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Thread: powerbook g4 and protools users

  1. #1
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    Question powerbook g4 and protools users

    I have searched to the end of the internet for insight on this issue and only have received half answered answers. I'm considering investing in a 1.33 ghz powerbook g4 laptop to run protools. With an external firewire drive (7200 rpm) and 512 megs of ram or a gig what kind of performance should I expect? Will it be sufficient to run protools with 32 tracks with plugins going? I know I expect too much from the powerbook but I plan to do live recordings, so would the powerbook handle recording 16 tracks (8 in from the digi 002 rack and 8 via lightpipe, stand alone from a motu 828) at 48 k? and since the 12' powerbook g4 only has one firewire 400 port and I may have the digi 002 rack and two firewire drives daisy chained should i suspect stutters in performance.

  2. #2
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    Have you checked out the DUC?

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    yup, searched through out the whole DUC. got some good info but need more, however thanks for the tip. anyone else want to share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georgedk
    yup, searched through out the whole DUC. got some good info but need more, however thanks for the tip. anyone else want to share.
    If a G3 Wallstreet all souped up to run PT's via a Magma PCI Expansion chassis with Lots of DSP modules and buckoo RAID's was used to record most of the audio for Star Wars Episode 1, then I think what you want to accomplish with PT's LE and a 1GHz powerbook with x=amount of Firewire/GB's of Storage shouldn't even blink.

    You mentioned a MOTU unit as a front end for the 8 Channels of ADAT, just curious what your total setup is, because this could totally change the way to go about things.

    Just some food for thought
    Bill

    "I made a conscience decision in a semi-conscious state"

  5. #5
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    billbo,

    i want to use the motu 828 in a stand alone setup, just use it as a a/d convertor.

    powerbook>002 rack, motu 828 connected via light pipe>firewire drive 1>firewire drive 2> firewire drive 3 = all of this riding on one firewire port.

    however i have heard that the 828 may drift from 002 rack interface, but i will make the 002 rack the master so the 828 stays in time with the 002 rack.

  6. #6
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    Default powerbook vs ibook

    how much will a 12" powerbook G4 1.33GHz laptop will out perform the iBook 1GHz G4? these two models seem to be the same. i'm planning to use either laptop as a DAW

  7. #7
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    Not much difference. Looks like a little faster RAM on the TiBook and the graphics are better - mirroring only on the iBook.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
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  8. #8
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    What combination of DAW hardware/software do you propose to use?
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  9. #9
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    going to be using...

    hardware:
    motu 828, protools digi 002 rack

    software:
    logic, nuendo, peak, protools

  10. #10
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    I saw some discussion somewhere on whether or not the 12" PBs have the same monitor as the 12" ibooks....it was not conclusive. Some said no, the PB is brighter/clearer, but some said they could not tell the difference. Probably worth a side by side comparison to see if you are considering both.

    Spanning the desktop is prettyhuge if you plan to set it up as a desktop replcement, really key to being fast and efficient running apps with lots of palettes.

    And don't forget 32MB video vs. 64MB video, 30 Gig HD vs. 60 Gig HD, and of coarse 300Mhz of CPU.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  11. #11
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    Along with the other things mentioned, I do see that the PB 12" does have a slightly faster system bus 167Mhz versus the 133Mhz on the iBook.

    Those things are rather close spec wise. The dual screen option though is rather tempting. The 12" while nice isn't a lot of real estate.

  12. #12
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    Some observation about ProTools only, having no experience with the others, nor 002 come to that;

    neither of the machines are fully supported by Digidesign for PTLE and 002R (see here). Although I'm sure they'll both work Digi may not be very forthcoming when it comes to support. Also,and perhaps more to the point, each has only 1 Firewire port, would that be enough? You'll probably need a 7200rpm Firewire external media drive (this guy did at the DUC, but he's using MBox via USB), and I don't know how that works with the 002R. Would you need 2 FW ports? The 15" PB has them. And talking of 15", I use a 15" display for PT and it only just enough, I sure wouldn't want to do it on my wife's 12" PB, but then your eyesight's probably better than mine!
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  13. #13
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    A good point about FW.

    Since there is only one channel on the board on the 15 (and all Macs...), and two ports, is the performance any worse to daisy chain a couple FW devices through a single port, compared to each device on its own port, but sharing the same single channel? Either way you end up with two devices on one channel.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
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    Shouldn't be a difference in theory. But sometimes things get a bit ugly with daisy-chaining.

    As you mentioned, most Macs have one channel, two ports -- or, if you will, one channel and a two port hub. So an alternative to daisy-chaining is a FW hub if daisychaining doesn't prove to be stable.

    Depending on what devices you're using, a FW hub might be preferable anyway. In the daisy-chain, the middle device(s) would need to be on for the signal to be carried through. No such worries with a hub, although the hub needs to on.

  15. #15
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    Default hard drive partitioning

    is it suggested to parition the system drive. would one get better performance and hard drive efficiency? i intend do mostly audio editing on my powerbook g4 running on OSX

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    Partitioning can result in a lot of opinions. PBs may be a special case. From the scant information, start with General Mac Performance.

    If you have FW800, put it to good use. Max out the RAM. put in a faster, larger hard drive.

    Partitioning can help. It can also cause more and longer head seeks. For audio, you need to move stuff to scratch partition. I/O from one partition to 2nd is slow. Less than half the speed of the rated speed of the drive.

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    I'm not sure that you'd get more efficient operation, apart from the fact that you could from time to time dump everything off the audio file partition and start afresh. Partitioned or not, operating with your audio files on the boot drive is not recommended. If your internal drive is of the 7200rpm variety then you'll likely get away with it provided your track count isn't too high (how high? Don't know!) If you have a 5400rpm internal drive, and you propose to use ProTools LE, don't even go there! It will let you down, just about the time you can least afford it to happen. But what the heck, try it, maybe it will work OK for you. I am assuming of course that your primary audio drive is external, and you just want to be able to work with sessions on the internal drive for convenience.
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgedk
    billbo,

    i want to use the motu 828 in a stand alone setup, just use it as a a/d convertor.

    powerbook>002 rack, motu 828 connected via light pipe>firewire drive 1>firewire drive 2> firewire drive 3 = all of this riding on one firewire port.

    however i have heard that the 828 may drift from 002 rack interface, but i will make the 002 rack the master so the 828 stays in time with the 002 rack.
    The whole thread on drive partitioning would make more sense tacked on here. No?

  19. #19
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    i will use the powerbook's main drive as a boot dirve and i will get an external drive for audio. so partitioning the boot drive will not benefit the hard disk perfomance?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgedk
    i will use the powerbook's main drive as a boot dirve and i will get an external drive for audio. so partitioning the boot drive will not benefit the hard disk perfomance?
    Correct. It will help to keep things separated, and organized though IMHO.

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