After writing Pro Tools Session Navigation In Five Shortcuts I wondered whether there could be an equivalent list written for the Mix window. In short I decided not. Basic operation of the mix window is largely intuitive but I still think there are a few valuable timesavers worthy of a mention. Some of these are very well known but still worth listing for the benefit of the less experienced user. Others are less well known.
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 1. Use of Option/Alt and its variants
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 2. Close all floating windows
CMD+Opt+Cntrl+W or Cntrl+Alt+Start+W is useful if you have a cluttered screen. This is reversible and if you want your floating windows back just repeat the keystroke. There is a variant of this. By using CMD+Option you can close all plugin windows but leave all other floating windows visible (e.g. transport, automation, memory locations etc.). The PC version would be Cntrl+Alt. This however is not a reversible action.
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 3. The “Shift + something” shortcuts for bypassing plug-ins
- Shift+ A - Bypass all Inserts
- Shift+ 1 - Bypass Inserts A-E
- Shift+ 2 - Bypass Inserts F-J
- Shift+ E - Bypass EQ
- Shift+ C - Bypass Dynamics
- Shift+ D - Bypass Delay
- Shift+ W - Bypass Modulation
- Shift+ V - Bypass Reverb
- Shift+ Q - Mute all sends
- Shift+ 3 - Mute Sends A-E
- Shift+ 4 - Mute Sends F-J
A favourite technique is to set up alternative processing on Insert slots A-E and F-J and use Shift+1 and Shift+2 to AB between them. Handy!
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 4. Clear Clips
I’ve been lucky enough to work a lot on Icon surfaces. Both the D Control and D Command have a way of affecting your workflow and often I have been prompted to find ways of reproducing things which are very obvious on an Icon using just keyboard and mouse. Both the D Control and D Command have a bright red clear clips button. Like many I’ve become a bit compulsive about clearing clips straight away and for all of us who don’t have an Icon surface this can be achieved using Option/Alt+C. Ahh, thats better…
Pro Tools Mix Window Essentials 5. Deselecting All Tracks
A final use for Option/Alt which I have found many new users need is to deselect when all tracks are selected. This usually happens when all the tracks for a session are created simultaneously using the new track dialogue. Newly created tracks are selected by default and there appears to be nowhere else to click to deselect the already selected tracks. Option/Alt clicking will deselect all.
Making a living from doing what you love sounds like a dream, running a studio with no boss to worry about, work the hours you like and make as much money as you like - well that’s the dream.
Being self employed may be the best decision you make, but before you take the plunge here are 5 things you need to know;
Those People Who Promise To Give You Work When You Go It Alone… Won’t
A sensible thing when considering going freelance is to ask around to see who may give you work, it seems that everyone you tell about your new venture is going to give you work, most of them won’t. They are not liars, it’s just a combination of politeness, a desire to encourage you, a wish not to discourage you. Whatever the motivation it creates a false impression of having a future with limitless work. At best you’ll get 10% of the work you are promised before you make the jump.
You Need To Learn To Do A Lot Of Things… Quick
Make sure you know your trade like the back of your hand, mixing or editing or playing your instrument that’s going to be the easy bit. The hard bit is learning to be a sales person, marketing expert, social media specialist, web designer, book-keeper, tax specialist and all the other skills you’ll need to keep your business running and you’ll need to learn them quick. Just this week I got a ‘VAT EC Sales List’ form to complete from the Inland Revenue, tuning the vocal performed by a cat with its nuts attached to electrodes would be an easier job. This is just one of many things that will start to be part of your life if you work freelance.
40 Hour Weeks.. Those Are Short Ones
When people ask me what I do for a living I often say I’m freelance which means I work three days a week. If my wife is in earshot she will jump in and say, ‘rubbish! it’s more like 70 hours a week!’ Whilst the idea of working freelance can suggests afternoons on the beach or down the pub, the reality is that to make a real living and to keep your clients happy it often means working very long hours, weekends and few holidays. Yesterday I started at 7:00am and eventually stopped on projects around 11pm, of course I stopped for lunch and took the dog for a walk, but if you go freelance then 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday is a thing of the past.
It Can Be Lonely…Really
Perhaps the hardest thing about working for yourself is the possible sense of isolation. Not just the inevitable physical isolation but the fact that when you need to come up with ideas, writing plans, dealing with negotiations or working out what to do about a difficult situation, it is often down to you. It is therefore essential to surround yourself with people you can trust, business mentors and those you can share creative ideas with who can tell you when they stink and when they shine. Having these people will ensure you continue to be a great creative and also make sure you don’t send emails or make phone calls that you shouldn’t. Mike is one of my mine, he helps me figure stuff out and stops me from making some really stupid mistakes.
It’s Not For Everyone… Honestly
I remember a few years ago I was working in a production company and one of my colleagues got to produce a motivational series, it was called ‘How To Retire In A Year.’ My first question when I saw what he was doing was to ask why the guy selling the idea was still working. You’ll find plenty of people willing to take your money with their amazing ‘How To Be A Millionare’ or ‘You Can Sh*t Gold’ course that promises to turn anyone into the next Steve Jobs or Pharrell Williams. There are no shortcuts, it takes a very special type of person to create and run their own business and some people are just not cut out for it, or it’s not your time yet, you are not ready now but you may be later. I tried to run a business when I was 23 but it failed, mainly because of me, I was just not mature enough to deal with the challenges it presented. I tried again in my early 40s and this time it’s been a success. You might not be ready now, but give it a decade and a few thousand mistakes that teach you wisdom and you might be perfect for the job. For some the idea of working for yourself is a red light, for others it’s an amber one.
Should I Work For Myself?
Want to work for yourself? After reading all of this you might think, working for yourself sounds like a really bad idea. For the right people it’s the thing that could change their lives for the better.
It’s hard running your own business but it’s the best career decision I ever made… however it’s just after 9am so I’m off down the pub in my Ferrari (as if!)
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This is no April Fools’ joke! RSPE Audio Solutions has teamed up with Metric Halo to offer two of their most popular plugins, ChannelStrip 3 and TransientControl, for the No Brainer Deal price of $30 each (retail $129 - over 75% off) or $45 for both (retail $258 - over 80% off)!
Metric Halo Channel Strip 3 - Low Price
Channelstrip 3, the newest version Metric Halo’s best-selling and most feature rich plugin, is the recognized leader in console style channel strip audio processing for digital audio workstations. As the first plug-in to offer the combination of exceptional audio quality, incredible DSP efficiency and a comprehensive user interface, ChannelStrip lets users work as efficiently and interactively as they would with a dedicated, world-class mixing console.
Metric Halo Transient Control - Low Price
TransientControl, Metric Halo’s easiest-to-use and highly desirable plugin, allows you to modify dynamics in ways that aren’t possible with traditional compressors. You can directly change the transient (“attack”) and sustain of your audio; this allows you to make your tracks more punchy, or smooth them out so they sit in a mix.
Don’t miss out! This is the only time on record these plug-ins will be available at these blow-out prices anywhere in the world.
The Metric Halo No Brainer Deal is available for purchase via electronic serial number until midnight April 30, 2014, exclusively from www.rspeaudio.com.
About the “No-Brainer Deal”
The No Brainer DealTM has an exciting 7 year history and reputation for offering “Flash Sales” at irresistible prices, hence “No Brainer Deal”. When you see “No Brainer Deal” it means at least 75-90% off the hottest, most useful software and plugins for music and audio production.
RSPE have asked to add that if you are purchasing this product outside of the US, just enter “United States” as the country that you are shipping to, since this is a download, it will not adversely affect your purchase. They apologize for the minor limitation, we are addressing this with their host company.
Update: RSPE has fixed the issue with international credit card processing. You should now be able to complete your purchase normally, using your actual billing address and country.
When recording an instrument with more than one mic, sound tends to reach each microphone at a slightly different time and thus cause some frequencies to cancel each other while other frequencies can build up unnaturally. This phenomena is known as the comb filter effect. Until now, compensating for the delay between the microphones had to be done manually - an extremely time consuming and inaccurate process. Check out Russ’ video above to see how he used Auto-Align.
Auto-Align will “listen” to your multi-mic recording and automatically measure and compensate for the delay between the microphones, or between a DI box and a microphone - sample accurately, significantly reducing the comb filter effect and dramatically improving the resulting sound.
When distant microphones are used and a delay is desired to enhance the sense of space, Auto-Align can time-place the microphones to better match the close-mic’ed source and therefore minimize the comb filter effect. Auto-Align can also automatically detect a reversed polarity mic and compensate for it.
From David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” to Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, Omar Hakim has supplied his signature drum grooves to countless hit songs. With this groundbreaking new collection, The Loop Loft brings Omar’s legendary feel and sound directly to your next session and with this deal, only available on Pro Tools Expert for a limited period, there are exclusive Pro Tools Sessions too.
Check out the video above to get a feel of what you will get in this exclusive deal.
Omar Hakim Drums features 235 unique grooves, fills and breakdowns in a variety of styles including funk, hip hop, fusion, rock, cinematic and pop. In addition, the multitrack drum sessions give you access to 15 channels of separate audio tracks, allowing you to mix every element of Omar’s drum kit, including kick, snare, toms, overheads and room mics.
The Maag EQ4 was the winner of our People’s Choice Award for 2013. We love this plug-in and so we are not surprised to see it as the winner, it sounds amazing. The Maag EQ4 effortlessly transforms the sound of any signal with its awesome sound. It is available in Pro Tools Native, AAX DSP and for many other platforms.
Because of the Maag Audio EQ4’s unique design, there is very little phase shift. This helps the user keep the integrity of the original sound and enhance the “Airy” frequencies, while tonally shaping the sound from the top to the bottom. The lack of phase shift and the AIR BAND® makes the EQ4® great on anything that needs EQ shaping. Russ talked to Cliff Maag Senior about the AIR band.
Russ, Mike, Neil & James bring you another bumper show with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.
- ADL Penteo 4 Pro Surround Upmixing Plug-in £399 - 33% Discount
- Omar Hakim Drums From Loop Loft With Exclusive Pro Tools Sessions £32 - 33% Discount
- PlugIn Alliance Maag EQ4 Plug-in $149 - 35% Discount
- Sound Radix Auto-Align Plug-in £59 - 33% Discount
- Five Mac OS X Tricks For People Using Macs For Audio
- Nifty Drive Show & Tell Review With Pro Tools & SanDisk Cards
- Is The Avid S3L Coming To Studios?
- What Is The Situation With Mac OS X Mavericks & Pro Tools?
- Video Tutorial - Take A Brass Performance From Good To Great
- Some Test Results Comparing Pro Tools 11 On An Old Mac Pro v New Mac Pro
- Sonnet Make New Mac Pro Into What We Need For Pro Tools
- Do You Use Multiple DAWs? Poll
- The Continuing Saga Of Pro Tools 11 & Avid Video Engine Performance Issues
- Dave Wraight - Where has the Pro tools Expert iPhone app gone?
- Big Breezie - Can you do a video to show how to create the Kate Perry sound?
- Alan Fluker - Can we do a list of computers that work with Pro Tools 11?
- Glenn Skinner - I am upgrading to PT11, what do you think about the Waves upgrade plans?
- How does Kenny Gioia do his Zoom trick on his videos?
- Can I use Pro Tools without plugging in my Mbox Pro 3?
- Can I route the standalone Maschine to my HD Native and Omni interface?
- Where are plug-ins favourites stored so I can back them up?
- When syncing Logic & Pro Tools, can I hit Stop in Logic?
- Problems with Windows XP, Pro Tools 7.1 & a TPkd driver.
- How can I sync my Boss DR-880 and Pro Tools 10?
On Monday we were alerted to a rumour that a developer by the name of Fad Opal had found a backdoor that allows any owner of Pro Tools 11 to unlock it to run as Pro Tools HD. A backdoor is a way of gaining access to an application but is usually only known to the developer, it is often created to run test procedures, however it is widely considered to create a security risk if these are on network based applications.
The Back Door In Pro Tools 11
The rumour we were told was that if certain keys were held down when launching Pro Tools 11 then it would open as Pro Tools 11 HD. We thought this was rubbish and so decided to try it for ourselves, the combination is not a simple one but requires some careful finger placement before getting it right, it took us 28 times before it eventually worked - but work it eventually did. After which we could repeat the process. The best news is this requires no programming skills and does not require any kind of hacking or meddling with the code as it was put there in the first place by the author of the code. We remember doing this on some games consoles to unlock secret levels or infinite lives.
Video Proof Of It Working
We decided to make a video of it working so viewers could see for themselves, although our guess is that someone will move quick to patch this back door.
When you watch the video you will see how hard it is to do on a laptop, so we suggest you ask a friend to help you if you are using a regular keyboard and mouse. Fad did say that it is best to always make sure you have two people in the studio when running a session to ensure you can launch Pro Tools 11 in this way.
More Back Doors In Pro Tools And Other Software?
Fad also told us that most software has back doors and easter eggs built into it, something he learnt as a games coder in the 1990s. Fad told us he spends several hours each day launching software whilst pressing different key combinations to find them, sometimes with unexpected results.
Thanks to Rosily Developers for allowing Fad to show us this trick, however he is unable to offer any support or advice on using this method.
Of course it was a hoax that we dreamed up last October.
How it was done was simple and helps to illustrate a very simple fact about Pro Tools. Pro Tools uses a single installer and what version boots up depends on the licence you have on your iLok.
The right of the Mac contains a regular Pro Tools asset, the cable on the left is a USB extension cable that ran off camera, we simply inserted an iLok with a HD licence and hey presto!
We are pleased to announce the winner of our recent competition to win a copy of FXpansion’s BFD3, the third generation of FXpansion’s flagship software acoustic drum studio. The winner is Brent Paschke and he told us…
Guys I’ve been coming to the site for years now. I’ve been a PT user since the 001 days. HD3 user from around 2004-2010. Now Native Thunderbolt. I’m a sucker for knowledge, tips & any info that can make bring me one step faster to my creative vision. I love that you guys tackle everything from power user tips to starting up basics to reviews of the latest products. Thanks for the years of knowledge!
Do keep checking our win page for the latest competition and if you enter you may be a winner like Brent.
Eventide have announced that the H3000 Factory Native Plug-in Downloads 2.1.1 are now available to all Eventide users.
This includes both 32bit and 64 bit versions of AAX installers for Pro Tools 11 and below.
How To Get Eventide AAX Plug-Ins For Pro Tools
Users must have a valid license and iLok in order for plug-ins to work.
More infomration and to download Eventide AAX Native versions visit their web site.
In this video Michael Carnes from our friends Exponential Audio explains how early reflections are managed in the surround reverbs and gives you some ideas about how you might clarify your mix. If you look very closely, you might see a hint of something you’ll be hearing about soon.
Michael’s knowledge, understanding and experience of reverb is unequalled. If you haven’t heard it then do check out our Podcast Extra Interview with Michael and Mike.
The Loop Loft All-Stars Live
The Loop Loft All-Stars Live In NYC features performances and conversation with legendary musicians including Omar Hakim, Eric Harland, Charlie Hunter, Mino Cinélu, Bob Reynolds, Doug Wamble & Mark Kelley.
How Omar Hakim Uses Sonnox Plug-ins & Pro Tools
Check out how Omar Hakim uses Pro Tools and Sonnox plug-ins in his recordings.
Exclusive News About Omar Hakim & Loop Loft
Watch out for some exclusive news about Omar Hakim and Loop Loft coming up very soon.
As we have discussed many times before the New Mac Pro may be a beautiful machine, an impressive piece of design and engineering but for anyone one needing pci-e slots and adding lots of hardware it doesn’t come up to the mark. Once it became clear that it was OK on its side, we have seen a number of rack mounted solutions but so far none have gone all the way to meet the needs of those of us that would like to use Pro Tools HD Native or HDX cards and hardware.
Well worry no more, Sonnet, who we announced at BVE subject to Avid making the official announcement are now approved for Pro Tools, have announced the new xMac Pro Server to we available in June 2014.
Sonnet xMac Pro Server Features
The xMac Pro Server has 3 PCIe Slots and you can have either, three full-length full-height single-width cards, or one double-width card plus one single-width card and comes with Thunderbolt 2 Interface straight out of the box. It has an Integrated 300W power supply provides plenty of power for any cards you install as well as a 75W auxiliary PCIe power connector enables use of power hungry cards such as the Avid Pro Tools|HDX.
You can fit additional storage devices using optional Mobile Rack Device Mounting Kits so you can install HDDs, SSDs, a tape or optical drive, and more inside the xMac Pro Server’s enclosure.
Sonnet are claiming it is remarkably quiet with temperature-controlled, variable-speed fans automatically and quietly cool the cards. Although we haven’t heard the xMac Pro Server yet we were very impressed with the chassis that we checked out on the HHB and Holdan stands at BVE earlier this year.
It has been designed for rack mount use with the power button and USB 3 socket on the front and everything else tucked away on the back panel. Finally Sonnet are offering a 5-Year Warranty included at no additional cost.
So finally it looks like we have a Pro Tools friendly solution for the new Mac Pro and if you check out the tests that community member Grant Hall undertook comparing Pro Tools 11 on an older 2010 Mac Pro with a new 2013 Mac Pro there may well be benefits to Pro Tools users in having the new Mac ro and now Sonnet have given us a solution to make the new Mac Pro Pro Tools friendly.
Multiple DAW Syndrome.
A phrase coined by our friend Dennis, the Editor of Logic Pro Expert, but it seems that more and more people are choosing to use more than one DAW. It appears to be the case that when it comes to DAWs there is no magic bullet DAW.
Are you one of those people using more than one DAW? If so then take our poll, we’ve tried to cover most of the bases but if we’ve not covered your situation then use the comments to tell us what you do and why.
This is not about which DAW is best, as far as we’re concerned the best DAW is the one that is best for you, but it may be the case that there is no single DAW with all the features we need to get the job done. Vote and comment and let us know.
Sorry the poll broke so we had to reset it with the correct answer, sorry to those who already voted.
In this video interview, legendary recording engineer Ken Townsend reveals how he invented Artificial Double Tracking, what his original setup was like, and why the classic effect became a Beatles favorite and an indispensable part of the Abbey Road recording process. This effect has now been recreated in the Waves Reel ADT Plug-in.
Watch our Show & Tell Review of the Waves Reel ADT Plug-in
Russ takes a look at the new Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT plug-in to see if they have managed to capture some of the magic of this process pioneered at Abbey Road for the Beatles.
Download A Demo Of The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT
In this video Michael Carnes from our friends Exponential Audio presents an overview of the user interface. Even if you know the ‘verbs, there might be some tricks you haven’t figured out. Michael’s knowledge, understanding and experience of reverb is unequalled. If you haven’t heard it then do check out our Podcast Extra Interview with Michael and Mike.
Here is another video from community member Tony Molica where he shows how to create a tempo map in Pro Tools using a rubato track as a tempo reference. He is using Pro Tools 11 on a Mac, and using Beat Detective feature.
Continuing the long running saga of the performance, or should be the lack of performance of the Avid Video Engine in Pro Tools 11. But first lets have a recap, cue VO - “Previously on the Avid Video Engine saga….”
Some anecdotal evidence for Avid Video Engine performance in Pro Tools 11
- Playing video on the computer desktop is much more reliable.
- Windows users are having less problems than Mac users.
- Using the Avid DNxHD codec gives better performance.
- See our article on using MPEG Streamclip to transcode into Avid DNxHD.
- The AJA hardware may be better than the Blackmagic cards.
- We are arranging some tests with Mike Aiton to see if we can verify this.
Bypass QuickTime in Pro Tools 11
In recent discussions on the DUC there has been some consideration about ways to bypass QuickTime. There has been some extensive discussions on using MXF to wrap video and we looked at a free MXF4mac player that with the addition of an in app purchase could sync up to Pro Tools and bypass everything including the AVE. However there is no answer as to whether this player can route out through video hardware or not. If anyone can check this and report back, that would be very helpful.
Using MXF as a wrapper is not without its problems
Firstly you need to produce the video in MXF. You need a video app to do this, obviously Media Compser can do this, but for a content producer there is a second issue.
If you are working with a team, some of whom are running Pro Tools 10 and others Pro Tools 11, then you need to create a QuickTime for the PT10 users and and MXF for the PT11 users which creates more work.
Is Mavericks the answer for improved video performance with Pro Tools 11?
Some users are asking if the dreaded Mavericks might be the answer. It may seem strange but we have been doing some digging and the first revelation is that QuickTime is 32 bit. So we have a 64 bit Pro Tools app trying to talk to and use QuickTime components that are still 32 bit and we wonder why there are problems.
QuickTime is dead. Long live AV Foundation.
Apple have been quietly developing a replacement to QuickTime called AV Foundation, which has been introduced in stages as far back as 10.7. More components were added with 10.8 and in Mavericks, QuickTime is still there so legacy apps like Pro Tools can still use the code but AV Foundation is now the part of the OS that handles Video and Audio. But all the areas that we depend on QuickTime 7 for rather than QuickTime 10 are those being picked up in AV Foundation.
Mike has access to the Apple Developer site and it is interesting to see that AV Foundation can be hardware accelerated and be multithreaded, neither of which QuickTime can do and most importantly AV Foundation is 64 bit.
There are some casualties in the transition to AV Foundation. QuickTime VR, RTP Streaming, QT Effects & Filters, Sprite and Flash tracks, Music (MIDI ) tracks and SMIL will not be supported in AV Foundation.
There are also a whole raft of codecs that will no longer supported in AV Foundation, including Sorenson Video and Video 3, Motion JPEG A and B.
There are some ‘proof of concept’ apps available too but this is all a long winded explanation as to why things may be better on Mavericks with Pro tools 11 and video because again its using less of the legacy 32 bit QuickTime code.
Avid Are Working On the Problems with Video Performance in Pro Tools 11
We have reached out to our contacts inside Avid and they have reassured us they are working on addressing these video engine issues but no indication was forthcoming as to how soon.
Bypassing QuickTime is the answer?
In conclusion the answer seems to be to bypass as much of the QuickTime components as possible, whether that is using MXF or more of the AV Foundation components.