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 (323)
One of the ongoing debates for Pro Tools users is the issue of having AAX compatible plug-ins for Pro Tools 11 and also hosting VST and AU plug-ins in earlier versions of Pro Tools. There’s a lot of cool free plug-ins in VST and AU formats our there, so it’s worth exploring this. Here is our guide to the ways that it can be done.
By far the most comprehensive and best integrated solution. Vienna VEP5 offer AU hosting of both plug-ins and instruments within Pro Tools 11 and earlier. The integration is almost seamless with some very clever tricks. It’s also one the most expensive. Supports Pro Tools 11 and below. Watch our video here
Native Instruments Maschine
Maschine needs no introduction as a complete rhythm production studio. It also hosts AU and VST plug-ins which can run within Pro Tools. Another one of the more costly options but if you already own one then you already have AU and VST support. Supports Pro Tools 10 and below. Watch our video here
Nomad Factory Magma
Nomad Factory Magma is a complete suite of plug-ins that also offers VST hosting of effects but not instruments. It costs $199.00. Watch our video here
REAPER is not as some would suggest a FREE product, it offers a generous unlimited demo but those wishing to use it should pay the $60 price tag. Via ReWire it hosts VST and AU instruments and of course effects can also be used in any insert on those channels. Excellent value and solution. Watch our video here
Bidule is a highly configurable hosting solution that offers both ReWire and support via aggregate devices for both VST and AU instruments and effects. It also has a generous demo period and a price tag of 99 Euros. Watch our video here
VSTLord (Mac Only)
A free hosting solution which can be used via an aggregate device to host VST plug-ins. Watch our video here
Fxpansion VST/RTAS Wrapper
The Fxpansion RTAS to VST wrapper is one of the most used solutions for those wanting to use VST plug-ins in RTAS versions of Pro Tools. Supports Pro Tools 10 and below.
Russ shows how to get a cool reversed piano effect in Pro Tools.
Russ has a Skype chat with Lev Perrey from Universal Audio to talk about UAD version 7.1 software update and to get the latest news of AAX 64 bit for Pro Tools 11. Apologies for Skype quality during some of the video.
The very cool Pro Tools keyboard site has been updated with new features including;
- Pro Tools 10 and 11 support
- keyboard with a numeric keypad
Home of recording legend Trevor Horn, Sarm Studios are reported to have upgraded to Pro Tools HDX. On the news section of the MediaPro website they report;
Recording industry legend Trevor Horn’s West London based ‘Sarm Studios’ recently upgraded their main Avid Pro Tools system to the latest HDX/Pro Tools 11 specification, Audio Engineer ‘Graham Archer’ commented - “MediaPro were extremely helpful at the time of purchasing our new Avid Pro Tools|HDX rig, going into great detail regarding specs and pricing. They also had real-world information from other users and clients to help me make purchase decisions that were right for my needs. I’ve just completed my first project with the new rig and I can honestly say I’m very happy with the results – it’s the most stable system I’ve ever worked on.”
Sarm have a client list longer than your arm, you can find out more here.
For anyone working with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X sessions and needing to undertake audio post work, Marquis Broadcast have announced an update to their X2Pro Audio Convert 2.1.9 which makes it possible to move Final Cut Pro X projects to Avid Pro Tools for audio finishing, with audio Roles in Final Cut Pro X converted into Pro Tools tracks and sorted by type. It translates the audio timeline along with L-cuts, J-cuts, and transitions as well as Final Cut Pro X compound clips and handles any QuickTime-supported audio formats.
This release adds support for R3D files, preservation of role state between sessions, improved transition handling, and other changes. X2Pro Audio Convert is $149.99 or £99 for Mac OS X 10.6 through 10.8 and is only available in the Mac App Store.
Chris Nicoll is Head of Production for the Capital FM Network. His work covers radio imaging for multiple stations including Capital FM in the UK, Then there is sound design for Capital TV and HearTV station idents as well as audio mixing for various Capital FM Television advertisements and major Stadium events like Capital’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium, and Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball at London’s O2 Arena.
He also runs his own compostion and sound design company wizzFX.com with clients like bigFM in Germany and ZM in New Zealand.
You can listen here;
Peter Gates, who has taken the baton from Jean-Charles, has been very busy and has released v1.2 of his PT Prefs application. These are the new features Peter has added…
- Can now backup and restore. It creates a mirror folder structure in PT Prefs folder in Documents. This makes it easy for users to zip this folder structure to keep multiple backups.
- Separated Version 11 onwards prefs/AAE from pre Version 11. Handy for co-installs.
- Confirmation for trashing/restoring items
- Added another file to AAE prefs trash/backup/restore
- Added the com.avid.plist file
- Added nice little icon!
You can download PT Prefs v.2 from here
Jean-Charles who built the Pro Tools Prefs & Database Helper app for Mac users has reached out to the Pro Tools Expert community to explain what has happened recently. I will let him explain….
Thanks to everybody for your support and comments for my Pref & database Helper.
You may have noticed that my web site is down. I learned it on the DUC. I did not had time to troubleshoot it, but it mysteriously happened when I changed my internet provider.
I also did not modified my softwares in the last two years, and on a completely «unrelated» matter my second kid is now two years old.
I would like to have time to update my softwares and recode them in cocoa. I even bought a book on cocoa programming. I still have to find the time to open it.
As far as I know, I’m a good sound editor, an OK mixer for TV shows, a very good tech support tech but I’m not a programmer. In september 2011 I started to work for Solotech here in Montreal in the video department. I now setup racks of video servers, network switch, fiber optic transmitters, dedicated DSP (as in audio it’s better than just native) processing machine. I really like the technical challenge, the huge quantity of new things to learn.
Seldom does a new version of software come along that doesn’t challenge users to buy a new computer. Windows users in particular have spent years playing hardware catch-up as Microsoft released each new version of the Windows OS. Mac users have not been exempt either, with various Mac apps and OS releases pushing users into hardware upgrades.
In contrast, it would seem many Pro Tools users are finding a new lease on life in the sessions they are testing in Pro Tools 11. Our team have been doing all we can to make Pro Tools 11 fall over; it’s not impossible, but it’s a lot harder than it ever was using previous versions—especially with virtual instruments.
The jury is out until we can run tests with all our go-to plug-ins, but so far it’s looking good.
Have you tried it yet? If so, what are your results looking like? Is the new computer now on hold? Let us know your thoughts….
Russ shows how to use elastic pitch in Pro Tools to alter notes in performances, no auto tune software required.
Our friends at Fabfilter have given comprehensive details of their 64-bit AAX versions of Pro Tools 11 plug-ins. They write:
“We have updated all plug-ins to add 64-bit AAX support, enabling all FabFilter users to start working with Pro Tools 11 immediately after its release. The update also includes bug fixes and small improvements that benefit all plug-in formats, so we recommend everyone to upgrade.
- All plug-ins are now available as 64-bit AAX plug-ins for Pro Tools 11. The 32-bit AAX plug-ins have also been updated to the latest AAX v2 format and require Pro Tools 10.3.5 or later. RTAS plug-ins for earlier versions of Pro Tools are of course also included.
- Changing parameters via the mouse wheel will now correctly record automation and generate proper undo states. In addition, you can now also control switches with the mouse wheel.
- In the presets menu, changed the Options > View Program/Bank Numbers command to Enable MIDI Program Changes, which now actually enables/disables MIDI program changes as well as showing the program/band number for presets. This ensures that the plug-in only responds to MIDI program changes when this is desired.
- Various bug fixes in all plug-ins
Of course, the updates are free for existing FabFilter customers, and are available now for all platforms and plug-in formats.”
Download now and view a complete list of changes.
On Saturday we ran a survey to see how users were responding to the release of Pro Tools 11, you can see the results so far above from, click here to vote.
As is inevitable when a new product is shipped the internet lights up with opinion and counter opinion about the validity of a new product, Pro Tools 11 has been no exception. Of course opinions are like buttocks, we all have them but that doesn’t mean we should always get them out in public, however we thought we would take the most common reasons people are suggesting one should not buy Pro Tools 11 and respond to them with our own advice.
- “A lot of plug-ins are not ready”
That’s a relative statement based on what plug-ins you use. If you are someone who uses the stock plug-ins then you are ready to go. If you are someone who relies heavily on third party products, particularly virtual instruments, then you are correct, right now most of the large VI companies have not shipped working 64 bit AAX plug-ins. You have 3 options, use Pro Tools 10 and 11 and get the best of both worlds, host them in Vienna Ensemble Pro or wait until all plug-ins you need are ready. We have good relationships with all plug-in manufacturers and know that many companies will be shipping in days or weeks. If you want to see where most companies are then check out our AAX database for timing and any cost implications of AAX versions here. We also have a post with a list of plug-ins tested and working in Pro Tools 11 here, this is being updated hourly.
- “It might have bugs”
There’s no “might” about it, every piece of software on the planet has bugs, some more than others. Are there show-stopping bugs? Not that our team have come across, but there are annoying bugs which will start to get ironed out as CS releases come over the next weeks. What we ALWAYS say and will reiterate again, we’ll use caps to underline the point IF YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PROJECT DON’T UPDATE, it doesn’t sound different, it simply has better workflow enhancements.
- “I understand iLok has issues”
This is true, there have been some issues with iLok syncing on their new platform. It is perhaps unfortunate that Avid released Pro Tools 11 in the middle of the iLok issues and perhaps not wise to do it on a Friday either. We know for a fact that both PACE and Avid staff have been working all weekend to iron the issues out. What we will say is that the scale of the iLok issues are not as great as some would have you believe in terms of how many users are affected. What is true is that those who have been affected have been dealing with major headaches, in other words it’s been a huge problem for a small number of people and not the other way around. In our most recent survey around 8% said they were having technical issues when trying to update to Pro Tools 11. If you have any concerns about downtime then our best advice is to wait until you feel more confident and have a space in your working calendar to be able to deal with any issues that may occur - typically this would be around 72 hours to be on the safe side. Check out the helpful articles from Mike on dealing with iLok issues here.
- “My version of Pro Tools does everything I need”
Good, carry on using it - again we will reiterate there is no sound difference in Pro Tools 11, to get this you would need to improve your hardware with either Pro Tools HD Native or HDX. If your system works then carry on using it. One of our favourite business expressions is “profit is what you don’t spend” If you don’t need any of the features in Pro Tools 11 then don’t buy it.
- “I can’t afford it”
Don’t ever get into debt trying to keep up with the relentless stream of new products hitting the market, only buy what you can afford for your studio. If you are short of money and want to make great sessions then check out our FREE plug-in database and Russ’ series on “Mixing With FREE Plug-ins” from Groove 3.
- “There are other DAWs that do things Pro Tools doesn’t”
If you think there is a better DAW on the market then buy it. Many of us use Pro Tools because it works for us and is the standard that all of the studios and engineers we work with also use, this makes it essential for our workflow. When it comes to who makes the best DAW, the best DAW is the one that is best for you.
- “I’m not sure I need it or will like it”
Download the FREE trial, it can co-exist on your machine with Pro Tools 10, take it for a test drive and see if the workflow enhancements really help.
- “I hate Avid”
We suggest you move on then. If you have issues with Avid and can use other products then vote with you wallet, we are not here to change the mind of those who don’t like Avid, we are here to support the users who just want to get the best out of Pro Tools.
At Pro Tools Expert we are Pro Tools fans, of course we are! Our team love Pro Tools 11. However you need to make choices based on your needs, budget and workflow requirements.
We hope this post has laid out all the possible scenarios and given you helpful advice in what to do.
Owners of both Digi002 and Digi002R were a little concerned when Avid put it in the “might work” options on their list of approved interfaces. Anyway Eric Johnson has taken the plunge with Pro Tools 11 and reports are postive, here is guide to how he got up and running! Thanks Eric, you’re a star.
In the hope that it might be helpful to someone else, here is how I updated my Pro Tools system on Mac OS X Mountain Lion from Pro Tools 10 to Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 11. My Mac Pro is a 2008 8-core (dual 2.8GHz quad-core) ID 3,1 w/ 16GB RAM and a plethora of disk volumes, and my interface is a Digi/Avid 002 console. Neither my computer nor my interface are officially supported by Avid for Pro Tools 11, however they’re working. Of course I plan to replace both when I am able, but for now I’m thankful for the extended life I’m getting from my existing gear.
The CPTK upgrade for Pro Tools 11HD is now in the Avid store.
Russ shows how easy it is to create a track freeze workflow in Pro Tools 11.
In this video Russ shows what ducking is and how to apply it to a track. Often necessary when making podcasts, radio or voice in video and film.
IVGI can deliver very soft and subtle saturation, that feels at home on the master buss. It is equally capable of very dense and dirty distortion effects to spice up single tracks. IVGI’s base sound is comparable to the DESK mode in the upcoming big brother SDRR. Just as SDRR, IVGI reacts dynamically to the input signal. Even the modelled fluctuations react dynamically and also change depending on the drive setting, so that it doesn’t get in the way of the SOUND.
Scrub, a division of HHB Communications, has supplied Molinare’s Film and TV Post Production facilities with a 32-Fader Avid S5 Fusion Control Surface and Pro Tools upgrades for its newly revamped Dubbing Theatre A in Soho, London.
The refurbishment of Molinare’s Dubbing Theatre A makes it Soho’s only audio post production facility to offer a Pro Tools-based Euphonix DSP system. In addition to the S5 control surface, the theatre has been upgraded to Avid’s powerful Pro Tools HDX and version 10 software.