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Looking back over 2010, a lot has happened with Avid audio, so here's The Air Users Blog top 5 hits and misses. To see why they they rated them then go to the post on the Air Users Blog The rational of our ranking means the most impressive hit is number 1 in the 'Hits' list and the least impressive miss is at number 1 in the 'Misses' list. Hits Pro Tools 9 Pro Tools Instrument Expansion Pack Avid Mbox Max Gutnik Appearing in the Live Chat Three Avid men we can't name Misses Pro Tools Instrument Pack Launch The Structure Update Fiasco The DUC Pro Tools HD Native 'It's FREE', 'no it's not its $99', or is it? If they can get a grip on their product launches (hint Avid - your next one is in 3 weeks, so make this a good one - the product deserves it!) and also keep building the bridges, then you have every chance of maintaining the existing user base and more importantly growing the next generation of Pro Tools users.
I came across this report on the Designing Sound blog in a post by Miguel Isaza. Miguel posted... Sound Designer John Kassab, who shared the Harry Potter interview with us some days ago, has sent me very interesting report he just finished about the state of post-production film sound in both conceptual and technical ways. The text includes some introductory theories, detailed analysis of different topics, and also interviews with sound professionals from different sides of the world. Project Description: To investigate creative, technical and workflow innovations in post-production film sound in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Wellington. Highlights: The highlight of this project was being able to meet with such great cross section of visionaries in all corners of the English-speaking world at this particular moment in film sound history. Major Lessons and Conclusions The greatest lesson I learned is that the digital domain is creating many changes to work flow and collaborative methods in film sound and the global industry seems to be going through something of a metamorphosis. As a result, the focus of many topics in this report concern how the industry is evolving as the result of digital and computer based solutions. Download PDF here. Having read it, I have found many parallels in it for other industry sectors including my own in radio production. In the report John listed a number of developements he would like to see added to Pro Tools. I thought I would use a portion of this report to ask AVID to revise and add a few things to make our working processes a little smoother. This list was compiled in collaboration with Derek Vanderhorst, and Stephen Gallagher. 1. Can you please introduce ability to open multiple sessions so we can rebalance sessions or even cut similar scenes and copy/paste between them? 2. Can you introduce automation for the bussing assignments? 3. What about clip based automation? 4. A 64 bit floating point would be nice, too. 5. At least 1000 tracks even if voices are limited. This would be great for rebalancing and carrying all the elements to the stage in one session. 6. More than 192 voices, please. Most other audio editing applications are dependent on the CPU. Can’t delay compensation be used to free these shackles? 7. Can we have Audiosuite handles and non-linear processing ‘undos’? It’s really frustrating for sound designers and my desktop is covered in screen shots so I can keep track of my processes manually. Also, and ‘undo’ for accidently deleting plug-ins would be great too. 8. LKFS metering in Phasescope? 9. A persistent monitor section when opening/closing sessions for things like headphone mixes would also be nice. 10. So would Multi-mono plug-in presets that are actually presets for all mono components. 11. Please add the ability to add busses from the mix window. 12. Customizable key commands would be great to provide more efficiency for our talented brothers and sisters who prefer to work with other DAWs. 13. Please let us save clips with the layout automation in tact to drag and drop into another session like you can in Nuendo. 14. When will we be able to right-click on a stereo region to flip the left and right track? 15. Please let us be able to record the sound the ‘scrubbing tool’ makes. This will be particularly useful for sound designers who like to perform their sounds. 16. Can you please give us the option to bounce a project without having to sit through it in realtime. Make a warning pop out at us if you are concerned about anything, but please give us the option to hit “ignore”. Most importantly, don’t make it crappy so you can say “I told you so”. Other software companies have been making really good ones for years. Please make it like that. I wonder if these have been submitted to the Pro Tools IdeaScale site? If not we should. Thanks again John for a very stimulating report and I look forward to more in the series.
Avid announced this on Christmas Day! Avid is pleased to announce that Mac OS X 10.6.5 is officially qualified with all versions of Pro Tools 8.0.4 and higher, including: Pro Tools HD, LE, and M-Powered 8.0.4 Pro Tools HD 8.1 Pro Tools HD 8.5 (for HD|Native systems only) Pro Tools 9.0 Pro Tools HD 9.0 Also qualified are the current versions of the following: Pro Tools SE 8.0.3 Pro Tools Essential 8.0.3 If you are updating your system from an earlier version of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) to version 10.6.5, the following update is recommended: Mac OS X v10.6.5 Update (Combo) For information on Pro Tools version compatibility and requirements with different OS versions of Mac and Windows, see the Pro Tools Compatibility home page: www.avid.com/compatibility Or click on the Pro Tools Compatibility link at the top of the forum. I am hoping to create a new boot drive with a clean install of everything as I have been cloning drives for several years now and so I am taking the opportunity with Snow Leopard to start from scratch. However I am doing it on a fresh drive so I don't mess up my current working Leopard boot drive or the back up of it that Super Duper updates every evening for me. I will keep you posted on my developments over the next month when hopefully I will have some time to do it.
Just to let you know that if enjoyed or missed Merry Christmas Morris Minor then it is Radio 4's Podcast of the week so you have 7 days to download it to enjoy both the programme and my Jingle Bells creation for ever. In addition The Guardian have selected it as one of their Radio Highlights for Christmas Eve.... If the festive spirit is still proving elusive, tune into Merry Christmas Morris Minor! (Radio 4, 11am), one of the sweetest radio offerings over the holiday. The Guardian's Martin Wainwright celebrates the car's 50th birthday in this affectionate tribute, which includes a rendition of Jingle Bells played on a chorus of Morris Minor Horns. That moment really is enough to melt even Scrooge's heart.
+ The Metric Halo has always been an interface I have admired with their range of 1U 8 channel interfaces they provide a high quality compact portable range of solutions but until now I couldn't consider using them with my beloved Pro Tools. But with Pro Tools 9 that has all changed. This from their newsletter.... With the introduction of Pro Tools 9, Avid has finally answered the desires of myriad customers the world over: they have made it so that Pro Tools can directly utilize the world’s best audio interfaces. And of course, Metric Halo was ready for PT 9 on day one, with fully supported low-latency CoreAudio drivers and an RTAS version of the unique ConsoleConnect plugin. In case you don’t already know, ConsoleConnect provides direct access to MIO Console from within Pro Tools — allowing you to control the hardware, mixer, plugins and monitor controller without leaving the Pro Tools environment. Even better, ConsoleConnect automatically stores and recalls your complete hardware configuration state with the Pro Tools session. No other third-party interface on the market does that. The Metric Halo line of interfaces provide exceptional audio performance, incredible stability, extreme flexibility and deep integration with Pro Tools at a variety of price points that will satisfy any budget. We have developed a set of resources to help you get started with Pro Tools 9 and Metric Halo hardware. By using the tips in these tutorials and technote you can maximize your workflow and get the most that MH Interfaces have to offer. Tutorial Movies: Using MIO Console with Pro Tools 9 - Part 1 Using MIO Console with Pro Tools 9 - Part 2 Tech Note: Using Metric Halo interfaces with Pro Tools 9 Suite Solution In addition to functioning as a Pro Tools interface, MH interfaces can be used as a complete high-end audio mixer and monitoring system. With +DSP your unit becomes a sophisticated signal processor that is extremely useful in tracking, mixdown and even live applications. The various MH interfaces provide everything you need to configure a brand new edit, recording or mix suite — just add Pro Tools and transducers. So if you are thinking of adding a new Pro Tools room, or just setting up a home-based PT DAW, Metric Halo interfaces provide a complete solution with excellent quality and flexibility. Take look, I certainly will be and please report back your findings.
For a couple of days I had some great fun making a lovely documentary "Merry Christmas Morris Minor" for Radio 4 all about the Morris Minor car. Martin Wainwright sets off through the snow to give seasonal best wishes to the owners of Britain's favourite mass produced car - and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the special edition Morris Minor Million - the rarest minor of all. Highlight of the programme is a special rendition of 'Jingle Bells' from a Morris Minor 'choir.' Martin has a soft spot for the little car - often described as a large jelly mould with a speedometer sitting like a clock on the dashboard, and orange fingers for indicators. For it's time though, according to Stirling Moss, it was a nippy little car. Martin meets a mechanic who 'soups' the car up, owners like Dave Brown from 'The Mighty Boosh' and the drivers who 'danced ' their Morris Minors at the end of the Manchester Commonwealth Games . Finally, using the horn, various clunks and clicks from the car door and boot, and a squeak from the chassis, he conducts a unique version of ' Jingle Bells' by the Morris Minor 'choir.' Sound Design and production: Mike Thornton Producers: Janet Graves and Geoff Bird A Pennine production for BBC Radio 4. I had the challenge to create the 'Morris Minor choir' using only the sounds from a Morris Minor. The horn of course was very useful, being a 'tuned' sound and so I loaded it into Structure, a sampler plug-in in Pro Tools. Other sounds I stuffed into Structure were the lovely squeaking of the car's suspension, various door, boot and bonnet open and close sounds to form part of the percussion section as well as a multiple of different sounds extracted from a hub cap ending up as various cymbal sounds, using Serato's Pitch 'n Time plug-in to stretch out the sound into a variety of cymbal crashes. We were able to get a tuned note from it so the hub cap also formed part of the harmony and melody of this unique rendition of Jingle Bells. You will be able to hear this and the documentary on Christmas Eve at 11am on BBC Radio 4 and afterwards on the iPlayer.
This Sunday Radio 4 will be transmitting an interesting documentary I edited and mixed with Carmel Lonergan on how young black men are turning towards Islam as they find it gives them structure and discipline. More than two thirds of Muslims in Britain are of South Asian ancestry, leading many to believe that Islam is the preserve of these communities. Yet in the last 2 decades, Islam has arguably become the fastest growing religion among Black people in Britain and at a time when the UK appears more disunited over faith, ethnicity and identity than ever before. In this programme the writer and presenter, Dotun Adebayo, explores this phenomenon and asks why is Islam providing such an attractive religious alternative to Christianity for Black Britons seeking spiritual answers? What do they get from Islam that they can't get from their original faith? Is this just a rebellion against the family and society? He will talk to young black people about the reasons for their conversion and to Bishop Joe Aldred from the Black Churches who explains where he thinks the Black Majority Churches are going wrong and why he thinks they need to smarten up and get their message across to young people so they are comfortable with church. Conversion to Islam also has a darker side in the shape of terrorism. As Dotun Adebayo says "Ever since the penny dropped that the Richard Reid, the shoebomber was The Richard Reid I had lived with when he was a teenager in south London, I have been haunted with the question of whether I could have done anything to dissuade my petty thieving 'good lad at heart' flatmate from going down the route of militant Islam. Twenty years later I have to ask is being "young muslim and black" still a "lovely, precious dream". It was a very enlightening programme to be involved in. Finding instrumental music we could use that reflected black and Muslim youth culture was a challenge! If you miss it on 19th December then do go to the iPlayer and have a listen.
On Thursday BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting Cheque Book and Pen, a fictional drama on how Les Dawson might have got to host Blankety Blank. Working with Woolyback Productions I recorded on location, edited, tracked and mixed this production which will be the afternoon play on 16th Dec 2010 at 2:15pm. Johnny Vegas pays tribute to the legendary Les Dawson in a comic flight of fancy. Les has a way with words but is northern, rather crumpled, a little shambolic and an unknown quantity, and delightfully unpredictable when he is faced with representing a national institution. Nicholas Parsons is Farson, a resplendent foil for Dawson. Farson embraces and embodies the hammiest forces of the 'traditional BBC'. A nemesis to Les and all he stands for and aims to subvert. This homage is a pure joyous farce, taking full artistic license in imagining how the BBC might have engaged the iconic Les to become a game show great in its eighties flagship, Blankety Blank. Cast: Les ..... Johnny Vegas Farson ..... Nicholas Parsons Helen ..... Shobna Gulati Dave Parkins ..... Mick Miller BBC Executive ..... Mark Chatterton Number Two ...... Paul Foot Doris (Barmaid) ..... Catherine Kinsella Other parts ..... Peter Slater (and cast). Written by Andrew Lynch and Johnny Vegas. Sound Design: Mike Thornton Directed by Jim Poyser Producer: Sally Harrison A Woolyback Production for BBC Radio 4. I have had great fun working on this production with challenges like a scene in a Manchester club where Les is on stage doing his act whilst the BBC executives were in the audience commenting on his performance. Another scene, that took a few goes to get right, was a montage of agents all ringing the BBC offering their clients for the new presenter of Blankety Blank. Also look out for Shobna Gulati playing a lovely cameo part as the queen phoning the BBC exec to complain. We were unable to get the original Blankety Blank theme clean but we did get Les's first show from the BBC archive and I was able to weave that into this production. If you don't get to listen to Cheque Book and Pen on Thursday then do go to iPlayer and listen to it from there.
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. Super Conductors - Pro Tools’ rulers not only show the passage of time, they allow you to control it!