Whether you work in music production or audio post-production you can now have a versatile interface that delivers the respected DAD sound quality with complete Pro Tools integration. In this article we walk through the features in the MTRX that will help you future proof your Pro Tools HD system and talk to a user about why he chose to buy a Pro Tools MTRX.
Designed for Pro Tools HDX and HD Native systems and developed in partnership with Digital Audio Denmark (DAD), the Pro Tools MTRX interface offers the superior sonic quality of DAD’s respected AD/DA converters, as well as extensive routing and monitor control with Avid Eucon enabled control surfaces. Because the Avid MTRX is a modular system, it can be also be customised with the analog and digital I/O you need, without ending up with features and I/O that you don’t need. The MTRX can be the core of a music production studio or a post-production facility…
For music production, this enables you to capture vocals and acoustic instruments and then monitor your music mix using very high quality audio converters in the industry.
For post production, this enables you to record very high quality voiceovers, ADR, and Foley in the studio, as well as capture audio on location, and then monitor your soundtrack mix using very high quality audio converters in the industry.
With the included DADman software, you can remotely control all sources and monitoring directly from Pro Tools Ultimate, Pro Tools EUCON-enabled control surfaces.
The MTRX includes sophisticated software that puts complete monitoring, talkback, summing, and fold-down control at your fingertips, whether you’re mixing in stereo, surround, or Dolby Atmos immersive audio.
You can also create multiple monitor profiles, making it easy to switch multichannel audio formats for the project at hand, from stereo and 7.1, up to 64-channel Dolby Atmos.
The MTRX is modular, enabling you to configure all eight of its card slots to connect your gear as you see fit.
From analog inputs, outputs, and high-quality mic preamps, to Dante, MADI, AES3, and more, you have the versatility you need to support any artist, band, ensemble, or workflow, and the flexibility to route any signal between the various I/O formats.
With its scalable and flexible connectivity, routing, and monitoring capabilities, the MTRX can quickly become the core of your music studio. Not only does it expand the capabilities of your existing Pro Tools HDX or HD Native system, it enables you to consolidate other single-format I/O and monitor interfaces taking up valuable space in your racks into one versatile 2U unit.
From analog inputs, outputs, and high-quality mic preamps, to Dante, MADI, AES3, 3G-SDI, and more, you have the connection versatility you need to support ADR, Foley, sound design, re-recording, and mixing workflows, and the flexibility to route any signal between the various I/O formats.
To handle the variety of workflows, gear, formats, and environments post production needs, the MTRX can become audio command centre, from which you can route, split, and patch audio quickly using DADman software, with a matrix capacity of up to 1,500 x 1,500 cross points enabling you to feed any input to any output, or even send audio to multiple outputs simultaneously.
With the MTRX, you can connect your Pro Tools HDX or HD Native system to any Dante network. Not only is Ethernet considered economical, especially where long cable runs are required, it allows for a versatile workflow that uses your facility’s Ethernet infrastructure to route audio between rooms and devices.
Case Study - OSN
Now we have outlined some of the features in the Pro Tools MTRX we wanted to share how one user chose the MTRX.
OSN is a major entertainment network with the rights to broadcast into 24 countries across the MENA. With over 150 channels including 65 HD channels, OSN’s has partnerships with studio majors including Disney, HBO, NBC Universal, Fox, Paramount, MGM, Sony, and DreamWorks braodcasting premium and nowhere-else content in Arabic, English, Filipino and South Asian languages. OSN broadcasts the latest content at the same minute as in the US, including popular series, blockbuster movies, and the best sports events. In addition, OSN also provides entertainment content for devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones via its OSN Play, online and mobile app entertainment platform, WAVO, offering movies, series and sports on the go.
Iwan Davies is Senior Manager - Studio Operations at OSN and describes himself as a broadcast professional with international experience across the EMEA specialising in managing productions on a creative and technical level, developing pioneering broadcasts workflows to elevate end user experience.
I first meet Iwan back in 2011 when I was asked to go to OSN in Dubai to provide his team training on working in 5.1 and loudness normalisation workflows.
When I saw on social media that Iwan had installed what is probably the first S6 and MTRX in the Middle East, I reached out to him to see if he would share some of his thoughts and experiences with the Pro Tools MTRX to replace his previous Pro Tools system and what the key points about it that made him go for the Pro Tools MTRX rather than any other interface.
PTE: For you what is difference about using the MTRX compared the HD IO or HD Omni interfaces?
Iwan: The MTRX can be fully customised according to our I/O requirements and allows for a Dante I/O option which has been very useful for us. It comes with ProMon included, which gives us a fully featured monitor control from the S6 and the MTRX has extensive routing capabilities using DADMAN software.
PTE: What does MTRX offer that HD IO and XMON didn’t and how does that help your workflow?
Iwan: The main feature is the Dante capability. It allows us to easily route audio between devices. For example, we could use the Dante connection between a PC and the MTRX to record a remote voice using IPDTL.
Being fully modular, we were able to choose the I/O that we require and customise it just according to our needs.
ProMon has also been very useful as we could eliminate the need of having an extra interface in the rack. Also it has much more capabilities than the XMON.
PTE: It seems that the MTRX is becoming a popular choice for users working in Dolby Atmos. Do you plan to, or are you already using the MTRX to fit into the Dolby Atmos workflow and monitoring?
Iwan: No, we currently do not have a Dolby Atmos workflow over here, but it certainly prepares us for Atmos integration as and when we need it.
PTE: The MTRX has a lot of Dante support how are you using the Dante and Audio Over IP features of the Avid MTRX?
Iwan: Dante gives us a lot of flexibility. We can easily route audio between devices. We can use the Dante network to connect a PC with Dante Virtual Soundcard to the MRTX and record remote voice overs using IPDTL. We also use a Yamaha Tio 1608-D interface for our talkback and headphone cues over Dante. Apart from these, we have wired up a few Dante network ports in our control rooms and the voice booth so we could plug up any Dante supported hardware and easily integrate it into the system.
PTE: Do you use the MTRX for Monitor Control? If so how?
Iwan: We use MTRX for our monitor control with S6. The ProMon that is included is a very flexible monitoring solution that integrates well with the S6. It has all the options to set up for monitoring, talkback, cues and fold down as per our needs and we can save it as a monitor profile in DADman.
PTE: Do you use one MTRX with 2 Pro Tools systems?
Iwan: No. It was important for us to separate the interfaces
PTE: What can be done from the front panel on the MTRX?
Iwan: A few things like Sample Rate conversion and Sync Source can be changed from the front panel. But we tend to do everything from the DADman software as our MTRX is held in a rack room next to the Audio Suite.
PTE: How do you configure the MTRX?
Iwan: We use DADman software to configure the MTRX. We can do all the setup and routing on DADman and save it as a DADman setup file.
PTE: Do you find yourself going into the software and changing things from job to job or do you have a pretty static configuration that covers your usual workflows?
Iwan: We don’t usually need to make changes to the setup on a job to job basis. We have our set configuration which works for our usual workflow.
PTE: Using the Monitor Controller part of the MTRX, do you use the S6 to control the the MTRX monitor control functionality or something else like the free Pro Tools Control app be used to control the MTRX monitor control section?
Iwan: Yes, we use S6 to control the monitor section.
PTE: Thank you Iwan for taking the time to answer our questions about how and why we went for a Pro Tools MTRX.
I hope this article will help anyone looking at the Pro Tools MTRX that its modular form factor makes it a versatile and flexible Pro Tools HD interface, audio matrix and monitor controller especially with the new SPQ card.
Please be aware that although Avid are a partner brand, this article has not been commissioned, sponsored or approved by Avid or any of Avid’s dealers. This is simply part of what we do to the Pro Tools Expert community.