In the first in a series of three videos looking at ways to use the Waves MaxxBass, Renaissance Bass and Lo Air plug-ins in audio post production, Mike Thornton shares how to get the best out of the Waves MaxxBass plug-in.
The biggest concern for the computer musician/producer is what happens if it all falls apart? The experience of Mac users tends to be that the “Genius’” at the Apple store don’t know a whole lot about Pro Tools, MIDI sync, sound-to-picture or plug-in incompatibilities. Shoppers of a Dell, HP or Tesco branded PC have a similar experience but in less groovy and relaxed surroundings.
This is of course why places like Pro Tools Expert exist - the support of a community forum and expert articles shouldn’t be undervalued. But at the same time these sorts of places are peppered with people having very similar troubles for which there isn’t always a quick fix. So to whom do you go? Software manufacturers have their own tech support lines but with the best will in the world they can’t know every permutation of every computer or audio interface, and often they have no choice but to lay blame at the feet of the computer rather than their software. It works fine on their machine after all.
Many people make music on their computers with no trouble at all, but in the event of audio glitching, badly behaved plug-ins, or incompatibility issues then you have to become your own tech support engineer. For some people this is an interesting journey into the expansion of their computer knowledge – a puzzle to be mastered, technology to be tamed. Others put up with the issues and carry on the best they can knowing that their system harbours amazing power and a few glitches are worth it for what you can do with it. And a few seem to spend all their time tracking down the bugs, ironing out the problems and hoping the next upgrade will sort them out.
An unwanted noise in the background can ruin what would otherwise be a perfect take. In this video, Mike Thornton shows you how to use RX 3’s Spectral Repair module to fix problems like a cough or a sound glitch.
Don’t forget you can get RX3 and RX3 Advanced at a very special price and get RX4 free when it is released later next month.
RSPE Audio Solutions
Time+Space Distribution Ltd
Monitoring Without Headphones
Some vocalists hate using headphones when tracking vocals, instead preferring to monitor through speakers.
The problem is that this gives excessive bleed of the rest of the instruments though the vocal track.
This video tutorial shows you a trick that helps to remove a lot of that bleed and cleans up the audio for further processing.
The Universal Audio Apollo Twin is a powerful little audio interface, but for some the limited inputs may sometimes not be enough. However UA have included an ADAT Lightpipe input connector on the Apollo Twin enabling the user to increase it by up to 8 extra inputs.
In this free tutorial we are going to show you how to set up ADAT Lightpipe input to expand the channels on the Universal Audio Apollo Twin.
What Hardware To Use?
In order to do this you need a pre-amp that has a ADAT Lightpipe output on the rear, there are a number on the market, they include;
- Universal Audio 4-710d
- Audient ASP880
- Focusrite Octopre
What Pre-Amp Are We are Using
We have both the Audient ASP880 and the Universal Audio 4-170d pre-amps at Pro Tools Expert HQ, in fact Mike uses the Focusrte Octopre as seen here, but to keep it in the family we decided to use the gorgeous sounding 4-710D. The UA 4-710d offers up to 8 channels of audio inputs, 4 mic, 8 line, variable tube and transistor tone blending on 4 inputs and UA compressors. Of course the most important thing for this is the ADAT Lightpipe out on the rear, this is what we use to connect the 4-710d to the Apollo Twin.
ADAT Lightpipe Cable
The ADAT Lightpipe or ADAT Optical Interface was invented by Alesis originally for use in their ADAT tape machines, however widespread adoption took place of this protocol. It is called Lightpipe because the data is transmitted over fibre optic cable. They are widely available online or from stores, we got ours from Amazon, a 5 meter cable costing around £7.00.
Connecting It All Together
The connection between the 4-710d and the Apollo Twin is simple, plug the ADAT Lightpipe cable into the ADAT Out 1-8 connection on the rear of the unit, see above.
Then plug the other end of the cable into the ‘Optical In’ port on the rear of the Apollo Twin, see below.
Updated on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 12:34PM by Mike Thornton
You may remember that back at the beginning of December last year we posted a story about helping to Kickstarter Project for a new low cost Ambisonics microphone from Brahma. We promised to review the microphone and I recently received a package from India with a Brahma mic to review.
The microphone comes in a padded zip up case and then when you open it you see a lovely wooden box with the brand name inset into the lid in brass letters, a nice touch.
Ambisonics Is not New
Ambisonics has been around for a long time and the most well known name in Ambisonics is The Soundfield. Many years ago I recorded a demo CD for AMS, then owners of the Soundfield brand. The final recording we made was a choir singing an African song whilst dancing around the mic. At that time (1991) there was only one place where you could play it back and experience the full Ambisonic experience with height and that was the demo room in the AMS factory in Burnley, not 20 minutes drive for me from Manchester.
It is only now with the introduction of immersive sound formats like Auro 3D and Dolby Atmos that we can experience the full 3D audio that is in the Ambisonics format and so I am looking forward to a resurgance of Ambisonics as one native format to record immersive sound in.
A or B Format
Automation preview is your post fairy friend - select your region, cycle it and tweak away with eq/dynamics etc and mess with the reverb, reverb send and all its parameters.
Preview allows all the automation to run on the channel you are tweaking (unlike the old fashioned way of being in automation isolate on that channel) with all parameters moving dynamically, with except the ones that you change - which go into write (but aren’t commited - ….yet)
Tweak until the job is done
Then write to selection to write these changes to the area that you wish to (only)
Check that you have actually made a selection on the timeline first though as there is a vicious “feature” (Avid what on earth were you thinking?) where those settings will be written to the entire track timeline if there is no selection. VERY DANGEROUS! Back of the class Avid for operational real world stupidity!
Our friends at TC Electronic have launched a DAW integration solution for their System 6000. The System 6000 Integrator plug-in enables you to save and reload the complete settings of your System 6000 as part of your Pro Tools project just by using an ethernet connection.
Using automation it is possible to automate preset changes during playback, which means you can get even more out of the four processing engines of System 6000 than ever before. For instance, one engine may apply subtle 8 channel reverb in one scene and extraordinary DXP dynamics processing or UnWrap HD in the next. TC Electronic’s Thomas Valter told us….
We are very excited that users are now able to integrate their System 6000 with their DAWs and NLEs. What may seem like a minor and simple addition to the System 6000 platform is in fact a game-changing move that adds a whole new dimension to System 6000. As DAW components change in three year cycles, many professionals use System 6000 to ensure their most precious audio effects. Before, this was a challenge when managing projects; and typically involved MIDI or custom solutions to synchronize data.
The System 6000 Integrator plug-in will be $499, but until 1st September it will be available for $299 as an introductory offer. TC Electronic is also offering a free 14-day trial for all System 6000 users.
There was a time when to get real power and flexibility from Pro Tools then one had to take the plunge and invest in their hardware DSP solutions, either HD or HDX. However this option is becoming less necessary for modern music making.
If you are considering how to develop your Pro Tools enabled studio then things you need to consider.
DSP Comes In All Shapes And Sizes
Pro Tools HD/HDX systems are not the only solutions to offer DSP, the hugely popular UAD powered platform uses DSP chips to power the Universal Audio plug-ins. Waves now have their DiGiGrid platform to offer DSP power for Waves and possibly other third party vendors.
Studios Come In All Shapes And Sizes
It is sometimes easy to forget when working in music how small track counts can be compared to those working in post. Post sessions can extend to hundreds of tracks and can make the average album session look like a Portastudio when compared. In this scenario then the need for high track counts at high sample rates and with near zero latency make the need for Pro Tools HD/HDX a no brainer without it these sessions would be impossible to run.
Virtual Instruments Change The Equation
When it comes to composing in Pro Tools and using virtual instruments for making music, then DSP is nigh on useless. Yes it might take the strain away by using DSP for audio plug-ins already in this mix, but 99% of VI plug-ins require the power of native processing. Pro Tools 11 helped a great deal by going to 64bit processing, this means that all the memory in a computer is available for hosting large sound libraries.
Native Processing Is Enough For A Lot Of People
We ran some tests at Pro Tools HQ last week with the new Mac Pro ‘trash can’. We ran a couple of sessions, one with tracks running native versions of Avid Channel Strip and Dverb, as well as 32 channels of Eleven. In the second test we inserted a copy of Exponential Audio PhoenixVerb on every channel, which claims to be super efficient. In both tests we ran out of tracks and voices before we ran out power.
Latency, Latency, Latency
The million dollar question for many people is the issues of latency. As track counts get larger and sample rates to as high as 192Khz then this has an impact on latency. For some people this is going to require them to invest in Pro Tools HDX, there’s no getting around that. However for those working at lower sample rates then there are equally well thought through solutions, for example the UAD Apollo Console offers near-zero monitoring when tracking and also enables the user to monitor via UAD plug-ins when tracking, you can even choose to just monitor or print the effects, like a good old tape machine. You can see this in action here. Other brands also offer monitoring solutions, such as Focusrite, RME, MOTU and many more, although the elegance of the implementation can differ greatly.
What Should You Do?
Well that depends on what you need your Pro Tools system to do. Let’s answer the question with some questions for you to consider?
In this Pro Tools video tutorial Russ shows how using filters on compressors can help to control dynamics in complex material.
Often a compressor is required on a track but with complex material the compresor may be triggered by a certain frequency such as the kick drum in a loop. Russ shows how filters enable you to zone in on a certain part of the sound such as the snare.