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As part of the new Pro Tools Expert Community we are each producing a selection of FAQs to help you understand all the new features and options that Avid have brought us with Pro Tools 10.
Many other DAWs have had this feature and the post community has been clambering for it for ages. Well now it is here.
Clip based gain can be static where the gain change is the same for a complete clip (as we used to call a region), or dynamic which is like another volume automation lane.
Clip Gain is real time and not rendered unless you choose the render it.
To access the clip based gain you need to display the little fader icon in all clips (regions).
You do this by toggling Clip Gain Info in the Clip sub menu in the View menu.
Clip Gain has a range of -144dB to +36dB and the gain is only displayed when you use static clip based gain.
You can also Right Click the fader icon and choose from a series of options, Bypass Clip Gain, Clear Clip Gain, Render Clip Gain or Hide Clip Gain Line
Note the Clip Gain line is only visible for track heights of Small or larger.
For dynamic clip gain you can add breakpoints using the shortcut Control+Shift+E (Mac) or Start+Shift+E (Windows)
When using Cross Fades the Clip gain carries on through the complete cross fade so cross fades will include the clip based gain for their entire duration which is as it should be.
Clip based gain is applied pre-fader and before the Insert points. The Clip Gain settings stay with the clip (region) so when you move, copy, paste clips the clip gain settings come too.
Also clip gain setting from an AAF now come into Pro Tools as Clip Gain rather than being converted to fader automation. However this feature doesn’t work for OMFs. So for workflows to and from Avid’s Media Composer they have improved the interoperability.
Russ from The AIR Users blog has done an excellent video showing this in much more detail.
With Pro Tools 10, all fades are calculated and played back in real time, eliminating the need for rendered fade files.
When opening a session created in Pro Tools 9, or lower, in Pro Tools 10, Pro Tools calculates and plays back all fades in real time. The “Fade Files” folder in the session folder is neither deleted nor used. Any rendered fades created in legacy sessions are calculated and played back in real time. Any new fades created in the session do not generate any new rendered fade files in the pre-existing “Fade Files” folder.
Lower versions of Pro Tools use rendered fades that are written to the “Fade Files” folder in the session folder. When opening sessions created in Pro Tools 10 in lower versions of Pro Tools, all fades need to be rendered when the session is first opened in the lower version of Pro Tools. When opening a session in Pro Tools 10 that was created in a lower version of Pro Tools, and then saving it and re-opening it in lower versions of Pro Tools, the original rendered fade files are used where available. Any newly created or edited fades will need to be rendered (regenerated) and written to disk.
When presented with the Missing Files dialog, enable the Regenerate Missing Fades Without Searching option and click OK.
Pro Tools 10 lets you export any selected tracks in a session as a new session. This feature is especially useful in collaborative situations. For example, you might be working on a large post production session and you want your collaborator to work on only some dialog in the session while you continue working on other parts of the session. You can now select the dialog tracks and export them as a new session. Your collaborator can then open the new session and edit the dialog. When your collaborator is done, you can import the session data from the dialog session to update the dialog tracks in your big session.
Note that sessions created this way can only be opened in Pro Tools 10. They cannot be opened in Pro Tools 9 and earlier.
To export selected tracks as a new session:
A copy of the session that contains only the selected tracks from the source session is saved to the specified location.
In Pro Tools 10, over 500 Pro Tools commands, shortcuts, and other functions have been “EUCON-ised,” and are now available for Soft Key assignment using EuControl software. These include all main menu commands, keyboard shortcuts, Transport, automation, and other actions.
Default Application Sets are installed automatically with Pro Tools 10. These include the most commonly used functions appropriate for each unit (such as Artist Transport and Artist Control). Use the Soft Key Command Editor in EuControl software to customise your unit’s Soft Keys to best suit your projects and workflow.
There is a complete list in the Pro Tools EUCON Guide of all EUCON-ised Pro Tools commands available in EuControl for Pro Tools 10.
There are instructions on how to use EuControl software in the EUCON Application Setup Guide to program the Soft Keys, as well as how to take advantage of track layouts and other features.
For step by step instructions on how to use Artist Control, Artist Mix, and Artist Transport with Pro Tools, see the Artist Series and Pro Tools Guide.
There are a number of 3rd party plug-ins that handled monitoring downmix options when working on surround mixes to check how consumers without multi-channel playback would hear our mixes. But now with Pro Tools 10, Avid have included a downmix plug-in. The presets they have used are tried and tested from the OMNI and System 5 algorithms. So with the Avid Downmix plug-in you can check 7.1, 7.0, 6.1, 6.0, 5.1, 5.0 etc down to stereo. However there is no stereo to mono option the lowest option is LCR to stereo.
Also note that this isn’t a Dolby Prologic downmix. The plug-in produces Lo Ro and not Lt Rt.
Pro Tools 10 provides the following improvements for working with AudioSuite plug-ins and AudioSuite rendered audio clips:
Ability to open multiple AudioSuite Plug-in windows – This works the same way using the Target feature we are used to on RTAS and TDM plug-ins.
Fades Preserved after AudioSuite render – Fades and crossfades can now be preserved with AudioSuite rendering, while in other cases, fades and crossfades are also rendered. This means you can render an Edit selection with AudioSuite processing and still be able to edit any fades and crossfades afterward. Here is a table to explain the different options….
Note that certain AudioSuite plug-ins that require random access to the disk file do not support AudioSuite handles in the rendered file. These plug-ins include BNR, Duplicate, NoNoise, Pitch Shift, Sound Replacer, Time Compression and Expansion, Time Shift, VariFi, and X-Form. For plug-ins where AudioSuite handles are disallowed, the AudioSuite Handle controls are greyed out and unavailable.
Also Destructive recording and Destructive Punch recording are not supported with AudioSuite rendered clips with handles.
Clip metadata preserved after AudioSuite render – Pro Tools 10 preserves clip metadata for Audio- Suite rendered clips under certain conditions (see the table above). This is especially useful when working with clips imported from field recorders and from AAF sequences exported from Media Composer.
Handles for trimming out AudioSuite rendered clips - Pro Tools 10 lets you render clips with AudioSuite plug-ins and include “handles” beyond the current Edit selection from 0.00 to 60.00 seconds, or even the whole file referenced by the clip. This means that you trim clips out past the rendered selection after processing.
In lower versions of Pro Tools, AudioSuite processing only affects the current edit selection and creates a new file of the exact same length. The resulting region (clip) cannot be trimmed out beyond the processed selection. However, with Pro Tools 10, the resulting rendered clip can be trimmed out to the specified handle length, or even up to the whole file referenced by the original clip (if the Whole File option is selected before rendering).
Once you have selected your handles options, simply click on the Render button to process the clip.
You can also set up a default handle length in the AudioSuite section of Pro Tools 10 Preferences.
In Pro Tools 10 HD, there is now an option to designate a track a Field Recorder Guide Track. With Pro Tools 10, you now must do this in order to access Field Recorder functionality. This lets Pro Tools optimise performance by only creating match lists for desired tracks.
You can also now search outside the session for suitable field recorder files. Prior to Pro Tools 10 you could only search the contents of the Clip List for matching field recorder channels. Due to the large amount of raw production field recorder files in many projects, having to import all of these into the session (splitting multi-channel files to mono) could be problematic.
Pro Tools 10 now lets you search outside the current session for field recorder files, so that you can import only the audio you need, saving time and disk space.
Pro Tools 10 now provides a full 24-hour Time- line available at all sample rates. You can now set a SMPTE Start Frame for your session at any location in the Timeline and it can cross from 23:59:59:29 to 00:00:00:00 (commonly referred to as the “midnight” boundary). This is useful when working with multiple reels compiled at hour intervals, and when working with dialog that is spotted to time-of-day (TOD) timecode. In lower versions of Pro Tools and with Avid Media Composer, the Timeline is limited to just under twelve hours at 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz sample rates, and just under six hours at 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz.