It’s time again for the two biggest post/tech events in Las Vegas—NAB and Avid Connect! There’s plenty to check out and get excited about in the pro audio, post audio and pro mixing spaces! Here’s a quick guide to what’s cool and new:
Pro Tools 12 Now Shipping…
Besides the new flexible licensing options of a monthly or annual subscription and the new upgrade/support plan for perpetual license customers, there has been some pretty big improvement in the way Pro Tools users can share sessions and manage their I/O setups, which could be quite daunting previously with bigger sessions.
The IO Setup improvements in Pro Tools 12 are designed to increase flexibility and predictability when interchanging sessions. You can now designate a single output as your monitoring output. Anything assigned to it will be heard, no matter what, when moving the session to another system and back. It will even work for HD users that are transferring 5.1 mixes to a system with only stereo outputs. The IO Setup can automatically down-mix outside of the session, so there is no need for special routing or plug-ins. Pro Tools will also maintain unique settings for each Playback Engine, so you can switch between a laptop, Mbox, and HD | Omni, without needing to re-create your IO each time. A few other big features include the ability to sort track outputs by width, import IO settings directly from sessions, automatic elimination of unused bus build-up from session interchange and now unlimited busses!
You can also search, browse, purchase, and/or rent plug-ins directly from within Pro Tools in the Avid Marketplace, without having to quit, install, and restart any software to start using them. All plug-ins on the Avid Marketplace are tested and certified to work with Pro Tools.
Pro Tools 12 Tech Preview – Coming in 2015
Because of the flexible licensing that comes with Pro Tools 12, we can roll out new features at a faster pace than before so users can expect to receive several releases in 2015. One of the most exciting releases will include Avid Cloud Collaboration, enabling users around the globe to connect and collaborate in a streamlined and integrated workflow.
We’ll be showing that as a tech preview demo 3 times a day on the Main Stage in the Avid booth—#SU902. (See a video of the NAMM demonstration of PT12 Cloud Collaboration). We’ll also have a group of special guests—the audio post team from the hit CBS TV Show “Person Of Interest”—who will discuss their current remote collaborative workflow and how Pro Tools 12 and new cloud collaboration will benefit them. Drop by the Avid Booth at 1pm on Monday the 13th of April to see it live.
Re-recording mixer Scott Weber says:
“Right now it’s quite an effort to get all the materials from our editors who aren’t in the same facility as we are – they are working in another place – either in LA or NY. That material has to get to us overnight and right now we’re relying on different kinds of servers, FTPs and the web to be uploaded, downloaded and then imported into Pro Tools and combined into the mix sessions before we even start mixing.
Once mixing, of course there are always updates and changes in the mix, there are always unfinished visual effects that don’t come in until the end, so we have to bring in new material and we’re really excited about the potential of Avid Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools that could save us steps and having to stop our workflow to manually go to a server, download it and import session data. The idea that we could literally be connected to them and have changes appear in our mix session with shared tracks and to just keep working is really exciting to me.”
EUCON 3.2.2 and Pro Tools S3 Enhancements
EUCON improvements and enhancements now include support for Mac OS X 10.10 “Yosemite”. For the Pro Tools | S3, there is now a Soft Key editor that allows users to map their favorite controls and commands onto key areas of the surface. For Pro Tools 12 and higher, the preference for Mix and/or Edit windows to follow surface bank selection is now working—which is the inverse of the existing feature that allows a user to click on a track in Pro Tools and the surface follows. In Pro Tools, go to Pro Tools > Preferences > Mixing to enable the functionality. There’s also a bunch of performance improvements and bug fixes that you can read about here.
Free New Pro Tools | Control iOS App
We’re showing a preview of a really exciting development in tactile mix control at Avid Connect/NAB and Musikmesse this year: a brand new iPad app that wirelessly controls Pro Tools 12 and other EUCON apps—and it’s free! If you don’t have a control surface the free ‘mixer’ view is a great way to experience multi-touch hands on control of your mixes with access to tons of functionality like transport control, the Universe ‘Scroller’, Soft Keys, faders, mutes, solos, panning and more.
And if you use it with the Pro Tools | S3 surface—the app will also enhance your mixing experience and workflow by allowing you to navigate more visually with the unique ‘Tracks” view. This is a very popular feature with the Pro Tools | S6 Master Touch Module allowing the user to scroll through big sessions 40 track tiles at a time with the ability to record arm, select, solo, mute tracks, multi select and more. You can also ‘attention’ or focus tracks to the surface, recall layouts, have great color-coded touch-screen Soft Key functionality just for starters!
It’s coming soon — sign up here to be notified and find out more!
Pro Tools | S6 New Master Joystick Module
The S6 was announced at the IBC show in September 2013 as the first truly modular console and has been embraced by the pro mixing community with over 600 systems sold! At the NAB,we’ll be showing off the first new module for Pro Tools | S6—the Master Joystick Module. This new option for S6 is based on user feedback for the desire to have traditional joysticks for surround panning (as well as the integrated touch screen panning on the Master Touch Module) and also XY control over other parameters like plug-ins. The module matches the more narrow depth Knob or Process module but can be used in the bigger Fader and Automation module position with a blank spacer. The joystick module is being shown as a tech preview and expected some time later in the year.
Avid and Dolby announce partnership
At the Avid Connect event in Las Vegas, Avid and Dolby have announced plans to develop deeper integration of Dolby Atmos immersive multichannel surround sound in Pro Tools to streamline editing and mixing workflows across Pro Tools software and Avid Pro Mixing solutions. With the more advanced integration of Dolby Atmos workflows, media professionals will be able to use built-in 3D Pro Tools panners and Pro Mixing solutions to send audio object positioning metadata to the Dolby Atmos RMU, without the need for an additional plug-in. Some of the highlights include built-in 3D panning and bus support in Pro Tools to send metadata for Atmos positioning and automation, as well as support for 9.1 tracks and busses in Pro Tools.
Sound Supervisor and Re-Recording Mixer Will Files responded to the news:
“I’m thrilled about this news, it’s exactly what we’ve been hoping for! This is a big deal for us, and will give filmmakers and their sound teams the most streamlined, flexible and creative workflow for our film soundtracks.”
Many Directors and Mixers have embraced mixing “virtually” in Pro Tools, because it allows us to have a constantly evolving mix that can change gracefully along with the film throughout all of Post Production,” he continues. “They’re also excited by the immersive experience and creative opportunities enabled by mixing natively in Dolby Atmos, and this new integration will eliminate some of the technical hurdles and help us mix faster and spend more time simply being creative.”
Please come by the booth at NAB and visit the Pro Mixing section. You will also see likely see some other S6 tech preview of features in progress! And, you’ll hear an S6 mix with Dolby Atmos! Hope to see you there…