THINK BEFORE YOU BUILDThanks for the article "Building Your System" in the July 2000 issue. Since you recommended Digidesign's Digi001 for lower-budget studios, there's a major shortcoming of the system that I'd like to share with readers who are setting up their own project studios.
The Windows version of Pro Tools LE is incompatible with the rest of the Pro Tools product line. It can't read files created on any TDM version of Pro Tools. Nor can any TDM version open up Windows Pro Tools LE sessions. As powerful as the software is, this seriously reduces its value.
Let's say you work in a recording studio, and Client A has the studio booked. Want to take home the session you've begun with Client B, do some rough mixes on Pro Tools LE for Windows, and bring them back? No can do.
Let's say you're me, the keyboard player in House of Usher. You and the guys in the band bought two brand-new Windows 98 systems and a brand-new Mac G4, each with a Digi001 interface. Want to share files back and forth, each adding overdubs on a different track on your own time? Wrong again.
Digidesign does suggest a crude workaround: Export your session with each track as a single, continuous .WAV or .AIFF file that can then be imported into another Pro Tools platform. As I see it, there are two big down sides: any mix, mix group, effects, locate points, etc. are lost; and depending on how you work, you may wind up with enormous .WAV files padded with Os just so you can have that drum loop drop in during the fade-out of your track. While it will work, this solution sounds pretty lame to me.