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Mixing in Pro Tools with Analog Hardware is one of the many techniques used by professional engineers. For many years certain devices in the studio have become “infamous” amongst engineers and producers. The never-ending list includes equipment such as a FairChild Compressor, Tube-Tech EQ, Amek 9098i Channel Strip, Lexicon FX Processors, along with dozens of other unique and flavorful devices that are still used to this very day. While the majority of these “classic” devices gained their notoriety during the hey-day of analog recording, they are also being utilized this very day in the latest Pro Tools based digital studios. The power of Pro Tools lies not only with what it can do, but also with its ability to incorporate hardware and software together into a seamlessly package.

The usage of equipment in this way goes back to analog consoles, which allowed user to plug in various equipment by “patching in” (connecting) the input and outputs to the console. The only difference we have nowadays is that our “console” is called Pro Tools and the “patching in” occurs via the Audio Interface. If we follow the same rules of signal flow our forebears did, we can patch in any piece of hardware equipment directly into Pro Tools, just as if it were an analog console and tape machine.

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Welcome to 2014 and the most anticipated announcement in the Audio Industry- Universal Audio has recently announced support for Pro Tools 11 AAX plug-in platform. With the free upgrade to UAD Software Version 7.4.1, Macintosh users now have access to the full library of plug-ins made by U.A. PC users should expect a supported release shortly, within the first few months of 2014.


 

With the dust settling from this summer’s release of Pro Tools 11, it’s time we look at how to implement some of these much talked about features into your workflow. With so much talk regarding Audio Engines, new plug-ins, and all the other distractions, many people have overlooked the most useful new feature of Pro Tools 11, Offline Bounce. Actually, there is a whole lot more to the Bounce engine than just the ability to perform faster than real time renders, the entire feature set has been expanded to give you the utmost flexibility as well as time saving features. The ability to Bounce an MP3 simultaneously with a .WAV is pretty freakin’ cool, so is the ability to bounce different outputs simultaneously. As usual, there is a lot more to this new feature than first meets the eye.

As an Audio Engineer, I’m ecstatic about the streamlined Bounce features of Pro Tools 11. I have done hundreds-of-thousands of bounces in Pro Tools over the years, and it was always a multi-step process. At the very least it required two bounces, one for the .WAV file and another for the MP3. For music mixers, an MP3 is necessary especially when e-mailing files to clients. If your work requires you to bounce MP3’s along with the traditional audio file, check the box labeled “Add MP3”. It will create both files simultaneously, regardless of whether or not you’re using the Offline feature.

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So what’s new in Avid Pro Tools 11? Will your older equipment be compatible? With the host of new features being introduced, this is a historical change to Pro Tools and not just another upgrade. If you really look at what has transpired over the past 15+ years, we should be calling it Pro Tools, The Next Generation containing the most revolutionary change to Pro Tools, ever

History of Pro Tools with DAE

In order to truly understand where we are going, we first must take a look at our past. While Pro Tools, or it’s earlier cousin Sound Tools have been around since 1989, the true watershed moment came with Pro Tools III systems in 1994. These systems utilized a technology known as TDM, Time Division Multiplexing, essentially a telephone network, to provide dedicated power when working with audio. Every incarnation of Pro Tools after this, whether it was Pro Tools|24, Mix, or HD utilized the same basic TDM technology. Over the years there were revisions to the software and the cards, most notably the introduction of TDM II with the HD systems in 2002. However, the fundamental technology remained unchanged right up to Pro Tools 10. In my studio I am currently running the same HD cards I had 10 years ago running version 5 software. The only thing that changed has been the software.

With every version of Pro Tools released up until now, the only true differences have been feature driven, not in the language and technology of the core engine. Think of it this way, Pro Tools 10 is just a more capable version of Pro Tools 5. Both operate on the same engine and utilize the same TDM language, as well as access and distribute media in identical ways. This engine, known as the DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine) has worked in the background the entire time, keeping your audio dreams afloat. Over the years the software engineers have done a masterful job of refining the architecture and bringing new feature to life. While this tried-and-true technology is very capable of doing a good job, it has many features it can never perform due to its age. After so many years of dedicated service, it was time to retire the DAE and allow it to bow out gracefully. As Sheryl Crow said “A Change Would Do You Good”.


 

Who We Are

ProMedia Training is the premier authorized Avid Pro School since 2002, having certified more students in Pro Tools than any other organization, preparing them for a Pro Tools career in audio engineering, recording, mixing and related multimedia training for musicians, producers, recording engineers, worship facilities and corporations. ProMedia has been leading the way in short term, Pro Tools Immersion courses which focus in all areas from beginner to advanced Pro Tools Applications.  Our beginners learn the software for music production, recording, editing, audio engineering, and mixing. Our advanced users focus on cutting edge highly complex HDX systems, new concepts as well as workflow improvements. We also provide on-site training for corporations, Universities, Schools, and worship facilities where professionals can advance their skills while learning in their own working environment. ProMedia also participates in many of the musical associations and related organizations related to the recording arts including ASCAP, BMI, NAMM, TAXI A&R, Youth Organizations, NAB, Promo Only, and more.

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