Archive for October, 2009

Top 3 Most Annoying Pro Tools 8 Bugs

Pro Tools: Love it or hate it? You be the judge after reading about these Pro Tools 8 bugs begging for a fix in the pending 8.0.3 update. Leave a comment with your own experiences.

  • Performing any of the following tasks WILL ERASE YOUR UNDO HISTORY.
  1. Duplicating a tracksendb4after.gif
  2. Removing a send
  3. Using either select unused regions command
  4. Splitting a stereo track to mono
  5. Deleting a track (even an empty track)
  • After using “Expand Alternates to New Playlists” or when using Playlist Lanes, there are soloing problems.   The main playlist solo conflicts with the alternate playlist solos: soloing the Comp Lane overrides the main playlist solo, even when the track view is switched back to waveform.
  • If using a C24 controller, the Sends buttons will not switch the sends view in Pro Tools necessitating a trip back to the mouse. This has been an issue with Pro Tools since the C24 was released in 2008 and especially disappointing since this feature worked on the Control 24 , the surface that the C24 replaced.

UPDATE: I had a message on my phone this morning from Avid Audio/Digidesign Technical Support about this post. The C24 issue I was having has been logged as a bug for a fix in the next update (most likely 8.0.4 since 8.0.3 is closed). The “remove a send, lose your Undo”  has been logged and will be fixed as will the other four which they actually said were designed to work that way. However, they did add them to the bug list as a “feature request” and are looking into getting them fixed. We are playing phone tag on the “Expand Alternates to New Playlist vs. Solo operation” bug which I clarified further in a phone message when I returned the call. This is awesome customer service by the way and I hope that they will follow through and be able to make Pro Tools work as it should based on customer input. We’ll keep you posted.

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Three Things You Didn’t Know About The U2 360º Tour

u2-foh-rack-gear-online-extra.jpg1. Bono and The Edge each have their own monitor engineer. Alistair McMillan and Niall Slevin mix on separate Digico SD7 consoles with dual engines running two identical mixes. If one console fails, the other engineer can mix from the second engine on the working console. Larry Mullen, Adam Clayton and below stage keyboardist Terry Lawless’ feeds are mixed by engineer Dave Skaff on one of two redundant Digidesign Profiles. Take a video tour of monitorland below.

u2-monitors.jpg2. Bono’s monitor chain is entirely analog to avoid latency back to his Future Sonics in-ear monitors. Monitor engineer Alistair McMillan uses TC2290 delays and a Bricasti M7 reverb for effects in Bono’s mix.

3. The vocal front end at FOH consists of a Manley VoxBox (Bono) and an Avalon 737 (The Edge). The reason there are two of each in the picture above is because the tour runs everything redundantly. For instance, at FOH there are two Digico SD7s running the show simultaneously, one with digital inputs and the other with analog inputs. If one fails, the show can be switched over to the other console in an instant.

For more info on the tour, be sure to read my Tour Profile in the upcoming December issue of Mix.

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DIY Audio Heaven

picture-1.jpgJust found a cool site from a company that designs and sells boutique style printed circuit boards of vintage audio recording equipment. Drip Electronics promises that the designs are true to the original schematics, and the prototypes are compared side by side to original vintage units. Most pcbs cost under $200. Check them out on Twitter

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Panning and Decapitation

Two of the coolest plug-ins at AES were from SoundToys, whose marketing director Mitch Thomas sported spiky purple hair especially for the event. PanMan, as the name suggests, is an auto-panner that makes your stereo field a creative destination for complex modulation. With PanMan’s user-programmable rhythm editor, MIDI sync and user-definable LFO shapes, you can set up stereo patterns that just weren’t possible until now.

Decapitator, as the name implies, has a potentially radical effect on audio signals. Decapitator is a saturation processor offering settings that range from slightly grungy to flat-out overdrive. It beefs up your sound by modeling five types of analog gear. Once you find a sound you like, clicking on the Punish button pushes it right over a cliff without losing any of its analog-sounding edge. SoundToys says that Panner and Decapitator should be available before the end of the year.

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Massenburg On file compression, distortion and music

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Ticket to Ride

Of all the products vying for the biggest buzz at Javits Center, the most labor-saving was almost certainly Vocal Rider, a new plug-in from Waves. Vocal Rider simplifies the job of mixing by automating the normally hands-on process of adjusting the faders on vocal tracks. Instead of manually riding the levels or painstakingly drawing automation data in your multitrack recording software, all you have to do is set a range of levels and let Vocal Rider do its work. It compensates for any variations from the target range, raising or lowering the volume as needed. That should leave a lot more time to focus on recording or other aspects of perfecting your mix.

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The State of Audio Production

picture-2.jpgInteresting article in the LA Times about the state of production in LA. Mix writer Maureen Droney of the NARAS P&E Wing among others are tapped for input. The Times is a bit late to the dance but still a good read.

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Guzauski-Swist Monitors

guzauski-swist-3ahorizontal.jpg

I just got back from AES in NY and saw a lot of great new gear. One of the best new offerings was offsite at Quad Studios on Times Square where I had the chance to critically listen to the new Guzauski-Swist 3-way active mid/near field speakers. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Mick and Larry in studio on a lot of mixes and these guys are both consummate pros who know their gear down to the design level. So it was no surprise that these speakers were among of the best I’ve heard. They had them mounted on the meter bridge of an SSL J 9080 and they rocked the room.

The system features a 12″ low resonance, long excursion driver in a sealed cabinet, a 3″ Dome ATC Midrange and a 1″ Morel Softdome Tweeter (the same used by DynAudio). 1500 Watts of class D amplification is included in a separate rack chassis. One of the more innovative design elements is an acoustically decoupled midrange/tweeter enclosure that is “hungâ€? from the woofer cabinet and isolated down to 6 Hz using a military grade isolation system Larry found in the UK. The decoupled enclosure design allows both vertical and horizontal driver alignments. Inputs can be analog or digital using state-of-the-art AD/DA converters and analog components. There is also integrated DSP with user definable room compensation equalization and delay adjustments. The system goes for $12k and is available directly from the manufacturer.

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HD Tracks

It seems that uncompressed delivery of singles and records is gaining momentum as more titles become available. Just ran into Norman Chesky of HD Tracks, and the company just signed a deal with Universal for content. $15.98 a record, $2.49 a track. Check it out. Not much more for a song as it should be heard.

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Rockin’ at the Roseland

API threw quite a 40th anniversary bash last night, locking out the Roseland Ballroom and flying in Sonny Landreth as the house band. Great food, monster playing, and this old hippie got to see Bob Weir join the band for “Maggie’s Farm” and “Little Red Rooster.” Brought back some fond memories of Dead tours. And Sonny can play. Smokin’.

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