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Navigation & ZoomingHere's a handy shortcut which allows you to navigate quickly without having to dive down to the bottom of the Edit window to click on the scroll bars. Using Option+Page Down (PC: Alt+Page Down) will scroll the Edit or Mix window one 'screen' to the right, while Option+Page Up will scroll the Edit or Mix window one 'screen' to the left.To make the selected track larger or smaller you can use Ctrl plus the up or down arrow keys (this seems to be a Mac-only shortcut). Adding the Option key into this shortcut does it to all tracks — on the PC, you can use Start+Alt plus the up or down arrow keys.You can also adjust the nudge and grid values from the keyboard. To adjust the nudge size, hold down Command+Option (PC: Ctrl+Alt) and use the '+' or '-' keys on the numeric keypad to adjust the nudge size up or down. Similarly, holding down Ctrl+Alt (PC: Start+Alt) and using the '+' or '-' keys will adjust the grid size up or down.
Digidesign have announced an update to their Pro Tools TL Space Native convolution reverb plug-in. This update is mainly for users of the new Complete Production Toolkit. This from the web site.... What's New in TL Space Native Edition 8.0cs3? Fixes surround sound compatibility when TL Space Native Edition is used with Complete Production Toolkit or Pro Tools HDWho Should Use TL Space Native Edition 8.0cs3?TL Space Native Edition 8.0cs3 is provided as an interim "customer support (CS)" release to address the issue described. While our testing has not shown these changes to introduce other problems, the fixes described have not been fully qualified by Digidesign.Although this version will also work with other systems such as Pro Tools LE without the Complete Production Toolkit and Pro Tools M-Powered, there is no need to update from version 8.0 to version 8.0cs3 if you do not use TL Space Native Edition with Complete Production Toolkit or Pro Tools HD systems. Additional Downloads TL Space Native Edition 8.0, previous versions, and documentation are available from the following:TL Space Native Edition product sectionTL Space Impulse Response Library
If you have ever read any of my reviews in Sound on Sound on Pro Tools plug-ins you will know that I have an issue with plug-ins, knobs and mice. I just don't get having a GUI that uses knobs. When trying to adjust a knob, which way do you move the mouse, up and down, side to side, in a circle, what, not clear, not intuitive. A slider is much clearer and intuitive when using a mouse. So this got me to thinking could one use the scroll wheel on the mouse to adjust plug-in parameters. So I opened up a session and tried a few plug-ins in my plug-in folder to see what support there was.Those that work - hover over the control and roll the scroll wheelDigidesign AIRBrainworxURSPSPiZotopeFluxThose that don't work - no sign of life!WavesDigi-Rack plug-insTL SpaceSony OxfordMcDSPFocusriteTC ElectronicMasseyI was very surprised at the companies that do and don't provide this feature. Come on Digi, oh sorry, Avid Audio - you have developed the code to put it in your AIR plug-ins so why not all your other ones too.Please try the plug-ins in your folder and post comments so I can add them to the appropriate list and lets see if we can't get some movement on this feature.
When Flux released their Epure II Pro Tools plug-in they added a TDM version as well as a new version of the RTAS plug-in. Once I had installed the new TDM version and opened a session that contained several instances of the RTAS Epure plug-in I was able to change them for the TDM version and all the settings stayed put so the new versions are backwards compatible.ImprovementsFlux have improved a number of features in the latest version, the cut & boost range has been increased to + & -24dB, each section has it’s own bypass and can cover the complete frequency range and the Q goes from 0.1 to 10.The routing and setup section can have up to four MS encoders and four MS decoders enabling complex multi-channel EQ options from within one plug-in so for example it would be possible on a 5.1 channel to have an MS EQ on the front channels and simultaneously have an MS EQ on the rear channels as well. Conclusion In my Flux review back in July 2008 in Sound on Sound I said that the Epure plug-in would stand a good chance of becoming my EQ of choice largely because of its excellent graphical user interface including colour coding for each section and the auto ranging display. My only reservation at the time was that it was only available as a Native plug-in so there was the latency problem to work round. Now they have released the TDM version that hurdle has been overcome and so I can see no reason now why this won’t become my EQ plug-in of choice, well done Flux! Prices The upgrade from Epure Native to Epure II Native is free The upgrade from Epure Native to Epure II TDM is €250 The price for Epure II Native is €400 The price for Epure II TDM is €650
Izotope have recently updated there excellent RX restoration package.The the great news is that one of the things they have fixed is that the Declipper Threshold can now go as low as you like. Before if the clip level was below about -8dBfs you had to use the Gain plug-in to lift the level so that the Clip threshold could see the clipping.From the Izotope web site....Major New Features: Support for markers in WAV and AIFF files in RX applicationManually edit suppression curves in Denoiser with envelopeAdded visualization for Spectral Repair before/after regions in waveform/spectrogram displayAdded visualization for Declipper thresholds in waveform/spectrogram displayMajor optimizations to RX Denoiser Algorithms B and C Minor New Features/Improvements: Added support for keyboard shortcuts which select a module's preset and apply that module. Useful for quickly switching between module settings (for example when using Spectral Repair repeatedly on large files)Declipper threshold can now extend below -8 dB by zooming the histogram windowMany performance improvements throughout all of RX's processing modules, especially when using RX plug-ins with small buffer sizes
I was talking with some colleagues earlier this week and we got on to convolution reverbs and using them i an audio post environment and it got me thinking about bringing together collection of impulse responses. I wrote a TL Space Master class for Sound on Sound back in June 2008. I covered how to load impulse responses into TL Space and also how to 'roll your own' too using FuzzMeasurePro on the Mac. If you have Logic then there is a Deconvolving appliaction built into it and there is an artlicle in Sound on Sound on how to get the most out of it. PC users shouldn't feel left out as there is a deconvolver applicaction by Voxengo. So here are some links to some free impulse responses I have found...‘innovative sound design solutions’.Fokke van Saane"convolutions" by offthesky – You will need to subscribe to Freesound to get these.Voxengo - Aleksey VaneevDigidesign TL Space library – you will need to be a registered Digidesign user to access this. Enjoy..... If you know of any others or 'paid' impulses that are 'post' friendly then plase let us know about them by posting a comment here.
I have a unit in my ‘live sound’ rack that I am rarely without and that is a BBE Sonic Maximizer 442. I find it so useful for adding ‘brightness’ and intelligibility to my sound without having to use EQ and run the risk of feedback problems. I first came across one of these units when I was running a sound OB truck ‘The Omnibuss Mobile’ and we had an American client come over to record some live events for broadcast and he brought a BBE 442 with him and I was bowled over with the improvement and it got even better with small speakers.Ever since I have wanted the BBE effect as a Pro Tools plug-in and now it is possible with a BBE D82 plug-in from Nomad Factory.The BBE ProcessThere is plenty of information about the BBE process on the Internet but very simply the theory says when complex relationships pass through a speaker that the higher frequencies are delayed so that a lower frequency may reach the listener's ear first or perhaps simultaneously with that of a higher frequency. This change in the phase and amplitude relationship on the harmonic and fundamental frequencies is technically called “envelope distortion.” The listener will often perceive this as "muddy" and “smeared” in the reproduced sound.The Plug-InThe interface of the D82 Sonic Maximizer plug-in retains the same basic controls that its hardware brothers.ControlsThe Lo Contour controls the amount of phase corrected bass frequencies added to the output and the Process controls the amount of phase corrected treble frequencies.The Output control is new to the plug-in and enables users to be able to level match if necessary.Menu – This is almost hidden away just above the metering section and offers a range of options including loading and saving presets and links to both Nomad Factory’s and BBE’s web sites.Insert onlyThe plug-in is designed to be used as an insert plug-in and shouldn’t be used in a send and return type of configuration. You can either put it on individual tracks that need some ‘life’ or in sub groups or stems or across the final mix.This plug-in come in RTAS, VST and AU formats so will suit most host DAWs and is cross platform too.I am so glad that Nomad Factory and BBE have got together to produce this plug-in. It means I can now easily add the BBE process to any of my Pro Tools sessions. As with most ‘effects’ it can be overdone but with the adjustment of two controls my sound is improved without needing loads of EQ.Price$129
DontCrac[k] has announced that they will extend their current Flux promotion, which offers customers 40% off on Flux plug-ins and bundles, until May, 31.Waves are offering 20% off the Studio Classics Collection (SSL 4000, V-Series and API Collection) and 20% off Diamond bundle purchases including upgrades until May 31st.Do you own some Oxford Plugins but want to own the entire collection ? Then Sony is offering a deal on upgrading to the Elite Collection. See below...The Sonnox Elite Collection is a complete set of all the Oxford Plugins - Oxford EQ, Dynamics, Inflator, Transient Modulator, Oxford Reverb, Oxford Limiter and SuprEsser plug-ins. If you own one or more of these plug-ins, all you need to do to upgrade to the Sonnox Elite Collection is purchase the remaining plug-ins from a dealer. You will get a discount of up to 40% depending on how many plug-ins you need to complete your set. Below is a grid showing what discounts you can expect based on the number of plug-ins you need to purchase (not how many you already own). Licenses and installers are provided electronically, but if you'd like the Sonnox Elite box, just ask your dealer! Sonnox does not currently offer the ability to purchase 'flexible bundles' from our webstore, so you must talk to your local dealer.
Cycling '74 is discontinuing sales of Max-based audio plug-in packages. This includes Pluggo, Mode, Hipno, and UpMix. They say they will still continue to support current users as best as they can, but there will be no further development on either the plug-in packages or their supporting technology. I reviewed Upmix in Sound on Sound and with a few limitations found it a useful upmixing tool for taking mono and stereo content and producing a 5.1 version from it. It is a real shame they have taken this decision as it is yet another lower cost solution to bit the dust after SRS announced they weren't going to make their Circle Surround plug-in Pro Tools 8 compatible. "This was not an easy decision to make, and we know it will disappoint some users. We had originally hoped to update our plug-in building technology to work with Max 5. However, we have had to face the fact that it is simply not cost-effective to support three different plug-in specifications on two different platforms, particularly given the increasing absence of standardization of host platforms we have observed over the past several years. Supporting our Max/MSP-based plug-in technology involves trying to make the entire Max environment run inside another host application. This was never a simple matter to begin with, and it has only grown more challenging with time.We have decided instead to focus our development efforts on a single application, Ableton Live, where we can work directly with the developers and exert some influence over the host environment. Max for Live, announced this past January, offers the key ingredient, interactive software development, that reflects our company's mission in life. With Max for Live, we've used our ten years of experience creating plug-ins to improve every aspect of our development system, adding new user interface tools, sample-accurate automation ramps, and flexible parameter definition and storage options.As part of our Max for Live development, we have begun to revive the highlights of the Pluggo audio effect and instrument collection, and a couple of screen shots below show examples of our efforts to date. Our Pluggo-inspired devices will be freely available for use with Max for Live, and in recognition of our loyal customer base, we have arranged with Ableton to provide Max for Live discounts to plug-in customers. Details will be announced when the product is released later this year."
In what I think is probably the quickest turn round ever Digidesign have today announced that Mac OS X 10.5.7 is now qualified for use with all flavours of Pro Tools 8. Pro Tools 8.0 — Mac OS X 10.5.5, 10.5.6, or 10.5.7 RequiredPro Tools 8.0 software requires Mac OS X 10.5.5, 10.5.6, or 10.5.7, and is not compatible with earlier versions of Leopard. If you have an earlier version of Leopard, you will need to update your Mac OS using one of the following Combo Updates before installing Pro Tools 8.0:Mac OS X 10.5.7 Combo UpdateMac OS X 10.5.6 Combo UpdateMac OS X 10.5.5 Combo UpdateIf you do not own Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), you will need to purchase Leopard from Apple or an authorized Apple distributor. Pro Tools 8 is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or earlier versions of Mac OS X.Notes:Digidesign testing has shown no known differences between 10.5.5, 10.5.6, or 10.5.7; all are officially qualified with Pro Tools HD, LE and M-Powered version 8.0.Downloading one of the "Combo Update" installers is the recommended method of updating your Mac OS.Updating your Mac OS using the built-in Software Update or smaller incremental "Delta Update" downloads may not install all required components, and is not recommended.For more details go the the post on the Digidesign User Conference
Well there are 4 great free plug-ins that I have found useful in my every day work in audio post production.Do you know and use any other ones? If you do why don't you tell us about them by commenting to this post.A few guidelines...They must be Pro Tools plug-insThey should be native to Pro Tools like RTAS or TDM rather than VSTThey should be useful in an audio post environment rather than a music environment.Thanks.
Izotope bill their free plug-in Vinyl as The ultimate lo-fi weapon. iZotope Vinyl has been designed ‘to create authentic "vinyl" simulation, as if the audio was a record being played on a record player’.They have provided controls for the following parameters:Mechanical Noise - The amount of turntable motor rumble and noise.Electrical Noise - Internally generated electrical noise, such as 50 Hz hum.Wear - Control how worn out the record is, from brand new to played a few thousand timesDust - The amount of dust on the record.Scratch - The number and depth of scratches on the record.Warp - The amount of warping and the warp shape for the record.Record Player Year - The year of the record player - from current linear tracking turntables to 1930 phonographs. (Note this only works on the AudioSuite version of this plug-in).Stereo/Mono - Switch between stereo and mono outputInput and Output Gain - Set the gain in and out of the effect with visual level meter feedbackCommentsI am not sure what possessed Izotope to develop this free plug-in but for post-production work it is proving remarkably useful. I have used it to treat a recording of a bell to make it sound like it was recorded on an old cylinder recorder as well as treating audio to make it sound like it came off an old film projector.
This is a dynamic processor that apparently manages audio transients. As with all Flux plug-ins it features 64 bit floating point processing, for up to 8 channels. Centre and Stereo Modes are only available in stereo (2 channels) processing.According to Flux, turning the central button on the sweet side, decreases the transients amplitude. On the bitter side, the transients amplitude is magnified. Bitter-Sweet also features a control to determine which elements of the signal are to be processed. In the main position, the process affects the entire stereo signal. In the Centre position, only the M signal of the internal MS matrix is processed. When Stereo is selected, only the S signal from the MS matrix is processed. CommentsI have to admit I was sceptical at what this plug-in would do. So I first tried it on a solo vocal and I found that reasonable amounts of Bitter brought some life back into the vocal. Be careful not to over do it or all the starts of words and phrasing can jump out at you. Next I tried it on the piano track and the Sweet side didn’t have a huge effect but the Bitter side just seemed to emphasis the attack of the notes and made that particular piano sound very clunky. I followed this with a look at a bass track and medium amounts of Bitter increased the attack of the bass giving it some more ‘cut’ on the track. Conversely the Sweet side smoothed out the attack on the notes and produced a smoother sounding bass sound. Finally I turned to an acoustic guitar track. There is a track on an album that has a classical guitar which I miced with an MS pair but had to mic quite closely as there was a strings section playing in the room as well. When it came to the mix we wanted to get some sense of distance and my normal route is to use Waves Trueverb ‘inline’ and use the distance control to get that sense of distance but on this occasion it wasn’t working as well as I would like. Adding the Bitter-Sweet to it and turning it fully over to the Sweet side allowed me to back off the Truverb quite a lot and has improved the sense of space and distance I was looking for.
This comes from Dirk Ulrich and the team at Brainworx. I reviewed their bx_Digital MS mastering EQ plug-in in the July 2007 issue of Sound on Sound. Now as part of their MS evangelism they have released bx_Solo, which is a simple free MS decoder plug-in. They have included their unique solo buttons in this ‘freebie’ that enable you to monitor any of the components of a stereo signal individually. They are Left, Right, Mono sum, and Difference and all are presented in phase and fed to both channels. So often when you solo the S component of an MS signal you hear it out of phase, which makes it more difficult to evaluate what is going on. bx_Solo also contains a stepped Stereo Width control which essentially is an S component gain control to increase the stereo width.Comments This is an excellent MS decoder that also would enable you to experiment with MS processing as well as acting as an MS decoder when using MS micing techniques. Because you can put in LR and get out MS or put in MS and get out LR of the same decoder you could set up an MS processing chain by starting and finishing with one of these plug-ins and then using your favourite processing plug-ins in between. It would be best to use multi-mono plug-ins in between so that you can process the mono (M) and the (S) difference paths separately. This is of course how the bx_Digital plug-in from Brainworx has been designed and more and more mastering folk are using MS techniques and now you can too, for free, thanks to Dirk and the folks at Brainworx.
Flux have designed this free plug-in to offer “super precise control of the stereo image”.Stereo Tool offers controls for the input gain and individual pan for left and right channels, as well as a phase inversion switch on both channels.Add to those individual controls a global stereo pan and stereo width controls and they have provided an excellent range of controls to make the correct adjustment to a stereo channel.But that isn’t all; on the metering side they have provided a stereo audio ‘scope’ and PPM meters on both inputs and outputs as well as a phase correlation meter.This will be a great tool for fixing a wide range of stereo problems as well as being able to use it creatively to position stereo tracks effectively in the stereo image on a mix.I have found in the past that having either individual pan control or a single balance control doesn’t enable me to position some sounds as I would like in a mix and when I have needed to correct a stereo track I haven’t had the right tool to get it the way I wanted it. Now with this free plug-in Flux have included all three types of stereo positioning controls, pan balance and width, as well as individual channel gain controls. Add to that a comprehensive metering section and this plug-in will be an excellent addition to my toolbox ad free too!
Brent Heber must have been very busy at the recent NAB show as he has posted another interview grabbed at the 2009 show.This time it is with Paul Neyrinck in which he talks about his recently released Dolby E plug-in which has been covered here & here on this blog. Paul also talks about Dolby AC3 and DTS plug-ins work.Neyrinck Interview pt1 from Brent Heber on Vimeo.In this NAB 2009 interview, Paul Neyrinck explains the various technologies available for encoding and decoding Dolby Digital, Dolby E and DTS signals via his plugins for the Pro Tools platform. In addition Paul talks about his digital monitor matrix system, VMon, a combination of software and hardware for PTHD to enable an all digital monitor chain.
If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, you can use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out of tracks, both vertically and horizontally.To continuously zoom horizontally in the Edit window, hold down Alt while turning the mouse scroll wheel.To continuously vertically zoom audio tracks in the Edit window, hold down Alt+Shift while turning the mouse scroll wheel.To continuously vertically zoom MIDI tracks in the Edit window, hold down Alt+Start (Windows) or Alt+Control (Mac) while turning the mouse scroll wheel.To scroll the contents of the Edit window or Mix window horizontally, focus the window you want to scroll by clicking in it or bringing it forward, and then hold down the Shift key while turning the mouse scroll wheel.
Another great video from Brent whilst he was at NAB 2009. This one gives a great explanation and demo of the Video Satellite systems from Digidesign, sorry Avid Audio! NAB 2009: Vid Sat LE demo from Brent Heber on Vimeo.NAB 2009: Jeff Komar of Avid Audio (formerly Digidesign) demonstrates QT HD picture workflow with Pro Tools HD 8 and Video Satellite LE.Go and check it out here.
DontCrac[k], the audio software store and Flux, manufacturer of hi-end professional audio plug-ins have announced that they have signed an agreement that makes Flux products available to all at very competitive price and via instant download delivery. To celebrate this new partnership, DontCrac[k] is offering 40% discount on the complete line of Flux products including bundles and that until May 15. Up to 20% extra discount can be obtained by adding products to your cart (-5% per product added). This will be their permanent "Make your own Bundle" offer exclusively available at DontCrac[k]. I love the range of Flux software. You can read my reviews of the full range of plug-ins at Sound on Sound. If you like them as much as I do this offer is well worth taking.