The Hidden Digidesign Pro Tools (part 6)
MIDI? Never touch the stuff.
Here is a good question. Why not simply run the original sequence and use it to play the instruments live and record their audio outputs into Pro Tools? At the expense of some hard disk space, the results will sound virtually identical and all the MIDI gear can be shipped back to the hire company. Retaining the sequence as MIDI data has two distinct advantages however. Firstly, it can be edited so that any excessive flourishes in the bass line can be trimmed back so as not to obscure the purity of the breakbeat (please translate into your own musical context!). Secondly, and probably more importantly, if in the context of later additions to a track a particular part is found not to be working, another sample or synth program can easily be substituted - not something you can do with audio data unless you get the musician back in to record it again.
Why Pay More?
In the main text it is explained how Pro Tools PowerMix can run on an Apple Power Macintosh computer without a sound card or any additional hardware, but the audio quality of the computers inputs and outputs isnt particularly good. But there are situations where this doesnt matter. Suppose for instance you had recorded a number of vocal takes into a proper Pro Tools system in a studio and you needed to spend some time compiling these into one master version. Why spend expensive studio time doing this when you can take away the Pro Tools hard disk and hook it up to your Mac at home and work for free? Even certain laptop Macs can run Pro Tools PowerMix, but dont plan on working on the train since the Pro Tools hard disk will need a mains supply. When the vocal is finished, simply take the disk back to the studio and hear it in its full audio glory through proper D to A convertors - the signal never touched the convertors in your own Mac, apart from monitoring, and therefore its still as good as when it was recorded.