The Best RedNet Video To Date - Focusrite // RedNet in action at Sonic Fuel

We have to admit that at times the whole RedNet idea can leave us scratching our heads, we think it’s a brilliant way to connect stuff but it’s not always clear exactly what does what.

This video is the best RedNet video to date and covers so many of the questions with clear answers and practical examples.

RedNet At Sonic Fuel Studios

Chris Lennertz composes music for film, TV and video games from his studio, Sonic Fuel, in Los Angeles, California. Like most of his peers, his routine from one day to the next is anything but ordinary. He could be recording strings for a music cue in a movie one day, then scoring themes for a network TV show the next. As a result, he needs a trustworthy multi-channel audio interface system that’s flexible enough to let him work to the strict schedules and turnarounds of the film and TV industry. This means being able to to quickly and reliably transfer full musical arrangements between his Cubase composition and sequencing machine and his print rig, a Pro Tools | HD system.

Until early 2014, before discovering RedNet, Chris and his assistant Alex Bornstein were finding it difficult to maintain this flexibility, so they set out on the search for a new system, as Chris explains. “Before we implemented the RedNet system, we had just 16 inputs and outputs into the Pro Tools rig. It was getting to the point where being able to print quickly was no longer working because we were making three or four passes just to capture everything in the mix. We started looking into things like a MADI infrastructure or buying more I/Os for Pro Tools®, but then we found out about RedNet and it seemed too good to be true. Soon, we realised it was exactly what we were looking for.”

So, with Alex’s technical assistance, Chris made the switch to RedNet, purchasing a RedNet PCIe card, two RedNet 5 HD Bridges, a RedNet 2 16-channel A-D/D-A and a RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp. Now, thanks to the high I/O count and audio-routing flexibility of the RedNet system and the Dante network on which it operates, Chris and his team can print cues much faster and more reliably than ever before. “With RedNet, we can have 64 ins and outs, so we can print our cues in one pass, and both rigs can use the interfaces… It’s pretty crazy.”

The RedNet System

There are sonic advantages to the RedNet upgrade, as well. Because the transfer between Cubase and Pro Tools takes place in the digital domain at super-low latency, (digital audio is routed internally by RedNet without having to be converted to analogue and back to digital again), the signal quality is not degraded, as it was by the multiple stages of A-D and D-A conversion in the previous rig. RedNet also saves Chris time, and allows him to spend more time being creative, rather than focussing on arduous technical tasks. “It’s very important to me that I get as much time to write and conceive as possible, and spend as little time on tech as I have to. To be able to take back the time previously wasted on printing to either see my kids or write better music and be able to come up with themes without having the clock ticking quite as loudly is well worth it.”

There are even more upsides to the switch to RedNet: Installation of the system was straightforward, says Alex. “We spent a morning setting up the equipment and once that was done, it just worked. Since then, the boxes have been locked: every morning when I walk in, they’re still on.” Also, thanks to RedNet, other rooms in the Sonic Fuel building can be used as recording locations. Chris and Alex can take the RedNet 4 eight-channel mic preamp to the live room, for example, and record directly into Chris’ rig on the other side of the building. Tracking solo instruments and small ensembles just got a lot easier, says Alex. “Any room in the facility that has an Ethernet connection can be patched in to the RedNet network and you can record there. To be able to quickly record multi-channel audio from anywhere in this environment is huge…”

Chamber, Plate, Hall...What Do I Use? Michael Carnes Shares Reverb Tips

‘Mr Reverb’ Michael Carnes at Exponential Audio has written his latest reverb tips and tricks article ‘Chamber, Plate, Hall…What Do I Use?’

It gives some practical advice on the use of each type of reverb - as he says in the article there are no hard an fast rules, but these suggestions are extremely helpful.

Read the entire article here

Pro Tools Expert & Waves DiGiGrid DLS WEBINAR - Monday 29th September 2014 - 7:00pm BST

We know that a lot of community members have questions about the Waves Digigrid system, especially when using it with Pro Tools, so we’ve team up with Waves to offer this exclusive webinar so you can ask questions.

Joins us for an exclusive webinar at Pro Tools Expert featuring Waves Product Specialists Luke Smith and Michael PA, who will demonstrate the benefits of the DiGiGrid DLS for Pro Tools Users.

Win A Waves Vocal Rider

Everyone in attendance will automatically be entered to win a Waves Vocal Rider.

Date And Time Of The Event

Date - MONDAY SEPT. 29th 20142PM EASTERN/ 11AM PACIFIC/ 7PM BST

Sign Up And Win

Take a moment to sign-up for the event, you can also ask a question. Everyone who signs up has a chance to win Waves Vocal Rider.

Click here to sign-up

Everyone who attends has a chance to win Waves Vocal Rider.

PureMix Announce The GearFest Raffle With Great Prizes And Great Training

Our friends at PureMix have announced their GearFest Raffle. This is a chance to win amazing prizes and also watch a fierce Mix Off between Fab Dupont and John Paterno. That’s right, filling out this form gets you a Free pureMix.net video and enters your name in the raffle where there will be 12 lucky winners of lots of great prizes from PureMix Universal Audio, Focal, Dangerous Music and Lauten Audio.

…But don’t wait, the raffle ends September 30th.

 

Desqeaking An Acoustic Guitar In Pro Tools Using iZotope RX4 - Free Video Tutorial

In this free iZotope video tutorial, Russ shows how easy it is to clean up sqeaaks on an otherwise great acoustic guitar part using iZotope RX4 using Spectral Repair.

Watch this free video tutorial here

FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01 Update Released

FabFilter have just released FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01, a free update for existing Pro-Q 2 users with improvements to the piano display and solo mode, along with various bug fixes. FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01 is fully compatible with Pro-Q 2.00 and they recommend all Pro-Q 2 users to upgrade to version 2.01.

What’s new in FabFilter Pro-Q 2.01?

  • Improved the piano display: you can now drag multiple selected curves in parallel, and double-clicking the piano display creates a new curve at this position.
  • Improved solo mode for Bell and Notch filters to better isolate the frequency area of interest. When soloing Low/High-Cut filters, the Q value now always stays the same, making it easier to just fine-tune the frequency.
  • Added support for displaying the current EQ curve in Avid’s S6 control surface.
  • Fixed a bug in the Auto Gain feature: it would not correctly compensate bands that are in per-channel mode (L/R or M/S). For example, splitting a stereo band would double the auto gain effect. This now works as intended while preserving compatibility with existing saved sessions. When working with an existing session that uses Auto Gain, simply disable and re-enable Auto Gain to get the new behaviour.
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that could cause the sound to stay the same (not using the new parameter values) after using Undo or loading a preset.
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that caused the saved parameter state to be ignored when opening a saved Audio Montage in WaveLab 8 (this fix is not needed for WaveLab 8.5.10).
  • Fixed a bug in the VST3 plugin that caused the latency to be reported as zero when opening a saved Audio Montage in WaveLab 8 and 8.5.
  • Fixed a bug in Natural Phase mode that could cause an incorrect frequency response with some rare combinations of frequency and slope settings with Low Cut and Notch filters.
  • Fixed a bug when double-clicking a control to enter a new value: clicking outside the input box now accepts the new value while previously it would discard it.
  • Fixed a bug in the AU plugin: pressing Cmd+Q to quit the host while Pro-Q 2 was in full screen mode would cause it to crash.
  • Fixed a bug when zooming out in the display when Analyzer Freeze is enabled: this would create a large blob on the left side of the display in the analyzer.
  • Fixed a bug with Full Screen mode in the 32-bit VST2 plugin in Cubase on Mac OS X when ‘Always on top’ was enabled: the plugin window would float on top of the full screen window. In addition, keystrokes are now correctly passed to Cubase in this case (e.g. playback start/stop).
  • Small other bug fixes and improvements.

It is interesting that most of the bug fixes relate to platforms other than Pro Tools. Maybe that reinforces a comment made to us over and over that although developers complain about Avid and the problems of writing plug-ins for Avid, actually they tell us that getting the plug-ins to work in other formats is much more problematic.

Show And Tell Review Of UAD AMS RMX16 Reverb

Russ takes a look at the UAD RMX16 reverb plug-in - not any plug-in but created by AMS in association with Universal Audio.

Does it really sound like the 80s classic that featured on thousands of top hit singles and albums?

Russ gives a full show and tell on drums and guitars in this video review.

Watch this video review of the UAD AMS RMX16 reverb plug-in

Surround In Pro Tools - Paid For Feature? Come On Avid Give Me A Break

I’ve been on holiday and had some down time from the blog whilst sitting in the beautiful hills of Tuscany in Italy. The great thing about taking time out is it helps you reflect on stuff a little more, to stand back and reflect.

The team did an admirable job of the podcast without me - the jokes were better for sure, but one thing that got me thinking as I listened to the podcast, rather than host it was the whole discussion about buying extra features as bolt on apps for Pro Tools. This discussion was partly driven by our feature on the lack of surround in the new Avid Pro Tools Quartet package.

This led the team to revisit the idea of buying extra features such as surround. I nearly wrote an article about Pro Tools fantasy version where I was going to ask what that would look like.

As I reflected on this idea I changed my mind - buy 5:1 as a feature for Pro Tools in 2014? Are you joking? Give me a break, this is nuts.

Other native DAWs ship with surround support, so why in heaven’s name should anyone have to pay for surround support in Pro Tools, or be expected to buy a Pro Tools HD system that far exceeds their needs just to get surround?

Give me, in fact give everyone a break Avid.

Some of the Avid team ask why we are not always that positive about the Avid Everywhere vision, to be blunt some of it is an adventure in missing the point, offering things Pro Tools users don’t really want instead of delivering the things we are crying out for. 

For example, buying a plug-in to finish a project is one of the features Avid thinks we all need. Would I buy a plug-in to finish a project? Only after I’d exhausted the other options available such as getting the project sent over with the plug-in burnt into the audio, downloaded a demo of the plug-in, or just worked on my part of a project without the plug-in. The last thing I would do is spend money on a plug-in just to finish a project, after all that’s profit lost. If I was running a post house or a studio and someone came to me to say they needed a plug-in to do the job then I would ask them to try and find alternatives before blowing cash on the plug-in. Avid run a business where they are trying to maximise profit and minimize costs, so why in heaven’s name do they think the professionals they are selling to would run their business any differently?

It’s time the Avid Everywhere vision extended to more immediate needs of those in the real world, rather than stuff we might need.

Pro Tools is CURRENTLY the industry standard, so come on Avid let’s have 5:1 as standard, as well as other features that continue to be deficient in Pro Tools. Why should we have to pay for features that come as standard in competitor products?

So what motivated this article, have I been drinking? On the contrary I think I’ve sobered up.

Pro Tools Fundamentals - Command Focus

Those mysterious little “a-z” squares sprinkled around the edit window don’t really announce themselves particularly loudly but getting to know them is one of the biggest leaps in workflow you can make. I’m sure many people started to incorporate the odd shortcut right from the beginning when they started to use Pro Tools. I wrote a piece offering five shortcuts to speed up session navigation some time ago and if you aren’t yet incorporating shortcuts in to your use of Pro Tools they are a good place to start.

What is Command Focus?

As well as the conventional keyboard shortcuts, which usually involve at least one modifier key in combination with another (for example on the Mac Command+= or Control+= on Windows to toggle the mix/edit windows or Command+E to separate clip at selection) there is another set of single keystroke shortcuts available some of which are duplicates of existing “plus modifier” shortcuts but many of which have no equivalent anywhere else. If you feel you need to speed up your workflow then learning some command focus shortcuts is an excellent place to start.

Command Focus in the Mix Window

In the Mix window command focus can be used to toggle mix groups on and off by using their id letter. This is a really useful feature and has an extremely shallow learning curve. If you don’t use command focus for anything else try it for this, its so easy.

Command Focus in the Edit Window

In the edit window there are three areas to which you can focus the commands (hence “command focus” - it took me years to realise that’s what they meant when they named it). They are the edit groups list, the clips list and the main tracks display. Each of these areas can have focus, as indicated by the “a z” focus in the corner of each area. Yellow is focussed. In the mix window the groups command focus can be toggled on and off using the mouse, I’m not aware of any shortcut to toggle this but in the edit window the three possible options for command focus can be toggled using the following shortcuts:

  • Command focus the tracks display - CMD+Option+1/Ctrl+Alt+1
  • Command focus the clips list - CMD+Option+2/Ctrl+Alt+2
  • Command focus the groups list - CMD+Option+3/Ctrl+Alt+3

Using Command Focus

While use of command focus for editing in the tracks display is the area which gets the most attention, and definitely is the most interesting, I’d recommend starting with command focus in the group and clip lists as there is almost no learning curve. In the groups list command focus toggles groups by id letter and in the clips list the list selects clips beginning with the letter typed. I would suggest that the most important command focus shortcuts are the three given above which toggle the command focus between the three areas of the edit window and committing these to memory will encourage you to use command focus in all areas rather than just leaving it in the tracks display all the time.

There are far too many command focus shortcuts to cover in detail here but if you want to learn them I really recommend buying a dedicated Pro Tools keyboard such as those made by Editors Keys. If you want a more detailed overview of the shortcuts themselves take a look at Mike’s article on command focus.

If you’ve never tried them before, display the edit window of a session, hit Command+Option+1 on a Mac or Ctrl+Alt+1 on Windows, and try these:

Top 5 Examples

  1. Separate clip at selection - B
  2. Zoom Out  - R  Zoom In - T
  3. Move edit selection up - P  Move edit selection down - ;
  4. Track View Toggle - - (minus key)
  5. Timeline insertion follows playback - N

There are many I could have included instead, actually it could easily have been a top 20 but I’m sure you can find more just by pressing all the keys! An excellent aid to learning them is just to look at a high res image of a Pro Tools keyboard. While you are there you could consider buying one, they are well worth it.

Waves Weekend Deals

Waves Special Offers For This Weekend

3 more great plug-ins at great prices from our friends at Waves, but hurry these will finish on Sunday.

  1. Waves CLA Bass Native Plug-in $39 - normally $100
  2. Waves W43 Noise Reduction plug-in $49 till Sunday - normally $200
  3. Waves Edddie Kramer Tape, Tubes & Transistors $149 till Sunday - normally $400

Grab them while you can.

Waves Special Offers For September

Here are some highlights from the new special offers Waves are offering in September…

  1. Waves Masters Bundle $249 - normally $700
  2. Waves Platinum Bundle $749 - normally $1600
  3. Waves Native Power Pack $149 - normally $300

Check out the Specials page too for more great deals.