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.
If you would like to know more about the Audient iD22 you can watch James’ show & tell video review.
Although launched as a Mac only USB interface in April 2014 Audient released Windows drivers for the iD22.
Audient’s owner Simon Blackwood told us…
We closed a record year in 2014 and significantly increasing our iD22 customer base. Coupled with new, and expanded distribution for 2015 in the US market, this has allowed us to offer the iD22 with the David Dearden-designed all discreet ASP console mic preamps at this extremely competitive price. With its comprehensive feature set and sonic performance, we believe the iD22 is the best value interface on the market and now it’s even more affordable.
More on The Audient iD22
The iD22 is an audio interface and monitoring system with two analog inputs, ADAT in|out and six analogue outputs driven by Burr Brown 24-bit/96kHz convertors. The iD22’s preamplifiers use the discreet class A circuit design from the company’s large format ASP consoles which are used in over 1000 studio’s worldwide.
I couldn’t cover the letter Q without looking at quantize. When quantizing people are usually talking about forcing musical events into strict time. Very, very useful but also very misused, how can you use quantize in Pro Tools and how can you avoid over-using it?
In Pro Tools you can quantize MIDI notes, audio clips or the audio within clips using elastic audio. This can be rendered or “baked in” to the clip using the quantize window, found under event operations in the event menu and it is this window on which I’ll concentrate here but there are other methods available. If you find you are quantizing everything to a 16th note grid after you have played it in you might as well enable input quantize, also found under event operations. For some styles this approach is appropriate but I’d think very carefully before leaving it switched on as a matter of course. A more recent addition to Pro Tools, and far more flexible than the previously mentioned approaches is using real time MIDI properties to quantize the unquantized performance in real time, on playback. Much like a real-time MIDI plug-in. Quantize can be applied using real time MIDI properties either on a per track or a per clip basis. For audio there is another option. Using beat detective offers a comprehensive toolkit for manipulating the timing of audio clips. Its been around a long time and the interface is showing its age but it gets the job done and crucially, it offers all the tools you need to fix timing in transient-rich audio all in one place.
With the the latest update, Ozone 6.1, iZotope has included powerful processing features and brought back a popular feature from Ozone 5.
New Features in iZotope Ozone 6.1
Users can add an analog-type sound with the Maximizer’s new Tube Limiting mode, which combines the warmth of final stage limiting with the ease and precision of digital maximizing. The resulting audio has a tube warmth while remaining competitively loud and appropriate for modern mastering. With a new algorithm inspired by tube hardware limiters like the Fairchild 670, the Tube Limiter adds a vintage sonic character to Ozone’s maximizing algorithm.
Adaptive Release helps users produce louder, clearer, and fuller masters. This mode for Ozone’s Dynamics module intelligently automates the difficult task of finding the right release times. The compressor actually interacts with the audio in real time, adjusting the release values based on the transient properties of the incoming signal.
iZotope Bring Back Module Presets From Ozone 5
Based on customer feedback, iZotope has also brought back Module Presets, a highly requested feature from existing customers who owned previous versions of Ozone. Module Presets help users to experiment with different module settings. Users can more easily load and save settings for individual modules without affecting the settings of other modules.
iZotope’s Ozone product manager Izzy Maxwell told us….
We’re really excited to make this free update available to the Ozone 6 community. We’re always listening to customer feedback, and we wanted to bring some exciting new processing into Ozone 6 while adding back a popular feature.
Other additions and enhancements to Ozone 6.1 include selectable segmentation loops, automatic track numbers on export, and sound quality improvements.
iZotope Ozone 6.1 Pricing
The Ozone 6.1 update is free for existing Ozone 6 customers. For those who don’t yet own Ozone, Ozone 6, Ozone 6 Advanced, and upgrades are on sale through April 9.
There’s a lot of plug-ins on my Pro Tools rig but the reality is there are some that I reach for time and time again when mixing. I feel sure you will have a completely different list, but I would be interested to see if there are any on my list you use and any you think I really do need to check out.
Take the poll at the end to tell us which ones you use and leave comments with some tips.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Maag EQ4
Our People’s Choice winner in 2013. This is such a fantastic EQ, it sounds amazing on vocals and guitar, in fact it sounds amazing on almost everything. Best of all it’s so easy to get a great sound with the Maag EQ4, some plug-ins fight you, this one is my best friend. Check out our review of it here
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - UAD DBX160
In the absence of owning the real thing, the UAD dbx160 is such a great compressor/limiter, again it’s easy to use and sounds great. You’ll find this on most of my tracks, it loves bass guitar, vocals and electric guitar. It so damned fun to use too and that has to count for something.
The Plug-ins I Reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools - Softube TSAR Verb
A favourite of both me and James Ivey, while many people love to use Convolution this Algorithmic reverb is sweet and versatile - it’s sitting on a buss somewhere in every mix I do.
Until 1st April 2015 PureMix are offering 30% off their monthly subscriptions and 40% off their annual subscriptions in their Spring Sale. If you are already a PureMix subscriber you can advantage of this offer and PureMix will automatically extend your subscription period appropriately.
As a PureMix subscriber you have unlimited access to all their tutorials, access to the private PureMix Forum, and access to the Mix Analysis and Mix Contests too. Not only that, but you get a free Plug & Mix plug-in worth $59, if you are a new PureMix customer. You are also eligible to discounts on a range of products including Angelbird SSD Drives, plug-ins from Sonnox, Flux::, and Blue Cat audio as well as a discount on all products from Don’t Crack.
Soundtoys gives you an exciting new tool for dramatic voice alteration: Little AlterBoy™: Featuring pitch and formant shifting, the overly popular pitch-quantizing hard tune effect, pitch locked robot voice and much more. They have even included one of our classic tube saturation models from Decapitator to add warmth or edge to your new vocal creation and it’s all free.
- EDM Style Octaves
- Pitch Quantizing/Hard Tuning
- Robotic Computer Voices
- Simple Harmony
- Gender Voice Reassignment
- Modern Doubling
- Special Effects/DJ Vocals
- Insane Monster Voices
* Supports VST, Audio Units, and AAX Native. Mac & Windows.
Plus by sharing with your friends, you also have a chance to get “Plugged-In” for life. This means you will receive every Soundtoys plug-in we’ve ever released in addition to every plug-in we ever release in the future. For life. Wow.
The top runners up will also get prizes like free Soundtoys bundles, plug-ins, free upgrades to AlterBoy™, and cool Soundtoys swag.
But be patient, the Soundtoys web site is struggling to cope at the moment so if you can’t get through try again tomorrow.
In this video, shot during a real life recording session James Ivey shows off the Focusrite Red 1 500 series pre amp on a vocal track. He talks about his approach to tracking a guitar vocal duo including mic selection and placement and also about his ideas on mixing showing off some of his go to mixing plug-ins and settings. The video is as much a show and tell as it is demonstration of James’ take on mixing small groups.
At NAMM 2015 Waves unveiled a raft of new products including Tracks Live, DBX160 plug-in and as an addition to their Signatures Series, the Butch Vig Vocals plug-in, which we covered in our NAMM 2015 podcast special where you can hear what we thought of it.
Today Waves have released the Butch Vig vocal plug-in and for a limited period the price will be $99 instead on the normal $150.
This what what Waves say about the plug-in..
Widely considered among the most influential rock producers of recent decades, Butch Vig helped spawn an entirely new rock genre. From Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins to Foo Fighters, Green Day and his own band Garbage, Butch Vig has contributed his signature sound to some of the most legendary albums of the modern rock era.
Designed for those looking for a creative approach to shaping vocals, Butch Vig Vocals features intuitive EQ controls, a compressor and a de-esser, and several tools for coloring your sound in numerous shades, including Tube and Solid State saturation, a unique Focus knob, and other inspiring features, all carefully crafted by Butch himself to help you realize your vocal vision.
Most cats I know seem to sit around all day doing bugger all, but that’s not the case with Blue Cat Audio, releasing a preview of updates to the already super useful PatchWork plug-in.
For those not aware of PatchWork it allows the user to host AU and VST plug-ins in Pro Tools and then create complex set-ups and routing, all of which can be saved for fast recall. It’s an essential plug-in to have in your Pro Tools collection dealing with two PITA issues, hosting AU and VST plug-ins and creating track presets.
Now Blue Cat Audio have added even more functionality to the PatchWork plug-in. In their latest blog post they report:
For example, you can now:
- Route any of the outputs of an instrument to any aux output of the PatchWork plug-in.
- Apply effects to a subset of audio channels (for example to apply multi -mono effects on stereo or surround tracks, or apply different effects to different aux outputs fro an instrument).
- Create sends from a channel to another (re-routing a processed signal to another aux output for example, while the dry signal is kept on the current channels).
- Reorder audio channels.
- Apply effects to the side chain bus, or use any audio channel as a side chain.
- Of course latency is compensated on unprocessed channels (if you apply for example a mono plug-in with latency only on the left channel, the right channel will be delayed accordingly).
Visit the Blue Cat Audio blog to find out more and to download a demo of Blue Cat PatchWorks.
Also check out our free Pro Tools plugins page to see the great collection of free Blue Cat plug-ins.
Community member Jim Farrell got in touch with us with some advice to make sure we don’t damage our equipment when installing static sensitive components. Over to you Jim….
I wanted to offer some professional advice regarding the perils of static electricity to anyone considering doing upgrades and modifications to their electronic devices. For the sake of providing some credentials on the matter, I’ve been involved in electronics manufacturing for about 30 years now, everything from Imax projectors and sound systems to flight critical satellite components.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is a very real danger to exposed electronic devices. I’ve noticed that when Pro Tools Expert shows videos of equipment modifications, the most recent being James’ upgrade to his Mac Pro Cheese Grater, the technicians doing the work did not ground themselves or provide a static free work surface for the exposed electronics. I also remember a video of Mike adding a new card to a Pro Tools PC while kneeling on his studio carpet.
There is a wealth of material on the internet about static and the damage it can do, so I won’t bore you with the extended tutorial, but I will say that the risk is a latent defect cause by the damage that static does. If you’ve ever had an intermittent or frustrating problem with a device and were not able to pin an exact cause to it, you’ve probably suffered ESD damage. Seldom does ESD render a product Dead on Arrival (DOA). The term often used is “walking wounded”. Eventually the only solution is to toss out the device and try another.
The good news is that this can be prevented and it’s extremely cheap to do so. Here are a few guidelines to consider: