xlr connections.jpeg

It’s no secret that Pro Tools just came out with a huge update – Pro Tools 9. I haven’t talked about it here on HSC because, to be honest, I’m just not that interested.

That’s not to say it isn’t a HUGE update for Pro Tools, the two big additions being ADC (Automatic Delay Compensation) and compatibility with any audio interface (rather than requiring users to use their proprietary in-house hardware).

I’m currently running Pro Tools 8 on a 003. SO many people have asked me if I’m going to upgrade. Several of the crazy commenters on YouTube are telling me that the 003 is now crap. This logic drives me crazy. Why is it that when a software company releases something, everyone assumes everything that ever existed in the history of the world is now obsolete?

The 003 sounded fine the day before they released PT9, and it sounded fine the day after they released PT9.

There are plenty of engineers still using Pro Tools 6 or 7, and they’re making amazing-sounding recordings.

Is the 003 the best sounding interface in the world? Nah.

Is it a good-sounding interface? Yep.

(And here’s the most important question) Can you make good recordings using a 003? Absolutely.

Please, please, please don’t fall into this trap of believing that you have to have the latest thing to make good recordings. Please.

Pro Tools 9 is a great upgrade, but I’m not in a hurry to get it. Why? Becausemy system is working. Why would I update?

That said, if you’re needing to upgrade your interface, or if you’ve never jumped on Pro Tools before, here are some suggestions for interfaces to use with Pro Tools 9.

The cool thing about Pro Tools 9 is that you can finally seriously look at all those other interfaces that you never gave much attention in the past, since they were incompatible. No you can.

Pro Tools 9 Interfaces

The idea of this post came from my reader Brad, who submitted a question via the Ask Joe form, asking IF I upgraded my interface, what would I get?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of my top picks.

Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2

I actually wrote an article on the StudioLive a while back. It’s a fantastic live digital console, but it also makes a fantastic front end to your recording studio. 16 high-quality mic inputs, all the on-board fancy-ness that you’d expect from a digital console, and firewire connectivity to your computer make this an AWESOME choice if you plan to do live recording, tracking sessions, or if you just want a cool mixer in your studio.

Some folks will complain that it doesn’t have motorized faders, but you’d have to pay a few thousand dollars more to get that functionality.

At $1,999.95, the PreSonus StudioLive isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a serious look.

Presonus Firestudio Project

I’m a big fan of Presonus stuff. Their Firestudio Project is a fantastic, single rackspace, 8-mic input interface. It’s perfect for you if you want to record drums and need more than 2 or 4 inputs.

At $499.95, it’s a great piece. Check it out here.

Apogee Ensemble/Duet

Apogee is a big name in the studio world. They make fantastic converters. They also make fantastic firewire interfaces. Whether you only need two channels (Duet) or a bunch (Ensemble), these are high-end pieces that sound great.

These are my top 3 or 4 picks. IF I was to upgrade or change things around, these are the ones I would look at.

What about you? Leave a comment. Let’s hear what you have to say.

[Photo by Claudio Matsuoka]