Frequently Asked Questions;
Here You'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions for existing Pro Tools PC Owners, If you can't see the answer to your question please get in contact with us here and ask us in person.
Which Firewire port option should I Choose?
When ordering a Pro Tools PC you have a choice of Firewire options depending on your requirements, first up there's the Texas Instruments chipset card which we've tested and found very compatible with most "non Avid" audio interfaces we've tried as well as firewire hard drives. We also offer the Siig Firewire card as recommended and approved by Avid as well as the Universal Audio approved card for Apollo and UAD2 devices. If you decide to go with a Thunderbolt 2 option with your Pro tools PC we'd recommend the Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter as it offers the greatest bandwidth and performance for general use in our experience. You can select the Apple adapter when configuring your system.
Pro Tools 10 is 32bit, why don’t you offer a 32bit version of Windows?
Since Pro Tools version 9.04 it has been completely compatible with Windows 64bit and Pro Tools 11 is now fully 64bit native. A 64bit environment brings performance advantages, not to 32bit Pro Tools, but to the system as a whole in being to access more memory. Pro Tools versions up to 10 can only ever utilise a maximum of 4GB of RAM, but unlike 32bit Windows where some of that RAM is needed by the system, in 64bit Windows Pro Tools 10 can use the full 4GB while the system uses memory above 4GB. So in all cases it’s advantageous to use 64bit Windows. If you are using an older version of Pro Tools or have some other specific reason to use 32bit Windows then please contact us and we’ll be able to provide a 32bit system for you.
Will my Mac HFS+ formatted hard drives work with the Pro Tools PC and Windows?
No, Windows cannot natively see HFS+ formatted hard drives so you will need an extra 3rd party piece of software to enable seeing, reading and writing of these drives. We suggest either: MacDrive by Medifour http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive or Paragon HFS For Windows http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hfs-windows/
Can I install anti-virus software?
There's no getting away from the Internet these days and with online authorisations, plug-in downloads and iLok license tracking it's reasonable to assume your Pro Tools PC will be wired into the net. We've come up with one way of protecting your computer from the nasties you may encounter on your travels through the web - it's called SafeSurf. It's essentially a virtual computer, running a slimmed down version of Linux Mint that boots up and runs on your desktop when you want to surf the net. You can then safely browse the Internet and download files to your hearts content without opening a browser on your real computer. Once you're done, you can close the SafeSurf and any nasties, cookies or malware picked up on the way no longer exist. Any downloads can be virus checked and moved to your main machine via a shared folder.
However, you may want to use your Pro Tools PC online like any other computer, and that's fine, you are welcome to do so. In which case we would recommend using either Microsoft Security Essentials or Avast.com as good quality anti-virus software with a low system impact - and they have free versions. Also add the Pro Tools Plugin folder (C:Program Files (x86)/Common Files/Digidesign/DAE/Plugins) to the exclusions list of the anti-virus software, that way it will not scan the plugins one by one for viruses as Pro Tools boots up.
What’s the difference between Windows 7 Home, Professional and Ultimate?
There are many difference but very few that have any impact on music production or Pro Tools. You can look into the detail here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/compare#T1=tab01 From our point of view the key difference is that Home Premium supports up to 16GB of RAM, so if you choose the 32GB option you will also need to choose Windows Professional. We also offer Windows Ultimate because it supports language packs, so if you wish to work in a language other than English then you should choose this option. With Windows 8 the RAM limit on the regular version has been lifted to 128GB so you only need to opt for Windows 8 Pro for the domain security and encription features.
What about other operating systems aside from Windows?
Here at Pro Tools PC we only support our tuned and tested Windows installation. You are welcome to install another OS yourself but this is something for which you take on your own responsibility and self support.
With regards to OSX and "Hackintoshing" - Apple’s end user agreement prohibits us from offering, recommending or supporting OSX. However, we use the same Intel hardware base as Apple does and are aware that many users are successfully running OSX on their Pro Tools PC computers. We would recommend that you create a full drive image backup of our Windows install before you do anything, or ideally use a different drive for the installation of another OS.
Can I run Cubase, Sonar, Reason, Live (insert your software here) etc on The Pro Tools PC?
Of course, no problem. The Pro Tools PC is setup and tuned to work specifically with Pro Tools but as a bonus it also works superbly with all other DAW, production, performance and creative software. So, no, you don’t have to be running Pro Tools to take advantage of The Pro Tools PC.
Are you owned by Avid?
No, we are an independent enterprise with masses of Pro Tools experience offering a PC that gets the best out of Avid's excellent products. We are not affiliated to Avid in any way in Europe, USA or the rest of the world.
How do I get in contact with you for technical support?
Please contact us here and we’ll do our best to get you up and running as quickly as possible.
Where can I find my serial number for support?
Your serial number is on the back of your computer and also on your Support Access Card that came in the folder. It's in the format "PTPC000000UK". Please mention it in all correspondence as it will make it easier for us to identify your system configuration.