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Pro Tools tips, tricks, support and news for users of Pro Tools. Free Pro Tools video tutorials and free Pro Tools plug-ins. We support both the music and post production community.

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 tips, tricks, support and news for users of Pro Tools. Free Pro Tools video tutorials and free Pro Tools plug-ins. We support both the music and post production community.

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. 

Softube Announce New Transient Shaper Plug-in

Softube today announces the coming release of the new plug-in Transient Shaper. Transient Shaper can not only perform transient shaping in an unusually smooth manner, but it’s also dual band which opens to a new realm of possibilies. We’re demonstrating Transient Shaper at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California, and it will be released in February.

More About The New Softube Transient Shaper

The dual band operation of Transient Shaper means that the user can set it to affect only the treble or bass portion of a sound—separately for the Sustain and Punch parameters—and leave the rest untouched. For example, on drum overheads, this means you can turn up the Sustain knob and set its frequency control to Wide. This will simultaneously stretch out the room sound and cymbals, as well as give you more sustain and boom to the toms. But let’s say you don’t want boomier toms. Then you set the Sustain knob’s frequency control switch to Hi, in which case the Sustain processing only affects the high frequencies, i.e. the cymbals and room, but leaves the toms just the way they are. Set the switch to Lo, and hear how you now only get boom from the toms, but the room sound and cymbals stay unaffected.

This makes Transient Shaper a much more versatile tool than most transient shaping plug-ins, and its use goes way beyond drums and percussion—it can do wonders to enhance clarity of a vocal track, turn up (or down) room sound in acoustic instrument recordings, and much more.

Softube Transient Shaper Specifications And Price

The plug-in will be available as an AAX, VST and Audio Unit plug-in, for use in most major DAWs on both Mac and Windows. It will retail for USD 89 from authorized Softube dealers (USD 99 from our More Is More Webstore), and a 20 day demonstration license will be available for free (requires an iLok USB dongle).

More information and a product video will be available at the time of release.

Apollo Expanded - A Mac Based Studio Ecosystem That Can Grow With Your Needs

Apollo Expanded may well turn out to be the star of NAMM 2015. I’ll get the skunk on the table early on in this article - yes it’s Thunderbolt so it is only for Mac users right now. However for those Mac users investing in the latest generation of Apple Macs it is the ideal way to build a system.

It means someone can start by buying the baby Apollo Twin and then as their needs change they simply add more interfaces or horsepower in the form of Satellites.

What we have is one system that meets the needs of every user from the hobbyist to a powerful studio set-up with say 4 x Apollo 16 interfaces. At the very least 4 Apollo 16s will give you 64 channels of I/O with real-time DSP processing.

In the 1980s I went shopping with a friend for a Yamaha DX9 synth. It was the baby brother of the Yamaha DX7 synth and around £300 less to buy. In the end he bought the DX7, I asked what had changed his mind and he said “Every time I played the DX9 I would have been dreaming of playing the DX7.”

It’s a smart move by Universal Audio, it means that anyone who jumps into the Apollo Thunderbolt ecosystem is able to with confidence knowing that however meagre their first investment is that it won’t be wasted should they wish to expand later.

A system that takes Mac users from dipping their toe in the water to being the core of a powerful modern recording studio over time is in our minds a very cool thing.

Universal Audio Introduces New Apollo Expanded Software - Powerful Expandable System

Our friends at Universal Audio have announced a major new release of the Apollo software that offers some excellent new features.

With Apollo Expanded, users of Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo Twin, Apollo DUO, Apollo QUAD, and Apollo 16 audio interfaces can freely combine up to four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices — adding I/O and DSP as their studio grows.

Apollo Expanded also brings the introduction of Console 2.0 software, giving Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo users dynamic new workflow options, with more than 25 new user-requested features.

Apollo Expanded — Key Features:

  • “Mix and Match” up to four Apollos (any model) over Thunderbolt (Mac)
  • Simple Thunderbolt cable connection between units
  • Combine up to six UAD-2 devices per system
  • New Flex Driver lets users customize Core Audio I/O — name, save, and share presets for different hardware setups and DAWs
  • Star clocking over Thunderbolt distributes high-quality clock to all Apollos

Console 2.0 Software — Key Features:

  • New high-resolution / Retina-compatible 64-bit software interface for Thunderbolt equipped Apollos
  • Channel Strip presets lets users see, save, and recall UAD plug-in chains
  • Numerous monitoring improvements including Alternate Monitors, new Control Room functions, and enhanced headphone cue management
  • New UAD plug-in categories and individual Show/Hide functionality
  • Enhanced plug-in features such as preset auditioning and drag & drop functionality
  • Per-input Record/Monitor effect switching
  • Multi-level Undo and Redo for plug-in assignments and parameters

Apollo Expanded is part of upcoming UAD Software v8.0, which, in addition to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite compatibility, also adds all-new plug-in categories to the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform.

Russ gives his opinion on this news here

New Brainworx Friedman Amplifiers Plug-In Collection For UAD Platform

UAD have announced more plug-ins shipping with UAD v8.0 in the next few weeks. This time from leading developers Brainworx, the Friedman Amplifiers Plug-In Collection for the UAD Platform.

Features Of Brainworx Friedman Amplifiers Plug-In Collection For UAD Platform

  • Includes spot-on emulations of the industry-leading Friedman DS40 and Friedman BE100 guitar amplifiers
  • Audition 66 different Recording Chains to match the perfect tone to the part
  • Fine-tune sounds with an onboard FX Rack that includes a noise gate, EQ filter controls, and host-syncable lo-fi delay 

More info will be available at the Universal Audio web site soon.

Universal Audio Announce UA Distortion Essentials Plug-In Bundle - Classic Guitar Distortion Stomp Boxes

Universal Audio have announced the new UA Distortion Essential Plug-in Bundle aimed at guitarists wanting some legendary guitar stomp boxes. The bundle consists the legendary:

Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808

The Ibanez Tube Screamer is an iconic stomp box made popular by Stevie Ray Vaughan. It has had several incarnations with the TS800 been the original and highly sought after. It is one of the most popular overdrive pedals.

Raw Distortion™

Based on the vintage early-80s Pro Co Rat, from Wikipedia “The Pro Co “The RAT” is a guitar effects pedal produced by Pro Co Sound. The original RAT was developed in the basement of Pro Co’s Kalamazoo, Michigan facility in 1978. Numerous variations of the original RAT pedal are still being produced today.”

Bermuda Triangle

A pedal used by such luminaries as David Gilmore, Frank Zappa and Carlos Santana this plug-in is based on the early 70s-era Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi stomp box.

Unison Technology

All three pedals harnesses Unison™ technology to precisely emulate the circuit interaction, gain range, and clip points of the original stompboxes.

Price And Shipping

The new UA Distortion Essentials Plug-In Bundle will cost $249 and ship with UAD v8.0 in the next few weeks.

UAD Announce Sound Machine Wood Works Plug-In - Promises Studio Sound From Piezo Recorded Acoustic Guitars

As part of their NAMM announcements Universal Audio announce the Sound Machine® Wood Works® Plug-In, which they promise lets acoustic guitar piezo pickups sound like a studio-miked acoustic.

The full benefits include:

  • Lets acoustic guitar piezo pickups sound like a studio-miked acoustic
  • Get rich acoustic sounds in noisy environments or when high-quality miking is not possible
  • Re-voice the source guitar’s resonance and acoustic properties live or at mixdown
  • Freedom to re-mic during mixing, changing and adding microphones as needed

The results are yet to be heard but we’ll be running a full review of this plug-in to see if it lives up to the claims made about it.

In particular for live recordings, the ability to take the piezo feed used and transform it into a usuable sound in the studio would be fantastic.

The Sound Machine Wood Works Plug-In is priced at $299 at we be released with UAD v8.0 software.

Antares Comes To UAD Platform With Antares Auto-Tune Live Plug-In

Antares are now offering a version of their AutoTune plug-in for the UAD platform with the Antares Auto-Tune Live Plug-In.

This version of the plug-in offers a number of unique features by harnessing the power of the UAD DSP chips.

  • Realtime pitch correction and manipulation with iconic Auto-Tune effect 
  • Incredibly low latency for instant response, onstage or in the studio 

In particular with live recording the option to have a tuned copy of the vocal is helpful. Many live sound engineers are now using the UAD platform on live rigs, so a low latency version of Antares AutoTune may prove useful.

McDSP Announces v6 Plug-ins - VST Support And More

Our friends at McDSP have announced v6 of their excellent plug-ins. The new update offers:

  • Support for VST and VST3 plug-in formats.
  • New user interface features
  • Faster loading times, and algorithm optimizations across all formats are just some of the improvements in the v6 release. 
  • Enhanced support for the Avid S6 and S3 control surfaces. 
  • Artist presets from the likes of Dave Pensado, Kevin Churko, Joe Barresi, and many others are also included.

The McDSP v6 release also comes with significant sonic improvements. All AU and VST versions of McDSP v6 plug-ins now use the same algorithms previously only found on the Pro Tools AAX DSP and AAX Native versions. 

McDSP founder Colin McDowell says

“We knew support for every major plug-in format had to be great where it counted - the sound”

The new AU and VST v6 versions, like their AAX counterparts, have a 64-bit audio path for maximum fidelity, realtime control smoothing just like analog gear, and the ability to operate above 0 dB to handle the hottest of mixes without clipping.

The McDSP v6 release will be available in March 2015. McDSP v6 upgrade pricing will be:

  • v5 to v6: $15 (HD or Native)
  • v4 to v6: $69 Native, $89 HD

Customers purchasing v5 upgrades or plug-ins after January 2 2015 will receive free v5 to v6 upgrades. More information about the new McDSP v6 product line is available at www.mcdsp.com.

Tutorial: How To Use VCA Auto-Spill On The Avid S6 Control Surface Using v1.3 Software

Watch as Gary Lux and Richard McKernan demonstrate VCA Auto-Spill, the most anticipated and talked about new feature on Avid S6 v1.3 software. Once VCA Auto-Spill is enabled, you simply have to focus (or attention) the VCA master and all of the slaves automatically spill out on the surface, making adjustments and edits quicker and easier. Check it out, and stay tuned for more video tutorials on using the Avid S6.

To learn more about the Pro Tools | S6, visit our dedicated Avid Pro Tools | S6 blog.

Stephan Schmitt & Nonlinear Labs: Emphase

Stephan Schmitt, the visionary behind Reaktor (known as Generator in the very early days) and then co-founder of Native Instruments, has quietly been setting out on new paths establishing a new company Nonlinear Labs in 2011. The company is based in Berlin and its focus is to develop specialised high-end instruments, effects, and controllers for live musicians rather than studio production gear.

It’s still early days and not many details about forthcoming instruments are publicly available at this point, but watch this video to enjoy a glimpse of some parts of the interface of Nonlinear Labs’ new instrument in development named “Emphase”, and get an impression of the current state of the project and their workspace.

More information on Nonlinear Labs and its concepts and projects.