Each week on the Pro Tools Expert podcast each contributor gives their find of the week, we thought it might be good to put in writing why we've nominated our item and why.
On Pro Tools Expert Podcast 217 my find of the week is Non Lethal Applications Video Slave 2, which I have to admit I missed completely when Alan Sallabank first wrote about it on the blog, then I missed the deal we ran on it and only by chance did I then come across it when Marcus showed it working in Studio One 3.
Video playback when using DAWs has often been troublesome for me, even before the Avid Video Engine (AVE) was introduced in Pro Tools 11, I have to say I was less than satisfied as a Mac user. This has partly been down to Apple and Quicktime, which even this fanboy has all but given up on, methinks that's because Apple has too, ever since relegating QuickTime Pro some years ago to the less than brilliant modern incarnation, one can understand why Avid were trying to avoid it by creating their AVE. However AVE has had its own set of issues, it seems particularly for Mac users, so wherever possible I try to avoid having to use it, it may just be me but I found myself crossing my fingers every time Pro Tools asked me to turn it on, wondering if Pro Tools would launch and then behave itself.
As many people know I also use Studio One as the DAW for my composing and writing, if you think AVE is bad then wait until you've tried the video in Studio One. To be fair Studio One makes no claim to be concentrating on video but music, however many people using it are composers so we need to work to picture.
Enter Video Slave 2 from Non Lethal Applications. In a nutshell a DAW agnostic, video playback application that works with all sorts of video formats, Video Slave 2 supports all of the codecs used today such as DV/DVCPRO, Motion JPEG, Apple Pro Res, H.264, AVC Intra and many more. There's typically no need to convert movie files to a different format which will save you a lot of time. The supported container types include QuickTime as well as MXF. (operational patterns Op1a and Op-Atom, Pro version only).
Setting it up took me about 5 minutes for both Pro Tools and Studio One, which means I can jump between Pro Tools and Studio One and have the same video playing back from both DAWs as I jump between them - and it's rock solid. Even better rather than having to buy a second monitor for playback I can connect Video Slave 2 to my MacBook Pro Retina either over ethernet or WIFI and use that as my second playback device, that took about 3 minutes to set up, you can see it working in the image above, playback image is blurred as the job is under NDA right now.
There's a lot more it does, Alan first spoke about Video Slave 2 on Pro Tools Expert here, then Marcus made a video for Studio One users here.
If like me this did not hit your radar when it was first Pro Tools Expert then if you work with picture I urge you to download the demo, it has a watermark and times out every 10 minutes but will give you enough time to try it out. I missed the deal but thankfully its now running on Studio One Expert to get 20% off.
Thanks to Alan for a great find, easily my find of the week.