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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.

Pro Tools Expert Podcast Episode 95 - Review Of 2013

Pro Tools Expert PodcastRuss, Mike, Neil and James bring you a special edition of the podcast - our review of what’s happened in 2013.


Deals page

Review of 2013

  • NAMM and AAX plug-ins
  • Hits and Misses of Pro Tools 11
  • The end of the Mac Pro tower
  • Avid released the Pro Series of plug-ins
  • Pro Tools 11 launch
  • Avid announce S3L system
  • Slate Raven
  • Pro Tools PC and new Mac Pro
  • Pro Tools International sites
  • iLok License Manager saga
  • VST Hosting plug-ins
  • iZotope RX3 Released
  • Waves AAX Native Released
  • Avid S6 Announced
  • Marriage proposal on the PTE podcast
  • Revoice Pro v2.2 Released
  • AIR Instrument Expansion Pack Upgrade saga
  • Deals page started 
  • Zynaptiq Pitchmap Released
  • 5th Anniversary and the growth of the team.
  • Kickstarting an Ambisonics Project
  • Why we do what we do

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How To Create The Prince Purple Rain Guitar Sound Avid With Eleven Rack

James Ivey shows how to create the Prince Purple Rain Guitar Sound guitar sound using the Avid Eleven Rack in this video tutorial. 

Of course perfect for Pro Tools users as well as those using Eleven Rack in standalone mode.

See below for the individual effects settings. Download the Eleven Preset here for FREE

If you would like to see more of these then let us know in the comments section.

The Eleven Rack amp settings

The Reverb Settings

Click to read more ...

Get A FREE Compressor Plug-In From Native Instruments With SUPERCHARGER

The team at Native Instruments have announced a free compressor plug-in called SUPERCHARGER, which is free until the end of the year - it will then cost ¢49 to purchase.

The compressor is a tube based compressor and uses a simple one knob design.

Native Instruments say it can be used on a variety of material including vocals and drums, giving anything from subtle to pumping and crushing.

At the heart of the plug-in is the compress knob, then the user can add punch and dirt. It allows for side-chaining as well as a wet/dry knob.

Supported interfaces: AU, VST, RTAS, AAX 32- and 64-bit

You can download this free plug-in for all versions of Pro Tools here

Is The New Apple Mac Pro On Your Shopping List?

Well December is here and the new Apple Mac Pro is shipping any day now, if the December shipping note is to be kept by Apple.

We’ve spoken a lot about the new Apple Mac Pro on Pro Tools Expert podcast and in various articles, if nothing else the debate for and against the new design has been heated at times - Apple seem to be able to get a discussion going.

So is the new shaped Apple Mac Pro on your shopping list? It might be on mine!

Let us know in the comments

Huge Security Hole Leaves Entire Pro Tools 11 And Avid Beta Download Servers Open To Public

We’ve been alerted to a security vulnerability that leaves the entire Avid Pro Tools ftp beta servers open for public download.

We have tested this and it is indeed the case, it would seem someone has not stopped the server being open to public access.

No personal data or customer data is being exposed, this is the servers that hold, amongst other things, future releases of Avid software in beta format, it also holds downloads for some third parties. You need licences to run these applications, so even with the links (which we are not publishing) a rush to download them is on the whole a pointless endevour. 

This is simply a case of poor security being in place on the Avid servers, many other vendors put password controls on these servers just in case, it does not bode well for ensuring any Avid trade secrets remain that way for long.

25 Top Pro Tools, Recording And Business Tips You May Have Missed

We often run a ‘5 Ways’ article filled with tips for either getting the besy from Pro Tools, general recording advice, or business tips, after all there’s a lot of money to be made AND lost if you don’t take care of business.

Here are 5 articles that we ran and that got a lot of interest in the early part of 2013.

5 Ways To Better Loops That Will Cost You Nothing

Loops are a two sided coin, one side inspiration and hit making, the other side derivative and over-used. So how can you make sure that when you use loops your coin lands on the right side?

Here are our top 5 tricks that will cost you nothing…

Click to read more ...

Exclusive - Source Elements To Release Source-Nexus Stereo 

Last week we announced Source-Nexus from the team at Source Elements.  With Pro Tools, Source-Nexus allows users to directly integrate virtually any application without using external cables using the AAX plug-in, and allows all CoreAudio audio applications to record and be recorded from your Pro Tools timeline. At the time there were some comments about the price and so we had a conversation behind the scenes with the Source Elements team. They shared with us their original plans for the different versions of Source-Nexus and came up with a plan to make the stereo version effectively available now.

Exclusive - Source-Nexus Stereo

We can exclusively announce that Source Elements are planning to release stereo and free versions of Source Nexus. The stereo version, when it is released will be priced at $125. However the team at Source Elements don’t want anyone to have to wait until the stereo version is available so you can buy Source-Nexus Stereo for just $95. You won’t find it on the main site yet so please use this special link. What will happen is you will get a 90-day iLok Rental License of fully featured multi-channel version, then once they release Source-Nexus Stereo they will deposit your permanent license for Source-Nexus Stereo into your iLok account.

If during this rental period, you find you cannot do without the extra features in multi-channel full version of Source-Nexus, which can handle up to 24 channels, until Source-Nexus Stereo is released you will have the option to upgrade to the full version for $150 saving you in total $50 on the normal price of Source Nexus Multi-channel. 

Click to read more ...

6 Things To Consider When Buying A Pro Tools System

At Pro Tools Expert we get a lot of emails to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast each week from users asking us to advise them on buying a Pro Tools system - this often includes what computer and what interface to buy. Here are our 6 top tips to consider when buying a Pro Tools system.

Buy The Pro Tools System You Need Tomorrow Not The One You Need Today

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying a Pro Tools system is to buy it for the needs you have now, if you do this and don’t account for any growth then you will soon be thinking about upgrading the interface, the computer, the memory or your hard drive, if not all of them.

So you need to think carefully about what you think you will need in the future. If you are a singer songwriter and buy a Pro Tools audio interface with just an input for your guitar and your vocal microphone, then you’ll kicking yourself if you join a band, or if your local church or school wants to record their event on your Pro Tools system. You can even consider how buying a better system could help pay for itself, by offering to hire yourself out for recording bands and other local events.

This thinking extends to every part of the Pro Tools system you buy, now that Pro Tools 11 is 64 bit it can take advantage of the extra memory for plug-ins and especially virtual instruments, so max out the RAM. One thing to be careful of is that some vendors, including Apple will charge a premium for things like extra memory, so shop around and visit some online vendors like Crucial, you could save a packet. The same applies to hard drives, which in most cases are easy to retrofit and there are plenty of online tutorials to show you how if you are not sure.

Find A Good Dealer Who Understands What You Are Looking For And Who Will Look After You

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How To Create The Pink Floyd Guitar Sound With Avid Eleven Rack 

James Ivey hows how to create the Pink Floyd guitar sound using the Eleven Rack in this video tutorial.

Of course perfect for Pro Tools users as well as those using Eleven Rack in standalone mode.

See below for the individual effects settings.  Download the Eleven Preset here for FREE

If you would like to see more of these then let us know in the comments section.

The Eleven Rack amp settings.

The Eleven Rack effects settings.

Click to read more ...

Loudness Metering Round Up And Reviews

There are a good number of Loudness meters out there now.  As we have loudness normalisation coming into more and more workflows, we thought it would be helpful to provide a round-up of the different players that are now available. They are all AAx 64 bit and so willl wor with Pro Tools 11.

Click to read more ...

Source Elements Announce Source-Connect Pro X With Surround

As well as Source-Talkback with 2Q, and Source-Nexus, Source Elements have released a new version of Source Connect. Source Connect Pro X can handle 5.1 surround so its finally possible to run remote surround mix sessions with picture lock and direct realtime feedback from the remote participants.

Source-Connect Pro X provides all the same features of Source-Connect Pro including Remote Transport Sync but now with 6 channels which can use for 5.1 Surround or 3 pairs of stereo stems. Alternatively you can use the extra channels for multi-channel micing or dedicated timecode with multiple microphone channels for even more flexible remote ADR or review sessions.

If you want to see now Source-Connect works check out Mike’s video showing a transatlantic link up.

Check out Source Connect Pro X and download the free trial version.

Time Lapse Video Install Of Avid System 5 Console

The gang over at Full Sail have put together this video of the install of their Avid System 5 console.

The whole video lasts 1:30 so you don’t have to see the real length of time it took to install the Avid console.

Don’t forget to check out our dedicated Avid S6 console section for all the latest information on the Avid S6 console.

Win The Avid Pro Series Plug-ins For Pro Tools

It seems it’s the season of giving and our friends at RSPE Audio Solutions have kindly donated a full set of Avid Pro Series plug-ins worth $479 it features:

The Avid Pro Limiter which is a nice transparent-sounding limiter that enables you to maximize the loudness of any mix, without distortion or harshness. Many of the team use this when recording the Pro Tools Expert podcast, it is very clean even under series conditions. Check out our Avid Pro Limiter review here and also our Avid Pro Limiter review here.

The Avid Pro Compressor based on the Avid System 5 console and Channel Strip plug-in compressor, this is a series professional compressor plug-in for Pro Tools. Check out Neil’s video review of the Avid Pro Compressor here.

Finally the Avid Pro Expander is also based on the Avid Channel Strip plug-in and has a full professional feature set for pro music and post producers and engineers.

Find out the thinking behind the Avid Pro Series plug-ins with the exclusive video interview that Pro Tools Expert’s Neil Hester got at NAMM 2013.

This is a Facebook Sweepstake, even better every time you get your friend to enter you get another entry into the contest giving you more chances to win. If you don’t have a Facebook account then get someone who you know to enter for you. Click here to win the Avid Pro Series plug-ins for Pro Tools.

Avid’s Pro Series plug-ins work with AAX DSP and AAX Native systems, including Pro Tools|HDX, Pro Tools|HD Native, and any system using Pro Tools® 10 and higher software. To find out more about AAX compatible plug-ins for Pro Tools visits our AAX plug-in database.

PSP Audioware Add More AAX Compatible Plug-ins For Pro Tools

PSP Audioware have announced AAX 64 bit compatibilty for more of their plug-ins, the sQuad series of PSP plug-ins. They include:

  • PSP ClassicQ
  • PSP ConsoleQ
  • PSP McQ
  • PSP NobleQ
  • PSP PreQursor
  • PSP RetroQ

All upgrades are free to existing customers.

Source Elements Announce Source-Nexus

We have looked at a number of different ways of getting audio in and out of Pro Tools to and from other applications. Check Source-Nexus out from Source Elements.

Source-Nexus is an audio application router. For example, you can record remote voiceover from Source-Connect directly in Final Cut or Media Composer, or even better playback iTunes to Pro Tools, even patch Pro Tools to and from Nuendo. All at the same time!

With Pro Tools, Nexus allows Pro Tools users to directly integrate virtually any application without using external cables using the AAX plug-in, and allows all CoreAudio audio applications to record and be recorded from your Pro Tools timeline.

As ‘Mr RX It’, Mike will be using this to route iZotope’s RX3 through into Pro tools, so he can always use the high quality audio interfaces with Pro Tools HDX rather than the Mac audio output.

New AudioMotors Tutorial From AudioGaming

Our friends at AudioGaming have just released a new tutorial video on their amazing Audiomotors plug-in. Check out the tutorial and see exactly how the designers intended it to be used.  If you like what it does then we are currently offering Audiomotors for £269 which is a 27% discount on the normal price.

More on our Deals page.

Focusrite Red 1 500 Now Shipping

The circuitry inside this baby was first used in the original ISA110 modules, designed by Rupert Neve for Air Studios, and now the Focusrite Red 1 for 500 series rack is now shipping. The Red Range was first released in 1993 and since then has gained an enviable reputation with top recording engineers and producers - it has been used on countless top tracks. One feature is its ability to handle almost any microphone.

Featuring the same circuit topology and components as the original Red 1 mic pre designs and made in England, Red 1 500 offers the performance of the original Focusrite Red microphone preamplifier in a new, popular format: the 500, or “Lunchbox” portable modular system designed around API’s original console modules, ideal for mobile/location use as well as regular studio applications.

Red 1 500, with its signature red anodised aluminium front panel, is perfect for those who remember the unique, stunning sound of the original Focusrite Red range, and want to bring that signature sound into the modern studio. Red 1 500 offers a compact interface to digital recording systems or for location recordings as well as convenient access in any control room.

Mike's Goto Stereo To Surround Upmixing Plug-ins

Mike was asked this in podcast 94 by Peter Juul Kristensen…. 

When UpConverting (UpWrappin’) audio (mainly music mixes or parts of music mixes) from 2.0 to 5.1 I use Waves UM226 and the TC S6000 when available. What are your go’to plugins for the same task?

Mike has two goto plug-ins and they are the Penteo Surround from ADL and the Anymix Pro plug-in from Iosono.

Click to read more ...

Now A Microphone You Can Throw At People - Catchbox

Ever had one of those sessions or live gigs and you are looking for something to throw at the singer but you don’t want to waste one of your good microphones? No? Well then I’m working with the wrong people!

Joking apart, perhaps not on the minds of those who invented it, Catchbox is a throwable microphone designed for audience participation at meetings or events.

Thankfully they were smart enough to make the Catchbox wireless (that would have been a serious design flaw), so for around $500 you get a brightly coloured and padded wireless microphone in a box and a receiver to attach to either a PA or recording device. 

Even these instructions are going to be too complex for most board room executivesWe’re sure this isn’t going to find its way into the vintage mic collection of any studio, perhaps it might become a Waves plug-in and be bundled with the King’s Speech plug-in. However, it’s innovative and fun and we guess that the Catchbox will be finding its way into a lot of events and corporate team meetings.

It’s creating a buzz around the circles of those it is aimed at and perhaps as a sound engineer working these kind of live events this may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not All Pro Tools Plug-Ins Are Created Equal

Have you even ran out of power when using plug-ins on a mix in Pro Tools… in most cases the answer is probably yes. 

However depending on what system you have and your selection of plug-ins then you might have some extra sources of horsepower at your disposal.

Let’s look at the four ways to host a plug-in in Pro Tools, some from Avid and some from third parties:

Host based native Pro Tools plug-in processing

This is where your computer does all the work, so the resources running the plug-ins are the same ones running your DAW and the rest of the show too. For the sake of argument we will include Pro Tools HD Native in this bunch.


Click to read more ...