the pros and cons of using one of these rather than having a portable PT system? I guess it means I could build a high(er)-spec PC and have a stay-at-home PC PT system. But, in terms of recording fidelity, functionality, etc etc etc - what are the pros and cons here?

Cheers,
ER.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068025 - 28/09/13 01:39 PM
You might find this page on the AVID Knowledge Base useful. It sets out the system requirements for PT11 and also lists the computers that AVID have qualified for use with PT11.

And it is worth considering a qualified computer as you will see from this quote from that page.

Quote:

Important: Avid dedicates a significant amount of engineering resources and time to test and qualify specific platform configurations. While such systems may operate without problems, please understand we cannot provide support should you choose to use a non-qualified system.





Of course, there is plenty of 3rd party support out there for Pro Tools (and it would be remiss of me not to mention the SOS archives and these very forums) so you aren't entirely on your own. But it is something you need to bear in mind.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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EmbraceRandom



Joined: 17/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: United Kingdom
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068047 - 28/09/13 05:47 PM
I should probably point out that by "location recording" I mean, for example, I recorded a band's drum kit in a brick warehouse and their guitars in their very big (and lively) kitchen etc, using room mic recordings to capture the essence of each space to then use that creatively in the mix. I haven't yet been asked to record gigs and live performances so it's not that kind of "location" recording I'm referring to.

Basically, I try to be resourceful with recording spaces so that the band doesn't have to fork out on recording studio hire as well as paying me. This is the same for my own band; I'd rather capture interesting recordings in interesting rooms that compliment the music, than spend a fortune on recording in lush studios. They're too much of a luxury at this stage.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5721
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068060 - 28/09/13 08:47 PM
Quote EmbraceRandom:


I'd always thought that I'd build a laptop (or at least have one built to specification) rather than my another HP laptop or the like, so I'd know what was inside it. It has crossed my mind, getting a MacBook. I really don't want to start with Apple though. It seems that if and when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong and I can't afford their extortionate repair costs.
Quote Exalted Wombat:

For location recording, why not take out one of the Zoom multitrackers?



This could be very interesting. I've never, ever thought of going down the Zoom multitracker route. I've always liked to record into Pro Tools, then I can do quick editing stuff on the fly to work out if the take will be usable. But maybe I can do that with standalone multitrackers? I am very interested in this suggestion but I have never used a standalone multitracker! What are the pros and cons of using one of these rather than having a portable PT system? I guess it means I could build a high(er)-spec PC and have a stay-at-home PC PT system. But, in terms of recording fidelity, functionality, etc etc etc - what are the pros and cons here?





You can't really "build" a laptop. Just choose one. And you can't afford repairs on ANY laptop. Get the 3-year warranty, then pray. And work out why Applecare costs so much, and why no manufacturer will sell you more than 3 years warranty. I repeat - very over-rated objects, laptops.


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EmbraceRandom



Joined: 17/12/08
Posts: 247
Loc: United Kingdom
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068107 - 29/09/13 12:32 PM
Had a think about all of this.

Base system
Having had a think about it and having done a bit of research, I agree that having a laptop as a base system wouldn't be the wisest thing to do, so I'll be steering clear of that. I'll eventually build a new PC, buy and install PT11 on it and run it with the Audiobox 1818VSL. I believe it runs standalone so I guess I'd only be using the Audiobox at home as a means of connecting my studio monitors. Not really sure of a cheap and worthwhile alternative of doing this?
This system would stay permanently set up in my room.

So, regarding location recording:

Zoom R series
I've had a brief look into these systems. It seems that the Zoom R series stuff wouldn't be worth investing in, for me. The R16 (RRP £279) only provides phantom power for two channels which isn't enough in some scenarios. The R24 offers phantom power on 6 channels, but retails at £349. That's £349 that I could potentially invest in a...

Laptop
For location recording stuff, perhaps it would be worthwhile here to have a basic but functional laptop. I'd run Reaper and it would be used solely for recording - not mixing - and would be in my backpack along with the Audiobox and a fast external "audio drive" for when I record on location. Surely I could get a laptop PC that could do this with ease for around the same price as, say, a Zoom R24? It'd still be very much a portable system, and recording straight into a DAW that I'm relatively familiar with means I can do quick editing stuff on the fly.


How's that for a slice of fried gold / copper?

Thanks,
ER.


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Lizardpoint
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Joined: 18/10/03
Posts: 493
Loc: Biggin Hill, Kent
Re: Upgrading PT8 LE to PT11 and desktop PC to laptop new [Re: EmbraceRandom]
      #1068134 - 29/09/13 06:44 PM
You could get a real basic laptop as you suggested and use Presonus Studio One (Ships with the VSL1818 IIRC) to capture your live stuff.
The Capture software is just Awesome but not sure if it only works with Studiolive units....

Cheers

Lizardpoint


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