Welcome to Pro Tools Expert a huge community for users of Avid Pro Tools for both music and post production. With over 3 million visits a year, we’ve grown to be the place to come for training, resources, tips tricks and news. We offer advice for users of all versions of Pro Tools both current and legacy formats. We’re independent and are not affiliated with Avid or their associated companies.
Avid has announced that Mac OS X 10.6.8 (not Lion which is 10.7) and the supplemental update "10.6.8v1.1" is officially qualified with the following versions of Pro Tools 8.0.5 and 9.0.3:
*HD Native cards require Pro Tools 9.0.4 to function correctly on OS X 10.6.8 and higher. The Pro Tools 9.0.4 Update addresses the following known issues:
- HD Native card not recognized in slot 2 of a Mac Pro computer
- "Unable to find an Audio Interface attached to the first HD card" error when using HD Native in a Magma EB-1 chassis
- Kernel panic after updating to OS X 10.6.8 and HD Native card installed
Please Note: Pro Tools 9.0.4 is a specific release for users of Pro Tools HD Native core cards only. It is not required or recommended for users of Pro Tools HD TDM core systems or any non-HD systems.
Also qualified are the current versions of the following:
For information on Pro Tools version compatibility and requirements with different OS versions of Mac and Windows, see the Pro Tools Compatibility home page:
For the latest Pro Tools updates for your version of Pro Tools, see the Pro Tools Updates home page:
Both of these links are available at the top of the forum:
Pro Tools Compatibility Grids | Pro Tools Updates
For information on qualification of M-Audio devices, see the following:
- Mac OS X 10.6.8 Compatibility Information (M-Audio Knowledge Base)
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that some time in the next few months we will be seeing Avid Pro Tools 10; you know as soon as we have a copy we will be doing a review.
I have no concrete information to date. Until then it's simply as case of hoping things we have asked for will be included. My hopes are for;
- 64 Bit
- Track Freeze
- Improved Performance
- Workflow Improvements
- Better MIDI implementation and tools
But what about you? What are you hoping for and what do you predict in the next incarnation?
Settling down to work on this week's blog I felt a damp carpet on my feet. After a little investigation it then became apparent that the room I use as my studio and as AIR Users Blog HQ was flooded.
I live in a basement flat so not yet sure if it's the culmination of some very heavy rain seeping in through a crack in the wall, or rising water. Until then, mission control is out of action. Then repair, decorate and new flooring.
Today I'll mostly be clearing up, drying out the room with a dehumidifier and rearranging things to accommodate being a room down. Then setting up a temporary studio and AUB HQ. Normal service will resume shortly.
That title may feel you with wonderful possibilities, or dread, depending on your point of view.
I've recently been spending a lot of time hanging out and listening to the guys behind UJAM, incidentally some of them are the the people who have given Pro Tools, Cubase and other top DAWs many of the virtual instruments we use to make music every day. Furthermore people like Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams are part of UJAM too.
I'll try and sum up UJAM in a short way; UJAM is a cloud based Garageband, but even easier. You sing into a microphone and then UJAM figures out the key you sang in and then helps you put the backing track to the song or convert it to an instrument instead.
So the first question I needed to ask was 'why would people so intrinsically linked with some of the world's top music creation want to make a platform like UJAM?' Surely this undermines the serious and professional nature of composition and music production?
The UJAM vision is a simple one, not everyone who has a musical idea has access to a studio, money is one prohibitive factor, then of course the sheer intimidation of going into a studio to record you song - not in your studio of course, you're one of the nice guys! So the second choice is to buy some gear and do it yourself, but you still have money issues, or you can't work out how the stuff works. So the last chance is a computer based piece of software like Garageband, but you still can't use it, for example, how to plug the microphone in.
Now you might at this point think, well if they are that stupid, then they don't deserve to record their song. If you think like that, then at least 2 of my kids are doomed... neither are stupid or lazy by the way.
An easier way to understand UJAM is to think of the point-and-shoot camera; it doesn't make us all Ansel Adams, it doesn't make us professionals or even replace wedding photographers. What it does do is to allow everyone to capture ideas, moments and memories. UJAM does the same with music.
As an audio professional and composer, I've been surprised at how much fun I can have with UJAM, even better, how much less distracting the process is when you're not thinking about a million and one things with your DAW, interface and all the rest of our paraphernalia. When I make stuff I like then I use that as the basis of a track in Pro Tools - it's a brilliant way to get inspired.
Does it mean I'm selling my studio, of course not, that's as dumb as a professional photographer relying on their smartphone to make a living. What it does mean is that I've got more chance of getting a lot more songs sent to me from people I love, now that has to be a good thing doesn't it?
Whilst some of our users are on Facebook or Twitter, there are other users who find Linkedin a more valuable networking resource.
We have a group on Linkedin, which offers you the chance to network with other music and audio professionals, it also features a jobs page, currently 170 listed around the world.
We teamed up with the guys over at GForce software to give readers a chance of winning a copy of the brilliant impOSCar2 synth worth ¢139. It recently won our coverted Editors Choice Award.
The winner is Steve Beck - well done Steve!
Watch this space for more great prizes!
Synths appear so much in modern music, be that in dance, pop or even in film scores. If you are not careful they can just add mush and swamp a track like a blanket or an arp can be just an annoying riff.
Here are our 7 top tips for making them work harder for you.
- Filters are cool. Of you have a pad sound you can add some movement to it, either as a long sweeping filter or an organic LFO driven filter. This works well on pads as well as strings.
- Roll off the bottom end with a 1 band Eq. Simply insert and then filter out everything from around 120Hz downwards. It can help remove a lot of mush and give space for the bass and kick.
- Be creative with arpeggios. It is easy just to find a cool preset arpeggio, hit the keys and just let them play. Instead create you own with step input, copy and paste and some transpose. You would be amazed how much better your own creation sounds.
- Stack the sounds. Try building layers of sounds to create new and complex ones. Add some metal, pad, sweep and the see how they work with each other.
- Have fun with delays and reverbs. Take a simple synth line and then add a delay, perhaps working on an alternative rate such as a triplet, it can really help to add interest to top lines and leads.
- Create a new sound and then sample it, then play it way out of its original sample range. As you play a sample beyond these ranges the character of the whole sound changes and creates some very cool effects. For example try sampling a bell at C5 and then playing it at C1!
- Copy and slide. Very like a delay effect, but sometimes you can create some really cool effects by copying, pasting and moving MIDI parts on the grid. Try just moving the part a 16th or making a copy and creating a MIDI delay!
Have fun! Any ideas you want to share?
The series where we find out more about our community around the world; anyone can take part this is about start-ups as well as stars. We just want to hear your story and for you to share your experiences with the rest of the Pro Tools community. If you want to be included simply complete the interview here.
Today meet GAROSI Fabien of Garoprod
From September 1st, a new free update for MASCHINE will be available. The 1.7 version builds on plug-in support offered by 1.6, allowing the finding and loading of individual presets from within the MASCHINE hardware browser-without ever having to touch your keyboard or mouse. This cements the tight integration between MASCHINE and KOMPLETE 8, utilizing Native Instrument’s new NIS sound format.
There's been much discussion about the possible court case between T-Pain and Antares; alleging possible misuse of his name and brand. Even if that is the case, which is yet to be proven, there is an even greater issue which should give both software manufacturers and artists equal concern.
This case is really about who owns Auto-Tune and in particular the abuse of the algorithm to create the stepped vocal effect. First popularised by Cher and then used constantly some years later by T-Pain et al. to give what he calls the 'T-Pain effect'. If anyone wants to downplay the influence of Cher's song 'Believe' may I suggest you read here - Believe sold 10 million, in comparison T-Pain's 'Buy U A Drank' (sic) about half that number. I think if anyone wants to make a claim on the use of the effect, then Cher has a very strong case to claim 'first' and 'biggest'.
Some time ago T-Pain tried to claim payment from other artists using the effect on their vocals.
Here is the concern and why he should not be allowed to own the abused stepped effect.
Who owns the Phil Collins gated drum sound? Collins? The Townhouse? Mick Glossop? SSL? In fact that claim has a greater chance of being won, as it is a sound created by the use of a unique combination of products and techniques. Whereas the stepped vocal effect is simply achieved by turning one knob to full!
Who owns the Hendrix distortion? Peter Frampton's use of the talk box? Who first found out that by overdriving an input stage on an analogue pre-amp you could add harmonic distortion to vocals? The list is, in fact, endless.
Many producers and artists have 'trademark' sounds, be they drums, bass, guitars, keyboards or vocals. Does that mean they own the rights to them?
Even if T-Pain is your hero and you want to sound like him, do you really want to live in a world where he can own even a portion of your creativity, because you dared to turn the sensitivity knob on your Auto-Tune all the way up?
The possibility that T-Pain can trademark this sound sets a dangerous legal precedent, it's bad for artists and musical instrument manufacturers, be they either software or hardware.
It's bad for music and creativity and any award in his favour would be a bad day for music as a whole.
Native Instruments today announced KONTAKT 5, the next generation of its leading software sampler. The new version offers profoundly enhanced sound shaping through a host of new high-quality filters and studio-grade effect algorithms, superior time-stretching, vintage sampling modes, and more. Further accommodating its role as the central sample library platform on the market, KONTAKT 5 also introduces two major new features for advanced instrument design.
No it's not a joke; Native Instruments are perhaps trying to win a prize for the most prolific software producer.
STUDIO DRUMMER, a new instrument for the efficient creation of studio-quality acoustic drum tracks. By combining premium sampled drum kits and a comprehensive studio-grade mixing environment with a wide assortment of professional grooves, the KONTAKT-based instrument provides a highly versatile and easy-to-use "virtual drummer" that gives authentic and fast results for pop, rock, metal, jazz and related music styles.
Native Instruments today announced two new products that expand its recently established range of GUITAR RIG-based studio effects. The new SOLID MIX SERIES emulates the distinctive EQ and dynamics sections of one of the most revered mixing consoles of all time, while TRANSIENT MASTER recreates a popular hardware processor that provides highly efficient transient processing. All products can used be used with the free GUITAR RIG PLAYER software, or expand the arsenal of the upcoming new GUITAR RIG 5.
Native Instruments today announced GUITAR RIG 5 PRO, the next generation of its versatile effects studio. The new version expands the comprehensive feature set of the software with additional amplifiers and effects, advanced speaker emulation, and various new creative features that make GUITAR RIG even more powerful both for studio production and live performance.
Native Instruments today announced new versions of its studio-standard software bundle. While KOMPLETE 8 has been further expanded to include 27 individual products at an unchanged price, the new KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE for the first time combines the full arsenal of Native Instruments' KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects range at the same substantial discount, with 50 individual products conveniently provided on a dedicated external hard drive.
Further expanding its versatile sonic arsenal, the new KOMPLETE 8 includes the latest KONTAKT 5 and GUITAR RIG 5 versions, and adds the charismatic WEST AFRICA percussion instrument. It also incorporates the versatile new STUDIO DRUMMER drum production instrument and the upcoming TRANSIENT MASTER dynamic processing effect. Furthermore, KOMPLETE 8 includes over 1,300 additional presets for ABSYNTH, FM8 and MASSIVE, derived from several acclaimed soundpacks previously available as individual products.
Another hit record deconstruct from Russ.
In this session he deconstruct David Guetta's Little Bad Girl and shows you how to create the break-down riff just using Pro Tools.
For a long time, and when asked what one microphone would be a great all-rounder for recording at a budget price, it was an easy answer - the Rode NT1a. In the last decade Australian Rode have made a name for themselves with an ever growing range of impressive mics at outstanding value.
I've been aware of SE Electronics for some time but have never really taken much notice, not for any negative reason, but simply because no one has ever really shown one to me.
A couple of days ago I was shown not one but several; in fact I even saw one in bits so I could see the components and build quality. It wasn't long before I was impressed by the attention to detail hidden within these microphones, in fact it didn't look like something you would expect from a Chinese factory (where SE are manufactured) but more like a Neumann - craftsmanship came to mind.
So I thought, microphones to studio owners are like shoes to women, you can never have enough!
I'm now the owner of the NT1a contender, their cheekily named sE X1.
I have to admit, I'll be honest, I approached the test with some skepticism and a healthy dose of bias. I love my NT1a, it's a little like someone suggesting I swap my Macbook Air for a HP Laptop. Just the thought of it offends me. So the first test I thought I would do on the sE X1 was compare it with my beloved NT1a, once that was over then I would put it in the cupboard or on Ebay.
One thing to say from the start is that they look different; the Rode is a kind of Neumann wanna-be, whereas the SE Electronics mic is a unique modern design, it doesn't seem to be trying to imitate anything else. The second thing I noticed straight away was the weight difference - significant. So much so I dropped them on my kitchen scales to see how different. The Rode is just shy of 300g whereas the SE just over 400g. I'm not suggesting that weight means anything, a house bricks weighs more than both microphones but you ain't gonna get a good vocal sound from one. But it did make me think again about seeing an SE mic in bits and seeing how well built they are - to coin a phrase, like a brick shit-house.
Anyway, sound is everything, so I decided to do a test on the most likely material I would use them both for; my voice and an acoustic guitar. I've included the audio of those tests at the end of this article.
Of course a lot of this is about taste, but I'm afraid to say that I prefer the sE X1 by some lengths.
The sE X1 has a more open quality, seems less coloured and has a top end that you would normally associate with microphones about 5 times the price. This test actually upset me a bit, it made me feel like a bit of an idiot. The Rode NT1a is a good microphone, don't get me wrong, but now I've heard the sE X1 it just sounds quite coloured, especially in the low and upper mid. It almost sounds as if there's an Eq stage in the microphone, a bit like they put in home hi-fi speakers to impress you.
So in conclusion, I have to say that in my opinion, the sE X1 is a better mic. I'm tempted to put it up against the NeumanTLM102, but I'm resisting that in case I depress myself more.
Do I hate my Rode NT1a? Of course not, I'm not 'that' fickle. Will I reach for it first? Sadly not. It must be heartbroken, but I'm equally disappointed, if not betrayed by it's lack of honesty with me over the years.
I don't ever think you should buy things because people like me write reviews about them, you should make you own mind up - but take my advice, if you are thinking of buying a microphone at this price point and you don't consider the SE Electronics sE X1 then you need both your head and your ears testing.
Tests are below, both recorded on Pro Tools HD via a Focusrite pre-amp with some gentle compression and no eq.