Pro Tools tips, tricks, support and news for users of Pro Tools. Free Pro Tools video tutorials and free Pro Tools plug-ins. We support both the music and post production community.
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.
Our friends over at Groove 3 are offering perhaps their best ever All Access Pass, which is an all-you-can-eat way of watching their fantastic video tutorials.
They explain the deal here:
For over 11 years Groove3 has been dedicated to providing the best tutorials possible for empowering you and your studio tools and now, by popular demand, we’re offering a limited time special offer to lock in future access at amazing savings! From now through March 31st, you can scoop up one, two or even three years of access to over 950 hours of existing content and all the new content we add during that time. Now’s your chance to secure an amazing price for the content you’ve come to love and depend on. * If you already have a membership with remaining time, your new purchase will automatically be added to your existing time so no days are lost.
Recently Nugen Audio announced the Loudness Toolkit 2 and at BVE we were able to take a sneak peak at LM-Correct 2. Now in this video Mike Thornton takes a first look at the new version of Nugen Audio’s unreleased True Peak Limiter ISL2.
With the new loudness workflows it is essential that we use true peak limiting to make sure we don’t hit digital headroom as we are often working less than a couple of dBs from digital headroom. Watch this video and find out about the new features that will be in ISL2 when it is released.
If you want to know more about true peak limiting, why it is so important and how to use the Nugen Audio ISL intersample peak limiter then you can watch two videos I made for Nugen Audio.
Auto Release Hold Mode
There is a new Intelligent Dynamic Release Mode to enhance algorithm transparency by automatically adjusting to program content in real time. The Auto button when enabled allows ISL2 to analyse the incoming audio signal for low frequency content and automatically extend the ‘hold’ time of the limiter to ensure a full wavelength passes before the release cycle is activated. This allows the use of shorter release times than might usually be employed, whilst ensuring that harmonic distortion is not introduced when low-frequencies trigger gain reduction.
Following Dan’s excellent article on 5 Tips For Tracking Electric Guitar, community member Rob got in touch to add his tips…
This is imperative to making the guitar as playable as possible, I’ve set up lots of guitars over the years, it’s worth hunting out Guitar Maintenance Workshops if you want to save yourself some money on setting up your guitars in the long run. They are good fun and you’ll learn a lot about the guitar.
It’s shocking to realise how many ‘guitarists’ are ignorant of their instrument of choice. I’ve witnessed people who can’t even string up their own guitar, handing it off to a shop to install a single string when they’ve broken one.. Intonation is only one part of the setup and it’s relative to the other elements of the setup in this order;
There’s some discussion on web forums with some people suggestig that Pro Tools 12 performs better than Pro Tools 11. So we have decided to put this claim to the test.
We use the same session, the same machine, the same interface and run the same test, the results are shown below.
We decided to test out the new Pro Tools 12 subscription plan yesterday.
It wasn’t the smoothest of operations, the experience included the store losing the purchase, but after battling through several screens we got our hands on it… sort of.
Getting The Pro Tools 12 Licence To Work
Once purchased a subscription licence is placed in your iLok account. Not knowing what Avid were going to do with the old Pro Tools licence we used a different account and iLok, we weren’t taking any chances on licences going missing in the process.
So we started the iLok Licence Manager and as with other licences dragged the licence onto our iLok, all seemed happy. Then we launched Pro Tools 12 which started looking for a licence and said it could not be found. After 20 minutes of faffing around it transpired that in order to activate the licence you don’t drag it to the licence as you do with all other iLok licences, instead you must use the activation screen inside Pro Tools 12. It can’t seem to handle it if the license is already on the iLok. So we had to deposit the licence back off the iLok and then let Pro Tools 12 install it via the activation screen and the iLok account. If you had a better experience then let us know.
Installing Pro Tools 12 Software
The next thing to know is that if you own Pro Tools 11 then it gets wiped when you install Pro Tools 12, we’re using Yosemite so we can’t test if this is the case with Pro Tools 10. So if you want a previous version of Pro Tools then install Pro Tools 12 on a different disk or partition, at the very least do a back-up.
Your Account Is Set To Auto-Renew
Now onto the money, as would be expected with any subscription based deal auto-renew is turned on in you Avid account so if you don’t want this to be the case then go and turn it off, you can see it in the image below.
Pro Tools 12 Review
This is not really a Pro Tools 12 review, partly because there isn’t a lot to review, some I/O changes and AFL/PFL has been improved, and there’s a new start-up screen. Finally there’s a very sparse in-App market place with the grand total of 1 plug-in for sale when we tried it - it’s also painfully slow to use.
Collaboration and the other cloud based features that Avid have been showing are not included in this first release of Pro Tools 12.
In fact in any other universe this would have been called Pro Tools 11.5 at best. Apparently there are a lot of changes under the hood, we have seen reports that the same session using Pro Tools 12 uses less system resources than Pro Tools 11 so we decided to test that theory, you can see the Pro Tools 12 performance test here. We didn’t keep it on our machine long enough to find out much more about stabilty over any real length of time.
Pro Tools 12 - Our Advice
If you want to try out Pro Tools 12 then take our advice and wait for a demo to appear, if you can’t then sign up for a month before you make a full commitment. Back up your Pro tools 11 install or use a different partition before installing it.
There are other features coming soon…seeing is believing.
Following our troubles with authorising the Pro Tools 12 subscription license the team at iLok reached out to us and through their systems were able to explain the problems with the license not being seen initially by Pro Tools 12, as a combination of some extremely rare USB errors, which because they were so rare, threw up some cryptic error messages and the known problem that iLok are having with some Apple USB 3 ports, which we have reported in the past.
They were able to ‘replay’ our experiences and have also checked through their logs and found that 9 other Pro Tools 12 users had a similar issue.
As a result of our experiences, the team at iLok are now working on some tweaks to their system to try and make sure that this extremely rare problem, where the system appears to show that the license is on the iLok when it isn’t, as well as the unclear error messages messages are resolved.
They expect that the fixes for these issues will be in place within the next few days. In the meantime if you experience a situation where an iLok license appears to be on the iLok but the software or plug-in doesn’t see it, then the advice from iLok is to put the license back into your account and try again. From their logs they have seen that this has been a successful solution to the incredibly small number of users, that have experienced this issue.
Although they have seen that 9 other Pro Tools 12 users have experienced this problem, we understand this could happen with any iLok license.
As we have said in the past if you do have problems with an iLok on an Apple computer that has USB3 ports like the Mac Pro trash can then our advice is to use a small USB2 hub plugging your iLok or iLoks into the hub and plugging the hub into one of the USB3 ports on your computer.
However the lLok issue was just part of our poor experience of Pro Tools 12. Whilst PACE/iLok have spent several days working with us to understand what those issues were Avid have made no attempt to explain the poor store experience and the glaring lack of benefits for those considering Pro Tools 12.
Furthermore PACE/iLok were unable to confirm or deny our question that by buying Pro Tools 12 that your Pro Tools 11 licence would be surrended and thus removed from your iLOK account.
Our advice still stands, if you haven’t got a free copy of Pro Tools 12 coming then give this release of Pro Tools a miss, it offers poor value for money.
Russ Hughes, Mike Thornton, James Ivey and Dan Cooper bring you a bumper show catching up with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.
Groove 3 Titles We Like
- Virtual CZ From Plugin Boutique £37 - 35% Discount
- Zplane Vielklang Instant Harmony V2.0 Plug-in £59 - 26% Discount
Talking Points Kindly Sponsored By Universal Audio
- The Apollo Plug-In Promo runs until 31 March. Purchase an Apollo audio interface and get up to $1295 in FREE UAD-2 Plug-ins
- New Pro Tools Expert Web site launch 30th March,
- We will try an make the transition as smooth as possible
- We have sent an email to all all subscribers on the site, with instructions on what to do we we change over so you can benefit the new features for subscribers.
- Real World Review of the Focusrite RED 1 500 series preamp
- 5 Tips For Tracking Electric Guitar
- The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - What Are Yours? Poll
- Podcast Extra Interview With Steve Genewick
- 5 Reasons For Making Demos Before Producing A Song
- Pro Tools 12 Goes On Sale In The Avid Store
- Excalibur - The Multi Effects Plug-in From Exponential Audio Is Here
Community Feedback Kindly Sponsored by RSPE Audio Solutions
- Joe Teresi shared some thoughts about options to keep track of what still needs to be done on an album project. RecallTone is the plug-in we couldn’t remember.
- Ian Dearden would like us to make a video on using Audiomux and Midimux with Pro Tools and Mac OS X.
Questions - Kindly Sponsored by Alchemea
- Andy Smit has some problems with shortcuts created using the Mac OS. Do we have any advice? How To Make Your Own Shortcuts In Pro Tools
- Rudolph Greaux would like our advice as he upgrades from a G4 Mac to a Mac Pro as he has old PCI card and a Digidesign 96 interface.
- Joe Lahart is having problems with the menu items not drawing until the mouse goes over where they should be.
- Michele Centonze is having problems with Pro Tools 11 only using 1 CPU as well as trouble with MIDI data being bend when tracking and ahead on playback.
- Anthony Timmers is switching from an iMac to a Mac Pro and wanted advice on the best machine to use.
Find Of The Week
- Russ - Disksomnia App - keeping drives awake
- Mike - Pro Tools doesn’t like the letter C. it transpires that if you name a bounce file Mix in C that the file comes back as Mix in_01. No C! If the C isn’t preceded by a space it is OK. If C is in the middle of a name its OK.
- James - D’Addario NYXL guitar strings…. They last forever…. and sound great. New metal thing going on so they sound better for longer.
- Dan - New Insights and tools to help you share your music, engage your fans, and build a career on YouTube.
Excalibur is the powerful new plug-in from Michael Carnes at Exponential Audio that lets you create some of the most innovative effects ever. Whether you’re looking for delays, flangers, dynamic filters, phasers, pitch shifters or more, check out Excalibur as it maybe what you have bee looking for. Its dynamic modulation is at home in music production, post and live performance.
You can check out our new Excalibur page on the Exponential web site and see what top professionals like Kenny Gioia, Gary Lux (Ben Harper, Sting, Norah Jones) and Stephen Gallagher (The Hobbit, King Kong, District 9) have to say about Excalibur.
You can buy Excalibur for the low introductory price of $119, but only through to April 10. After that, it will return to the regular price of $199.
You don’t even need to download the demo, as you can hear audio examples of Excalibur for yourself at Exponential Audio. But for the best experience do grab yourself demo code from the Exponential Audio website and try it yourself for 21 days but you will need an iLok2 to use the demo.
You can also watch and hear Michael Carnes talk about Excalibur in a short video.
Avid have now started selling Pro Tools 12 on their web store and have taken Pro Tools 11 off the store so you can no longer buy Pro Tools 11 from the Avid Store.
Pro Tools 12 Subscriptions
You can buy Pro Tools 12 on monthly subscription and pay $29.99 per month or sign up for an annual subscription and pay $24.92 per month. You also get Standard Support Included as long as you pay the subscription fees.
Pro Tools 12 With Upgrade Plan
You can buy a new copy of Pro Tools 12 with a 12 month Upgrade plan for $899 and then pay $199 per year to keep the upgrade plan up to date. You also get 12 months standard support included with the Upgrade plan.
Pro Tools 12 Upgrade Plan
For owners of Pro Tools 9, 10 11, Pro Tools M-Powered 6-8 or MP9, Pro Tools Express bundled with Avid hardware (The InMusic versions are not eligible) you can upgrade to Pro Tools 12 for $199 per year and then pay $199 per year to stay up to date. You also get 12 months standard support included with the Upgrade plan.
Pro Tools 12HD Upgrade Plan
For owners of Pro Tools 9, 10 or 11HD software or Pro Tools 9 & 10 with Complete Production Toolkit, you can upgrade to Pro Tools 12HD for $599 and then pay $599 per year to stay up to date. You also get 12 months of ExpertPlus Support included in the HD Upgrade Plan.
Pro Tools 12 For Education Subscriptions
You can buy Pro Tools 12 on monthly subscription and pay $9.99 per month or sign up for an annual subscription and pay $8.25 per month. You also get Standard Support Included as long as you pay the subscription fees. You will have to prove you are a student or teacher to be eligible for this plan.
Pro Tools 12 For Education With Upgrade Plan
You can buy a new copy of Pro Tools 12 For Education with a 12 month Upgrade plan for $299 and then pay $99 per year to keep the upgrade plan up to date. You also get 12 months standard support included with the Upgrade plan. You will have to prove you are a student or teacher to be eligible for this plan.
Pro Tools 12 For Education Upgrade With Annual Upgrade Plan
For owners of Pro Tools 9, 10 11, Pro Tools M-Powered 6-8 or MP9, Pro Tools Express bundled with Avid hardware (The InMusic versions are not eligible) you can upgrade to Pro Tools 12 For Education for $99 per year and then pay $99 per year to stay up to date. You also get 12 months standard support included with the Upgrade plan. You will have to prove you are a student or teacher to be eligible for this plan.
Studio One Expert is the latest addition to the Production Expert family of sites that also includes Pro Tools Expert as well as Logic Pro Expert, Albeton Live Expert and Reason Expert.
You can check out the Studio One Expert contest to win virtual instruments from AIR Music Tech and Sonivox, it’s as simple as getting as many of your friends as you can to enter the contest. The person who makes the most referrals wins the prize, worth $600!
We wish Matthew Mann and his team all the best with Studio One Expert.
Over the years I have seen a decline in artists creating demo recordings of their songs which they intend to record and produce with me. Demo recordings can be anything from a simple vocal and guitar recording to a 4 to 8 track pre production mix. Demo recordings provide all the parties that will be included in the production process with a blue print to which everybody can work to. I want to share with you 5 reasons why making demos can help artists and producers work faster and more creatively when in the production process of a song.
Demo recordings help confirm the final stages of the songwriting process. The song’s structure, tempo, key, feel, groove, dynamics and mood should be captured in the demo process.
Choice Of Song
When selecting a song to produce it is sometimes good practise to have a few other songs to choose from. Having a selection of demos from the artist helps you to know as a producer that you are about to invest time into the right song and that there’s not a better song from the artist… a hidden gem that may work better in production.
Distance And Evaluation
Creating a demo gives the songwriter a golden opportunity to step back from the song and writing process. If the song still stands up to everyone’s judgement after a week and needs no further rewrites then it is ready for production. Producing a song that still needs lyrics changing or light and shades discovered can harm the song.
Demos can also be treated as a scratch pad for production ideas. It can help when needing to demonstrate creative ideas to other parties of the production. For example, if a drum loop has been used in the demo and it works then this loop can guide the drummer to work a groove around the demo’s feel. If a bass guitar with a distortion plug in works in the demo then a producer or bassist may try to recapture that vibe with a pedal and bass amp. Trying out ideas in a demo can save time in the production phase as trying out millions of ideas that were never going to work for the song are better recorded, heard and declined in the demo format.
Pressure Free Environment
Being able to create with no real sense of pressure is very liberating, the best and most organic musical choices can be made in this frame of mind. I’ve taken some client demos and used stems out of their demo sessions as for what they’ve created in these frames of minds have been outstanding.