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Avid to Showcase Latest Accessibility Advances in Three Events at NAMM 2020

Avid continues its commitment to bring visually impaired users to the audio and music creation party. We plan to share our latest developments in three separate presentations at the 2020 NAMM Show. Two of these will take place on the Avid Mainstage at stand #15502 in the North Hall and we will also reprise our action-packed panel as part of the TEC Tracks presentations. The events and locations are as follows:

 

  • Accessible Pro Tools and Sibelius on the Mainstage: (Stand #15502 North Hall.  Saturday January 18that 5:00 PM and Sunday, January 19th at 3:30 PM.
  • NAMM Pro Accessibility Panel:  Hall A6, Hilton Anaheim, 4th Floor.  Sunday, January 19th from 11:00 AM to 12:50 PM as part of the TEC Tracks presentations.

On the Avid Stage, you will see what a pair of our leading customers can do with Pro Tools and Sibelius without eyesight. Both Slau Halatyn and Chi Kim, long-time visually impaired advisors and testers of Pro Tools and Sibelius, are creating music everyday using these tools, and without sighted assistance. They are not just skimming the surfaces of Pro Tools and Sibelius; they are working with Pro Tools | HDX systems in professional studios and teaching at leading universities. Both have been instrumental in driving accessible functionality into Avid products.

Ed Gray and Slau Halatyn, Owner, BeSharp Studio

Timothy Adnitt, Director, Music Production, Native Instruments

The mainstage events will be 45-minute panel discussions that provide a look at the excitement that is going on in accessible development for Sibelius and Pro Tools. The usability of Sibelius by visually impaired users has improved dramatically in the past year thanks to a close collaboration with Berklee College of Music. We’ll hear from Sam Butler, Head of Product Management for Sibelius and Chi Kim, Associate Professor of Music at Berklee, about our recent collaboration and plans for the future. Then both will dive into some real-time score creation showing off the latest ways that visually impaired users can take full advantage of this award-winning music composition and notation solution from Avid. Next up will be Slau Halatyn, owner of BeSharp Studios in New York City and a renowned thought leader on usability of Pro Tools by the visually impaired. Slau, together with a team of beta testers and advisors, work year-round to help Avid prioritize our accessibility fixes and improvements and Slau is one of the most enthusiastic and engaging presenters of the latest advances. We’re grateful for the contributions that Chi and Slau continue to make to our ongoing efforts and the best is yet to come.

Sam Butler, Head of Product Management for Sibelius has worked with Berklee College of music to turbocharge its accessibility

Rob Arbittier is a musician, producer and Grammy-recognized engineer. He is also a coder and has been a pioneer in the world of non-visual technology for several decades, dedicating much of his life and career to making music and audio technology accessible for artists including Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and many others.

Along with the Avid main stage presentations comes the third annual NAMM Pro Accessibility Panel, where Avid joins forces with Native Instruments and with accessibility leaders  from Berklee College of Music,  I See Music (a leading provider of audio technology training for the blind and adaptive technology services), and other presenters in an informal panel discussion with demonstrations of the latest in accessibility for music creation. This nearly two-hour event promises to move quickly and will cover the following:

 

  • Why developers and manufacturers should pursue accessibility and how to tackle it (Timothy Adnitt, Director, Music Production, Native Instruments)
  • Expert demonstrations of leading accessible music creation tools including Avid Pro Tools and Sibelius, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol, Flo Tools and more (Slau Halatyn, Owner, BeSharp Studios and Chi Kim, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music)
  • Training and education for visually impaired musicians (Byron Harden, Owner, I See Music)
  • Teaching music creation in academic settings (Chi Kim)
  • Resources for developers and companies beginning the accessibility journey (Ed Gray, Director, Partnering Programs, Avid)
  • New for 2020:  How I worked with Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles to bring music creation to their worlds (Rob Arbittier, Owner, Noisy Neighbors Productions)

Chi Kim, Associate Professor, Berklee College of Music

Byron Harden, Head of I See Music

We look forward to welcoming you to these events and hope you share our enthusiasm for the good that accessible development accomplishes and the new opportunities that it can offer your business.

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Prepare Your ADR Cues Like a Pro With EdiCue

There’s an art to capturing the performance of an actor or artist in a recording studio. A part of this creative process is about removing obstacles and solving challenges that may be present so that the actor may be at ease and deliver their best. When it comes to capturing ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement), otherwise known as Post Sync Dialogue, it can be even harder to provide this space for the actor, given the technical requirements of the process. One of the key ways to elevate an ADR record session is to have accurate ADR cue sheets that detail exactly what needs to be recorded and why.

Here’s a quick video showing the ADR record process:

Recording ADR for the film ‘Norman’

It’s the job of the ADR supervisor to prepare the ADR cues sheets and bring them to the ADR record session. There are many ways to create these cues, from typing them into a Word document, to using a custom built application designed specifically for the job.

 

Enter EdiCue

First released in August 2007, this Mac/Windows application was created to allow sound editors to log and manage their ADR cues with ease. Since its release it has become an industry standard, receiving an Engineering Emmy® Award in 2015. Recently, EdiCue v3 was released containing an abundance of industry requested features.

EdiCue v3 - New Features

What is EdiCue’s Superpower?

Rather than create a list of cues in a separate application, manually assigning timecodes or footages to each cue, EdiCue allows you to create and store the directly in either the Pro Tools or Media Composer timeline. For Pro Tools, cues are stored in clips and placed on predefined character tracks, while for Media Composer, cues are stored in markers. This not only allows you to see the cues playing in the timeline as you edit, but also simplifies the process of updating cues when picture changes occur.

For sound editors and supervisors cueing with Pro Tools, EdiCue can also load the PDF shooting script into the session interface window. This provides a way to filter the lines by scene or character, and extract script lines for editing so that cues don’t need to be entered from scratch.

Once cueing is complete, the Pro Tools session or Media Composer marker data is loaded into EdiCue to export the files required for the ADR record session. All settings made in EdiCue are stored in a production settings file, so any last minute updates to cues can be made and re-exported without a fuss.

EdiCue can export a variety of files including a summary PDF, PDF scripts for the record session, and the raw ADR cue data in various file formats to aid the recording process.

The Summary PDF lists the actors required and a time estimate for each. This can be sent to production to schedule the actors and book the recording studios required.

The PDF scripts can be exported using a variety of preset layouts including one for the Actor, Director and Engineer. It exports these varied layouts as each person needs to focus on different aspects of each cue, so each layout contains different fields or styling. The preset layouts can also be customized; if your director is used to seeing his or her cues in a particular way, EdiCue allows you to update the layout accordingly.

EdiCue can also export the raw ADR cue data in various file formats, either for displaying the cues and text on screen, or to help the engineer automatically locate to each cue point and rename the record track(s) with the associated cue number. The former helps the actor stay in character while perform their lines in sync with the picture, while the latter helps the engineer focus their attention on the actor and director by automating repetitive tasks. Both of these functions are provided by our partner application EdiPrompt.

EdiCue v3 running on macOS Mojave

By using a proven application like EdiCue, you can seamlessly create the documentation required to have your next ADR record session run smoothly and allow for a great performance to be captured.

Purchase your copy of EdiCue v3 from Avid Marketplace.

 

GET IT NOW

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




Pro Tools 2019 Supports 4K Video and Higher Frame Rates

The October release of Pro Tools 2019 supports 4K video resolutions and higher frame rates, enabling better frame reference accuracy and smooth collaboration with video editorial.

 

Higher resolutions and frame rates are becoming more common

As ultra-high-quality, 4K content creation becomes more commonplace it is important that Pro Tools is capable of easily accepting a wide range of video formats, frame rates and sizes, and thus remaining a smooth part of audio post production workflows.

With compatibility for higher resolution video and higher frame rates, these improvements enable smoother, more efficient collaboration between editorial and sound mixing with less time-consuming conversion or transcoding. Plus, the flexibility to select rates and resolutions independently, and work with non-standard video sizes, is critical to support a range of projects such as web-based video, gaming, or new formats that become popular in the future.

 

Support for higher frame rates

The latest version of Pro Tools 2019 introduces support for a much wider range of timeline frame rates. Previously, Pro Tools had a maximum of 30fps on the Main Timecode Counter, which required the user to choose half frames or another grid value to accurately display the video frames above 30fps. This was an issue in certain parts of the industry such as gaming, where these frame rates are used.

With the new improvement users are able to easily reference current frame rates accurately in the timeline and no longer need to perform additional video frame rate conversion when using these formats in Pro Tools. Furthermore, enhanced frame rate support provides for future formats as they become more readily used in production. This also means your main counter frame grids can match the actual frame rate of the video file.

Session Frame Rate Selection

Main Timecode Count with 3-digit fps display

1 frame Audio Clip at 30/60/120fps with 30fps Session/Grid

1 frame Audio Clip at 30/60/120fps with 120fps Session/Grid

Support for higher video resolutions, including 4K

A video raster (or “size”) refers to the file’s resolution. Previously, Pro Tools did not support 30fps 1080p or multiples of that.

With this release Pro Tools now supports 4k resolution—in alignment with Avid’s video editing software Media Composer. Pro Tools will recognize standard formats when adding those video clips to the timeline making them easy to identify. And it will have the ability to play clips outside those standard recognized formats. This means while commonly identified formats will be selected automatically, users will also be able to select and play back rasters that may be required for non-standard video sizes, such as web based or installation video, or new rasters that become popular in the future.

The Video track now displays the frame rate and raster size independently, rather than fixed settings of frame rates and size.

Previous – fixed raster and frame rate settings

Pro Tools 2019 – Independent control of raster and frame rate settings

Improvements to H.264 Playback and Performance

 Additionally, we have developed our own decoding for H.264 files which enables us to deliver smoother, more stable playback and performance without directly using 32-bit QuickTime APIs.

H.264, while extremely popular for its relatively good quality versus file size and wide playback device support, can be a difficult codec to playback smoothly in an editorial environment. This is partly because the many different possible encoders but also the way in which the frames and information are organized in the file itself. For example, it doesn’t lend itself well to nudging, scrubbing and shuttling. However, this release delivers much improved the performance of this important codec.

It’s worth keeping in mind larger raster and Frame Rate files and potentially more CPU intensive codecs will mean performance will be dependent on the host computer, disk speeds and video hardware.

As a general rule having high demand video files on a separate drive is recommended and there are several third-party tools to verify if disks have sufficient performance for various video rasters and codecs.

 

To learn more about the October release of Pro Tools 2019, please visit www.avidblogs.com/pro-tools-2019-fall

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




What’s New in Pro Tools — October 2019

Since its launch, Pro Tools 2019 continues to empower users to create, record, edit, and mix their work better and faster, with access to more tracks, voices, smoother playback interaction, and new workflows, features, and enhancements. At AES 2019 in New York City, we we previewed the October release of Pro Tools 2019, which is now available. It features some new improvements and functionality, geared primarily for post-production users.  However, many other users will find these additions useful as well.  Let’s have a quick look at what’s new in Pro Tools 2019!

 

Avid Video Engine Improvements

With this update, Pro Tools and Pro Tools | Ultimate now supports 4K/UHD video and higher frame rates. This allows more precise editing to picture, as the video will display as intended on the main timeline, both in terms of resolution and frame rate.  The added benefit of having the ability to set the resolution and framerate independently is a welcome addition for users, providing the ability to work with the many different types of video file types being used in the industry.  Also, it’s important to note that Pro Tools now mirrors Media Composer in its support for high resolution video, allowing engineers to import media directly into Pro Tools without the additional step of transcoding the file format or resolution.  With these video engine improvements enabling users to work with a wider variety of video file types in sessions, the addition of smoother H.264 video playback adds even greater performance and reliability.

Enhanced CoreAudio Support for Dolby Atmos Production Suite

Pro Tools | Ultimate users now have the ability to enable up to 130 CoreAudio channels using the Dolby Audio Bridge.  This is a huge jump from the previous limitation of 32 channels available for Dolby Atmos via CoreAudio, and a huge improvement over the workflow using Send and Return plugins.  This drastically reduces session complexity with routing.  It also helps to eliminate the tedious managing of delay compensation. All of this adds up to time-saving improvements as users can now setup a session created with the Dolby Atmos Production Suite, in Pro Tools | Ultimate, in the exact same way that their session would be setup using the Mastering Suite or Cinema Renderer. Whether you’re using HDX, HD Native, or any CoreAudio audio interface, this is a great addition, increasing efficiency and usability.  HDX users also benefit in the fact the fact that HDX is now fully compatible with the Dolby Audio Bridge, which can be selected and used as a playback device. It is worth noting that when HDX is selected as the output device with the Dolby Audio Bridge, DSP processing is disabled.

Multi-mix WAV Bounce

The ability to bounce multiple stems, interleaved into a single WAV file is another new addition for Pro Tools | Ultimate users.  This time-saving feature reduces the complexity of deliverables for audio post engineers, by streamlining stem selection and rendering workflows, removing the need for using workarounds.

Netflix Post Technology Alliance

While not a feature or workflow, per se, it’s worth mentioning that with this release, Pro Tools joins the Netflix Post Technology Alliance (PTA). Started in 2018, this alliance is a Netflix-designed program for products that manage and produce sound, image, and/or metadata for post. Products bearing the Netflix Post Technology Alliance logo have been tested to ensure that they meet all of Netflix’s technical and workflow requirements. Avid is proud to participate in the program, supporting all creative users to produce their best work at the highest standards.

With the addition of Pro Tools into the Netflix Post Technology Alliance, Avid is working closely with Netflix to ensure its solutions support technical and workflow requirements today, and into the future.

To learn more about Avid’s involvement in the Netflix Post Technology Alliance, read our blog.

 

Get Updated Today

With so much happening in the world of immersive audio for both post and music, these new features and additions (over 140 stability improvements in this release!) are designed to power greater creators with more access to the tools they need to push the boundaries of their creative output with greater efficiency. If your subscription is current, grab the update via Avid Link or from the products section of your Avid.com account! Don’t forget to check system and OS requirements first! There’s much more to in store for Pro Tools and audio at Avid, so stay tuned!

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




Avid’s End-to-End Audio and Video Solution Joins the Netflix Post Technology Alliance

At AES 2019 in New York City, we announced that with the October release of Pro Tools 2019 (now available), Pro Tools will join the Netflix Post Technology Alliance—one of the first audio products to participate in the program.It joins Media Composer – which was  one of the original products when the program when the program first launched. Therefore, with this announcement, Avid is pleased to be working closely with Netflix to develop and deliver the complete end-to-end audio and video workflow solutions, so our customers are able to meet Netflix’s high standards of quality with confidence.

The Post Technology Alliance was designed to help facilitate standards of excellence across the many different solutions that contribute to a Netflix production, from capture to video editing, through to audio post production and final delivery. And in turn the logo is a powerful indicator to picture and sound professionals, that the solutions they rely upon enable them to confidently deliver top results for Netflix.

In joining the Alliance Avid remains committed to continued support of Netflix’s technical and workflow requirements, serving the evolving needs of the production and post-production communities now and into the future.

 

New Pro Tools features support the Post Technology Alliance

In combination with Pro Tools’ industry standard audio post production toolset, the next release of Pro Tools 2019 this fall introduces improvements that are key to Netflix technical and workflow requirements.

The release simplifies Dolby Atmos in-the-box mixing with full Core Audio support of the Dolby Audio Bridge. You can now send 130 channels from Pro Tools (up from 32) to the Dolby Atmos Renderer enabling you to use Pro Tools | HDX as your playback device and significantly reduce the tedious track management required when using Dolby’s Send / Return plugins.

Also, users can now bounce multiple mixes—for example a 5.1 and stereo mix—in a single WAV file. This reduces the number of asset deliverables when submitting multiple mixes in different formats and enables users to deliver multiple localized mixes in a single file.

Finally, a special preset has been added to Avid’s Pro Limiter plugin, making it easy for engineers to locate the proper settings when preparing final mixes.

 

Key Media Composer features support PTA

With the release of the updated and reimagined Media Composer 2019 earlier this year, Avid has set its sights on fully supporting new media and digital-first delivery workflows for OTT and streaming media. Media Composer now provides basic support SMPTE Standard 2067-21 IMF Application #2E packaging and delivery for Netflix.

Additionally, Media Composer now enables full 32-bit color and timeline playback, which allows online and VFX editors to work natively with hi-res HDR media, import OpenEXR files, and display and transform ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) compatible color gamuts, so they can always be confident they are seeing and delivering their content to the highest industry specs.

By meeting the high standards of the Netflix Post Technology Alliance, Media Composer is aligning with our vision to power the world’s greatest storytellers and be the video editing software professional creators need today AND tomorrow.

Visit the Netflix Post Technology Alliance website to learn more.

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AES Partner Pavilion — 20 Avid Developers to Show Us What They’ve Got

Customers and friends who visit Avid at the AES Show this year from October 16-18 at the Javits Convention Center in New York (Stand #503) can cross the aisle to the 2019 Avid Audio Partner Pavilion (Stand #504)  and the biggest  display of its kind, ever.   This year’s Partner Pavilion boasts 20 participants, and a visit to AES is not complete without checking every one of them out.  From AAX plugins to solutions that compliment Sibelius, VENUE and Media Composer, the Pavilion is a snapshot of what’s new and what’s next for Avid’s audio production platform.

Check out the exhibitors, an innovative mix of newcomers and veterans, who will join us:

  • Arturia
  • Dolby Laboratories
  • Eventide, Inc.
  • HitMix/Neuratron
  • IHSE GmbH
  • KROTOS Audio, Ltd.
  • McDSP
  • Newfangled Audio
  • NUGEN Audio
  • PACE Anti-Piracy
  • Pro Sound Effects
  • Audio
  • Roland Cloud
  • RTW & Co. GmbH
  • Skytracks
  • Sonnox, Ltd.
  • Source Elements
  • TAC System
  • Townsend labs
  • Wedge Force

Since the advent of the audio developer program in the mid-90’s, our partners have been indispensable in extending our reach and multiplying our development efforts with their certified solutions.   Year after year, they add the incomparable variety that gives color to our platform, taking solutions to market  that are collectively, a “killer feature” for our tools.  The Avid Partner Pavilion offers these companies the most cost-effective way to exhibit, taking advantage of the prime real estate offered by  integrating with our own exhibit.  Here is what some of them have to say:

“Team Roland Cloud is pleased to be a part of the Avid Partner Pavilion at AES 2019. We look forward to sharing our suite of virtual synthesizers, drum machines, and sampled instruments with the vibrant conference community. Drop by our booth and play the TR-808, TR-909, JUNO-106, JUPITER-8, TB-303, JX-3P, SYSTEM-8, and the rest of Roland Cloud. We can’t wait to see you!”

And a reflection from the one and only Fabrice “FAB” DuPont, legendary producer and owner of  Flux Studio’s in New York, and more recently the founder of Process.Audio:  “The AVID Partner Pavilion makes it possible for small developers like us to display our products at AES in an affordable and supportive environment. We definitely would not be there this year if it weren’t for the Pavilion.”   Well, it’s an honor to have you, Fab!

And here’s a note from Chris Townsend, one of Avid’s most admired alumni.  “Before starting Townsend Labs, I worked at Avid for 13 years so I’m delighted to be working closely with Avid again. It’s an honor to be included in the Partner Pavilion this year (our first time). Given Avid’s wide range of industry-standard products, they are one of the most important platforms we support. We added HDX support to our Sphere plug-in, which has made a big difference to our business.”

Make the Avid Partner Pavilion part of your visit to AES and take the time to learn more about these partners and friends of Avid and about the unique and powerful solutions they offer. See you at AES!

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




Five Ways to Supercharge Your Pro Tools Session Using Roland Cloud

Roland Cloud’s collection of virtual synthesizers, drum machines, and sampled instruments has been a go-to tool for producers, electronic artists, and beatmakers since its inception. In celebration of Roland Cloud’s spot at AES in the Avid Pavilion, here are five tactics to enrich your Pro Tools sessions with classic Roland sounds.

 

1. Drop in the TR-808 for Seismic Low-end

Whether you are working on modern R&B grooves or frothy pop tracks, the gargantuan 808 kick has become a key component for modern music fans—so much so that many simply associate booming bass with the 808. While there are many soundalikes on the market, using Roland Cloud’s TR-808 as your primary drum sound, or layering in an 808 kick, is a surefire way to add bottom end that is both contemporary yet classic. Plus, Roland Cloud’s 808 has bonus features like “Drag and Drop” MIDI. See how that function works in the video below.

2. Add Waves of Thick ‘80s Texture with the JUPITER-8

The massive sounds of the JUPITER-8 are perfect for everything from atmospheric indie rock to post-punk. For decades, artists like Howard Jones and Duran Duran relied on the King of Planets to color their sound on tunes like “What is Love” and “Save a Prayer,” respectively.

Pull up a patch like “1981 Fuzzy Fifth” or “PL Ploy Stack” to hear the dimensions a JUPITER-soundscape brings to the table. Roland Cloud’s version of the iconic synth even boasts some new functionality and pairs perfectly with controllers like the SYSTEM-8. Check out this video for a peek into the JUPITER-8 universe.

3. Double Your Pleasure with a JUNO-106 Bassline

With the popularity of Stranger Things and ‘80s centric acts like M83 and CHVRCHES, it’s no surprise Roland’s JUNO-106 keeps popping up in the cultural conversation.

One great method for adding a richer tone to your low end is doubling bass sounds with a JUNO-106. Try duplicating your bass track with a JUNO playing the same MIDI information to your Pro Tools session. Watch the sound grow exponentially—as in the video below where the JUPITER-8 is paired with a SYSTEM-8. If you’re feeling daring, pitch the second bassline up or down an octave to produce powerful effects.

4. Paint Your Track with a Cinematic D-50 Patch

The D-50 was unlike any instruments that came prior. Its DCB (Digital Circuit Behavior) modeling allowed for a cinematic array of sounds. Patches like “Fantasia” and “Digital Native Dance” are the stuff that ‘80s and early ‘90s hits were made of.

Roland Cloud’s D-50 has all the familiar sounds of the original hardware as well as some extra fun nuggets. For even more fun, explore the rich “Beyond Fantasia” patch collection, a new batch of textures destined to take the instrument to places unknown.

Listen to how contemporary electronic artists like ANDR3X and Mystery Skulls use the D-50 in their tracks. Then, picture what you could do within a Pro Tools session with the instrument. Maybe instead of bringing in that third guitar layer, use a “Beyond Fantasia” patch with AIR Multi-Delay to broaden your scope—without chewing up the frequency spectrum.

5. Boost a Song’s Energy with the TR-909’s Iconic Swing

909 Day was just a few weeks ago, shining a light on the enduring qualities of this classic instrument. From the grimy industrial vibes of Skinny Puppy to the smooth swing of Madonna’s “Vogue,” few genres are untouched by the silver and gray beatmaker. If your tastes veer to the esoteric side of the dancefloor, Tangelene Bolton created some 909 grooves sure to lead you to rhythmic revelations. Snap one of her exclusive patterns into your Pro Tools MIDI window and see where they lead your work.

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




How First-Class Mixes Have Changed Over 40 Years

This blog post is a chapter from How Pros Make Hits by Tom Frampton, posted with permission. 

Stayin’ Alive is known to most as a defining track of not only the Bee Gees career but also of the disco genre. As the opening track of the Hollywood film Saturday Night Fever, the track got much exposure, and the single spent four weeks at number one in the US when it was released in 1977. It was nominated for Record Of The Year at 21st Grammy Awards in 1978 and won the Best Arrangement For Voices and Album Of The Year categories. Whether you like the genre or not, Stayin’ Alive’s place in music history is significant. Let’s explore the attributes of the song, mix, and approach to see what we can learn.

1977 Mix vs. 2017 Mix

In 2017, Stayin’ Alive was re-released with a new mix from Serban Ghenea who is widely regarded as the best mixing engineer in modern times. It was mastered by 7 times Grammy winner and 28 times Grammy nominated engineer Tom Coyne of Sterling Sound. Capitol Records employed the best of the best engineers to make sure this re-release reached it’s fullest potential. Comparing the original mix to the new mix shows how mixing has developed over time.

I’ve analyzed the difference in tonal balance, stereo width, and dynamic range using Mastering The Mix plugin REFERENCE. I have the new Serban mix in a project, and I’m comparing it to the original. I’m using the level match feature to match the loudness for a fair comparison, and we can see that reference has turned down the Serban Mix by 6.8dB.

The Trinity Display at the bottom of REFERENCE is showing that the low-end from 0-100Hz is 2.3dB louder in the Serban Mix. This makes sense as modern tracks tend to have a weightier bass than tracks that were originally pressed on Vinyl, and today’s audience playback systems are more capable of generating a good low-end response. We can also see in the low-end band that the stereo width is showing -1.6SW meaning that they have made the kick and bass more mono in the newer version.

The second band between ~100Hz-600Hz shows a relative dip compared to the adjacent bands. We can hear that the new version has some EQ cuts around this area which gives it a much cleaner sound than the original, giving more clarity to the individual elements of the mix. The stereo width is showing a positive figure of 0.5SW showing that these frequencies are slightly wider in the 2017 mix.

The two bands occupying 600Hz and above show a slight increase in perceived volume, which points to the enhanced clarity of the new mix. It’s subtle in the context of the whole mix, but many off the individual elements have a new shine that helps them cut through.

Across the whole frequency spectrum, we can see that the dynamic readings are hovering around -3DR except the band covering ~3.5kHz and above which is -1.6DR. This shows that the new version is considerably less punchy than the original. There has been more compression applied to control the dynamic of the overall sound, with less compression applied to the higher frequencies to keep the integrity of the hi-hat transients. The overall compression gave the Serban Mix around 7dB more loudness overall and gave it a slight ‘pumping’ sound.

The stereo positioning of the individual channels is very similar to the original, though Serban added more width to the backing vocals and centralized the low-end as previously discussed. Had Serban dramatically adjusted where the brass, electric guitar, electric piano, etc. had been positioned it may have been too much of a change from the original for fans to enjoy. It was a safe decision to keep the panning positions consistent between the versions.

 

Stereo Separation

Stayin’ Alive is a very full and rich sounding mix with a dense arrangement of instruments. Many of the channels overlap in frequencies, though the conflict is reduced by the rhythms of the channel complementing each other.

An interesting characteristic of this mix compared to mixes that came before is that the stereo placement of many of the instruments is evenly balanced between the left and right channel. So the electric guitar sounds wide, but it’s also heard in both the left and right speaker without having two very different audio takes. In earlier ‘70s mixes you would find that the various elements would have either a left, right or central pan.

Barry Gibbs falsetto plays an important role as the main melodic feature. We can see that the electric guitar and piano occupy a slightly lower range adding some mid-girth where the vocal tone isn’t so strong. The strings occupy a similar range but are panned wide and out of the way for the vocal to shine through.

The electric piano goes from being balanced in both sides when the mix is more sparse to being more dominant in only the right side when the mix gets busier. This is a great way to add interest to the mix by evolving the panning, but it also makes space for the mix to become fuller during different sections of the song.

Technical Details

EXPOSE is showing the technical details of both the 1977 version (top) and the 2017 version (bottom). The most considerable difference is the compression and limiting, with the 2017 version being around 7dB louder. This lead to a reduction in the dynamic range punch by 4.8DR.

We can also see that the original kept the peak below 0dBTP, whereas the 2017 version peaked above 0dBTP several times during the track; though the loudness wasn’t pushed to the point where the audio is constantly clipping. This could have been easily solved by reducing the output on the limiter by 0.38dB, giving a true peak of -0.01dBTP.

Want To See More Songs Decoded?

 This blog post is one of 40 chapters in ‘How Pros Make Hits’, an eBook created by Mastering The Mix. Music surrounds us. It’s everywhere. Your music has the potential to connect with millions of people. Don’t produce another second of music without first learning how these pros did it to give yourself the best chance of success. Visit the How Pros Make Hits webpage to download 5 free chapters now.

Make your mark with Pro Tools

Create music or sound for film/TV and connect with a premier network of artists, producers, and mixers around the world.




Mix, Record, and Create with ProFXv3

Mackie has recently updated their popular ProFX Series Professional Effects Mixers with USB to the all-new ProFXv3 Series. This mixer series is rooted in Mackie’s history of creating affordable, built-like-a-tank mixers that don’t sacrifice on sound quality. This update to the series offers big upgrades to the analog circuitry, built-in effects, recording quality and more. Ranging from 6 to 30 channels, these mixers are perfect for those looking for a professional, versatile mixing setup without breaking the bank.

With Our Powers Combined

New for the Mackie brand, is their partnership with Avid Pro Tools | First, a powerful DAW for recording, mixing, music production, and beyond, and is now included with every ProFXv3 purchase as well as several Mackie products. The built-in plugins within Pro Tools | First are powerful, but we wanted to sweeten the deal by including the Mackie exclusive Musician Collection™ plug-in bundle. This adds 23 great Avid plug-ins to your library. A huge selection of pedals, effects, and creative plug-ins open up endless possibilities. Included in the exclusive bundle is the legendary 304E EQ and 304C Compressor, both great for helping to elevate your mixes to that finished feel.

Walking the Signal Path

Not all mic preamps are created equal. Mackie’s Onyx Mic preamps were designed to rival those found in some of the most expensive gear out there. Lower output dynamic microphones will shine thanks to the up to 60dB of gain on tap and 128.5dB of dynamic range. And with ultra-low distortion, anything you plug in will sound squeaky clean. Worried about noise? Rest easy. Mackie’s custom M-80 op-amps and premium circuitry keep your signal path quiet and transparent.

 

Mix

ProFXv3 packs in a massive mixing toolkit to shape your sound and get it where you need it. 3-band channel EQs provide precise tone-shaping. Built-in channel compressors help keep those levels in check, essential for both live performance and in the studio. Back-lit Mute switches and high-resolution meters keep you informed of active channels and levels. Routing to Subgroups and Aux Sends are easy with brightly colored knobs and per-channel routing switches. Choosing from the 24 different high-quality GigFX™ effects is simple with a single knob interface.

Record

The built-in 2×4 interface allows the main mix to be sent straight into Pro Tools | First at up to 24-Bit 192 kHz quality. With a dedicated blend control, you can easily choose between direct, zero-latency monitoring and your computer’s output, or a mix of the two. This is perfect for recording your live mix, tracking your next hit at home, or even live streaming. The ‘4’ in 2×4 means you can create two separate mixes in Pro Tools to send out to your ProFXv3 mixer. 1/2 will always be your monitoring mix that is sent to the headphone output on the mixer, this can be blended with a direct hardware signal for easy latency-free monitoring, great for recording over a pre-recorded track. 3/4 is always sent directly into a channel strip so you can route the audio anywhere you need it.

 

Create

Content creator is a job title that is becoming more and more common these days and ProFX Series mixers have become a go-to centerpiece for many setups for years. Having a real, high-quality mixer not only ensures optimal sound quality for your audience, but also makes on-the-fly adjustments quick and easy. It’s always fun having a huge Delay+Reverb ready to go when you want to add a little drama to your stream. With all of your mixing, EQ, compression, and effects taken care of by the mixer, you can free up your computer’s processing power to take on other tasks.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the awesome things you can accomplish with a ProFXv3 mixer and Pro Tools | First.

Want to learn more about ProFXv3? Check them out at Mackie.com/ProFXv3. For a complete list of Mackie products that now include Pro Tools | First and the Musician Collection plug-in bundle, please go to mackie.com/blog/mackie-partners-pro-tools-first.

Pro Tools | First

Get started with composing, recording, editing, and mixing music with a free version of Pro Tools, the industry’s most trusted and used DAW.




We’re Back at IBC with New Must-See Products and Refreshed Features

IBC 2019 is upon us, and Avid is excited to unveil significant solutions for media producers of all kinds, with several exciting new products and features to showcase. And, for the first time at IBC, you can get in-depth training on several Avid products that will help you get the job done better than ever.

So where can you find us September 13th-17th? We snagged space at Stand 7.B55 just like last year, with the Avid Training Room located near Hall 3 in room G103—and we’re bringing the goods to both spots.

“At IBC 2019, we will be featuring the Avid MediaCentral platform, debuting new tools that help boost their brands, beat the competition, and expand their monetization opportunities by being the first to deliver compelling content to multiple digital platforms,” says Ray Thompson, Director of Market Solutions for Broadcast and Media at Avid. “The new Media Composer will make its European debut too, highlighting the new UI and significant platform enhancements like distributed processing.”

In addition, Avid will showcase advancements for the S-series mixing consoles, new graphics capabilities with our Maestro Graphics product line-up, new cloud storage and other Avid NEXIS software-defined storage advancements, new ingest and playout capabilities with FastServe video servers, and, last but not least, new cloud SaaS offerings. That’s a lot of forward-thinking tech all at one show.

 

Learn from powerhouse users and specialists

Grab the ultimate IBC swag: some new skills. Get a sneak peek of game-changing solutions for on-premises and cloud workflows, and don’t miss our robust lineup of hands-on training sessions. It’s your chance to dig in and learn the ropes with experts. Psst: register fast before these sessions fill up!

 

REGISTER NOW

 

IBC has a surplus of talented speakers, but if you’re interested in audio and video editing for film you can’t miss our sessions: Music editor Andy Patterson and Oscar-winning editor Chris Dickens will be on hand to talk about how they helped create the 2019 musical masterpiece Rocketman.

Avid’s Ray Thompson is joining an IBC panel on Broadcast Production in the Cloud on Sunday, to discuss how broadcasters are accelerating the production of breaking news and live events with SRT Hub and Microsoft cloud services.

We’ll also have Avid’s audio product evangelist Greg Chin at IBC to speak about new developments in audio production tools and techniques that enable content producers to capitalize on the creative power of immersive audio, while overcoming production bottlenecks.

Kick off your IBC experience by grabbing a seat before they start!

Chris Dickens, Editor of Rocketman

Andy Patterson, Music Editor of Rocketman

Greg Chin, Avid Audio Product Evangelist

Raymond Thompson, Avid Director Broadcast and Media Solutions Marketing

Rocketman: The story of the music

Paramount’s 2019 musical hit has the genius of Elton John’s music telling his epic story through the voice of Taron Egerton. Music editor Andy Patterson will be on stage with Avid’s Matt Feury to take the Big Screen audience through a musical masterclass.

Date: September 13, 2019
Time: 7:45 – 8:30 AM
Location: Auditorium

 

Rocketman: The story of the edit

Join Oscar-winning editor Chris Dickens as he talks with Avid’s Matt Feury about how he helped create the true fantasy of shy piano prodigy turned international superstar in Dexter Fletcher’s acclaimed biographic musical.

Date: September 13, 2019
Time: 8:45 – 9:30 AM
Location: Auditorium

 

Native immersive audio production: captivating the modern viewer

Avid’s audio product evangelist, Greg Chin, will present best practices for native immersive audio production, from sound design and mixing to distribution.

Date: September 15, 2019
Time: 11:00 – 11:20 AM
Location: The IABM Future Zone Theatre (Hall 8, Stand F40)

 

Broadcast Production in the Cloud with SRT Hub & Microsoft Azure

This panel session will feature broadcasters and Microsoft Azure ecosystem partners as they discuss their challenges and how SRT Hub addresses them.

Date: September 15, 2019
Time: 4 PM
Location: Room G104

 

Lead the pack when technology shifts

When news breaks, championships kick off, or creative inspiration strikes, it’s all about staying one step ahead of the competition. We adapt quickly so that you can too.

“New technologies like AI and machine learning, cloud, IP, UHD and HDR, social and OTT delivery platforms–to name a few–offer a significant amount of flexibility, scalability (cloud), and reliability. This enables companies to attack new opportunities in new ways that achieve the goals of higher efficiency, delivering more with less, all while driving new revenue streams from digital platforms.”

Whether you have questions, feedback, or you’re just curious about emerging tech in media production, we want to meet you at IBC! Gain some valuable face time and chat with us about the essential solutions needed to meet these everyday challenges, and hurdles that are on the horizon.

Can’t make it to Amsterdam? No problem. Watch our social media feeds for live videos, the latest photos, and exciting tidbits from the show! We’re also hosting a few contests and giveaways where you can win really cool prizes. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, and watch the hashtags #Avid and #IBC2019 so that you don’t miss a beat.