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Do you really NEED a Pro Tools HD system in your studio?

As much as you might like one, you may not actually need a Pro Tools HD digital audio workstation in your studio...

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Question from an Audio Masterclass student: "A friend of mine called me the other day and started to tell me about a new system for audio recording called High Definition recording (HD Recording). He then continued to tell me that if we all don't up grade to a High Def. system we will no longer be able to compete with major studios. He also says this upgrade cost in the upwards of $15,000. Is this true? Or is this just a bunch of B.S.?"

This is an interesting question. If you produce your own music in your own studio then you can use any equipment you like. Having a Digidesign Pro Tools HD system (which I presume you mean) would be nice. But you could record on a 30 year old analog machine if you wanted to.

But if you have a commercial facility that people are going to hire, then you need to have the kind of equipment they expect. Pro Tools HD is pretty much standard in the industry, so yes you do need it.

This is the same kind of logic that made SSL so popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Once a few people had recorded hit records using SSL consoles, other studios started buying them. Then at some point there was a 'critical mass' where to work as an engineer, you had to have SSL experience. And then since all the successful engineers had SSL experience, more studios had to become SSL-equipped.

But if you are producing, say, music to picture in your own home recording studio, you can use any equipment you like as you have no-one to please but yourself.

By David Mellor Thursday November 30, 2006
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