Neil, James & Mike Aiton bring you another show with talking points, tips, tricks and questions answered.
- Matt Chamberlain Drums From Loop Loft With Exclusive Pro Tools Sessions £32 - 33% Discount
- LiquidSonics Reverberate Convolution Reverb Plug-in £35 - 30% Discount
- TAL-U-NO-LX Synth Plug-in £27 - 25% Discount
- Acon Digital DeReverberate Plug-in £39 - 33% Discount
- #Hit It - The Ultimate Guide To Programming Drums eBook £11 - 25% Discount
- In Or Out Of The Box - What’s Your Recording Workflow? Poll
- Pro Tools Video Performance Tests
- Slate Raven 2.0 Software
- Upgrading a School with computers for DAWs
- David Plumb - Stems for specialist client work
- Nevada Music Pro Tools Evening July 10th
- Emulating Wavetable Modulation With Xpand
- Hardware Controller Tips for Neil - SSL Nucleus
- Matt North - Structure Free Shortcuts In Pro Tools 11
- Phil Tuttle - Audio Clicking in Pro Tools
- Brent Smith - Vocal Plug-in Chain EQ
Auto-Tune Vocal Studio combines Auto-Tune 7, the renoun pitch (and now time) correction plug-in, with AVOX 4, the latest generation of the Antares Vocal Toolkit, which itself is a bundle of processing plug-ins. All together, they provide a comprehensive suite of tools for producing great vocal tracks.
AVOX 4 combine 11 Antares plug-ins in one one bundle
- Harmony Engine Evo Vocal Modeleing Harmony Generator - The quickest, easiest tool for creating realistic harmonies.
- Mic Mod EFX Classic Microphone Modeler - lets the mics you own sound like the mics you wish you owned
- MUTATOR Evo Extreme Voice Designer- the ideal tool for unique vocal special effects and post-production sound design
- ARTICULATOR Evo Digital Talkbox - perfect for talking guitars, singing synths, whispering voices, and a wide range of special effects
- WARM Tube Saturation Generator - warms up vocals with Antares’ world-renowned analog tube modeling technology
- ASPIRE Evo Aspiration Noise Processor - the world’s first tool for modifying a voice’s breathiness independently of its harmonic content
- THROAT Evo Physical Modeling Vocal Designer - subtly (or radically) re-sculpt vocal characteristics with a meticulously crafted physical model of the human vocal tract
- DUO Evo Vocal Modeling Auto-Doubler - automatically generates a doubled vocal part with unmatched ease and realism
- CHOIR Evo Vocal Multiplier - turns a single voice into up to 32 distinct individual unison voices; assign instances of CHOIR to voices singing harmony and voila, instant choir
- PUNCH Evo Vocal Impact Enhancer - gives your vocal more dynamic impact, allowing it to cut through a dense mix with clarity and power
- SYBIL Evo Variable Frequency De-Esser - tames vocal sibilance with a flexible compressor and a variable sidechain frequency to match any vocal performance
Would you like to win a copy of Antares Auto-Tune Studio worth $699? All you need to do is fill in your details and answer one question to enter the competition. Enter here
In this free video Julian demonstrates how useful an active EQ like AE400 can be for taming problem frequencies only when they occur, avoiding the danger of over EQing and preserving the wanted sound for as much of the time as possible.
If you find this helpful do check out Russ’s show and tell video of the AE400.
Audio transformers have been part of the audio signalflow and sound for decades. Since the first Focusrite ISA110 preamp modules were assembled in the late 1980s, the Lundahl LL1538 input transformer has been a major part of the Focusrite sound.
The LL1538 helps to provide the huge headroom and audible clarity that makes the sound of the Focusrite ISA range unmistakable, and has been manufactured in the same way by Lundahl in Sweden for 25 years. Focusrite take us on a tour around the Lundahl factory and find out why Focusrite still use the LL1538 to this day…
In this video James joins Mike Aiton in his home studio for a close up extended look at the Slate Raven MTi with the 2.0 software.
They talk about connectivity and setting the Raven up for the first time. They take a look at basic fader control, plugin manipulation and some of the new macros which are new in the 2.0 software.
Updated on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 9:55AM by Mike Aiton
The Idea Behind Pro Tools HD Video Performance Tests
The main initial idea of the test was to compare video hardware brands, as historically many users were experiencing performance issues with Blackmagic video peripherals. My initial qualitative test results indicated that the AJA peripherals or PCIe cards were far out performing the Blackmagic cards in Pro Tools 11.
However, once Avid released Pro Tools 11.1.3, Blackmagic released driver version 10.1.1 that allegedly offered dramatic improvement to Blackmagic card users.
I widened the test to include Pro Tools 10.3.9 and its video performance so as to compare with Pro Tools 11.1.3. I decided to also include a few other interesting tests for comparison whilst I was at it (“in for a penny - in for a pound”!) so that we can end some of the video urban myths.
So Why Should Non Post People Read The Pro Tools HD Video Performance Tests?
Music guys really should pay attention to this test series, as you will soon see that video is not just a matter of “pop any old Quicktime into the timeline and Bob’s your uncle”. Sync is a complex subject – think of it as latency and that might make your ears and prick up and your expertise kick in.
This article will highlight five examples of inappropriate client behaviour that I have experienced as an engineer in attended studio sessions.
As a studio business owner I regularly work along side clients in sessions. I strive to make my clients feel comfortable within my studio so that they can be free and enabled to be artistic.
I always ensure my environment is friendly, clean, functioning, creative and professional so that the atmosphere is neutral for both my client and myself to collaborate effectively. However, these efforts can all be for nothing if a client decides to not behave in a like minded way, resulting in myself… the engineer being made uncomfortable when working.
Session Start Times
I don’t understand how some clients have no concept of time management; it really makes me wonder what is going on in their heads when they turn up late to appointments without any sense of remorse or consideration. It really gets my goat when such clients still require their brief to be met in the now shortened session we have to deliver in. This puts unnecessary pressure on myself as the engineer, and themselves to play catch up, usually with below average results.
A real pet peeve of mine is when a client finds it in their infinite wisdom to move a microphone after I have spent time and attention positioning it. I have found vocalists and drummers to be the main offenders of this, so much so that I’ve been tempted to gaffer tape their hands behind their backs when tracking.
If I go to a restaurant I don’t feel the need to go into the kitchen and move the chef’s knives around.
Carelessness And Breakages
Client’s music being played and pumped out the monitors can make some of them distracted and just want to jump around the place. That’s all well and good as to me it is a sign they are enjoying the session and digging the music.
However, some clients have a tendency to forget themselves and get a little over excited. I have had microphones knocked over, guitars hit the ground, headphones pulled out of sockets, coffee spilt… the list goes on. I can accept accidental damages but get really quite mad when something is broken due to dam right carelessness because of a lack of awareness to their surroundings.
Photos - Say Cheese, Or Not
This may not irritate every engineer but it does me. There are countless pictures on the Internet of clients in my studio posing behind me whilst taking a “selfie” including the back of my head in shot as I am working. I generally have no idea this is going on. Next thing I know I am tagged and shared on social media sites. I find this embarrassing for the both of us and wouldn’t mind so much if I were asked prior to a photo opportunity. It tempts me to go and take pictures of them doing their day job and sharing it on Facebook… Like.
Clients With Uninvited Company
I will give an example of a situation that happened earlier this year. The client informed me that four members of their band are coming in for a tracking session. On the day I had about 10 people, most of them friends of the clients just wanting to sit in. I was not impressed and asked whoever was not directly involved in the brief to kindly leave.
I have also had clients turn up with their young children, again with no prior warning. Do not get me wrong; I am a family man myself. I believe an environment such as a recording studio is not a suitable place to create music and child mind. In these sessions I found myself worrying about the child safety in regards to them injuring themselves with equipment in the studio. More times than not the child gets bored quickly and needs instant attention from their parent.
Please note this is a “tongue in cheek” post. I have learnt not to get stressed out or take it to heart when clients misbehave in sessions, it’s not worth it. It is better just to laugh it off and decide if you want such clients back to work with you in the future.
If I believe my good nature has been taken advantage of by a client in an attended session I feedback that to the them as I know if the shoe were on the other foot they would certainly inform me.
So lets all share our weird and wonderful “client bad behaviour stories in sessions” and learn and laugh together.
Avid have now released software version 11.2 which contains many video improvements, especially for Satellite users, but to our surprise Avid have removed Gobbler support!
Video Issues Resolved in Pro Tools | Software 11.2
- Avid DX Driver 5.9 released, compatible with Media Composer | Software version 7.0.4 (or higher).
- Improved Video Engine performance during fast forward, rewind, and cursor drags.
- Importing video files during playback will no longer cause Pro Tools to stop responding. To improve stability, importing video files to the Clip List via drag-and-drop is disabled during playback.
- Video Engine no longer momentarily displays an incorrect frame when returning to zero with Insertion Follows Playback enabled.
- HD video reference rates are now selectable when the Clock Source is set to Word Clock or AES.
- Scrubbing from a Satellite-linked system with Video Engine disabled will no longer cause dropped frames on a connected system that has Video Engine enabled.
- Scrubbing on a linked Satellite system no longer prevents playback on an unlinked Satellite system.
- Single-frame nudges performed in Pro Tools are now correctly followed by Media Composer when connected with Video Satellite.
Plug-in Issues Resolved in Pro Tools | Software 11.2
- The “Plug-in Controls Default to Auto-Enabled” preference no longer interferes with settings recall in multi-mono plug-ins.
- MasterMeter no longer causes CPU usage spikes.
- Improved audio stability when using the Preview function of AudioSuite plug-ins.
- Fixed an issue that could incorrectly change the automation-enabled status of some plug-in parameters to disabled.
Miscellaneous Issues Resolved in Pro Tools | Software 11.2
- For the time being, we have chosen to remove Gobbler functionality in Pro Tools 11.2. As you know, we are working to transform the industry with Avid Everywhere and our new MediaCentral Platform.
- Fixed an issue that could cause Pro Tools to stop responding after using Bounce to Disk with a physical output as the Bounce Source.
- Clip Gain settings now remain intact after healing separations.
- Pro Tools no longer displays linked files on mounted volumes as offline when opening sessions saved with the volume un- mounted.
- Pro Tools no longer incorrectly truncates or removes volume names in file paths when saving a session.
- Fixed an issue that could corrupt audio files extracted from CD.
- Virtual instruments no longer continue sustain after the transport has been stopped.
- Fixed a case where using Import Session Data with Elastic Audio-enabled tracks could cause Pro Tools to quit unexpectedly.
- Imported tracks are now ordered correctly when using Import Session Data.
- Pro Tools no longer quits unexpectedly when healing Clip Group separations.
- Fixed a case where Pro Tools would quit unexpectedly when performing Elastic Audio analysis while automatically re-linking files.
As always, we recommend that you perform a full system backup or clone before installation (just in case…)
This is a brand new release from Loop Loft and Pro Tools Sesssions included in this bundle are exclusive to Pro Tools Expert.
As one of the most in-demand session drummers of the past 20 years, Matt Chamberlain’s extensive list of recording credits is a veritable who’s who of the music industry including Peter Gabriel, The Wallflowers, Fiona Apple, Kanye West, David Bowie and Elton John (just to name a few). With the release of Matt Chamberlain Drums, songwriters producers and engineers around the world now have unprecedented access to the unmistakable “vibe” of the drummer behind countless hit songs.
Recorded at Chamberlain’s personal studio inside of the famed Sound City complex in Van Nuys, California, The Matt Chamberlain Pro Tools Drum Sessions captures an incredible range of beats, sounds and styles. Nine complete Pro Tools sessions each give you dozens of rhythmic and sonic options ranging from organic brush grooves, to driving rock, to vintage soul, to dynamic and experimental cinematic textures.
Included in the collection are over 380 beats, fills and breaks, all recorded in pristine 24 bit, 96 kHz audio. In addition, the Pro Tools Sessions give you access to 15 channels of separate audio tracks, allowing you to mix every element of Matt’s drum kit, including kick, snare, toms, overheads and a variety of room mics. The download also includes loops in REX2, AIFF, WAV, Stylus RMX and MIDI, allowing you to utilize the beats in any DAW or loop plug-in.
Matt Chamberlain Drums Specs:
- File Size: 7.6 GB for 96 kHz Multitracks (Pro Tools)
- File Size: 667 MB for 48 kHz Stereo Loops
- 387 Grooves, Fills & Breaks
- 9 Pro Tools Sessions
- 73 Samples (Three Drum Kits)
- Sessions include (Audio & MIDI):
- 72bpm Cinematic Mallets
- 84bpm Swunken Pocket
- 92bpm Folky Brushes
- 100bpm Rawk Roll
- 107bpm Funky Trixons
- 110bpm Abstract Linear
- 115bpm Tom Tom Attack
- 122bpm Dance Muzak
- 180bpm Three Four
- Instant Download
- 100% Royalty Free
- 24 Bit 48 KHZ Stereo Loops
- 24 Bit 96 KHZ Multitracks (Pro Tools)
- WAV, REX2, Stylus RMX and AIFF (Apple Loops) Formats
LiquidSonics’ Reverberate is a highly efficient hybrid convolution reverb audio processor offering true zero-latency operation for two separate, stereo impulse responses for Mac and PC supporting AAX, RTAS, VST and Audio Units formats. Check out Mike’s Show & Tell review to get a sesnse of what is under the hood of this convolution reverb plug-in.
Reverberate provides a rich and dynamic reverb from impulse responses by modulating an amalgamation of two, separately controllable true stereo IRs using an LFO. Further modulation is possible using the post-processing effects; an all-pass interpolator chorus and delay unit provide a fuller sound and an over-sampled analogue prototype paragraphic equaliser is provided with dual LFOs. These features make for a livelier, more creative sound than typically associated with some convolution reverbs.
In addition to loading impulse responses from audio files Reverberate is able to generate supplementary independent early reflections and tails for additional control over a room’s sonic characteristics.
- True stereo convolution reverb
- Available for Intel Mac and PC
- 32/64-bit VST, AU, AAX, RTAS
- Dual IR for true-stereo capability
- Early/late IR pitch modulation
- 250 presets, 400 MB IRs
- Early reflections module
- Zero latency (or up to 8192 samples)
- Wav, SDIR, Aiff and Flac support
- Integrated sample browser
- Integrated presets browser
- ADSHR envelopes with linear, log and exponential shape control
- 50%-150% stretch
- Double oversampled EQ with modulation per IR
- Pre-delay up to 500ms
- Post-FX linear-interpolation chorus
- Post-FX modulated delays
- Post-FX EQ with LFO modulation
- Impulse response chaining
LiquidSonics Reverberate System Requirements For 1.x Releases
- Windows XP to Windows 8 (VST, RTAS, AAX)
- Intel Mac - Leopard 10.5.8 to Mavericks 10.9.x (VST, AU, RTAS, AAX)
Recently we offered the TAL Bassline 101 as a deal and a lot of you took up the opportunity to get that great monophonic bass synth plug-in. As one of this month’s deals we are offering another TAL product which is an emulation of a very popular hardware synth.
TAL-U-NO-LX is a complete rewritten emulation of the popular hardware with a new engine and GUI. Up to date zero feedback delay filters and carefully calibrated controls make this synth a good replacement for the analog device with all the advantages software plugins have. As an addition, the TAL-U-NO-LX also supports portamento and different filter LFO waveforms and some more useful features. An arpeggiator with different sync modes and hold function is also included. A very fast envelope with a smooth roll-off, emulated inaccuracy and a very smooth filter sound gives this synth the typical sound. The synth was calibrated after a hardware device that’s property of TAL.
- Self resonating zero feedback delay filter (24dB LP).
- Filter range up to ~40kHz (depends on the sample rate).
- Calibrated and tuned after TAL’s hardware device.
- Midi learn / automation for all controls.
- Improved alias free oscillators for an authentic sound also @ 44’100Hz sampling rate.
- Arpeggiator with different sync modes (host, midi clock, not on).
- Portamento and mono mode.
- LFO manual trigger button.
- Sustain pedal support.
- Up to 12 voices.
- New file based preset system for transparent preset management.
- More than 300 factory presets by different sound designers (FMR, Particular - Sound, TAL).
- Original hardware “Factory Bank A” included.
TAL-U-NO-LX System Requirements:
Windows: Windows XP or higher (32 / 64 bit)
OSX: OSX 10.6 or higher (32 / 64 bit).
AAX: Pro Tools 10.3.6 or higher
A couple of months ago we offered the very cost effective ReVerberate plug-in from Acon Digital and a lot of you bought it. This month we are offering their DeVerberate plug-in which is desigend to reduce the reverb in existing recordings. Check out Mike’s Show and Tell Review to see how he got on with DeVerberate.
Acon Digital DeVerberate
The balance between direct sound and reverberation is essential for the acoustic quality of audio recordings. DeVerberate is a reverb reduction plug-in that can attenuate or boost the reverberation that is already present in recorded material. The novel real-time algorithm works equally well with mono as with stereo recordings and splits the incoming audio into an estimation of the direct sound and the reverberated sound which can then be recombined freely. The improvement process can be monitored visually using the spectral representations of the input and output signal as well as of the estimated reverberation.
Acon Digital DeVerberate Features
- Separate adjustments of the direct sound and the reverberation levels
- Manual adjustment of the decay time of the original reverberation
- Frequency spectrum representation of the of the following signals:
- Input signal
- Output signal
- Estimated reverberation
- Frequency emphasis filter for the the reduction level
- High and low shelving filters with variable slopes (-3 to -96 dB / octave)
- High and low peak filters with adjustable bandwidth (0.1 to 3.0 octaves)
- Graphical representation of frequency response
- Editing of filter settings through handles in the frequency response curve
Programming Drums has to be one of the more difficult tasks when dealing with Computer Music production especially Drums that sound real! With this in mind musician and author Chris Nothdurfter has decided to share his tried and tested techniques in a new eBook #Hit It - The Ultimate Guide To Programming Drums.
We are teaming up with Chris to give you an exclusive opportunity to make a great discount saving and learn those essential skills to give your drums that level of realism they deserve, Whether you are a beginner needing total guidance from the start on how to construct a basic beat or a long time programmer that is searching for techniques to get that extra level of realism this book is sure to reward you.
Become your own drummer!
Learn how to create a variety of grooves, from simple “Four to the Floor” to raging Blast Beats1, and how to come up with amazing grooves that perfectly fit any song on your own.
150 groove and fill examples with screenshots to get you started. You will learn how these examples were created so you can come up with your own grooves by applying the principles laid out in the book. This gives you literally endless possibilities for your own drum tracks.
Apply the given principles to any recording and drum software. No matter what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and VST instrument you use: as long as both support the MIDI protocol (basically all of them do) you are good to go. (No external MIDI hardware required.)
Dedicated chapters on groove principles for Pop, Rock, and Metal.
Detailed instructions on how to make grooves sound realistic and just like a human would have played them. This part of the book covers how to alter quantisation and velocities effectively to make your drum beats feel as natural as possible.
This is the 1st part in an ongoing weekly series looking at the audio post production workflow. We have enlisted the help of top end professionals in their respective fields to walk us through what they do and sharing some tips and tricks along the way.
The series will be based on TV drama in the UK and these days takes a lot from the film workflow but also a lot of what applies is very similar in other genres all be it not on as big a scale.
What Is An Assistant Editor?
We start with Conor Mackey who is an assistant editor. Don’t under estimate the impact a good and careful assistant editor can have on a project long after it has left their control. So many things can more or less smoothly depending on the care people like Conor take at the start of a project journeying though the post production workflow. Over to you Conor….
The assistant editor is the librarian, processor and archivist of both the raw picture and sound media (the rushes), and the paperwork from the set.
Metadata Is a Big Help
Much of my responsibility as an assistant editor is syncing the picture with the sound. This task is helped by the metadata embedded in the sound files.
Software plug-ins are so good these days. Most of them are excellent value and in spite of all of my reluctance to admit it, the best sound every bit as good as hardware and if you buy a plug in, you have as many instantiations of that plug-in as your system will allow. However there are still areas where plug-ins still lose out to hardware. One of these is the intangibility of software. While a plug-in is convenient in terms of workflow and recall, if your plug-in manufacturer doesn’t support a new format, DAW version or OS you quickly realise just how intangible software really is.
My first thought when I came across the Blackstar ID:Core series of amplifiers was that here was hardware for less than most plug-ins cost. While not really a “grown up” guitar amp, was the Core suitable for use as a hardware equivalent of a plug-in? If so was it worth considering as an alternative to software amp modelling?
How does the ID series perform?
The product which drew my attention was the ID:Core 10. A tiny stereo 10 watt amp which offered USB connectivity and the possibility to reamp over USB. If it was possible to incorporate this amp into a Pro Tools workflow without too many compromises it might be a sensible alternative for some. The amp is small and light, power is provided by a good quality external PSU. This is a stereo amp (5w+5w) and frankly sounds far bigger than it has any right to with its dual 3” speakers. It won’t produce any real bass but looking for a genuinely big sound from such a small box is missing the point. It’s a convenient, fun amp with enough power to give a satisfying playing experience in a domestic setting and if its not enough there are 20 and 40 watt versions available. I think the point of this amp is best illustrated by the fact that although I have Pro Tools, some nice monitors and Eleven all ready to go, since I’ve had this little amp I’ve been playing the electric guitar far, far more than usual. This is similar to the way that although I have a weighted, 88 note keyboard controller, I hanker after a standalone digital piano with built in speakers as if I have to start up a computer to play, inevitably I end up using the computer, not the piano.
For some the arrival of the DAW was a dream come true, to be able to track, edit and mix in one application, what’s not to like. For other people Pro Tools was a replacement for their tape machine and even now that’s what Pro Tools is.
In the last few years a new generation of hardware lovers has emerged, so some who mixed entirely in the box have now returned to using a mixer and /or outboard hardware. For others the in-the-box workflow is just what they dreamed of. So in this poll we would like to know how you work with Pro Tools, are you fully in the box or is it just part of a more complex audio workflow? Did you start in the box and then return to hardware, or did you jettison hardware in preference for a fully in the box workflow.
Please take our poll and let us know what you use in addition to your audio interface and let us know in the comments why you use the workflow you have, how long you have been using that workflow, had it changed, if so then why?
Positive Grid have announced BIAS Desktop, which is a guitar-amp designer and modeler plug-in for both Mac OS X and Windows. It will be available in AAX Native a s well as RTAS, VST, and Audio Units formats and features a modeler engine, Amp Matching, which is apparently a pioneering first for DAW plug-ins, BIAS Expansion Packs and the ToneCloud preset-sharing platform. Amp Matching can analyse live or recorded guitar tones and recreate them within BIAS Desktop. Once the tone is captured and replicated, the user can save it as a custom preset and share it with other musicians on Positive Grid’s proprietary social network, ToneCloud. Users can also upload their amp creations to ToneCloud and share their custom presets with other users.
Positive Grid plans to release BIAS Desktop in the third quarter of this year. In the meantime they are inviting experienced and talented individuals to join them in shaping this project and give early feedback prior to the product’s release. If you are interested you can sign up here.
Sampling supremo, post editor and friend of the blog Marcus from Bad Cat Media gives a nice video tutorial on using Slate VCC in Pro Tools.
The Pro Tools video tutorial also gives a lot of shortcuts.
Waves have announced that their 48 hour super sale has been extended until June 30th, so if you thought you might have missed out then you still have a chance. Here are some highlights of what is on offer….
- Waves Bass Rider Native Plug-in $79 normally $200
- Waves Linear Phase Multiband Compressor Plug-in $99 normally $250
- Waves C6 Multiband Compressor Native plug-in $99 normally $250
- Waves L2 Ultramaximizer Native plug-in $99 normally $250
- Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plug-in $99 normally $250
- Waves Gold Bundle $349 normally $800
- Waves Diamond Bundle $899 normally $2500
- Waves Horizon Bundle $999 normally $3500
Grab them whilst you can. Check out the Specials page for the other deals Waves are offering.
Our friends at Universal Audio are running their Half Yearly Sale in their plug-in store but hurry as it finishes on June 30th. If you have a UAD card then do make sure you check out the store as their are some serious bargains to be had on some great plug-ins. Here are some highlights…
- EMT 140 Classic Plate Reverberator $99 - normally $199
- Teletronix LA2A Classic Collection $99 - normally $299
- 1176 Classic Limiter Plug-in Collection $99 - normally $299
- UA 610 Tube Preamp & Plug-in Collection $99 - normally $299
On a similar note, community member Alan Fluker got in touch to ask….
I just purchased a UAD-2 card, and I have $750 coupon to buy more plug-ins, also they have a sale that ends June 30. Which plug-ins do you recommend? I only track vocals and guitar acoustic and electric and also own a eleven rack. I Also mix. I wanted to really get good at mixing which I like but have a lot to learn. Pop, R&B, Jazz and very little hiphop for my son.
Community, what would you recommend Alan gets with his $750 coupon especially whilst the sale is still on?