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Replacing The Fan In An Avid Omni - Tear Down With Pictures

Until about an hour ago the noisiest thing in my studio was the Avid Omni audio interface. 

Yes, I read all the forums and did all the firmware upgrades, but still when it got hot during a busy session the fan kicked in then it was like sitting on the edge of the runway at Heathrow Airport. OK, perhaps not that bad, but when measured at 1 metre, with the Omni turned off then the ambient room noise was around 25db, with the Omni fan running this went up to 45db. It was so bad that when I was on a call to Mike it kicked in and he said he could hear it down the phone in Manchester.

Of course in the ideal world we would all have machine rooms, but what puzzles me most is the Omni is aimed at the home producer or small project studio, both of whom are likely to have the Omni sat in the same room as them. This does beg the question what were Avid thinking of? It’s not a design flaw as you can replace the fan, which I’m about to show you how to do, so it’s either down to money or incompetence, neither of which are good reasons to have a noisy fan in a costly interface designed to be used with the Pro Tools the industry standard professional DAW.

Furthermore, to try and get any information on replacing the fan from Avid officially is nigh on impossible. We have great contacts at Avid and we couldn’t get any information on if it was possible and if so how to do it. It may be the case in a company like Avid that to give this kind of information is a tacit admission to the fact that the fan noise is not good, which in turn makes corporations jumpy about the possible claims arising from any kind of admission. This may be one example of where our trigger happy litigious society may have shot itself in the foot, the very thought of being sued means that valuable information gets buried. It saddens me but you can’t blame Avid for wanting to avoid some wanker suing them over the noisy fan in their interface. At the very least, I’d be happy if Avid just admitted to themselves that the fan is so noisy it can be heard over the crowd at the Superbowl and quietly replace it in newer production units, if they have already then great.

In the end I could take the fan noise no longer and at the risk of taking a hammer to my Omni I did some research, hoping that someone else with the same concerns had figured out how to do it. This entire article is down to the hard work of Anju Tamaskan, who goes by the name of Meads on the DUC and who wrote this helpful article - so ALL CREDIT to him for having the brains, guts and caring enough to do this and then share it.

Here is my in depth article on how to do it.

Click to read more ...

Avid Accounts Updated With Subscription Options

Avid account owners logging into their account will see an new set of menus that now include a ‘products I subscribed to’ option.

Avid announced subscription service option for Media Composer this week starting at $49 per month and it is expected that a similar option will be coming for Pro Tools owners at some point in the coming year.

No pricing has been confirmed for Pro Tools subscriptions to date.

Key Avid People Move To Gobbler

In a move that has shocked many, 4 key Avid people with a combined employment record of over 55 years, have left Avid to join Gobbler, the cloud based storage and collaboration service.

This includes long time Digidesign/Avid veteran Bobby Lombardi. Lombardi has been at the centre of many of the key developments within Digidesign/Avid and has been regarded as a tour de force within Avid, not only being involved in key products like Pro Tools and Eleven Rack, but Lombardi was also moved in to deal with the fall-out after the closure of the entire Sibelius team in the UK.

However the largest blow for Avid will be the fact that Lombardi was a central player in the new Avid Everywhere initiative, his role was described as;

  • Design Lead for Avid’s next generation creative products in collaboration, distribution, and online private and public monetization of digital assets 
  • Product Management lead for metadata and rights management strategy 

This could not happen at a worst time for the company, Avid Everywhere is being championed by the current CEO Louis Hernandez Jr as the future of Avid. The other people Andy Hall (14 years, Senior Architect), Bob Brown (15 years, Principle Cloud Architect), Brian Chrisman (10 years, Ecommerce) will all be a great loss to Avid as they seek to gain traction on their Avid Everywhere vision.

Of course no one is indespensible, but for an already strained Avid, this event is bound to put back Avid Everywhere developments signifcantly.

Gobbler are investing heavily in the next generation of their popular cloud based media storage and collaboration service, having people of such calibre join them is really going to drive the product forward.

No parties were available to comment.

Avid Everywhere for Audio Webinar

Our friends at Avid are hosting the Avid Everywhere for Audio Webinar, it takes place May 21, 2014 - 2:00 pm ET

This is one Avid webinar that all Pro Tools users should see, as it will explain and demonstrate how Pro Tools will work as part of the Avid Everywhere concept.

Register for this exclusive webinar and Q&A session with the Avid audio product design team to see exciting upcoming workflows:
  • Connect with talent around the globe using Pro Tools cloud collaboration
  • Preserve your work now and into the future with track Freeze and PXF archive
  • Manage, track, and document assets with rich, open metadata
  • Make connections—and license and sell content using the new audio marketplace
Don’t miss this opportunity to see this Pro Tools technology preview and join the conversation. Register now to attend the webinar.

Does Pro Tools Run Better On Dedicated Machines? We Tested It To Find Out.

If you’ve had trouble with Pro Tools then there may have been some point when you have been directed to a number of ways to try and solve it. Avid have some helpful trouble shooting guides as well as system optimisation.

We have an entire section on this blog to help you get the best from your Pro Tools system, kindly sponsored by dedicated Pro Tools computer builders, Pro Tools PC.

Some suggest that turning off network cards, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Disk Search tools like Spotlight, and background apps that do things like monitoring hard drives can make a difference.

We often suggest that you do a clean build and also use an OS that may not be the most up-to-date snazzy latest version, but is proven to work better.

Perhaps you’ve taken all of these things with a pinch of salt and thought that your crashes or slow performance are down to software bugs and not the way your Pro Tools machine is set-up. Or perhaps you are one of those people who thinks, ‘why should I have to set my machine up around Pro Tools, surely it should just work?’ Well in theory that may be a fair thing to think, but car manufacturers suggest oil and fuel types for better performance, or the best tyre pressure to get optimum mileage and efficiency, of course we can choose to ignore the advice, but it may mean we end up with performance that is far worse than it could be.

The Pro Tools Challenge

I decided to see what would happen if I installed two identical Crucial M500 SSD drives in my Mac Pro and on one drive ran the Mac as I would any other computer I own, with all the Apps I would normally have installed on my computer like Office, Photoshop etc as well as plenty of handy little Apps and with every process running like it does normally. I am also unique in the fact that my machine has beta versions of plug-ins as well as demos and, as a reviewer, a lot more plug-ins than the average bear. The install of Pro Tools is 11.1.3 and not a clean install, simply an upgrade from previous versions. This Mac is running OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion

On the second identical drive, a Crucial M500 SSD, I formatted it from the box, installed OS X 10.8.3 Mountain Lion and then a clean install of Pro Tools 11.1.3. I then only installed the plug-ins I really use, so no betas, no demos, no stuff I use once in a blue moon. You can see the Applications installed in the image below, yep it’s pretty sparse. The suff in red highlight is the stuff that Apple install and won’t let me remove, it seems that Photo Booth is an essential system application! ;)

I won’t go into my issues with Mavericks in this article as that would just muddy the water, suffice to say, I’m not a fan, so this test is using Mountain Lion.

This is an identical machine, which has two start-up drives so I can dual boot, one for day-to-day work the other as my studio Pro Tools machine.

Click to read more ...

Tony Cariddi Reflects On Avid Everywhere

Following what the company describes as an “extremely successful” inaugural Avid Connect event in early April, Avid’s Tony Cariddi tells Pro Tools Expert: “In 18 years, I have never been more excited.” Erica Basnicki sat down with him at NAB 2014 to find out why.

Avid Customer Association

The ‘phase one reveal’ of the new Avid Everywhere company vision also marked the launch of the new Avid Customer Association (ACA), which Cariddi says is essential to the system’s success. 

“When you take on an endeavor like this, you need to have the support of the community or else you’re all alone. So what we did over the weekend was that everybody met for the first time in person, we created the Charter, we handed the Charter over to the Board and said ‘Now you’re running this.’ This is an association that is enabled by Avid, but it’s not run by Avid.”

Anyone is able to join the ACA for a $100 (USD) membership fee, which Cariddi says is strictly an administration cost. Membership, “allows anybody to participate and get a voting voice in the direction of the company, where our investments go, and the decisions we’re making. It is completely open to anybody and we’re hoping the success of this inaugural event, with so many people having joined, will encourage even more people to join.”

Price Of Avid Everywhere License Option

On the subject of cost, Cariddi was also keen to address concerns expressed by the Pro Tools Expert community about the pricing of Avid Everywhere licensing options, saying there “may be a ‘freemium’ version for these collaborative services,” much like other cloud-based services, but that the company has yet to finalize any details. “I can tell you with complete certainty that the pricing that they are evaluating is going to be very, very affordable for the entry-level,” Cariddi says. 

Avid Everywhere Delivery?

No details on when end-users will be able to experience Avid Everywhere, but it will be based on the Pro Tools 11 platform, and the company is hoping to be Beta testing by Q3 of this year: “There’s still a fair amount of work to do to get this in people’s hands. Because this is going to require a lot of online infrastructure, the beta cycle is going to be critical.” 

Final Thoughts From Avid

“We know that this is only going to work if our tools stay best in class. We have the brightest, the most successful, most pre-eminent customers in the world using our tools but what we’re hearing from them is that they’re looking for somebody to step up and be a leader in an otherwise chaotic media creation, production, post and distribution market. Avid is in a better position than anyone to step up and unify this experience for everybody.”

Erica Basnicki is a freelance music tech and pro-audio journalist, until recently she was staff writer at Pro Sound News Europe but is now writing for several publications as well as working on her new project 94dBA, a resource for sounds and their use in art, science, history, technology, media and more.

Some Avid Products Vulnerable To Heartbleed Bug

Avid is advising customers that some of its products are affected by the Heartbleed bug in an Avid Knowledgebase article posted May 1st 2015.

In the article Avid states;

“Avid is actively responding to a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, commonly known as “Heartbleed” (CVE-2014-0160). This FAQ describes how Heartbleed affects Avid customers and the actions we’re taking to protect our customer’s products and data.”

Avid Products Affected By The Heartbleed Bug

They go on to outline which products have vulnerabilties;

Q:  What Avid products are affected?
A:  Avid continuously monitors its products for security vulnerabilities.  Avid currently has identified the following impact:
  • Pro Tools 11.1.2 and 10.3.8 - Login credentials used with SoundCloud and Gobbler from within the Pro Tools application are vulnerable (note that license activation using iLok License Manager or activating within Pro Tools 11 is not affected).  This will be addressed in future updates.  Pro Tools users will be notified of available updates automatically via the SoftwareUpdater and the Pro Tools Patch Updates page (go to that page and click Subscribe to be notified when that page is updated). UPDATE 5/1/2014: Pro Tools 10.3.9 and 11.1.3 have been released to address this.
  • ISIS Management Console - Login credentials used to access ISIS administration utility are affected.  The ISIS administration utility is generally not accessible outside of a customer firewall, thus the exposure to the Heartbleed bug is minimal for most users.  This vulnerability will be addressed in a future update.  Please check this page for further updates.
  • iNEWS - Login credentials to iNEWS server and client applications are affected.  All users should update the RedHat 6.5 OS version with the hotfix available here.  Please contact Avid’s Customer Success team if assistance is needed to perform this update.”

Avid Web Services Affected By The Heartbleed Bug

Most Avid web services remained unharmed except for https:/transfer.avid.com

A fully documented response by Avid to the Heartbleed Bug can be found here

Free Live Sound Plug-ins Webinar From Avid Guru Robert Scovill Today

There’s a live sound plug-in webinar today with Avid live sound guru Robert Scovill, McDSP founder Colin McDowell, and Avid’s director of live consoles Sheldon Radford demonstrate and talk about AAX plug-ins for live sound.

There’s demos from Robert Scovill and Colin McDowell as well as a chance to have your questions answered in an interactive Q&A session

Don’t miss out on this exclusive webinar at 1:00pm EST today—register here

Plug-ins I Reach For When Using Pro Tools

Russ’s article The Plug-Ins I reach For When Mixing In Pro Tools and Mike’s follow up 10 Plug-Ins I Reach For In Post Production Work prompted responses from other members of the team. Like many I compiled a list, mine is an excellent illustration if one were needed that different users have different priorities and there is no such thing as “best” only “best for me”.

It is in the nature of my work that I use many different Pro Tools systems. When selecting a plug-in I usually have in mind the possibility that I may want to open this session on another system and as a result unless there is a really good reason to favour a third party plug-in I’ll usually stick with choices from Avid. 90% of the time the advantage of compatibility outweighs the sonic differences between plug-ins. That being said some plug-ins are just plain awesome and I have to deal with that. Here are my 10.

McDSP F202

I really like McDSP stuff and of the FilterBank plug-ins the F202 is the one I use more than any other. The reason is that I find I use a high pass filter with a little boost just above the corner frequency incredibly frequently. Effectively this is a resonant high pass filter but with most EQ plug-ins you need to set up the high pass and the boost on separate bands which makes it difficult to adjust both the cut and the boost together. The peak control on F202 solves this neatly. 

Avid EQIII 7 band

I still come back to EQIII using it in preference to FilterBank for general EQ duties. The reason is the band-pass mode accessible using cntrl+shift and a frequency or Q control. I find this indispensable when finding problem frequencies and definitely preferable to sweeping a narrow boost in other EQs. I also find the lack of 6dB/Oct filters in EQs like Channel Strip a real oversight as it is a slope I use regularly (thankfully F202 also has 6dB filters). 

Avid Pro Limiter

Pro Limiter is now my go to look-ahead limiter. I tend to be as gentle as I can with limiting so I don’t want to hear a “sound” and with this I don’t. However the really interesting parts for me are the AudioSuite loudness analyser, the metering and the use of the R128 standard. This plug-in prompted me to learn about LUFS and that has to be a good thing.

Click to read more ...

Extended Video Of Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration

Another video made by a third party of the new Pro Tools Cloud collaboration feature.

Please be advised that these are technology previews so features may change and no date of delivery or price is given at this time.

Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration Preview Video Contents

The preview includes a preview of;

  • Pro Tools cloud text and video chat, 
  • Pro Tools track freeze, 
  • Pro Tools upload to the cloud, 
  • instant Pro Tools plug-in purchasing, 
  • plug-in install with sessions open, 
  • session streaming for approval playback to those without Pro Tools installed
  • Avid Marketplace

Watch the Pro Tools Cloud collaboration preview video

Source: YouTube 

A Personal View On Avid Everywhere From Ceri Thomas

Community member, Ceri Thomas is at the Avid event in Las Vegas and we asked him to give us his view of today’s announcements…

Launched this morning at Avid’s Connect event in Las Vegas, Avid Everywhere is Avid’s new vision for how media is generated, transferred and consumed across audio, video and broadcast. The platform is founded around the MediaCentral platform which provides a suite of services and APIs that are ties together the Avid suite of media generators and third party applications and tools. 

Avid Everywhere MediaCentral Connectivity Tool

The foundation tools in particular the Connectivity Tool are to be made freely available to consumers and competitors of Avid to tie together their services and solutions into the MediaCentral platform. This in turn will also tie together the existing Avid tools and make them more ‘thin-client’ tools than they previously have been. The existing tools have been fat clients with their own methods to translate and distribute external media sources and products, eg AAF translation into Pro Tools from outside sources. The connectivity tool, it seems, will split this out and unify the experience to enable tighter integration between Avid’s and third party tools. 

Pro Tools Goes To The Cloud With MediaCentral

In addition to the MediaCentral platform and their associated tools, Pro Tools is gaining Cloud functionality. This functionality is similar to the Rocket Networks system that tried to enable remote collaboration with Pro Tools in the 90’s and also with the functionality in Nuendo to update tracks offline and promote changes to the timeline in real time.

Avid Everywhere Marketplace

The more intriguing part of the cloud services for me was the public and private marketplaces that Avid have implemented within the ecosystem. To focus on the public marketplace, essentially they are providing the ability for artists to publish either finished products or elements for anyone, video editors, audio editors, composers etc to grab that material and use them in their products. The licensing, payment and distribution functionality and support is provided by Avid’s MediaCentral system. It’s essentially a combination of SoundCloud and iTunes with YouSendIt or Gobbler. From a sound editing point of view you could create a sound effect that you could then make available for others to use, sound libraries could be built or distributed via the public marketplace for example. Similarly the private marketplace is being designed for collaboration and distribution between individuals.

Avid Everywhere Marketplace Monetisation

This is a developing product concept and certainly there will be a lot of features and concepts that will change dramatically. It is certainly intriguing and I am reserving judgement on it until I’ve had a chance to play with it further but Avid has taken the initiative to try and change the way that our industries think about content generation and monetization. I’m looking forward to seeing more over this weekend and during NAB next week.

What are your views?  We are especially interested in hearing from you if you are in Las Vegas for the Avid Event, let us know what you think…

The Future Of Pro Tools - Avid Give Technology Preview

At their pre-NAB event, Avid spoke about the future of Pro Tools. Here are the highlights.

Pro Tools As Part Of The Avid Artist Suite

Avid are making Pro Tools part of the Avid Artist Suite of products. This is an umbrella term for the products that are available for audio and video professionals and not a box of products. In essence the Artist Suite comprises of the Pro Tools family of products currently Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools and Pro Tools Express and the Media Composer Suite of Products, Notation, pro mixing, live sound and graphics creation.

Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration

At last! With built-in “community” features, Pro Tools users will be able to create groups of collaborators, then see who’s online and available, and send invites for one or more people to contribute to a Pro Tools session. Avid aim to offer the chance to find collaborators through a Pro Tools directory. Avid hope that with track-based collaboration, you’ll be able to:

 

  • Post sessions to cloud storage and invite others to collaborate
  • Work on the same session at the same time or offline and share updates directly within Pro Tools
  • Record, edit, and mix tracks that will be pushed to all other collaborators upon completion
  • Automatically keep track of all contributions and changes, as files are automatically tagged with rich metadata
  • Stream mixes to a mobile device for real-time review and approval
  • Communicate with collaborators through text or video chat directly from within Pro Tools

Archive Your Pro Tools Sessions In Future Proof Formats

Avid are working on a new audio archival service that will enable you to store content and track it using encapsulated metadata. This technology is being designed so that assets can be accessed and played further down the line, even if technologies change or are unavailable—no matter how far out in the future you resurrect them.

You’ll be able to archive a simple stereo mix, the full session, individual stems, or even flatten all tracks so that the original plug-ins used to create them aren’t required.

In addition, we’re developing a new cloud storage service that will enable you to house archived sessions and files, plus all of the sessions, stems, and stereo mixes you make available to sell in the marketplace, making your files easily accessible from everywhere.

Click to read more ...

Avid Everywhere: Avid Unveil Their Version Of The Media Future… And Hopefully Avid

At Avid Connect an event which Avid claim has drawn almost 1,100 people from 43 countries, Avid CEO Louis Hernandez Jr unveiled Avid Everywhere, their version of the digital media future. Ironically the event was not broadcast via video or even audio, so users has to settle for a simply live web text updates. 

In a preamble where he said “Every aspect of our life is changing and being digitized — from digital music downloads, to smart phones, tablets, video chat, digital wallets, analytics – our world is undergoing tremendous change.” and then he turned to content creation “And our industry is changing as well - digital editing, digital distribution, HD, 3D, 4K, 8K.” LHJ then went on to show how he believes Avid would be a major player in connecting digital asset creation with digital consumers.

What Is Avid Everywhere?

Avid Everywhere is essentially a content sharing and distribution platform down to the lowest level of the creation process. In other words it covers everything from collaboration during the creation process by connecting users of Pro Tools and Media Composer and the other Avid creation product work flows, right through to the storage, distribution, monetization and archiving of assets.

The centre of the system is Avid MediaCentral Platform (previously Avid Interplay Pulse), then there’s the Artist Suite - Avid Media Composer, Avid Pro Tools, etc. - are all in this application and sit upon the platform. LHJ said “Artist Suite delivers unparalleled fluid collaboration with anyone on the platform, wherever they are, on premise or in the cloud.” In his words “Another application, the Media Suite includes modules for media management for each phase of the value chain, spanning content creation through distribution and monetization, all in a secure environment.” and then finally leading to Avid Storage Suite which he said “Imagine you can connect to any third-party storage or the Avid storage all in one place. This is what we’re talking about, this is the Storage Suite, You’ll be able to search for all assets on the platform as if they are in the same place” 


What does all this mean to the humble Pro Tools user? Here are the top line points from Avid Everywhere…

Avid Everywhere - Flexible Software Licences

During his presentation LHJ said “No assets actually go in the cloud only the tools; we also provide complete choice in how you acquire the tools, whether you purchase them outright or take advantage of one of our flexible licensing options.” As part of the Avid Artist Suite flexible purchase and licence options should be coming to Pro Tools. This was what many on Twitter thought was meant as they tweeted from the event.

Avid Everywhere - Cloud Collaboration

Cloud based collaboration will be coming to Pro Tools, offering Pro Tools users both text and video based chat and ways to share content with one another as part of the creation process.

Avid Everywhere - Metadata Content In Pro Tools

Avid have made metadata a core part of Avid Everywhere and have gone for an open metadata system, with the ability to pick up metadata from a range of existing metadata formats, so that users can keep track of their content.

Avid Everywhere

So there it is, the big reveal Avid have been working up to for the last few months. We’ll start to fill in the details in the next few days and let you know of the response from the industry. In the meantime let us know what you think of Avid’s vision of the media future.

Pro Tools Control Surfaces Have Turned Me Into A Control Freak

My name is Dan Cooper and I have been using Pro Tools for music production since 2002 and recently realized I have never used Pro Tools without a control surface. 

This led me to think why I use one and why I believe it is so integral to my Pro Tools workflow.  I also wonder that because of my dependency on control surfaces if I could ever use Pro Tools without one and run sessions using just a keyboard and mouse. 

In this article I want to share my past educational and present professional experiences using Pro Tools control surfaces and hopefully find out by sharing my story with other people their views, experiences and workflows using control surfaces. 

My Education In Pro Tools With A Control Surface

As I said at the start, I have been using Pro Tools since 2002.  Back then I was a student at The BRIT School of Performing Arts keen to learn studio recording.  It was good timing for me and my fellow students as The BRIT School had just installed a new Pro Tools TDM system with a Control 24 control surface in their main control room. 

At the time they had two very different control rooms that shared one live room.  One was all analogue and was kitted out with a Soundcraft Sapphyre console, tape machine and an array of outboard gear wired to a colossal patch bay, all very daunting for a newbie.  The other studio was a digital studio with the Control 24 as the “console” with a much more simplistic layout.  My prior experience of recording back then was with Cubase on my home PC pushing faders with a mouse.

My first experience of recording at The BRIT School was in the analogue studio through the Soundcraft console to tape.  Everything was patched with every operation being undertaken by our hands and ears.  It was an experience I’ll never forget.  It took weeks to understand all the routing but we were always told that we were learning skills that can then be applied to any recording environment or system.  In other words, once we had learnt the analogue workflow the digital workflow would be an easy transition.

When using Pro Tools we were encouraged to use the Control 24 to operate Pro Tools as much as possible.  We were taught compression, noise gating, equalization, effect sends… you name it… by turning the rotary knobs on the Control 24 and by feeling the faders by pushing and pulling them.  Plug-ins in Pro Tools 5 back then were nothing special to look at so we would rely on our ears to hear the changes we would be making with our hands on the control surface as we did with the gear in the analogue control room.  The benefits being that we were taught to use our ears and hands in harmony. This is a skill that I use today in my profession using my Avid C24.

After finishing my two years at The BRIT School I went to university to further my education in Music Production.  I had a great working knowledge of Pro Tools using the Control 24 and the skill sets relating to Music Production.  Unfortunately for me the university I attended only had Logic with no control surfaces.  I had no problem transferring my software understandings from Pro Tools to Logic but I always felt that when I was tracking and mixing I was missing a very important instrument under my hands… the control surface. 

I remember the feeling when mixing with a mouse for the first time with my new skills.  I could never be completely confident with the mix choices I made. 

  • I struggled to get automation correct when drawing lines over waveforms,
  • I missed having the ability to put my fingers across multiple faders so that I could pull a fader down at the same time as pushing another up for balancing volumes, AKA riding the faders.
  • It felt counter intuitive adjusting plug-in settings without rotary knobs
  • I missed visually seeing my tracks under my hands for instant access.

It felt my mixing intuition that was developed using a control surface was gone when I mixed with a mouse.  I soon got a bank loan and purchased a Digi 002 Factory, the baby brother of the Control 24.  It was great.  I used it to pick up from where I left off with my skills using the Control 24.  I continued to develop my skills in Pro Tools always feeling connected to the music when using the 002 8-fader surface.  From the 002 I moved onto a M-Audio Project Mix then to the Digi 003 Factory.  All those baby control surfaces offered very good integration into Pro Tools with similar features. 

Eight Years after being taught on the Control 24 with Pro Tools at The BRIT School I launched my own recording studio business in South London called Rodel Sound Ltd.  I started with a modest setup with my Digi 003 surface at the heart of it all.  Within 6 months my client base grew rapidly and the projects I was working on became larger and more complex.  I found the limitation of an 8 fader bankable control surface pretty quickly.  I needed more feedback and control from my Digi 003 to handle my sessions.  The solution was to upgrade the control surface.  I used my past experiences of the Control 24 and invested in the successor… the C24.  I have used it heavily ever since I took delivery of it in 2011.

Click to read more ...

Is The Avid S3L Coming To Studios?

There’s been a lot of noise about the Avid S6 but for many the Avid S3L control surface is an attractive proposition as a studio controller, it really is a star in the Avid product range.

Avid have recently announced the free VENUE 4.1.3 software which gives live owners access to additional free AAX plug-ins for their system.

The Avid S3L seems to bridge the gap between Artist Series Controllers and the Avid S6 offering the possiblity of a mid ranged controller for both prosumer and small studios. It is also out understanding that S3L owners get to unlock 64 channels of record in Pro Tools using a special toolkit that ships with it, more to follow on that.

Avid currently say about the LIVE version of the Avid S3 “Get unmatched Pro Tools/DAW integration now—and in the future. Simply connect your laptop (with Pro Tools or other DAW installed) to the system’s Ethernet AVB network (using a single Cat5e cable) and you’re ready to rock with up to 64 tracks of audio recording/playback. VENUE Link makes it easy to control your live mixing and recording/playback setups as one. What’s more, with EUCON functionality coming soon, you’ll be able to use the control surface to mix Pro Tools and other DAW sessions, making the system an extremely versatile solution for both stage and studio.

The S3 control surface offers;
  • Compact 16-fader surface, with six bankable layers
  • 32 touch-sensitive encoders and high-resolution OLEDs
  • Multicolor Channel Control parameter section for fast mix adjustments
  • Full complement of I/O (see Specifications)
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet AVB ports, featuring latching etherCON connectors
  • EUCON-enabled for Pro Tools and other DAW control (feature coming soon)
  • USB connections for a keyboard and mouse (not included)

There were hints from some Avid people that the Avid S3 would be coming to the studio market, we hope this happens, it seems that Avid are missing a trick here to generate substantial revenues from an existing product line, an S3 for Live and one for the studio sounds like Avid Everywhere to us.

With current Avid S3 prices starting at $17,995 it’s a very attractive proposition. Would you be interested in a studio version of the Avid S3? Take our poll and discuss.

HHB/Scrub Have 3 Avid Pro Tools Certified Technical Support Engineers

(L to R) John Johnson, Simon Haycock and Mike Rigby are now ACSR accredited.Our friends at HHB and their Soho based subsidiary Scrub are now the only companies in the UK with three ACSR accredited engineers, making them the most qualified team of specialists to provide first-line support for Avid Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD customers.

Their Technical Support Engineers Mike Rigby, Simon Haycock and John Johnson are now accredited by the PT400 Avid Certified Service Representative (ACSR) Pro Tools course.

Both HHB and Scrub provide technical support for clients, and their outstanding service as an Elite Reseller has earned them Avid’s EMEA Pro Audio Partner of the Year Award for 2013.  HHB Group Sales Director Steve Angel told us…

We are very excited to offer our clients the services of three ACSR Pro Tools technicians. This certification only strengthens their ability to provide unparalleled services to our Pro Tools customers, as they are equipped to offer unique skills and exclusive product demos to our customers.

Good dealers with expert staff are worth cultivating because when things go wrong they have the resources to help you get though it.

Winner of the RSPE - Avid Pro Series Plug-ins Announced

We recently ran a sweepstakes with our friends from RSPE Audio, who donated a full set of Avid Pro Series plug-ins. We are pleased to announce that Will Durno from Fort McMurray, Canada is the winner of that prize. Will writes…

“Thank you for everything. You have made me a very happy man! Wishing you greatness … rock on!”

Congratulations Will and enjoy your prize.

HHB & Scrub Named Avid's EMEA Pro Audio Partner of the Year 2013

As well as announcing some great new products at BVE this week from Nugen Audio and TC Electronic our friends at HHB & Scrub are also very proud to announce that they have been awarded Avid’s Pro Audio Partner of 2013 award in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for excellence in Pro Tools sales and support in the region. Avid Pro Audio Sales Manager for EMEA North Ben Nemes told us…

“HHB and Scrub are an extremely talented group of people and one of Europe’s most knowledgeable Pro Tools specialists. From leading post houses to world renowned recording studios and broadcasters, HHB is relied on for technical and sales support by Europe’s biggest Pro Tools users. We are very happy to honour them for their outstanding services.”

HHB Group Sales Director Steve Angel added…
“Our team of dedicated Pro Tools specialists are revered by the industry as a trusted source of support for Avid’s range of Pro Tools systems. We will continue to provide the high levels of support that our customers have come to expect with new Pro Tools systems like the S6 console.”
When looking for your next purchase whether it is an Avid S6 control surface or iLok then think about the dealer you want to buy it off. Some dealers are better than others, and Avid clearly think very highly of the team at HHB & Scrub. Congratulations.

 

Some Of The Biggest Losses At Avid Are Not Shown On The Balance Sheet

Some of the Pro Tools community may think we’ve been quiet regarding the recent delisting of Avid from NASDAQ in the last couple of days.

The first reason is, that like 99.9% of the people commenting on this story on various forums and social media, we haven’t got a clue what it really means in terms of the legal, corporate and financial issues. We could have run a story an hour after the story broke, it would have put several thousand extra visits on our site numbers, but it wouldn’t have not really added anything meaningful to the story.

Secondly, our first job as a blog is to help inspire creativity, we don’t want to distract the incredibly creative people who use Pro Tools from getting on with being creative. As creatives there is little we can do about this situation, for the time being the best we can do is keep doing what we do best - be creative.

However, whilst we don’t have much of a clue about the world of Wall Street, we do know there are some equally real losses that are not found on the balance sheet.

The first loss is the hemorrhaging of talent from Avid over the last few years - some got the 30 minutes to pack your desk into a box treatment and others made the move to greener pastures. However those talented and committed people left Avid, the company is a shadow of its former self. The staff losses are across the board, from sales, marketing, developers, product managers, support, in fact the list is endless - many of them are friends, who thankfully have found new work and nearly all of them are thriving and happy.

Whenever a company looses talent the cost of dealing with the loss, in terms of additional pressure and work for those that remain is great. Avid are a technology company and the last thing they need is a brain drain. One of the greatest miracles in the last few years is that Avid have been able to deliver outstanding products like Pro Tools 11 and the Avid S6 control surface, but whichever way anyone wants to spin it, in terms of staff, Avid is a shadow of its former self.

The second loss is the huge distractions the whole stock price and delisting stories add to an already pressurised company and those left on staff. If you think that being a customer brings uncertainty then just imagine being an employee. The grass roots employees have to continue doing their jobs with this stuff hanging over them, I know many of them and they are being absolute professionals and heroes - of course they get briefings from their managers about these issues, but even those with the toughest skins or the eternal optimists will no doubt be shaken by this ongoing uncertainty, even if they tell you otherwise. It will soon be Messe 2014 and during Messe 2013 meeting Avid staff after the change of leadership was like meeting people who had just glimpsed the Ark of the Covenant, their resolve was unshakeable and their hope renewed. 

The role of leadership is two-fold, to cast vision and inspire confidence, both to your team and to the world, or to put it another way to inspire faith.

An equally real loss for Avid are those who have their faith shaken each time another part of this story unfolds, no amount of inspiring talks or press statements can fix this.

In the coming weeks Avid will be revealing their Avid Everywhere vision, we’ve been told it is something very special, it may be wise to wait to wait until then to make a judgement on the future of Avid.

There’s a proverb that says ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick’. In the final analysis, just as with Wall Street, the only thing that restores faith is results.

Russ Hughes and Mike Thornton

Build Your Own Custom Avid S6 Online

For those too old (or grumpy) to visit Build A Bear, then here’s something to give every audio geek some joy.

The team at RSPE Audio Solutions have created this awesome online Avid S6 configurator, that allows you to build you own Avid S6 online or just checkout the standard factory Avid S6 options.

Go over and check it out - you can have endless fun dreaming of your new Avid S6,

For more Avid S6 information and stories visit our Avid S6 micro site here.