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Nugen Audio Celebrate 10 Years At IBC 2014 With A Raft Of New Products

Our friends at Nugen Audio will be celebrating 10 years of service to the broadcast community at IBC2014, demonstrating their latest innovations in their family of post-production and broadcast audio tools including key new standards-compliant technologies that further ease the burden of loudness compliance. Jon Schorah, Founder and Creative Director told us…

This year at IBC, attendees will see why NUGEN Audio has become the go-to company for loudness management and compliance. We will also be demonstrating how NUGEN Audio is broadening its toolset to address other audio requirements, such as dynamics, upmix, and support for the DPP standard. We’ve taken the lead on addressing dynamic content adaptations with our new DynApt algorithm to expand content repurposing. We’re also proud of our participation in the DPP, which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting the very latest developments in loudness compliance and management. Finally, for the first time, we’ll be showcasing some of our upcoming innovations in upmix technology.

Click on the image to see a larger versionNEW: LMB DPP AS-11 Program Compatibility

NUGEN Audio’s LMB is an offline file-based loudness analysis and correction program for high throughput applications. A new update to LMB’s MXF file-handling option introduces DPP AS-11 compatibility. NUGEN Audio is a participant in the DPP compliance program, an initiative founded by U.K. public service broadcasters to help speed the transition to fully digital production and distribution for television. As a member of the AS-11 DPP compliance and certification program, NUGEN Audio is helping to develop quality assurance criteria for the AS-11 DPP specification for digital file formats. Making its IBC debut, the MXF file-handling option introduces native MXF audio-handling that enables LMB to perform automated analysis and correction of audio within an MXF container while preserving all other data within the file.

Everyone Adopt The DPP Specifications

We recommend that all broadcasters look at the excellent work the Digital Production Partnership has undertaken to take the various standards and produce a real world set of delivery specifications for all the UK broadcasters. It will make our lives in UK based post production so much easier to be able to provide the same output for all broadcasters, so please broadcasters in other territories take a look at what the DDP has done in the UK and adopt it and make everyone’s lives even easier.


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PureMix Produce An Online App To Help You Train Your Ear

Our friends at PureMix have produced this Ear Training Tool app to help you identify frequency bands because no one is born with the innate knowledge of what 250Hz sounds like. It’s a learned skil and a skill you need to practice to eliminate the guess work when mixing records and looking for bothersome peaks or holes in your tracks.

The pureMix Frequency Quiz will help you memorize the sound of crucial frequency and ranges and will help you speed up the equing process drastically over time.

The audio spectrum is divided in 10 octaves. The Quiz’s first 3 levels will focus on the lower, middle and higher 5 octaves of the spectrum. Once you feel confident, you can challenge yourself with all the octaves simultaneously.

There are 10 samples per test so you will need to stay focussed. The frequencies played to you are presented in a random order so the test will be different every-time. Also make sure you run the test on decent speakers or headphones if you must. If you are take the test on earbuds or laptop speakers then you are missing out and fooling yourself. Have fun. Test yourself often. Get better faster.

DAW Reliability Poll -The Results And Why One Group Has A Reason To Be Cheerful

We recently ran a series of polls asking the Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton and Reason Expert communities to let us know how reliable their DAW was. For each DAW we chose the latest version, Pro Tools 11, Logic Pro X, Ableton Live 9 and Reason 7.

The poll asked how often workflow was affected by crashes and broke these answers down into hours, days, weeks and months.

We first asked the Pro Tools community how reliable they felt Pro Tools 11 was, however one of the factors affecting reliability is third party plug-ins, some felt it was unfair to single out Pro Tools because of this. So we decided to throw the net wider to other DAWs that also host third party plug-ins to see if this was a factor in DAW reliability.

Pro Tools uses the AAX format, Logic Pro the AU format, Ableton both AU and VST and Reason the Rack Extensions format.

DAW Reliability - The Results

There were a number of questions that covered how often crashes occurred in each DAW. Combining the results of these answers that broke the frequency of crashes down into hourly, daily, weekly and monthly. This gave us some indication of how likely it was that a DAW would crash. Here is how the four DAWs come out. These results were correct at the time of publication.

  1. Around 70% of Logic Pro X users experienced some kind of crash with the majority of those crashes (32%) occurring about once a month.
  2. Around 68% of Pro Tools 11 users experienced some kind of crash with the majority of those crashes (23%) occurring about once a week.
  3. Around 68% of Ableton Live 9 users experienced some kind of crash with the majority of those crashes (37%) occurring about once a month.
  4. Around 11% of Reason 7 users experienced some kind of crash with the majority of those crashes (7%) occurring about once a month.

As you can see, Logic Pro X came out worst in our poll by a tiny margin, although crashes were most likely to happen around once a month. Pro Tools 11 was marginally better in terms of total amount of those affected by crashes, it scored exactly the same as Ableton Live 9 but Pro Tools 11 crashes were most likely to occur on a weekly basis, whereas Ableton Live 9 crashes were most likely to occur around once a month. Just 11% of Reason 7 users (about 1 in 10) reported some kind of crash with the majority of that group saying it happened around once a month.

The answer “It is rock solid and no crashes or bugs have occurred.” 

  1. Reason 7 - 89%
  2. Logic Pro X - 27%
  3. Ableton Live 9 - 26%
  4. Pro Tools 11 - 15%

In terms of confidence Reason 7 users (around 9 in 10) reported their system to be rock solid. Around a quarter of Logic Pro X and Ableton Live 9 users are able to report this. Sadly only around 15% of Pro Tools 11 users were able to say their system is rock solid.

The answer “I have delayed upgrading because of reliability reports.”

  1. Pro Tools 11 - 11%
  2. Logic Pro X - 3%
  3. Ableton Live 9 - 3%
  4. Reason 7 - 0%

Around 11% of Pro Tools users have delayed upgrading to Pro Tools 11 because of reliability reports. Logic Pro X and Ableton Live 9 have a negligible score from those delaying purchase. Reason 7 users scored zero, Reason’s reputation for rock solid performance is a message that is getting through.

The answer “It is so bad I have gone back to an earlier version.”

  1. Pro Tools 11 - 5%
  2. Logic Pro X - 0%
  3. Ableton Live 9 - 0%
  4. Reason 7 - 0%

Only Pro Tools users said that their experience was so bad they had taken the advantage of going back to an earlier version. This proves that Avid offering a co-install of both Pro Tools 11 and 10 was a wise move.

In Conclusion

One thing that came up in discussion when we first looked at the Pro Tools 11 poll results was that third party plug-ins and computer set-ups had an effect on the performance of any DAW. This is of course a fair point to make, but still raises other questions to consider.

Let’s start with Logic Pro X, Apple make the computers, OS and the software, they also manage the installation process via the App Store. They do not have multiple OS platforms or infinitely variable computer builds to have to account for, so Logic Pro X should be the most stable DAW on the planet and yet in our poll it came out, albeit marginally, as the least stable. This too may have something to do with the third party plug-in implementation argument, but again Logic only has Apple’s Audio Units plug-in format to deal with.

Secondly, Ableton Live 9. Ableton have less control over the process than Apple, so although the poll scores were similar, Ableton have multiple OS platforms, almost infinite computer build permutations and also both VST and AU plug-in formats, so there is more to go wrong.

Thirdly, Pro Tools 11. With 68% of those polled reporting crashes and bugs and many of them at least once a week, Avid have a lot of work to do to reduce this lack of stability. In some ways Avid have more at stake being perceived and touted as the choice of the professional, then Pro Tools 11 should be the most, not least ‘rock solid’ DAW on the market. Avid do have multiple OS platforms and computer builds to contend with but they don’t have an open plug-in architecture instead having their own AAX format. One of the things that AAX is meant to do is to give Avid control over plug-in quality, it would seem that AAX is not delivering on this fully right now. Although not all Pro Tools 11 crashes and bugs can be left at the door of third party plug-in manufacturers, some of the large issues and bugs in Pro Tools can only be fixed by Avid, latency bugs, step input and poor video performance are three examples that immediately come to mind. Whatever reason it is, Avid have control over both their internal code and the AAX architecture and so should be working hard to deliver a better experience for Pro Tools users.

Finally, Reason 7 proves that there is such a thing as a reliable DAW. With 89% of users reporting rock solid performance that’s impressive in the world of software. Propellerhead’s pride itself on the rock solid performance of Reason and rightly so, our poll seems to confirm that claim. Propellerhead’s have achieved this by creating a closed system and opting to create the Rack Extensions format. This allow third party developers into the eco-system but in a tightly controlled way and ensure a consistent user experience. It doesn’t always allow developers to be able to do direct ports of their plug-ins and can be somewhat feature limiting, but it seems that the Rack Extensions format is protecting Reason users from any possible issues from errant third party plug-ins. Avid take note, closed systems can protect DAW users from plug-in problems - Propellerhead have proved it, we are not sure if the same can be said of AAX.

No sane person on the planet would ever suggest that software is ever going to be without its issues, but Propellerhead have shown that even if we can’t have perfection we can get pretty close.

Does Avid's Media Composer Shift Audio Out of Sync?

Updated on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 8:10PM by Registered CommenterMike Thornton

With thanks to the original author Michael Maroussas for allowing us to re-publish this discussion from his blog Sonicskepsi, it seems that there is a strange issue with Media Composer moving audio around, so over to Michael….

Expanding tracks in Pro Tools was like the holy grail to us dialogue editors when it came along. No more messing about with EDLs and basically having to rebuild the picture editor’s sound arrangement. When conforming from EDLs, it could take you the best part of a week just to get your session to match what was in the corresponding OMF. So, the possibility of simply ‘expanding’ a linked AAF to create a perfect copy of the Media Composer audio tracks but with all the separate mic channels reinstated as well was very exciting indeed.

Many a time it works perfectly, but too often the expand seems to work - all the mic channels appear - but there’ll be a fractional and inconsistent discrepancy in sync. For a while, no-one that I knew could figure out why Pro Tools does this - we humble sound editors tend to presume things like this must be our or our tools’ fault :)

So then you have to either use Titan sync fix to correct the discrepancy (which is fine except for sections with no distinguishable transients for the program to recognise and match) or we have to correct the sync manually ourselves, which basically turns an exciting new feature into a creator of dull, laborious, time-wasting extra work.

This was the prospect facing a work colleague of mine recently, so he asked me if I’d see if anybody had any better alternatives to Titan sync fix; it wasn’t working very well for him on this occasion so he was facing the distinct possibility of having to manually sync the session himself. However, before I put the call out, we had one last look at the different clips within the session and compared their original timestamps and suddenly the penny seemed to drop! It’s the MXF files in the linked AAF that are out of sync, not the original WAV files on the tracks expanded from it - Pro Tools is correct, Media Composer is out - so all this time we’ve been ‘fixing sync’ but by matching the AAF or guide track we’ve actually been pulling our sound out of sync!!! At least, this is my opinion…..

All is explained below in this almost verbatim (I’ve corrected ‘twitter speak’ in places to help clarity) transcript of the subsequent chat I had on Twitter with Davide Favargiotti in Rome and Doug Murray in the States. As you’ll see, Davide and Doug are not totally convinced (neither is my work colleague) but to me it seems to be proven by the numbers involved. Decide for yourselves; feel free to shoot holes in my argument if you can - I want my theory thoroughly road tested by you lot before the start of my next job!

MM: Monday morning question for you all: anyone got a clever alt solution to loose sync when expanding tracks in PT other than Titan sync fix?

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Pro Tools Expert Podcast 127

Russ, Mike, Neil and James are back to bring you another show with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.

Groove 3 Titles We Like


Deals page

Talking Points Kindly Sponsored By Universal Audio

Community Feedback Kindly Sponsored by RSPE Audio Solutions

  • Bertrand Grichting - Problems with some SATA controllers and SSD drives dropping the SATA buss speed.
  • Tom Scrivano  - Some graphics problems on Windows due to settings on Run As Administrator.
  • Carsten Groa - Following up on Pro Tools reliability can be other software like  the graphics driver.
  • Eric Johnson - Following James’ drive failure Eric uses a RAID array for this backup system so he has redundancy.
  • Matt Greaves - Follow up on fear and creativity and connecting it to the way some institutions teach techniques
  • Brian Williams - Wanted to share a video lecture by Andrew Scheps on various audio codecs, formats and perceived audio quality 
  • Neale Eckstein - Why is the phase invert only available in a plug-in, why isn’t it built into the mixer? You can sign up on the Pro Tools IdeaScale if you would like this feature. 
  • Tom Scrivano - Waves have told him that the Element will be supported with their SoundGrid DSP system as well StudioRack but no ETA yet.
  • Chris Linder - What podcasts are you listening to at the moment? Chris suggests 2 both available on itunes ToneBender and Indie Game Audio  We would add Mix Notes From Hell
  • Tony Molica - Following our comments with problems using Finder he recommends Snapper from Audio Ease. Also there is AudioFinder from Iced Audio too. 

Questions - Kindly Sponsored by Alchemea

  • Mark Farrow - Any experience of Thunderbolt hubs?
  • John Howell - problems getting all 8 channels from an Audient ASP880 into an Avid Omni.

Listen on to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast on iTunes

Download the Pro Tools Expert Podcast as an MP3

RØDE Announce A New NT-USB Microphone

Our friends at Source Distribution have told us that Australian micrpohone manufacturers RØDE have announced a new RØDE NT-USB microphoneWhen RØDE released their Podcaster USB microphone in 2007, it was designed to offer broadcast-quality voice recording, with its end-address configuration. The new NT-USB on the other hand is more versatile by being a side-address microphone that perhaps makes it more suitable for recording musical performances in addition to spoken applications such as podcasting and voice-over.

The microphone is fully compatible with all mainstream recording applications on both Windows and Mac OS based computers, as well as the Apple iPad using RØDE Rec, GarageBand, or any other recording app that accepts an external microphone. Use on the Apple iPad requires a suitable USB connection adaptor, such as the Apple Camera Connection Kit.

The body of the NT-USB features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring (3.5mm) jack, which allows users to monitor the microphone input in realtime, along with dials to adjust the monitoring level and mix between the computer/iPad audio and the microphone input.

A Range Of Included Accersories

A pop-filter is included, which fits onto the base of the mic, positions the filter the right distance from the capsule to minimise plosives during singing or speech. Also provided is a stand mount with industry standard 3/8” thread, desktop tripod stand that allows the NT-USB to sit at a comfortable height on a tabletop, and a pouch for storage of the microphone when not in use.


This looks like a very useful mic that brings RØDE right back into the market for voiceovers and podcasters as well as singer songwriters. It is expected to be available in the UK in early August with a recommended retail price of £149 inc vat.

Exponential Audio Share Reverb Tips And Tricks

Michael Carnes of Exponential Audio has launched a new series on their web site of reverb tips and tricks.

In his first article he talks about sweetening live recordings with reverb and includes a lot of good advice.

“Musicians play for the room they’re in—they actively engage with the space” says Michael Carnes, that’s a really wise observation in a world where so much recording these days seems to take place in isolation.

For more gems and from the man behind some of the world’s most loved reverbs then head over to the Exponential Audio web site.

Read the first reverb tips and tricks article here

Blurred Graphics In Some Applications With Windows 8.1 ?

Some Windows users may have been experiancing blurred graphics particularly with menu titles in certain applications as shown in the image above.
I certainly experianced this upon the release of Windows 8.1 and searched around for the cause and a soloution.

The cause is with Windows Display Scaling with is how the operating system is able to dynamically optimise the display of graphics irrespective of the resoloution of your screen.
You may be using an older display running at 1024x768 or ne of the very latest running at 3840x2160 and so Windows needs to try and make on screen graphics look their best wherever possible.
As far as I’m aware some applications are not optimised to use this dynamic scaling so it may well be pot luck as to whether they look right on your screen or not.

Thankfully there is a soloution if you are seeing slightly blurry results and that is to turn the display scaling off or rather fix the scaling to one value.

Follow these easy steps and see if it works for you:

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How I Run Two Macs With Pro Tools - Screens, Keyboards, Mouse, Audio, MIDI, Files And Licences All Shared

As you can imagine life at Pro Tools Expert HQ can get complicated, we test a lot of gear, that includes hardware and it also includes more than one Mac. Right now I have a Mac Pro 12 core running HDX on Mountain Lion and a Mac Mini running Pro Tools on Yosemite for testing which I have to jump between, so I wanted to find a solution that gave me the greatest flexibility with the minimum of pain.

I also have a second hard drive on the Mac Pro which has a third install of Pro Tools on a clean OS.

A few things needed addressing, screen, keyboard and mouse sharing, audio and MIDI input and also plug-in licences, this is the solution I came up with.

Sharing The Cinema Display Screen

To get both Macs hooked up to my Apple Cinema display I went for the Kanex SnapX. This offers a 2 x Mini DisplayPort and USB splitter with a handy switch right in front of you. The SnapX sends all the usual USB options available for those with Cinema displays so any USB pass through still works including iSight camera, audio and USB ports. The USB ports options are helpful as it means anything plugged into those ports is shared between the 2 Macs.

Sharing The Mac Keyboard

I use one of the Editors Keys wired Pro Tools keyboards so that simply plugs into the back of the Apple Cinema Display. What is also great about the display is that it also offers me a couple of extra USB ports that I can use to plug in things like iLoks and other dongles, see below.


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Four Free Kontakt Instruments 

Audiomodern create quirky sound libraries for both Kontakt and Ableton.

You can download four free Kontakt instruments of synths and glitches in exchange for your email address.

They are;

  • Echotone: A multi-layered sytnh patch from a custom analog synthesizer with a unique sound
  • Statique: A glitch & cuts rhythm generator 
  • Node: A Low end sytnh patch from a custom analog synthesizer with a unique Sub bass sound
  • DeciBell: DeciBell is a Bell-tone analog synth patch routed to a TC Electronics Reverb 4000

Click here for more information and to download the four free Kontakt instruments

Audio Post Production Workflows Using Pro Tools - Part 5

Last week in part 4 of this series on Audio Post Production Workflows Using Pro Tools, dialog editor Michele Woods continued her look at what a dialog editor does, at the ADR process and the rest of the work as a dialog editor. Michele continues….

Once I have marked up ADR and found alternate takes, an ADR list will be sent to the post production supervisor who will organise the actors and crowd to come in for a session. For the ADR session, we use the same QuickTime I have been working to, we have scripts with all the lines that actor(s) will need to do, and I often provide a bounce of my dialogue edit with alternate takes. This gives an opportunity to check with the director that he/she is happy with the alternate take(s) and therefore we possibly do not need to record the line(s) for ADR. 

When the ADR and crowd are recorded, I edit them into my master session and provide fill (a bit of atmosphere from the original recording of that scene) to make the transition from ADR to sync as smooth as possible and unnoticeable. I have in the past recorded whole lines of ADR and used only a word that was needed (either for technical problems or as an additional line) into the ADR and smoothed it out with fill. 

Meanwhile a few more passes on the entire project are done, smoothing edits by using fades between bits of audio, removing sync SFX and moving them to the sync SFX tracks for M&E, and possible level adjustments. I tend to do a general nominal level adjustment to monitor properly between microphones and shots to hear background noises that may need filtering or denoising. The mixer will obviously do a more intricate level mix against the SFX and music while adjusting EQ, reverb and whatever processing that may be required which will affect the level of the audio. 

The rerecording mixer receives from me a session which should need minimal editing. If any processing has been done by me to the original audio, it is necessary to have the original unprocessed audio (muted) edited in the same way so that if the mixer wishes to change the processing the mixer can take your edit and adjust it accordingly. Same goes with giving alternate takes. Always have the original audio available in case the client does not like the new alternate take and can then hear the difference between the two. The session provided is usually a saved session copy of the final dialogue edit which I either upload to an ftp or deliver personally (since depending on the length of the project and the amount of ADR, it can become quite a large file).

As mentioned earlier, for the mix I always provide the original AAF files and all alternate ADR takes inactive tracks in case the client wishes to monitor other takes. Ideally, they should have chosen their preferable take on the day but in the mix things can change and it’s best to have the mixer have all available takes in case. 

So after all that, and the magic provided by the rerecording mixer, the dialogues, sound effects and music should all work together smoothly without allowing the viewer to notice anything but the story telling.

Coming Up…

In part 6, we will look at the ADR process on location.

Previous Parts Of The Audio Post Production Workflows Series

Part 1 - Assistant Editor, preping sessions

Part 2 - Assistant Editor, preping sessions

Part 3 - Dialog Editor, setting up dialog sessions

Part 4 - Dialog Editor, preping for ADR and finishing the dialog edit

Using iZotope RX3 To Remove Pops, Plosives & Mouth Clicks

The Declicking tools in iZotope’s RX3 are not only good for dealing with vinyl records or digital clicks. In this video, Mike Thornton shows how to use RX 3’s Declick module to remove mouth noises from an intimate vocal recorded close to the microphone and how to combine Spectral Repair’s attenuate mode with the Brush tool to remove mic pops and plosives.

Building A Home Studio? Why The Mac Mini May Be Worth A Look For Apple Mac Lovers

Let’s clear one thing up, if you don’t want to buy a Mac then stop reading now. This article is not about the merits of Macs v PCs, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

If you are thinking of building a home studio and want a Mac then you might be tempted to get a Mac Pro or full spec MacBook, but before you dive in don’t write off the Mac Mini.

I own a Mac Pro, a Mac Mini and a MacBook Pro, which gives me a unique view on the pros and cons of all three Macs. I have to say that the Mac Mini has a lot going for it for a home studio, here are my thoughts.


The Mac Mini has a lot of connectivity for the small footprint it has. Thunderbolt, Firewire 800 and 4 USB3 connectors. This offers the most comprehensive range of choice when considering an audio interface, giving all three protocols. Connectivity is also important for hard drives and other interfaces such as keyboards. One small thing to be aware of, in some cases USB3 creates issues and a hub is needed to make items such as iLoks and some drives work.

One reason some people don’t even consider the Mac Mini is the lack of internal expansion, however the Thunderbolt and Firewire 800 connectivity allow for the use of expansion chassis, both Magma and Sonnet make solutions that can give users HDX and HD Native card connectivity, Avid also make the HD Native Thunderbolt box that will connect to the Mac Mini.

Mac Mini Size

When building a home studio one thing to consider is size, the Mac Mini has one of the smallest footprints out there, so can sit on a desk and hardly be noticed.

Mac Mini Fan Noise In The Studio

The Mac Mini is whisper quiet, in fact far quieter than the older Mac Pro silver tower. If you want to record through microphones in the same room as your computer then fan noise is an important consideration - I’m impressed by the lack of noise from the Mac Mini.

Expansion Considerations

I’ve pimped my Mac Mini, installing 16gb of RAM and a Crucial SSD, both of these options cost around $300 and around 30 minutes to install. Now the little baby flies like a rocket.


Having run some tests my pimped Mac Mini can easily record 64 audio tracks in a single pass on a low buffer setting and play them back too with plug-ins installed. It may be Mini by name, but the performance of a Mac Mini belies its unassuming size.

If you are building a home project studio and want to take the Mac route then the Mac Mini is well worth consideration.

How To Create The Joe Bonamassa Guitar Sound With Avid Eleven Rack 

James is back with more signature sounds for the Avid Eleven Rack. In this Free video tutorial James takes a look at creating the Joe Bonamassa guitar sound. Download the free preset at the bottom of this post.
He shows which guitar amps, cabs and effects he uses.

Eleven Rack Amps

Eleven Rack Reverb

Click to read more ...

Pro Tools Fundamentals - Use Of The Option/Alt Key


When I was about eight and bashing disinterestedly through my piano practice I noticed that more often than not if I hit a wrong note I’d hear my mum shout “F sharp!” from the next room. I remember asking her why it was always F sharp. Some mumbo-jumbo about key signatures and the circle of fifths was said but by then I was probably thinking about Star Wars…

I find myself thinking about this when almost every time I suggest someone use a modifier with a left-click in Pro Tools its always option (PC users please substitute alt for option for the rest of this article). It’s just so useful. As an experiment I thought I’d write a list of every use I could think of for the option key, used on its own with a left click. There are of course many, many uses in combination with other keystrokes and with a right-click but for the purposes of this article I decided to limit it to just option+left-click.

Starting with the two most common uses, if you are new to Pro Tools learn these two and try them everywhere:

Do To All

Endlessly useful, common uses are selecting tracks, solo, mute, record arm, setting inputs and outputs or creating sends and plugins. Although I’m avoiding option in combination with other keystrokes I’ll have to make an exception for option+shift for “do to selected tracks only” as it is probably more useful than option on its own. Less obvious examples would be option+clicking the default button in IO setup to set all tabs in one click (also works for importing IO settings), bypassing repeated warnings like when deleting from the clip list and having to OK each warning about the undo queue or using option + drag from workspace or finder when importing video to avoid the video import options window opening.

Set To Default

The other really significant use of option. Clicking faders, pans, sends and plug in parameters will set these controls to their defaults (0dB for faders, centre for pans and -inf for sends unless you choose to change it in prefs). This is a real crowd pleaser when using a control surface.

Hide A Section Of Mix Or Edit Window

Often overlooked, if you option-click the name at the top of a section of the mix or edit windows, for example I/O or SENDS A-E, then that section will be hidden. Annoyingly this action is not reversible using a modifier+click as there is nowhere to click! Sections can of course be brought back from the view menu or the show/hide drop down at the bottom left (mix) or top left (edit).

Make Copy

Option-click and dragging makes a copy. This can be used for clips, midi notes, sends and inserts. It should be noted that it is not possible to drag an insert from a track to another track where the number of input channels does not match (e.g. stereo to mono).

Zoom Horizontally

While not strictly speaking option+click, using option and the mouse wheel zooms the timeline horizontally (other modifiers move the timeline in other ways, explore and you’ll find them).

Option + Click In Playlist For Pre/Post-roll

If you don’t know this one you must try it. Simply option-click on the waveform where you want pre-roll to begin (having already set your record “in” point) and the pre-roll flag will move to that point, so much more intuitive than changing the pre-roll value numerically.

Return To Previous Zoom Level When Using The Zoom Buttons

If you use the zoom buttons my first question would be why? Learn a shortcut or use the mouse wheel with option, but if you really must use these buttons then option will return you to your previous level of zoom.

Deleting Events

Option can be used in combination with the grab tool to delete automation breakpoints, key signature changes, meter changes, chord changes, midi events in the midi event list editor, memory locations in the memory locations window, sync points and warp markers.

Audition In The Clips List

Option-clicking a clip in the clips list will preview it, allowing you to audition material without bringing it onto the timeline. Audio is previewed via the audition path as set up in your IO settings, Midi can be previewed via the default midi thru instrument as set up in the midi preferences.

Multi-mono Plug Ins

To open separate plug in windows for each channel of a multi-mono plug in, option-click on the channel selector drop-down.

Do The Opposite

With the edit tools, option usually offers another version of the same tool:

Pencil tool - becomes an eraser tool (upside down pencil) this can be used for midi notes or breakpoints.

Zoom tool - zoom out

Trim tool - reverse direction of trim

High speed Scrub tool - Option momentarily changes the scrub tool to a “turbo” version which scrubs the timeline far faster.

Note selector tool - this tool only selects notes, not other midi data, unlike the selector tool it plays midi notes when selecting.

Beat Detective

There are a few uses tucked away in beat detective but they are just applying the broad uses of option as a way to do the opposite action:

Option+click the scroll next button in beat detective to go to the previous trigger.

Option+click to delete a trigger

More Uses Of Option

There are a few more, for example if you option+click on the play or record buttons you will prime the transport. Prime for playback cues the system ready for instant playback, useful as a noticeable lag can become apparent when running high track counts, Prime for record does the same but cues for instant record. Getting more obscure, if you are using dynamic transport with timeline and edit selections unlinked, option+dragging the timeline selection temporarily links and moves both selections in tandem - Nope, never used that one… In the fades editor using option can not only reset the crossfade shape to the default but option allows you to edit only the incoming fade (different modifier for outgoing). These are only in the list for the sake of getting every single use I can think of in this list but for something genuinely useful, if you are using HD you can toggle any of the write on stop automation buttons to remain active after a pass by option clicking - useful (and potentially destructive unless you remember to switch it back out…)

So what does this have to do with my early piano lessons? Well when teaching Pro Tools I find myself barking out “Option!” so regularly its become my F sharp. What uses of the option key have I missed? There are lots using more than just the option key that I could have included. Which would you like to have seen?

Waves Weekend Deals - Renaissance Axx, GTR3 & CLA Guitars

3 more great plug-ins at great prices from our friends at Waves, but hurry these will finish on Sunday.

  1. Waves Renaissance Axx Native plug-in $39 till Sunday - normally $75
  2. Waves GTR3 Collection $49 till Sunday - normally $140
  3. Waves CLA Guitars Collection $49 till Sunday - normally $100

Grab them whilst you can. Also check out the Specials page too for other great deals.

BBE Release Sonic Sweet v3 Optimised For AAX 64 Bit & Pro Tools 11

The BBE Sonic Sweet bundle has been one of the plug-in bundles that I have been missing since I went Pro Tools 11. Sonic Sweet v3 Optimised has been released and so I can use it again. Its a little different, for example the modules are how “19” Rack form factor instead of half rack and there is a new module in the pack….

Good News

This has been a good week for me on the AAX front, BBE Sonic Sweet and Speakerphone available to work in Pro Tools 11 in one week, very nice ;) I will be doing a Show & Tell review of the sweet suite very soon and look out for it on the podcast from next week too.

Sonic Sweet “Optimised” has been completely re-worked from the ground up to be compatible with AAX and Pro Tools 11. The bundle has also been fully tested on the latest operating systems including Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) and Windows 8.

The BBE Sonic Sweet “Optimised” is a complete rewrite of the plug-ins that were included in the original “Sonic Sweet” plug-ins bundle. but there is a new 4th plug-in added to the collection, the Mach 3 Bass. At the heart of the bundle there is still the software version of BBE’s famous Sonic Maximiser hardware range, 

If you haven’t come across it before, BBE’s Sonic Sweet “Optimised” will add clarity to the top end and fatness to the bottom, just like their famous hardware processors do without the “fizz” or digital “sizzle” common to most other sonic enhancers. The refinements brought by this new “Optimised” version extends to a new optimised GUI and improved controls for fine-tuning your sound.

Unfortunately because Sonic Sweet “Optimised” was completely rebuilt, it is not compatible with previous versions of BBE Sonic Sweet Plug-ins. Any sessions with a previous version of Sonic Sweet loaded into it must continue to use the old versions of the plug-ins or you must use the new plug-ins and recreate the settings.

To celebrate this new version, BBE Sound has partnered with Don’t Crack to offer a special introductory price of ONLY $69 instead of the regular $149. Previous Sonic Sweet owners can upgrade to the NEW Sonic Sweet v3.0 with the new “Mach 3 Bass” for ONLY $29 !!! The promo is available from today through-out July, 2014.

Sonic Sweet Modules

  • Sonic Maximizer : The best way to get that professional sound and extra sparkle that is so difficult to capture,
  • Harmonic Maximizer : Increases Presence and Clarity, restoring Natural Brightness and adding Deeper and Extended Low Frequencies,
  • Loudness Maximizer : A mixing and mastering multi-band limiter plug-in. Its ultimate transparency allows the Loudness Maximizer to ‘dramatically’ increase the overall level of your mix without audible pumping effects
  • Mach 3 Bass : Take your low end to new sonic depths…

Sonic Sweet v3 System Requirements:

  • Windows XP, Vista, 7 & 8
  • Mac OS 10.6 and above (including 10.10 Yosemite)
  • AAX - VST - AU - RTAS
  • 32 & 64 bit Support
  • Up to 5 computers authorisation


Waves Update StudioRack Native Update To Fix Install Issue

Waves have updated their StudioRack Native installer to fix a install issue that meant some Pro Tools users were unable to install it.

In an email to customers they say “We have uploaded a new SoundGrid & Native Applications V9r2 installer which solves these difficulties. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

You can see the review video posted on this site earlier today.

The download can be found in Waves accounts.

Audio Ease Release Speakerphone 2.1 With AAX & 64 Bit Support

Post peeps and audio manglers….. the wait is finally over. There is a new, free, Speakerphone 2.1 update from Audio Ease for Mac that adds AAX and 64 bits support for Pro Tools 11, some modern speakers and Retina display support.

Speakerphone 2.1 Details

  • fully backward compatible with Speakerphone 2 (and 1), reads presets, settings and automation and sounds the same.
  • 64 bits, all available plug-in formats (AAX, AudioUnit, VST and MAS)
  • AAX (does require Pro Tools 10.3.8 or up, and of course also fully supported: Pro Tools 11)
  • New smartphone, tablet and flatscreen TV speaker IRs added !
  • New preset browser
  • Factory presets also available in host format (Pro Tools, AudioUnit, VST)
  • Retina display support 

 For Speakerphone 2.1 please however note the following: 

  • This new Speakerphone however requires an iLok 2 usb key (the black one with the blue led).
  • This version is Mac only, Windows support is in the works, but not ready yet

 To use Speakerphone 2.1 (or up) if you are an Ilok 1 user:

  • you have to run the iLok License Manager app (available at www.ilok.com) to move the Speakerphone 2 license to the newer iLok 2 key.
  • An iLok 2 usb key can be purchased at a not-for-our-profit price at the Audio Ease Store

Once you have the Speakerphone 2 license on an iLok 2 usb key you can download your Speakerphone 2.1 plug-in updater from here

As always before installing updates or changes, we strongly recommend you backup your system first - just in case (yes that includes you James!)

Now what does Led Zepplin sound like through an Ipad2 in a laundry room recorded with a U47? This is like “Audio Cluedo”! Have a manglytastic time……


Chris Linder - Winner Of the Sonnox Community Award For June

As we announced on this week’s podcast, the winner of our Community Member Of The Month Award sponsored by Sonnox is Chris Linder for posting comments helping others and adding constructive feedback. Chris told us…

I feel so honoured to receive the Sonnox community award and I am glad that my comments help others! Since I work a lot with field recordings, sound effects and sound design, the Sonnox TransMod will aid me very well, when I’ll bend and twist my samples. I will use it mainly, to sharpen the attack of my field recordings and to make the samples suitable for further processing. The overdrive function will surely help me, to really push the limits of my recordings. I look forward to put this gem across my tracks :) Thanks Sonnox and PTE.

Congratulations Chris - you deserve it! You too can be like Chris and can win an awesome Sonnox plug-in from their Elite Collection by making regular and positive contributions to the Pro Tools community.