Welcome to Pro Tools Expert a huge community for users of Avid Pro Tools for both music and post production. With over 3 million visits a year, we’ve grown to be the place to come for training, resources, tips tricks and news. 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.
Entries in avid (95)
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
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
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.
Our friends over at Logic Pro Expert tipped us off to this trove of Lexicon booty.
They originally ran the story as Free impulses for Logic Space Designer, but we’ve downloaded these impulses and tested them in Avid Space/TL Space and they do indeed work and in fact sound very sweet.
They are the handiwork of Producer Grant Nelson, so full creds to him!
Source: Logic Pro Expert
Russ’ recent article 5 Basic Features Pro Tools Continues To Lack proved popular with the community with people offering lots of alternative basic features they think Pro Tools should have. For anyone who hasn’t visited the Ideascale you really should as Avid are interested in hearing the views of the users, of course that doesn’t mean that everything which is popular on ideascale will make it into the next release of Pro Tools, far from it. It would be a terrible mistake for Avid to attempt to meet every user feature request, even if they could. There is an old saying “a camel is a horse designed by committee”. Consistency and simplicity are essential in any product, Apple have made an unimaginable fortune by doing exactly that.
Inevitably there are feature requests I agree and disagree with but I often find myself wondering at the requests which say something along the lines of “make feature X from Logic/Ableton/Reason/Reaper available in Pro Tools”. If you want to use another DAW then use another DAW but respect the differences and treat them as a strength rather than a deficiency. I love Pro Tools, I’m good at Pro Tools but the last thing I want is to turn all other DAWs into Pro Tools - What would be the point of that?
In the comments on our post Avid Still Have Serious Problems With Video In Pro Tools 11 Richard asked…
Can someone explain how to convert to Avid DNxHD? I have downloaded MPEG Streamclip and the DNxHD codec. I don’t really understand how to connect the two. Many thanks!
There are several ways to do this, but before you start, make sure you have downloaded and installed both MPEG Streamclip and the Avid DNxHD Codecs.
Open MPEG StreamClip and either drag the video you want to transcode onto the empty window or use the Open Files option in the File menu.
At NAMM 2014 we sat down with some industry leaders and asked them a number of questions. This first question in the series is ‘What Motivates You To Do This?”
With answers from:
Our thanks to our friends at RSPE Audio Solutions and Triad Orbit who sponsored the event.
Following on from my recent series on Channel Strips I thought I would post this simple guide to creating a user default.
To create a user default setting, I made the changes I wanted to Channel Strip. These were to change the default process order from [EQ, Filter, Dynamics, Volume] to [Filter, Dynamics, EQ, Volume] and to change the LF and HF sections to shelf, and finally hide the EQ section. I then saved the setting as “CS Compressor” using the preset menu at the top of the plug-in window.
With the setting saved, I then set this particular user setting as the plugin’s user default as shown below:
The final stage of the process is to change the plug-in default from factory to user setting:
Here are some more pictures from Winter NAMM 2014. Above is the Universal Audio Apollo Twin that has won Best In Show.
Look who we came across, the one and only Dave Pensado chatting with Master Groove3 Trainer Eli Krantzberg.
iZotope have got a very full awards shelf from Sound On Sound, Pro Audio Review Magazine, The NAMM Show, and Electronic Musician.
Here is the Technical GRAMMY for Lexicon.
I’m not an early adopter, I’ve always been happy to remain comfortably behind the times. With music, books, films and the like I’ve always thought that if something is any good, I’ll hear about it eventually. But when it comes to sorting the good from the bad, I’m happy to let others do the initial hard work. As for new developments in all things audio and particularly Pro Tools this attitude still applies to some extent. I keep abreast of new announcements from the trade shows, the DUC and of course Pro Tools Expert. I read reviews and documentation, but I have never felt any compulsion to use something just because it is new. New often means better but not always.
I think it’s understandable that it will always be the eye candy which receives the most attention in a new release of any software and while many of us would prefer to believe that we aren’t that easily influenced, I for one would be the first to admit that when I finally upgraded to PT11HD, although I knew that the possibilities offered by a 64 bit release was the really important thing, actually I was most excited by the gain reduction meters in the mixer. Ooh! - Pretty lights.
Avid Channel Strip
Looking a little further back, the new feature of Pro Tools 10 which seemed to get the most attention was the Avid Channel Strip. New plug-ins are like software sound bites for marketing departments. They are self-contained and easily “quotable” around the web as pictures of the plug-in window and offer instant gratification to the new user regardless of experience. As such I was looking forward to trying Avid’s Channel Strip plug-in when it was released all that time ago.
Everyone has their favourite plugins but I have noticed a discrepancy between what I think my favourite plug-in are and the plug-ins I actually use the most. I would think it reasonable to assume that the plug-ins I think of as my favourites should also be my “go to” choice. Here’s the thing – I hardly use Channel Strip. Why?