We have received some details including some screenshots of a new feature the development team at Avid are working on that harnesses the power of machine learning to help us whilst recording, which our sources tell us will be for the Pro Tools 2018.4.1 release.
How many times when you have been recording a part in a song or ADR in post-production and getting frustrated that you are filling up the session with loads of sub-standard takes? Wouldn't it be nice if you could see the wood for the trees and be able to separate off all those takes that are never going to make the grade? Currently, Pro Tools saves them all and so you end up having to wade through them, perhaps using the Pro Tools scoring system marking them all up determining which takes are 'keepers' and which should never see the light of day, when trying to find the right take.
What we understand Avid is working on, for the Pro Tools 2018.4.1 release, is a feature called Audio Bin, which analyses each take, as you record it, using special machine learning algorithms and if the take doesn't make the grade, Pro Tools will automatically put the take in the Audio Bin, leaving you with just the good takes to work with.
Speaking off the record one of the Pro Tools development team told us...
Pro Tools has been given a reputation by some people in the industry that it encourages people to record poor quality takes and then fix them in the mix. With Audio Bin we wanted to underline that Pro Tools is a powerful professional recording tool and getting things right when tracking is essential.
He went on to say...
In our tests with a number of bands we've found that with a setting higher than 70% and 'Remove from Playlist' checked it can save a huge amount of disk space. One of the bands we worked with saved 100% of their hard disk space compared to not having Audio Bin turned on.
One member of the Pro Tools Beta team, who we cannot name, told us...
It took me 72 takes before I got one down that Pro Tools thought was good enough based on a 85% setting! I don't know how it does it, but Pro Tools knew there were mistakes in a take, or the tuning was off or it lacked passion. It's amazing.
You can set the parameters and the thresholds in the Processing Tab in Pro Tools Preferences.
As you can see from this leaked screenshot there is a Quality Threshold, which you can set from 1 to 100% where (we assume) 100% is perfect in every way. You can also check options so that Pro Tools takes the tuning and timing into consideration or ignores it. This is great for ADR in post-production where tuning isn't relevant but timing is absolutely crucial, so with the tuning unchecked and the timing checked, Pro Tools will analyse each take for delivery and whether the take is in sync or not, all whilst you are recording, and drop any sub-standard takes into the Audio Bin. We understand that the 'Remove from Playlist' option means that bad takes don't appear in the track playlist in the way a normal loop recording would.
We can see that this feature is going to be such a time saver. If you have ever worked on a vocal comping session and gone through and listened to every take, scoring each of them before taking only the best takes up onto the comped playlist, you will appreciate the time and effort Audio Bin will save.
We cannot wait to get our hands on this new feature to check it out for ourselves when Pro Tools 2018.4.1 comes out later this month.