alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Discussions on sound production outside the synthesizer such as mixing, processing, recording, editing and mastering.
User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:54 am

i've given myself a headache and am really disappointed, both in pro tools LE and myself... it allows simultaneous record enabling of 32 tracks, but will only cooperate with 18 simultaneous audio inputs. i'd never caught that until now.

i've been using pro tools for about a decade since free, and am obviously pretty comfortable with it and not thrilled to be switching to other recording software, but... i had my hopes up about ADAT optical chaining giving me more inputs. pro tools LE refuses to recognize more than 8 via optical. i don't / can't shell out and go for an HD system. have spent the day messing with ableton live, spec comparison says it'll allow unlimited tracks (full version, not LE), but other than core audio in on my G5 the only hardware i have that it'll communicate with is right back to my digi002.

anyone using live or other software for recording audio and have a rig together to accommodate more tracks? if so, what're you using? :(

User avatar
Pilot352
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Darien, Il.

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Pilot352 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:10 am

I'm puzzled with your statement of more than 8 inputs via ADAT. It's not Pro Tools LE that limits that. It's the ADAT specification. A single ADAT light pipe only supports 8 individual mono channels at 48Khz. If, of coarse your hardware supports multiple ADAT lightpipe inputs (not familiar with Digi002, just Digi001), then I believe it is Pro Tools LE that limits you. The LE version allows only one ADAT input. You have to buy the full blown Pro Tools for Mega-Bucks to get that along with way to synchronize the light pipe clocks.
Analog: Mono/Poly, Prophet '08, Juno 106
Digital: Kurzweil SP88, Yamaha DX11, Kawai K4, MS2K, AN1x
Modules: Triton (loaded), Motif ES, MS2KR, E-Mu Proteus 2K, TR626 DM, Roland U220
New Addition: Fender Rhodes 73 Mark I
So much gear... So little time!!!

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:33 am

I have both Logic 8 and Live 6, and both theoretically can record as many tracks as you have inputs. I've only got the inputs on my 002 though so I've never tried recording more than I can into PT anyway.

You can use the M-Audio Lightbridge and PT M-Powered to get 32 ADAT inputs, but I'm not sure if you can actually record that many at a time. I remember reading some stuff about it on the digi forum and people were complaining about something, I just can't remember what. :)

The only other thing is why you want to be able to record so many tracks at once. I'm guessing it's so you can hit record and then jam on all your synths at once and have a multitrack of the whole thing? Or are you planning on recording bands live in the studio? You can get a lot of flexibility just by adding a patchbay and being able to swap which synths go to which inputs on the fly. That might do it if the reason you want to do this is the first one I mentioned.

If you want to record bands live using 32 inputs then you won't be able to use your current system. For a start you'll need a new interface (or two, or four) and new software. It's gonna cost money. If you're happy with mixing in Tools then you could use another program (Live for example, seeing as you already have it) to track things and then transfer over to Tools to mix. Live is handy for this as you can overdub tracks and then use 'Bounce all tracks' to get full length audio tracks which are all synced together for mixing in Tools. Just use 'Import audio to track' in Tools and it'll all be there. You'll lose the ability to playlist different takes and any overdubbing will be destructive, although you could just record the bed tracks live when you need all the inputs and then do the overdubs in Tools.

Anyway, I'm getting a bit too far into this considering I don't even know what you're planning on doing with it... :D

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:57 am

Pilot352 wrote:I'm puzzled with your statement of more than 8 inputs via ADAT. It's not Pro Tools LE that limits that. It's the ADAT specification. A single ADAT light pipe only supports 8 individual mono channels at 48Khz. If, of coarse your hardware supports multiple ADAT lightpipe inputs (not familiar with Digi002, just Digi001), then I believe it is Pro Tools LE that limits you. The LE version allows only one ADAT input. You have to buy the full blown Pro Tools for Mega-Bucks to get that along with way to synchronize the light pipe clocks.
space6oy wrote:pro tools LE refuses to recognize more than 8 via optical. i don't / can't shell out and go for an HD system.
ableton also works w/ the digi002 sans pro tools and only allows 8 via ADAT through it, hence my thinking the digi002 has that limit as well as the pro tools software.
Stab Frenzy wrote:I have both Logic 8 and Live 6, and both theoretically can record as many tracks as you have inputs. I've only got the inputs on my 002 though so I've never tried recording more than I can into PT anyway.
i haven't looked into logic. which are you using to record?
You can use the M-Audio Lightbridge and PT M-Powered to get 32 ADAT inputs, but I'm not sure if you can actually record that many at a time. I remember reading some stuff about it on the digi forum and people were complaining about something, I just can't remember what. :)
the M-powered version of pro tools allows more ADAT inputs than the LE version??
The only other thing is why you want to be able to record so many tracks at once. I'm guessing it's so you can hit record and then jam on all your synths at once and have a multitrack of the whole thing? Or are you planning on recording bands live in the studio? You can get a lot of flexibility just by adding a patchbay and being able to swap which synths go to which inputs on the fly. That might do it if the reason you want to do this is the first one I mentioned.

If you want to record bands live using 32 inputs then you won't be able to use your current system. For a start you'll need a new interface (or two, or four) and new software. It's gonna cost money. If you're happy with mixing in Tools then you could use another program (Live for example, seeing as you already have it) to track things and then transfer over to Tools to mix. Live is handy for this as you can overdub tracks and then use 'Bounce all tracks' to get full length audio tracks which are all synced together for mixing in Tools. Just use 'Import audio to track' in Tools and it'll all be there. You'll lose the ability to playlist different takes and any overdubbing will be destructive, although you could just record the bed tracks live when you need all the inputs and then do the overdubs in Tools.

Anyway, I'm getting a bit too far into this considering I don't even know what you're planning on doing with it... :D
18 ins isn't enough for everything i have chained to sequence together if i want them on separate tracks :D but yes, i play drums & guitar too and would like to mix that in w/ all this at some point...

18 ins and pro tools LE is usually fine for a live band though. 8 or 9 for drums, couple each for amps etc. i've done that plenty of times.

fantastic suggestion about recording in live then importing tracks to pro tools, have dealt w/ bouncing & reimporting in another session within pro tools plenty of times and editing in live is the first thing i'm having a negative reaction to... doesn't solve the problem of the digi002 limiting number of ins via ADAT though. know of where i might find a list of hardware compatible w/ live? haven't found that on the ableton site.

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:10 am

just thought of something... am i wrong about chaining ADAT lightpipe? does each pre have to go to an individual input on an interface? that'd be one simple explanation for all this... #-o

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:33 am

space6oy wrote:
Pilot352 wrote:I'm puzzled with your statement of more than 8 inputs via ADAT. It's not Pro Tools LE that limits that. It's the ADAT specification. A single ADAT light pipe only supports 8 individual mono channels at 48Khz. If, of coarse your hardware supports multiple ADAT lightpipe inputs (not familiar with Digi002, just Digi001), then I believe it is Pro Tools LE that limits you. The LE version allows only one ADAT input. You have to buy the full blown Pro Tools for Mega-Bucks to get that along with way to synchronize the light pipe clocks.
space6oy wrote:pro tools LE refuses to recognize more than 8 via optical. i don't / can't shell out and go for an HD system.
ableton also works w/ the digi002 sans pro tools and only allows 8 via ADAT through it, hence my thinking the digi002 has that limit as well as the pro tools software.
1 ADAT lightpipe = 8 channels at up to 48kHz. It's not a software or hardware thing, it's a limitation of ADAT in the same way that you can only get one channel down a mono audio lead. The Lightbridge I mentioned has 4 physical lightpipe inputs and four outputs, hence being able to get more channels.
space6oy wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:I have both Logic 8 and Live 6, and both theoretically can record as many tracks as you have inputs. I've only got the inputs on my 002 though so I've never tried recording more than I can into PT anyway.
i haven't looked into logic. which are you using to record?
Only got Logic a few weeks ago and at the moment we're just using it for its softsynths, PT is where all the recording happens. This is because I've been using PT for years and have all the shortcuts in muscle memory so it's much quicker for me to work on, also I've got some McDSP plugins that I LOVE which will only work as RTAS. As nice as the Logic plugs are, the McDSP ones sound better so I'm staying with PT for mixing.
space6oy wrote:
You can use the M-Audio Lightbridge and PT M-Powered to get 32 ADAT inputs, but I'm not sure if you can actually record that many at a time. I remember reading some stuff about it on the digi forum and people were complaining about something, I just can't remember what. :)
the M-powered version of pro tools allows more ADAT inputs than the LE version??
Not 100% sure how many it allows, but that interface only has 4 lightpipe inputs, 4 lightpipe outputs and 2 analogue outputs. Using software that allows you to use them all that's 32 channels of input, although there may be a restriction in M-Powered on channels. I can't remember if people were complaining that you couldn't use all 32 at once or that you couldn't SMUX them to get 16 ins at 96kHz. Check out the digi forums for confirmation.
space6oy wrote:
The only other thing is why you want to be able to record so many tracks at once. I'm guessing it's so you can hit record and then jam on all your synths at once and have a multitrack of the whole thing? Or are you planning on recording bands live in the studio? You can get a lot of flexibility just by adding a patchbay and being able to swap which synths go to which inputs on the fly. That might do it if the reason you want to do this is the first one I mentioned.

If you want to record bands live using 32 inputs then you won't be able to use your current system. For a start you'll need a new interface (or two, or four) and new software. It's gonna cost money. If you're happy with mixing in Tools then you could use another program (Live for example, seeing as you already have it) to track things and then transfer over to Tools to mix. Live is handy for this as you can overdub tracks and then use 'Bounce all tracks' to get full length audio tracks which are all synced together for mixing in Tools. Just use 'Import audio to track' in Tools and it'll all be there. You'll lose the ability to playlist different takes and any overdubbing will be destructive, although you could just record the bed tracks live when you need all the inputs and then do the overdubs in Tools.

Anyway, I'm getting a bit too far into this considering I don't even know what you're planning on doing with it... :D
18 ins isn't enough for everything i have chained to sequence together if i want them on separate tracks :D but yes, i play drums & guitar too and would like to mix that in w/ all this at some point...

18 ins and pro tools LE is usually fine for a live band though. 8 or 9 for drums, couple each for amps etc. i've done that plenty of times.

fantastic suggestion about recording in live then importing tracks to pro tools, have dealt w/ bouncing & reimporting in another session within pro tools plenty of times and editing in live is the first thing i'm having a negative reaction to... doesn't solve the problem of the digi002 limiting number of ins via ADAT though. know of where i might find a list of hardware compatible w/ live? haven't found that on the ableton site.
It's not the 002 that's limiting you to 8 ins on the lightpipe, it's the ADAT specification. To get more ins of ADAT you need more physical lightpipe connectors. The 002 is limited to 18 ins though, that's just the way it is. All interfaces have a finite number of inputs though, just looks like you'll need to find one with more.

Live will work with any Core Audio interface, which is any interface that'll work on your mac. You can also create an aggregate device in Audio Midi Setup which makes a virtual interface out of two or more actual interfaces. At the place I used to work I used two Motu 896HDs and a Traveler, together with a Creamware A16 and a Presonus Firestation in standalone ADAT mode to get 52+ channels, and once I got the clocking situation sorted it was stable enough for us to use for some big concerts. I put that down to the Motu's excellent drivers though, I wouldn't try it with the Digidesign DAE Core Audio driver, at least not at low latency settings.

So, how much are you willing to spend to get 32 inputs to Live? Cheapest option would probably be two second-hand 828mkIIs and either a Creamware A16 or two Behringer ADA8000s. You could spend a lot more though, depending on what kind of sound quality you want.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:33 am

space6oy wrote:just thought of something... am i wrong about chaining ADAT lightpipe? does each pre have to go to an individual input on an interface? that'd be one simple explanation for all this... #-o
Yep. :D

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:04 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
space6oy wrote:just thought of something... am i wrong about chaining ADAT lightpipe? does each pre have to go to an individual input on an interface? that'd be one simple explanation for all this... #-o
Yep. :D
hehe, yeah, wish i'd thought of that and you'd gotten to read that 2nd post before giving that last response. appreciate your help though! this is the only thing i've used ADAT for, and obviously never really read up... here i was thinking that i could run one 8 channel pre's out to another 8 channel's in, then that out to the digi and that they'd be combined to 16. take it ADAT ins & outs are only used for conversation between two pieces, not chaining beyond that. ah, learning...
Stab Frenzy wrote:Live will work with any Core Audio interface, which is any interface that'll work on your mac. You can also create an aggregate device in Audio Midi Setup which makes a virtual interface out of two or more actual interfaces. At the place I used to work I used two Motu 896HDs and a Traveler, together with a Creamware A16 and a Presonus Firestation in standalone ADAT mode to get 52+ channels, and once I got the clocking situation sorted it was stable enough for us to use for some big concerts. I put that down to the Motu's excellent drivers though, I wouldn't try it with the Digidesign DAE Core Audio driver, at least not at low latency settings.

So, how much are you willing to spend to get 32 inputs to Live? Cheapest option would probably be two second-hand 828mkIIs and either a Creamware A16 or two Behringer ADA8000s. You could spend a lot more though, depending on what kind of sound quality you want.
good to know. presonus firestudio 2626 & lightpipe are the two i've just started looking into. i actually just bought two digimax FS (good package deal, thought i could use them both for more ins, but even if i stick w/ pro tools i'll be using them as pre's w/ send/return, just one via ADAT & the other via analog out to the digi's ins) & still have an ADA8000. if i'm switching to live, at least for recording, the firestudio 2626 has 10 ins of its own (2 via SPDIF) and two ADAT ins, so if i'm cool w/ 3 units for 26 ins & still letting the ADA8000 go, that's probably a decent, affordable option. firestudio lightpipe's nice too though, 4 ADAT ins, could go that route & expand/improve later.

have i mentioned how i've hated digidesign keeping their hardware a requirement for pro tools since discontinuing free? j**k. that 18 in limit is so dumb w/ the massive price gap between LE & HD.

edit: oh, also gonna look into M-audio hardware...

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:14 am

man, that M-audio profire lightbridge is a very affordable option...
still no go w/ pro tools though.
M-Audio wrote:Pro Tools M-Powered currently supports a maximum of 18 simultaneous inputs and outputs.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:50 am

space6oy wrote:man, that M-audio profire lightbridge is a very affordable option...
still no go w/ pro tools though.
M-Audio wrote:Pro Tools M-Powered currently supports a maximum of 18 simultaneous inputs and outputs.
I guess they do that so everyone doesn't just dump their 001/2/3s and use a Lightbridge instead.

That Presonus looks like a good option, that way you won't have to worry about Aggregate Devices either.

Have you seen that new Presonus digital mixer, called Digilive or something? Looks pretty awesome for live performance/recording/etc. Haven't heard any reports on what it sounds like though...

edit: It's called Studiolive, and only has 16 analogue ins. :(

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:02 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
space6oy wrote:man, that M-audio profire lightbridge is a very affordable option...
still no go w/ pro tools though.
M-Audio wrote:Pro Tools M-Powered currently supports a maximum of 18 simultaneous inputs and outputs.
I guess they do that so everyone doesn't just dump their 001/2/3s and use a Lightbridge instead.

That Presonus looks like a good option, that way you won't have to worry about Aggregate Devices either.

Have you seen that new Presonus digital mixer, called Digilive or something? Looks pretty awesome for live performance/recording/etc. Haven't heard any reports on what it sounds like though...

edit: It's called Studiolive, and only has 16 analogue ins. :(
yeah, also doesn't have ADAT. pretty nice though.
profire lightbridge is a good bit less than the firestudio lightpipe though... know what's up w/ its midi/SPDIF/clock jack?

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:49 am

Breakout cable that plugs in and then has the right connectors on the end. They use the D-sub connector to save space on the back panel.

User avatar
space6oy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5401
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:29 am
Gear: vimpat, citalopram & vitamin D.
Location: stuck in ohio.
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by space6oy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:54 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Breakout cable that plugs in and then has the right connectors on the end. They use the D-sub connector to save space on the back panel.
presonus and m-audio and ableton and apple all oughta give you a job.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:08 am

:D That'd be nice!

User avatar
syncretism
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:47 am
Real name: Niall
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: alternatives to pro tools LE w/ more than 18 inputs

Post by syncretism » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:43 am

A compact, decent quality solution would be an RME FireFace 800 + Creamware A16 Ultra AD/DA converter for 12 analogue inputs, a S/PDIF stereo pair and 16 channels via ADAT; that's what I used for awhile. Alternatively, you could use some Creamware Scope cards with ADAT or zLink. I've seen Scope rigs with three A16s Ultra connected to three Scope PCI cards, yielding 48 simultaneous ins and outs. Lastly, a MOTU PCIe 424 card, connected to a 24io or 2408 with external converters would give you 24 simultaneous ins and outs, but also 96 simultaneous ins and outs if you bought sufficient hardware!

None of these address compatibility with your budget, computer platform or Pro Tools, though. They definitely won't work with Pro Tools, and that may be a sine qua non for you.

I used to have a Presonus Firestudio, which had a D-Sub connector for S/PDIF and MIDI. That was a pain in the a*s, but it got the job done, and Presonus replaced it quickly when they shipped the 'station back to me without it.
Yours,
Niall.

Post Reply