#1
I'm currently exploring my options on setting up a home studio. I'm hoping that some of you that have experience using ProTools could answer some questions I have that I can't find the answers for elsewhere.

What are the system requirements? All the official site says is it requires XP.
- How much RAM does it take to run smoothly?
- How big should my hard drive be?

Can you burn projects onto a data disc for storage with the ability to load them back on to your system and still be able to have full editing power?

Have you tried running a Behringer V-AMP or other amp modeler into ProTools with any success?

How much money do you, personally, have invested in your system and what do you use it for? Do you just make personal demos or are you a professional recording engineer?

I already own an 8-track digital recorder. Will this be useful at all to me once I purchase ProTools?


I would like to turn my garage into an amatuer recording studio to give bands in my area a cheap alternative to making high quality demos/recordings. I plan on building a CPU dedicated to only running ProTools, buying a drum set and recording drums live, then running all bass/guitars through v-amps into ProTools. Then throwing vocals over that. Is this a good plan? Any constructive criticism or advice would be very helpful.
#2
I dont have ProTools, but I can answer some questions...


For your system I'd recommend a processor with a minimum of 2ghz, dual core or not. 1gb RAM should be enough unless you intend on running an insane ammount of plugins.

For your harddrive it's recommended that you have a seperate one specificall for audio and its related programs. Something bigger than 150gb, these things pile up fast. It also needs to be 7200rpm for optimum straight to disk recording.

You can burn projects to disk yes.

No comment on the V-amp.

The only thing your 8-track could be useful for is adding more preamps to run into your ProTools interface.


For recording guitars it is much advisable that you mic a good sounding guitar cabinet, as amp modeling is known to more or less sound like dookie.

What interface are you planning to get?
#3
On my computer, I have a gig of ram, which is ample, and a 2.8gHz processor,which is also ample.

I can only run about 20 plugins before it slows down though, you'd be very much advised to get a second hard drive to record to.
#4
Quote by mCarny
- How much RAM does it take to run smoothly?


At least 1 GB, but the more the better. I run a HP mini-PC with 2GB RAM and that's usually OK as long as I don't pile on the plugins. (I tend to run drums from BFD and any non-guitar instruments from a software sampler so I generally run up a fairly high CPU load when I get deep into arranging.)

Quote by mCarny
- How big should my hard drive be?


As big as you can afford. No seriously, it's always advisable to have a separate drive for audio files (i.e. not your system drive) but it will work even if you have everything on the system drive.

Quote by mCarny
Can you burn projects onto a data disc for storage with the ability to load them back on to your system and still be able to have full editing power?


Yes. But you have to be very careful about saving and where the program locates audio files, fade files and so on. The easiest way to backup projects is to save a complete backup (the command is called something along the lines of "Save session copy in...") either directly to an external hard drive or for later burning to recordable media. Assuming that you have managed to backup the entire session you can then go back and edit things to your hearts content, just make sure that you transfer the files back to your audio hard drive, it's hardly ever a good idea to stream an entire session from an external USB or Firewire drive.

Quote by mCarny
Have you tried running a Behringer V-AMP or other amp modeler into ProTools with any success?


Yes. Of course it's successful. Hardware amp sims output regular audio, it's no different from plugging in a microphone. Just make sure you use the line in. Whether or not you'll get good results depend more on your recording skill and how well you manage to program the sounds of the V-Amp. I run a Vox ToneLab and it works fine. I also line all my bass parts through a Behringer BDI 21.

Quote by mCarny
How much money do you, personally, have invested in your system and what do you use it for? Do you just make personal demos or are you a professional recording engineer?


Ehrm... No real idea. I have the MBox 2 Mini, BFD, a decent AKG mic, good cables, 2 external hard drives, and a truckload of guitars and basses. I use it more for personal enjoyment but I've made some recordings that might end up on a tribute albums this year.

Quote by mCarny
I already own an 8-track digital recorder. Will this be useful at all to me once I purchase ProTools?.


Maybe for location recording but as far as studio recording goes go for the computer route. It's an infinitely more powerful solution.
#5
If you are building a PC or updating it get a nice processor, RAM, and storage...the best you can afford.

See this:
http://www.tweakheadz.com/tweaking_your_music_computer.html

Be aware PT requires the correct interface to work so you wont be able to buy something like the Mackie Onyx Satellite and use Protools.

Also I don't feel PT is required for the home studio. I get by just fine using Sonar 6 producer myself...It works well with MIDI as well. If you know how to use your software well enough you can do just about the same as most programs out there.
#6
I don't personally like Pro Tools for the home studio either. Do you have any experience with using it, as it has a steep learning curve, and I find it to be the hardest to use out of the heavyweight DAW's.
There is poetry in despair.
#7
Quote by fridge_raider
I don't personally like Pro Tools for the home studio either. Do you have any experience with using it, as it has a steep learning curve, and I find it to be the hardest to use out of the heavyweight DAW's.


I've never understood the "steep learning curve" that some users see in ProTools. Logic was much, much harder to come to grips with a few years back. Granted, it's still the least impressive DAW when it comes to MIDI that I've seen but for straight recording/editing/mixing I think it's very straight-forward.
#8
I don't know, I guess I just find Logic and Cubase are both far easier and more user friendly. Plus, and I know this is superficial and shouldn't come into it, and maybe I am an idiot for saying so, but Pro Tools just looks.....horrible.
There is poetry in despair.