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.
We had a question come in from Graham Buttle that we felt was best answered as a post on the site. Graham asks….
I recently bought some KRK Rokit RP6 G3 monitors to use with my Avid MBox Pro 3rd Gen. Previously I was using a hifi amp and speakers with no issues at all. With the new KRK’s I have a crackling digital static sound coming from both monitors when using balanced cables (TRS to XLR). With unbalanced cables you get general pink noise! The noise is equal from both channels, the Mbox interface level control makes no difference to the level of noise and is the same on all 6 outputs. This is with the KRK’s at default setting +6db gain. To get rid of the noise you need to turn the gain down to around +3db and whack up the level on the MBox. Running Mac Book Pro on battery makes no difference.
Our hugely popular WaveRider 3.0 and Wavearts Final Plug deals end midnight today, grab them while they are hot!
Wave Rider v3 From Quiet Arts £69 - 25% off
Wave Rider first became publicly available for Pro Tools users back in March 2009. It’s a unique and innovative RTAS/AAX plugin that detects audio signal levels on the inserted channel, and applies Pro Tools fader movements as needed. Since its release, it evolved into a much improved tool thanks to user feedback.
Here’s an overview of its functions:n Click to read more …
Wave Arts FinalPlug AAX Native & DSP Plug-in 30% Off
FinalPlug is a professional peak limiter/volume maximiser with extensive bit depth truncation and dither options, making it ideally suited for a final mix. Tame the peaks a bit, or really squeeze all the volume you can out of it.
The FinalPlug interface could hardly be simpler. Select a desired output ceiling level, say -0.1 dB, and then adjust the threshold level. As you decrease the threshold you increase the volume.
The peak limiter section works by looking ahead 1.5 milliseconds. When a input peak is detected that will exceed the desired output ceiling, the gain is quickly ducked to let the peak pass, then the gain is restored relatively slowly according to the release time control. During rapidly changing program material with frequent peaks, a faster release time will achieve better results. During slowly changing material, slower release times prevent excessive modulation distortion. FinalPlug’s auto release feature analyses the input signal to determine peakiness, and selects the optimum release time for the program material.
The truncate/dither section is usually used for CD mastering, where truncation to 16 bits can create audible quantisation distortion. By adding special dither noise, the quantisation distortion can be eliminated, and the dither noise can be spectrally shaped to move it to frequency ranges where it is less audible. FinalPlug contains a comprehensive noise shaping section which reproduces a variety of commonly used noise shapes.
In order to maximize your DSP instance counts, FinalPlug AAX DSP comes with two configurations. The full configuration provides all features, while the Limit configuration provides just the limiter section. At 48 kHz, you can run 4 stereo instances of the full configuration, and 17 stereo instances of the Limit only configuration.
With some whizzy code we’ve now included two new sections into the site fed from our YouTube channel.
You can now watch the videos from the comfort of your favourite blog!
This week, the regular podcast will be published later on Wednesday. This is because we are recording our regular podcast in front of an audience at BVE North from the Ask The Experts Theatre at 10:30am on Wednesday.
In addition this week we will be releasing a Podcast Extra Questions Special. This is to reduce the backlog of questions that have built up. Watch out for this podcast later this week.
With the support of iLok, more tips & tricks from the community. Here is the winner from Podcast 8 from Tom Bullen…..
For sessions with a lot of tempo and meter changes, such as classical and film/television recordings, musicians can find it difficult to hit the right tempo going into the change, especially if they’re dropping in or starting at the head of the new tempo. Changing the the tempo/meter tracks in Pro Tools to give them the correct tempo in messes up the bar numbering and all the tempos beforehand and is a headache during a pressured session. However, there’s a much quicker solution than this, which takes about five seconds as long as you prepare a little beforehand. I’ve found it extremely useful on many occasions. Before the session, print the click. Bus a metronome to an audio track and record it. Run this click instead of or alongside the midi click. If musicians are struggling to hit the new tempo, make a quick edit on this printed click track. Go to tempo change, tab to transient on the printed click track so you’re exactly on the head of the beat. Separate the region. Tab to transient forward the required number of beats you want to give them for a click in. Separate the region again, so you now have a region of the number of clicks you want to use as a count in. Hold down control, alt, command and select the region with the grabber tool. This duplicates the region much like command D but IN FRONT OF the original region. So you now have a printed click of the new tempo going into the change without having to mess around! A competent Pro Tools operator can manage this in about five seconds. Hope people find this useful.
If you would like the chance to win a stormtrooper iLok, courtesy of iLok, send in tips you think no one has thought about. Please don’t just send shortcuts which are easily found elsewhere, or pull ideas from the manual; instead, be creative about your tips & tricks. Please use the Contact Us page to send us have your tips.
Congratulations to Thomas Lund, TC Electronic’s CTO for Broadcast & Production, and Senior Research Engineer, Esben Skovenborg (Ph.D.), received the Best Peer-Reviewed Paper Award by The Audio Engineering Society at the recent AES 135 Convention in New York for their official convention paper 8983: ‘Level-Normalization of Feature Films Using Loudness vs Speech’.
Esben Skovenborg says….
“My oh my Pro Tools Expert… how you have grown! You’re now 5 years old, the same age as my son, but a whole lot wiser! Seriously though guys - congratulations, and keep up the excellent work - the Pro Tools community needs you!”
Nathan Eames, Sonnox
Mike & Russ will be joined by Paul McFadden, the man behind Doctor Who and Sherlock, and Dean Covill who has worked on Coronation Street and Fresh Meat for the special recording of our podcast from the Ask The Experts Theatre at BVE North on Nov 13th at 10:30am.
We will be having a Show Bar Meet up on Tuesday 12th November at 14:00, so if you have a question or you want to have a chat then you can seek us out at the bar. Do come along and say hello.
Working through all the cool free plug-ins with ‘Pro Tools Mixing Basics’ explains each one in detail. For those wanting to watch the mixing basics series, then here are all the episodes to date.
More coming soon
Russ continues his series looking at the free plug-ins that ship with Pro Tools. In this episode he looks at one of the oldest and most loved plug-ins, Sansamp.
They say nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but perhaps the modern recording world has more than its fair share of rose tinted glasses - you don’t see too many computer sites waxing lyrical about wanting to recreate their old gear. I’m not suggesting for one minute that our desire to recreate the old stuff isn’t without merit, but it might be good for some of us old farts who actually used it to put some myths to bed. I was inspired to write this post after getting involved in a Facebook conversation with my old friend Nigel Bates, who like me lived through that ‘golden era’ of recording.
- It Sounded Better
Did it? It might be nice now to add a bit of channel noise, distortion, hiss, sample-rate or bit reduction to a track, but when we had no choice then we would have killed for a copy of Pro Tools or a software based sampler. I think those of us struggling to get a decent sounding sample into an Akai S900 would have thought the idea of trying to make something sound shite completely nuts.
- Things Were Cheaper Back Then
Hell were they! For what you get now with a basic copy of Pro Tools, it would have cost you a small fortune, in fact a mortgage to get what you needed. For what you pay for Pro Tools now you would have got a 4 track cassette based recorder. For what you pay for Logic Pro X you would have got a couple of reels of 2” tape.
- Things Were Built Better
Nope. I had a Moog that never stayed in tune and endless samplers with power supply issues. I also used a 2” 24 track tape machine that was endlessly having cards replaced. often mid-session. If you want to stop your heart then the sound of a 2” master tape snapping during rewind will do that to the strongest person.
- Things Were Simpler
I wish. Striping two 24 track tape machines with SMPTE and then getting them locked, just to get 44 tracks. No my maths are not wrong, each machine needed a track for the SMPTE code and then track 23 was left empty because of bleed. My favourite nightmare story is when one junior engineer dropped in on the SMPTE track by mistake in the middle of an album session whilst recording a vocal… he got his coat. These days 48 tracks seems so small, then it was an industrial (and expensive) operation to achieve.
- We Have All The Innovation Now
Like hell. I lived through the birth of digital recording, MIDI, sampling, DAWs, plug-ins, software product downloads, The Fairlight, Synclavier, Linn, Akai Samplers and MPC, virtual instruments, EMU, hard disk recording, Digidesign Sound Tools, Pro Tools, C-Lab, Steinberg, drum machines, the ADAT, SSL, total recall, digital reverb, FM synths, gated reverb, AMS, Lexicon, CDs, CDRs, DAT, Apple Mac and much more.
If you’re a fan of Monty Python then you will be familiar with the Four Yorkshiremen sketch. In essence it’s a parady of those who hark back to the ‘good old days’. When it comes to recording and music production they weren’t as good as most people would have you believe, but I for one wouldn’t have missed them for the world. Discuss.
Russ shows you one of those very cool and unbeatable plug-ins when you need to add some space in a mix. The synths used in this video are the Structure Super N Synths.
Earlier this year Eric Johnson took a leave of absence to concentrate on his new business venture.
He has been missed by team and community alike, so I’m sure many of you who know Eric will be thrilled to know that Eric is now able to return to Pro Tools Expert as Community Development Manager. He will be taking care of cultivating the community on our social media platforms and commenting platforms.
Welcome back Eric!
Our friends at Fxpansion sent in their 5th annivesary wishes, we had to smile at this one from Angus and the team.
You can spend alll the hours in the world working on client work but if you don’t take care of getting paid then you may as well be working for free. HOFA is offering ProjectTime v2 for FREE. This handy freeware plugin with which you can measure the time spent for your productions is now to be found on thier homepage - with a brand new interface and useful new features.
- shows the time which has passed during a DAW project
- time measurement in hours, minutes, seconds
- pause function
- writes log to see when you worked on the project
- every log entry can be commented
- works on Windows and Mac with any DAW, VST, VST3, AU, RTAS, AAX.
Mike answers a question from community member Neale Eckstein who wanted to know more about M/S dynamic processing using the MB-7. Mike also demonstrates using the free HOFA 4U MS Pan plug-in to create an M/S Processing channel strip in Pro Tools 11.
Some smart photo genius has managed to create a 3D walkaround of one of the original Beatles Abbey Road sessions. It includes the POV (point of view) from George Martin, John, Paul, George and Ringo.
Having stood in the actual studio at Abbey Road I was amazed how accurately they have managed to recreate being in the room. Check it out here
Hot off the back of the news of Softube AAX 64 bit, we also have word that the highly popular, and may we add, FREE Softube Saturation Knob has also been updated for AAX 64 bit.
As the original plug-in was part of an Avid promo campaign then Avid will be making this available shortly… watch this space.