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iZotope have just announced a new version of their excellent RX and RX Advanced restoration suites. See my review in Sound on Sound. Now they have produced version 2 and from the info and demo videos already posted it looks as if they have made improvements to what was already an excellent set of tools especially in stand alone mode. This is what the press release says... iZotope, Inc. has released RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced, updates to their award-winning audio repair software suites. With a range of new features and functionality, iZotope has expanded the scope of RX into any field where audio is recorded or restored by both consumers and professionals. Additionally, iZotope is offering introductory pricing on RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced purchases and upgrades throughout October 31, 2010. RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced are designed to repair common and uncommon audio problems like tonal and broadband noise, hiss, buzz, hum, clicks and crackle, distortion from clipping and interfering sounds like cell phone rings, dogs barking, car horns, string squeaks, dropped drumsticks and just about anything else. "RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced are crucial tools if you're recording new tracks or restoring old ones. Whether you're on location with a TV show or recording a voiceover at home for a company presentation, it's a challenge to get a good recording. RX gives you all the tools you need to repair damaged audio and deliver the best recording," explains Jeremy Todd, CTO of iZotope, "RX also includes specialized tools to restoring old recordings from vinyl records, tape and other sources with tools like Declick, Decrackle and automatic azimuth alignment. RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced are a complete set of the best processing tools with an immersive visual editing interface enabling you to quickly repair and deliver high-quality audio." RX 2 builds on the success of the original's Denoise, Spectral Repair, Declick, Declip and Remove Hum modules with iZotope's latest DSP algorithm improvements and the new Decrackle and Channel Operations modules. RX 2 Advanced extends the standard RX with an adaptive Denoiser mode, a Deconstruct module, third party plug-in hosting, iZotope 64-bit SRC™ resampling, MBIT+™ dither, iZotope Radius® time and pitch control, ability to export an edit history, multi-resolution mode for Spectral Repair and automatic azimuth correction. RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced include new visual editing features and functionality such as the Magic Wand, Lasso and Brush tools designed for selecting audio in the product's spectrogram. Similar to working in popular graphic design programs, these tools allow natural freehand selections around problem sounds. The Magic Wand can automatically select a sound and even automatically select its harmonics. After selecting, Spectral Repair resynthesizes audio allowing the user to seamlessly remove unwanted sounds or even fill in gaps in the recording. RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced further improve the workflow from the first release. Like the original, they are available as both a suite of plug-ins for a DAW and as a dedicated application. An extensive edit history tracks every change the user makes allowing unlimited undo and compare processing. RX 2 Advanced adds the ability to export the history to an XML file for archival or forensic documentation. The application also saves complete session information, so the user can restart the application and continue working with even the audio selection and undo history being remembered. The updated Batch Processor allows the chaining together of modules to operate on multiple files, all optimized with the use of multiple CPUs. RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced are ideal for restoration engineers, video post production engineers, forensic specialists, audio engineers, recording musicians, broadcasters, podcasters, archivists, videographers and anyone who records audio. Specifications: Windows (XP, x64, Vista, 7) Mac OS X 10.5 or later (Universal Binary) Standalone application Plug-in formats: Pro Tools 7+ (RTAS/ AudioSuite), VST, MAS, Audio Unit, DirectX Price and Availability: An introductory price of $249 USD for RX 2 and $749 USD for RX 2 Advanced is available through October 31, 2010, and $349 for RX 2 and $1,199 for RX 2 Advanced thereafter. Here are the videos they have released, the first is an overview of RX 2 and RX 2 Advanced... and the second shows the Spectral Repair in more detail... I can't wait to get my hands to this update as RX is my first port of call for a number of restoration functions especially de-clipping.
These two videos have just been posted on the Designing Sound blog. They come from sound designer par excellence David Farmer and show very clearly two excellent tricks that have applications way beyond the demo idea. Firstly using Glide to automate surround panning in Pro Tools and secondly Elastic Audio in Pro Tools - Basics for Sound Design
A couple of QuickTime related tips from The Digidesign User conference.... Quickest bounce to QT choice 'michael c' asked... I'm a composer and I need to constantly bounce cues to QT so the producer/director can see how the music is playing under their film. I use the H264 codec and the bounce time for even a 30 to 45 second cue takes forever. Is there another choice that I can use that will still be top quality and yet not take so long to bounce? I am using an 8 core Mac Pro Tower with PT8.04 HD. 'rafukyo' replied suggesting.... There are 2 ways: Use the 3 modifires (cntrl+alt+cmd) and click the bounce to quicktime menu. Now you get a menu for changing the bounce settings. You can change the selection in the video section to faster encoding. Bounce the audio to quicktime format AAC. open the created file with quicktime pro. select all the timeline and copy it. Open the original video file click cmnd J and delete the original sound track. now go to edit menu and select "add to movie". it will paste the audio file to the video file. now you can save them as new file. 'minister' added... Quickest way is just to bounce it out as a Quicktime and don't convert it. Then convert it in QT Pro. This way, you can continue working. What codec are you using in Pro Tools? kd_special agreed... Yeah I would use this option. I didnt know you could have those Export options in PT for the last few years I had always sent My QT file with my mix to the Machine room to be converted down to an email size vid for client approval. It was a timly processd. Thanks god somone mentioned it to me. and the second QuickTime tip... Importing 4 ch audio from quicktime 'nucelar' asked..... I'm testing a setup where i would do following: Capture a quicktime movie (Motion JPEG codec) with 4 audio channels (PCM, 48k, 16bits) Import said movie and its 4 audios in Pro Tools LE (8.0.3, OSX 10.6.2) and spot everything to place. The mov files I capture are just fine, when I audition the separate channels in quicktime Pro I hear what is supposed to be on each channel. The problem is when Pro Tools imports the audio, it does some kind of mixing and I get two pairs of identical files, not the four discrete channels. Has anyone experienced similar behaviour? or is it a bug? For the record, with two channels everything's fine. 'diamondschwin' replied... I dont think Pro Tools handles more than 2 channel quicktimes. you would have to splits out the audio outs of PT and import it 'nucelar' responded... Thank you, but I don't quite understand what you mean... My solution for now is to open the mov in quicktime Pro and extract & export the 4 individual audio tracks to wavs. Then import these in Pro Tools. During "Import Video", Pro tools indeed "sees" the four audio tracks inside the mov, and actually creates four individual tracks for them, but the contents of these is all messed up. 'quadraphonics' confirmed... We do this all of the time. We have up to 8 channels in a Quicktime (HDCAM SR captured via SDI into Final Cut) When importing PT asks which audio tracks to import. Never had it mux the audio together such as you are describing. FWIW, we are running PT 7.2 and 7.3, not 8 'mikevarela' confirmed the problem and solution... Ran in to the same problem once. PT actually blended the audio of 2 channels. Had to extract the audio from quicktime, then import them into PT.
Waves have introduced an interesting bundle primarily aimed at video editors who need some tools to help sweeten their audio tracks. This is what Waves say about it... Professional video editors know that first impressions are lasting impressions. With producers and clients focused on every frame, even your rough cuts have to win them over. That means when you hit play,what comes out of your speakers has to be every bit as good as what’s up on the screen. With the new Waves Video Sound Suite of audio plugins, now you can sound as good as you look, quickly and easily. Using the same plugins as the industry’s leading movie and game audio professionals, you can do it all: Reduce noise. Clean up and enhance dialog. Smooth out and maximize volume. Re-create room acoustics and more. Video Sound Suite integrates seamlessly into your video editing software. Because they’re real-time plugins, it’s no longer necessary to render or create new files for every audio adjustment, and making audio changes weeks or months later is a breeze. Video Sound Suite includes: Renaissance Compressor helps keep your volume levels under control, for smoother, more consistent cuts. IR-L Reverb lets you place sounds in real ambient spaces, add atmosphere, and smooth out tight edits. DeEsser tames sibilance, the ‘ess’ and ‘shh’ sounds which can make voices sound harsh and distort W43 Noise Reduction Plugin reduces ambient noise like hiss, hum, traffic, wind, and air conditioning. Q10 Equalizer lets you enhance frequencies, cut lows & add highs so the voice cuts through, or zoom in and clean up problem areas. L1 Limiter delivers louder, clearer sound to individual sources as well as final mixes. I am not sure I would have chosen this exact combination of plug-ins. I think the range of tools is good but I would have gone for the L2 instead of the L1, the Renaissance EQ rather than Q10, as the compressor I am not sure the Renaissance Compressor is the right one. but the W43 is a very sound choice and makes the bundle worth the $850 that Waves are asking for this native bundle.
This was a question asked by 'AMIEL' on the Digidesgn User Conference. He asked.... Lets say in Track #1 I have different regions of Hits and I select all of them and in once I want to be able to use the trimming tool and make them all a bit longer....how do i do it? Again I am talking regions in the same track...not in different tracks... BaileyBass suggested the solution.... Actually there is a very good way to do it... Engage your "object grabber".(not your "regular" grabber) Hold down Shift and select all the regions you want. (they will have a yellow border around each of them) Hold down command and use the + and - keys (on the numeric keyboard) and you can easily trim and extend them (the ends of the region). NOTE that the increment is based on your nudge value. Hold down OPTION and you can do the same to the beginnings of the selected regions. This is a REAL timesaver in a lot of situations.
Waves have updated the excellent c4 multiband compressor with 2 more bands and a side chain feature. This is what they say in their newsletter... For years, the C4 has been a favorite of studio engineers the world over, and in live sound, it’s quickly become a must-have for FOH and monitor professionals as well. To create the C6, we took the tried-and-true functions of the C4, and added two additional floating bands plus a sidechain feature, for one-stop vocal and instrument shaping. Equally at home in the studio, live, and in post production, the C6 lets you zero in on problem frequencies with surgical precision. Perfect for de-essing and de-popping in the studio or onstage, the C6 gives you all the multiband compression and dynamic equalization you need to control, tame, and shape your sound. Mercury V7 and SoundGrid Pro V7 owners covered by Waves Update Plan receive C6 Multiband Compressor at no additional charge.
This is what the Mbox control panel will look like according to the Mbox user guide. Russ at the AIR Users blog posted a request for some questions to put to Avid folk and asked a question about how the low latency will work with the new Mbox interfaces. Well I don't know if the two are connected but Russ has just released a video where he shows what the new low latency options might look like by demonstrating how it works on the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra. He stresses that it won't look the same but will be very similar and it looks like there is finally a workable solution for low latency recording in Pro Tools LE. Mbox Onboard DSP Explanation from AIR Users Blog on Vimeo.
In their newsletter they say.... For decades, we have explored and pioneered the field of digital audio and loudness metering, offering state of the art tools that let you measure, correct and convert audio for a wide variety of applications. With LM2, you get a full-featured stereo loudness and true-peak level meter which is perfect not only for post, film and live production, but also for broadcast ingest, linking and transmission. When you need to comply with broadcast standards, the numbers are paramount, and on LM2's front panel, you can check the all-important digits instantly. For even more loudness details, simply connect LM2 to a PC or Mac via USB and you get full, realtime Radar screen picture using the included Icon application. In short, with LM2 we stay true to our pioneering obligations and are proud to present you with next generation metering! Read more about LM2
This is what Soundfield say.... Microphone manufacturer SoundField has launched a software version of their UPM-1 stereo-to-5.1 upmix processor at IBC 2010. Originally released in hardware form at IBC 2008, the UPM-1 has already been adopted by major broadcasters such as Sky, SIS Live, and NDR as an easy-to-use, reliable means of generating realistic-sounding, broadcast-quality 5.1 surround sound when only a stereo mix is available. While the hardware UPM-1 is ideally suited to live broadcast applications, the new plug-in version is designed for post-production workflows. It will be available in RTAS for Pro Tools users as well as VST and Audio Units for other platforms and is aimed, like the hardware original, at high-definition broadcasters who need to ensure that all of their material is transmitted in fold-down-compatible 5.1 surround, including archive stereo material, effects and jingles. The UPM-1 plug-in creates a more natural-sounding 5.1 mix than many stereo-to-5.1 upmix devices that rely on reverb and phase manipulation. Instead, it uses a unique algorithm which analyses the stereo input material and separates ambient sounds from the direct sounds — or what might broadly be referred to as the ‘distant’ and ‘close-miked’ sounds. As with the original hardware unit, the plug-in allows detailed adjustment of the relative levels of direct sound and front and rear ambient sound in the final 5.1 mix, with continuous software rotary controls for Width and Centre channel Divergence. Level, Mute and Solo controls are also provided for each channel. The UPM-1 plug-in is currently scheduled to ship in October 2010.
They say.... Pictures are emerging of the new MBox 3. Both MBox versions have a simplified, black design. They both are USB 2.0 devices. Mbox 3 Mini ($329) is due for release 05-October-2010 with Mbox 3 ($549) available in a few days on 14-September-2010. No confirmation has been made by Avid yet! We shall see what happens! Here is the original post on the AIR User blog.
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The first thread that caught my eye was a request from 'stormmusic' about OMF export tutorials for FCP editors. This thread threw up two new ones to me. Burnt in timecode for FCP Excellent delivery guidelines from the folks at Broompole We also have some on our free help guides page. One for Avid and one for FCP editors Then I came across another FCP thread this time about volume data in the OMF export. The original question was about using the "convert clip based gain to automation' option in the Pro Tools OMF import window. However the thread goes on to discuss how to make sure the FCVP editor includes the volume dat in the OMF export. Also remember earlier versions of FCP don't export volume data at all. I think this was picked up in FCP v6. Next we have a thread about how to use iZotope RX Declicker better. The concensus seems to be that is a weak area in an otherwise excellent set of tools. However here is some excellent advice on which plug-ins to use and how to use iZotope better. Then two threads that cover the area of which plug-in to use to create LtRt mixes. LtRt weirdness or not? Which Dolby Surround plug-in? Next there is a thread about "reconforming production sound to avid aaf using match function". There is some excellent advice form Frank Kruse on this. Finally another OMF Import question about whether file names come across or not, it seems things are improving and some discussion as to whether things have got better with Pro Tools v8.1
I posted a long post about all the Avid developments that happened whilst I was on holiday. Ceri Thomas has posted a nice overview and his thoughts of these new interfaces..... Last month, Avid finally introduced the updated line of interfaces for Pro Tools HD systems. While they may not appear to be revolutionary in the manner that it seems many people were hoping for I think that they are a solid base to move forward from. Let’s look at them a little closer. Go to his blog to read the rest of his comments. He has written a simple clear description of each of them and stayed away from specs. Thank you Ceri.
Many of our audio for video clients are small companies who often self shoot or self edit but don’t have the expertise to handle the audio side. This blog is to help self shooters and self editors with tips on sound acquisition and audio editing and how to hand on a project using OMFs. This blog will look at the issues that face self shooters and self editors and offer help and advice, and of course if you help further help we would be delighted to work with you on a business basis.
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. Classic Stereo-widening Tricks - When you need to really open up your mix, it’s time to employ some classic stereo widening tricks. We show you how to implement them in Pro Tools.
This is a thread running on the Digidesign User Conference at the moment and was started by 'DarthFader777' asking..... Looking to purchase one that works well with both Avid and FCP. Any input would be appreciated. 'zoundsabar' was first to respond.... Depends on what you want to do. VK is specialized for conforming PT sessions after picture changes, TITAN specializes in autoconforming from EDLs and fixing sync, as well as deaing with pix changes. I believe that TITAN can't read Avid or FCP change notes, but VK can. Both can create conform notes from two EDLs. Everything else TITAN does is not available in VK. From the Synchro Arts web site: Cut and Move Mode (Re-cut) This addition to Flash Cutter allows user-selected tracks in a Pro Tools Session to be Cut into sections defined by EDL events source In/Out times which can be moved to new positions with starting points defined by each EDL events' record (or destination) In time. This allows blocks of audio to be repositioned instantly and automatically. • Each Cut (and move) event in the EDL can operate on multiple regions, fades and tracks at the same time. • Given the original EDL used to confrom a session and a new EDL from the video editor Titan can calculate the re-cut and a re-confrom EDLs. 'DarthFader777' replied..... I appreciate your input. I work on material that will be for packaged and for broadcast. The broadcast stuff requires quick turn around. Typically a one hour program has about a two week turn around from aquisition to layback. Many chages occur during this period due to the process, which I hope to change. Audio post is new here so there isn't and understanding of this workflow. If you have expereince with these applications or know anyone who does I would appreciate that input as well. 'JKD99' added... As Doug says, the applications do different things, and the confusion arises in the dual-use of the word "conform". Titan handles the conforming (also known as "assembly") of production source audio to match the Avid/FCP audio. Virtual Katy, Change Note Assistant, etc conform sessions from one picture version to another (also known as "doing the changes") 'DarthFader777' posted... Hey Thanks John. Does that mean I need both applications to completely conform sessions accurately..e.g. Titan assembling material and VK doing the actual adjusting of the material to fit within timcode boundries? 'breaktheory' asked... I'd like to know the answer to this as well 'Frank Kruse' responded with... The answer was given two posts above yours 4 years ago. It depends on what you mean by the word "conform" in your question. Conform sessions to picture changes or conform original audio files to EDLs from the editor. 'C' chipped in with... Written a blog post with reference to the first meaning (assembly) part two will cover the second meaning (reconform). I posted about Ceri's articles on this here. 'jahtao' commented.... We went with VK and are loving it. VK AAF function doesn't work and won't ever work 'C' added... Part two: Reconform I know people will disagree with my view on conformalizer but it is just my opinion always liked the concept of the application but the lack of project wide features always made me return to VK. 'jahtao' added.. FYI VK doesn't work with AAFs instead of EDLs despite what you might read 'tonepad' posted... Further comments on terminology, workflow and available software: We've always used Titan to "auto conform", the legacy term used here in Hollywood, but I now use the term "Sound Online" or "SOL" for our workflow, which I feel is a term more in sync with the Picture dept who refer to a picture "Online" process. This is done with the turnover cut EDL and picture, from Final Cut Pro in our case. From that point on we "conform" to new picture versions as needed using the old fashioned manual way in Pro Tools which we now do with the Time Operations function. Since our show is cut with FCP we have to use workarounds to even get the first cut EDL to work with Titan. For this process I use the software EdiLoad. Mark's helper app let's me get Sound Roll numbers in the proper position of the 3600 format to be used in the "SOL". We have not come up with a satisfactory way to create a "change list" in FCP, hence the choice to manually conform. However I have come up with a way to create a marker directory as a byproduct of Time Operations in Pro Tools that works as a "change list" for my editors if I can stay ahead of where they are in the flow...otherwise it's everyman for himself. The new Titan upgrade (V4, intel mac only) is a fantastic step forward after many years of being behind the Pro Tools and OS curve (think a dual boot OS 10.4/10.5, PT5-6/PT8 rig and you may catch my drift)...it is now a much more powerful, streamlined and faster program...in my early tests with it I've estimated that it now takes 2-3 hours less time to complete a "Sound Online", including sync and selecting preferred tracks from the de-multed multi track production sound in the created Pro Tools session. This certainly adds up in the positive column over the course of a TV season. The VK route is probably great for Avid centric projects (they still don't seem to address FCP work last time I checked) for "conforming" after a "SOL", but again it would be imperative that the Picture dept assistants be on their A game in creating a "change list" EDL. Hope this helps and good luck fine tuning your workflow, since every project is different and requires "special" care. 'Frank Kruse' added... Conformalizer directly reads XML files from FCP just fine (and does lots of other things that VK doesn´t, especially when it comes to working around tricky EDLs and VFX naming methods). 'tonepad' responded... Frank. While this may be true, and Justin has communicated this to me, I can't seem to get our PixDept assistants to puke a decent list out, XML or otherwise. The tests I've run with their XML, have way too much info...VFX, dissolves, color correction notes etc. I don't know how to train them to eliminate unnecessary for sound info...and in fact after a year they are just beginning to understand what a "change list" is. I'm in the school of thought that believes a change list can and should be conveyed as simply as possible and in plain english ie. @ xx:xx:xx we added or subtracted time or replaced a take or an entire scene. I will still try to solve this problem, but there does remain the issue that I have 4 editors who have to do conforms on their individual sessions...DX/ADR/FX/Foley...and to complicate things we work remotely from each other and not under one roof, AND we only have 5 days (not counting weekends) an episode...ah modern workflow. My simple but effective solution of manual conforming and creating a Marker list in PT allows me to do a screen grab of the list and attach it to an email. My editors go to each event and follow the listed action, either adding or cutting time, using the Time Operations function. If I could achieve the same thing faster with any soft out there considering the built in limits of our situation, I would do it. Apologies to the OP if this is starting to be a hijack but it is certainly a part of the process that the original question inquired about. 'Frank Kruse' replied... The XML always contains all the info about a sequence incl. every edit and info. That´s the whole point about it. Conformalizer reads up to v3.0 XMLs. Have you tried that version XML? I think problems can occur when editors use diferent frame-rates in a sequence but other than that XMLs have always worked fine for me. If all fails you could fall back to EDLs but it´s more work-intense because less and less editor actually know how to output an EDL. Some don´t even know what an EDL is ;-) In those cases I just ask for an XML and let conformalizer grab the necessary info from that. 'tonepad' came back... Frank, Understood, and it's now on the list of things to research/demo this season. Thanks for the comments. 'LucidMJW' posted... I have VK conform/compare v2.5 on my PTHD v7.3.1 rig. Did a test of a trailer w/ cutdowns 90, 60, 30. The EDL generated by FCP had errors so once I conformed the 90 AAF to the 60, there were holes w/ no media. I noticed that there was usually some kind of video filter or VFX. Couldn't figure out how to fix this issue, so I've just been manually adjusting my PT session for new edits. Probably not the fastest way, but I know it'll be correct when I'm done. 'maggot' posted... to clarify: conformalizer officially supports version 2 of the FCP XML format but it seems to work fine with more recent versions as far as I can tell. If you can get the message thru, ask for v2 XML - otherwise, don't sweat it. 'MIKEROPHONICS' added... My thumbs up for Conformalizer too (after Frank's previous recommendations) I had an editor give me two XML files for different versions and Conformalizer came up trumps. I like the video compare thing too. If I get more of this work, I will vote with my wallet! 'Noiz2' posted... I would also point out that you can have Conformalizer out put a change note, something you can't otherwise get with FCP. Just in case you want to go old school. I've used Conformalizer on a ton of shorts and features and it's saved weeks of time. The biggest thing for me (other than the time savings) is that it catches all the swaps and moves that can be easy to miss (or hard to figure out) when you doing it by hand with no change note.
Waves are offering 35% of these plug-ins in September... More details
The BBC has now published the details of the last of the series of 4 on The Kennel Club, which I finished editing and mixing last Thursday. As promised in my previous post on this series here are the details... It has a fine dining room and a celebrated collection of canine art. It has a charitable trust and organises the greatest dog show on earth. That doesn't stop Quentin Letts asking, "What's the point of the Kennel club?" The kennel club was founded in 1873 by twelve Victorian gentlemen who liked dogs and dinners in equal measure, and wanted to bring some discipline into the world of dog breeding and showing. It's struggling to do that today. Some breeders and showers are in open revolt against Kennel Club health regulations. Others from the welfare lobby say the Kennel club hasn't been doing enough to tackle the suffering caused to dogs by generations of inbreeding. Quentin enjoys the sunshine, spectacle and order of a dog show in Worcestershire, goes for a walk with a breathless dog suffering a range of genetic disorders, and enters the hallowed halls of the Kennel club Clarges street as he considers whether this British institution still has the teeth needed to improve the lot of dogs in this country. There are some strange 'goings on' in the doggie world and it appears OK to show dogs with major health issues but not OK to breed from them. But how do you get the next generation of dogs to show if you don't breed from them? Tune in or use the iPlayer to hear for yourself. This brings to a close the third series of What's The Point Of. Rosie Dawson, the producer and I have worked on all 3 series and it never ceases to amaze me how my clients, like Rosie for WTPO and Dawn Bryan for The Choice keep coming up with new ideas to better the previous series, much respect and thanks.