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PT vs. Creamware
Old 6th February 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
PT vs. Creamware

Hello Gearslutz!

Over the next year I'm going to be putting together a moderately nice home studio for my own use and to help put together good quality demos for friends and eventually paying clients as my skills progress. I plan on centering it around one of two DSP card systems and I figure this would be a great place to get some opinions.

I figure I'm either going to use a ProTools TDM system (2 cards) or Creamware Scope/SP (plus a SRB, and running on Digital Perfourmer). Has anyone here used both systems? The Creamware route would be cheaper and would give me easier access to whatever converters I want. Plus, I'm mainly interested in doing synth/sample based music and Creamware would be better for that than PT. On the other hand, PT has a much broader base of plug-ins to chose from. How do the plug-ins you can get on PT compare to those for Creamware for effects (reverb, compression, etc.) and mastering? I could even get a Powercore card to compliment the Scope and still be cheaper than PT. How does the audio editing on PT compare to DP? And, would an external HD recorder (like RADAR, or HDR24/96) be overkill, assuming I'll probably be mixing on a used Ghost24 LE I may or may not be getting in the near future?

Thanks!
Old 6th February 2003
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Hi

I'd say go with the TDM solution, but I think you're really trying to compare Apples and Oranges.

I've not used Scope, but have had Pulsar - so I know roughly what you're talking about.

Firstly to clear up - with PT/TDM you can use what convertors you want, all PT systems (Mix or HD) can use ADAT interfaces, so you buy a digi adat interface and then go on from there.

I would personally advise someone to go with Logic as a front end to PT hardware if they're interested in soft synths - the reason being you have access to all the softsynths available out there, and Logic can deal with two hardware drivers at once - therefore buy a nice card (RME?) and pipe this into the TDM hardware, or get the ESB software. Logic 6 really looks superb from the demo I've seen too.

I would argue that PT is the king of audio editting (I know flame away) - I don't use the software anymore, and that is one of the reasons - I found PT reminded me too much of wavelab or something in it's layout and I favoured the Logic approach to arrangement.

The problem I'd say with the DP/Scope route is that yes, this platform has some great synths, it's not the most popular of platforms, and I found it quite clunky to use - having to have the Scope/Pulsar software running too, and switching between - just didn't do it for me. Also I really dislike the fx available for the platform - and mixing/routing can be a pain.

If you love the synths that much you could always run a pulsar and TDM together.

The advantage of PT/TDM is really a) industry standard - you can take it anywhere, b) very good audio editting/manipulation c) very good automation d) superb range of quality plugins e) lack of latency

The disadvantage is a) cost, b) PT software doesn't really support soft synths too well, but you can use Logic, c) cost! (of plugins etc).

If you can afford it - why don't you rent a rig for a weekend - better than making a big mistake. Also don't forget to price in plugins etc. which are a major expense in the PT world.

Finally, if you're going to look to charge people - never underestimate the allure of having Pro-tools - sad it may be, but it's a fact people will pay extra, and it will get people through the door.

Hope this helps

Pete
Old 6th February 2003
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the info, Pete. Been looking for something like that for a while.

A TDM/Pulsar system would work? I hadn't really thought of that. Basically, the only reason I want the Creamware card is the modular synth and the Sequential Circuits emulations. So a PowerPulsar handling the synth and I/O end (24 I/O of ADAT), with something like the RME ADI-8, and one or two TDM cards is what I'll probably steer toward. Or using the Pulsar in XTC mode (if that ever happens for AU, Creamware doesn't seem to support Apple computers much) to avoid the interface, and letting PT handle the I/O. Any more opinions?
Old 6th February 2003
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
To use the two together I'd do the following:

Adat Bridge for PT
RME Convertor (if you like these, there's a lot of choice)
Pulsar

RME convertor is plugged into the ADAT bridge and used as your analogue I/O - this way you have your audio coming into PT direct, less latency, and easier to use.

Adat output from Adat bridge into Pulsar, ADAT output from pulsar into Adat input on adat bridge. This means you can send audio out of PT into Pulsar (for fx with the modular synth), and get audio from the synths into PT.

Oh, and you're right I've had nothing but bad experiences with the Pulsar
Old 6th February 2003
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
To use the two together I'd do the following:

Adat Bridge for PT
RME Convertor (if you like these, there's a lot of choice)
Pulsar

RME convertor is plugged into the ADAT bridge and used as your analogue I/O - this way you have your audio coming into PT direct, less latency, and easier to use.

Adat output from Adat bridge into Pulsar, ADAT output from pulsar into Adat input on adat bridge. This means you can send audio out of PT into Pulsar (for fx with the modular synth), and get audio from the synths into PT.

Oh, and you're right I've had nothing but bad experiences with the Pulsar
Old 7th February 2003
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Again, thank you, Pete, for giving me such well thought out answers. I'm beginning to re-think the Creamware card... partially because of the interface, but mostly for the half-hearted support for Macs. Also toying with the idea of putting together a cheap windows machine to house the Pulsar + SRB, but that's way on the back burners at the moment.

Just one more question though: What, specifically, didn't you like about the Pulsar interface? I've had only about 5 minutes to toy around with a windows machine running Pulsar. I loved how good the synths sounded, but didn't get a chance to look over much else.
Old 7th February 2003
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
No problem.

Just a caveat here - I used version 2 of the software (a couple of years ago), so some things have doubtless changed.

Problems I had

The interface was really fiddly, things that look cool in the brochure and initially really began to annoy - want to try another synth? Load plugin, drag cable from midi port, drag cables to audio - fiddly little plugs too. Now I think this might have changed but annoyed the hell out of me.

DSP loading, whenever you load a new synth it reloaded all the DSP, fair enough you say - but this meant that for a split second the clocking would be lost and everything else would start complaining about clock going, clock coming back on the ADAT.

Having to save another environment with every project.

The mixer, just isn't (wasn't) up to the job, for instance (at the time) there were no stereo tracks - yes you can link tracks, but this doesn't give you stereo inserts etc.

Drivers - early on I also got a PowerSampler card - to boost dsp, nothing but hassle - just never worked full stop, couldn't see half the DSP etc. In the end Creamware kind of said - sometimes that happens - great!

Pulsar card not having Ram - this is different for the Scope, but it meant all pulsar effects that need memory (reverb, delay etc) need to go to the PCI buss and use system memory, I had no problems but plenty of people did.

And this was on Windows!

I'd really advise getting a few softsynths - for instance I have most of the Native Instruments stuff, Pro-53 does give absolutely
fantastic sounds, and Reaktor will easily do the modular stuff. If you're happy to go to a Windows second machine, I'd do that and then get a simple VST host - there's a few about. This will give you probably more power and a bit more versatililty. For instance you could Run Reason on the PC too.

With this way, you'll have your synth workstation sitting there and it will work!

Good luck

Pete
Old 7th February 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
six_wax's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Counterpoint

If you're doing synth/sample stuff, the CW cards will rock in a bunch of ways ProTools won't even think about. I do electronic music as well...

The problems above are *much* improved since v2 [I was there].

I know of many happy Mac users.

There are still some issues, but the platform is really a pretty well kept secret for the power it imparts... check out pulsarscope on yahoogroups for more info.

PT vs. CW -> Apples and Oranges

PT = Recording and mixing
TDM cards = plugins to support that

CW = Synths, Samplers, Effects, Mixing, flexible routing
Old 9th February 2003
  #9
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
as a producer i see a lot of demos...and the ones that come from a protools studio are the easiest to deal with...most high end studios will have protools which means easy translation from studio to studio...this is even more important for demos...sometimes that performance can be so good that track just need to be saved...also the compatability and having protools is a great selling point. lots of folks don't even know what creamware is....
Old 15th April 2003
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
One problem with the Creamware cards is, that it does so many things, that many people think they loose something, if they don't use their CW cards for all, that they can. If you only want to use the synths, you can do that without even loading a single mixer. Also the never SFP software has improved the platform wastly in terms of ergonomic feel. You get mixers with stereo chanels too now. There is a third party add-on to Modular 1/2/3 comming up soon. Drag and drop times are over (it is still possible, but in no way needed) - one exeption may be loading samples in the samplers/sampleplayers (wich I do not use at the moment, because it is not my way of working). I know, this is an old thread. I just took the chance to maybe clear out some of the bad reputation, that creamware has gotten because of its older (I'd say annoying) interface.
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