I finally bit the bullet and bought a full copy of Pro Tools 10 yesterday. Mr. Smartypants also inadvertently bought a second iLok license dongle. Apparently there was already one in the box but I didn’t realize that. Whoops. Please see me if you need an extra dongle.
So what prompted the purchase? I’ve badly wanted to be able to run Pro Tools on my laptop without needing any of the hardware plugged in. Pro Tools finally added this feature in version 9. Prior to that, you always had to have an official Digidesign audio device tethered to the computer, which made portability a real drag. The audio device essentially acted like a license dongle. Although I wouldn’t typically record audio using the laptop’s line-in jack, it sure would be nice to just work on mixes while on the road. And I will be going to New York next week, so that’s a perfect opportunity!
The price for version 10 is pretty steep, and so I’ve been waffling over this decision for at least a year now. I found some guy on eBay selling copies for $275, which is half the price that you can find it anywhere else. But it felt kind of sketchy. Actually, it was very sketchy. I think he was laundering educational copies of the program. The idea of buying an educational copy had tempted me already. I could probably get my little brother to do the deed for me. But over the last few years, my conscience has grown heavier and heavier about software piracy, etc. Maybe it’s because my job has to do with building software (albeit not really the consumer-type) that I’m more sympathetic to actually paying for software. At any rate, I decided to just do the right thing and buy the real copy.
I realize I still haven’t really explained why this came about. I’ve had an Mbox and a copy of Pro Tools 7 for years. The Mbox only has two inputs and outputs, which makes it really awkward to send a couple recorded tracks through outboard effects while I’m also monitoring the song. Earlier this year, a friend lent/sold me a Digi003 rack. I’ve been really happy with it, and the 8 input/outputs are great. But a couple weeks ago, it started acting up on me. Pro Tools would freeze up and wouldn’t respond to the mouse or keyboard. The MIDI stopped working on it. After that happened enough times, I unplugged it and went back to the Mbox. But going from 8 to 2 outputs is really difficult. So I’ve slowly begun admitting to myself that it’s time to buy a new audio interface. Moving to version 10 is the first step, since that will let me use anything on the market instead of being stuck with using Digidesign’s increasingly suspect hardware.
Oh, I should have just gone with Cakewalk years ago…