Much was said about Windows 8 when it arrived in October 2012. Amongst all the hype, fog and shouting it was quite difficult to track down any decent information on whether it actually worked well as a platform for professional, creative work. Microsoft had taken a bold leap in trying to bring together mouse driven and touch driven interfaces, but for most mouse users the touch elements just seemed to get in the way. Thankfully with a click you were back to a familiar desktop and could get on with making your music. The update to Windows 8.1 has removed the need for that click and brought many welcome enhancements to both the mouse and touch environments. Windows 8.1 is now a stable, fast and efficient operating system that’s capable of running pretty much everything just as well as Windows 7 could and sometimes better. Even the traditionally conservative Avid now officially supports Pro Tools 11 on Windows 8 and 8.1.
So Which OS Should You Get?
If you have any doubts or concerns about Windows 8, whether real or imagined, then stick with Windows 7. There’s no real measurable performance difference between the two in terms of plug-in counts or virtual instrument polyphony so you can’t lose either way. But if you did want to take a leap into the future then Windows 8.1 has some key features that might be of interest:
A Conversation With Wilfried Van Baelen - No Compromise Studio Owner & Creator Of The Auro 3D Immersive Format
Mike sat down with the creator of the Auro 3D format Wilfried Van Baelen and over just short of 2 hours we discussed how he came into sound as a performer first, then a producer, how he built his first studio in an unused chicken coup.
We moved on to discuss the design and building of his no compromise Galaxy Studios with 100dB isolation between adjacent studios. The development of mixing in 5.1 and stereo on the same console, first on a digital console and then on an analog desk.
We explored how Wilfried discovered height in sound which led him to develop the Auro 3D format, consider how we perceive the world around us and how that impacts on the design to produce as natural reproduction system as possible and the benefits of recording natively in Auro 3D to improve the immersive experience.
We chatted about the David Goliath relationship with Dolby and how Auro 3D is being taken up in the film and cinema worlds as well as games.
We covered a lot of ground in this 112 minute conversation and if you are exploring or working in 3d immersive sound this is an essential listen. Even if you aren’t in the 3D audio world there is loads of interesting stories about no compromise studio design, and how we listen and perceive the world around us.
Take a look at the images below to see how the studio was built and more….
‘Always on’… that’s what our new connected world is.
How often have you sat up until the early hours of the morning working on a new project, at the same time checking your email, text messages and social media, only to eventually fall into bed and start checking it all again on your smart phone? It’s at a moment like this that you realize your phone isn’t making you any smarter.
We all like to think we are superhuman, but part of being human is taking time to relax, rest, recharge and charge the batteries. Even those selling stocks and shares or emergency workers are not ‘always on’, for the creative ‘always on’ has the potential to kill your creativity.
Why We Need To Rest
I recall reading a study on sleep in Time Magazine around a decade ago, scientists were trying to understand why we sleep. Several theories were cited, but the one that they seemed to think was the most probable reason was that our bodies need time to process the data from the day, order it all and help us to make sense of it. That’s why sleep deprivation is a favoured tactic for interrogation, it messes with the mind and creates confusion, it creates an environment where we are more likely to make mistakes, or say and do the wrong thing.
So if you spend a lot of time right now staring at the screen of your Pro Tools systems, or picking up your instrument and finding nothing, then it’s highly likely that you need to turn it all off. Then turn off all your other technology, honestly no one will die if you don’t post a picture of your lunch on Facebook… really. My wife and I have a deal now that I give her my phone when we go out to eat, now she has my attention. She told me that when I kept checking my phone when we were out it made her feel excluded, that’s not a good way to make anyone feel, especially the person you love. In fact it’s got so bad that I’m often reading messages on Facebook from people saying sorry for taking some time out to relax or attend to their families… this is something we should never apologize for.
But you should also never apologize for taking care of yourself and the mind that powers the gift you have. Some think to be better at what we do we need to keep reading, watching videos, getting more information, the reality is that you also need to process it, that requires rest and reflection.
It’s Time To Turn It All Off
If you are feeling like you have nothing to give then it’s highly likely that’s it’s time to turn off, let your body renew and then see the fruit of your rest.
For some reading this it may just be a weekend that is needed, for others a week, for some who are really burnt out it could take weeks if not months to renew you. You might want to check with your partner to see what they think, my guess is some of them are going to say ‘thank God’ that you’ve decided to do this.
So go on, turn it all off, have some fun, relax and see what happens. You’ll be surprised what happens when you start taking care of yourself.
3 more great plug-ins at great prices from our friends at Waves, but hurry these will finish on Sunday.
- Waves C1 Compressor Native Plug-in $29 - normally $150
- Waves MaxxVolume plug-in $99 till Sunday - normally $350
- Waves Masters Bundle $199 till Sunday - normally $700
Grab them while you can. Also check out the Specials page too for more great deals.
While not exactly the most exciting corner of Pro Tools, the clip list is one of those areas where you can find the easy way to sort out common tasks. While a flat list seems difficult to keep organised (I for one would love to see folders introduced into the clip list) there are many simple techniques which can help you stay in control of your session to be found in the drop down menu in the clips list. Here are 5 to get you started if the clips list is somewhere you don’t visit very often.
1 - Show Full Path
If you are finding when opening a session that an an audio file is missing, its really helpful to be able to find out where Pro Tools is looking for the missing file. Show full path will help you find out what went wrong. A perennial favourite is the missing file on a removable drive you no longer have. If its not there no amount of searching and relinking will bring it back.
2 - Option/Alt-Click To Preview
Featured in my list of uses for the option key, option-clicking on a clip in the clips list will audition it. Very useful, especially if your clips don’t have particularly descriptive names. While it is perfectly acceptable and often more convenient to import clips directly to the timeline, for many tasks it can be convenient to import to the clips list and keep your timeline clutter free.
3 - Export Clips As Files
While this is less of a lifesaver than it was prior to Pro Tools 11 and offline bounce, exporting clips from the clips list has always been faster than real time and if you just need to make some edits and export the result without any real time processing then, after editing on the timeline, consolidate your edits to a new clip (edit > consolidate clip, Opt+Shift3/Alt+Shift+3) and export clips as files (CMD+Shift+K/Ctrl+Shift+K) to get your edits out of Pro Tools faster than real time, even if you are still using Pro Tools 10 or earlier.
It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK this weekend so in case you have some free time we’ve opened up our Pro Tools Production Tricks video tutorials for free.
When we say an archive, it may take you the weekend to watch them all, the archive list of Pro Tools Production Tricks videos is shown below.
Pro Tools Tutorial Videos
The videos include Producer secrets, power virtual instrument tricks, the basics of many popular plug-ins and many more.
Normally these videos are member only exclusive content, so knock yourself out and find out what so many people sign up as Pro Tools Expert community members. To find out more about membership then clik here.
The Pro Tools Production Tricks Video Archive
- 3 Cool Ways For Using A De-Esser
- 3 Minute Arpeggiator
- 3 Minute Beat Slice
- 3 Minute Drum Kit
- 3 Minute Groove Locking In Pro Tools
- 3 Minute Guitar Sample
- 3 Minute Thicken Vocals In Pro Tools
- 3 Ways To Fix Timing In Pro Tools
- 32 Bit Floating Point - How It Helps?
- 5 Ways To Create New Reverb Effects In Pro Tools
- A Freeware Alternative To VCA Groups For None Pro Tools HD Owners
- A Really Simple Way To Add Interest To Midi Synths And Beats
- ADC in Pro Tools 9 -Why And How
- AIR - Power Remixing 2 Video
- AIR Filter Gate
- AIR Remix Master Class
- Adapt Beats On The Grid
- Add Density & Energy To Your Tracks In Pro Tools
- Add Vibrato To Vocals In Pro Tools
- Alternate Bounce Method
- Amazing Dance Tracks
- Amazing Trick For Creating Big Kicks
- Assigning Drum Pads On The Axiom Pro
- Audition VI Sounds With MIDI Patch Change In Pro Tools - Max OS X
- Automatic Ducking In Pro Tools
- Automation In Pro Tools
- Axiom Pro Introduction
- Basic - Compressor
- Basics - 1 Band Eq
- Basics - 4 Band Eq
- Basics - Gates
Running out of screen real estate? Need to keep Pro Tools open but would like to do the equivalent of “Apple + H” to hide the screens?
“Command + TAB” until the cursor is on the Pro Tools icon, keep your thumb on Command and swing your finger over to H and press (keeping thumb on Command) and it will hide Pro Tools.
Now see you it, now you don’t!
In the first in a series of three videos looking at ways to use the Waves MaxxBass, Renaissance Bass and Lo Air plug-ins in audio post production, Mike Thornton shares how to get the best out of the Waves MaxxBass plug-in.
The biggest concern for the computer musician/producer is what happens if it all falls apart? The experience of Mac users tends to be that the “Genius’” at the Apple store don’t know a whole lot about Pro Tools, MIDI sync, sound-to-picture or plug-in incompatibilities. Shoppers of a Dell, HP or Tesco branded PC have a similar experience but in less groovy and relaxed surroundings.
This is of course why places like Pro Tools Expert exist - the support of a community forum and expert articles shouldn’t be undervalued. But at the same time these sorts of places are peppered with people having very similar troubles for which there isn’t always a quick fix. So to whom do you go? Software manufacturers have their own tech support lines but with the best will in the world they can’t know every permutation of every computer or audio interface, and often they have no choice but to lay blame at the feet of the computer rather than their software. It works fine on their machine after all.
Many people make music on their computers with no trouble at all, but in the event of audio glitching, badly behaved plug-ins, or incompatibility issues then you have to become your own tech support engineer. For some people this is an interesting journey into the expansion of their computer knowledge – a puzzle to be mastered, technology to be tamed. Others put up with the issues and carry on the best they can knowing that their system harbours amazing power and a few glitches are worth it for what you can do with it. And a few seem to spend all their time tracking down the bugs, ironing out the problems and hoping the next upgrade will sort them out.
An unwanted noise in the background can ruin what would otherwise be a perfect take. In this video, Mike Thornton shows you how to use RX 3’s Spectral Repair module to fix problems like a cough or a sound glitch.
Don’t forget you can get RX3 and RX3 Advanced at a very special price and get RX4 free when it is released later next month.