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To recap, you should always try to get an embedded OMF, which will provide you with all the audio files and edit information in one large file. The only other file you will need is the video — which, in a nutshell, can be in any format you like as long as it is a QuickTime movie and preferably a DV movie. It is very helpful if this includes 'burnt in' time code so you have a continual visual read out of the time code on the video screen.First, import the video, following the instructions described in Part 6. Remember that Pro Tools will always put the video file at the start of the session. Your Session will now contain a Video track and a Movie. Go to the start of the Session and view the first frame of the video. Look at the burnt-in time code and set the Session Start Time in the Session Setup window to the same time code value as the first frame. Alternatively, you can set the Session start time to a value before the video start time to leave space for line-up tones and the like. To do this, Change the Session Start time in the Session Setup window to the desired time; when you hit Enter, a dialogue box will come up. We need to make sure the video stays at the correct time code position so select Maintain Time Code and you will see that the Session now starts earlier but the video has remained at the correct time code.We can now import the OMF into this Session to bring in all the audio that has been laid up by the video editor. To do this you must have DigiTranslator 2 installed and authorised on your machine. Select Import Session Data in the File Menu of Pro Tools and the usual navigation window will open. Select the appropriate OMF file, click on the Open button, and a variation of the normal Import Session Data window will open, showing a list of the audio tracks as they were in the video editing package. Leave all the tracks set to New Track, but before you click the OK button you need to look at some of the tick boxes and pull-down menus.Take a look at the bottom left-hand corner. For instance, I tend to change the pull-down menu from 'Ignore clip-based gain' to 'Convert clip-based gain to automation'. I also untick the 'Pan odd tracks left/even tracks right' box as I find these defaults are more often wrong than right, and anyway I tend to rearrange things on to different tracks very soon after importing the OMF into my Session.Then take a look at the left-hand middle section. I prefer to set the upper pull-down menu to 'Copy from source media' so that Pro Tools creates new audio files in the Session's audio files folder. This way, the Session doesn't remain dependent on the embedded OMF file, which may get lost if the Session is moved around to different drives and/or systems later on in the work flow. On this occasion you can ignore the Video pull-down menu, as embedded video files in OMFs are not supported by Pro Tools and anyway you already have your video file on its track in the Pro Tools Session.Finally, you can click OK. Pro Tools will start copying the audio files across and they will appear on the Edit window as each one is done.Now you can start work. One the first things I do, is to re-organise the track allocations making new stereo tracks where appropriate. This is necessary as, like older versions of Pro Tools, neither FCP nor Avid supports stereo tracks, so the video editor will have split all stereo material across two tracks. So I move all stereo material across on to stereo tracks and re-organise the other material on to tracks that suit your way of working. Then you can start work on the material.
Vedat at Wave Rider has released an excellent video showing how to use Wave Rider. It is a serious case of a picture paints a thousand words, it is clear and shows what the effect of adjusting each of the controls will do.Well done Vedat.
This is what has been posted on the DUC announcements forum... Hello, all,Last month, I posted a note on this page stating our intention to revisit our decision to remove support for Mix-era peripherals in our next Pro Tools release. After reviewing the technical challenges and, in no small part, considering the needs of our customers, we have listened to your feedback and decided to retain support for Mix peripherals beyond the current 8.0.1 release. While I hope that this is good news for most of you, please understand that there are no guarantees as to how long we will be able to maintain support for these and other legacy hardware products. We will continue to evaluate compatibility issues like this and our commitment to you is to do our best to provide you with as much advance notice as possible when similar changes are required. Thanks again for your feedback, understanding and your continued support of the Pro Tools platform.Steve SiacotosProduct Management - Avid/DigidesignTo see the whole thread go here on the DUC. So it looks as though, at least for now, those using a Mix interface like an 888-24 on the legacy port of an HD interface like the 192 I/O will be able to for some time longer but it would still probably be worth looking at saving up for an alternative solution if you need that extra I/O regularly because I can't see the reprieve lasting for ever.
There has been some interesting comments on the Wave Rider thread here on the DUC.Stereosurfer asked... Is Wave Rider only works on first insert slot?This is a great tool, tons of thoughts to use this baby, like putting a de-esser in listen mode in front of WR to take out sibilance and pop in a more natural way...etc, so many possibility, but... I only have it working 2 times on Insert slot 2 or 3, and often it is not working correctly also on first insert slot, mostly the fader goes all the way to the top or the bottom, with default setting, and if I move it to another track, 100% chance a working instance of WR will go crazy after moving.I am on OS 10.6.1 and PT 8.03pr, both LE and HD, no other controller. Any idea? Vedat (the designer of Wave Rider) replied...Insert slot should not affect WR. But it should be put after all the other plugins to reflect the added gain.If you're having that full gain or full attenuation thing, just switch to Duck mode momentarily and switch back to Ride. That fixes it.It's a rare occurrence, we can't pinpoint what makes it go like that. It might be related to opening or importing sessions that already have Wave Rider on them.Is this your first try of WR, or have you installed an older version in the past? If so, please do a clean install as described in the installation document.Cheers!Edit: I just realized you're on 8.03pr. Apparently there are a few glitches Digi will have to iron out on that puppy. Badjitter also asked...I have tested WR only limited time, but I think it works often too hard to match the levels. What I would like to see:1. Target volume (WR has slider named output). If your audio is already making that output level, it should keep the volume slider at 0. Is it already making that?2. Slider to adjust the behavior to louder and softer signals than target. Something like compression ratio. Often I wouldn't want to flatten the levels, but add +3dB gain to signals that are -6dB below the target volume and add negative gain of -3dB to signals that are +6dB above the target volume. Makes sense?Vedat replied...Yes, WR will target whatever you set with the output slider. If it's already that than it will keep it that way, but you'll still see micro adjustments.If you set your silence level high enough, you will find that low level signals aren't boosted as much, depending on the behaviour slider. I am finishing a video hopefully this weekend to explain all this.Kopper then mentioned Waves and their new Vocal Rider product..."Vocal Rider is the first of Waves’ new series of mixing tools. This plug-in automatically “rides” the levels of vocal tracks. Instead of manually riding the physical mixing console fader or drawing in every level change on a DAW track, Vocal Rider does it automatically.First, the user sets the target range of the vocal level in relation to the rest of the mix. Vocal Rider then compensates for all deviations from the target, raising or lowering the vocal volume. Unlike compression, Vocal Rider adds no additional coloring to the track.Vocal Rider will soon be available from authorized Waves dealers and online."Sounds like Waves is going to take the Wave Rider approach... Another case of the "big guys" stealing a concept from the "little guy"?To which Dmazurek replied..Not really. The WR plug is meant to level out the audio based on internal dynamics. Sort of like a auto compressor. The Waves plug is designed to level the vocal against the rest of the mix by using the sidechain. Similar concepts but different intent and results it seems.I saw the Waves plug at AES, and it was just dumb IMO. Just mix the song for goodness sake, why do I need a plug to do that?? Especially for $400/800 native/TDM.Vedat added...Well at least we know they were lurking around here too.Maybe you could do feature requests and bug fixes for other Waves products on this thread, cause it may be the only place they are looking at these days.Finally PhilBuckle added this strange commendation for Wave Rider..This thing is so cool.I'm going to have to buy it.I therefore hold you personally responsible for increasing my credit card debt.Damn all you coding type people with cunning business tactics!!Well the conversations do continue and I am interested to hear about the differences between Vocal Rider and Waves Rider. I am hoping to be able to do a comparison soon, just waiting for Vocal Rider to come out. But it does look as though Wave Rider has a number of unique features, not least of which is ducking.
DV Toolkit 2 is a post-production bundle for Pro Tools LE 6.1 and higher, which enables various features otherwise only available on TDM systems, so providing you with the opportunity to 'work to picture' using a very cost-effective LE-based system. Firstly it enables the Time Code functions, including the Time Code ruler, and so enables you to edit to picture with time code accuracy and convenience. It also includes Digitranslator 2.0, as described above, which handles the OMF, AAF or MXF exchanges. Included in the bundle are Digidesign TL Space, Digidesign X-Form and Digidesign's DINR Audiosuite plug-ins to help with de-noising any dodgy audio that might come along your way. This is nice, though it has to be said that DINR is getting very long in the tooth these days and can't really compete with the likes of WaveArts and Izotope RX.Having looked at the tools available to you, in the next few episodes, let's go through the process of getting an OMF into Pro Tools in more detail. Always remember that most problems with OMF imports stem from OMF creation problems on the video editing system. It is very important to co-ordinate in advance with the video editor to make sure they create the correct format of OMF file.
Waves Arts have released v5.49 of all their plug-ins. This is from their web site...This update features official Snow Leopard support on Mac and a number of other fixes and enhancements. Please visit our Downloads page to get the update. (Mac) Snow Leopard compatible (fixed graphics glitch)fixed problem with TrackPlug menus sometimes not workingfixed TrackPlug Height knob not reverting to default value properly on certain bandsfixed Mac installer issue (running it the first time would result in Resource Not Found error)fixed occasional graphics glitch in MultiDyanamics in which hi/lo arrows appear above frequency displayfixed pops in MAS versions when using pre-render mode or bouncingfixed RTAS/AudioSuite window bugs (wrong offset, controls behaving strangely if RTAS/AS window open at same time)fixed issue with vintage RMS compression causing constant attenuation for thresholds below -48 dBadded peak input/attenuation level displays in TrackPlugI love their Restoration plug-ins. Especially for wide band noise there are usually my first port of call as I can get good results quickly.You can download these updates from the Download page on WaveArts' web site.
Very little info on it so far...LoAir is a sub-harmonic generating plug-in which creates LFE content or "rumble." This tool is perfect for sound designers who want to add dramatic effect to existing audio. LoAir consists of four separate components: Mono, for creating and enhancing subharmonic frequencies on existing LFE tracks; Stereo: for generating LFE content from Stereo signals (Outputs LFE or Stereo + LFE); 5.0 to 5.1, for generating LFE content from a 5.0 signal; and 5.1 to 5.1, for increasing subharmonic frequencies on existing LFE tracks.Sound designers and post-production mixers alike will greatly benefit from LoAir. Waves is making this tool available following many requests from users in the post-production field. The first notable sub-harmonic generator for Pro Tools, LoAir is the only one capable of processing polyphonic audio content and creating 5.1 output from 5.0 sources. LoAir will be available soon for both Mac and PC as a TDM plug-in. Pricing has yet to be announced.
Waves have used AES to announce a vocal rider plug-in that is very similar to Wave Rider that I have covered earlier on this blog both here & here. The Waves plug-in appears to be the same but different. Sound on Sound have a video demo and this is what they say... SOS Mix Rescue guru Mike Senior is a fan of automation-based fader-riding, and the technique is mentioned many times. The technique involves manually drawing fader-adjustments in the DAW to balance the level of the vocal track relative to the rest of the mix. Though this method of vocal leveling can be rewarding, it is undeniably time consuming. Waves Vocal Rider is an intelligent plug-in which generates this volume automation. It compares the volume of a vocal take with that of a backing track, which is fed into a side-chain. The resulting volume adjustments are written as fader automation within a range set by the user, controlling the dynamic of the song without introducing any of the additional artifacts associated with compression. Well two riding plug-ins in a relatively short period of time. It would be interesting to do a comparative review of them both to see how they both perform.
Sound on Sound have produced another video of Waves demoing yet another new plug-in...Billed as “the first in a new line of dedicated Waves Post Production tools”, WNS Noise Suppressor handles real-time noise reduction across six bands. Designed for dialogue post-production, the plug-in purports to detect and remove both constant and modulating environment noise. Joining WNS in the post-production category, LoAir is intended for use in 5.1 mixing, generating and enhancing sub-sonic LFE (low frequency effect) content from an mono, stereo, 5.0 or 5.1 source This is one of the many plug-ins designed for post-production that could find a home in music production, especially in genres which demand thunderous bass content, such as hip hop. Multirack is designed as a software solution for front-of-house engineers, providing Waves processing for live mixing. The interface displays channels as effects-chains, and allows an engineer to replace racks of hardware with a laptop and an audio interface. This is good news as Waves have dropped behind in the noise reduction stakes and this is bound to find a home in more and more audio post houses as we get asked to reduce the background noise on more and more material.
Sound on Sound are at AES and have recorded a video demo of the new Sonnox Restore bundle. I reviewed the Sony Oxford Restoration bundle in my Restoration shootouts in Sound on Sound back in August 2005 and November 2007. Sonnox Oxford have already produced a number of respected plug-ins (see reviews in SOS August 2007 and September 2008), and have now added Sonnox Restore — a bundle of three restoration tools — to their line-up. The three tools are designed to handle a different aspects of restoration, and are called DeClicker, DeBuzzer and DeNoiser. DeClicker is designed to remove pops, clicks and crackles from programme material, using spectral analysis to accurately separate the three pre-defined types of artifact in realtime. In the event that a certain click is desirable, the GUI allows the user to isolate the sound and prevent its removal. A special dialogue mode is also provided for tidying up voice-over work. De Buzzer is included to take care of annoying hums that can find their way onto recordings and transfers. An intelligent tracking mode allows the plug-in to automatically locate fundamental hums and their harmonic counterparts, keeping a grip on them even when the offending frequencies wander throughout the track. Rounding the collection off nicely, DeNoiser helps you to take care of unwanted hiss. Plenty of options are included for tracking-down the offending noise, and the plug-in includes a warmth control for sweetening the source-material after noise-reduction has been applied. All three of the plug-ins include an auditioning mode that allows the user to monitor the elements that are being removed by the restoration process; very handy for achieving an optimum result. Sonnox Restore costs £1195 and is protected by the PACE iLok, meaning an iLok dongle and a spare USB port are required for registration. It certainly looks interesting, if a little pricey but if it works well then it could be worth the £1200 they plan to be asking for it. Hopefully I will get my hands on it and will be able to try it on my selection of files to see how well it performs. I will keep you posted.
In the next few parts we are now going to look in detail at how you get your audio from a video editing package such as Avid Express or Final Cut Pro into Pro Tools, using Digitranslator for TDM systems and the DV Toolkit for LE systems.Digitranslator is a software add-on for Pro Tools that enables it to open OMF, AAF and MXF audio files, video files and sequences. With the Digitranslator v2.0 option, Pro Tools supports the import and export of OMF media files and sequences as well as AAF sequences directly into Pro Tools sessions without launching a separate application. From v6.9 Pro Tools supported import of MXF video, as well as import and export of MXF audio. Finally, with Pro Tools 7.0 and higher, you can import or export AAF files with embedded audio. How many standards do we need?Avid's Open Media Framework (OMF) was the first 'transfer file format' to come into widespread use, but two new standards, Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) and Media Exchange Format (MXF), have evolved to resolve the various interchange limitations. They are robust enough to contain all the information that any sequence contains and are extensible, meaning that new features can be added later.OMF has become a 'standard' because Avid, who designed it, have a hold on the video-editing market and not because it came from a recognised standards organisation. However, there have been a number of obstacles to it becoming a universal standard. First, it has a history of instability, and second — partly as a result of this — Avid changed the format with the introduction of OMF2, which is actually different enough from OMF1 to be considered a completely separate format. Finally, not all third-party companies wanted to support a standard with proprietary origins.To be fair, Avid made serious attempts at moving OMF into the public domain through both the SMPTE and AES standards bodies. Unfortunately, the attempt foundered for several reasons, the main one being that OMF uses an underlying technology called Bento, which is a 'container' format for recording data on disk. Although it is freely licensed to OMF developers, Bento was developed by and is owned by Apple, and for SMPTE or AES to standardise something, all proprietary issues, including patents and copyrights, must be formally waived, which Apple refused to do.From the start, both the AAF and MXF formats were designed to avoid the limitations OMF came with. To speed this along and to gain some independence, an organisation was created called the AAF Association. AAF was initiated by Avid and Microsoft, who have since been joined by many other important companies and organisations. Avid and Microsoft worked together to replace Bento with a new container format, and the resulting AAF design is derived from OMF and retains its power and flexibility while refining the details and adding significant capabilities. In a further step to aid take-up and improve independence, the AAF Association have made the software developer kits to support AAF 'open source', meaning that they can be freely copied and are available at Source Forge.Meanwhile, in true 'standards form' (why have one standard when you can have three or four?) another effort was under way. Industries beyond the professional production business, such as telecoms, Internet and computer companies, now require a universal way to transport video and audio media around. The Pro-MPEG Forum (another consortium) was formed to take up this challenge, and, in co-ordination with the European Broadcast Union and SMPTE, helped create MXF.Even though the standardisation process is not complete, more and more companies are supporting both the AFF and MXF formats in their software. Together, AAF and MXF offer the prospect of data interchange between picture, audio and effects systems and thus the ability to cut a sequence on a picture system, hand it intact to sound, move it to the mixing stage, and finally load it back into the picture system with everything visible and audible everywhere. Through Digitranslator 2, Pro Tools supports them both as well as OMF2s.
Digidesign have come up with a number of special offers to encourage us to buy some more hardware or replace some of our ageing hardware.The first is an offer to LE users to invest in an HD rig. From the web site...Take advantage of this special offer and save up to 47% off retail pricing when you trade in your Digi 001, Mbox®, Mbox 2, Mbox 2 Mini, or Mbox 2 Pro towards the purchase of a Pro Tools|HD 1 and 96 I/O system, Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel and 192 I/O system, or Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel and 192 I/O (with 192 A/D Expansion Card) system.Or save up to 54% off retail pricing when you trade in your 003®, 003 Rack, 003 Rack+, Digi 002, or Digi 002 Rack towards the purchase of a Pro Tools|HD 1 and 96 I/O system, Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel and 192 I/O system, or Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel and 192 I/O (with 192 A/D Expansion Card) system.For more info go here on the Digidesign web site.The next is to offer a free MassivePack 8 bundle if you buy an HD core system. From the web site...For a limited time, purchase a Pro Tools|HD®, Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel, or Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel core system and get the MassivePack 8 — a valuable collection of some of the industry’s most used, most loved sound processing plug-ins — absolutely free (a €915 value).For more info go here on the Digidesign web site.Finally for any ProControl owners an offer to encourage you to upgrade to an Icon. From the web site...For a limited time, trade in your old ProControl system towards the purchase of a new ICON D-Control™ ES or D-Command® ES console and save up to 27% off standard exchange pricing!For more info go here on the Digidesign web site.All these offers expire on Dec 18th 2009.
Ashley Shepherd has written a very accessible guide to working with Pro Tools in video, film and multimedia (ISBN: 1-59200-069-X). He begins by outlining the history of the technology used, going right back to the start of the 'talkies' and Disney's Fantasia, which was way ahead of its time in both artistic and technical innovation. He then goes on to outline an overview of the possible workflows and equipment in use today.The third chapter deals solely with the sticky topic of time code in all its different forms, before we see how to get started with Pro Tools and video. This covers machine control as well as working with video files, including the process of capturing your own using either iMovie or FCP. Chapter five looks in detail at the actual workflow of 'recording to picture' including much more detail on how to deal with OMFs and associated problems, recording foley sounds and the use of sound effect libraries.The next chapter shows how to edit and manipulate the audio to picture within Pro Tools, and will probably be the most familiar section of the book to anyone who is already a competent Pro Tools operator. After that, Shepherd examines some of the processing techniques commonly used in sound for picture, including the use of Synchro Arts' Vocalign plug-in to help sync up replacement dialogue, before moving on to the mixing stage of the workflow. This section includes material on setting up stem mixes, the different surround formats in use, the use of 'pre-mixes' and the different control surfaces available. Finally, he explains how to deliver the mixed masters back to the client, covering line-up tones, tape formats and Dolby encoding.All in all, this is a definite must for anyone working in this area. Ashley Shepherd has managed to combine comprehensive overviews of each phase in the workflow with detailed Pro Tools-specific techniques and tips.
Importing Video into Pro ToolsImporting a video file into Pro Tools is simple. Select Import Movie... from the Movie menu in Pro Tools, navigate your way to the location of the movie file. Click on the Open button and Pro Tools will create a video track and open the Movie window. The size of the Movie window will depend on the pixel size of the movie and the resolution of your computer screen.It is not possible to have 'full screen' video from within Pro Tools unless you dedicate one computer monitor to it and set that monitor's resolution to a size in pixels similar to that of the movie. For instance, for a standard 4:3 TV movie, the movie file is 720x576 pixels, so by setting the screen resolution of your second monitor to 800x600, the movie will almost fill the screen. For most purposes it's best to route the video out of the computer to a video monitor (see above) and so view the movie on a screen designed for the job — this could be a domestic TV using the AV input, so it doesn't need to break the bank.You can set the video track to show either blocks or frames, which displays thumbnails along the track in the Edit window. Although this can help navigate around the movie it does put extra demand on the computer, so I tend to leave it in blocks mode. You can also hide the video track using the Show/Hide menu, to free up both computer resources and screen real estate.When you import a video file into Pro Tools it will place the start of the video file at the start of the Session, but the timecode in the video file might not start at zero. You can compensate for this by changing the Session Start time in the Session Setup Window to match the start time of the video file. Some people like to have some space before the video file starts for line-up tone and so on. No problem: just set the Session Start time back, say, 1 minute. You can then use the Spot tool to position the start of the video file at the correct timecode point.Now you may well be asking: so how does all this stuff actually help me do something useful with my Pro Tools system and working to picture? Well, we've covered what you need to get to a position to start work. In the rest of this series we will look at how you can use Pro Tools to handle the nuts and bolts of audio post-production for TV documentaries, drama and films as well as composing music to picture. We will also be exploring how it is possible to work to picture with nothing more than a laptop, an M Box and Pro Tools LE even though there is no Timecode ruler in PTLE, and also how Digidesign's DV Toolkit package can help.
Our Mike Thornton writes the Pro Tools Notes, Techniques and Workshop articles for Sound on Sound as well as reviewing many of the new Pro Tools related products. Note that you will need to be a subscriber to view the recent articles or you can choose to Click & Buy individual ones. Splitting Sessions - Working on lots of songs within one project can be annoying. Why not use Pro Tools’ advanced features to create a tailor-made Session for each one?
Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc., have announced a new agreement with Holophone to include SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II software in a new Holophone bundle. The Pro Logic II software will be bundled with Holophone’s H4, SuperMINI, PortaMic 5.1 and PortaMic Pro products. This from the press release...“Both of our companies are supplying engineers for the same jobs, but at opposite ends of the workflow,” said John Schur, President of Minnetonka Audio Software. “By adding SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II to Holophone’s already strong microphone products, the customer has a complete solution from field capture to final distribution.”“Teaming up with Minnetonka enables us to offer our customers a digital option for decoding and encoding audio from Holophone’s surround mics, streamlining workflow from the field to production,” says Holophone CEO Jonathan Godfrey. “This provides an affordable end–to–end digital solution for taking the mic’s Dolby Pro Logic II–encoded audio and bringing it back into six channels of discrete audio and vice versa.”Minnetonka Audio will accomodate existing Holophone customers who want to upgrades to SurCode for Dolby Pro Logic II. Pricing for the bundles has not been set.For more information, please visit Holophone's web site
Mac Music have announced that.... Sonnox is about to unveil a brand new suite of audio restoration plug-ins at the upcoming 127th AES Convention. Sonnox Restore is a suite of three plug-ins : Oxford DeBuzzer, Oxford DeClicker and Oxford DeNoiser, designed to accurately restore impaired audio recordings.Developed over an exhaustive 18-month R&D program, the Sonnox Restore suite represents a quantum leap beyond previous restoration plug-in technology. Its advanced algorithms allow fast and extremely effective removal of pops, clicks, crackles, scratches, hum, buzzes and extraneous background noise from virtually any recording. All three plug-ins provide detailed graphical feedback, and include novel features new to the restoration field such as a specialized dialogue mode in the DeClicker.The Sonnox Restore Suite will be available at a price of $1995 in the fall of 2009, and will be compatible with Pro Tools (RTAS), Audio Units and VST platforms.Now I am a big fan of the original Sony Oxford Restoration bundle that didn't make the transistion from Sony to Sonnox. I can't wait to see what 18 months of R & D has done to improve what was already a stunning product.
Audio Ease has just released a bunch of outdoor impulse responses for their Altiverb convolution reverb plug-in, This is what they said on their impulse response forum...Today we release a big IR set for Altiverb with only outdoor impulse responses, streets with and without echo, slapbacks etc.Available for free for registered Altiverb 6 users on their web site here, but you will need to enter the email address you entered when you registered your copy of Altiverb to stop non Altiverb owners from downloading the impulse responses.