What is the difference between the 3?

Is there a difference between production quality?
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protools LE has less opitions then HD and Mpowered only works with certain Maudio interfaces i think
Copy/Paste from recording review forum:


HD systems are pro systems, starting at about ~ $10,000, probably more. They use PCI cards for the interface (or whatever the modern equivalent of PCI is.) This is the gear you will find in a larger pro studio if PT is their DAW of choice. There are cards dedicated to processing effects, so the PC or Mac is not bogged down in the same way it is with the other 2 versions of PT.

PT LE is the purposely crippled semi-pro version of PT. The current limit on the number of tracks is 32 I think, unless you upgrade to some package that lets you add more tracks, $$$$$$. The amount of effects you can add to a session is limited by the processing power of your computer, unlike the HD systems. The LE systems are marketed toward folks like me, who need an all in one system that has at least one mic preamp and DI for bass or guitar. The preamps are not great, but they are usable, a good starting point for someone tinkering around with recording and not trying to make a living being an audio engineer. The main thing about LE systems is that although you get the PT software, which is either a great thing or a bad thing, depending on what you like, you are absolutely locked into using the Digidesign hardware with it. I can connect either my Mbox or my Digi002 to my ibook, but I HAVE to connect one of them to open a session recorded with PTLE. PTLE and the accompanying hardware comes bundled with stock plugins like reverb and compression and usually with a "special offer" of additional free "Ignition Pack" software; mine came with Melodyne Essential, some amp simulators, a basic version of Ableton Live. Most of that software is a tease to get you to buy the real versions.

M Powered PT was created for the folks who bitched about LE being proprietary. When Avid bought M-Audio, they came up with the concept of being able to choose among different M-Audio interfaces and run the M Powered version of PT with that interface. I am not certain what the track limit is with M Powered, but I bet it is 32 tracks........ You have a lot more choices for interface options if you go this route and the Firewire versions of the hardware from M-Audio, even the simplest of them, will record at 96, whereas the Mbox series offered with LE is still stuck at 48 max (except for the Mbox Pro.) I don't think you get the Ignition Pack software that comes with LE, but you are not really missing much in my opinion. I have picked up in different threads that the M-Audio preamps and hardware are not as good as those in the LE hardware, but I find this hard to believe. M-Audio has several preamps out there that have stood the test of time and are great deals for the money, (DMP3 for one, unfortunately can not be used by itself with this software.)

You wanted to know about the M-Powered 7 software. You can read about it here:

Digidesign | Products | Pro Tools LE & M-Powered | Pro Tools M-Powered | Pro Tools M-Powered

All PT 7.4 versions come with Elastic Audio, whatever that is. I am using 7.3 and I have not even looked into using Beat Detective yet.

Ask your question on the DUC in the M-Powered forum.

DUC: Viewing list of forums

Ask what the pros and cons are of M-Powered vs. LE and see what they have to say.

I think I am coming off kind of negative about Digidesign and Pro Tools, but really, I am pretty happy with my rigs. My Mbox is all I need to do good, solid demos of new songs and the Digi002 rack works well for recording my band live. There are plenty of PT haters out there though.......


original thread:

Last edited by TheDriller at Oct 18, 2009,
If you're recording yourself at home M-Powered or LE will probably work well; if you're looking to produce professionally then HD should be your choice. (Although you can get professional-sounding results from LE if you know what you're doing and have good mics.) Sample rates are limited to 48kHz for LE but that matters less than bit depth which is the same for both systems. It's easier to use external hardware with HD than with LE (depending on the version MBox you chooseyou might not even be able to use an external preamp for instance). LE with an MBox will cost you less than a decent guitar; HD will cost you more than a lot of cars. Make your choice.
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Pro Tools HD is in a complete other league from the other two, it's the high end $10,000+ system most high end studios run off.

M-Powered and LE are similar, M-Powered is for use with certain M-Audio hardware, whereas LE can only be used with Digidesign hardware.