Entries in Pro Tools 10 (63)
There seems to be a lot of interest and discussion around a the whole issue of Pro Tools users getting the same software features as Pro Tools HD users. Perhaps Avid have made a rod for their own back, this was in fact what CPTK gave users before it was dropped from Pro Tools 11.
However, there are two sides to this argument - on the one side there are those who want the features but don’t want to have to buy what they see as a hardware dongle. On the other side we have those who have invested a great deal in a full HD/HDX system who feel somewhat p*ssed off when they see none-HD users getting the same software. It’s a fallacy to think that HDX users simply benefit from better software, DSP hardware offers lower latency at higher track counts, so there’s more to this debate than simply a software one.
Some suggest that no other company offers tiered systems, not true. Steinberg have several versions of Cubase, as well as Nuendo. Cakewalk Sonar and Studio One have several versions, Reason comes in two versions. Whereas DP and Logic do not, although one could argue that Garageband is Logic Lite. Furthermore, Apple are a unique case, as the software is part of the complete OS package when buying Apple hardware and is often used as a loss-leader to get people to buy Apple computers. Comparing a FREE copy of Garageband with something like Pro Tools Express or Reason Essentials is not comparing Apples with Apples (forgive the pun). One could also argue, as many PC Emagic users did at the time, that Logic does come with a hardware dongle… a Mac!
Given these fact, is it reasonable to expect Avid to give the same features to every user when many competitors don’t? Is it reasonable to expect the same software without making the same investment?
We would be interested in hearing from both sides on this discussion.
Russ shows how to track both clean and effected tracks at the same time in Pro Tools, giving the best of both worlds.
Russ shows how knowing some of the fundamentals in Pro Tools get help you become a remix Ninja.
Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 is not a new product, some of our users have been using it for some time. However as Pro Tools 11 looms on the horizon we’ve been looking at possible ways to host plug-ins in Pro Tools that may not run in the short term, or in some cases ever run in Pro Tools 11.
This video was orginally going to simply be a set-up video for those who already own Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 but Russ has been so impressed by it, he decided to include a review.
Watch the video to see it in action with some VST instruments and a Waves reverb.
From the video you will see that the interface and interaction are both elegant and simple to use, yet offer Pro Tools users a viable way of either hosting VIs in Pro Tool 9 and 10 or for hosting none AAX plug-ins in Pro Tools 11. Russ has seen it working in Pro Tools 11 (even though VE have not announced it as working with Pro Tools 11) with no issue and offering amazing performance, even to the point of seeing UAD hosted plug-ins working and offering offline bounce, something not even possible right now in a native format.
It’s not FREE, some would say that £200 ($350) is a lot of money to pay for this, but bearing in mind it ships with the excellent Epic Orchestra, hosts VST and AU plug-ins and effectively either expands usability for those wishing to remain on Pro Tools 10 or future proofs those wishing to invest in Pro Tools 11 without the worry of unusable plug-ins. Even better you can host it on a separate computer like a Mac Mini and have all your VIs and plug-ins running in 64 bit and running back to Pro Tools, even older 32 bit versions.
As you will gather from the video and also from above, I think this is simply brilliant and perhaps the most no-brainer purchasing decision I’ve come across. If you are a Pro Tools user and use a lot of VIs and plug-ins then this is a MUST HAVE product. It gets our Editors Choice Award without any hesitation… if you already own it then you’ll understand why. If you have any doubt about our verdict then check out other reviews and also customer comments on sites like Sweetwater.
Russ shows how using filters on compressors can help to control dynamics in complex material.
When Pro Tools 11 was announced, one of the claims made was ‘exponential performance gains’ - a claim immediately seized on by my friend and vastly superior writer Peter Kirn over at Create Digital Music. Peter said, “As for the announcement, the marketing copy also starts with a peculiar marketing claim: “Get exponentially more processing power than Pro Tools 10 using the same hardware.” It’s hard to know where Avid would find exponential performance gains, unless they know a different meaning of the word. A 64-bit engine, for instance, generally offers marginal, not exponential gains. It seems there is a new engine users are happy with, but there would have to be something horribly wrong with the previous engine for the new one to be exponentially faster on the same hardware architecture.”
This week, we got a chance to see Pro Tools 11 in action. Something to be noted immediately is that the copy we were shown is a beta version, so some work still has to be done before the final GM (Gold Master) sees the light of day. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise us if the performance is even better in the final public release; if nothing else, it won’t be any worse.
That said, what we were shown was impressive by any standard.
Not being a mathematician, I decided to investigate the whole area of exponential theory. From what I can gather, it simply means an exponential curve shows a far greater increase than a linear curve. So take a look at the graphic showing the same session on the same Mac, but one opened in Pro Tools 10.3.5 and the other on a beta copy of Pro Tools 11. Call it what you like (if you don’t think it’s exponential, I’m not going to have a battle of semantics), but in my words after having seen it in action with the performance gains I witnessed, I would have written different ad copy, to wit:
“Pro Tools 11 gives f*****g awesome improvements in performance”.
This probably explains two things: firstly, why I don’t work for Avid in their marketing department, and secondly, why Avid chose the word ‘exponential’.
In response to Peter’s final consideration, “[T]here would have to be something horribly wrong with the previous engine for the new one to be exponentially faster on the same hardware architecture.”… there was!
Shane responds to some questions regarding his first videos showing a Hackintosh running Pro Tools Thunderbolt HD.
Thanks to a “Heads Up” from Håkan Fredriksson on our Facebook page it appears that Software Plugin manufacturer Toontack have declared their intentions with the AAX Plugin format via their online support forum.
Product Specialist, Rogue Marechal stated: “We will be timing our AAX releases to be following PT11’s availability as close as possible.
Technically they are more or less ready, but a supplemental PT10 update needs to be released to all Avid users before we can safely roll them out.
“There are some details about the preferences folder structures that have changed in 10.3.5 which could lead to problems launching Pro Tools if you run Trasher 10.”
He says a fixed version should be available in the next day or two, so hang tight and watch this space.
If you are a Trasher 10 user and have updated to PT 10.3.5, DON’T use Trasher 10 until Steve has posted the update — or you may have problems.
If you are a Trasher 10 user and feel like brightening up Steve’s day, please consider making a donation to him and his work via PayPal to his email address (displayed on the Trasher 10 interface).
Another video showing how to use a third party app to get both VST and AU plug-ins working in Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD, versions 9, 10 and 11, for Mac and PC.
Russ shows how to get three tracks sounding like the band played together.
A second video where Russ shows hosting VSTs in Pro Tools using a similar method as the audio units video but with some FREE software. Mac only.
Avid Have just release the latest update to Pro Tools - 10.3.5
This new version addresses bugfixes, some minor changes and compatibility updates.
For Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools HD 10
Version 10.3.5 is officially qualified and recommended for:
- Pro Tools|HDX systems on Mac OS X 10.7-10.7.5, 10.8*, 10.8.2*, 10.8.3* or Windows 7 SP1 (details)
- Pro Tools|HD Native systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8*, 10.8.2*, 10.8.3* or Windows 7 SP1 (details)
- Pro Tools|HD Native Thunderbolt systems on Mac OS X 10.7.5, 10.8*, 10.8.2*, 10.8.3* (details)
- Pro Tools|HD Accel systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8*, 10.8.2*, 10.8.3* or Windows 7 SP1
- Pro Tools systems on Mac OS X 10.6.7-10.7.5, 10.8*, 10.8.2*, 10.8.3* or Windows 7 SP1
Russ shows a cool way to use Audio Units instruments working with Pro Tools 9,10 and even Pro Tools 11.
If you want to get tight timing in your tracks there are a few things you can do to make sure your performance is on the money. Here are my top 5;
- Get The Metronome Beat Right
One trick drummers use, especially on slow tempos is to make sure you metronome is running at 8 clicks per bar rather than 4 clicks per bar. This helps to keep your playing super tight.
- Get the Metronome Sounding Right
The sound of a click can make a lot of difference, thankfully Pro Tools 11 features Click II that will offer many more click sounds to chose from. Even if you don’t intend to upgrade then you can modify the click to trigger any MIDI sound, you can also simply create you own click drag by dragging clips onto the timeline and lining them up on the grid and then looping them.
- Get Your Monitor Mix Right
Spend time making sure you have both the mix and the metronome right in your ears. Too quiet and you won’t play in time, too loud and it will bleed into your recording. If you are working with clicks then make sure you have good quality enclosed headphones, especially around drums as there are multiple mics the click can bleed into.
- Practice Makes Perfect
I’ve worked with human metronomes who seem to be tight as a drum machine, but ask them and they will tell you they spent hours learning to play to a click. The good news is that you can improve your timing with practice, the bad news is you have to put in the work.
Sometimes you get performances that were played live, without a click or you just have a someone who has sloppy timing. If you can’t get the performance you need then you may have to resort to using the excellent tools for getting stuff in to time such as Beat Detective, Elastic Time or good old fashion cut and nudge - but if you can use these as a last resort, a great performance is always more musical.
So there we are, 5 ways to get tight timing in Pro Tools. If you have any of your own, please comment.
Neil has been working closely over the last few months with a long established pro audio PC company to develop a machine built for one specific task - Pro Tools.
More info will be coming over the next few weeks, but in the meantime you can go to their web site and sign up to be kept informed of developments. www.pro-tools-pc.com
There’s been a lot said about Pro Tools 11 being a 64 bit application but not a lot about the implications on the audio path.
Our buddy Colin over at McDSP has an excellent article about it on his site - here’s a snippet…
In professional audio production, signal quality is paramount. Naturally then, McDSP AAX plug-ins (DSP and Native) make the most of what is possible in Pro Tools 10 (and 11). Although the Pro Tools 10 audio path is only 32 bits, within a McDSP plug-in, we’re adding another 32 bits of precision to give the discerning user a more accurate, dynamic processing experience. Using this approach, McDSP plug-ins are able to provide greater control flexibility and increased fidelity for the best sound possible. For example, the AAX version of the FilterBank E606 plug-in has increased frequency control ranges – more than the original E6! This was only possible with the capability of the new HDX hardware and the flexibility of the AAX plug-in format.
This design is similar to what was done for our TDM and RTAS plug-in line. Both formats leveraged the double precision capabilities available (48-bit for TDM, 64-bit for host CPU processing). McDSP AAX plug-ins (DSP and Native) use similar double precision techniques, but can now do so at the 64-bit level for both DSP-based and Native-based processing.
Colin and the gang at McDSP have declared their AAX 64-bit support, as well as helpfully explained support for 32-bit AAX in Pro Tools 10.
“McDSP is proud to announce AAX DSP and AAX Native support for the following v5 plug-ins:
- Analog Channel
- 6030 Ultimate Compressor
- 4020 Retro EQ
- 4030 Retro Compressor
- 4040 Retro Limiter
- Channel G (public beta)
- ML4000 Mastering Limiter (public beta)
- MC2000 (public beta)
- NF575 (public beta)
Russ and Neil are here with a packed Pro Tools Expert podcast that includes;
- AIR Announce AAX Support
- Pro Tools 11 community feedback
- CPTK2 upgrade price concerns
- Other Pro Tools 11 feedback
- Tops for managing VIs in 32bit Pro Tools
- Navigating the Blog question
- Missing iLok Account Details
- Using ASIO drivers in Windows
- Pro Tools 11 Interview with Chris Gahagen from Avid
- Interview with Louis Hernendez CEO of Avid
- New Avid iOS interfaces
- And more
You can listen here;
If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here