Ebay iLok Licence Purchase Issues - A User Story

Community member Michael Boettcher wrote to us to tell us of his experience of Ebay problems when buying iLok licences.

The story begins when Michael received this email from PACE/iLok.

A recent audit of our records discovered that one or more license deposits were made to your iLok account with the User ID: xxxx by mistake. These deposits were not made by the software publisher, but were made by the iLok server when it saw your iLok and didn’t recognize the licenses on the iLok as licenses that already existed in your account. Licenses that were deposited in error to a different iLok account and then resold to you by another iLok user were also discovered in this audit.

We’ve corrected the problem that caused these duplicate license deposits, and as part of the clean up, the duplicate licenses are now set to be returned.

The following licenses that were deposited in error were removed from your account: Eventide, Inc. Anthology 2.01

Our records indicate that one or more of the licenses were purchased from another ilok.com user. Please contact the seller of each license if you wish to obtain a refund. You can find the seller’s name and other information in the email we sent to you on the transfer date. You may also try to seek a refund through any 3rd party broker, such as eBay or PayPal. Please do not contact ilok.com support; unfortunately they will not be able to assist you.

Attempting Contact With The Seller

As you can imagine Michael was alarmed by this so he contacted the Ebay seller. He sent him 4 emails, and this is his final one….


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Looking For A Massive Roland 909 Kick Drum? This Should Do It

The search for really huge kick drum sounds has been on for as long as we can remember, especially in dance music.

There have been many approaches to the problem, some try stacking sounds, others use plug-ins like subsonic bass and other’s simply rely on conventional use of compressors and EQs.

However a group of Edinburgh musicians took a novel approach and went to the source, making a huge but fully working Roland 909 drum machine, so big several people can play it at the same time.

Constructed of wood and having pads about a 1’ square this huge Roland TR909 drum machine is fully working.

We can only assume they use Monster Cables to connect it up. Puns welcome.

Watch the monster TR909 drum machine video here

Using Waves GTR3 On Rock Bass

Russ shows how using the Waves GTR3 can help to beef up a bass sound in a rock mix.

The Waves GTR3 is a collection of plug-ins aimed at guitar and bass players and include amps, cabinets and stomp boxes.The Waves GTR3 is often overlooked but can be an excellent tool for bass guitar parts.

Russ shows how it can change the sound and also how it can be mixed with the original to help vary the tone.

Click here to watch this free video tutorial

How To Make A Robot Voice With Pro Tools Plug-ins

Mike Caslake a Film Sound Editor and Sound designer asked the Pro Tools Expert Linked In group an interesting sound design question….

I have a job that wants me to create a Robot voice with out seeing visuals, The Director wants me to send a few versions. Does anyone know of a Free or relatively Cheap Plug-in to convert the dialogue into Robot sounding voices or techniques on Pro Tools. Thanks for your advice.

Declan O’Sullivan suggested…

Use Soundflower to port the computer output into Pro Tools. Use the Mac’s text to speech to sound the text for the Pro Tools recording. 

Chris Linder offers another approach…

In PT the AudioSuite plug-in SciFi works great.  Set the effect to Res+ or Res- and play with the controls.  After that a little bit of subtle chorus (AIR, BlueCat, Acon, to name a few free ones here), and maybe some pitch-shifting, if you like. but these are just starting points. 

Jeremy Eisener had this idea…

I actually did this just this weekend for a project where I had to strip the sound from the Robocop trailer replace all the sounds. I started by pitch shift the voice a few semitones then I used the AIR Chorus (or possibly Air Delay) which has a preset called “Robot Voice.” Then I just tweaked the settings to taste.

Jim Diaz has a different take…

I use Waves Morphoder which is a Vocoder. It’s $99. I used do game work and there is a patch called “Robbie” that works great. I just used it on a post job for a robotic female voice. Used it with some SciFi ringmod. Very effective.

Chris Berls suggested…

Vocoders (in general) can give you a robotic sound. Search for the free ones, or maybe check to see if you have any lurking in the ‘modulation’ or anywhere else heading in your plug-in list. Ring modulators and even a little bit crushing (reduction) can roughen it up nicely.

Mike Vitacco offered…

Soundtoys makes a plug-in called PurePitch which has a robot preset. I’ve been using it for a long time now.

Mike unfortunately PurePitch is not a current product now. But if you have an older TDM system and Pro Tools 10 or earlier then that will be OK.

My suggestion is to use one of the many pitch correction plug-ins, although the easiest and one of the more cost effective ones is to use the Antares Auto-Tune EFX3 and leave just one note enabled and then the dialog will all come out at one pitch, add a little chorus and maybe some distortion and you are done.

Any other suggestions for Mike Caslake to try?


Pro Tools Expert Podcast 129

Russ, Mike, and James are back to bring you another show with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.

Groove 3 Titles We Like


Deals page 

Talking Points Kindly Sponsored By Universal Audio

Community Feedback Kindly Sponsored by RSPE Audio Solutions

  • Lawra Somby has built a passively cooled PC Here is Lawra’s build list and here are some pictures of what it looks like. 
  • Stefan Schaflitzel offers two reasons as to why Richard Shapiro had to select unused clips several times.
  • Jim Farrell asks if anyone else is having any trouble with the graphics on the Eventide UltraChannel?
  • Adam Fowler wanted to thank us to help him add some sound design to his radio documentaries.

Questions - Kindly Sponsored by Alchemea

  • Russ visited Alchemea and they take you on a journey.
  • Marten Eriksson - Is there a better way of printing Slate VTM on a drum kit as latency is an issue for me?
  • Eoghan Tyrell - Problems with using Micro SD cards with Pro Tools 9 reporting its not a valid audio drive.
  • Knut Richard Vanderloock - I have a 4-710d, and an Apollo Quad should I use the A to D convertors in the 710 or the Quad?
  • Michael Adler Miltersen - Latency issues with Pro Tools, is there anything I can do about it?
  • Robert Belew - How can I use my 2009 Mac Pro with a new MacBook Pro with an Apollo Thunderbolt interface with my Apollo Quad card in my Mac Pro.
  • Joe Belliston - Can you share your backup systems and Strategies please?

Listen on to the Pro Tools Expert Podcast on iTunes

Download the Pro Tools Expert Podcast as an MP3

10 Top Tips For Getting Great Deals On Recording Gear

We all love new gear, I’m as bad as the next looking at gear porn in magazines and online. Before we know where we are we’ve got another piece of gear and a big credit card statement.

Here’s a few tips to help you ease the pain of buying that gear you tell your partner you desperately ‘need’ for your studio. 

Early Adoptors Pay A Premium

You may have a nice Facebook picture to put on your wall and some cool bragging stories, but buying any electronic gear the day it comes out is a surefire way of paying over the odds. I have been the worst for this and however many times I tell myself this, I’ve still queued up for every iPhone launch - what an idiot! Learn from my mistake and wait.

Buy An Open Box

We all love the feel of tearing open cellophane, but if you can get your kicks elsewhere then you can save some money. Often open boxes and ex-demo will save you at least 10%.

Buy Used Recording Gear

Electronic gear hardly goes wrong and it’s going to break down then it will happen sooner rather than later. So shop around for used gear, it can save you a fortune.

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Two Words That Matter When You're Trying To Make An Idea Happen

A lot of those who are part of this community are trying to make ideas happen.

You might be trying to get an album made, a TV documentary off the ground, a studio built, or a new business going.

There are two words that matter.


So you have a dream, a vision, something that everyone needs to hear or see. You think it’s amazing and has the potential to change lives or change the world. It feels like you are trying to a boulder up a very long hill.

It’s called inertia.

Inertia - is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction.

If you have a bad idea then you’re not going to take your ideas anywhere, but even a good idea faces inertia. Resistance isn’t futile, it’s very real and part of the journey of any new idea or new vision. 

It may seem like a bad thing, but inertia is a good way of honing you idea, making it better and making sure that you are able to clearly communicate the vision. The trouble with being an ideas person is that we imagine stuff and see it before it exists, so don’t be dismayed if you are met with blank expressions.

In 1997 I was helping to get a summer festival off the ground, the aim was to go live in the year 2000. A lot of people simply didn’t ‘get it’, in fact once we got it going the same people would come up to me with an enlightened look on their face saying ‘Oh this is what you meant?’ I wanted to scream!

If you are going to see stuff before it is a reality get used to inertia, don’t get mad with people, or become a victim, learn how to communicate better, especially with people not wired like you.

It is said most of the fuel used to get a rocket off the ground is used getting it just 1 mile up from the ground. Once it clears gravity then a lot less fuel gets used, so expect to burn a lot of fuel getting your ideas off the ground.


Traction - the extent to which an idea, product, etc. gains popularity or acceptance.

When we started this blog no-one wanted to talk to us. I sent hundreds of emails to brands, possible partners, all sorts of people trying to get help and support - a big fat zero.

Only a handful of people like Peter Gorges from AIR, David Gould and David Atkinson from Digidesign returned my emails and calls. There were also some early-adopter community members like Alan Zeleznikar, Beth Burnett and Simon Fine are three of the people in the early days of the blog who gave up their own time and supported the community.

When you start an idea you want hundreds, thousands and millions of people to get with you, but what matters more is that a handful of people help you make the idea a reality. Without them it’s not going to happen, so treasure them - you’ll never forget them.

Over time the tens become hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands and then millions - that’s traction.


If you have a new idea then don’t be surprised if you face inertia - even if you have a good one then it’s normal not odd. If it’s a bad idea then take some time to listen, you may have the beginnings of an idea that needs rethinking.

In 2004 a brand tried to make a phone that would play MP3 audio files, the phone was the Motorola E790, made in association with a brand called Apple. It bombed. They could have given up, but they took that kernel of idea and eventually made the iPhone. Apple took an early half assed idea and made it into one of the most successful products in modern history. Sometimes inertia is good.

A wise friend once said to me ‘It takes 20 years to become an overnight success.’ It does, but give your good idea time and eventually it will gain traction.

You might think that inertia is a bad thing, it may just be your best friend and will help you take you idea from good to great - then you’ll gain traction and nothing will stop you. 

12 AAX Channel Strip Plug-ins Worth Considering For Pro Tools - UPDATED

We’ve just started a series on the value of channel strip plug-ins in the modern recording set-up, so it might be good to know what AAX channel strip plug-ins are worth taking a look at.

For Pro Tools users with RTAS plug-ins, unless you read otherwise these will also work as RTAS plug-ins in Pro Tools. If you are not sure what AAX plug-ins will work in your Pro Tools system then check out our comprehensive AAX plug-in database.

Let us know what you think by taking our poll and also adding any comments at the end of the article.

UAD API Vision

A more recent addition to the UAD powered plug-in collection, this is an awesome model of a strip used on albums by such recording greats as Fleetwood Mac and the Foo Fighters. It packs a lot of punch, currently in a Mac only beta for AAX we reviewed it here.

Avid Channel Strip

The Avid Channel strip is part of the plug-ins that ship with more recent versions of Pro Tools, it might be free but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed in preference for those costing money. Modelled on the channel strip from the System 5 console it has a lot to offer, the collapsible GUI is a real bonus when running out of screen real estate.

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PureMix Release Hip Hop Mixing Series With Ryan West

Our friends at PureMix have released a new Hip Hop mixing series from the famous hip hop engineer Ryan West as he mixes the song Break Bread from Dujeous featuring John Legend.  Ryan West has worked with the biggest hip hop names in the industry (Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, Eminem…).

Watch him go from acoustic and electronic beats, to synths, horns and strings, to layers of vocals (featuring John Legend). Ryan shows you how achieve this hip hop mix all in the box and make a mix sound bigger than life. he goes through each step of the mixing process and even takes the time to experiment and have fun with the tools he has. That includes:

UAD Neve 1081, Neve 33609, 1176AE, Pultec Pro, Fairchild, SSL E Channel Strip, Roland Dimension D, Lexicon 224, Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor, Ampex ATR 102, Soundtoys Echoboy, Crystallizer, PanMan, Radiator, Deacapitator, Wave DeEsser….

Get A MIDI Beat Playing Rock Solid With A Real Drummer

Russ shows two ways to get a MIDI beat playing rock solid with a real drummer.

In this video he explains that quantising a beat is not always the answer and can create more problems than it solves, especially when the drummer is playing with a nice human feel.

You may want to get an entire MIDI beat locked with a drummer or just push a few beats into time.This video covers both possibilities and demonstrates how easy it is to get everything in time, even human time!

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