Category: Avid

So for the second day of AES, I focused mainly on Avid and Portable recorders. Let’s talk about Avid first.

So ProTools 9 and tons of new fancy interfaces. This has probably been the most talked about topic amongst sound professionals for the past month. TONS of rumors floating around (many of them surprisingly true). So what’s the biggest news about PT9? No more LE and no more hardware! No hardware you say? YES! Shockingly (because I know Avid, not because of common sense), you don’t need to own ANY Avid (or Digi) hardware to run Pro Tools. Actually, you don’t need any hardware at all… you can run it straight off your laptop’s internal mic and headphones output if you’d like. It’s just that easy now.

Other cool news? You can have (almost) all of the functionality of PTHD in PT9 when you add on the CPTK (Complete Production Toolkit), which is a $2000 option. The CPTK does a number of useful things, including increasing your audio track count to 192, instrument tracks to 128, video tracks to 64 (why?), adds up to 7.1 surround mixing (yes, they took surround mixing away from the lower version of PT again…), VCA mixing, advanced automation, more TC options and a few other cools things.

PT9 adds a SMPTE timeline, OMF support, auto delay comp, 192k sampling rates, of course the universal hardware deal I’ve already mentioned, and a bunch of other nifty features. Finally, Pro Tools seems to be a piece of software that can meet (almost all of) my needs and doesn’t force me to use their hardware. I’ve been waiting for this one for a while.

Also – Eucon support. All Euphonix surfaces work delightfully well with Pro Tools (natively – not through HUI anymore.) Just be prepared to upgrade firmware and such to get the surfaces to play nice – but once they do – all is fine and dandy from there on out!

Now, is it stable? It appears to be so far. Despite the rush to deliver before AES and reports of a very buggy PT9 just weeks before shipping, I’ve heard very few complaints. Still, I would give it a few weeks at least to see if they keep that up.

Mbox 3 Family and MC Control

So lets talk hardware. Obviously you know about the Avid Omni already – that was announced months ago, so I won’t spend too much time talking about it. Let’s talk about the new Mbox 3s though. They were announced a little big ago, but until now, not too many people had seen them. First thing I noticed – they are incredibly heavy! Avid has changed from the polycarbonate body to a 1/4″ metal body. I don’t exactly know why – but I was told by an Avid rep that it was customer preference. Although he also mentioned that the older style polycarbonate ones were more durable… I know the whole thing about “the heavier the audio gear is, the better it must be!” but I don’t think that really applies to wrapping the gear in a thick metal casing… So, while I was very excited about the prospect of buying a new Mbox 3, I’m now slightly less excited because I’ve realized it weighs 7 pounds… not as easily portable anymore. But it’ll do 192k, and sounds MUCH better than version 2. The Mbox 3 and Mini are the same deal – they sound better, but are heavier than their predecessors. I might add that the buttons and switches / pots are much more solid though. Also the Mbox 3 can do 96k now, and the 3 and 3 Pro have random things like a built-in guitar tuner, on-board DSP, etc…

My only gripe is that they all ship with PT8LE and you have to pay $250 to get into PT9. Lame.

I spent a few hours asking questions about and playing with the new hardware and software, so please, if there is something you’d like to know, ask in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer it!

Avid Demonstration Setup

Here’s the Avid Pro Tools Post Production demonstration from AES 129 in SF last week. Disclaimer: this is very much a scripted demo and it feels like an infomercial. I take no responsibility to how this effects your emotions!

Avid Post Production Demo – AES 2010

More posts on AES to come later today and tomorrow!

Wow! Tons of stuff going on this week! Big news from Avid, great stuff from many microphone companies, Izotope, and tons more!

The AES trade show floor was considerably smaller than usual, but there was a lot of cool stuff there. If you spent some time digging and talking to reps, inventors, presidents, etc… there was a lot of cool info to be gathered. I did my best at grabbing pics and info about topics and products pertaining to audio post and field recording / production audio. I’ll cover a lot of it here, but if there’s something I don’t cover that you’re wondering about, feel free to ask me if I happened to come across what you’re curious about!

129th AES in SF

I’m going to categorize my posts by topic, so there will be quite a few between here and Sonic Terrain.

Stay tuned – many posts to come this week!

Blastwave FX and Avid announced a new Sound Design Competition with the chance to win more than $12,000 on Avid/Blastwave FX products!


-Submit: A 0:30 – 0:45 second video with stereo soundtrack. The total length should include the intro and outro video clips provided in the Competition Download Pack.
-You must use at least three sound effects from the competition download pack. You may process and distort these effects, but they must be somewhat recognizable.
-The intro and outro video clips must be used, and we encourage you to sound design them.
-Entries can be any style: real/surreal, with or without dialogue, with live actors, documentary style interviews, motion graphics, animation, etc. Some participants will inevitably disagree with the wide-open format, but we want to encourage as much outside-the-box thinking and creativity as possible.
-If you are one of the top twenty finalists, we will request the original Quicktime video.
-The one winner will receive a Turnkey Post System (see Info section above).
-Participants release all ownership rights related to their audio/video to Avid and Blastwave FX.
-Participants’ names will be withheld from judges.

Check out the rest of the info at Designing Sound!

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