If Content Costs Less, Is It Less Valuable? 

I’ve always been a inconsistent purchaser of music. I’d like to say I was one of those people who buys a couple of albums a week but in truth I’m not. I know many people who are and I admire them but my purchasing habits have always been sporadic, coming in infrequent clusters rather than a constant stream. Not ideal but I’m far happier buying music like this than I am with streaming. Streaming is clearly the future, a natural reaction to technology and consumer habits. The likes of Spotify are being joined by You Tube who for some time have been the internet’s biggest music distribution channel. Whether or not I like it is irrelevant but the arguments about monetising online music ignore the effect the subscription/streaming model has on individuals’ relationship with particular records which have value to the listener beyond how much they cost to buy.

If I think about the records which mean the most to me, I have invested time and effort into listening to them, giving them my undivided attention over and over again. While I’m sure you can do that when streaming I know that for me the bewildering choice is too distracting for me to concentrate on what is in front of me at that moment. For me to actually buy a physical copy of an album represents a statement of intent that I’m going to invest time in getting to know this recording. Fundamentally the relationship is different from that which I have with music I stream.

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Do You Want Perfect Cymbal Rolls From A Sampler? This May Be What You Are Looking For

A nice find by community member Matt Blue is a new product from small sample developer Loops De La Creme, Cymbal Rolls.

If you have ever tried emulating a cymbal roll realistically in MIDI then you’ll know it’s pretty hard, but thanks to Loops De La Creme, Cymbal Rolls this is now just a key press and a modulation wheel away.

Increase the dynamic and emotional impact of your tracks with these responsive, intuitive and fully customisable instruments.

Press a key, use the modulation wheel, release the key: It’s never been easier to infuse your music with epic, organic, gorgeous sounding swells!

  • 10 hand-picked premium cymbals 
  • 278 samples (WAV, 24bit, 48kHz) 
  • up to 34 dynamic layers for maximum realism 
  • 10 single cymbal roll instruments 
  • 1 dynamic set with all cymbals 12 sound design instruments (Kontakt multis) 
  • 20 Impulse Responses (reverb) 
  • license agreement + user manual included 
  • Total size uncompressed: 1,57 GB 
  • list price: €42
  • Special deal of half off until November 30th 2014

Check out the demo video here

One Producer's Continuing Hunt For a Good Control Surface For Pro Tools

We first met Stuart McCredie at a Pro Tools 11 event with Mediaspac in Glasgow. Stuart’s currently working with Texas & Johnny McElhone but previous credits include - The Fratellis, Codeine Velvet Club, Kelly Clarkson, The Blue Nile, Simple Minds, Deacon Blue, McIntosh Ross, Belle & Sebastian, God Help The Girl and Echo & The Bunnymen.

He travels around a lot working with artists away from his own studio and over the last 10 months we have been following his search for a reasonably portable control surface solution. 

Back in January 2014 he tried using Neyrinck’s V Control Pro on an iPad and told us…

I’ve been using V Control Pro on the iPad for a while & it’s been a useful substitute. Just a little small & fiddly for my fat fingers. Thought the Slate 27 inch MTi might be the best compromise for size & portability. I am going to try & sort out a demo or hire one for a week or so. 

He’s looking at the Avid S6 too as he had a Pro Control for 10 years and then a D Control for 5 years so wasn’t overly concerned about the potential investment in an S6 for the studio as he has had good service from the Pro Control and D Control. He also owned an AWS900 for a couple years. But the Slate Raven MTi was also looking interesting, however he is not convinced it is the complete solution… 

Why nobody is building a small, usb control surface with eq & dynamics control (fx plug-ins seem better suited to editing on screen anyway) is beyond me, something that feels good & looks good. Along the lines of the eq/dynamics section on the D Control or D Command would be fine. Surely possible via Eucon now? The cynic in me assumes Avid won’t do it so we have to buy consoles and right now I believe that Eucon is not available to third parties so it’s their bat & ball.

Anyway, off back to my iPad & V Control now, I had to disable the double tap to 0db function yesterday as nearly managed to deafen the entire band when I accidentally doubled tapped the click fader whilst trying to find the vocal channel. I was not popular… 

Then in March 2014, Stuart listened to our interview with Brian Daly from DNA Music Labs where we talked about the Hot Key Matrix and what was needed in a control surface…

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Sample Logic Announce Immanent Launch of Xosphere

Our friends over at Sample Logic have been busy cooking in their “secret sample labs” and have come out with some new sample wizardry which they have sent over to the Pro-Tools-Expert Twickenham Shedquarters for testing. Standby for a show and tell video as soon as we humanly can. This product releases 20th November. Early bird discounts are available on the Sample Logic website (see later) at only $249.99 rather than the full release price of $299.99.

What is it?

Xosphere is a atmosphere creation tool so is perfect for my needs as a “sampling freshman” who needs to be able to quickly deliver powerful and evocative atmospheres on the fly with a minimum of fuss in the middle of a busy post mix. 

Is it an sampling instrument? is it a synthesiser? Its both and more and can simultaneously morph up to 8 unique atmospheres through 4 morph module oscillators (well that’s a bit of a mouthful!). It uses Sample Logic’s new Morph Knob and Morph Animator to combine animation, psycho acoustic sampling and hybrid synthesis to create organic life and motion in your soundscape.

I am rather looking forward to a good play with this, and will cancel all shore leave….

Each morph module oscillator is powered by 2 sample based atmospheres, each of which are her assignable and can be morphed manually via the Morph Knob or animated via the morph animator. 

Here’s a screen grab of the user interface 

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Munro Sonic Review: The New Version Of The Egg 150 Monitoring System

We are very pleased to have the first review of the first re-engineering MunroSonic Egg 150 monitoring system. You may remember these innovatively shaped monitor speakers first came out a couple of years agao when acoustics guru Andy Munro and Sonic Distribution’s James Young & Phil Smith first collaborated on the Egg system under the sE Munro brand. 

Recently when they were looking at ways to improve and refine what was already a monitoring system that had received critical acclaim, with a search around the world to find the best manufacturing base that brought them back to the UK where the story began as well as a decision to rebrand as Munro Sonic.

What Has Changed?

Although the system has the same base form factor and function - the Egg 150 has an active speaker system with two passive speakers each housed in unique egg-shaped chassis combined a custom designed amplifier with a new amplifier circuit board design, improved chassis metal-work with a much thicker front panel and recessed higher quality knobs. There is a redefined mid EQ section in which they have broadened out the eq curve following development input from producers and engineers already using the original system.  The systems are now truly “Made in the UK”, being designed, manufactured, marketed and distributed in the UK, a fact that the MunroSonic team is very proud of.

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PureMix Launch A Mixing Contest With A Track From Banda Magda: Win an Eiosis Air EQ

Our friends at PureMix have launched a mixing competition where you can download the stems, import them into Pro Tools (other DAWs are available) mix the track and upload it to the PureMix cloud before December 1st 2014.

Win an Eiosis AirEQ

Fab will then choose the best mixes and the 5 lucky winners will each win a copy of the new Fabrice Gabriel AirEQ.

About Banda Magda

She was ranked 2nd on iTunes in the world music category last month. Fab Dupont told us…

I met Magda after Michael League from Snarky Puppy recommended me for mixing her record. I later learned that she had already had the record mixed completely once and was not happy with the results. We hit it off and we have been working together ever since.

It turns out Magda is a musical genius and is very, very prolific. Every session had 120+ tracks, full orchestras, choirs, horn sections, accordions, full on Brazilian percussion sections that come in for 8 bars only, etc, etc… Starting the mix from scratch was daunting task, taxing the computer resources and pushing my system to its limits, as well as forcing me to invent new ways to make everything fit as Magda was not too keen on muting much of her work. In the end, the record came out fabulously well. It got selected one of the Top 10 World Music Records of 2013 by NPR, charted on the Billboard World music ranking, and is getting wonderful praise by reviewers and listeners alike.

Review Of Slate VMR Virtual Mix Rack - Vintage Plug in Rack

Russ takes the new Slate Virtual Mix Rack plug-in for a spin. Find out what he thinks of it and see it in action.

Slate say: The VIRTUAL MIX RACK continues the Slate Digital tradition of providing the absolute most authentically modeled analog sound in a digital audio plugin.The ‘VMR’ includes four world class mix modules, including two classic equalizers and two versatile mix compressors, with more modules to be developed.

The ‘VMR’ operates as a Virtual 500 series rack with hot-swappable modules, putting your whole processing chain in ONE WINDOW. This allows you customize your own channel strip, with signal flow following the modules, in any order you choose. Mix and match filters from different EQs. Chain an EQ before or after your compressor. Moving modules around is easy, fast, and creates no break in audio playback. Audition signal chains faster, easier, and in real time with the Slate ‘VMR’

So is it buy, try or walk on by? Watch this review of the Slate VMR Virtual Mix Rack to find out.

Apple Mac Pro 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 3.5 GHz Running Pro Tools On Internal Soundcard - Power Test

The requests keep coming in to run further power tests on Macs with a copy of Pro Tools native. 

So far we’ve taken the latest Macbook Pro Retina 15” for a spin to see how it handles Pro Tools 11, you can see our Macbook Pro 15” Retina Pro Tools 11 test here. and also a Mac Mini i5 Late 2012.

We’ve been asked to run the same test on a new Mac Pro (Trash Can), so we’ve run this test on a Mac Pro 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 3.5 GHz.

This is the basic test, just the Mac Pro, internal soundcard and internal drive, it’s just you, your Mac, an iLok, headphones and a USB micro keyboard.

Is the new Mac Pro the powerhouse Apple claim?

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Pro Tools Expert Podcast 142

Russ, Mike, and James 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 

  • November deals at RSPE include promotions from SPL, A Designs, Crane Song and more
  • Mulomba Luabeya Luabeya is not very happy with Avid, what about taking legal action. 
  • Chris Schmid discovered a shortcut for changing the grid value to triplets and dotted notes.
  • Colin Mansfield had some advice to help not loose your iLok when out on the road.
  • Cory Rizos gave us an update on his issues with Avid’s inflexibility on the Advanced Support plan and he is not impressed with Avid’s response.
  • Frank Vitale would like us to be nominated in the People’s Choice Award.
  • Joe Belliston wanted to commend Waves for there customer service.
  • Kevin de Wit told us about Gobbler’s transition from Gobbler 1 to Gobbler 2 and his concerns and praise for their change of policy.
  • Marty Dickerson shared his views on the Avid upgrade plans and how we are covering these issues.

Questions - Kindly Sponsored by Alchemea 

Find Of The Week 

Listen on to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast on iTunes

Download the Pro Tools Expert Podcast as an MP3

Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack Released - With A Suprise Free Module, REVIVAL SONIC ENHANCER

Slate Digital have just announced the release of the long awaited Virtual Mix Rack Plugin.
Not only that, there is a suprise module “The Revival Sonic Enhancer” which amazingly is a free download for everyone - Just download the VMR Demo and you’ll get a time limited trial of all the VMR modules but the Revival Sonic Enhancer is yours to keep - Free !

Here are the details of the Virtual Mix Rack:

The VIRTUAL MIX RACK continues the Slate Digital tradition of providing the absolute most authentically modeled analog sound in a digital audio plugin.
The ‘VMR’ includes four world class mix modules, including two classic equalizers and two versatile mix compressors, with more modules to be developed.
The ‘VMR’ operates as a Virtual 500 series rack with hot-swappable modules, putting your whole processing chain in ONE WINDOW.
This allows you customize your own channel strip, with signal flow following the modules, in any order you choose. Mix and match filters from different EQs. Chain an EQ before or after your compressor. Moving modules around is easy, fast, and creates no break in audio playback. Audition signal chains faster, easier, and in real time with the Slate ‘VMR’.
Check out the VMR Demo Video Here:



Modules included in the Virtual Mix Rack are:


The FG-N is a digital recreation of one of the most classic discrete Class A British equalizers from the 70’s.
All aspects of the circuit are modeled, including the rich harmonics and saturations that naturally occur when the equalizer is in use. The original model only contained one mid band, so we thought it would be nice to double it so that it has two mid bands. This equalizer is lush, fat, and bold. It sounds great on everything from drums to vocals, and can even add the perfect saturation to synth and electronic tracks. 


The FG-S is a digital recreation of one of the most famous British console equalizers from the 80’s.
This equalizer also has rich harmonics and interactive mid bands with a fat musical tone. This is the ultimate workhorse mix eq that can be used on any track. It is great for surgical cutting strokes, or wide bell and shelf strokes for making drums and guitars punch out of the speakers.


The FG-116 is the most precise digital replication of the classic American FET limiter. No expense was pared to capture every nuance of this classic sounding compressor/limiter. From its trademark timing characteristics to the extremely musical sound of its transformer, the FG-116 will give engineers the musical and fat tone that has made the hardware so famous. The FG-116 sounds great on everything like lead vocals, drums, and bass guitars.


The FG-401 started as a recreation of the classic british console channel compressor, but morphed into quite a lot more. First, we gave it variable attack and release with increased range which added more tonal options. But then, we added an optimal transformer inout, and not just any transformer, the famous transformer from the British Class A Console! This adds a beautiful warmth and sheen to the compressor. Last, we added an entirely unique second circuit path that provides and additional smooth and rich tone. The FG-401 is perhaps the most versatile mix compressor in the world that can sound good on any source you feed into it!

And of course the Free ‘REVIVAL SONIC ENHANCER’ of which you can see Steven Slates demo video here:

System Requirements 

Dual Core Intel Processor, 8 GB RAM Recommended
Mac OS® X 10.7 or later
Intel Mac 32bit: RTAS
Intel Mac 32bit and 64bit: AAX, VST2, VST3, and AU
iLok2 Required

Dual Core Intel or AMD Processor, 8 GB RAM Recommended
Windows 7® (32/64 Bit) or later
Windows 32bit: RTAS
Windows 32bit and 64bit: AAX, VST2, and VST3
iLok2 Required

Note: AAX 64-bit, Pro Tools 11 compatible

Virtual Mix Rack Is Available Now at a very special introductory price of just $149 and includes a free ilok2