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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 pro tools 8 (33)

Pro Tools Expert Podcast 46

Russ, Mike, and Neil are here with another Pro Tools Expert podcast, the first of 2013. This week is another bumper question & answer edition… 

  • Pro Tools  11 Wish List
  • Tip recommendation from Mike Phirman
  • Update on iLok problems with Windows 7 & 8 and solution
  • What to replace old Mbox Pro with
  • Waves Element VI
  • Feedback on the questionnaire
  • Advice on a deep and muggy vocal.
  • NAMM  2013 thoughts
  • Advice on HD Native Thunderbolt and HD Omni
  • Reason 6.5 on Windows 7 laptop with PT M-Powered Video to help
  • Structure in Post
  • PT MP 9 & Windows 8, will it work?
  • Problems with Oxygen 61 keyboard
  • Interface options for Pro Tools SE

Listen on iTunes

Songwriting 10 - Making the Vocal Edits

In this series Russ lays himself bare and shows how a song is put together from scratch, including mistakes, how to fix them and how to take a song all the way to mix.
In this session - making the vocal edits

Songwriting 9 - Making the Edits

In this series Russ lays himself bare and shows how a song is put together from scratch, including mistakes, how to fix them and how to take a song all the way to mix.

In this session - making the Edits

Songwriting 8 - Tracking the Vocals

In this series Russ lays himself bare and shows how a song is put together from scratch, including mistakes, how to fix them and how to take a song all the way to mix.

In this session - tracking the vocals

PT8 Beta now Shipping for Windows 7 

The Windows 7 beta is now shipping for Pro Tools 8.

Avid is pleased to announce that the recently released 8.0.3 version of Pro Tools® software provides public beta* compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system for Pro Tools HD, LE, and M-Powered. Pro Tools M-Powered Essential is fully qualified with Windows 7. This public beta is provided as a convenience for Windows 7-based Pro Tools 8.0.3 users who may wish to begin their transition to Windows 7 before fully tested and qualified Windows 7 support for Pro Tools becomes available. Based on which device you are running, you may need to download and install additional drivers to complete your Windows 7 preview functionality. Please follow the instructions listed below.

More here

Confused? I Was! Pro Tools Updates

You may or may not be aware of the latest Pro Tools 8.03 update.

Or like me and many others you may have thought, I already know about the 8.03 update that is an interim for Snow Leopard users to try!

Not so! There is an 8.03pr and that was the original one, the new one is also called 8.03, but without the 'pr' on the end.

Even more interesting the splash screen shows the first signs of AVID Pro Tools!

Pro Tools 8.0.3 is a free update for all Pro Tools 8 owners. Version 8.0.3 supports the following operating systems:

  • Mac OS X 10.6.1 – 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard)
  • Mac OS X 10.5.5 – 10.5.8 (Leopard)
  • Windows XP (Home or Professional, 32-bit)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (32-bit)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (64-bit) – Pro Tools M-Powered Essential only
  • Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit) – Pro Tools M-Powered Essential only (Pro Tools HD, LE, and M-Powered can be used on Windows 7 as a public beta)

From the AVID site:

'Avid is excited to announce Pro Tools 8.0.3 software, a free update for all registered Pro Tools HD 8, Pro Tools LE 8, Pro Tools M-Powered 8, and Pro Tools M-Powered Essential 8 users. Get official Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard support, plus over 100 of your most requested software improvements and fixes. In addition, you can use Pro Tools 8.0.3 on Windows 7* as a public beta, or as a fully supported release with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential.'

The update includes updates for the entire AIR collection including Boom and Structure FREE.

More here

Digi Release Snow Leopard Update for Mac

Avid/Digidesign is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a prerelease version* of Pro Tools® software that provides expanded Mac OS X 10.6.x Snow Leopard compatibility to Pro Tools 8.0 users. Pro Tools 8.0.3pr software is provided as a convenience for Mac-based Pro Tools 8.0.x users who may wish to begin their transition to Snow Leopard before a fully tested and qualified version of Pro Tools becomes available.

Pro Tools 8.0.3pr software is available as a download only and requires Mac OS X 10.6.x and an existing Pro Tools 8.0.x installation. Get it here

Will all plug-ins work on Snow Leopard, or should I expect a lengthy compatibility transition?
A: At the time of this writing we have found most plug-ins to work without problems except the following AIR instruments which exhibit a yellow user interface:

  • Hybrid
  • Strike
  • Structure
  • Transfuser
  • Velvet
If you encounter additional issues please let us know by providing your feedback here:

What Does PT8.01 Mean For AIR Users

The release of Pro Tools 8.01 is great news for AIR users with lots of fixes for both the RTAS plug-ins and virtual instruments. You'll see from the installer that the Creative Collection update is nearly 800 meg!

The list is quiet extensive and although I can't go into detail it should bring a better user experience of AIR gear across the board.

Even better the details show that AVID have not been sitting around waiting for the release of Snow Leopard as lots of work has taken place on AIR products to make them AIR compatible.

STICKY: Mbox Micro & Pro Tools 8 Prize Draw

Avid just keep giving, this month the wonderful guys over at Avid have donated a Mbox Micro USB interface complete with a copy of Pro Tools 8 LE and a pile of bundled instruments (value $279). This is great for those wanting to work on the move or for those wanting to upgrade to Pro Tools 8, either way it's a very cool prize draw. As usual a simple question needs to be answered then just fill in your details and sit back and wait for the email. This month's question is 'what is the maximum sample rate that the Mbox Micro can operate at?' What are you waiting for?

SORRY THIS DRAW IS NOW CLOSED PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON TO SEE IF YOUVE WON!

Remix Master Class - Adding Effects and Instruments


In this session Russ shows you how to add effects and instruments to take your remix from average to amazing!

Russ shows just how easy it is!

See it here

Have you donated yet?

Remix Master Class - Getting Started


In this session Russ shows you how to get a track into Pro Tools, figure out the tempo, lay it on a grid, ready for adding additional instruments.

Russ shows just how easy it is!

Watch it here

NOTE: The video intentionally ends at 14:52 - Part 2 coming soon!

Music Creation with Pro Tools 8 tour dates announced


Want to know more about the new features in Pro Tools 8?
Need a closer look at the new Axiom Pro controller keyboard?
Having trouble installing Transfuser?

Digidesign and M-Audio teams have announced a series of end-user events and clinics across the UK and Ireland during April and May. Aimed at recording musicians and producers, the events will feature product demos on the latest Pro Tools 8 software, as well as a number of other recently launched products from M-Audio, including the eagerly awaited Axiom Pro controller keyboard.

Check out the Top Ten reasons for attending one of the free Music Creation with Pro Tools 8 events happening near you:

  1. Learn everything there is to know about Boom, Vacuum and all the other free virtual instruments included with Pro Tools 8
  2. Try out M-Audio’s brand new Axiom Pro controller keyboard and see how HyperControl technology can improve your studio workflow
  3. Ask one of the Pro Tools experts that are on hand at each event a question re your own studio
  4. Check out the new track comping, scoring and midi editing features in Pro Tools
  5. Come and hear M-Audio’s latest studio monitors, including the new DSM1 and BX Deluxe models
  6. Get a good look at Pro Tools 8’s amazing new look and feel on an oversized screen
  7. Find out which of the M-Audio and Digidesign audio interfaces are best for your setup
  8. Pick up the latest issue of DigiZine – essential reading for Pro Tools aficionados and musos
  9. Blag a t-shirt/cap/jacket or other item of branded swag from one of the team
  10. Hang out at your local music store – you should do it more often.
Check out the full event for the Music Creation with Pro Tools 8 tour right here

Plug-in Mapping in Pro Tools 8

The plug-in mapping in Pro Tools 8 is completely independent of the 'learn midi cc' mapping in AIR or other plug-ins. The plug-in mapping requires a compatible control surface and, if one is connected, the plug-in window will show the appropriate mapping controls, including the option to save a preset.

The 'learn midi cc' function in plug-ins allows you to map a fader, knob or other midi controller to a parameter in the plug-in. This setting is saved with the session and cannot be saved as a preset or mapped to other plug-ins. For instance, if you have an instance of Boom open and map a knob to one of it's parameters, then open another instance of Boom, you would have to re-map the controller to the new instance if you wanted to control it. You cannot save the setting and apply it to another instance of the plug-in.

Not the best thing in the world, our workaround right now is to create a session template with an instance of each VI's map the controllers and then save the session. Then use this session as a template for a new session and disregard all VI's not needed for that particular session.

Interview with Peter Gorges - Head of AIR

As promised here's the first interview with Peter Gorges, Director of AIR. It's been a busy time for AIR, as their contribution to Pro Tools 8 was significant, but we've managed to pin him down and find out a little more about AIR, future plans and support for existing products.

AB: First, thanks for giving up your time in what must be a busy season for AIR with the imminent release of Pro Tools 8. We will talk about that in a while, but first can you tell us a little bit about how it all started?

PG: I’ll give you the time-lapse version: I started the company in 1997. I had been a sound designer, author and editor for various keyboard-related magazines by that time and wanted to start my own business instead of working for others. In the beginning, Wizoo specialized in music technology books, sample CD-ROMs and sound/sample creation for larger music instrument and software manufacturers. A turning point was marked by our collaboration with Steinberg, especially the LM4 drum machine, and Charlie Steinberg inventing VST and with it the concept of virtual instruments. Steinbergs founder Manfred Ruerup teamed up, which lead to Wizoo developing VIs to be sold by Steinberg – products like The Grand, Hypersonic, Virtual Guitarist or Xphraze, to name a few. Manfred left Steinberg in 2003,, not much later Hans Zimmer became a shareholder, we hired the former Creamware development team and were planning to expand Wizoo into a larger VI brand. After a few products such as Latigo/Darbuka or the Wizooverbs – and a sample editing system Hans is exclusively using to this day – Digidesigns general manager Dave Lebolt approached us with an offer – and after a few months of discussions and negotiations it turned out to be just the right step for the time and circumstances.

AB: Thanks, so after several years as Wizoo the point came when you were aquired by Digidesign, what benefits has this relationship bought to you?

Joining Digidesign has had a catalyzing effect on the team in many many areas, and at the same time Digidesign was smart enough to let us move on as a small, creative team in Germany, instead of trying a forced integration. And it’s worked out great for both. The AIR Group has got all of the benefits of being part of a large organization, and at the same time has the same artistic license as a small team. I think this clearly shows if you look at the products we’ve done – yes, they’re integrated into the Pro Tools world, but they’ve got their individual character and add something to the Pro Tools world which is not typically “Digidesign”. I think with the support of Digidesign the team had the opportunity to grow and create better stuff – I seriously think we’ve learned a lot and improved many things about our products since we joined Digi.

AB: As we said at the start Pro Tools 8 is the new incarnation of Digidesigns DAW, this version sees new instruments and plug-ins from AIR, in fact much of the addtional content is from AIR - what can you tell us about that and the decision to include so much new AIR content?

PG: 'Well Digidesign certainly didn’t acquire Wizoo in order to become a manufacturer of individually sold virtual instruments. That strategic acquisition obviously was made in order to add instruments to the Pro Tools world, because music creation historically hasn’t been something people would associate with Pro Tools. When we joined Digi, Pro Tools 7 just had got released and – unlike many other DAWs – didn’t come with a catalog of instruments that complemented the app. Right after we joined, we of course focussed on creating professional, for-sale instruments, but it was clear from the beginning that some of that goodness should go into Pro Tools as an integral part to better the “out-of-the-box” experience for musicians and composers. So when Pro Tools 8 was around the corner, we intended it to contain a set of instruments that weren’t just “lite” versions of our for-sale VIs, but a nice set of easy-to-use, yet very good sounding instruments. Also, we wanted to do some you’d never do if you were looking to sell them – Vacuum is a typical case. It’s that kind of instrument everybody loves and wants but nobody would pay for. Also, I always felt – coming from the Logic and Cubase world - that Pro Tools suffered a serious lack of good-sounding, usable effects. Heck, I couldn’t even buy them from third-parties – third-party products tend to be all bells and whistles, but sometimes you don’t want to waste 3 TDM DSPs just for a basic phaser. We had a bunch of real good effects in our development toolkit, so it was natural to give them a bit of tuning, a nice GUI and turn them into self-contained plug-ins.

AB: We asked AIR users to give us some questions that they wanted to put to you. We've distilled them into a few areas which they would love to hear more about.

AB: First can we ask what plans there are for incremental updates to existing instruments like Structure and Transfuser. Some users experience bugs and other users have additional features which they would like to see. There is a feeling amongst some users that whilst there is development there may not be as much time put aside for dealing with issues with ongoing products - how would you like to respond to that?
PG: Yeh I totally know where those guys are coming from, and I admit that at the pace we cranked out new instruments in order to build a catalog, we sometimes didn’t have the bandwidth to cope with our existing stuff as much as users would have liked us to. 2009 will see a significant change for the better here, although I can’t talk about that in detail yet.

AB: One commmon concern for Structure users is the lack of additional content over and above the supplied content and the East West library, are there plans for further collaborations with content providers or new content for both Structure and Strike?

PG: We’re not planning any further collaborations, but we’ve undertaken some efforts to extend our own offerings, the fruits of which we’ll see in 2009 and 2010. It’s pretty significant stuff. On the other hand, we’re planning to finally offer more formats that Structure natively reads – on top of EXS and Kontakt – and we are working with third parties to get them to adopt Structure. This isn’t easy as most manufacturers who sell sample libraries prefer marketing them as VIs these days simply because the product looks more complete and sells better.

AB: Some of our users have noticed in the YouTube demonstration videos of the new PT8 and VI's by Phil Jackson that he says that the current Xpand! has 1500 patches, and that the new Xpand2! will have 3000 patches. Doing a find *|wc -l in the Library/Application Support/Digidesign/Plug-In Settings/Xpand! folder in terminal window on my osx 10.4.9 counts about 1200 patches. Manually counting the number of parts/instruments in Xpand! I get just under 600 parts. I'm a bit confused about the numbers. Are our users just bad at math or is their another explanation?

PG: I think the confusion comes from the various file types and their terminology – there’s waveforms, parts and patches - or settings in Pro Tools terminology. Most of this is hidden in the big file that comes with Xpand. Xpand 2 has 2469 ‘Settings’ - that’s the TFX files, and 1379 Parts – that’s the “mini patches” you can load into each slot of Xpand 2. Also, the size of sample content went up from about 600 MB to more than 1.4 GB – compressed. The 1500/3000 numbers are kind of blurry in that context, but now you have it crystal-clear.

AB: Thanks Peter, AIR has a lot of fans out creating great music with your instruments and we look forward to the future.

PG: Thanks for the opportunity, Russ. We at AIR are flattered about the existence of this blog, about people caring about our instruments, and we look forward to getting and giving feedback.

Creative Collection Plug-Ins Guide

Do you want to know more about the new AIR Creative Collection? This guide gives an in depth explanation of the new Virtual Instruments:

  • Boom Drum Machine
  • Xpand2
  • DB33 Organ
  • Vacuum Synth
  • Structure Free Sample Player
  • Mini Grand Piano
It also includes information about the brand new plug-in collection.
  • AIR Chorus
  • AIR Distortion
  • AIR Dynamic Delay
  • AIR Enhancer
  • AIR Ensemble
  • AIR Filter Gate
  • AIR Flanger
  • AIR Frequency Shifter
  • AIR FuzzWah
  • AIR KillEQ
  • AIR Lo-Fi
  • AIR MultiChorus
  • AIR Multi-Delay
  • AIR Nonlinear Reverb
  • AIR Phaser
  • AIR Reverb
  • AIR Spring Reverb
  • AIR StereoWidth
  • AIR Talkbox
  • AIR Vintage Filter
Download here

Structure Video Training Coming Soon

We are receiving a lot of interest in Structure training videos and we just want to let everyone know that they are on our radar and will be coming up soon. We want to get the first Strike sessions finished and then we'll move to Structure, so hold tight for more FREE HD videos from the AIR User Blog.

Roland TD10 and Strike Issue

After some extensive tests it seems that Roland TD10 Ultimate V-Drums Set may have issues when used with Strike, the AIR Drum VI. This may also be the case with the rest of the TD range. After testing we have discovered that the Roland units transmit 'General Purpose Controller 16' if this is not filtered out it may cause Strike to crash and your session to quit unexpectedly. CC16 is classified as a fine resolution General Purpose message, on the whole these are rarely supported by most instruments or mixing devices.

Fun With Air


Mark Camp,one of Digidesign's test engineers has found how cool the new AIR effects Plug-ins can be. This session was created using only the Creative Collection Plug-ins that are included FREE with Pro Tools 8.

'The sound source is the Air Vintage Filter. Turning the Resonance up most of the way will cause the filter to self Oscillate. You can tune the tone by adjusting the Frequency of the filter. I then ran the tone thru the FilterGate which gave it a Rhythm.

The session plays even when the Pro Tools transport is stopped! Yet it is still synced to the session Tempo. Pretty cool! I’ve expanded on this idea by using Signal Generator and other ‘rhythmic’ Plug-Ins such as Sound Toys Filter Freak.

Try engaging the Transport and automating some parameters.

Have fun!'

Thanks Mark for this contribution to the AIR Blog - we think it's brilliant! You can download the session here. Enjoy!

Strike Training Session 2 - Pattern Programming

This is a series of training sessions for Strike users, the purpose is to take users deeper and the entire set will form a library for those wishing to exploit the full potential of this amazing plug-in.

In this new video we cover pattern programming and show 3 different ways to construct a song using Strike - each one different and tailored to meeting different work flow styles. Enjoy!

Watch it here

Missed Session 1? Find it here...

Interface Turned Yellow?

It might have been a hit for Coldplay, but Yellow isn't your favourite colour when your trying to operate one of your AIR virtual instruments. Reports include Velvet and Xpand 1 having their interface turn yellow.

Nothing to worry about as it's just normally a sign that you need to update your plug-in, that normally solves it. If in doubt check the Digidesign site to get the latest version.