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Entries in rtas (66)
We got a sneak peek of these new Session Keys Pianos from e-instruments, check out our full review of Session Keys, these are two amazing pianos from the team that brought us Session Horns and Session Strings and as you would expect they are very special.
Two Grand Pianos
Sessions Keys features two of the most exquisite concert grand pianos any aficionado could dream of and each one comes with two different characters to choose from: concert and studio. Session Keys Grand S delivers the rich harmonic structure, warm tone, and full resonances of the Steinway D4, while Session Keys Grand Y captures the clear, transparent and dynamic sound of a Yamaha CFIIIS. Rich overtones, sparkling high end, and a powerful bass range make this outstanding instrument the perfect complement to the Grand S. Both Session Keys instruments offer unique sound design and music creation functionality that sets a new standard for intelligent instrument technology. Imagine New Textures
The Pentamorph controller allows users to easily adjust the grand pianos acoustics from standard characteristic sounds to atmospheres that go far beyond the obvious as well as create movement on the fly using just one knob. Session
Animation Inspiration Guaranteed
The Animator is designed to generate truly musical piano performances in the most flexible way. The ultimate source of musical inspiration, the Animator offers an intuitive way to create flexible piano phrases that follow your harmonies.
Harmonic Power with Smart Chords - The Freedom To Play Your Way
For instant piano chords at your fingertips, Session Keys Smart Chord Mode provides a completely new and inventive way to add depth of musical expression to your production. Full chords or Animator riffs can be played via either the pad controller or single keys: just set the key of your song and let Smart Chord Mode create the harmonies.
Effects and Detailed Editing - Individual Sounds For Your Music
Great tone comes from the unique resonances and noises that shape an instruments sonic character. In addition to the Pentamorph controls, every parameter of the Session Keys grand pianos can be accessed and edited in detail to strengthen the individuality and expressiveness of the instrument or to take it far beyond its standard sonic signature. EQ, Compression, Convolution Reverb and Delay Effects can all be adjusted for creative sound design without boundaries.
Pricing and Availability for Session Keys
Session Keys Grand S and Session Keys Grand Y are available online at the e-instruments website (www.e-instruments.com), for $99 / 99 each or as a bundle for $159 / 159. Technical requirements:
Free Native Instruments KONTAKT Player Version 5.2.1 or higher Further product information and videos on Session Keys Additional information on Session Keys Grand S and Grand Y is available at their web site
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.
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.
Kush UBK1 is now avaiable in AAX 64 bit and 32 bit for Pro Tools 11, Mac and Windows.
Kush are one of those developers that make a few very cool plug-ins, UBK is one such plug-in.
The Kush UBK1 is a unique plug-in offering both saturation and compression and adding them in a very unqiue way.
Kush UBK1 Review
We got our hands on it in March 2012 and reviewed it, we loved it so much it got our Editors Choice Award, you can check out the video review of the Kush UBK1 here.
Kush UBK1 Formats
- UBK-1 32-bit AU 1.2.2
- 32-bit VST 1.2.2
- 32-bit AAX 1.1.1
- (Native & DSP)
- 32-bit RTAS 1.0.8
- 64-bit AU 1.2.2
- 64-bit VST 1.2.2
- 64-bit AAX 1.2.0
- 32-bit VST 1.2.2
- 32-bit RTAS 1.0.8
- 64-bit VST 1.2.2
- 64-bit AAX 1.2.0
Is it possible to get the sound of a Neve Portico 5033, which in hardware form costs around $1725 in a plug-in costing $39? We got an email from a community member suggesting we check out the DDMF 6144 Eq, which is indeed a model of a Neve Portico 5033 for $39.
At Messe last week I was up late drinking with some of my fellow writers from other blogs and news sites and we all agreed that the constant “but does it sound like the hardware” is a little silly.
I have a dbx160 UAD plug-in and I also own the hardware, which I purchased after owning the UAD version, I have them for different reasons, some of it completely irrational and for the same reason I buy books and don’t own a Kindle – there are times when you simply want to grab a knob (cue Frankie Howard impression!)
We buy plug-ins for various reasons; cost, flexibility and portability and as technology gets better so do the plug-ins. If I had limitless funds and choice and din’t need to travel then I would probably grab the hardware all the time, again mainly for reasons you can’t show on a spec or spread sheet!
Before you start demolishing your room to extend it for a 72 input SSL desk just wait a minute! Solid State Logic are looking for beta testers for their plug-ins.
What Solid State Logic Need From Public Beta Testers
In an email to Pro Tools Expert they say “as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver great products Solid State Logic is about to conduct a ‘Public Beta Test’ for the new Duende Native v5 plug-in collection’
What You Get For Being A Solid State Logic Public Beta Tester
The beta will include a final survey for you to complete on which successful completion will get you a FREE SSL plug-in.
Source: Solid State Logic
Russ takes a look at the new Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT plug-in to see if they have managed to capture some of the magic of this process pioneered at Abbey Road for the Beatles.
About The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT
This process was invented for the Beatles by sound engineer Ken Townsend at Abbey Road Studios to help thicken up the vocal tracks of John Lennon who it is believed got fed up of having to record doubled vocals.
The ADT (Automatic Double Tracking) used tape with LFO applied to give the unique effect that simulated the effect of two vocals having been recorded.
Download A Demo Of The Waves Abbey Road Reel ADT
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.
Pro Tools offers a number of different ways to add effects, one could say plug-ins but sometimes the term plug-in is not entirely accurate. Depending on the way the plug-ins or process is applied in can affect the results and also effect the load on you computer and your Pro Tools session.
Using Plug-ins As Channel Inserts
Perhaps the most common way people use audio processing in Pro Tools is as plug-ins as inserts, this means the plug-in is applied to the channel the audio is playing through. A number of things to note when using plug-ins on an individual channel;
- Plug-ins work live and make no changes to the audio file that passes through them.
- Each plug-in used takes up processing power, either DSP power on a Pro Tools HD system or the computer’s processing (native power) on a native Pro Tools system.
- Some third party plug-ins such as UAD use their own processing either on a PCI card or attached via FireWire or Thunderbolt. Each plug-in you insert will use up that power.
- Plug-ins work in serial, meaning that the audio cascades though each plug-in and is processed. This means for example that if you add a compressor in the first insert and an EQ in the second insert then the EQ is processing the signal as it has passed through the compressor.
- Inserts are pre fader on audio, aux, and instrument tracks, but post fader on a Master track.
- Inserts applied to tracks are not recorded as part of the audio. If you want to record audio with effects then you need to buss the audio out to another audio track and record it with effects applied.
- Virtual Instruments only work as inserts.
As a rule of thumb most insert plug-ins are used for processes involving EQ or Dynamics or track specific effects and when you need to process your audio in serial.
Another benefit of using insert based plug-ins is that live automation can be applied during the mix.
Using Plug-ins On Busses
A second way to use plug-ins as inserts is to use them on an AUX channel and then send the audio to that channel for processing, this offers two benefits.
- Using plug-ins on an AUX allows the user the opportunity to send audio from several channels. This is often the case when using a reverb, where the effect may be sent from many channels at the same time. This means one reverb can be used rather than many reverbs on each channel - this will of course reduce processing load.
- Plug-ins can be used to process the audio in parallel, this is a common trick on drums and vocals when using compressors. Parallel compression offers the opportunity to process the audio in a way not possible using inserts in serial, allowing the user to mix both the clean and compressed audio. Watch this free Pro Tools tutorial on using parallel compression in Pro Tools. Some plug-ins offer the chance to mix the orginal signal with the compressed signal, but even if the plug-in you use doesn’t offer mixing you can use the method shown in the video.
Using AudioSuite Processing
AudioSuite processing is an offline process that makes changes to the audio file. A process can be auditioned and then once the user is happy with the process this can be rendered to the audio. However have no fear of doing irreparable damage to your audio, Pro Tools retains the original unprocessed audio should you wish to return to it, find out more about dealing with this here. Common uses for AudioSuite processing are;
- Changes to gain (less used since the introduction of clip gain in Pro Tools)
- Audio repair, such as denoising, declipping or de-hum.
- Processor intense effects such as de-breath or vocal alignment.
Some Pro Tools users seldom use AudioSuite processing, yet AudioSuite can be a powerful tool, it offers processing that is not always possible in real-time, due to power constraints or the process being so intensive it creates latency so high that makes the process almost unusable. Watch this video on using the Normalize function as an AudioSuite process.
Using Standalone Audio Processing
Many manufacturers offer their audio processing as both standalone and also as an AudioSuite process. Often the standalone version offers more features and better results, two products in question are iZotope RX and Synchro Arts Revoice Pro 2.3, both have far superior features as standalone versions. The great news is that both products offer the option to process in Pro Tools, RX3 offers both real-time and AudioSuite processing, Revoice Pro 2.3 offers AudioSuite versions.
Knowing how to process audio can make a world of difference, it will change the sound you achieve, the quality of that sound and also maximise the efficiency of your sessions.
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
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)
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this episode I had already laid out my thoughts on Channel Strips and in particular the Avid Channel Strip, but after all of this criticism of Channel Strip, am I ignoring the shortcomings of the stock EQ3 and Dyn3 plugins?
In the writing of this piece I will be the first to admit that I have subjected all of these plug-ins to an unusual level of scrutiny and the most interesting part of the process as far as the equalisers were concerned was that my overall impression that EQIII and the EQ section of Channel Strip were very similar in character was confirmed when I managed to null the two equalisers against each other almost completely. I tried this using Channel G and the SSL channel EQs and found it impossible to null to anywhere near the same extent. Not unexpected, but the two Avid EQs nulled to a far greater extent (but never completely). EQIII is a clean, workmanlike EQ, which is both well designed and effective and offers the band pass mode of which I am such a fan. If I have a criticism it would just be that it is a little dull and will never have“vibe”. A version offering the same user experience but with the option of a touch more glamour and excitement would be a big hit with me.
I find the expander gate perfectly serviceable but, in line with Mike’s opinion of Dyn III, I find the compressor less than adequate on some sources. It tends to distort bass heavy material even with surprisingly long release times and with some material I really can’t use it.
There’s an ongoing discussion on the DUC regarding Avid’s ongoing policy regarding RTAS-AAX wrappers, which right now is that they are not allowed by Avid. Many theories are being put forward by both those for and those against the policy about why Avid have this policy.
The reason put forward by Avid is that RTAS-AAX wrappers are not allowed is because it compromises the stability and performance of Pro Tools, many users argue that the reasons are actually commercially motivated. Even if stability and performance are the real reason, surely it’s down to the user to make that choice, surely ‘caveat emptor’ applies here? If this is what Avid are most concerned about then surely (as with many of their products) they offer a “not supported” line about wrappers?
It seems absurd that a user can host VST and AU versions of plug-ins in Pro Tools 11 using various methods, but not RTAS. In fact since that article was written several other solutions have been offered by companies like Blue Cat Audio. This policy of ‘NO RTAS WRAPPERS’ seems odd (given that AU and VST are allowed) and undermines Avid’s own plug-in formats by suggesting that RTAS is less flexible and future proof than competitor plug-in architecture?
One reason cited is that 64 bit plug-in architecture makes any kind of wrapper impossible for older 32 bit RTAS plug-ins. Not so for Logic Pro X users, who with the Sound Radix 32 Lives software can run 32 bit versions of AUs in a 64 bit application, keeping their investment in plug-ins such as Abbey Road, TC and Lexicon alive.
If one buys a car, then there are certain fuels, oils and tyres that are recommended, if someone wants to use inferior quality products and in doing so experience inferior performance and possibly shorten the lifetime of the car, then as long as they don’t try and blame the dealer or the manufacturer then it’s their problem isn’t it?
The new 64 bit audio engine and improved architecture that made AAX necessary are without doubt a step forward, it offers vastly superior performance over RTAS, but if a user wants (or needs) to continue to use RTAS, then they should be allowed to do so, with the understanding that it will give inferior performance and will be unsupported?
I think what aggrieves users of legacy products such as RTAS or Control 24 and Pro Control mixers is not that they become unsupported or that development is ended, but that they are simply killed off. No one is suggesting that Avid should offer indefinite development and support for their older products, no other brand does so. However blocking the development of 3rd party solutions seems mean and petty minded, this seems to contradict the ‘new open Avid’ message that was introduced when Gary Greenfield was CEO of Avid and saw Pro Tools uncoupled from Avid hardware.
Surely if an RTAS wrapper is as possible as VST and AU versions then a user should get to choose how their Pro Tools system performs? Discuss.
Waves are offering the SSL 4000 plug-in bundle today only for $399. The bundle was recently discussed on the Pro Tools Expert podcast and described by Chris Lord Alge as “The SSL 4000 are the best models I have ever heard.” These excellent Waves plug-ins are developed under license from Solid State Logic.
The SSL 4000 Collection includes four meticulously modeled plug-ins based on the BRITISH SSL 4000 Series mixing console, loved by many top producers and heard on thousands of hit tracks. The AAX and RTAS compatible plug-ins will work in all versions of Pro Tools and include:
- SSL E-Channel
- SSL G-Channel
- SSL G-Equalizer
- SSL G-Master Buss Compressor
There’s a lot of tape emulation plug-ins right now for Pro Tools users and many of them are very good. Is it a case of taste or are there some tape emulations that are better than others.
Here is our round up of the contenders, then take our favourite plug-in poll at the end for you to have your say, please also add your comments.
We’ve been getting some real plug-ins gems to review recently in the Pro Tools Expert office, in fact some of the best EQs around, here are 5 from Russ for music and 4 from Mike for post that you should definitely check out.
- Maag EQ4 - AAX Native, AAX DSP, RTAS and UAD Powered
Available both in native and UAD powered format this is perhaps one of the sweetest EQs around, famous for its AIR band, those looking for some fairy dust to add to their mixes should not miss this one.
- Abbey Road Brilliance Pack - AAX Native, AAX DSP, and RTAS
Softube have re-released this pack of three simple to use, but super sweet vintage classics, if you’ve got vocals you can’t sit in a mix, this may be the set you are looking for. More
- McDSP 6020 Ultimate EQ - AAX Native, AAX DSP, and RTAS
The 6020 Ultimate EQ is a collection of ten equalizer models using the popular 500 module format, there’s something for every application in this baby without making it a jack of all trades and master of none. More
- Softube Focusing Equalizer - AAX Native, AAX DSP, and RTAS
Part of the Softube Passive/Active bundle, this one is a go-to equalizer in my arsenal when I need to sort out a frisky vocal that won’t behave, but equally at home dealing with other material. More
- UAD Pultec Passive EQ Collection - UAD Powered
In particular the EQP-1A, famous for being a go-to trick for top producers and engineers who want to add something very special to the bottom on of either single tracks or entire mixes. More
Here is my view from a post perspective. It could be argued that Post users use EQ as much, if not more, for fixing problems rather than as a creative tool.
- Avid EQIII - AAX Native, AAX DSP, and RTAS
I do not want to discount this plug-in. It is available in both Native and DSP formats, the EQ that comes with Pro Tools is a very useful tool. More here But if you want more from an EQ plug-in then check these out…..
- Sonnox - AAX Native, AAX DSP, RTAS and UAD Powered
The Oxford EQ is based on the original EQ section of the Sony OXF-R3 large format digital mixing console. The variable slope low and high pass filters are great for starting to clean up tracks. More
- Flux - AAX Native, AAX DSP, and RTAS
The Epure v3 plug-in is another great sounding eq with a very good GUI too. As time is often very tight in the post workflow, ease of use is a key factor in choosing your tools. More
- Waves - AAX Native and RTAS
The Renaissance EQ is an old favourite of mine but I use it less and less but only because their isn’t a DSP version of it anymore and for those post users that have invested in the HDX hardware we want DSP versions of as many plug-ins as possible. More
So are any of these in your list, if not then what is in your list?
Eagle eyed readers of the new Maschine Studio spec may have seen the ommission of RTAS from the spec. leading to speculation that it would only work in Pro Tools 11.
We reached out to Native Instruments for clarification and received this response.
“RTAS has been dropped indeed but the new Maschine 2.0 Software supports both 32 and 64 bit AAX”
This means that the new version of Maschine will work in Pro Tools 11, 11HD, Pro Tools 10, Pro Tools HD 10, or Pro Tools Express.
Of course those still needing RTAS will be able to continue to use earler versions of Maschine software.
Pro Tools Expert were invited to a secret meeting in London a week ago by Native Instruments, little did we expect them to show us Maschine 2, with new versions of hardware and software. This new version really raises the bar and for us looks like a modern rendering of the beloved MPC, which does beg the question, why didn’t AKAI do this? Rest assured we will have a full review to you as soon as we can.
In their press information they write:
Native Instruments today announced MASCHINE STUDIO and MASCHINE 2.0 – the new flagship groove production studio and next generation of MASCHINE software. Considerably bigger than the original hardware, MASCHINE STUDIO provides expanded tactile control and new hi-resolution color displays, setting a new precedent in intuitive, hands- on, computer-based beat production. As with the acclaimed MASCHINE and MASCHINE MIKRO, MASCHINE STUDIO is an integrated solution combining the latest software technology with a hardware-based workflow. MASCHINE 2.0 features a host of enhancements – including a new mixer page and dynamic drum synth plug-ins – designed to deliver more power and speed to all three MASCHINE production studios. MASCHINE STUDIO will be available at the NI Online Shop starting November 1, 2013. MASCHINE 2.0 is included with MASCHINE STUDIO and all MASCHINE and MASCHINE MIKRO products shipping on or after November 1, 2013.
FXpansion’s BFD drum VI has been a much loved part of the music production landscape for several years and so version 3 has been long awaited, if for no other reason for our community than that Pro Tools users now get AAX 64 bit to use with Pro Tools 11. Pro Tools Expert have been fortunate enough to have been given a pre-release copy of BFD3 to test and get fully up to speed with, so that once it hit the streets we could give you an extensive written and video review.
Apart from the obvious visual and format changes, now VST, RTAS, AU, AAX 64bit and standalone, there have been some changes to terminology and workflow. Here are the highlights plus a link to a full document on the changes.
- New audio data
BFD3’s new factory Core Library contains 5 new kits, one of which is recorded in a separate studio in 3 versions with sticks, brushes and mallets - 7 kits overall. In total, the library has 118 new kit-pieces.
- New articulations: Snare Rim Click Hi Hat Splash and Bell Tip Tom Rim Shot and Rim Click
- Lossless-compressed data
BFD3 features a built-in lossless audio decompression system - the BFD3 factory data is supplied as a special proprietary format, .BFDLAC (BFD3 Lossless Audio Compression). This means that the audio takes less space on disk and uses less resources when streaming from the disk. The compression results in files that are 3x smaller and are decompressed with minimal CPU load. Equivalent data/detail settings use a third of the RAM that would be used by BFD2 - the BFD3 audio data would be approximately 160GB in size without using any compression.
- Notable changes in terminology; Kit-pieces are now called Drums, the Kit-piece inspector is now the Drum editor
- Interface changes - Extendable interface
BFD3’s interface can be extended horizontally to achieve a larger working area. Note that the interface is not scaled to be larger - it simply offers a larger area of the mixer, FX slots and Groove Editor on-screen at once.
- Layout changes
BFD3 features a Browser on the left side of the interface, replacing the pop-up ‘modal’ chooser panels in BFD2. It is permanently visible except when using the Key Map or Automation panels, or it can be hidden when required.
- The Kit page and Mixer page are now consolidated into a single main page - the top is switchable between the Kit display and Effects Editor while the lower part features the mixer channels.
- The Drum Editor is shown at the right of the interface and can be hidden when required.
- The Key Map panel has a substantially different layout, allowing more flexible methods of making assignments.
UVI have released Sparkverb, new to most people, but not to users of MOTU MachFive 3. One claim that UVO make on their web site is that Pro Tools 11 will host over 400 instances of Sparkverb. In their words;
LSR Audio have announced COMPrime in AAX 64 Bit version, the RTAS versions are also available for both Mac and Windows.
- Natural progressive compression curve
- Very fast reaction
- Program-dependent release
- Vintage meter (displays gain reduction or output level)
- Adjustable tube drive, from subtle warming to hot overdrive
- Side chain low cut filter with adjustable frequency
- Soft or medium knee
- Parallel compression (mix control)
- Makeup level (-15dB to +15dB)
- Mono, stereo and multi-channel
- Double precision floating point processing