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As I have a good number of template sessions already created I wondered if I could simply drop them into the new Session Templates folder inside the Pro tools folder in the Digidesign folder in the Applications folder. So I tried it by simply copying them into the new Templates Folder. When I opened the appropriate folder in the Quick Start window it was empty. So I created a new template from one of my old ones using the Save AS Template from the File menu and then compared what had changed. I quickly noticed that the new template had a new file extension; instead of .ptf it was .ptt. So I took one of my other templates and copied it into the template folder and changed the file extension to .ptt. Sure enough Pro tools recognised it in the Quick Start menu and opened it fine except when it got to the end it asked if I wanted to Edit the Stationery or Create New Session just like Pro Tools used to before Pro Tools 8. So checking the template folder again I found that the new template files don’t have the Stationery Pad box checked. So if you change the file extension and uncheck the Stationery Pad option you can copy your existing template sessions into the Pro Tools Template folder. Hope you like it!
I was searching for a sound effect for the first time in Pro tools 8 and noticed that the text in the Database Comments window didn't wrap within the box like it used to. In fact the text kept going outside of the box to the right and when I selected a different text field the overflow stayed there.Here is a screenshot to prove it.
I wouldn't normally report this kind of release but this one caught my eye as it is being is targeted at people that make films, commercials and documentaries. There have been many times when I have wanted a simple ambient underscore whilst building a documentary. Maybe this will be the answer? This is from the their web site...Of course you can also assemble your own ambient creations by mixing and matching material from any of the kits - over 780 samples to choose from. Ambient Works has the binary sounding evolution and underscore rings / shrills of today, as well as classic fluid and shimmering essentials of the past.and the price at $119.95 won't break the bank either. I haven't tried it out yet so if anyone does please post a comment on what you find.For more information go to the Big Fish Audio web site.
Time for an update on this running saga.I still haven't had a personal reply from Seagate from my support request one week ago (see part 3). However they have released a number of firmware upgrades (see part 4).First I downloaded the image files from the Seagate site.Then armed with the advice from Steve Maller I used Toast to burn the image onto a CD.Next I restarted my Mac Pro holding down the 'C' key on my keyboard and it booted into DOS and offered me options. This was very wierd for a Mac person to see!A number of the firmware downloads relate to several different drives so make sure you select the correct one. This I did by typing the appropriate single letter, there is no need to hit the Enter key. After a few moments it starts to install the firmware onto the relevant drive. Although some folk have advised to remove all other drives, I didn't and the software worked out which drive it needed to install the firmware onto. Don't be put of by the word 'Download' it means 'Install' really. At the end it will report success and also complain about the other drives in your machine and finally come up with a reminder to "power cycle.." to use the new firmware, almost immediately followed by a "Press any key to continue" request. Some folk have reported this did nothing. In my case it shut the machine down. When I pressed the power button the computer booted back up in to Mac OS X again and when I checked the System Profiler my drive had been updated. I had to do this twice as I had both a ST3500320AS 500 gig drive as well as a ST31000333AS 1 Terabyte drive.We will see whether this is the end of the matter or not. As a veteran Seagate user and evangelist this is a very disappointing saga but I am not ready to run away yet. I still believe they are the most reliable drives around but I am going to be a lot more circumspect about them and monitor this story carefully to see if there are any longer term problems.
Don't Hot swap firewire drivesAlways shut down the computer before unplugging or plugging in a firewire drive. This goes for all firewire drive types both buss powered or those that have their own power supply.Although firewire drives are promoted as being how swappable (can be plugged and unplugged whilst computer is running) in reality there are a number of known problems which can result in the drive or worst of all the firewire port on the computer being damaged even permanently.Another suggestion if the drive is not to power up the drive until both ends of the firewire cable are connected. This comes from Wiebetech....WiebeTech recommends the use of power switches in bus powered FireWire devices. This prevents the PHY within the FireWire device from transmitting voltage transients through the FireWire cable to the PHY on the motherboard of the host computer. Simply put, the FireWire device is not powered up until all connections have been made and voltages have had a chance to stabilize.For more information on this and other issues around firewire port failures read Wiebetech's white paper on the subject. Be careful how you insert the firewire cable.People have managed to insert the firewire cable the wrong way round even though the connector is 'keyed' to prevent this. Take extra care to line up the slanted corners correctly. Again from Wiebetech's white paper...In this scenario, the user inserts the cable with the connector twisted 180 degrees. An examination of the FireWire six pin ports suggests that this is not possible, but it has actually been done many times. It is more likely to happen when the port is worn, or when the port easily "spreads" when reverse inserted. Some FireWire ports are built with the metal seam at the narrow end of the port, making it much easier to reverse insert the cable. The resulting (errant) electrical connections cause Power lines to be directly connected to Data lines. This invariably fries the PHY attached to that port.
Seagate have announced a firmware fix for some of the drives that have been reported with problems.ST3500320AS, ST3500620AS, ST3500820AS, ST3640330AS, ST3640530AS, ST3750330AS, ST3750630AS, ST31000340AS For more details see the latest post on the Seagate Knowledge Base.However it still seems that it is a fix that can be only done on PCs. Then I found this post from Steve Maller and his post explained he had done it with FreeDOS on an Intel Mac. So I asked him for a blow by blow account which he has very kindly posted on his blog, Thanks Steve!Now I have just found a post from Slashdot.org from someone claiming to be a Seagate employee and trying to explain what went on from the inside.I work for Seagate. I was there when the fit hit the shan, and I saw everything going in internally, as well as externally. I really love my job, so please excuse the sock-puppet nature that creating a brand new account and claiming to be an authority on the subject I must seem to be. But I am a geek, and I really think you all need to know the true story behind the scenes.If you want to read thre rest then go to Slashdot.org
Digidesign has today issued the following technical alert regarding automation on Inserts F to J. Digidesign has discovered an issue with automating plug-ins on inserts F-J that could result in data loss. Until we have identified and remedied the issue, please avoid using automation with plug-ins on those inserts. We will post further announcements regarding when a fix may be available in this thread. They have not specified yet what data loss will occur so avoid automation on inserts F to J for now.
There does seem to be very little to come out of NAAM 2009 for the Pro Tools user and even less of interest for the media Pro Tools user.Scott Church has done a round up on his blog and highlights some new keyboards from M-Audio, the new Waves Maserati Collection, and the new Ableton Live 8. The keyboards and Ableton could only be treated as related products and the Waves plug-ins are specialist and ‘different’.I have been aware that McDSP have announced a Retro Pack bundle of plug-ins and the only post related thing to come from this show as far as I can see is a new product from a new company set up by Joe Bull who was a leading light in Sadie before they collapsed. Joe's new company called JoeCo has released The Blackbox Recorder that is capable of recording 24 tracks of 24bit/96kHz audio directly to yourUSB2 drive.I wonder if all of this is a minor blip or a sign of development slowing up?
Information on a problem where there can be a mouse offset problem on some 3rd party plug-ins has just been posted on the Digi User Conference.“Digidesign is aware of an issue where a mouse offset can occur with the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of some 3rd party plug-ins. This issue will be addressed in an upcoming CS update for Pro Tools 8.0. We apologize for the disruption this may be causing.”No word on which plug-ins are affected by this yet.
I was editing yesterday and it was taking longer and longer for Pro Tools to complete the Separate Region command. Then it would just hang Protools with the spinning wheel of death. The only way out was to Force Quit but that often left the machine in a fragile state.So I battled on trying not to use the ‘Command E’ shortcut. It appeared to be the only problem and it didn’t matter whether I used 'Command E' or 'B' with the keyboard focus on. After the client had left I eventually traced it down to the ‘Separate Region Operates on All related Takes’ preference setting in the Editing tab of the Pro Tools preferences window. With this selected Pro Tools tries to put an edit in all related regions. If you haven’t restricted the range of the related takes this list will include most regions in your session!! Once this option was turned off sanity returned to my world of Pro Tools.
I was opening a client’s session just before they were due to arrive and Pro Tooled crashed part way through opening the session. Looking at the crash log, I saw it was TL Space, which was in an insert on one of the tracks for the session that was creating the problem. I tried reinstalling it but that didn’t make any difference. I also got a DAE error -1115, which needed a restart to clear. Next I removed the TL Space plug-ins and the session opened fine with plug-in inactive, as expected. Then I tried new session, as soon as I opened TL Space Pro Tools crashed, I also tried the Native version and got the same result. One thing I did find out is that Digidesign now recommend that you shouldn’t have both installed at the same time. I wondered if it might be a corrupt Preference file so I did a Spotlight search to find it but it didn’t come up! Then I did a DUC search and found similar problem for which Digi Support recommended trashing TL Space preference file and told me where to look, Thank you! I trashed the offending TL Space preference files, actually I dragged them to the Desktop in case there was a problem, restarted the computer and all was well. Thank you again to the Digi User Conference.
Waves emailed me as a customer and asked if I would complete their User Experience Survey by saying….“In order to better serve you, Waves would like to learn more about your user experience. By completing a short survey, you can help us better understand and meet your needs as a user of our audio technologies. We truly appreciate your input and value your participation.”However I found the questions too restrictive and led me to give them the answers they wanted to hear rather than find out what I thought. I appreciate that surveys are very hard to construct but the options for answers were too black and white.Ilok is the best system out there but it isn't perfect. I do find it a pain to have dongles attached to my computer but the portability of assets is very convenient. Ideally I would prefer to be able to choose either hard disk authorisation or iLok, which Waves took away. This is because I prefer not to have an iLok attached to my laptop based system as I have to carry a very valuable iLok around with me and then it is sticking out of my computer which uses up one of the USB sockets. Yes I can use a hub, but that is yet another thing to carry about with me, all of which makes a portable system progressively less portable.
It addresses a number of issues and comes pretty quickly off the back of the original release.Digidesign say that it resolves problems in these areas...File importSession/File managementFile managementMixingSatellite protocol communicationFor more info and to download the update go to the Digidesign web site.
I use QuicKeys to provide me with a number of shortcuts that cannot be down any other way. See my article on Pro Tools shortcuts and QuicKeys in Sound on Sound. You can also download my QuicKey Pro Tools shortcuts. More recently there has been a long running post on the Digi User Conference on Pro Tools specific QuicKeys applications.
There has been some problems trying to get these plug-ins to work. The problems seem to relate to folk trying to install the 7.4 versions of these plug-ins. They still require an iLok asset to work. You must download the version that says "for Pro Tools 7.3.1-8.0". These are the versions that are iLok free.For more details see the thread on the Digi User Conference.
This excellent tip is another one care of Crizdee posted on the Digi User Conference....This is great at the moment as I am using 2 sets of plugs.. set of my main all latest 100% compatible plugs set of all plugs that are not totally supported or a bit unknown at this stage with PT 8 (ala, Machfive/Autotune 4 etc all of which work with the extension .dpm added!!) So all my not 100% qualified plugs are inside a folder which is placed inside the plugins folder. which can easily be removed for important session that can't risk having problems etc as well as color coding the plugs, this makes it fast to remove them.Others have grouped together plug-ins into folders that relate to assets on iLoks. All very clever if you need to manage plug-ins.
Having now realised that one of my drives is on the list in the previous post, I tried to register my problem with Seagate. They don’t make it easy, as you have to register with the site first. See this post from MacInTouch. As I am registered with them as a reseller, I actually went in through their resellers’ site. I finally got to the correct page and filled out the form on Jan 18th 2009. I received an automated email back from them asking….“If you wish to receive a response from a Customer Support Agent, please log into My Cases and update your case by selecting "Yes - Escalate Case to Seagate Support" from the Escalate Case dropdown. If you don’t require further assistance your case will remain in a Self-Service status.”So I logged on again and escalated it to Seagate Support and immediately got another automated email from them saying…“Your inquire Case has been escalated to a Customer Support Agent. You should expect a response from us within 24 hours. You can also log into My Cases to review or update your case.”Well that was at 9:05am on Jan 19th 2009. I am still waiting to hear anything. My guess is that they have been inundated with requests. This then came up on the Macworld news RSS feed just after I escalated my support request.
At NAMM 2009 Waves have announced a new version of their recently released Durrough Meter Collection to cover surround formats. Waves say...Waves Audio expands its Dorrough Meter Collection with the new Surround Edition. The collection was developed in association with Dorrough Electronics, Inc., and the new Surround Edition includes the entire Waves Dorrough Meter Collection, with all its advanced display features and functions, plus customized meters engineered especially for surround production environments.The Waves Dorrough Meter Collection—Surround Edition is available in Waves 360° Surround Tools, Waves Mercury and separately. Users of Waves Mercury and 360° Surround Tools covered by Waves Update Plan (WUP) receive The Waves Dorrough Meter Collection—Surround Edition at no additional charge.There isn't anything on their web site on this yet.