One Man's Experience With digidesign

Scott Jacob Loehr scott at
Tue Dec 23 06:56:33 PST 2003

>IIRC, MasterList was a $1000 program when it came out. They 
>'graciously' dropped the price to $500 a bit later. Then Jam came 
>out for around $100 with basically the same feature set.
>Digidesign, for all their great work, has a reputation for
>charging the top end of what the market will bear, and
>using obtrusive copy protection that rankles this long-time
>(licensed, paying) user.
>Their parent company, Avid does the same thing in the
>video realm.
>Is it any wonder that Final Cut Pro has been so successful,
>when Avid's competing (and previously market-leading)
>video editing program cost upwards of five times more,
>with fewer features, when FCP was released?
>David Reaves
>TransLanTech Sound, LLC

	I experienced many of the same problems/frustrations.  I was 
using an AudioMedia2 NuBus card on my older Macs with digidesign's 
Session software, along with MasterListCD and SoundDesigner2.  It 
didn't take me too long to jump on Digital Performer when Performer 
went Digital, and Session was suddenly quite inferior.  I had many 
difficulties with MasterListCD early on (it was quite problematic 
from 1.0 until 1.4, then moderately so until 2.4; now I can't use it 
due to copy protection via floppy, if that tells you where their 
heads were at)... I bought an AudioMedia3 card to use with my G4, and 
it didn't take me long to envision a digidesign-free studio... my 
experiences with digi's tech support grew increasingly more expensive 
and elitist - according to them, the universe would all balance out 
if I would just get in line and shell out $15,000 for a ProTools 
system.  I received many comments from several employees to the 
effect of "Wow... all you've got is SD2?  We can't waste our time on 
tech calls for a program that we no longer support.  Look for a 
dwindling User Group."  THIS for a $29.95 hit to my credit card?
	That's when I bought Jam, Spark, and my MOTU interfaces, and 
I've been digi-free ever since.  $2,600 beats $15,000 anyday.
	The only thing I miss digi-wise is the feature in 
MasterListCD that lets you insert track numbers anywhere you want. 
My workaround is to open up the mix in Spark and create regions... 
very functional, but it's a few extra steps.
	I've done one session in ProTools... at an outside 
"World-Class" facility, and we have to go back and re-record several 
of the tracks due to a number of glitches, pops, and other noises 
that showed up on the bass and some of the drum tracks.  We 
troubleshot everything before, during, and after the session, and it 
turned out to be the interface.  We lost time, momentum, and money, 
and our 'fix' is to bring the bassist back over to my place so I can 
re-record his tracks in DP.
	I assume that my experiences hover closer to the exception 
rather than the rule... otherwise, ProTools would not have been able 
to retain the first syllable of its name.

Scott Jacob Loehr

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