One Part Panther, Two Parts Sound, Mix Thoroughly

I spent most of another day with Cameron today. Dana, his wife, is always making jokes like “So when are you moving in?” They are such great people.

We were setting up his second Pro Tools system in his office / guitar room at his house and I found out some interesting things. We were able to get Pro Tools 6.2.3 working on a Mix Plus with Panther. Here’s the specs:

  • Power Mac G4 1.25GHz (OS 9 bootable “Speed Hole”)
  • OS X 10.3.3
  • Pro Tools | 24 Mix Plus Hardware
  • Pro Tools 6.2.3 Software
  • Aurora IgniterX Lite video card with 6.2.2 drivers

Digidesign has not officially qualified Mix hardware for use with Panther and the 6.2 software. The setup that we have on our systems at Fox is Pro Tools 6.1 and OS X 10.2.6. Panther is so much nicer, I’ve been dying to use it for work. Digi does say though that they haven’t experienced any problems in early testing on the Mix hardware.

So we thought we would give it a shot since we’re not on a show right now. Pro Tools seems to function fine under basic usage. I was able to create a new session. Import some guide tracks and a movie. Play, scrub, shuttle, lots of fast starting and stopping, basic cutting and fades all worked. Now obviously a “real” session has many more than two tracks–lots of files and edits and fades. We haven’t beat on it very hard but so far it’s working well.

They also have finally fixed the Grid Mode bug that’s been in 5.3, 6.0 and 6.1 where zooming way in would cause the grid lines and the Feet and Frame timeline to disappear.

I did encounter a problem with the Digidesign Core Audio drivers. When you select “Digidesign HW” in either Sound Output or Sound Input, the name changes to “Digidesign HW (Mix)” which is good. However, none of the options appear like setting the sound level or left / right balance or anything. Also when “Digidesign HW” was selected in Sound Output, iTunes would only intermittently work correctly. Sometimes I was able to play songs fine. Other times you’d hit play and a blank window would pop up that said “Hardware Setup” in the title. The song wouldn’t play and you’d have to Force Quit iTunes to get out.

I’ll keep you informed as we discover new things. I would welcome any comments from anyone with their own experiences of Mix hardware, Panther, and Pro Tools 6.2.