Mike's Pro Tools Expert Editors Choice Review Of 2014

01-05-2015 11:00 AM

There were some key products for me in 2014 that should out. Like Russ, a lot of products come across my desktop both computer and wooden. Here are a selection that stood out for me…..
iZotope RX4 & RX4 Advanced

This will probably be no surprise to most of you. Highlights for me in RX4 and RX4 Advanced are the Ambience Match, EQ Match, RX Monitor and RX Connect plug-ins and that they have rolled the Dialog Denoiser into the normal version of RX4.
You can read more about RX4 and RX4 Advanced here and you can get my RX4 and RX4 Advanced tutorial series from Groove 3 here with more than 5 hours of video tutorials.
Penteo 4 Pro Surround Upmixer Plug-in

There have been a number of upmixing plug-ins released in 2014 but Penteo 4 Pro Surround was the only one I was prepared to award Editors Choice too. You can check out my Show & Tell Video Review and find out why I like it so much and why Penteo 4 Pro Surround is my ‘go to’ upmixing plug-in and why he has awarded it Editors Choice.

Auro 3D And Immersive Sound

2014 was the year I experienced immersive sound in Auro 3D for the first time. You can watch my 6 part video series as I experienced and learnt about working with immersive sound in Auro 3D.
In the first video, watch as I experience listening to music in the Auro 3D format for the first time and explore recording and mixing techniques. In subsequent videos in this series recorded at Galaxy Studios in Belgium - the home of Auro Technologies, we looked at how the format works in a cinema context, how to use the new reverb tools from TC Electronic and Exponential Audio to handle reverb natively in Auro 3D, how to use the Auro Tools to manipulate the sound in the Auro 3D sound stage and finished with a discussion of some of the issues of the main two formats in immersive audio - Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D from Auro Technologies’ perspective.
Catchin’ Sync From Quiet Art Ltd

Catchin’ Sync is an iOS app that will work on iPhone or iPads allowing you to capture and determine any sync errors in your playback system. These usually occur when video and audio go throughout separate devices like the Audio passing through a receiver or more commonly the video through and LCD screen or worse still a Projector etc. Although Catchin’ Sync has been around for a while what really made it useful is that it now uses the high frame speed video recording that Apple introduces in the iPhone 5 and 5s. This has to be a ‘must have’ for anyone who works with video with a DAW like Pro Tools, which is why we awarded it The Editors Choice Award.
FabFilter Pro-DS De-esser Plug-in

I have been using the FabFilter Pro DS plug-in for a while. Watch the video and find out why I gave it the coveted Pro Tools Expert Editors Choice Award.
FabFilter Pro-Q 2 EQ Plug-in

Staying with FabFilter, 2014 also brought the new version of their EQ plug-in the Pro-Q 2. The new features include Full Screen mode, unique Natural Phase processing, Auto Gain, Spectrum Grab, Gain-Q interaction and slope support for all filter types make Pro-Q 2 better than its predecessor. The Pro-Q 2 plug-in has become my go to EQ plug-in and I am not the only one.
DNA Music Labs Hotkey Matrix

Control surfaces have been a key thread in 2014 as we discussed in our review of 2014 podcast. Earlier in the year, I took a look at a new dedicated shortcuts control surface Hotkey Matrix from DNA Music Labs. If you spend a lot of time in the Edit window of Pro Tools it is well worth taking a look at the Hotkey Matrix. I now use mouse and keyboard more less by using the single button shortcuts on the Hotkey Matrix instead.
TC Electronic BM III Monitors

Staying on the hardware theme, I have become aware that my beloved Rogers LS3/5a monitors, that I have had since 1977, are not as good as I thought they were. It may be their age or the design limits of the speakers, but it has become clear to me that they were not as neutral as I thought they were. The Dynaudio BM Compacts are very small which suits my set up very well.
You can read the rest of my review here. I am very pleased with these and I am seriously considering keeping them, but the BM system I have here won’t be staying because we are going to be giving it away to a lucky winner at the end of January. Check out the Win Page for details of how to enter the competition to win these speakers.
What do you think? What have been your product highlights? Was there anything you were expecting in my list that wasn’t here? Let me know…..