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How to Switch From Your Current Music Distributor to AvidPlay

Looking to move away from CD Baby, DistroKid, Ditto, or another distributor to AvidPlay? Here’s what you need to do to move your current releases without disruption, while also maintaining all of your streaming statistics.

First, you’ll need to log in to your current distributor account and gather these details:

  • EAN/UPC associated with your released album(s)
  • ISRC associated with track(s)

If you’re unsure about how to go about this, you can reach out to the distributor who’ll be able to offer guidance on how to find these details. Ensure that you have all details associated with the album(s) exactly as they were initially entered; title, genre, artist, etc. This will help to ensure all stats associated with the release will still be available to you once the product is distributed through AvidPlay.

Now that you have all of your information, you can begin to takedown your releases from your current distributor. If your distributor allows you to takedown the releases yourself go ahead and do that, or request that they do it for you.

Once you’ve confirmed the releases have been removed from stores and streaming services you can create your AvidPlay account, if you haven’t already, and go ahead and redistribute your music.

You can purchase an AvidPlay plan here.

If you follow the process outlined you will be able to find the grand total of streams for all track-linked versions on relevant services such as Spotify (through Spotify for Artists).

We look forward to having you as a part of the AvidPlay family.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.




How One Ohio Sound Engineer Is Building a Freelance Business Just by Using One App

“Just like everyone, I started with an instrument and a hope and a dream,” says sound engineer Tony Cray. Spurred by a love of Nirvana (weren’t we all in the 90s?), Tony picked up a guitar at 14, which led to an interest in the recording arts at 17 because “I really just wanted to make my own guitar sound better.”

Tony convinced his dad to help him convert their garage into a home recording studio; it was built on Mbox 2, Pro Tools 6 “and a really crappy mixer” to help augment the two-channel Mbox. Twenty years later, engineering is his career: he’s an audio engineer/producer at Sonic Lounge Studios and a live sound engineer at Rock City Church, both in his native Columbus, while building a freelance audio business on the side.

This is the sort of guy who lives and breathes music, who sweats riffs and has rhythm running through his veins. The kind of guy who wants to help his community because he loves what he does so much. He is surrounded by the audio arts at every waking minute – and, let’s face it, probably the not-awake ones too.

“Sometimes your studio is where you want to record songs and sometimes it’s a lab where you experiment,” he says. “I treat mine as a place to push boundaries and see what could happen without scrutiny.”

So when Tony wanted to build out his freelance engineering business, he needed to connect with the sorts of people who took the art of music seriously, who wanted to collaborate and experiment and see what happened. That’s why he joined the Avid Link community.

Four things Tony Cray can now do thanks to Avid Link

“I hadn’t even had a chance to properly use Avid Link before people contacted me asking if I could help,” he says. “My friends all started using it for projects and as a form of communication. It helps us stay in tight synchronicity with projects…. It’s so easy and it’s all just right there, all my favorite software. I don’t have to go anywhere else.”

Here are just a few ways Avid Link has transformed Tony’s business.

 

1. Collaborate better – especially on big projects

“Before Avid Link, if we collaborated at all it would be with Dropbox. It would be convoluted and kind of sloppy or not as streamlined as it should be. Lots of things would get lost or not sent right. Otherwise, we’d have to do it in person – but if you’re in the room with more than one engineer, only one person can use the computer at a time.

“Before Avid Link, if we collaborated at all it would be with Dropbox. It would be convoluted and kind of sloppy or not as streamlined as it should be. [With Avid Link] people on both ends of the computer can make moves at the same time without stepping on each other’s toes. You can have dialogue in-app, using your phone.”

—Tony Cray, sound engineer

2. Access an audit trail of all correspondence in one place

“Artists I’m working with can be on their phone leaving me real-time notes, whether they’re here or somewhere else; they don’t have to stop what they’re doing to log into what I’m doing. Normally when you collaborate, you’d go back and forth with emails and text messages, which can get confusing if you’re working on a project for any length of time and you need to find certain details. With Avid Link, all that stuff is consolidated in one place. You never have to track it down.

“My friend and colleague, Dennis Belisle, is a keyboard player and music producer for Rio Revolution Church in Tennessee. We recorded 12 songs for his church, in the vein of a Hillsong sound or vibe. These sessions are really big – probably 70, 80 tracks each – but we’ve used Avid Link exclusively to keep the correspondence with his entire project. It’s such a great way to do it because you can ensure whatever you’re sending is getting where it needs to go, and you have an open dialogue the entire time. You don’t have to try to remember what someone said about a part or a section. It’s there.”

3. Discover new collaborators

“There’s a gentleman, his stage name is Overtime Sims, he met me on Avid Link and sent me a few songs that needed mixed and mastered. He’s in Kansas, but it was like we were sitting right next to each other. It was seamless, nothing about it was convoluted or difficult. It was just super streamlined and easy. It seemed like we’d been working together for years by the time we were done with his projects because of how fluid it was using the Avid products.

“You can find and talk to the people that you want to work with, too. You can just go through a list Find Talent where you can scroll through, read people’s credentials and say, ‘ooh I would like you to team with this keyboard player in Tokyo, he sounds interesting’. You can leave him a message right there and build a dialogue.”

 

4. Take his career to the next level

“It’s enabling you to take your creativity even further and it’s growing. I would never be able to accomplish anything I’m doing musically without Avid – without their products I would be dead in the water, honestly.

“My freelance capabilities were very staggered and hindered until I got on Avid Link, even doing this for as long as I have been. Audio engineering can be similar to being a barber or a painter – normally it’s word of mouth that gets you business. Hey, so-and-so is pretty good at this, you should try their service.

 

Connect with creatives and build your own network

Avid Link is a creative community for connecting with other creatives, promote your work and get discovered, and purchase and manage products, all in one interface.

While Tony has been a Pro Tools enthusiast for two decades, you don’t have to be a user of Avid’s technologies to make the most of Avid Link. Just set up a profile, and start connecting, conversing – and creating.

Introducing Avid Link

Avid Link is a free app for anyone looking to find, connect, and collaborate with other creatives, promote your work and get discovered, and purchase and manage products—all in one interface.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.




Kris Siegers Chooses AvidPlay to Distribute his Music to Streaming Services Worldwide

When I first saw that Avid was entering the digital distribution market, I wondered what they could possibly bring to the table that was not already available with other similar companies that offer the same service.

I had been busy with my company Space Cabin Audio making drum expansion libraries for Platinum Samples drum virtual instrument Accent and in late 2019 I had finally had some time to write and release music again.  That is when the hunt for a distributor started.  I checked out all of them and decided that I would use AvidPlay.

I already had Avid Link installed with my Pro Tools subscription so I didn’t have to create another account, remember another password, or deal with a company that I had not dealt with in the past.  The price was also a major factor.  Other companies charge a lot more per year and if you need to make any changes with your release you have to email them and then wait for changes.  The other companies also leave monetization splits up to the artist.

With AvidPlay you are in complete control of every aspect of your release, from monetization splits, artwork, and even changing the data after release if you want.

Using AvidPlay was the most intuitive, well thought out release process I have ever used for digital distribution.  Here are the basic steps it took to release a track.  The entire process was completed in less than 15 minutes and my song was available the next day on most major streaming platforms.

 

Step 1

Go to the Avid Webstore and purchase an AvidPlay plan.  At first, I chose a single release, but as I plan to release more, I was simply able to update to the unlimited plan directly inside of Avid Link.

 

Step 2

Download and install Avid Link if you are not on a current Pro Tools Subscription, or if you are on a current subscription, simply open Avid Link.

 

Step 3

Log in to Avid Link with the same credentials as you use on the Avid website.  If you use Pro Tools, you already have this info, if you don’t use Pro Tools you will make an Avid Account when you purchase the AvidPlay subscription.

 

Step 4

Choose the Products tab on the left side of Avid Link, locate the AvidPlay product, then click the Dashboard button.

Step 5

Click the New Release button on the top right.

Step 6

Enter all the relevant information on the product details tab.  In this example, I am using the default AvidPlay label, but feel free to put your label here if you have one.  Pick your release date if you plan on releasing the song or album on a specific date.  Fill in the song name, artist name, then click Save and Next.

Step 7

Next add your artwork.  This is one of my favorite parts of AvidPlay.  All of the info you need is displayed easily and concisely.  So many artists these days wear every hat in the project.  From producer/engineer, promoter, and yes, even graphic designer.  This page lets you know everything you need to do.  From file type to pixel size.  Drag your artwork in and let it upload. I use both Photoshop and Affinity Pro for this purpose, but you can use any program you want as long as it lets you set the size to 4000 x 4000 pixels and save it to a supported format.  So simple. Then click save and next.

Step 8

Drag and drop your audio file onto the window and wait for it to upload.  I suggest uploading the suggested 16 bit 44.1kHz audio file, but you are allowed to use other audio file formats if you choose.  They suggest to name the audio file as you want it to appear, but you can change that after upload if you wish.  Once the file is uploaded, preview it inside of the app to make sure it plays correctly.  Often times we get in a rush and forget this final critical step only to notice something later.  Either way, even if you do, you can change this audio file at any time inside of the AvidPlay app.

Step 9

The track details tab.  Fill in all relevant info and then click Save or Save and Distribute.

I have included an image from the first track I released with AvidPlay as an example of what is in this tab.

As you can see in the image below this is very well thought out.  You can add the lyrics, set up payment splits, put in performing rights info, add credits for everyone involved, the genre, and pretty much anything else that needs to be done.  This step is what really sold me on using AvidPlay as a way to release my music.

If you are like me and play every single role in your project, then AvidPlay is most likely for you.  In nine simple steps, you are able to have your music available quickly on most streaming platforms.  Since Avid is adding more platforms all the time your music will automatically go to them as long as you choose to add new platforms by default.

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.




How to Pitch Your Music to Spotify Playlist Curators

With the introduction of AvidPlay, which makes it simple to get your music on popular streaming services around the world, it’s important to make sure you’re giving yourself every advantage to have your music reach your intended audience—allowing you to grow your fanbase. Here’s a quick walkthrough on how to give your music a chance to make it into some of the most popular Spotify playlists.

 

Step 1: Purchase an AvidPlay subscription

AvidPlay is a simple way to stream and sell your music around the world. Keep 100% of your revenue and rights, get shareable links to grow your fanbase, and even split earnings automatically with bandmates. AvidPlay enables you to get your next release on Spotify, which is the first step to being able to pitch Spotify playlist curators.

Purchase a plan here

 

Step 2: Release music to Spotify

When setting up your release, select Spotify as a distribution option, and set the release date for at least a month out. This will ensure that Spotify has time to recognize your release and give you enough time to claim your Spotify artist profile through Spotify for Artists.

 

Step 3: Claim your Spotify profile

In order to get access to pitching your music to Spotify playlist curators, you need to claim your Spotify for Artists profile. Doing this will allow you to customize your profile appearance, give you access to in depth Spotify streaming stats, and let you choose which upcoming releases you want to pitch. In order to claim your profile, you will need to provide a few of your social or webpage links to verify your identity.

 

Step 4: Pitch your music

Once you have claimed your Spotify for Artists profile. Navigate to your account, select the Music tab and select Upcoming. Here, you’ll see your soon to be released albums and singles, which can now be pitched to Spotify playlist curators. Spotify has a ton of different playlist options that fit any style, genre, or mood.

Do some research and figure out a playlist that your music would be a good fit for. While filling out the form for submitting your track, you’ll be asked to suggest a playlist that you think your music would a good fit for, so do some research and find a good option. Getting included in any of Spotify’s playlists can be a huge boost to growing your fanbase and gaining followers.

Good luck!

Stream and Sell Your Music With AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, YouTube Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.




What’s New — AvidPlay 2020.1

Since its launch, Avid Link continues to enable creators of all types to connect and collaborate with each other on a global scale, help them to keep their Avid applications up to date easily and efficiently, allow them to find, purchase, and update licensing and installing of Avid and 3rd party products, plug-ins, and services, and expand their creative opportunities.  With steady growth of approximately 2000 users being added each day and more than 370,000 new members in the community, the potential for Avid Link users continues to rise.

AvidPlay, launched in the summer of 2019, is a key, integrated service, embedded within Avid Link, designed to offer music creators a simple and streamlined way to distribute their music to many of the major streaming platforms, worldwide, at an affordable cost.  Users keep 100% of their music rights, and earnings.  AvidPlay also offers more opportunities for users to be discovered in the Avid Link community, via the Lounges, and gives users the ability to manage their releases right from their desktop or mobile device.

Every new year brings new opportunities, and AvidPlay is primed and ready to help enable users with even more choices when it comes to streaming platform options, plans, and ways to share their music with their audience.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the new features and benefits now available in AvidPlay in this new release!

 

Distribution Service Additions

AvidPlay already connects users with many of the world’s most popular streaming services, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, and so much more.  With this new release, we’ve added Apple Music and TikTok to the list.  The addition of these two services is a huge win for users who wish to reach the maximum number of listeners and potential new fans across the world.  Apple Music boasts a user base of 60 million customers, all hungry for new music and artists to discover and listen to.  The addition of TikTok, gives users a gateway to more than 500 million active users.  Users just might find their music being used in one of the many hilarious and trending memes and videos the service is best known for.  Remember, AvidPlay users keep 100% of their earnings and rights!

Sharing

The core tenant of AvidPlay is to allow artists and musicians to share their work with the world.  We’ve made this even easier in this version of AvidPlay, with the addition of the ability to share via social media, in the Releases section.  Once a release is live and distributed, users will now see a “share” icon, underneath each release.  Clicking that icon will automatically generate a URL link that can be copied into the user’s social media site of their choice.  It’s one more way that creators can use AvidPlay to reach their audience in a quick and easy way.

New Plan Choices

AvidPlay has always strived to offer amazing value and affordable plans, made to help users maximize their ability to grow their audience and income, without breaking the bank.  Plans start at just $5 per year, with options for releasing anything from a single track or an entire album.  With this new version of AvidPlay, unlimited releases and lifetime plans have been added for tracks and albums, starting at just $9.99.  Users now have even more choice to find the plan that works for them and more flexibility to upgrade as their fanbase grows.

The release of Avid Link 2020.1, with the additional choices and benefits available to customers in AvidPlay, sets the stage for an exciting year for our customers.  There’s more planned, and we couldn’t be more excited to see and hear what our users will create and share with the world.  If you’re not yet an Avid Link user, there’s no better time to join.  Visit The Avid Link site , or download on your iOS or Android device, and start your journey now!

Distribute music with AvidPlay

Distribute your music on Spotify, Apple Music, Anghami, and dozens of other major streaming services around the world. Plus, keep 100% of your rights and earnings.




Create in the New Year with Avid Link

Over the past year Avid Link has grown into a flourishing community for creators looking to collaborate, polish their craft, and enhance their careers and skills. We’ve been thrilled with the way creators of all types have taken to Avid Link and seeing our original vision of creating a new home for creators become what it is today has been inspiring. With one year under our belt, we’re looking to bring even more great features to you that will help you take your craft even further. Here’s a look at what’s new and available right now for the new year in Avid Link.

 

Endorsements

If you’ve been participating in the community by helping other users or joining in on some collaborations, take some time to endorse the talents and skills listed in their profiles. This new feature will allow you to gain recognition and credibility for the skills you include in your profile, by allowing other users to vouch for you in the form of an endorsement.

Share your work to Lounges

Lounges has grown into a great place for creators to give and get feedback on what they’re working on, and also to find collaborators to work with. Now, you can share tracks, videos, and scores in your portfolio directly to your posts with ease. When creating your post, click on the ‘Add Content’ drop down and select ‘Add Portfolio Item(s)’. This will bring up a list of all of the content uploaded to your portfolio that you will be able to include in an integrated player with your post.

Manage all of your products with greater ease

There are big improvements coming to Avid Link that will simplify the way you manage all of your software, add-ons, and included products as well. In the latest version of Avid Link, all of your products that appear in your My Avid account, will now appear in the products tab of Avid Link where we’ve made enhancements to installing, managing, and redeeming anything you have an entitlement for. We’ve also cleaned up the presentation of the Products tab by organizing all of your add-ons and included products within the software it is related to.

Avid Link

Avid Link is a free app for anyone looking to find, connect, and collaborate with other creatives, promote your work and get discovered, and purchase and manage products—all in one interface.




Folder Tracks Coming Soon to Pro Tools 2020

A new year is upon us.  And with the new year brings new opportunities to create and share with others. With that in mind, coming soon, the first Pro Tools update for 2020 will bring one of the most highly requested and anticipated features to the world’s industry-standard DAW. We’re live at NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, where Pro Tools 2020 is being previewed to the public for the very first time!  Let’s take a quick look at what the first Pro Tools release in 2020 has in store.

 

Folder Tracks Is Upon Us

The first Pro Tools update for 2020 brings one of the most highly requested and anticipated features…Folder Tracks!  This feature, along with its many possible workflows is one that positively affects and helps Pro Tools users from all types.  Whether you’re writing, recording, editing, or mixing, efficiency and organization is essential to stay focused on getting your ideas down and sounding their best.  During the process of creation, editing, and mixing, sessions can get quite complicated and difficult to manage, even small track count sessions can become unwieldly, depending on the amount of work being done.  This is where Folder Tracks comes into play.

Folder Tracks allows Pro Tools users the ability to take command of their sessions by organizing tracks into visual, collapsible folders.  This ability creates a more streamlined, organized arrangement on screen, helping to remove the distraction that having to scroll through numerous tracks can bring.  Folder Tracks enhances session management to new heights.

At launch, here are just some of what you’ll be able to do with Folder Tracks in your session:

  • Organize tracks into collapsible folders (up to 8 layers)
  • Drag-and-drop tracks into folders with ease
  • Color-code folders
  • Edit the folder itself, thereby automatically editing the “member” tracks simultaneously
  • Basic Folder Track Functions: include reordering tracks in and out of folders, open/close folders, and propagation of show/hide and active/inactive actions to member tracks.
  • Routing Folder Tracks: allows audio signals to be routed through the folder for stem mix workflows. All Aux track functions, including inserts, sends, and automation are available on Routing Folders. Optionally, selected tracks can be automatically routed when moved into a new Routing Folder.
  • Editing: Edit selections made on folders are propagated to their member tracks, allowing one to easily edit clips across all member tracks. On open folders, all edit commands that are currently available on multi-track selections are allowed; A smaller core set of edit commands are available on closed folders and will allow users to perform many useful edits without having to open folders.
  • Track Presets: Folders with their nested members can be saved and imported as Track Presets, expanding the already powerful feature.
  • Backward Compatibility: When sessions with folders are opened in Pro Tools versions earlier than 2020.R1, Routing Folders turn into AUX tracks, while Basic Folders are simply dropped. Nesting is flattened.

 

Even just a quick overview of these Folder Track options, it’s easy to see how any Pro Tools user can start utilizing this amazing feature to manage their sessions, increasing efficiency through organization, all in the name of keeping every user in their most creative and focused mode.  There will be an abundance of ways to incorporate Folder Tracks into your workflow.  Here are a couple of basic examples showing how one might incorporate Folder Tracks into their workflow.

 

Folder Tracks for Music

The simplest, yet most powerful example of using Folder Tracks in a music session is using folders to organize your tracks by type.  For instance, in the example photo below, you’ll see that tracks are organized into folders, based on the track type.  Lead vocal tracks live in the hot pink folder titled “Vox Lead folder”.  You’ll notice that the Track UI is now a bit different, with icons on the bottom left of the track information area, indicating that this is a folder.  Additionally, you’ll notice the UI change above the folder title, as well as the same color around a thin border across the track information and additional track modules (Inserts, Sends, I/O, Real Time Properties, etc…).  This all exists to ensure that you’ll easily be able to distinguish a track from a folder.  Looking into the main edit/arrange area, you’ll notice that a visual representation of all the tracks that exist in the folder.  In the example below, you’ll notice that the green “Horns folder” has 4 separately colored tracks, living in this folder.  Remember, folders can also be saved and recalled as Track Presets!   Elegantly simple, powerful, efficient.  That’s the beauty of Folder Tracks!

Folder Tracks for Audio Post

If you’re in the world of audio post, you stand to reap enormous benefits using Folder Tracks in your sessions.  By their very nature, audio post sessions tend to get large rather quickly.  Using Folder Tracks in Pro Tools | Ultimate, an audio post user can easily build a scene by grouping related tracks together and mange functions such as signal flow, mutes, and sends, all through a routing folder.  Also available in Pro Tools | Ultimate is the ability to navigate a large session easily by consolidating numerous tracks in the mix and edit windows.  Audio post users can organize different types of tracks including scenes, sound design, dialogue, and any other audio elements, logically, according to the user’s desire.

I Want My Folder Tracks!

The addition of Folder Tracks has been the most requested features, across all Pro Tools users, and we are incredibly excited to bring it to Pro Tools 2020.  It’s on preview at NAMM 2020 now, and is coming soon!  2020 will be an exciting year for Avid audio, and we look forward to hearing and seeing how our community utilizes this amazing feature!  Of course, don’t forget to always check your system and OS requirements before installing any new version of software!  Happy new year and check back for more soon!

Empowering Inspired Artists

When inspiration strikes, nothing empowers your creativity like Pro Tools. That’s why top artists, musicians, and audio professionals choose it for everything they do.




Introducing Pro Tools | MTRX Studio

With the continued evolution of digital audio, artists, producers, editors, and creators are enabled to do more than ever.  With this freedom and open floodgate come larger sessions and bigger projects.  However, budgets continue to decline, leaving smaller facilities and independent professionals in a bind.  The need for flexible audio routing, utilization of varying audio inputs and outputs, and the ability to efficiently deliver different mix formats, have all become important pieces to consider, keeping the quality of deliverables high, while maintaining shrinking budgets.

 

Your studio centerpiece

Enter, Pro Tools | MTRX Studio ($4,999 USD MSRP), the latest addition to the MTRX audio interface family.  Created, in partnership with Digital Audio Denmark, Pro Tools | MTRX Studio combines high-quality I/O, extensive routing possibilities, and extensive monitoring capabilities in a single 1U rackspace. It’s your studio centerpiece, ideal for pro music and audio post facilities and studios of all sizes.  Let’s take a quick look at what this small but powerful single 1U rack-mountable unit is capable of.

Connection Is Key

The Pro Tools | MTRX Studio features ample and flexible connectivity.  Whether you’re connecting analogue or digital signals, the Pro Tools | MTRX Studio makes it easy to connect and consolidate all your outboard gear and desired connections.  18 channels of analogue I/O are ready to accept a wide array of instruments, microphones, speakers, processors, and other outboard devices.  Digital connectivity features DigiLink, 64 channels of Dante, and ADAT, making it easy to combine and simplify your signal chain.

Take full monitor control

In addition to all the audio signal connection possibilities, Pro Tools | MTRX Studio utilizes the DADman control software to assist in routing, creating, and recalling monitor profiles. MTRX Studio also delivers SPQ speaker calibration, built directly into the box—something sold separately for the larger MTRX—so users will be able to recall monitor profiles along with speaker tuning settings.

Power You Can Hear, Power You Can Feel

When the first Pro Tools | MTRX launched, it was quickly lauded for the pristine quality of its converters and incredible imaging.  The Pro Tools | MTRX Studio likewise delivers converters and mic pres designed by DAD. And when paired with a Pro Tools | HDX or HD Native system, ultra-low latency allows musicians and voice over artists to record and capture their performances with complete confidence.

 

Mix and monitor Dolby Atmos

With its 64 channels of Dante, and 18 channels of analogue I/O, Pro Tools | MTRX Studio is ready to tackle immersive sound for audio post and music.  It can monitor up to 7.1.4 and above and can interface with a Dolby Atmos renderer.  Additionally, the inclusion of SPQ speaker calibration ensures that your monitoring space will provide an accurate listening environment for just about any speaker format.

Enter The MTRX

We’ve just scratched the surface of what Pro Tools | MTRX Studio is capable of.  There’s much more to discover about this amazing new addition to the MTRX family. Pro Tools | MTRX Studio is being previewed at NAMM 2020 in Anaheim and will be available soon!  Be sure to check avid.com/mtrx-studio for more information!

Pro Tools | MTRX Studio

Bring creative efficiency to your studio with integrated I/O, monitoring, and routing in one. With Pro Tools | MTRX Studio, you can simplify your signal flow, route any input to any output, get the lowest latency with Pro Tools | HDX, and outfit any room for Dolby Atmos mixing.




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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What’s New in Sibelius — December 2019

We’re really pleased to announce the release and immediate availability of our December ‘19 release of Sibelius. This new version is available to all those with current subscriptions and active Update and Support plans. If you can’t wait, you can get the update via Avid Link or download the latest installer from your account.

If you’re running an older version and looking to upgrade, you can grab the upgrade with a discount up to 50% regular price, available until the end of 2019. Options, including a 60% off crossgrade to a subscription, can be found on the Avid.com website.

If you’re new to Sibelius, you can download the 30-day trial to try out all these amazing new improvements.

This upgrade spans several areas of the program, so let’s jump in:

Accessibility

Avid and Berklee College of Music are proud to be working together to bring improvements across the Sibelius product line for visually impaired users. The bulk of the work so far has been to bring parity between the various common screen readers NVDA, Narrator, VoiceOver and JAWS. Our releases in November ’18, and in September ’19 covered much of the staff objects in the score, and this December release focuses on a good collection of improvements to make much of the UI (user interface) accessible to these popular screen readers. This is no mean feat since Sibelius is such a large application with several different interfaces, so kudos to the development team for tackling such a large undertaking.

I had the pleasure of attending the Accessibility Panel at the Audio Development Conference in November where we discussed many of the challenges and new solutions to developing applications across a wide range of devices. If you have time, I thoroughly recommend you watch the recording:

The premise of these improvements has not just been to read what’s on the screen, but to add contextual detail too. It’s these details that make the difference to any implementation of accessibility – much like a sighted person helping a blind person down a flight of stairs; it’s not much help telling them that there are some stairs there… Where do the stairs begin? How many stairs are there? Which direction do they go? Is there a hand rail? Context is just as important to help navigation. The next time you’re at a road crossing (in the UK, at least) look down and you’ll notice tactile paving on the pavement. These have been specifically designed to tell visually impaired pedestrians that there’s a crossing there and where the road is. Oh, and don’t forget about “The Secret button” at pedestrian crossings too!

Augmentations have been made to household items and public services all over the world to help those with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and blindness and there’s so much more to be done. We’re doing our small bit in Sibelius to help blind musicians become more independent and composer and produce music without the need for sighted assistance.

When Sibelius starts up, you’ll now hear your screen reader announce the version of Sibelius (which our beta testers have found incredibly useful). The Quick Start is the first window to appear, with a list of Manuscript Papers to choose from. Using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, you can navigate around the dialog to choose which template to start with. If you’re itching to write music, press Return and you’re ready to go. If, however, you need to choose the paper size, add or remove instruments, set the initial Time Signature and Key, press Space and this will open up a separate pane to start customising the score. Tabbing through this dialog will announce the items as you choose them, for example:

“Document Setup” → “A4, Combo box, Down” and as you press down, it’ll say the new page size, as well as how many other options there are in the list. Continuing to tab through this dialog will help you set the score up just how you need it, with the Title, Composer and so on. Tab a few more times and you’ll get to the Create button. Press Return and you’re in the score.

Selecting Staff objects and inputting notes has not changed in this release, however navigating around the Ribbon toolbar and features has.

In summary:

 

  • Renewed support for Narrator, NVDA, VoiceOver and JAWS – those hanging onto Sibelius 5 can now upgrade!
  • The Lines, Symbols and Notehead galleries are spoken once more. The main improvements to the galleries are on Windows, however you should find the Ribbon is easier to navigate on macOS now too as the names of each Ribbon tab should now be announced.
  • Sibelius now announces any notehead type to screen readers (keyboard accessible via: ALT + SHIFT + [0-22] )
    • Note: for shortcut numbers greater than 9, quickly enter the digits in order. For example, for small noteheads (ALT + SHIFT + 10), simply hold ALT and SHIFT and quickly type ‘1’ followed by ‘0’.
  • The Quick Access and Status Bar buttons are now accessible
  • The Quick Start and creating a new score is much improved. The Time Signatures and Key Signatures lists are accessible.
  • It’s now possible to navigate the Preferences window with VoiceOver
  • VoiceOver now announces the Ribbon buttons for drop-down menus
  • Manuscript Paper names are now read when navigating the Quick Start with arrow keys

 

As mentioned, we aren’t done with the accessibility improvements in Sibelius and have another 6 months of work with Berklee to bring you improvements that span the whole range of sight loss. If you’re at the NAMM Show in Anaheim in January, we’ll be running our annual Accessibility Panel and have plenty more to show you on the Avid booth too. If you’re around, please stop by and say Hi!

 

Further improvements in Sibelius

This release isn’t all about accessibility, so we’re pleased to be able to knuckle down on some other improvements and bug fixes. We performed a further update to the underlying infrastructure (Qt) too, which brings several improvements across the whole application.

 

In general

  • Pauses (fermatas) are no longer lost when changing a note to a rest
  • We’ve done a fresh round of profiling, so Sibelius should be slightly quicker when the Inspector is open
  • Sibelius no longer quits but leaves the Quick Start open after applying Close All command (Win only)
  • The check-boxes in the Multiple Part Appearance dialog are more reliable now
  • The Subscript/Superscript buttons in the Inspector are now more reliable too
  • In the Timecode and Duration dialog, “Start video at” now works once more
  • The Missing Fonts window no longer loses focus after opening the score from Recent Documents (Win only)

 

UI and UX

  • Keyboard shortcuts within the Word Menus are no longer truncated
  • The border around the File path in the MIDI Import page is no longer transparent
  • Text is no longer cut off in some dialogs (Mac only)
  • Fixed a problem with decimal places in dialogs when running Sibelius in any other language than English
  • The “Save changes” dialog no longer pops up behind the Sibelius window when closing multiple scores at once (Win)
  • Double tapping with the Surface Pro Pen now works once more in the Quick Start window
  • Video no longer plays back only in ‘full size’, no matter what size the video window was (Mac only)
  • The unnecessary padding around our floating tool windows (Keypad, Transport etc.) has been removed. This only affected computers with multiple monitors using different DPI settings.
  • The full list of Playback Configurations are now displayed in the dropdown when going to Play > Setup > Configuration
  • The score preview in the Quick Start dialog are now nice and sharp when using 150+% scaling on Windows or Retina on Mac

 

Printing and PDF Export

  • Printing now works well with all Windows Forms other than “built-in”.
  • It’s possible once more to set page layout in Document Setup and have the Print Preview correctly reflect this.
  • Changing the paper orientation in File > Print now also immediately updates the Print Preview and subsequently allows Sibelius to print correctly.
  • On macOS, it’s now possible to open the “OS dialog” in File > Print when there is no printer driver installed. Useful for saving a PDF to Preview, say.
  • Sibelius now better supports simplex (one-sided) and duplex (double-sided) printing. We had reports of some Cannon and Epsom printers always choosing duplex.
  • PDF Export is more accurate when using the Tahoma font on Mac
  • The Portrait/Landscape printing synchronization is no longer broken after you click OK in the Page Setup dialogue.
  • The problems with “Executive” paper size are fixed
  • Landscape / Portrait issues now work too for B4 and B5 paper sizes
  • 2 more scaling ratios have been added to Fit to paper: 141% and 71% (for A4 to A3 scaling, and vice-versa)

 

We’ve also made changes to the PDF Export functionality in the OS print dialog on Mac. The restriction we’ve had to work around is that it can only process one score or part, and Sibelius would get inundated with errors popping up (in 2018.11 and later). In this release, we have suppressed the error popups, and limited the dialog to only print or save the first score or part. This is a limitation in the way this dialog has been implemented by Qt, and not Sibelius. We’ll continue to work on improving this in the future. To export a PDF of the score and parts, the File > Export > PDF options are there, of course.

 

Stability

As with every release, we collect all the crash logs that are sent to us and do our best to fix them all. This release is no different:

  • Sibelius no longer crashes when automatically respacing music that’s in multiple voices.
  • Sibelius no longer crashes when creating a new composite Symbol
  • Export Audio/Video now ends if Loop mode is on and there is selection in the score
  • Sibelius no longer crashes when quitting from within the new MIDI Import page if the score was not saved
  • The QtWebEngine process no longer consumes a lot of CPU
  • We have enabled whole-program optimizations on Windows so you should find Sibelius is a little snappier than before

 

MIDI Import

Many thanks for all the great feedback on our recent Import MIDI features. If you missed them, you can read all about the MIDI Import feature here.

  • Sibelius now imports all tracks of a MIDI file more reliably. We now check the first chunk of the MIDI file, to know whether or not to consider it as meta data or musical data. Many thanks to Christoph Suesser for making us aware of the problem.
  • The behaviour of the Browse button within the MIDI Import Tab is now consistent with the File > Open workflow.
  • There’s a new shortcut to go straight to File > Import so that users can directly access the Import tab. You’ll find it in Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts > File tab, called “Import”.
  • Track names are now displayed more reliable in the new Import MIDI tab (compared with old Import MIDI process)
  • The score preview with Import > MIDI are no longer linked to the preview in File > Print
  • When allocating instruments to incoming MIDI tracks, the dropdown menu will no longer close after each mapping. This makes one-to-many mappings quicker and easier to do.
  • The Auto assign button now catches more obvious instrument matches
  • Switching between Import MIDI and other File tabs, no longer shows a warning message

 

Plugins

A number of our shipping plug-ins were not up to date with changes made to those available to download on Sibelius.com. We’ve been through and updated the following (in all localizations):

  • Nashville Chord Numbers
  • Split Bar
  • Export Folder As PDF Subfolder
  • Divide Durations
  • Combine Tied Notes And Rests
  • Add Capo Chord Symbols
  • Merge Bars

 

Important information: System Requirements

The good news is the latest versions of Sibelius run very well on the latest operating systems from both Windows and Apple.

macOS Catalina: Sibelius 2019.9 and 2019.12 are both fully supported. Sidecar also works well too, so feel free to give it a go if you have a compatible iPad. Sibelius 2018.11 – 2019.7 may work on Catalina, although haven’t been qualified. Anything earlier than that very likely won’t work due to the technology requirements Apple changed in Catalina. We encourage you to upgrade if you’re planning on using Sibelius on Catalina.

Windows 10: Sibelius, from v 8.0, runs well on Windows 10, so you’ll find Sibelius 2019.9 will also run really well.

However, there are some changes coming for older operating systems:

Sibelius 2019.9 was the last version of Sibelius to support Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan. If you are on these older versions, we recommend you upgrade to at least macOS 10.12 Sierra to continue to stay current with Sibelius.

On the Windows side, Microsoft will be dropping support for Windows 7 soon. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in January 2015, and extended support will end on January 14, 2020. This means we won’t be able to support any version of Sibelius on Windows 7 from then. To find out more about migrating to Windows 10, visit this page.

If you are using an older version of Sibelius and are looking to upgrade to macOS Catalina or Windows 10, we recommend to upgrade and stay current with the latest version Sibelius as well.

 

And that’s it! With over 80 changes in this release, we hope it’ll streamline your music creating workflows and we look forward to showing what else we’ve been working in the New Year.

Express yourself with Sibelius

Create beautiful, captivating scores more quickly than ever before with the world’s best selling notation software.