5 Hits And 5 Misses For Pro Tools 11 Post Users

09-04-2013 05:02 PM

Russ posted his 5 loves and hates for Pro Tools 11 from a music perspective so I thought it would be good to take a look at it from a post perspective….
5 Hits from the post world in no particular order

  1. Avid Audio & Video Engines - The Avid Audio Engine is doing what it says and it just works. I am no longer getting nasty errors popping up and the Playback Engine window is somewhere I hardly ever need to visit anymore. Moving onto video it is great that we can finally play Avid media in Pro Tools without wasting ages transcoding everything. You do need to watch that you have a current machine as some of the earlier Macs won’t play video in Pro Tools 11.
  2. Off line bounce - The off line bounce won’t impact on my mixing workflow, I would never deliver a mix to a client that I hadn’t heard all the way through. But for outputting deliverables and stems, it is already saving time, I understand that for some post workflows it will reduce the time it takes to complete the deliverables down from 4 days to 1/2 a day.
  3. Post Plug-ins - In my earlier look at Pro Tools 11 from a Post Perspective I had the lack of key post related plug-ins as a Miss. That is nearly fixed now, Sonnox have released the core of their range as AAX 64 bit plug-ins and when iZotope release RX3 later this month, then I will be able to do all I need in Pro Tools 11.
  4. Sample accurate Automation - For post users this is so helpful. Before I could never trust Pro Tools to manage automation changes at exactly the right point, but now that even automation point is time stamped just like the audio files we can be confident that it will do the right thing at the right time.
  5. Meter Ballistics For HD Users - It is great to have the choice of meter ballistics as as a UK Broadcast user to eventually have the BBC PPM scale is like coming home. Previously I never put much store by the Pro Tools meters other than some basic indication that there was audio on the track and a sense of the level. Now I can display all the track metering in my beloved BBC PPM ballistic. All we need now is the loudness standards to be included which Chris Gahagan who is Senior Vice President of Products and Services at Avid assured me when I interviewed him at NAB 2013 would be added in a future update.

5 Misses from the post world in no particular order

  1. Time Compression & Expansion on the Trim Tool - This is a huge miss for me. Not to have this option is a real shame. Take a look at the video I have put up where I show the different algorithms and how they work and sound. Also I did a video on how to use Elastic Audio as a work round for no TCE on the Trim Tool. I see that the petition on the DUC is growing and thanks to Dave Tremblay for responding to our comments but Avid we need this one back now, I know there are a lot of users who won’t upgrade to Pro Tools 11 till this is fixed.
  2. Eucon 3 - I had high hopes for Eucon 3 but it seems to not have down very much, certainly on the surface where the user can see. For a lot of plug-ins, the mapping is still all over the place however it does seem to be a fixable problem. I was very pleased to see that the controller mapping for Exponential Audio’s reverbs is excellent with the controls sensibly grouped together, so it can be done, but other plug-ins frankly are so bad they are unusable on my Artist Control. Also we have reports that Banking is a mess too, so much more to be done here Avid. It is disappointing that a user - Kevin Darbyshire-Bryant has had to fix the Windows Artist Control profile file rather than Avid get it done. Leaving the Apple modifier keys in the Windows profile is surely a basic simple error.
  3. The New Workspace - It is really disappointing that Avid have changed the Catalog file format and unlike on past occasions when this has happened they have not included a conversion process when you run the new version for the first time. I use Workspace Catalogs to catalogue my 50,000 plus sound effects collection. Also the documentation for this was limited to say the least.
  4. Surround Plug-ins - The only plug-in area that is still a little limited is surround processing. We need the Waves 360 bundle and a decent Unwrap plug-in. I am pinning my hope on the Penteo stereo to 5.1 plug-in I reviewed recently as they are actively working on an AAX 64 bit version. We still have very little info from TC Electronic as to if and when will port Unwrap. Soundfield are still working on the UPM-1 but we haven’t any more since May 2013. We do have surround reverbs from Avid which is good news. Surround & loudness metering is well covered with offerings from most of the key players including Nugen Audio and TC Electronic.
  5. OMF/AAF - Things continue to be a little troublesome with OMF and AAF. There are a couple of threads in the DUC outlining issues with importing these into Pro Tools 11. The good news is that they will often work in Pro Tools 10 so again because Avid have enabled 10.3.6 and 11 to co-exist, it may be a pain, but it isn’t the end of the world. Some of the problems may not be PT11 related, there has been problems with clips coming in with different timecodes, which Pro Tools couldn’t handle. Once the video editor transcoded to one timecode format all was well. Also there can be issues with AAFs with interleaved files, the sledgehammer solution is to specify multi-mono files but it may be as simple as making sure you turn on interleaved support when you create the session in Pro Tools.

Overall would I use Pro Tools 11 now for post work? Yes I would and I am. Especially now I have Sonnox and will be getting RX3 very soon I can work fully in Pro Tools 11. Waves will be useful but won’t stop me from working in 11 as I haven’t had them available as DSP plug-ins since I upgraded to HDX 18 months ago, so they are less of a concern to me. Once we have the surround related plug-ins and TCE in the Trim Tool then brings will be brilliant.
What do you thing post users? Are you using Pro Tools 11 now or what is it that is holding you back? If you are using it, what do you love about it and what is driving you up the wall?