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Freelance engineer and audio consultant Stuart Gillan has designed and built a portable, flight-cased ProTools system using the latest MADI interfaces from SSL and RME. <!-- pro motion hire news island removed - complaints about sound --> Using minimal Digidesign gear i.e. circuit boards and a Sync I/O for easy system control under Pro Tools, this highly flexible system fits into a 12U rack. His standard configuration is 64 inputs and outputs on MADI (fibre or bnc) or AES3 (db25 or xir) and 64 analogue mic/line inputs using an optional 12U rack with 64 channels of RME preamp. They can be acquired from just about any source e.g. analogue or digital console, stage-box or splitter.The entire system is 192kHz compatible and has time-code I/O using a Sync I/O box. The maximum track count with his system is 128 tracks at 48kHz, recorded on rackmount Seagate Firewire drives.An RME ADI-8QS converter in the MADI stream, provides 8 x analogue outputs for monitors or headphone mixes and a Presonus Central Station provides headphone/monitor control as standard.Further information is available at Stuart's website Soundscape Audio.I have worked with Stuart on a number of occasions in the past and he is an excellent and thorough engineer that I would trust my recordings to any day.Well done Stuart, this needed doing.
Digidesign have posted a new system to access Tech Support, they say....We have changed our internal 'email' system used by Tech Support and Customer Service Admin. Customers that have been contacting us via www.digidesign.com/tsr or www.digidesign.com/ask can now contact us though our new Support Center. New users need to Create a Support Profile Returning users can Login to Support Center (If your password does not work, use the "Forgot Your Password" link on the Login page) I have just tried to log in with my Digidesign profile usernale and password but the system denied all knowledge of my existence!!So I registered as a new user and the first thing I noticed is that it is all Avid branded. However in there is a new searchable Knowledge Base so it is looking promising.Let me know how you get on with this new system.
Stiff at ProToolerBlog has just posted that Scott Church is leaving Pro Tools. He says... Scott Church was to me the only real connection between Avid and the end-users. While others, such as Dave Lebolt, connected with columns in Digizine and very few occasional posts on the DUC and so on (which I of course appreciate), Scott understood the true value of real connection and communicated through videos and on his blog which is now down. I don’t want to spread any false rumors here. According to Scott himself, his departure had nothing to do with anyone else (this was not Dave starting a mutiny, at least not to my knowledge). He got a chance to continue his career elsewhere and took it. No hard feelings from my side at all, that’s just business and life, but I’m sure gonna miss the bloke. He did some great things for Pro Tools, playing a part in Pro Tools 8 that shouldn’t be underestimated.I can confirm Scott's blog is down, but not only that, all the great videos he has created and uploaded to vimeo.com have been taken down, and the link to his blog from the DUC has gone.All of this leads me to surmise that Scott must be going to work for a direct competitor so that it would be a conflict of interest to seen to be promoting Avid, Digidesign and Pro Tools. Apparently according to posts on the DUC he is going to Universal Audio.Scott's website is still up though here.Scott you will be missed from this Pro Tools community but we wish you well in your new career opportunity.
JC who is the creator of this stunning useful free Pro Tools helper application has just updated it to run much faster in OS X 10.5. He has also added a button which will open the folder where the the app stores the backup preferences which is located in your home folder/Library/Application Support/ProTools Pref and Database HelperWhen you download it you will find he has included a small AppleScript that will only delete the Digidesign Databases. Also included is a small video showing how to have this script automatically run at startup.
Dirk Ulrich at Brainworx has announced an upgrade deal to the bx_bundle it you already own any Brainworx plug-ins. The easiest thing to do is go to their site and check out the options but you could save between 55 and 439 Euros depending on what you already own.Also they have received a stunning testimonial from Sound Designer and Sound Effects Editor Tim Nielsen at Skywalker (Lord of the rings, Pirates of the Carribean, Indiana Jones 4, etc.) after purchasing his bx_tools:"Hybrid and Digital have quickly become the only EQs I use in mastering sound effects. The presence and bass shifters are some of the most useful tools I've ever seen in any plugin, and I wish I'd had them 10 years ago. The stereo width control, mono maker, the amazing solo features, I'm simply stunned at how useful this plugin is in almost everything I do.And because I record mostly in M/S, that it can do that too makes Brainworx the only EQ and first plugin I ever reach for anymore. Period."
Neyrinck have announced a new version of SoundCode for Dolby E that now offers compatibility for Windows XP and Vista users as well as adding features for Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro users.This from their press release.... The new software version 1.1.3, available now for both Windows and Mac OS X, significantly improves upon the standalone Broadcast Monitor module used for Dolby E decoding. Now it can decode a Dolby E stream faster-than-real time to BWF files that can be directly imported into Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, and other media workstations. Also, the Broadcast Monitor can play back a Dolby E stream file in real time for auditioning using Core Audio or Windows MME sound hardware. These new features allow video editors to receive Dolby E content, audition it, decode it, and import it for editing and mixing. The Broadcast Encoder module, as in the previous version, can be used to encode the finished audio. And both modules also operate directly in Pro Tools as Audiosuite and RTAS plug-ins. This update makes Neyrinck SoundCode For Dolby E a complete Dolby E encode/decode solution for Media Composer, Final Cut, Pro Tools, or any other media workstation that uses BWF files. “SoundCode For Dolby E has been embraced by Pro Tools professionals on Mac OS,” commented Paul Neyrinck, “but broadcasters need Dolby E encoding and decoding on their video workstations to finish their work quickly. And Windows-based Pro Tools users want to take advantage of SoundCode’s unsurpassed integration. I am very pleased to say that now we have a solution for nearly everyone, no matter what system they are using.” The version 1.1.3 update is free for existing owners of SoundCode For Dolby E and can be downloaded at www.neyrinck.com. SoundCode For Dolby E can be purchased worldwide from professional audio and video resellers and online at store.neyrinck.com.
Wild Tracks, one of Soho’s longest standing Pro Tools based audio post houses, has been forced to close due to a lack of work and falling rates. The Greek Street facility, established in 1987 by owner and managing director Paul Headland, shut its doors on 18 June and has appointed liquidators. All 10 employees will lose their jobs.Headland had already reduced staff levels through redundancies and natural wastage in an effort to adjust overheads. He had also asked the remaining employees to take a pay cut.“It’s a tragedy for the staff,” he said. “We tried everything we could to save the company but looking ahead in June the volume of work was appalling and my gut feeling was that July and August were going to be rotten too.”Only last year Wild Tracks had installed seven ProTools HD systems and 12TB of server storage at its Greek Street studios as part of a£250,000 upgrade to the facility which also included a Sohonet Fibre connection.
PACE, the manufacturers of iLoks, have also introduced a number of additional licence-management features aimed at helping the end user to manage our iLok authorisations (for free) and protect our valuable iLoks (for a fee!) and it is these features we are going to look at now.Transferring Licences You can transfer licences between different iLoks. This service is free for any iLoks you own within one account on iLok.com. However, you can also transfer licences from one iLok to another on different accounts for a fee of $25 per licence, which enables you to buy plug-in licences 'second-hand'. To transfer within an account (free) To transfer licences between your own iLoks, first make sure your iLoks are plugged in to USB ports on your computer and then log into your account on iLok.com and choose the Transfer Licenses option. You will then need to synchronise your iLoks to make sure the data held on iLok.com matches what is on your iLoks. This will also tell you which licences are on which iLok. Make sure you don't remove your iLoks from the computer at this point. Then choose the source iLok and which licences you wish to move, select the destination iLok from the simple step-by-step instructions and it is done. Be aware, though, that you can run into problems synchronising and transferring licences if you're connecting to iLok.com from behind a proxy server or firewall, which will be the case for many corporate and educational users. If you do run into the dreaded "unexpected authorization error 411", your only option is to find another machine that's connected to the Internet in a different way. In part 3 we will look at how to transfer iLok assets between accounts for a fee.
David Lebolt, senior vice-president and chief technology officer of Avid Technology, Inc – and ex-general manager of Digidesign has reportedly resigned from the company last week.Dave Lebolt joined Digidesign in 1994 and has held a variety of positions, including, most recently, Vice President and General Manager, Avid Audio where he was , he is responsible for the company’s strategic technology vision and user experience. Before Digidesign, Dave was a professional keyboardist, producer, arranger, and composer. He toured and/or recorded with many well-known musical artists, including David Bowie, Billy Joel, and Laurie Anderson. It is believed he is now taking a job at Apple. In a statement, Avid said "In his 15 years with Avid, Dave played a significant role in the strategic development of the company and its advancement in the marketplace. We wish Dave well in his future endeavours."I would love to know why he has resigned and gone to Apple. I hope this isn't a sign that Avid are movong away from the Apple platform.
BIAS, Inc. have announced that the Master Perfection Suite, their ensemble of six audio processing plug-ins, has been updated to version 1.2.1 and now offers full compatibility with Pro Tools 8 on Mac and Windows computing platforms. In addition, version 1.2.1 features new presets for mixing, mastering, and special effects. The Master Perfection Suite includes: Repli-Q (spectral matching), PitchCraft (pitch correction/manipulation), Reveal (analysis), Sqweez-3 & -5 (multi-band dynamic processing), SuperFreq (paragraphic EQ), and GateEx (gate/expander). The Master Perfection Suite plug-ins are also available as single editions. From the press release.... EQ Matching with Repli-Q:Repli-Q not only provides high quality spectral matching, but also the ability to improve an improperly equalized track. Users can also rely on Repli-Q to assist with mastering for different delivery targets. With a stereo mix equalized for delivery in a compressed file format such as MP4 (AAC), Repli-Q can help repurpose it for CD or DVD and can also help ensure equally optimized playback in multiple listening environments. Other applications include voice-over matching where an original take recorded in one environment and an overdub recorded in a different environment need to match. Repli-Q employs a linear phase equalization algorithm to ensure optimum results.Multi-band Compression with Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5:The Master Perfection Suite includes two powerful multi-band compressor/limiter/expander plug-ins - Sqweez-3 (3 band) and Sqweez-5 (5 band). Like Repli-Q, both Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 incorporate advanced linear phase equalization algorithms from BIAS. Sqweez-3 and Sqweez-5 both offer graphic per-band viewing/editing of threshold and EQ. Each band may be soloed and/or bypassed individually, and a convenient "auto gain" button compensates for loudness variations due to compression. Additionally, a variable "digital ceiling" slider controls the clipping headroom of the integrated soft clip function.Advanced Pitch Correction and More with PitchCraft:PitchCraft is a real-time pitch correction/transposition plug-in that also offers the ability to manipulate the signal to achieve creative effects. Professionals can rely on PitchCraft to fix out-of-tune vocals or other single voice instruments easily and with minimal artifacts, thanks to a powerful pitch-shifting algorithm. PitchCraft may also be used to obtain "over-corrected" effects - popularized by many of today's leading vocal artists.Professional Audio Analysis with Reveal:Reveal combines seven powerful tools in a single plug-in interface - Oscilloscope, Peak and RMS Power History, Spectrogram, Pan Power, Spectral Analysis, Lissajous Phase Scope and Peak and RMS Level Meters. An "all" view displays every tool in a single window.Paragraphic EQ with SuperFreq:A power suite of mastering-quality 4, 6, 8 & 10-band parametric graphic equalizers with everything for professional caliber equalization, including -18dB to +18dB Gain Values; 0.1 to 30 "Q" (bandwidth) values; sweepable frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz, individual band bypass buttons; 24dB stereo input/output meters; and filters including Peak, Notch, High Shelf, Low Shelf, High Cut, and Low Cut.Gate and Downward Expand with GateEx:Featuring waveform and graph displays and a suite of advanced parameter controls, GateEx effectively removes signals below an assignable threshold while the integrated downward expander helps reduce residual unwanted content.Pricing and Availability:The Master Perfection Suite is now available for $599 US SRP through authorized BIAS resellers and distributors worldwide, and directly from BIAS. While the suite offers a significant savings, the individual plug-ins may be purchased separately via download or boxed retail editions and range in price from $59 to $149 US. Registered users of Master Perfection Suite or individual Master Perfection Suite plug-ins may download the version 1.2.1 update at no charge from the BIAS web site.Special offer - Free SoundSoap Pro BIAS is also offering a special incentive through June 30th: customers purchasing new retail editions of the full Master Perfection Suite will be eligible to receive SoundSoap Pro - BIAS' audio noise reduction and restoration plug-in suite - at no additional charge - worth $599 SRP (eligibility requirements, free trials, and additional information is available at the BIAS web site.
Plug-ins are one of the elements that make Pro Tools so versatile, and since Digidesign opened their TDM, RTAS and Audiosuite protocols up to third-party developers, we now have an enormous range to choose from. However, plug-ins have always been susceptible to unauthorised copying, and software manufacturers and developers have felt the need to protect their investments by copy-protecting them. An iLok is a small key-shaped 'dongle' which you can plug into any USB port on a computer. The plug-in software checks for its presence, and if the iLok is detected and contains the correct authorisation, permits you to use that plug-in on that system. Take the iLok away and the software is no longer authorised and won't function. This makes the iLok a very valuable item as, in effect, it is worth the combined value of all the software plug-ins that are authorised on it — and each iLok can store up to 100 authorisations. It is also small, which makes it very easy to lose or steal. To assist software manufacturers and developers, PACE set up a 'central clearing house' and management web site called iLok.com (below). This site enables the manufacturers and developers (who PACE call Vendors) to 'deposit' licences (sometimes called 'assets') into users' accounts. The user is then able to download these onto their iLok. The web site also enables users to 'synchronise' their iLoks with ilok.com for users to upload licence details from the licence cards that some Vendors supply, for example, with retail products. In the next part we will look at what you can do on iLok.com
Flux have announced a new plug-in bundle called the Recording Pack. This from their web site...Epure II is our State-Of-The-Art Equalizer, a five-band equalizer using one of our most complex proprietary algorithms ensuring the superior quality ever for a digital equalizing processor. Pure Series is the very core of the Flux:: dynamics derived from our flagship Solera II and provided as five single plug-ins for maximum versatility with a classic “one tool for each task” approach to slim the workflow without compromising quality or function. Pure Compressor produces a wide range of compressions from ultra clean subtle compressions to classic heavy pumping ones. It's up to your artistic choices not to the technology limitations. Pure DCompressor allows you to restore the original dynamic of a sound. The DCompressor is superior for heavily compressed signal adding some of that natural feeling to the sound. Pure Expander produces a wide range of expansion process from subtle expansions to hard noise-gate. Using Flux:: proprietary Angel's Share and Hysteresis algorithms Pure Expander allows you to remove unwanted noises or reverberation without adding a processed character to your sound. Pure DExpander enhances the low levels of the sound, magnifies the spatialization information and is also very useful when you want a compact expander sound. The Angel's Share algorithm permits some heavy processing though still keeping an organic character with the sound Pure Limiter is using exquisite proprietary Flux:: algorithms generating a release-envelope producing no artifacts on the processed sound achieving a transparent limiting. A dramatic increase of the average audio level is easily achieved without damaging the perceived audio quality of the material.You can read my review of the Flux Plug-ins here in Sound on Sound.Also see my review of the new Epure II EQ plug-in here on this blog.They are offering a 25% time limited introductory offer on the Recording Pack so it is 434 Euros instead of 579 Euros.
It still has its usesStrip Silence in Pro Tools enables you to cut out all the gaps in an audio region, and do it non-destructively too! It is great, for example, for cutting up vocals or dialogue or when you have loaded in a load of clips from one track of a CD.The WindowYou can get to the Strip Silence window from the Windows menu or use the shortcut Command+U (Mac) or Ctrl+U (Windows). It has four slider controls on it. The Strip Threshold control determines how quiet a piece of audio has to be before Strip Silence will consider it to be 'silence'. The Minimum Strip Duration control will determine the shortest amount of silence that is deemed to be worth removing, while Region Start Pad and Region End Pad allow you to put some space at the start and end of the new regions so that there is no risk of clipped starts or truncated decays. In addition, the Rename button allows you to rename the new regions, add suffixes and renumber them too.How to use itLet's run through a typical example of using Strip Silence. To start with, you must select a region or regions that you want to use Strip Silence on.Open the Strip Silence window from the Windows menu or use the shortcut Command+U (Mac) or Ctrl+U (Windows). The Strip Silence window will open, defaulting to the settings you last used, and borders will appear on the selected regions to show which sections will be stripped out if Strip Silence is applied with these settings. Adjust the controls in the Strip Silence window to get the regions you want without any ‘false positives’.Once you have got your regions you can use Strip Silence to rename them. Click on the Rename button and the Rename Selected Regions window will open. You can then choose a new name that will be applied to all the new regions. Then you can set how the new regions will be numbered. Setting the Number Of Places to 2, for example, means that two-digit numbers will be appended to the name to distinguish all the new regions. We can set what number these two-digit numbers will start from; so that starting from 1 will mean that the first region will be called 'xxx 01'. You can also add a suffix that will be added after the name and number, with a space before it so that it appears separate from the number. When you are happy, click on the OK button to dismiss the Rename Selected Regions window.Click on the Strip button to execute the Strip Silence. You can always use the Undo option if you aren't happy, and you can use the Rename button again to change the way the new regions are named. Finally, when you are happy with everything, close the Strip Silence window, click away to deselect the new regions and there you have it.
Back in March I told you about a small Impulse Response outfit Acousticas releasing a cost effective sets of IRs from the Lexicon 224. Well now they have done the big one, the 480L!Take a look at the site. From the press release....The library has been divided into 9 categories ranging from the complete Lexicon Factory presets to carefully tweaked plates, churches and chambers etc. One we really like is the “Stereo Maker”. This edition is very special and is exclusively made for providing width to any sound source. A cluster of 4 delays have been assembled to achive this and the delay time is variable by adding multipliers to the delay times. We have provided many demos on the website and a blind test video which you may watch by clicking here.I would love to know which is which. The price is very good to at 69 Euros for the bundle of IRs
These are two features, I for one, and I am sure most of us working in a media context would want. HandlesAudioSuite handles are where if you process a section with an AudioSuite plug-in and then want to extend it for a cross fade you can't. I always try to remember to trim out the selection manually so I do have some overlap to pay with but just as we have handles on OMFs it would be great to have handles when AudioSuite processing regions.BinsBins in the Region List is something any Avid uusers take for granted but in Pro Tools we have never had the option to organise our media in the Region List into folders. My work round for this is to use prefixes so similar items group together in the list. For example I use the prefix mus for music clips, fx for sound effects, wt for wildtrack but to be able to arrange the content into folders in the Region List would be so much more helpful.Sign up pleaseStef has started a post on the Digidesign User Conference and I would recommend that if these features appeal to you that you add a post to this thread on the DUC.
They are offering their Multilimit plug-in at a 70% discount for the summer bringing the price down from £290 down to £86. From their web site.... The plug-in includes a unique ‘smoothing’ feature, which allows direct control over the balance between limiting transparency and volume maximisation. The independent bands are separated by linear phase crossover filters, providing distortionless EQ and dynamics capability finished off with a program maximiser, making MultiLimit suitable for the most demanding mastering environment. 5 independent bands of limiting Unique 'Smooth' parameter determines transparency Ability to balance between narrowband and overall broadband limiting Linear Phase Crossovers and Equalisation ensures zero phase distortion Automatic Release option allows for program dependent release times True analogue 'Clip' option for more creative control Large selection of user preferences to define display and processing options, including K-System metering options Up to 192 kHz support 4bit floating point precision internal processing throughout Ultra efficient processing, with specific optimisations for all native processors Support for all major native plug-in formats on OS X and Windows XP/Vista As you can see it doesn't look dissimilar to the Waves C4 and Linear Master plug-ins and from the screenshot has a clean look.Sonalksis are a UK based plug-in developer and I always install their free plug-in FreeG on every Pro Tools system I set up. FreeG offers a range of stereo level and image adjustments as well as a large level meter.I look forward to trying their MultiLimit plug-in and if any of you try it or own it then do please post your comments here.
Preview Mode from Brent Heber on Vimeo.This video demonstrates the Pro Tools HD automation feature called "Preview" which allows you to dynamically suspend automated parameters by simply touching them, rather than globally turning off/suspending an automation family (such as volume, inserts, sends etc)I didn't know anything about this feature and it looks like a great tool even if you can't afford an Icon!Thanks again Brent and enjoy.
Digidesign have announced Pro Tools 8.0cs3 updates for all versions of Pro Tools 8.0 are available for download from the Pro Tools CS Updates page in the Support section: In addition to previous fixes from Pro Tools 8.0cs1 and 8.0cs2, Pro Tools 8.0cs3 includes a large number of new fixes. For a list of all fixes included with each update, please see the individual pages listed below. Pro Tools 8 Systems The following are the current CS Updates for Pro Tools 8. Previous installation of Pro Tools 8.0 for Mac OS X Leopard, Windows XP, or Windows Vista 32 is required. Pro Tools HD 8.0cs3 Update for Mac Also available from the above page: Satellite Link 8.0cs1 (Mac) and Video Satellite LE 8.0cs1 (Mac) Pro Tools HD 8.0cs3 Update for Windows Also available from the above page: Satellite Link 8.0cs1 (Windows) Pro Tools LE 8.0cs3 Update for Mac Also available from the above page: Video Satellite LE 8.0cs1 (Mac) Pro Tools LE 8.0cs3 Update for Windows Pro Tools M-Powered 8.0cs3 Update for Mac Pro Tools M-Powered 8.0cs3 Update for Windows
Minnetonka Audio Software announced today that Chicago Recording Company is the newest facility to adopt Minnetonka's SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II to nine of their audio post suites and SurCode for Dolby E into one of their suites. from their press release....“Minnetonka Audio Software’s encoding tools for Pro Tools give us an unprecedented flexibility in our surround mixing workflow,” says Azoulas Sinkevicius, Engineer/Mixer/IT Management for CRC. “The simple interface and real–time processing provides a foolproof environment to deliver what our clients need.”“Chicago Recording Company wants to provide all popular services from every room,” says Jayson Tomlin, VP of Sales and Marketing for Minnetonka Audio Software. “SurCode's wide range of compatibility, efficient workflow, and cost effectiveness made it the obvious choice to meet those needs.”SurCode for Dolby E Encoder and Decoder create a complete plug-in application suite for quick processing and management of file-based Dolby E assets and metadata in your digital audio workstation or computer. The Encoder and Decoder both provide file–based operation on LPCM and Dolby E–encoded data, while the decoder also operates in real time to fit in perfectly with traditional hardware and tape–based workflows. The SurCode for Dolby E suite offers full management of metadata with manual metadata entry, importing metadata from WAV files containing a DBMD chunk, or importing metadata from an XML file. These settings can be saved as plug-in template presets for recall and further use.It is good to see that the Dolby E plug-in is being taken up and interesting that the Pro Logic plug-in has still got a life in this 5.1 world.