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Pro Tools | Dock Now Available!

Mini Footprint. Massive Control.

Announced at AES NY in October, the highly anticipated latest addition to the Avid Pro Mixing family; Pro Tools | Dock, (affectionately called ‘The Dock’), is now widely available and ready for action.

What is Pro Tools | Dock?

The Dock is a compact, ergonomic, EUCON control surface for integrating our free iPad app, Pro Tools | Control. It’s based on the advanced touchscreen workflows on the Master Touch Module of the award-winning Pro Tools | S6, This system demonstrates our philosophy that mixers need the best of physical faders, knobs, and switches in conjunction with touchscreen technology for things like fast navigation, metering, and on-screen plug-in control – a true hybrid approach.  It’s equally adept at editorial and mixing workflow enhancement. And, when the Dock is paired with Pro Tools | S3, you gain complimentary and enhanced functionality with the dedicated automation switches, transport controls, weighted aluminum jog wheel,  color-coded Soft Key switches, and more.

 

Here are some of the key features and areas highlighted on the Dock

The image you see below of the iPad screen shows you the key concept of a ‘super’ Channel view. The Dock’s eight soft knobs can be used to control parameters like EQ, Dynamics, Panning, and Sends on the Attentioned (focused) channel – ala the S6 Master Touch Module.  This new ‘super’ Channel view on Pro Tools | Control is also now available in the free iOS app! A better view of what that cool, new expanded Channel view will be can be seen below:

A highly requested enhancement, that will also be free to all Control app users, is the color mapped Soft Keys larger view, (pictured below on connected to the Dock). The two rows of LED color-coded buttons on the Dock right below the screen change colors and map to the Soft Keys in the smaller view on your iPad – lining up directly underneath the matching soft button onscreen.

The iPad and Pro Tools | Control app are also now qualified to work as a wired direct connection to your Ethernet network with a 2 adapters from Apple (the wired Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter + USB 2 to Ethernet Adapter) for connection of Ethernet cable.

Be sure to get your hands on a demo of the Dock at a retailer near you, I think you will really be impressed with it’s enhanced level of editorial and mix control. It works standalone with an iPad and retails for $ 1,199 – (iPad sold separately). The Dock also pairs with the S3 as mention above to offer a powerful, integrated, ergonomic, editing and mixing system for under $ 6,200 retail. Look for more info and videos coming on the new Pro Tools | Dock in the coming months.

Pro Tools | Dock Now Available

Mixing deadlines have met their match. Pro Tools | Dock provides intelligent studio control in a portable, affordable surface. Working together with your iPad, you get the touchscreen access and tactile precision control you need to edit and mix projects faster.

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Accelerate Production with Avid NEXIS—Next Gen Software-Defined Shared Storage

Technology in our industry continues evolving at a blinding pace, but for shared storage it’s about more than just size and speed. Manually copying media between separate storage silos and hurdles in sharing media throughout the processes slows creativity. It’s now all about intelligent workflow and connectivity. It can be difficult to figure out the best integrated storage system and solution for your organization or creative team. Let’s start with the obvious big challenges you’re facing:

 

  • The sheer volume of source material and content you need to manage is staggering, and it’s only going to keep growing
  • The pressure for fast turnaround times on projects is intense and a serial workflow is choking it
  • Too much time is wasted on non-creative tasks like copying/moving media
  • Your media isn’t protected at all times in case of failure, and failures happen
  • Team members need to connect and collaborate. Some even over long distances

 

At Avid, we believe the future is a fully virtualized collaborative system that connects people around an integrated shared storage platform. (Yes, we literally invented storage virtualization two decades ago with the Avid Unity MediaNetwork). Everyone told us that generic off-the-shelf storage options just don’t cut it for professionals and facilities, so we started working on an innovative new storage platform. And now, it’s here.

“NEXIS delivers unrivaled flexibility, scalability, control, and extensibility not only to the Avid MediaCentral Platform but also key workflow enabling third-party media applications like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X, so you can meet any production challenge.”

Avid NEXIS is the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform, enabling fully virtualized storage for all media environments. What does that translate to for you? The NEXIS intelligent software system does some incredibly powerful things like offer a real-time scalable set of definable/resizable workspaces and a solid protection scheme that can cover you for up to 5 drive failures.  Intelligent also means it is a media aware next-generation file system with pre-integrated hardware – which means it’s purpose built and tested to work as a cohesive system, (unlike generic storage and third party software). The bottom line is that NEXIS delivers unrivaled flexibility, scalability, control, and extensibility not only to the Avid MediaCentral™ Platform but also key workflow enabling third-party media applications like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X, so you can meet any production challenge. From the smallest production teams to the largest media enterprises, NEXIS is the only storage platform that has the flexibility to easily scale and grow with you at every stage of your business.

With NEXIS, we partnered with our customers to reimagine the possibilities of what shared storage could and should be for both media production and media professionals. The result truly is Next-generation (Intelligent and) Integrated Storage.

Now if you already own an Avid ISIS system, don’t worry—your system is not obsolete. You can add NEXIS storage right alongside your existing ISIS and seamlessly access both systems from the updated NEXIS client. Avid ISIS is fully supported and tested to work with the new NEXIS intelligent software system, so you can keep your Avid ISIS system and continue to expand its capabilities.

The NEXIS family is about providing media organizations and creative teams with massive benefits over generic storage and hodge-podge solutions. Compared to off-the-shelf storage, NEXIS is a more cost-effective, powerful, and flexible system that is designed and optimized specifically for the rigors of professional media production. Compared to Avid ISIS, NEXIS has some key advantages like the ability to mix and match engines (as we mentioned above – you can add a NEXIS to your existing ISIS | 5500 environment, for instance, where previously you could only expand by adding more of the same type of engine). NEXIS also has the advantage of offering these additional options over ISIS | 5500/7500:

 

  • Half Populated Engine Options
  • Common Spares
  • SSD Acceleration
  • Mirror plus Dual Disk media protection
  • Upgradeable Redundant Controllers for High Availability support

 

Because NEXIS is workflow-connected storage that’s purpose-built for the open Avid MediaCentral Platform, you can and will streamline and accelerate media production in any size broadcast, post-production, government, corporate, house of worship, live event, or media education environment. The hardware and software components are tuned for optimal performance of digital media delivery so that you have extremely predictable, reliable results.

Avid NEXIS will enable your creative team to collaborate in real-time, regardless of what type of media software you use. Thanks to the openness of Avid Everywhere, NEXIS works with all top media creation applications, including Media Composer, Pro Tools, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, Grass Valley EDIUS, and many more. All NEXIS systems are powered by the Avid NEXIS | FS file system, so you’ll experience the same consistent performance, reliability, and protection—regardless of the size of your network. It’s also the only scale-out storage solution lets you configure the system to give high priority projects more power. You can give critical projects maximum performance and throttling back on less critical workflows.

The NEXIS family includes several new storage engine options, so you can pick the system that’s the best fit for your organization.

  • Avid NEXIS | E4—Medium-density integrated storage engine
  • Avid NEXIS | E2—Small-footprint integrated storage engine
  • System Director Appliance—Increases Avid NEXIS scale and redundancy
  • Media Pack—Pack of 10 drives with 400MBytes/Sec of performance and 20 TB or 60 TB of storage
  • Redundant Controller—High-availability option for Avid NEXIS systems
  • Avid NEXIS | PRO—Professional-class integrated storage engine

The Avid NEXIS | PRO introduces an even more accessible price point and capabilities for professionals and small teams. Existing ISIS | 1000 customers can benefit from NEXIS | PRO capabilities with a software update.

The Avid NEXIS family will be available starting in Q2 2016.

Avid NEXIS is Now Available

Invest in your future with the reliability you need today, the scalability for tomorrow, and the technology to take you beyond. Take your storage to the next level with Avid NEXIS.

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Get Started with Avid Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools

Pro Tools 12.5 Cloud Collaboration

It’s been some time since our first tech preview of Avid Everywhere for Pro Tools demonstrating connecting people together in the same Pro Tools session and it’s been just over a year since Pro Tools 12 first shipped. Much of the work done in the previous versions of Pro Tools 12 has paved the way to make Cloud Collaboration possible and streamlined – things like the new I/O setups and simplified Monitoring and auto-down mixing (for sharing sessions without having to worry about changing the monitoring), Track Commit/Track Freeze (allowing users to not need exactly the same plug-ins to collaborate) and more…

 

Here’s a quick recap of last year’s release highlights:

Pro Tools 12.0 – Late March:

HD and Standard: Improved I/O Setups and Monitoring/Auto Down-mixing, unlimited busses, in-app plug-in purchases and rentals, stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.1 – late June:

Standard: Increased track count – 128 Audio, 512 Instrument, Track Input Monitoring, AFL/PFL Solo Modes, Copy to Send.

HD and Standard: Pro Tools | Control support, support for Pro Tools | S3 VCA Spill, and stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.2 – early September:

Standard: VCA Masters, Disk Cache, Advanced Metering, Gain Reduction Metering.

HD and Standard: Avid Access Plan options including new plug-in bundles.

Pro Tools 12.3 – early November:

HD and Standard: Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows, Clip Transparency while editing or moving clips or fades, Batch Fade enhancements and shortcuts, AudioSuite Pitch Legacy, Support for Avid DNxIO video interface

Pro Tools 12.4 – late December:

HD and Standard: Track Freeze

Pro Tools 12.5

What do I need?

All customers with a perpetual license who have an active Annual Upgrade and Support Plan and all customers on a current subscription plan can access the download to install Pro Tools 12.5. Then it’s simply a matter of choosing which cloud storage plan best suits you and if you are unsure where to start, there’s a free plan to let you get an idea of how it will work for you. It let’s you have 3 projects, (that you are the owner of), and 500MB of total storage on the Avid Cloud servers and each project can have 2 collaborators. A Project is basically a Pro Tools Session that is in the Cloud (and a local cache on your system) enabling collaboration. Storage refers to any files you and your collaborators upload. If you are not the owner and just a Collaborator on a friend’s Project, that Project doesn’t count against your total storage (it counts against theirs).

Now 500MB may not seem like a lot to start with, but Pro Tools 12.5 uses a lossless compression scheme for the audio to upload to the cloud, (lossless means that it is bit for bit accurate on reconstruction), and gives you a data compression ratio of up to 3X (depending on your audio content). Normally 24 tracks of 48kHz/24Bit times 4 minutes of solid audio is roughly 785MB – which could be compressed to as small as 262MB. This really helps reduce the upload/download transfer times too.

For $ 9.99 a month you can get up to 5 Projects and 20GB of space, (which is 40 times more storage in the cloud than the free plan). For those doing big sessions/projects, you can get up to 60GB of storage and up to 10 Projects for only $ 29.99 per month.

How do I get started?

As part of the webinar series a couple of weeks ago – we’ve taken the overview video and broken it up into 6 chapters – which you can watch sequentially to take you through the entire process of setting up your account, logging-in etc… Or so you can just quickly find the section you need to review to get your answer. The total running time of all 6 videos is only 36 minutes.

Part 1: Getting Started

This is a quick overview of Avid Cloud Collaboration and setting up and logging in to your account.

Part 2: The Dashboard

This is quick overview of the Dashboard as a starting point (introduced in Pro Tools 12) and an overview of Projects (for the cloud).

Part 3: Converting a Session to a Project

This takes you through the simple process of turning an existing Pro Tools (local) session to a Project (in the cloud).

Part 4: Setup and Tour

This video covers how to best set up the Collaboration Tools in Pro Tools, the key Preferences and a Tour what’s new in the interface.

Part 5: The Artist Chat Window

This video helps you understand and use the central hub of collaboration – the Artist Chat window.

Part 6: Collaboration Workflows

This video puts it all together and shows you cloud collaboration in action between the project owner and two remote collaborators.

Closing thoughts…

In early 2015 for fun, I started back into music production on 3 old songs I had written many moons ago, (instead of going the route of ‘baking’ the original multi-track analog tapes and doing transfers into Pro Tools to recut some parts and remix). I invited some colleagues and friends to play on these new ‘redux’ songs. All of them had Pro Tools, but most of them were out of state. It was basically the four corners of the USA: a bass player in Florida, a lead guitarist in Chicago, a drummer in Boston and a singer who lives across town from me in LA – (which can sometimes take as long to get to as to Chicago). I built the basic rhythm guitar part, scratch bass and scratch drums and posted the zipped Pro Tools session on Dropbox. I then sent out the emails and waited for the parts to come back in.

On their end – they had to download, unzip, setup the I/O, possibly import in their Mic setup, record and then consolidate, zip and post to Dropbox for me. Some might send me a quick MP3 version to approve first… They then emailed me the link and I downloaded, unzipped, imported session data into my master session, mostly fighting a mix of their busses and I/O in my studio setup. It can get very confusing with multiple people especially if they send you multiple versions and likely there is a ton of duplicate media floating around and being uploaded/downloaded.

What’s the bottom line? It can be done in previous versions or Pro Tools manually, but it’s a pain and it’s tedious. It’s not fun… It gets in the way and it takes a bunch of time and brain cycles (away from being creative)! It’s not easy to communicate with them in a near real-time way. It’s also not easy for your collaborators to take their time to play on your track, which can be a complete deterrent at most and slow the process at the very least.

Avid Cloud Collaboration (with all the new enhancements of Freeze, Commit and more) built into Pro Tools is fast, easy, intuitive and really fun when you get to using it. Check it out – I think you’ll really dig it! We would love to hear from you – share your thoughts below…

My track link is below for you to check out as well… Recorded, edited and mixed of course, in Pro Tools | HD Native!

Make your mark with Pro Tools

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Becoming the New Standard in Professional Mixing—Nearly 1,000 Pro Tools | S6 Systems Sold Worldwide

Nearly 1,000 Systems Sold

From the floor of the 2016 NAMM show we are proud to share that since its launch in the fall of 2013 Avid has sold nearly 1,000 total Pro Tools | S6 systems. With over 950 total consoles sold into Post, Music and Educational facilities, (including the recent install at the world renowned Sony Picture Studios – Anthony Quinn Theater of a dual operator 96 fader S6 M40 system), S6 has quickly become the new standard in professional mixing.  With a revolutionary modular design, S6 delivers superior ergonomics and intelligent studio control, providing an intuitive, immersive experience for the modern sound engineer. And with the recent release of version 2.1 software, the S6 Master Joystick Module and announcement of the S6 Master Post Module (coming soon), Avid continues to give audio professionals even greater efficiency and flexibility so they can handle the most demanding projects and create their best work.

“The S6 is a an excellent addition to Sony Pictures’ sound facilities, enhancing mixers’ ability to work creatively with sound and build groundbreaking soundtracks. Our artists are very excited to have access to this new technology.”

—Tom McCarthy, Executive Vice President of Post Production Services at Sony Pictures

Version 2.1

Pro Tools | S6 version 2.1 software represents the ninth software release to support the modular EUCON control surface since it launched in September 2013. The new software dramatically streamlines and simplifies pro mixing workflows by offering further enhanced customization, control, and portability of user settings. It also adds support for professional KVM solutions to better integrate switching between multiple DAWs. You can read and see more here.

Post Module

The new S6 Master Post Module will give post mixers the advanced control they need to easily create and manage the biggest, most immersive soundtracks. Mixers can control and monitor stems with traditional paddles, enabling them to match levels and punch in and out of record without taking their eyes off the screen. The S6 Post module also offers integrated film/TV monitor switching, providing mixers with simple and centered control where they need it. Finally, the ability to assign object tracks to the paddles allows mixers to manage over 200 tracks for immersive print masters, which is crucial for creating mixes in Dolby Atmos.

Joystick Module

The S6 Master Joystick Module enables mixers to position sound anywhere within a room by providing dual non-motorized, touch-sensitive joysticks for hands-on surround mixing. Mixers can pan and control multiple sounds in surround, ergonomically control two joysticks with a single hand if desired, and map other parameters like plug-in controls to the joysticks. Mixers gain precision control over additional panning parameters using two color coded encoders, 16 panning mode switches with color LEDs, and other panning control switches.

Availability

Pro Tools | S6 version 2.1 software and the S6 Master Joystick Module are now available. The Master Post Module is coming soon.

Pro Tools | S6

Mixing Redefined

Choose a pre-configured S6 system or build your own. Speak with our experts to determine the best fit for your workflow and business.

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Pro Tools 12.4 ‘Track Freeze’ Chills Winter’s Solstice…

What is the most user-requested feature on the Pro Tools IdeaScale? Track Freeze, of course—and it’s now coming to Pro Tools 12.4 this month! With Freeze, you can quickly lock in all processing on a track (or tracks) to free up more horsepower. Plus, you can quickly unfreeze a track whenever you need to edit it.

It’s a powerful yet easy-to-use feature that comes on the heels of the Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows we introduced in version 12.3. Together, Freeze, Commit, and Track Bounce offer Pro Tools users the most powerful and flexible freeze, track sharing, and session archiving options of any DAW on the market.

Pro Tools 12.4 also further delivers on our promise to release more updates (with more features, workflows, and fixes) at a faster cadence, as part of an Avid All Access Plan. This is in contrast to our previous model, which could take a longer 18–24-month cycle for new features and enhancements. Here is a quick recap of this year’s release highlights:

 

Pro Tools 12.0 – late March:

HD and Standard: Improved I/O Setups and Monitoring/Auto Down-mixing, unlimited busses, in-app plug-in purchases and rentals, stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.1 – late June:

Standard: Increased track count – 128 Audio, 512 Instrument, Track Input Monitoring, AFL/PFL Solo Modes, Copy to Send.

HD and Standard: Pro Tools | Control support, support for Pro Tools | S3 VCA Spill, and stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.2 – early September:

Standard: VCA Masters, Disk Cache, Advanced Metering, Gain Reduction Metering.

HD and Standard: Avid Access Plan options including new plug-in bundles.

Pro Tools 12.3 – early November:

HD and Standard: Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows, Clip Transparency while editing or moving clips or fades, Batch Fade enhancements and shortcuts, AudioSuite Pitch Legacy, Support for Avid DNxIO video interface.

Pro Tools 12.4 – late December:

HD and Standard: Track Freeze

 

Check out Track Freeze in action in this Pro Tools 12.4 Quick Tips video. These improvements ultimately enable audio professionals to work more efficiently and easily create and deal with bigger DSP and VI laden tracks, perhaps track a last minute vocal part late in the mixing process and or collaborating with others who may not have the same plug-ins.

And in case you missed it – here’s the full story on Commit and Track Bounce workflows in this Pro Tools 12.3 Quick Tips video:

All customers who have Pro Tools 12 on an active Annual Upgrade Plan will automatically get the new v.12.4 release and get access to the new features and be notified in the Avid Application Manager when it’s ready for download. Not on Pro Tools 12 yet? Upgrade pricing from Pro Tools 9, 10 and 11 changes December 31st to a higher price – so act now and take advantage of pricing that will change January 1st! Happy holidays from all of us at Avid and be sure to get your Freeeeeeze on!

Feel free to comment below and share this story…

 

Pro Tools 12.2 Release

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New to Pro Tools? Purchase and own the software (a perpetual license) for the new low price of $599—a savings of $300. Get free software upgrades for 12 months plus access to 17 bonus plug-ins—free.

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Pro Tools | S6 Software Version 2.1 and Joystick Module Now Available

2.1 Is Here!

S6 takes another large step forward in the evolution of the ultimate mixing solution with its 9th software release focusing on further enhancing customization, control and portability. Mixers have asked for further refinements in the ability to customize and build their ideal modular mixing desk with the settings, Soft Keys and Layouts that they need to construct and then to be able to easily take those settings with them to other S6 desks and rooms. It also adds support for professional KVM solutions to better integrate DAW switching. To get an in-depth look at the new 2.1 features in action – check out this video:

Joystick Module

Version 2.1 software also brings to life a new module option in surround panning and plugin parameter mapping: the Master Joystick Module with two touch-sensitive joysticks. Much thought and research was put into the design of the new joystick module by talking with key post mixers to gain their valuable insight. The feedback we heard most was (compared to the previous ICON D-Control Joystick option), mixers needed both joysticks closer together to be able to operate with only one hand if desired. They also wanted a shorter stick itself, to be more easily controlled. The MJM also can be placed in the larger front ‘fader’ position with an added spacer or in the traditional smaller depth ‘knob’ position, offering the ultimate in user configuration.

 

You can see a quick overview of the new Master Joystick Module in this video:

And More…

Also worthy of mentioning, S6 M10 consoles are now far more configurable for users to design and order, allowing for the new Joystick Module, coming Post Module and an extra Knob Module for Expand Mode. You can see all of the details here on the Avid S6 ‘Build Your Own’ webpage. Version 2.1 software is available now via download for those on a current S6 Support Plan and the Master Joystick Module is now shipping – contact your local S6 reseller to order today.

Pro Tools | S6 with the Master Joystick Module installed in the larger Fader position with a spacer

Pro Tools | S6

Mixing Redefined

Choose a pre-configured S6 system or build your own. Speak with our experts to determine the best fit for your workflow and business.

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‘Straight Outta Compton’ Composer Delivers Score with Pro Tools and Sibelius

We sat down recently to spend time with the young and up-and-coming composer for the hit movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Joe Trapanese.

“The thing that initially drew me to Pro Tools was that I could speak the same language as everyone else in Post Production. By using other software – I was placing boundaries between myself and my music editor, my engineers and dubbing mixers… It’s been a real time saver – once I got into Pro Tools I got to see what makes it so strong. It’s handling of audio and MIDI allows me to get my ideas down faster than ever.”

—Joseph Trapanese (Straight Outta Compton, Oblivion, Tron Legacy)

Feature Film and Episodic Drama TV composers face big challenges delivering a high quality, compelling score that matches the story and picture. Besides the creative aspects and interpreting the director’s vision for music score in the story, there are huge technical hurdles and workflow challenges and it’s not always a linear process because of picture changes, input from the studio execs, directors changing their minds or hearing something different when all the final elements are in place…

Working and writing in a separate DAW (other than Pro Tools) like Logic, Cubase or Digital Performer puts another layer of complexity and translation that needs to happen for a composer.  Music editors, Scoring Mixers and Dubbing Mixers will be working in Pro Tools as the Post Industry standard solution. Composers like Joe Trapanese, Brian Tyler and Tyler Bates have found that making Pro Tools HDX or Pro Tools | HD Native their central application for writing with MIDI and Audio, Recording, Editing, Mixing and Delivery, mean that they can spend more time focusing on being creative, focus more on the music and less time trying to juggle the work and translate MIDI to audio back and forth between applications.

Having worked for composers who use Logic and then score, edit and mix in Pro Tools, there is an elaborate process to get all the Pre-Records (synths, loops, guitars – i.e. non orchestral sounds) and tempo maps from Logic into Pro Tools to go to the scoring stage. If a cue changes (sometimes the night before the scoring date and even sometimes during) – changes need to be made to the recording template and it can get crazy…

“Pro Tools makes perfect sense for how I compose. It’s the focus of my studio. I don’t have time to change platforms back and forth, do stems, conform them to picture changes — I just could not do it. I would never have time to deliver anything. The Pro Tools environment is the truest to my process, to the demands that the project puts on me. This is my beginning and ending platform; it’s the way things are done. I know that when I go to Abbey Road Studios to record choir and orchestra, they work in Pro Tools, and I can send them a session or a drive to prepare for that. I know we are speaking the same language, and we are not going to have a problem.”

—Tyler Bates, composer (300, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sucker Punch)

Pro Tools also makes the most sense because it integrates and works well with Sibelius – the language of orchestrators for writing and enhancing parts in the right voicing’s for each of the instruments and then printing out the parts for musicians as Joe discusses in this video.

Pro Tools HDX allows the scoring team to record (with ultra low latency that professional musicians demand), edit and manage hundreds of tracks and dozens of takes of each cue, especially on big scores.  It’s not unheard of for a cue to have over 256 tracks. Big orchestra and choir record dates could easily require more than 64 inputs and many outputs for all of the pre-record playbacks. All of which is easily and reliably handled with Pro Tools HDX.

And when it comes time to mix – HDX offers the power and flexibility mixers need to get their job done: under time pressure deliver complex, great sounding, stemmed mixes (usually 40 or more channels wide in 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound) as well as a stereo mix for the CD. Stem mixes give the Director, Music Editor and Dialogue/Music mixer the ability to tweak any balances on the dubbing stage and work around the dialogue better. HDX in combination with an integrated Avid Pro Mixing control surface like Pro Tools | S6 or S3 handles the job with ease and allows mixers the ability to still be creative.

“Pro Tools HDX has been a huge upgrade from the previous HD system for me.  The sonic improvement is significant and the faster processing speed allows me to work faster… I mix entirely in it and it’s been very reliable – and I don’t need a separate stem recorder system.  Track counts these days are way over the previous 192 track limit and my session templates and routing keep getting more complex, but HDX allows me the flexibility and power to do what I need to deliver the score on time. I’m really thrilled with the upgrade…”

—James T Hill, scoring mixer (Revenge, Olympus Has Fallen, Mad Men)

Now if you are a young composer getting started, Pro Tools HDX or HD Native may be out of your reach financially right now, but it doesn’t mean you can’t start using Pro Tools as the center of your studio and composing tool of choice. You can get a full version of Pro Tools with 128 audio tracks, 512 virtual instrument tracks, 512 Midi tracks, up to 32 simultaneous hardware inputs, unlimited busses, included virtual instruments, plug-ins and more… all for $ 599 purchase or as low as $ 24.99 a month subscription.

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New at AES NY—Pro Tools 12.3 and Pro Tools | Dock!

Today in New York at the 139th edition of the AES show, Avid has two exciting announcements to share and we’ll explore them a bit deeper here. First, straight on the heels of the Pro Tools 12.2 and the new Avid All Access Plans and Plug-In bundle launch in September; we are excited to announce Pro Tools 12.3 with some powerful new workflow and editing enhancements.  Pro Tools 12.3 is set to be available in early November. Secondly, Avid is pleased to announce a brand new affordable, ergonomic, EUCON control surface called Pro Tools | Dock to enhance and integrate the Pro Tools | Control free iOS app experience as well as work with the Pro Tools | S3 surface and Artist Mix. More on that in a moment, but first…

 

What’s new in Pro Tools 12.3?

There have now been three releases for Pro Tools 12 with the fourth coming imminently. Here’s a short rundown on some of the key enhancements:

Pro Tools 12.0 on March 23:

Improved I/O Setups and Monitoring/Auto Down-mixing, unlimited busses, in-app plug-in purchases and rentals, stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.1 on June 30:

Increased track count (128 Audio, 512 Instrument), Track Input Monitoring, AFL/PFL Solo Modes, Copy to Send, Pro Tools | Control support, support for Pro Tools | S3 VCA Spill, and stability improvements.

Pro Tools 12.2 on September 2:

VCA Masters, Disk Cache, Advanced Metering, Gain Reduction Metering, Avid Access Plan options including new Plug-in Bundle.

New! Pro Tools 12.3 – Early November:

(For HD and Standard Pro Tools) Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows, Clip Transparency while editing or moving clips or fades, batch fade enhancements and shortcuts, AudioSuite Pitch II

These features are born from user requests and are also precursors to streamlining Pro Tools cloud collaboration workflows. Also, shown on the floor of AES, to be coming soon in the following release after 12.3, is the highly requested ‘sister’ feature to Track Commit – Track Freeze. They are similar, (and we’ll explore that more in the coming months), but both offer more choice to the user for the best fit for their workflow. One thing’s for sure; Avid’s Commit and Track Freeze implementation is (and will be) far more flexible and ultimately offer more options to users than other DAWs on the market. So, better than me explaining Commit and Track Bounce here on the blog in lengthy written form – check out this 12-minute video that my colleague Gil Gowing and I have prepared for you that runs through some different scenarios and workflows enhanced by the new features in Pro Tools 12.3. (Check back on the blog here for a separate Track Freeze tech-preview video in the coming weeks of November and a webinar in early December).

What is Pro Tools | Dock?

The second big announcement today (and also shown on the floor of the AES show) is a brand new compact, ergonomic, EUCON control surface for integrating our free iPad app, Pro Tools | Control. The Dock is based on the advanced touchscreen workflows on the Master Touch Module of the award-winning Pro Tools | S6. Both systems demonstrate our philosophy that mixers need the best of physical faders, knobs, and switches in conjunction with touchscreen technology for things like fast navigation, metering, and on-screen plug-in control – a true hybrid approach. And, when the Dock is paired with Pro Tools | S3, you gain complimentary and enhanced functionality with the dedicated automation switches, transport controls, weighted aluminum jog wheel, color-coded Soft Key switches, and more. Mixing deadlines have met their match!

Here are some of the key features and areas highlighted on the Dock:

The image you see above on the iPad screen shows you the key concept of a ‘super’ Channel view. The Dock’s eight soft knobs can be used to control parameters like EQ (pictured), Dynamics, Panning, and Sends on the Attentioned (focused) channel – a la the S6 Master Touch Module. ‘Attentioning’ a track is as easy as touching the track tile on the screen and it brings it to the fader. This new ‘super’ Channel view on Pro Tools | Control is unlocked while using the Dock or S3. A better view of what that cool, new expanded Channel view can be seen below:

A highly requested enhancement, that will be free to all Control app users, is the color mapped Soft Keys larger view, (pictured below on connected to the Dock).

The two rows of LED color-coded buttons on the Dock right below the screen change colors and map to the Soft Keys in the smaller view on your iPad – lining up directly underneath the matching soft button onscreen.

The Dock works standalone with an iPad and will be available in early 2016 at $1,199 retail – (iPad Air sold separately). The Dock also pairs with the S3 as mentioned above to offer a powerful, integrated, ergonomic, editing and mixing system for under $ 6,200 retail.

Look for more info and videos coming on the new Pro Tools | Dock in the coming months.

Wrap-Up

Pro Tools 12.3 further delivers on Avid’s ongoing commitment to provide more value to Pro Tools customers, bring their feature requests and updates more quickly to market with this latest release focused around improved editing, fades, effects rendering and delivery workflows. These improvements ultimately enable audio professionals to work more efficiently and more easily prepare projects for mixing or collaborating with others. All customers who have Pro Tools 12 currently have an active Annual Upgrade and Support Plan. Therefore, all of these customers will automatically get the new v.12.3 release and get access to the new features and be notified in the App Manager when it’s ready for download. Not on Pro Tools 12 yet? Upgrade pricing from Pro Tools 9, 10 and 11 changes December 31st – so act now and take advantage of pricing that will change January 1st.

The new Pro Tools | Dock announcement brings to life a powerful new edition to the industry leading Avid Pro Mixing family and offers audio professionals more choice on how to navigate, get their hands on, control and ultimately mix their soundtracks and music sessions. Pro Tools | Dock will be available in early 2016, talk to your reseller or Avid rep about ordering and also sign up here on Avid to be notified with more detailed information.

Thanks for reading – we’d love to hear from you and please feel free to share this news.

 

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Sound Advice From The Pros—Part 2

I started my career as a recording engineer for music (and a lit bit of radio post) and it took me years to find out more about Post Production Sound for Film and TV. When I moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990’s I was slowly exposed to the world and language of post sound and found it fascinating.

Since then, I’ve immersed myself into everything that goes into making a great soundtrack and all the great people who make it happen. I’ve met many post audio pro’s along the way and in part two of my Sound Advice for young people wanting to enter the industry, here’s some advice from several award-winning and accomplished post sound pros. My standard question to them is:

What advice would you give to students or young mixers who want to do what you do?

Scott Weber

Emmy Winner – LOST, Person of Interest, West World

“I’d break my advice for young people interested in a career in post sound into four sections…

  1. Education: Learn as much as you can about everything and anything audio, Pro Tools, recording, mixing, filmmaking and microphones. The schools are a great place for that but in reality you will never stop learning, it never ends – you’ve got to constantly keep honing your skills on the latest console and newest gear! This year I have learned both the S3 and the S6 and am ready to mix a show on them. I believe that you have to be willing to work on the latest Avid surface and version of Pro Tools. If not, it’s hard to stay current and cutting edge—someone younger could come along and take your (my) place!
  2. Networking: The connections you make are as almost important as the education you receive. The people you get to know can be the key thing that gets you your next job. It’s a good idea to go to school where the business is happening like LA, NY, Nashville, London, etc… Places where there are people you can network with that are doing that work in the field you want to be in. Going to Avid events, reseller events, seminars, trade shows—where there are other users is also a great way to network. Those connections can get your foot in the door.
  3. People Skills: Once you get your foot in the door, I think as much as 50% of the job as a mixer or sound supervisor is as likely people skills as it is mixing/audio skills. Developing good communication and listening skills and then how to translate what the client is asking for into mixing moves and making the changes work is critical. Being cool under pressure and being able to get along with people is essential.  Ultimately, you want the client to have a great experience and ask for you for the next time. Also, always remember that it’s their movie or their show. Their opinion is more valuable than yours and diplomacy is just as important as knowing how to push all the right buttons and faders.
  4. Goals and Expectations:  When you get started, it’s good to have goals, but be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up through the system. Don’t be dead-set on what you think you want to do. You may want to be a sound designer but what they need right now is someone to cut foley (for your first job). For me, the doors opened by saying yes all along the way. A music-recording/engineering job turned into a sound effects editing job, which turned into being a foley mixer and eventually a re-recording mixer. It took years for that to happen, but always be willing to learn and willing to say yes more often than not.”

 

WATCH ‘MASTER THE ART OF POST MIXING’

Will Files

Star Trek Into Darkness, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four

“I like to bounce back and fourth between the big budget studio projects to the smaller indie because it keeps me on my toes, it keeps me fresh and I find that I learn things on both sides that I bring to the other side. One of the things you learn on movies with small budgets—you learn how to do things fast because you may have only 5 or 6 days for the entire mix with no premixes. You have to learn how to use the tools (Pro Tools especially) as efficiently as possible.

The mistake that a lot of mixers make starting out, (and I say it because I made them)—is that you tend to focus on the details more than the overall picture and you can get stuck on a small moment far too long and not on the whole and it really doesn’t make much difference on telling the story and the emotional impact of the scene. So now—even on big features, whether I’m cutting or mixing, I try to make a first pass as fast and as disciplined a pass at the film as I can and then take a step back and see what I really have. You can then really identify where the big challenges are and give them more attention. You have more perspective.”

 

CREATING FEATURE FILM SOUNDTRACKS WITH WILL FILES

“Pro Tools is the lifeblood of our industry. The more proficient you can get on it—the more valuable you become to a facility.”

—Frank Morrone

Frank Morrone

EMMY Winner — The Strain, The Kennedys

“My best advice to someone wanting to get into the film and TV mixing industry starts with: Pro Tools is the lifeblood of our industry. The more proficient you can get on it—the more valuable you become to a facility. Mastering Pro Tools and the surfaces like the S6 will make you a huge asset to any studio looking to hire someone.

 

READ THE INTERVIEW WITH RE-RECORDING MIXER FRANK MORRONE

There’s a ton of great advice and wisdom from these top professionals who rely on Pro Tools and Avid Pro Mixing solutions contained above. As they said, the barrier to entry and getting started is very low—it’s FREE in fact! So get started today by downloading Pro Tools | First for free or you can get the full version of Pro Tools for as low as $ 25 a month. If you are a student—educational pricing starts at $ 10 a month for subscription or $ 299 to purchase.

Be sure to also check out part 1 from last week, when we asked the same question to Music professionals!

Pro Tools | S6

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Sound Advice From The Pros—Part 1

A great part of my job is getting to chat with and better know very successful audio professionals. I find that almost all of them are more than willing to share their time and stories about what they do and how they do it. They also will gladly talk with people wanting to do what they do and share how they got there. This two-part blog is an answer from several audio professionals about what they think it takes a person today to do what they do and be successful.

Part one is focused on Music professionals and part two to follow next week is on Post Audio Professionals. Two of these professionals, Mick Guzauski and Craig Bauer will be at the Avid booth at AES in NYC next weekend and perhaps you can meet them yourself… My standard question to them is:

What advice would you give to students or young mixers who want to do what you do?

Mick Guzauski

14-Time GRAMMY Winner – Daft Punk, Pharrell, Madonna, Snoop Dogg

“I was just very interested in electronics and sound when I was a kid growing up in Rochester, New York, and tried to get all the information I could (in the 1970’s). I went to the Eastmen School of Music summer Recording program for two summers and it was taught by Phil Ramone! It wasn’t so much a technical focus as how to work with people in sessions, session protocol, acoustics, microphone techniques and really practical knowledge. I also worked in a Hi-Fi store as a kid and really loved taking apart machines and then later built my own home studio.

Pretty much everybody can have access to great gear nowadays – so learn the basics of how it works and experiment with it, record demos of your own or bands and artists. And then once you are familiar with it, (and I recommend you know at least something about it so you can better understand what is being taught), you can take it to the next level and really benefit by going to one of the recording schools. It’s probably not as easy nowadays to get an assistant engineer job at a studio, but that’s a great next step after school. The commercial studio business is smaller and it may be difficult, but it is a great way to really learn the ropes from working professionals and meet people.

It’s really about doing good work and connecting with the right people. If you can get connected with an artist (who gets signed) – even if it’s just demo work, if it sounds good, you’ll get noticed. A big part of it is good networking, it’s a very important part of it – but before you do that, you have to be proficient at what you do.”

 

WATCH THE MICK GUZAUSKI PRO TOOLS S6 WEBINAR

“Some may say that becoming a successful mixer is as much luck as anything.  I say that luck is what happens when you mix preparation with hard work and persistence.”

—Craig Bauer

Craig Bauer

GRAMMY Winner – The Clark Sisters, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran

“I often get asked for advice from people wanting to get into engineering and mixing. My answer is always the same.  In the current climate of the music industry, it’s imperative to make your own opportunities. Gone are the days of being hired as an intern and climbing the ladder up the chain to a paying position as second while being taught the trade. Becoming an expert in a DAW such as Pro Tools is key. The best way to do that is to invest in a small system and become an expert on your own, with the help of all the online information available. Of course, there are many educational institutions that offer training, but I firmly believe a highly motivated individual can do as much or more on their own.  From there, it’s a matter of cultivating some projects to work on from your social network, even if it means doing it for free until you thoroughly learn the craft well enough to make the next step. People are always looking for talented and motivated people.

Some may say that becoming a successful mixer is as much luck as anything.  I say that luck is what happens when you mix preparation with hard work and persistence.”

 

WATCH CRAIG BAUER MIXING VIDEOS

Noah ‘40’ Shebib

GRAMMY Winner – Drake, Beyonce, Alicia Keys

“The best advice I can give is – especially on the technical side is to just start using what you can get your hands on and do good work. And if you do that – the doors will start to open for you and you’ll get to the places you need to go.

I think the biggest mistake people make (getting started) in this business is that they take a jump or a leap of faith based on that they need something to work… you just need the basics. And once you get the basics – you can move… For me, it was a Pro Tools LE system. That’s how I made Drake’s first few records – they were done on a very basic system that most people today would say no way – a Pro Tools LE system is not enough power me. The point is – it’s there – learn how to use it properly. Learn the fundamentals of how to use an EQ and a compressor, learn what they are doing to your signal… Understanding that will help you understand how to mix and make music properly.”

 

WATCH NOAH TALK ABOUT MIXING MUSIC

Dave Aude

95 #1 Dance Remixes – U2, Coldplay, will.i.am, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé

“If you become a professional producer, engineer or re-mixer, you’re going to end up with Pro Tools. You can use a lot of other things along the way, but you can do everything in Pro Tools so I choose to do everything from writing to mixing in PT.

It’s also important that you finish a bunch of work. Finish a bunch of work. A lot of people think they can get a computer, buy some software, buy some speakers and put a small home studio together and they do a couple of songs… maybe 10 songs and share with their friends and social media. And they come to me and say – ‘Dave, I’m not really seeing any success’. My answer is – do a hundred more and then see where you are. It takes time… you have to have a body of work. Most people don’t have success off of 10 songs or 20 songs. I don’t know how many hundred songs I had before I felt like I had success. You should want to finish a bunch of work to get experience when you go into a studio with an artist or a label. So many kids are excited about seeing these DJ’s making big money off a few songs that are on the charts – but they don’t understand and see the hundreds of songs that the DJ has done before that. So it’s important to realize that you have to put in a lot of work, a lot of hours in the studio, and put together a large body of work to achieve success. It’s the norm.”

 

WATCH THE FULL DAVE AUDE WEBINAR

There’s a ton of great advice and wisdom from these top professionals who rely on Pro Tools and Avid Pro Mixing solutions contained above. As they said, the barrier to entry and getting started is very low—it’s FREE in fact! So get started today by downloading Pro Tools | First for free or you can get the full version of Pro Tools for as low as $ 25 a month. If you are a student—educational pricing starts at $ 10 a month for subscription or $ 299 to purchase.

Be sure to check out part 2 next when we ask the same question to Post Audio professionals! Thanks for reading and sharing…

Pro Tools | S6

Mixing Redefined

Choose a pre-configured S6 system or build your own. Speak with our experts to determine the best fit for your workflow and business.

CONTACT US