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Audio Post Production Workflows Using Pro Tools - Part 2

In part 1 of Audio Post Production Workflows Conor Mackey started explaining what he does as an assistant editor does and how important a role it is to the audio post workflow, in part 2 Conor explains how he prepares the edited sequences to hand onto the Dialog, FXs, Foley and Music editors so then can work their magic…..

Once the editor has cut and locked the movie, I output and distribute the picture cut to all involved in the next stages of the workflow.

On receipt of the final sequence, I put a academy leader at the head, which has a pip two seconds (48 frames for a film or 50 frames for TV) before the first frame of action,  and a tail pip 2 seconds after the last frame of action.

I then tidy up the tracks so the dialogue, effects and music are all on separate groups of tracks.

Click to read more ...

London College of Music – Building the World’s largest RedNet system

The London College of Music has been a part of the University of West London since 1991 and has recently installed the world’s largest RedNet installation, featuring 42 RedNet units. The London College of Music has one of the largest music technology departments of any European educational institution, spread across two sites in Ealing, West London. Over the last few years the College has undergone an extensive building and refurbishment programme, headed by Technical Manager, Richard Liggins, who is responsible for studio facility design and technical development of the department’s facilities. 

LCM has used Pro Tools as its primary music recording platform for several years, but with the arrival of Pro Tools 11, the college decided to look into moving over to HDX systems.  Although integrating all-Avid systems would have been technically straightforward, Liggins notes, the College was aware that there were many other options in the marketplace and felt they needed to evaluate some of the possibilities – including RedNet, Focusrite’s range of Dante-based audio over IP networking interfaces.

In addition to listening tests, they considered other factors, such as whether or not the hardware would stand up to heavy usage by large numbers of students. 

Click to read more ...

Faking VCA Spill In Pro Tools

Julian discusses a feature found in high end Avid consoles, VCA spill. This allows a mixer to take control of large sessions with tracks spanning across the mix window and beyond the screen real estate. In this video Julian shows how you can fake VCA spill in Pro Tools.

Kush Push Pusher And Clarify Clariphonic AAX Plug-in Releases For Pro Tools 11

Wunderkinds of the plug-in world Kush Audio deserve a headline like that when they announce AAX betas.

They have just announced the beta release of Pusher and Clariphonic plug-ins in AAX offering Pro Tools 11 compatibility.

Both units are on sale for $99 until tomorrow, so if you want to buy them then you had better act fast.

Kush Audio Pusher and Clariphonic join UBK-1 as three plug-ins now available in AAX for Pro Tools.

You can find out more from the Kush Audio website.

Need A Bigger USB Hub For Your Studio - How Does A 28 Port USB Hub Sound?

It seems there are never enough USB ports in a studio, add some peripherals, dongles and before you know it you’re out of ports. So how does a 28 port USB hub sound, including 4 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports? They say;

  • The 28-Port MondoHub features 24 USB 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports to give you ample space to charge your devices. With a high-capacity 4 amp power adapter, you can manage a growing collection of USB-enabled devices like never before. 
  • MondoHub features 4 SuperSpeed 3.0 USB ports and can recharge devices or transfer data at lightning fast speeds. There’s also automatic overcurrent protection and hot-swapping Plug and Play technology for each port so you can disconnect your devices without having to worry about data loss.
  • Each port also has a power switch so you have complete control over which devices are charging or using valuable system resources.

I’ve grabbed one to replace all the small USB hubs I have connected to my Mac, I don’t think I will be running out of ports any time soon with this.

There’s a deal on Cult of Mac right now offering this for $54.99, only shipping in the USA, so if you want one then find a friend in the USA to grab it for you.

Pro Tools Fundamentals - Latency

We have talked about latency on the blog before, there is this excellent article by communty member David Finnamore ‘Tracking Latencies: Why Hardware Buffer Settings Of 256 Or Less Don’t Have To Be A Major Problem’

However. it’s an inescapable fact that while modern computers are blisteringly fast, it still takes time for a computer to do its work and if you put a sound into a computer it will take a certain amount of time for it to come out again. The amount of time this takes is referred to as the system’s latency (i.e. “lateness”). A really nice visual example of this is the noticeable lag you will see when using a smartphone’s camera. You move, the camera catches up. The difference between the two is the camera’s latency. In the same way as you couldn’t use a camera with the latency of a smartphone to film sport but it would be acceptable for a talking head shot, high latency in audio systems is acceptable under some circumstances but less so in others.

Whether recording or playing back, your computer has to calculate the output of your system correctly and at the right time. If it can’t keep up the audio will be interrupted, resulting in a missing sample - at best a click and at worst an unstable, crash-prone system. To give the system the time it needs to “stay ahead” and keep up with the calculations it is being asked to perform, the system has a buffer - a defined amount of time to offer the system some time in which to calculate the output.

Relationship between buffer size and CPU

To put it another way, if I read out a list of simple sums to you and I give you up to 10 seconds to answer before the next sum, you would probably keep up. If I were to only give you two seconds to finish each sum you would eventually (or in my case, immediately) run out of time before the next sum. What is happening here is that the CPU (your brain) is processing the audio (the sums) with a buffer of 10 seconds and 2 seconds respectively. If you think about in which example the brain is having to work hardest then another interesting thing becomes apparent. If your buffer is too low the system will fail to keep up, if you have a long buffer then the system will keep up but the latency will increase. Therefore as latency decreases, CPU load increases and vice versa. To put it another way, a high (long) buffer gives your computer “free” CPU power at the expense of latency. 

Click to read more ...

Free Clipping Plug-in For Pro Tools

The team behind Grind Machine and Grinder guitar and bass plug-ins Audio Assault have a cool free clipping plug-in for use in Pro Tools - KlipFreak.

Kilpfreak could not be simpler to use, an input, a large knob to adjust the amount of clipping and an output control.

Available in VST, AU and for Pro Tools 10 and 11 Mac and PC.

More here

Sonnox, SuprEsser And Strings

Using a de-esser on strings may seem a little odd, but there is much more to the Sonnox SuprEsser than dealing with wayward vocal sibilance. Grammy nominated engineers Rich Tozzoli and Paul Antonell recently recorded and mixed a string quartet at Clubhouse Studios, NY. The SuprEsser turned out to be an exceptionally useful tool in shaping the tone of the stringed instruments, as you’ll find out in this video…

You can also read about the project with Paul Antonell talking about working on a Akua Dixons’ string quartet recording on the Sonnox web site

Avid Pro Tools 10.3.9 HD & 11.1.3 HD Video Performance Tests - Part 2 A Video Demonstration

Furthering on from my Part One of a series of tests on Avid Pro Tools HD video sync performance, here’s a video to show the difference between:

 

  • stable video playback on Pro Tools HD 10.3.9 with a referenced Avid Mojo (composite) through an analogue TV
  • desktop video on a computer monitor with Pro Tools referenced to internal

Prepare to be amazed…..

Watch the video here

More Mastering "Bots" - A.A.M.S. Auto Audio Mastering System Now Free!

In relation to Our Mastering “Bots” Poll another alternative has surfaced which once was paid software and is now free.

Denis Van Der Velde has decided to make his AAMS (Auto Audio Mastering System) software for Windows donationware.
Its free for anyone to download and use although donations are ancouraged and accepted.
This software has been around for many years and used to be fairly expensive so it’s worth a try if you are running a Windows system and are curious as to its merits, if only to evaluate the “Bots”

Get it here 

Robots Mastering Your Tracks - Plain Silly Or Bloody Genius? Poll

One company that’s making some noise as a disruptive player in the audio industry is LANDR with their online MixGenius service - it is effectively a robot mastering your tracks.

LANDR say “Sound like a pro without paying studio rates or learning complex plug-ins”

It sounds too good to be true and for those of us who have trusted their tracks to the ears of top mastering engineers for several decades the idea can seem almost obscene, if not a little silly.

However, some of us have to appreciate that whilst the craft of a skilled mastering engineer is unparalleled, for those who just want to create music on a budget the simplicity and low cost of this service may be meeting a need.

It’s worth trying it out for free and seeing what you think of the results and then taking our poll and also leaving your comments. Let us know what you think, we feel sure this discussion will run on for some time.

Audio Repair in Music Production: Removing Sudden Unwanted Sounds Video

RX guru Mike has created another RX video for our friends at iZotope showing how to master this awesome plug-in.

An unwanted noise in the background can ruin what would otherwise be a perfect take. In this video, Mike shows you how to use RX 3’s Spectral Repair module to fix problems like a cough or a sound glitch.

Universal Audio Win Outstanding Brand Award

Pro Tools Expert are delighted to see Universal Audio winning the Pensado Awards ‘Outstanding Brand Award’ - described as the brand or entity espousing best audio practices.

We can think of no better winner than the Universal Audio, they make excellent products for the recording industry. This is because they come up with real-world solutions designed by those who are also musicians and audio engineers with a long heritage in the music industry - they instinctively know the needs of industry and care deeply about doing it right, they are also some of the nicest people around.

Whilst I was away in California I visited the new Universal Audio studio, Pro Tools Expert were the first press to get a look of the new studios and we will be posting a story in the coming days with some cool pictures.

So well done Universal Audio and all our other friends who were honoured by Dave and the team at Pensado’s Place from the entire Pro Tools Expert team!

Marcus Huyskens Joins The Pro Tools Expert Team

We are delighted to announce that Marcus Huyskens has joined the Pro Tools Expert team.

You may have seen a recent video on created by Marcus on the blog last week.

Marcus is the owner of Bad Cat Media, he says of his new role;

“I am a recordist and mixer, first and foremost, I also develop libraries for Kontakt/EXS 24. I do some location audio, and post mixing. Looking forward to pitching in! Cheers

Welcome Marcus to the team, we love your libaries and look forward to seeing more from you.

Slate Media Technology's New Raven Forum

screenshot of the slate raven version 2.0 software running with Pro tools 11.1.3

Our friends at Slate Media Technology have got the new Raven Users Forum up and running at http://slate.boards.net

screenshot of the Slate Media Technology Raven USers Forum

As well as a place to talk to the developers and ask support questions (the usual fayre of forums), there are places to share your new time saving batch commands and groovy Raven layouts. There is even a place to share a photo of your studio.

Logic users are also welcome to the party.

Get cooking those batch commands….looking foward to seeing your studio there

Pro Tools Track Hack Refresher For Pro Tools 10 And 11

It seems that the Pro Tools track hack is still not known by some Pro Tools users, I was having dinner with a power user just last night and they were amazed to find out about this cool trick, first discovered by community member Philip Nicols.

It enables a Pro Tools users to create custom channel strips which can then be loaded into any Pro Tools session, it can be your favourite vocal channel or a master buss, or an instrument with separate outputs.

Here are the links to the videos. 

To see how to do it in Pro Tools 10 and below then watch here:

Alchemea College Summer Studio Gear Clearout - UK

Our friends at Alchema College, the place to get some fo the best Pro Tools Certified training, are having a clearout of some of their old studio gear tomorrow July 4th 2014. It runs from 3-4pm.

The sale includes old Akai, Mackie, Digidesign and Emu equipment and much more.

Even better anyone who attends gets a voucher for £50 towards one of their short course.

For more information and a list contact Peter at Alchemea via their website.

Get Some Free Power Guitar For Your Tracks

Our friends at WavesFactory, makers of the awesome TrackSpacer, have created a free Kontakt library of guitar power chords.

Power Guitars Free is a library for Kontakt featuring electric guitar power chords muted and sustained. Power Guitars Free is perfect to play quick background electric guitar rhythms to any rock/heavy/metal track. The samples have been recorded chromatically (no pitch-shifting, all chords sampled), with 2 round robin (repetitions) per chord. This is the free version. You only have 2 round robin and you get distorted guitar sound (no direct input).

The Pro version gives you 8 round robin and direct input so you can use your own amp simulation software to customize the sound.

Click here for the Free guitar power chords library

Create Your Own Menu Shortcuts In Pro Tools - Mac

There are a lot of great shortcuts in Pro Tools, but do you also feel like AVID is missing a shortcut that could make your workflow much faster? I do, and it’s always frustrating to navigate through the menus to make your move.

So here is a great tip for all the Apple Mac users on how to create your own shortcuts in Pro Tools.

  • Open up System Preferences > Keyboard > Application Support and click in the add-button Make sure to check the box “ All Controls”.
  • A new box will appear. Let us choose Pro Tools in the Application list, and then we type the name of the key-command we like to create. I choose the Save Copy In… and did the picked a shortcut. Make sure to spell the Menu Title exactly how it is spelled in Pro Tools and choose a shortcut that does not already exist  and press add.

 

  • When you are done, close the System Preferences application and open up Pro Tools. You should now be able to see your new shortcuts.

 

 

UK Trade-In Promotion On Genelec 8000 Series Monitors

There’s a a special UK promo to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Genelec 8000 series range of active monitors

The time-limited promotion on all five models in the 8000 series offers UK customers the chance to trade-in their existing monitors and get a significant discount on a brand new pair of Genelec 8010A, 8020C, 8030B, 8040B or 8050B models.

The promotion runs from 1st July to 30th September and offers giving typical savings of between £120 and £560 per pair, depending on the 8000 series model purchased.

Owners can trade-in any make or model of monitor - active or passive - regardless of their condition, providing they are in reasonable working order. The owner simply surrenders their monitors to a participating Genelec dealer in the UK, who in turn will offer the discounted promotional price on the customer’s chosen 8000 series model.

Alex Theakston of Source has created a new video highlighting the key features and benefits of the 8000 series – including their neutral frequency response, their adaptability to a wide range of room acoustics and their reliability in even the toughest and most demanding of studio environments. More here

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