>> Latest Deals

>> Latest Prize Draws

>> Latest Posts

Entries in news (152)

Marcus Huyskens Joins The Pro Tools Expert Team

We are delighted to announce that Marcus Huyskens has joined the Pro Tools Expert team.

You may have seen a recent video on created by Marcus on the blog last week.

Marcus is the owner of Bad Cat Media, he says of his new role;

“I am a recordist and mixer, first and foremost, I also develop libraries for Kontakt/EXS 24. I do some location audio, and post mixing. Looking forward to pitching in! Cheers

Welcome Marcus to the team, we love your libaries and look forward to seeing more from you.

Musical History: Will Ferrell and Chad Smith Drum-Off - Video

Watch the video of what has been cited as the biggest moment in musical history for a very long time, theWill Ferrell and Chad Smith drum off took place just hours ago.

With cries of ‘more cowbell’ ringing in their ears they took to their kits to see who the winner would be.

Watch this video to find out who was crowned the winner of the Will Ferrell and Chad Smith Drum-Off.

Waves Announce Abbey Road Collection

Waves have announced the Abbey Road Collection, a bundle of the Abbey Road plug-ins that have been very popular for Waves users.

The Abbey Road Collection includes;


Find out more from our friends at Waves

Reason Expert Is Live!

We are thrilled to see the new Reason Expert site go live.

Mark Donnison is Editor, based in the UK, Mark is a seasoned Reason user and part of the Reason community.

If you use Reason alongside Pro Tools then go and check out the new Reason Expert site for Reason tips and tricks.

Dave Grohl To Host HBO TV Series On Recording Studios

Get ready for Sound City the TV series. Well not quite, but Dave Grohl is to host a new HBO TV show where he visits recording studios across the USA.

The new show is yet to be given a title but will feature Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio in Chicago and Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California.

Sound City was a full length feature about the iconic Sound City Studios, the combination of gear porn and back stories is highly attractive to anyone with an interest in recording.

The show will air as part of HBO’s winter schedule.

Source: NME

Production Expert - Find All Of The Expert Sites In One Place

Soon Reason Expert will be launching to support the Reason Community with tips, tricks and news, again an independent site of those who are passionate and knowledgeable about Reason. Watch this space.

Production Expert

We’ve been asked if we are involved with other sites with similar names, so to avoid any confusion and to stop anyone being misled there is now a new site Production Expert, the Production Expert site showcases the collective group of Pro Tools Expert, Logic Pro Expert, Ableton Live Expert and Reason Expert, if the site isn’t listed there then it’s not one of ours, simple as that.

The Production Expert site is not meant to replace the current sites, it is simply a site to show which Expert sites belong to the Expert family and to give a quick glance at the latest activity from each site.

Production Expert - A Mobile Friendly Format

Even better, the Production Expert site is built using the very latest web technology so opening the site on your iOS or Android phone will give you all the latest news form all the sites in a mobile friendly format.

UK Online Piracy Deal Removes Teeth From ISPs

The Digital Economy Act, a bill rushed through at the end of the last Labour government, has been dealt another blow with a new deal between the internet service providers and the music and film industry.

The voluntary code now means that if someone is downloading illegal content the following will happen;

  • An alert will be sent to the ISP about the activity.
  • The ISP will write to the customer informing them that their activity is illegal, but no action will be taken.
  • If the customer ignores this then a maximum of 3 more alerts will be sent to the customer suggesting ways for them to obtain the content legally.
  • If the customer ignores the ISP then no further action will be taken.

Few ever thought making ISPs internet police was a good idea, however this latest idea of asking nicely seems to be based on the premise that most people downloading illegal content would buy it if given the option.

It’s a complex problem, but the idea of relying on the goodwill of people seems somewhat optimistic - discuss.

Pro Tools Expert RSS Feed Issues

Some users have been reporting RSS feed issues.

We have looked into this and have discovered that the original RSS feeds have been changed, this means those subscribed to these feed directly or using our iOS or Android apps will no longer have up to date news.

Those using RSS feeds directly simply need to use the new feed URL shown below.

 Subscribe to Pro Tools Expert news

Our iOS and Android apps were developed by a third party which we have discovered is unable to update them, which effectively renders them useless. This is hugely disappointing for us and we imagine many of our community who rely on this service. We apologise for this and suggest you download a free RSS reader for your iOS or Android device and then use the link above.

Thanks for you understanding.

PreSonus Open New $8 Million Purpose Built Headquarters

PreSonus have opened their new $8 million purpose built headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, featuring both a fully working studio and sound stage for testing both recording and live gear.

At just shy of 44,000-square-foot facility the new PreSonus headquarters features a fully working recording studio designed by New York-based Walters-Storyk Design Group, and a live room with a full sound stage. The studio includes a separate control room and two isolation boths.

Steve Oppenheimer PreSonus’ Marketing Communications Manager says. ‘Everything’s all wired so that you can plug right into the wall and go straight to the control room.’ The new facility offers capability to test its equipment onsite and shoot video anywhere in the building.

Ableton Live Expert Launches

The new Ableton Live Expert site has gone live, offering Ableton Live users hot tips, tricks, news and reviews.

The Editor is Ableton Live Expert Martin Delaney, some of you may have read his articles in various magazine or even see him offering his popular tutorials at the flagship Apple Store in Regent Street or other venues.

Not only does Ableton Live Expert have a top Editor it also has a fantastic team from the get-go.

Ableton Live is the fastest growing DAW, so there’s a chance that some of you are users already, if so then head over and check out the new site and bookmark it.

Ableton Live Expert Community Web Site To Launch In April

We are thrilled to announce the forthcoming launch of Ableton Live Expert, a community for users of Ableton Live. I’m a committed user of Pro Tools and proud to be, but my son and all his mates are using Ableton Live and he asked me when there would be a community like Pro Tools Expert for them. Ableton Live Expert is the Ableton Live Community offering news, reviews, tips and tricks.

Ableton Live Expert Team

The new site Ableton Live Expert will go live in early April 2014 and aims to be a one-stop site for users of Ableton Live. The Editor of the new site is artist and Ableton Certified Trainer Martin Delaney, a.k.a. Mindlobster. Besides his vast experience as a trainer, he has written over 100 magazine articles, and the ‘Ableton Live Tips & Tricks’ series of books. Martin has produced several video training packages and also designed the Kenton Killamix Mini USB MIDI controller. Martin will be heading up the new Ableton Live Expert team.

Ableton Live Expert - Get More Information

If you are a user of Ableton Live then you can find out more by;

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

Sontronics Aria Valve Mic For Vocals Launched

Our friends at Sontronics have launched a new vocal microphone, the Aria. We wil get a review copy soon and have James put it through its paces.

The new Sontronics ARIA is a valve condenser microphone with a fixed cardioid pattern, designed by Sontronics founder Trevor Coley specifically for getting the best from your vocals. They say:

The Sontronics ARIA will give you stunning results on every male or female vocal recording, thanks to its silky-smooth characteristics, its accurate response and Sontronics’ trademark smooth high-frequency roll-off. Housed inside the chromed grille is a large, 1.07-inch, edge-terminated capsule that captures all the detail and subtleties of any male or female vocal, while the hand-selected European 12AX7/ECC83 tube lends a character that you’d expect to find in a classic vintage valve mic costing many times more. For that extra level of control, the accompanying SPS-2 power supply unit boasts pad (0, -10dB) and filter (linear, 75Hz) switches as well as a tube-ready LED, letting you know when the mic is warmed up and at its best to record.

“I’ve been working on the concept of a vocal-specific valve mic for a long time,” explains designer Trevor Coley, “and the ARIA is the culmination of months of research and beta-testing, which I’ve been lucky enough to do with some incredibly talented musicians and producers. The result is a go-to microphone that really is a must-have for anyone serious about achieving the best, smoothest, warmest possible results from any vocal recording.Sontronics ARIA really will take your breath away!”

Click to read more ...

Softube Console One SL4000E Now Officially Endorsed By SSL

Solid State Logic will officially endorse the new Softube Console 1 model of their classic console SL4000E, the Console 1 was first featured on Pro Tools Expert in April 2013.

The model is included in the purchasing price of Console 1, and consists of the coveted black knob E242 equalizer, the classic channel compressor, the musical expander/gate and the sweet high and low cut filters from that channel. We have also included a model of the harmonics, distortion and non-linearities obtained from overdriving the SL4000E console, which can be used to add analog distortion across the entire mix for that coherent ”glue” sound. Adding to that is Softube’s own Transient Shaper, which is not a part of the SL4000E console or any other analog unit for that matter.

James Motley from Solid State Logic—head of business, workstation partner products—says: We were very interested when the team from Softube approached us about Console 1. Our customers understand the benefit to their workflow that a console can bring and we were intrigued to see how this could be integrated with a DAW. We’ve long been fans of their plug-ins and when the opportunity arose to work together we were confident that we could do something special together.

Console 1 will be in stores worldwide from February 12. US list price is $1099, with a probable street price of $999. In Europe, the list price will be €849, probable street price €799 (including 19% sales tax).

Watch our interview with Niklas from Softube from Messe 2013

TL Space Morphs Into Space In iLok Accounts - AAX Soon?

Users are reporting that their TL Space Reverb licence in their iLok accounts has recently changed into ‘Space’ with the vendor now showing as Avid TLL.

It has been our understanding for some time that Avid have been working on a port to AAX for the beloved TL Space reverb for Pro Tools.

It is highly likely that these new iLok deposits are in preparation for an AAX announcement of the plug-in previously known as ‘TL Space’ now being called simply ‘Space’. I feel a Prince song coming on, or should I say the artist formally known as Prince.

Forgive the pun, but watch this SPACE.

Sasha Descibes EDM As Douchebags Making Music For Douchebags

Seems like Sasha may not be a fan of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and wants everyone to know it.

In a recent tweet he wrote. “Most EDM is made by douchebags for douchebags. Do i care if lots of douchebags buy it? Not really, But it pollutes.”

Not sure who he was trying to make friends with, but it sure isn’t EDM producers. What do you think?

Happy New Year And THANK YOU!

I wanted to take this moment to say Happy New Year and Thank You to each one of you who supported the blog in 2013.

We saw record numbers visit the blog, in 2012 we had 1.76 million visits to the site, in 2013 that rose to 3.9 million visits. This is simply mind-blowing and is down to three things; firstly an awesome team who serve to support Pro Tools users around the world on a daily basis, secondly brilliant relationships with the best industry brands and finally an incredible community who join in the task of sharing and supporting one another.

We have some exciting things coming in 2014, more will be revealed in the coming weeks and months, but be assured of our continued commitment to make sure the Pro Tools community is stronger than ever.

Best wishes

Russ Hughes

Happy Christmas And A Happy New Year From Pro Tools Expert

I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire Pro Tools Expert team to wish every member of this amazing community a Happy Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Serving you all is a delight for the team, if you missed it, then check our review of the year Podcast where we talk about what motivates us to serve this wonderful community.

A huge thanks also to all our friends in the various companies who make the amazing gear we use each day with our Pro Tools rigs. Partnering with so many of you so we can better inform and serve Pro Tools users has been a delight.


Now A Microphone You Can Throw At People - Catchbox

Ever had one of those sessions or live gigs and you are looking for something to throw at the singer but you don’t want to waste one of your good microphones? No? Well then I’m working with the wrong people!

Joking apart, perhaps not on the minds of those who invented it, Catchbox is a throwable microphone designed for audience participation at meetings or events.

Thankfully they were smart enough to make the Catchbox wireless (that would have been a serious design flaw), so for around $500 you get a brightly coloured and padded wireless microphone in a box and a receiver to attach to either a PA or recording device. 

Even these instructions are going to be too complex for most board room executivesWe’re sure this isn’t going to find its way into the vintage mic collection of any studio, perhaps it might become a Waves plug-in and be bundled with the King’s Speech plug-in. However, it’s innovative and fun and we guess that the Catchbox will be finding its way into a lot of events and corporate team meetings.

It’s creating a buzz around the circles of those it is aimed at and perhaps as a sound engineer working these kind of live events this may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

An Update On Help For Bernie Torelli from Nomad Factory

Bernie Torelli at Nomad Factory

Less than a week ago, we posted a story about the plight of Bernie Torelli at Nomad Factory who has unfortunately been admitted in a hospital in Los-Angeles for a serious spine disease due to a cancer he was diagnosed with over two years ago and the plan from the team at Don’t Crack to raise funds for him.

We can announce that so far they have raised and sent over $60,000 to Bernie’s family already. But it is unfortunately still far short of the necessary funds needed to cover Bernie’s growing medical costs. They are therefore keeping the “Raising Funds” promotion going until December 31, 2013.

Please use any of the links below to spread the good word as far and loud as you possibly can…

  • Please share our “Raising Funds” post on your FACEBOOK page.
  • You may also want to RT (re-tweet) our announcement on TWITTER

Eric Nolot - CEO & President of DontCrack.com says…

On behalf of Bernie and his family, I want to thank ALL of you that have spontaneously participated in our “Raising-Funds” promotion, contributing to making it so successful up until now! We have given Bernie a reason to smile and a great big dose of hope… And that is surely the very best medicine. Thank you so much!

It would be great to give Bernie and his family an even bigger Christmas present, so you are able to help then please do.