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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 free (101)

Free Organ Sample Library

The gang over at Samplephonics are giving away a library of an organ from Leeds Town Hall.

The story behind it is as follows;

The picture speaks for itself. Within the beatifully decorated town hall of the city of Leeds in England lies this spectacular organ, towering high into the music hall and silencing the sounds of the city with its earth shuddering, rich, harmonic tones. 

This project was part of a new chapter for Samplephonics known as Sonas, who will be unveiling some spectacular virtual instruments over the coming year. More on that soon!

We spent some time with organist Dr Simon Lindley who told us all about how the instrument works, it’s history and even a guided tour up in to the inside of the organ itself! 

Find out more and to download the free organ library.

Free iZotope RX3 Tutorial On Using Declip In Pro Tools & Standalone

Here is our very own “Mr RX It” showing in another free video tutorial, courtesy of iZotope, how to use the Declip plug-in module in iZotope RX3. 

In self shot documentaries the sound is often the thing that suffers, as the crew have too many other things to think about. In this example we suspect the camera operator was concentrating on the pictures and missed the meters warning that the audio was going into the red. See how Mike was able to improve it using the RX3 Declip plug-in and also when a problem needs more forensic treatment, how to export the clip from Pro Tools, work on it in the standalone RX3 application and then import the fixed version back into Pro Tools.

RX3 and RX3 Advanced are on special offer until 1st May 2014. Check out the offers available from our friends at Time+Space or you can buy direct from iZotope.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion

Inspired by Russ’s article 10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins Every Guitarist Should Try I thought I might see what was on offer for bass players. I’m not talking about EQ and compression here but bass distortion.

Using Distortion On Bass Guitar

Over the last few years I have gone from almost never using distortion on bass to almost never leaving a bass track clean. I’m not talking about Muse style fuzz here but gentle saturation effects. I have found this to be a very useful treatment for bass as introducing some distortion generates additional harmonics and can have the effect of raising the apparent level of the bass without actually turning it up by giving the ear extra information above the fundamental. Its possible to use surprising amounts of distortion on a bass track without the effect being one of distortion as much as gelling with the rest of the track. As with so many things context is everything.

The thing I look for in bass distortion is a sense of integration with the original clean sound. This is highly subjective but the least successful plug-in distortions I have heard have a sense of being stuck on top of the original sound rather than being a part of it. Additionally increasing distortion should be accompanied by a reduction in dynamic range and this compression effect makes a significant contribution to the overall feel of the effect.

At the end of the day there is no good or bad here, just personal preference but the striking thing about all of these plug-ins is that they all sound different and some dramatically so.

I restricted my choices to free AAX64 plug-ins. Some of these plug-ins were only available for a limited time. I did not include plug-ins with unlimited demo modes (for example Massey plug-ins) as they are not strictly speaking free.

To hear examples watch the free video.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Air Distortion 

Originally included to make up the numbers - I’d tested nine, ten is so much neater, this little-used by me (actually possibly never used) plugin is surprisingly flexible.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Avid Lo-Fi

A real favourite of mine, in this application just use the distortion and saturation controls.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins For Bass Distortion - Softube Saturation Knob

The biggest strength of this plug-in is its simplicity, no danger of endless tweaking here. 

Click to read more ...

Sonic Cat Offer Free Acoustic Piano - Pop Piano Free

Sonic Cat, purveyors of sample libraries are offering a free Kontakt powered piano - Pop Piano Free.

Pop Piano Free is based on a Bechstein MP192 Grand Piano and weighs in a 400mb.

  • 8 .NKI Kontakt instrument presets for Kontakt 5.3+
  • 352 samples
  • 24 bit / 44.1 kHz .NCW format samples
  • About 440 MB installed

You can download Pop Piano Free here

Source: Sonic Cat 

Free iZotope RX3 Advanced Tutorial On Using Dereverb In Pro Tools

Here is our very own “Mr RX It” showing in a free video tutorial, courtesy of iZotope, how to use the new Dereverb module in iZotope RX3 Advanced.

In self shot documentaries the sound is often the thing that suffers, as the crew have too many other things to think about. In this example all Mike had was the camera mic and it was too far away from the presenter in a reverbant space. See how he was able to improve this clip using the Dereverb plug-in in Pro Tools.

RX3 and RX3 Advanced are on special offer until 1st May 2014. Check out the offers available from our friends at Time+Space or you can buy direct from iZotope.

10 Free Pro Tools Plug-ins Every Guitarist Should Try

There’s a lot of people making music on Pro Tools and a lot of them are looking for some great guitar sounds. You may be limited by both space and cash and so the chance of being able to throw a Marshall stack up and mic it with vintage microphones is about as likely as the Pope being in a Beatles reunion line-up.

However, don’t let a lack of cash or space stop you from getting some great guitar sounds, here are Free Pro Tools plug-ins that every guitarist should try.

Sansamp PSA-1

One of the gems of the FREE plug-ins that come with Pro Tools, Sansamp PSA-1 is used by some of the top names in the industry including Daniel Lanois and Mark ‘Spike’ Stent and it has been used on countless tracks. It features an excellent set of controls as well as some very cool presets, check it out for both clean and dirty tones, it works on other material too, ace on bass. RTAS and AAX. Check out our video on how to use Sansamp

IK Multimedia Amplitube Custom Shop

A FREE version of AmpliTube 3 with 24 models including a digital chromatic tuner, 9 stomps, 4 amps, 5 cabs, 3 mics, 2 rack effects, even better you can use their cool try before you buy store to check out an almost limitless supply of guitar amps and effects. RTAS and AAX

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 Player


Guitar Rig 5 Player is the free guitar amp and effects processor from Native Instruments, combining creative effects routing possibilities with ease-of-use and pristine sound quality. The included FACTORY SELECTION library provides one amp with 17 cabinet emulations, plus 13 effects and sound modifiers to shape and enhance any audio signal. RTAS and AAX.

Click to read more ...

Get 200mb Of Free Loops From Loop Loft

Our friends at Loop Loft, makers of some of the coolest loops on the planet, are opening up their Rarities vault and offering 200mb of loops for FREE.

The loops range from Old Skool right through to Retro Dance Machines, rarely do you find a pup in a Loop Loft collection.

You’ll need to give your email address but they promise no spam.

Loop Loft spend their time recording original content using some of the hottest talent on the planet such as Omar Hakim, Simon Phillips and Eric Harland.

To grab your FREE loops then click here

Source: Loop Loft

TSL Release Free SurroundZone2 Plug-in For Soundfield Recordings

TSL have released SurroundZone2 and it is available free of charge to give anyone the freedom to manipulate SoundField B-Format and A-Format recordings. 

The new plug-in merges the functionality from the original “Surround Zone” and “SPS200 Surround Zone” plug-ins into one new plug-in. At the same time they have added some new controls such as “Snap Tilt” and “individual polar pattern control” for the surround modes.

They have also released a range of quick start guides for different DAWs including a Pro Tools Quck Start Guide.

TSL SurroundZone2 Supported Output Formats:

  • Stereo (Mono)
  • 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 6.1, 7.0, 7.1
  • B-Format

TSL SurroundZone2 Controls:

  • Input and Output trims
  • Hi-Pass Input filter
  • Mic Orientation: End-Fire and Invert
  • Solo and Mutes for the Individual outputs
  • Rotate, Snap Tilt (individual front and rear tilt) and Zoom
  • Individual Width Controls
  • Individual Polar Pattern Controls

TSL SurroundZone2 Plug-in Formats:

  • AAX Native, both 32-bit and 64-bit, for both PC and Mac
  • VST, both 32-bit and 64-bit, for both PC and Mac
  • AU, both 32-bit and 64-bit. Mac only

5 Pro Tools Free Factory Plug-ins You Should Not Ignore

All too often people dismiss factory-supplied plug-ins in preference for purchased plug-ins; in some cases the free ones are just as good. Whilst Avid may have a reputation for being misers when it comes to giving stuff away with Pro Tools, there are some gems that ship with Pro Tools that I reach for on a regular basis. Here are 5 factory plug-ins that you should no ignore.

Pro Tools Factory Plug AIR Vintage Filter

Watch enough of the Pro Tools Expert video tutorials and you’ll see me grabbing the AIR Vintage Filter. Use it on synths, guitars, bass, drums and you can really give a sound some added character. With automation you can create the familiar dance effects like filter sweeps or rises. Watch our video on how to create dance sweep effects here

Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid BF76

There are a lot of plug-in versions of the brilliant 1176 compressor, used on more recordings than I’ve had hot dinners. You may think that the free one that ships with Pro Tools is not worth considering, but it’s a great little plug-in that performs very well up against those you can spend several hundred dollars on, take that from someone who has a hardware 1176 in his rack. You can watch the video on the BF76 here

Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid 1-Band EQ III

You may wonder why I would choose the 1 band Eq in preference for the 7 band Eq, it is simply this, filters. When mixing I often reach for the 1 band Eq to simply use as a low or high pass filter – on vocals, guitar busses, drum overheads, synths, pianos. The one band version of the Avid EQIII is one plug-in you will find on every mix I do… period. You can watch the video on using the 1 band EQ here

Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid Signal Generator

It may be thought of as a tool for creating test tones, but the Signal Generator has more musical uses. You can use the Signal Generator to give kick drums some real low energy when coupled with a side-chained gate or as the basis for a noise sweep in a dance track… and yes you can also use it for test tones. Watch our video on how to use the Signal Generator to create huge kicks here

Pro Tools Factory Plug Avid Pitch II

A relative newcomer, but the Pitch II is long overdue and already a favourite of mine when mixing. You can use Pitch II to widen guitars, vocals and synths – you can also use Avid Pitch II to change the pitch of an instrument in real time, it uses granular technology to do it so you get great results. Check out some videos showing you cool tricks using Pitch II here
So which factory freebies find their way into your mixes? 

Show & Tell Review Of SoundToys Little PrimalTap 

Russ takes a look at the latest offering from Soundtoys Little PrimalTap and he is impressed!
Soundtoys are offering this plug-in FREE for a limited time. Get it using this special code 

Get The New Soundtoys Little PrimalTap Plug-in FREE!

The super gang at Soundtoys are offering there latest creation Little PrimalTap plug-in for FREE.

Inspired by the classic Prime Time*, Little PrimalTap™ captures the highly distinctive sonic imprint of this quirky, and well-loved (by those in the know) vintage digital delay. Don’t be fooled by it’s simple interface, Little PrimalTap lets you unleash your creative urges to echo, loop, warp, distort, mangle, or create cacophonous cascades of otherworldly sounds. And it’s totally free (for a limited time).

Plus by sharing with your friends, you also have a chance to get “Plugged-In” for life. This means you will receive every SoundToys product we’ve ever released in addition to every product we ever release in the future. For life. Wow.

The top runners up will also get prizes like free SoundToys bundles, plug-ins, free upgrades to PrimalTap™, and cool SoundToys swag.

Use this link to get it

Don’t have a code yet? Check the audio forums, check FaceBook, check everywhere ‘cause that code gets you the free plug-in and gets you your own sharing code. Then you can give yours to all your friends and they can get it for free, too. Plus, each person you sign up with your code, gets you closer to earning more free stuff. Free bundles, t-shirts and upgrades to PrimalTap (more details coming soon) and, of course the chance to get “Plugged-In” for life.

Check out our Contest Page for complete details.

NOTE: In order to be entered in the contest, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have an active iLok.com account  - What’s An iLok?
  • You have an active SoundToys.com account.
  • Must be entered before March 28th when the promotion ends.

Free Guide To Mixing PDF Download

Our friends at Izotope are offering this free guide to mixing, aimed at convering the essentials. 

Izotope say “If you don’t know anything about mixing or mixing software, this Guide is a great place to start. 

If you don’t fully understand mixing this Guide can help you better understand the powerful sound-shaping tools at your disposal. Each chapter demonstrates many useful concepts that you can apply to your next mixing project. You can also follow along with the free 10-day trials of Alloy 2, Trash 2 and Nectar 2 available at www.izotope.com.

If you already have any of the products mentioned above and already know the basics of mixing, this guide can show you new tricks or techniques that are possible. Just read through and say “Yeah, I knew that” when appropriate for the other parts. 

Looking at the guide you can see that a great deal of care has been taken in putting it together, it is filled with some great ideas that even the most advanced user might find useful.

Also don’t forget that Russ has a video training series for those new to mixing “Mix School 101” from Groove 3. This series, although shown in Pro Tools 10, will help anyone on any DAW craft and hone their mixes into much better, professional sounding tracks that you can be proud of, as the theories presented apply to any DAW. It features 19 tutorials, total runtime 4 hours.

Source: Izotope

Boz Digital Labs Offer FREE Bark Of Dog Plug-In For Pro Tools

The gang at Boz Digital Labs have released a FREE plug-in Bark of Dog which is simply a low Pass Filter with Resonance.

However, when we say ‘simply’ that is not to imply it has lttle effect, in facts this cool little plug-in can add so much energy to the low end of a track it should perhaps be called Balls Of Dog!

They say; Bark of Dog is a bass resonance filter that lets you increase your low end without turning up the flab. I like to think of it as a way to boost the low end while still keeping it under control. While the controls are super simple, the effect that this has on controlling the low end in a mix is pretty exciting.

We’ve just had a quick try of it and it is indeed a very useful little plug-in that had a multitude of uses, it can be used in gentle ways or can do some serious damage if you are that way inclined.

Bark of Dog is AAX, RTAS VST and AU for both Mac and Windows.

More information about this FREE Pro Tools plug-in here

Get FREE Lexicon Impulses For Avid Space

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!

Head over to here to grab them.

Source: Logic Pro Expert

5 FREE Pro Tools Synth Plug-ins Worth Checking Out - Updated

UPDATED: In the earlier version of this story we mentioned that Fabfilter One is a FREE plug-in - this is incorrect. Apologies for the confusion.

The word FREE can often conjure up the idea of something being worthless; for many years the VST world has been filled with worthwhile FREE plug-ins yet Pro Tools users have often felt a little left out of the FREE plug-in world. However there seems to be a growing collection of FREE plug-ins for Pro Tools RTAS and AAX that are well worth investing your time into.

Here are a selection of some FREE synths worth checking out.

A single oscillator synth with enough sound shaping options to give a palette of cool synth sounds, the option of PWM is always welcome on a single oscillator synth as it gives the possibility of creating extra depth from the single source - a trick used in the very early synths. Available in VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native formats (all both 64-bit and 32-bit), as well as RTAS (32-bit only) More from Fabfilter

Linplug Alpha FREE

A cut down free version of the popular LinPlug Alpha, this 16 voice, 2 oscillator synth includes many of the features of the paid for version. There are over 30 waveforms to choose from as well as useful filters and a single LFO. Mac and PC RTAS only. More from Linplug

NI Reaktor 5 Player 

Reaktor 5 is one of NI’s flagship products and Reaktor Player is a great way to explore the almost limitless potential of this modular synth design. NI offer a free download of over 200 synths based around 3 synths as part of this starter series. Mac and PC, RTAS and AAX. More here

U-He Podolski

A one oscillator, one filter, single envelope synth, Podolski has been around for several years in different incarnations. it also features a Zebra-style arpeggiator/sequencer plus chorus and delay effects. Mac and PC. More about AAX here (Mac)

 

Click to read more ...

FREE Pro Tools Stereo To Mono Plug-in Round-Up

In a recent video we showed how to create a mono button on the Pro Tools master buss (for lack of one as a standard feature.) We got some other suggestions on how to achieve this, so here are 4 FREE ways to check a stereo mix in mono. Check all our FREE Pro Tools plug-ins here

AIR Stereo Width

The AIR Stereo Width plug-in has numerous features for expanding your stereo image, but it can be used as a simple way to take a stereo image and make it mono as shown in the recent video.

Brainworx BX Solo

The BrainworxBX Solo is a handy little tool that offers several options including Mono/Stereo and MS. In their words “bx_solo is a nice little tool that we have designed to get you started with and used to the way we approach the M/S technique – be it for recording-, mixing- or mastering purposes. The “heart” of our M/S tools are our unique SOLO BUTTONS that allow you to actually LISTEN to all components of a stereo mix / stereo signal individually.”

Flux Stereo Tools

For a freebie this baby has a lot of bang for the buck… in their words “Stereo Tool features ultra precise control of input gain and individual pan for left and right channels. A phase inverter is available on each channel. Global stereo pan and stereo width settings are also implemented to complete the management of the stereo signal.

Stereo Tool also offers accurate visual feedback reflecting the signal content. A vector scope display, PPM meters for both inputs and outputs, and a phase correlation meter permanently monitor the signal. 

Inserting our Stereo Tool after a BitterSweet II, will open your mind to new ways of controlling the stereo stage.

Like all Flux:: plug-ins it features 64 bit internal floating point processing, up to 8 FS (384 KHz). 

Stereo Tool is available in native versions, AU, RTAS and VST. No dongle or registration required.”

Avid Down Mixer

Another more recent addition to the free Pro Tools collection is the Down Mixer, aimed more at those wanting to get surround mixes back to stereo but it is still able to take a stereo pair and make them mono.

The downside of using the Down Mixer is that it needs to be inserted on a sub mix before the Master out to work.

HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan


Another nice freebie from the HOFA team is the HOFA 4U, they say “

  • precise metering (peak, hold, EBU, LRA)
  • MS decoder
  • trim-, fader- and mute-function
  • stereo-mono switch
  • innovative panorama-function: this is the panner that you can also use for “more than stereo” panning
  • changeable plugin window size
  • mouse-over-tooltipps
  • manual onboard
  • works latency-free and with all common sample rates
  • for PC and Mac, 32 and 64 Bit DAWs
  • Audio Unit, VST, VST3, RTAS and AAX 

Get Over 800mb Of Modern & Classic Synth Samples & Loops Free

Our friends at Novation are offering the chance to grab over 800mb of loops and samples from modern and classic synths as part of a celebration of their heritage.

Watch the short film that explores Novation past, present, and future and then download the pack as well as enter a competiton with a chance to win cool Novation gear.

More here

How To Create The Muse Sound Avid With Eleven Rack

In this free Pro Tools video tutorial, James Ivey shows how to create the Muse guitar sound using the Eleven Rack.

Settings for the amp are shown below. Download the patch FREE here

Amp Settings

Reverb Settings

Fuzz Settings

EQ Settings

Free AAX Multiband Compressor For Pro Tools 

The gang over at Xfer have released OTT - Multiband Compressor effect as a FREE download.

It’s a pretty simple bus comp that can be used to add some extra balls to your tracks.

It’s AAX and works in Pro Tools 11, it is also VST and AU. AAX Mac only

Download from our free plug-ins database and play with it and let us know what you think.

One You May Have Missed - Using The Softube Saturation Knob In A Pro Tools Mix

In this FREE Pro Tools video tutorial Russ takes a look at the FREE Softube saturation knob on a mix to see just how good it is, even better it’s now available for Pro Tools 11.