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You can download ProTools FREE. It is a lighter version of their pro software. If you have Windows 98/Me it will work, or Mac OS 9. Also if it will work on your computer if you ever want to take your files into a studio, most PRO studios have ProTools that they can load your recordings into their systems for mastering. And best of all it is free.


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I am curious as to whether you have actually downloaded ProTools FREE or not? If you have and you installed it on a computer that is running Windows 98/ME and it didn't work I could understand suggesting xcheerleader to not download it. But having read the reviews it appears many of the people that had problems were not running the correct version of Windows.

While I can't say for a fact that it is the solution, I think that it is worth downloading and if it works it would probably be a much better program than the others mentioned. If not throw it in the trash.

If I had a Windows machine in front of me I would download it and let you know how it works xcheerleader, but I would not just dismiss it because of the download.com reviews.

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I use XP so I haven't tried, however, if she's looking for something seamlessly useful, the reviews indicate that this isn't it, especially given that there are many programs that work properly on all computers. If you're the type who likes to wade through problem installations and crashes on the hope of getting something for free, this may be it, but I didn't get the feeling that she's that person, nor was asking for that.

You might see me as overcautious, but I'm on my seventh or eighth computer since 1991 or so, and I've never had one that developed problems, or had to have the operating system reinstalled, because I stay away from downloading software made by people who obviously don't know how to make software that works. :-)

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How funny ...I have also been using computers for a bit. Since the 1980's starting on an Apple II and an Atari. So I do know a little bit about them, and no I do not wade through trying to find free software. Just last week I picked up an Audio/DAW software program which costs in the hundreds. I have also been a beta tester for pro audio companies during the mid 90's, and watched as these programs grew up.

I agree that the best solution is one that works. The fact that you have never tried it, but only read some internet reviews does not mean that it is not a good solution. I am surprised that you sound unfamiliar with ProTools, which is made by Digidesign and probably has produced the most hit albums of any software. This doesn't indicate to me that they do not know what they are doing, as you suggest.

Now whether it works well in the Free version in Windows, I do not know for a fact. I do know that it worked fine in the Macintosh. I am not excluding other software that she should try out. Personally I would download a few program demo's and fine the one that worked best for me. (xcheerleader in this case)

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Michael and Metro:

Thanks for your help! I got some good suggestions here, and I will send you all a copy of my beautiful Bach Minuet #2 when I get a chance. However, I won't be calling anyone at 4 in the morning, because I usually do not converse with anyone until around 10 am. Thanks again.

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Interesting, too, that the operating systems are so fragile that they can be messed up by a program. They are just as badly designed in this respect as the programs that crash, which are as badly designed as the computer languages in which they were written. Too bad we can't demand better stuff in the 21st century. These problems should not even be possible.

I must say, I have never gotten myself into serious trouble with computers, but that's because I am ultra-cautious and a bit paranoid. Sorry, a bit off the subject, but be careful with software, folks. If it doesn't work right with a modest effort to remedy the problem, throw it out if you possibly can.

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Before you download the 32 Megs, wanted to make sure you saw the requirements page. Seems there are lots of possible conflicts, but if you have this proper system it would be great to have.


In reply to:

Known Incompatibilities

Caution - Pro Tools FREE has been problematic with the following systems or systems with the following components:

Some Sony VAIO computers

Some Hewlett Packard Pavillion computers

Cyrix processor based computers

AMD K6, K6-2 or K6-III, K7 processor based computers

Original Pentium processor based computers (Pentium I)

VIA chipset based motherboard computers

"ESS Solo-1 PCI AudioDrive" Sound, video and game controller. This device can be disabled from the "Device Manager" in the "System" Control Panel.

Additional Computer Requirements

System Software: Windows Me or Windows 98 Second Edition (will NOT run on Windows XP, 2000, NT, 95, or 3.1)

Total System RAM: 128 MB minimum 192 MB recommended (Additional RAM required for simultaneous use with MIDI sequencers.)

Intel chipset

Phoenix or Award BIOS (recommended)

CD-ROM drive for software install

AGP or PCI graphic card

Monitor, color required, minimum resolution of 1024 x 768

Storage: A large, fast, hard drive for audio.

For maximum performance, a dedicated ATA/IDE or SCSI disk drive(s), such as those qualified with Pro Tools LE, should be used.

Third-Party MIDI Controllers & Interfaces

Optional Software - Plug-In Finder

Optional Digidesign Hardware

SampleCell II Plus - SampleCell software must be installed before Pro Tools FREE is installed.

Optional Third-Party SCSI HBA Card

Adaptec AVA-2906

Maximum Performance Guidelines

Pentium III at 500 MHz or higher processor speed, Single Processor. Performance and the number of Plug-Ins will vary from PC to PC; however faster is better

Total System RAM: 192 MB or higher

File System (all drives): FAT32

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There are a number of "light " versions of well known high powered computer recording software with a lot of the capability of the big bucks versions. The price is in the $50 to $100 range. Examples are Cubasis VST from Steinberg, Home Studio from Cakewalk and Sound Forge Studio from Sonic Foundry. I'd spend money on this kind of software before springing for an expensive microphone, mixing board, or soundcard. Unless you're dedicated to going as cheap as possible, there's something to be said for buying well supported software instead of insisting on freeware.

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