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 Digidesign/M-Audio M-Powered ProTools le At a Glance   arrowDigidesign News(127)   Streaming Video (23)
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arrowReleased:  arrowVersion: 6.90
arrowRated: 0.0/10arrow User reviews: (2)
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arrowSoftware: Win XP, OSX,
DAS writes:
This is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that will allow you to record audio digitally to seperate tracks, and also record midi data into its' sequencer. This DAW will also allow importing video, which you could use for scoring to any type of film. M-Powered PT le runs on Win XP and MAC OS X.

Good Points
Here are some of the good points I can mention. First of all, it's M-Audio's version of PT le produced by Digidesign. Let me say that I used to own the M-Box when it was first released by Digidesign. I see aboslutely no difference at all in the M-Powered version of PTle verses the MBox version of PTle. Except for the fact that you need a M-Audio approved audio interface to run M-Powered PTle. You can think of it as a "dongle" to use M-Powered PTle. But the added benefit is that you can also use your M-Audio interface with any other DAW for your computer as well. I personally use my M-Audio Audiophile box with M-Powered PTle, and with MOTU Digital Performer with absolutely no problems. I don't remember, but I don't think you can use the MBox h/w with every other DAW on the market. Besides that, the MBox is USB, which is OK, but can't handle sample rates above 48khz and too much midi data simultaneously without eventually choking. I like using the M-Powered PTle because you can choose from several different interfaces that all work, and some are FireWire which can handle audio and midi simultaneously without any problems or glitches/hiccups, and will also yield you with 24bit/96khz capabilities. But again this is totally dependant upon the interface that you purchase from M-Audio. But I would have to say that at least 98% of all of their interfaces are M-Powered compatible. So that shouldn't be hard. Also, it lets you create fully compatible PT sessions for cheap. Meaning, you could buy this, record a song, project or album, and take your M-Powered sessions from home to a studio running a $30,000 PT HD system and be 100% compatible. Everything will load without anything missing, with the exception of plug-ins you may have used that another PT system doesn't use (but that applies to "every" DAW to be fair). All for an avergae street price of a little over $300 dollars. But just keep in mind that when you purchase a M-Powered system you are purchasing "only the software" not the h/w to run it. That's your choice to decide which interface you want to buy and use. Other good point are it's real-time plug-ins. Now I will say that for the most part I think that the stock plug-ins that come with PTle(eq,compression, delay, reverb, chorus, etc.) are good. Not what I would consider stellar, but good enough to get the job done well. But here's something to consider. Mid way through 2005, Digidesign released the EQIII plug-in and the DynamicsIII plug-in, both a realtime EQ and Compressor/Limiter plugin that both handle all sample rates used in PTle or PTHD systems. And they're both a "FREE" download from their site. In my opinion, those 2 plug-ins along with M-Powered PT is an awesome deal for a killer DAW setup at home. Those 2 plugs-ins sound "professional" compared to the stock that come with PT. The quality of those 2 plug-ins individually sound as good as if you had bought them for close to $200 a piece. They are well worth the addition to your PT setup. And did I mention they're free? Another thing I like about the PTle system is that there are a lot of good high quality plug-ins that are out on the market that are exclusive to PT systems. Now I know a lot of people may say, but yeah, some of them also cost $500! True, but that's why every pro in the industry has them also, because they sound that good. Personally because I am a professional music producer, I would rather spend the extra $200 or $300 for an EQ or IR Reverb plug-in that will make my music sound like it's ready for radio, tv, or film, rather than it sounding like the same old familiar Logic, Cubase, or Sonar plugin. Nothing wrong with those plug-ins, its' just that you get what you pay for, and most of the plug-ins that many people are using in commercial studios and or mastering houses are PT exclusive. Just a thought. Of course they make the average Joe, economical plug-ins as well. So don't feel like you have to break the bank account to get into a PT system. Another thing that I've always felt is the #1 reason PT is my favorite DAW is because of the GUI is soo simple and straight forward. You r ally don't even need a manual to figure it out even if it's your first time using it. And the audio engine sounds great. Let me also not forget that PT has probably the best AutoMated Mixing features compared to any other system on the market. And just keep in mind that if you get version 7 of PTle, you are getting a very good and major upgrade. Version 7 has a rebuilt audio engine and is more efficient at running plug-ins and tracks than any previous version. You can expect up to a little over a 30% performance increase. Not to mention that PT7 now uses Instrument Tracks for your plug-ins. Cool. And if you have a laptop, this is an awesome mobile recording studio setup for you. I'll have to admit also, many people bash PT, but whether they like it or not, PT still is the industry standard, for whatever reason. I've had a couple tracks played on major tv, and they asked me if I could send it to them as a PT project if possible with Broadcast wav files. You have to admit that for the few hundreds of dollars that it cost me to buy PTle, it's awesome to know that I'm compatible with a major tv production company like HARPO with such an entry level DAW. Which my point being, it may be an entry level PT system, but by no means is it not professional.
Bad Points
OK, now for some things I don't like about PTle. It only gives you 32 tracks. Well, not really, it only gives you 32 "mono" tracks. So in essence, if you do a lot of stereo recording or mixing, you will be using 2 mono tracks for every stereo track you create. In other words, you only have 16 stereo tracks you can play back in realtime. Another thing, you can only use RTAS plug-ins. Although there is a company that sells a VST-RTAS wrapper plug-in for cheap. Buy using that you can buy and use VST plug-ins in PTle as RTAS plug-ins. Most people that have commented on it say that it uses little to no CPU resources and it doesn't crash their system, so far. This is my #1 pet peeve with PTle. You cannot "bounce down" tracks without having to monitor it in real-time. In other words, if your song is 5:32 long, you will have to wait for 5:32secs from beginning to end to bounce it down. Some people are ok with this because they feel it's a safe way of being sure that there were no errors when bouncing down. And then those people will also say that if you really care about your work, that you would listen to it from beginning to end anyway before sending it out to a client regardless. Maybe so, but there are some instances where I would like a bounce offline without hsving to wait, like how I'm used to in Digital Performer. I can't really think of much else that's bad. But I would just go and try it if you've ever thought of getting into PT. The minimum investment you need for a PTHD system is $10,000. This won't even cost you 10% of that.

 Digidesign/M-Audio M-Powered ProTools le Specifications:

Max tracks: 32 tracks(mono) - 16 tracks (stereo)
Maximum Resolution:96khz@24bits - depends on audio interface
Filetypes supported:
.wav,broadcast .wav, .aiff, .sd2, .mp3 (for a price)
Hardware supported:
All M-Audio audio interfaces

 M-Powered ProTools le Links

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