Universal Audio Announces UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators

Our friends at Universal Audio have announced the new UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt  DSP Accelerators. 

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators are a sleek, powerful way for Thunderbolt-equipped Mac users to “supercharge” their systems and run larger mixes filled with rich, DSP-intensive plug-ins. These desktop-friendly units provide full access to UAD Powered Plug-Ins, including exclusive plug-ins from Studer, Ampex, Lexicon, Neve, Manley, SSL, and more.

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerator Models

Available in QUAD or OCTO models with a choice of four or eight SHARC processors, UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators can also be integrated alongside UAD-2 PCIe cards and Thunderbolt-enabled Apollo interfaces, including Apollo Twin, Apollo, and Apollo 16 — for truly scalable mixing power.

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerator Plug-in Options

For an immediate out-of-the-box mixing experience, UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt DSP Accelerators are available in Core, Custom, and Ultimate software packages. The Core package includes the Analog Classics Plus plug-in bundle, while Custom adds a choice of any three individual UAD plug-ins at registration. The Satellite Thunderbolt OCTO Ultimate is UA’s flagship package, and includes more than 79 UA-developed plug-ins — up to and including UAD software v7.8. 

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt Street Pricing

  • UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - QUAD Core ($999)
  • UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - QUAD Custom ($1,399)
  • UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - OCTO Core ($1,499)
  • UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - OCTO Custom ($1,899)
  • UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt - OCTO Ultimate ($5,999)

UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt Key Features

  • Run UAD Powered Plug-Ins via Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 connection on Macs for improved performance at higher sample rates, and reduced plug-in latency versus FireWire
  • 4 (QUAD) or 8 (OCTO) SHARC processors provide a massive DSP boost for running large professional mixes 
  • Access over 90 plug-ins from Ampex, Lexicon, Roland, Studer, Neve, Manley, SSL, EMT, Empirical Labs, MXR and more 
  • Includes “Analog Classics Plus” plug-in bundle, featuring the UA 610-B Preamp & EQ and Legacy 
editions of the LA-2A Classic Audio Leveler, 1176LN / 1176SE Classic Limiting Amplifier, Fairchild 670 Tube Limiter, Pultec Pro Equalizers, UA Precision Enhancer Hz, CS-1 Precision Channel, and RealVerb Pro plug-ins 
  • Available with Core, Custom, and Ultimate 3 software packages
  • Combine with other UAD-2 devices, including additional UAD-2 PCIe card(s) with a qualified Thunderbolt PCIe chassis, UAD-2 Satellite (FireWire), and Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo interfaces
  • Dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for convenient daisy-chaining of Thunderbolt peripherals 
  • Fan-free construction for quiet operation
  • Compatible with Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Live, and more

More about UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt here

A-Z Of Pro Tools - A Is For AAX

Our sister sites are running the A-Z of their DAWs, we thought it was a nice idea so here goes.

The A-Z of Pro Tools, some letters will yield deeper articles than others, but it will be fun to do.

A is for AAX.

The AAX plug-in format was announced on 20th October 2011, AAX being the acronym for Avid Audio eXtension. AAX was developed to replace the RTAS and TDM plug-in formats which were 32 bit and made it impossible for Avid to create a 64bit DAW.

AAX is a 64 bit plug-in format made exclusively for Pro Tools 10 and 11. 32 bit versions of AAX plug-ins worked in Pro Tools 10. It took a little longer to implement it into Avid’s video editor - Media Compser but as of v8.1 Meda Composer now supports AAX Native plug-ins too.

AAX Native And AAX DSP

There are 2 types of AAX plug-in:

  • AAX Native for use in Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD Native and Pro Tools HDX systems
  • AAX DSP for use in Pro Tools HDX systems.

With AAX, you can share sessions between DSP-accelerated Pro Tools systems and native-based Pro Tools systems and continue using the same plug-ins. Your sessions will sound exactly the same, regardless of the rig you’re using.

How Many Developers Have Ported To AAX?

AAX has been a huge success for Avid with many vendors porting to AAX Native, there are now several hundred AAX plug-ins and instruments for use in Pro Tools 11.

AAX DSP porting has been less popular with around 50% of developers who made TDM versions of Pro Tools plug-in only porting their TDM plug-ins to AAX native formats. However some other developers have created AAX DSP plug-ins for the first time. In reality there are far more AAX Native plug-ins than there are AAX DSP, this is partly due to the efficiency of the new Avid 64bit audio engine making DSP less of a requirement for many Pro Tools users.

Where I Can Find AAX Plug-ins?

Pro Tools Expert started the first AAX database on the web and we continue to maintain it to make sure Pro Tools users can find out what AAX plug-ins are available, check the AAX plug-in database here

The Best RedNet Video To Date - Focusrite // RedNet in action at Sonic Fuel

We have to admit that at times the whole RedNet idea can leave us scratching our heads, we think it’s a brilliant way to connect stuff but it’s not always clear exactly what does what.

This video is the best RedNet video to date and covers so many of the questions with clear answers and practical examples.

RedNet At Sonic Fuel Studios

Chris Lennertz composes music for film, TV and video games from his studio, Sonic Fuel, in Los Angeles, California. Like most of his peers, his routine from one day to the next is anything but ordinary. He could be recording strings for a music cue in a movie one day, then scoring themes for a network TV show the next. As a result, he needs a trustworthy multi-channel audio interface system that’s flexible enough to let him work to the strict schedules and turnarounds of the film and TV industry. This means being able to to quickly and reliably transfer full musical arrangements between his Cubase composition and sequencing machine and his print rig, a Pro Tools | HD system.

Until early 2014, before discovering RedNet, Chris and his assistant Alex Bornstein were finding it difficult to maintain this flexibility, so they set out on the search for a new system, as Chris explains. “Before we implemented the RedNet system, we had just 16 inputs and outputs into the Pro Tools rig. It was getting to the point where being able to print quickly was no longer working because we were making three or four passes just to capture everything in the mix. We started looking into things like a MADI infrastructure or buying more I/Os for Pro Tools®, but then we found out about RedNet and it seemed too good to be true. Soon, we realised it was exactly what we were looking for.”

So, with Alex’s technical assistance, Chris made the switch to RedNet, purchasing a RedNet PCIe card, two RedNet 5 HD Bridges, a RedNet 2 16-channel A-D/D-A and a RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp. Now, thanks to the high I/O count and audio-routing flexibility of the RedNet system and the Dante network on which it operates, Chris and his team can print cues much faster and more reliably than ever before. “With RedNet, we can have 64 ins and outs, so we can print our cues in one pass, and both rigs can use the interfaces… It’s pretty crazy.”

The RedNet System

There are sonic advantages to the RedNet upgrade, as well. Because the transfer between Cubase and Pro Tools takes place in the digital domain at super-low latency, (digital audio is routed internally by RedNet without having to be converted to analogue and back to digital again), the signal quality is not degraded, as it was by the multiple stages of A-D and D-A conversion in the previous rig. RedNet also saves Chris time, and allows him to spend more time being creative, rather than focussing on arduous technical tasks. “It’s very important to me that I get as much time to write and conceive as possible, and spend as little time on tech as I have to. To be able to take back the time previously wasted on printing to either see my kids or write better music and be able to come up with themes without having the clock ticking quite as loudly is well worth it.”

There are even more upsides to the switch to RedNet: Installation of the system was straightforward, says Alex. “We spent a morning setting up the equipment and once that was done, it just worked. Since then, the boxes have been locked: every morning when I walk in, they’re still on.” Also, thanks to RedNet, other rooms in the Sonic Fuel building can be used as recording locations. Chris and Alex can take the RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp to the live room, for example, and record directly into Chris’ rig on the other side of the building. Tracking solo instruments and small ensembles just got a lot easier, says Alex. “Any room in the facility that has an Ethernet connection can be patched in to the RedNet network and you can record there. To be able to quickly record multi-channel audio from anywhere in this environment is huge…”

Chamber, Plate, Hall...What Do I Use? Michael Carnes Shares Reverb Tips

‘Mr Reverb’ Michael Carnes at Exponential Audio has written his latest reverb tips and tricks article ‘Chamber, Plate, Hall…What Do I Use?’

It gives some practical advice on the use of each type of reverb - as he says in the article there are no hard an fast rules, but these suggestions are extremely helpful.

Read the entire article here

Pro Tools Expert & Waves DiGiGrid DLS WEBINAR - Monday 29th September 2014 - 7:00pm BST

We know that a lot of community members have questions about the Waves Digigrid system, especially when using it with Pro Tools, so we’ve team up with Waves to offer this exclusive webinar so you can ask questions.

Joins us for an exclusive webinar at Pro Tools Expert featuring Waves Product Specialists Luke Smith and Michael PA, who will demonstrate the benefits of the DiGiGrid DLS for Pro Tools Users.

Win A Waves Vocal Rider

Everyone in attendance will automatically be entered to win a Waves Vocal Rider.

Date And Time Of The Event

Date - MONDAY SEPT. 29th 20142PM EASTERN/ 11AM PACIFIC/ 7PM BST

Set An Email Reminder

Click here to set a reminder

PureMix Announce The GearFest Raffle With Great Prizes And Great Training

Our friends at PureMix have announced their GearFest Raffle. This is a chance to win amazing prizes and also watch a fierce Mix Off between Fab Dupont and John Paterno. That’s right, filling out this form gets you a Free pureMix.net video and enters your name in the raffle where there will be 12 lucky winners of lots of great prizes from PureMix Universal Audio, Focal, Dangerous Music and Lauten Audio.

…But don’t wait, the raffle ends September 30th.

 

Desqeaking An Acoustic Guitar In Pro Tools Using iZotope RX4 - Free Video Tutorial

In this free iZotope video tutorial, Russ shows how easy it is to clean up sqeaaks on an otherwise great acoustic guitar part using iZotope RX4 using Spectral Repair.

Watch this free video tutorial here

FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01 Update Released

FabFilter have just released FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01, a free update for existing Pro-Q 2 users with improvements to the piano display and solo mode, along with various bug fixes. FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01 is fully compatible with Pro-Q 2.00 and they recommend all Pro-Q 2 users to upgrade to version 2.01.

What’s new in FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01?

  • Improved the piano display: you can now drag multiple selected curves in parallel, and double-clicking the piano display creates a new curve at this position.
  • Improved solo mode for Bell and Notch filters to better isolate the frequency area of interest. When soloing Low/High-Cut filters, the Q value now always stays the same, making it easier to just fine-tune the frequency.
  • Added support for displaying the current EQ curve in Avid’s S6 control surface.
  • Fixed a bug in the Auto Gain feature: it would not correctly compensate bands that are in per-channel mode (L/R or M/S). For example, splitting a stereo band would double the auto gain effect. This now works as intended while preserving compatibility with existing saved sessions. When working with an existing session that uses Auto Gain, simply disable and re-enable Auto Gain to get the new behaviour.
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that could cause the sound to stay the same (not using the new parameter values) after using Undo or loading a preset.
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that caused the saved parameter state to be ignored when opening a saved Audio Montage in WaveLab 8 (this fix is not needed for WaveLab 8.5.10).
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that caused the latency to be reported as zero when opening a saved Audio Montage in WaveLab 8 and 8.5.
  • Fixed a bug in Natural Phase mode that could cause an incorrect frequency response with some rare combinations of frequency and slope settings with Low Cut and Notch filters.
  • Fixed a bug when double-clicking a control to enter a new value: clicking outside the input box now accepts the new value while previously it would discard it.
  • Fixed a bug in the AU plugin: pressing Cmd+Q to quit the host while Pro-Q 2 was in full screen mode would cause it to crash.
  • Fixed a bug when zooming out in the display when Analyzer Freeze is enabled: this would create a large blob on the left side of the display in the analyzer.
  • Fixed a bug with Full Screen mode in the 32-bit VST2 plugin in Cubase on Mac OS X when ‘Always on top’ was enabled: the plugin window would float on top of the full screen window. In addition, keystrokes are now correctly passed to Cubase in this case (e.g. playback start/stop).
  • Small other bug fixes and improvements.

It is interesting that most of the bug fixes relate to platforms other than Pro Tools. Maybe that reinforces a comment made to us over and over that although developers complain about Avid and the problems of writing plug-ins for Avid, actually they tell us that getting the plug-ins to work in other formats is much more problematic.

Show And Tell Review Of UAD AMS RMX16 Reverb

Russ takes a look at the UAD RMX16 reverb plug-in - not any plug-in but created by AMS in association with Universal Audio.

Does it really sound like the 80s classic that featured on thousands of top hit singles and albums?

Russ gives a full show and tell on drums and guitars in this video review.

Watch this video review of the UAD AMS RMX16 reverb plug-in

Surround In Pro Tools - Paid For Feature? Come On Avid Give Me A Break

I’ve been on holiday and had some down time from the blog whilst sitting in the beautiful hills of Tuscany in Italy. The great thing about taking time out is it helps you reflect on stuff a little more, to stand back and reflect.

The team did an admirable job of the podcast without me - the jokes were better for sure, but one thing that got me thinking as I listened to the podcast, rather than host it was the whole discussion about buying extra features as bolt on apps for Pro Tools. This discussion was partly driven by our feature on the lack of surround in the new Avid Pro Tools Quartet package.

This led the team to revisit the idea of buying extra features such as surround. I nearly wrote an article about Pro Tools fantasy version where I was going to ask what that would look like.

As I reflected on this idea I changed my mind - buy 5:1 as a feature for Pro Tools in 2014? Are you joking? Give me a break, this is nuts.

Other native DAWs ship with surround support, so why in heaven’s name should anyone have to pay for surround support in Pro Tools, or be expected to buy a Pro Tools HD system that far exceeds their needs just to get surround?

Give me, in fact give everyone a break Avid.

Some of the Avid team ask why we are not always that positive about the Avid Everywhere vision, to be blunt some of it is an adventure in missing the point, offering things Pro Tools users don’t really want instead of delivering the things we are crying out for. 

For example, buying a plug-in to finish a project is one of the features Avid thinks we all need. Would I buy a plug-in to finish a project? Only after I’d exhausted the other options available such as getting the project sent over with the plug-in burnt into the audio, downloaded a demo of the plug-in, or just worked on my part of a project without the plug-in. The last thing I would do is spend money on a plug-in just to finish a project, after all that’s profit lost. If I was running a post house or a studio and someone came to me to say they needed a plug-in to do the job then I would ask them to try and find alternatives before blowing cash on the plug-in. Avid run a business where they are trying to maximise profit and minimize costs, so why in heaven’s name do they think the professionals they are selling to would run their business any differently?

It’s time the Avid Everywhere vision extended to more immediate needs of those in the real world, rather than stuff we might need.

Pro Tools is the CURRENTLY the industry standard, so come on Avid let’s have 5:1 as standard, as well as other features that continue to be deficient in Pro Tools. Why should we have to pay for features that come as standard in competitor products?

So what motivated this article, have I been drinking? On the contrary I think I’ve sobered up.