McDSP and Izotope Insight released for PT11

As the topic says, one of my fave plugin manufacturers McDSP released their entire catalogue for AAX64 today. I rely on d3555, as it’s the only de-esser I know of that automagically adjusts its threshold according to sensing the incoming signals gain, so you get very consissssstent removal of sibilance, even on quiet dialogue. ML4000 is a great and powerful tool for all sort of things and I much prefer the reliability of Futzboxes automation over the other “speaker and phone” plugins.

Izoptope Insight is also in most of my templates to monitor loudness. Vislm is also aax64, and is regularly updated by experts in the field, but I prefer how customisable the layout of Insight is, for all things metering – quite handy is viewing your spectrum in insight using the same colour scheme as izotope RX, makes using spectral repair that much more intuitive.

So it’s only been a few days since PT11 was released and I have aax64 compliant plugins that fill almost all my needs! Now if Waves just release their update and RX gets ported, I’ll be cooking with gas!

How I use my Artist Control

Just thought I’d share how I use my Artist Control, coming from an ICON background. I just really wanted my touch screen to represent my mixing and automation buttons that I missed and wanted my automation modes on the surface as well.

In the end I moved the automation modes onto the buttons below the touch panel and freed up space on the touch screen so I could lay out the buttons well spaced, easy to see and read and eliminate erroneous touches with my fat fingers. I leave these commands on the surface the whole time, never drive anywhere else, so removing the HOME button didn’t worry me too much. I normally just have arrows on the Automation write to commands, but then you wouldn’t be able to read what was there!

I’ve tried putting some macros into the surface as well, its very powerful, but I’m so used to the editing paradigm it became more of a hindrance than a help.

I tend to assign a focus fader as well, and put my most used VCAs hard left, so then I have 3 faders dedicated to global controls and a focus fader that follows wherever I click inside PT.

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 8.31.38 AM

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Pro Tools 11 part 3

So 11.01 was just released and includes Revibe. Definitely happy about that! It’s a great, DSP economical surround verb, I use it quite a bit on score.

Back to my ongoing stream of conciousness about 11…

Don’t get me wrong, the meters are tops, the power up is great, the video engine will be good in due course and offline bounce is epic. My last two posts may have sounded a bit negative, but more in the way of constructive criticism I hope.

There’s a whole raft of nice little touches in 11 that may have been missed by the more “mainstream media”. Here’s a few…

There are all these new bypass insert and send shortcuts. I could see bypassing all reverbs as useful for composers bouncing out stems wet/dry. Also you can bypass the first 5 inserts, A through E with shift+1, similarly shift 2 bypasses F through J. A friend showed me a lovely workflow where, if you’re anything like us old guys, you rarely use F-J, so try using that for an alternate processing chain, then SHIFT+1+2 all together will allow you to easily toggle between the two sets of inserts on your selected tracks. Nice!

Right click on an insert will allow you to dive in and change its preset without opening the GUI:


Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 9.52.11 PM


Workspace! The layout presets work! To save a preset for your layout, on a mac CMD+click on the number, it will flash to show its saved. These are system sticky, so you wont need to save them in your templates or lose them in sessions, make em once, use em forever.

Screen Shot 2013-06-29 at 9.59.02 PM


Be sure to use Opt/alt+J to “Jump” your browser back into the foreground or risk opening lots of workspace windows and eventually getting to the 10 window limit.

Composers get more Instrument tracks, 256 in 11HD up from 64.

64 levels of undo – which by the way AFAIK eat RAM, so Ive always set mine to 20. Rarely dive back further than that.

Satellite tech is now included, meaning 11 can be a slave to another HD rig without a license, and vanilla 11 can be a slave as well. As touched on, this might still need a shake out for mix and match of versions before we find it stable. Anyone using satellite, please post any findings or link me to forum discussions, theres a bit on gearsluts at the moment, but more the merrier.


On the ilok front – I actually have had a good time of it. I avoided all the issues by waiting until only recently and found the new system pretty good. It lost track of my main iloks assets online for a day but resync brought it back, at no point were the licenses removed or fail to work.

I did find out however that there is no longer a “cooling off period” or grace period when adding a new ilok to your account. Previously you could add an ilok, load it with old or redundant licenses and remove it from your account so you could sell or move an bunch of stuff all at once. This back door has now been closed, you’ll need to contact pace support staff (who are lovely) to do this sort of thing in future.

Pro Tools 11 part 2

So following on from part one, it seems MC7.0 doesn’t video satellite with PT11, guess that will need a patch.

The plugin front?

Can work get done in 11? Certainly. I’ve starting using the Pro series a fair bit, the look ahead expander is good for quick turnaround TV where you need a ducker on your music tracks, the compressor is very clean IMHO (up there with Masseys CT5) and the Limiter is tops, love the saturation on it and it’s now my go-to audiosuite Loudness analyser. I’ve yet to install the latest build of VISLM, for which there is a 64bit version, making for great loudness meters. Channelstrip works better than 10 with native power improved through some critical bug fixes.

De-noising is my problem with shifting across. I need Izotope RX or Waves W43 to come over before I can take all my work to 11.

I’ll also be happier when McDSP’s D3555 and Futzbox is in there too, Colin is working hard on porting and wont charge for the update. I love his ML4000 and have heard there are already working betas of that, fingers crossed we see them public soon.

ProAudio Dynamic Spectrum Mapper is working as before – frustrating that Plugin Alliance don’t seem to think that its automation being reliably broken is a problem. They apparently have similar problems in many of their products – if you love preview and snapshot automation, stay clear of Plugin Alliance products IMHO. It’s even in their FAQ as if its a design issue rather than just buggy software.

On the reverb side, Reverb one is getting more use from me since its GUI redesign than ever before. Im really quite liking its hifi sound. Probably going to shell out on Exponential Audios Phoenix and R2, both getting a rave following and apparently in porting to AAX64 they’ve added EUCON mapping support, which definitely appeals to me.


So apparently this is Version 3. What new features do we have in 3 compared to 2? None. So I was under the impression that usual thing to do when you release fixes is to add a point to the existing version??

My artist is great for its value, and credit where credit is due, EUCON 3 is massively faster to connect my unit to my mac and much much more stable BUT my gripes are:

EQ mode – the map doesnt address Q, and highs on the left lows on the right – are we dealing with EQ in Hebrew and Mandarin now? Why are they backwards?

Dyn mode – I think Clint Eastwood uses the term Clusterf#%k to good effect and it applies here. This was clearly designed for the Avid channelstrip GUI – so if you load up any one of your less complex compressors like a 1176 or CT5 or pro compressor you’re left paging all over the place for crucial things like makeup gain. This needs to be fixed for it to be useful to anyone.

In both EQ and Dyn mode, only the first plugin of each type is addressed, why? Even the documentation describes the plugin mode behaviour as applying in EQ and dyn! In plugin mode you can select which insert you want to dive into – why not copy paste that code into the other modes for crying out loud!?

Banking is all over the shop unless you open up the separate EUCON settings panel and assign a fader to something, then it comes good. In the default state, if you nudge across one fader and then bank it snaps past the next series of faders you actually want and arrives at its own idea of what the next bank should be. Frustrating.

Other guys on the DUC gripe about banking following their mouse selection but personally that would drive me bonkers so I’m not fussed that its broken, but I do empathise. If you buy something with features advertised it should get fixed and addressed in a timely manner and “updating” eucon from 2.x to 3 without addressing major workflow bugs that are well over year old is no way to make your users happy.

ProTools 11 part 1

It’s been a while between posts – Owen, my boy is 8.5 months old. Read into that coincidence as you will…

So, thoughts on PT11 so far?

I’m running HDX, co-install on a base 8 core nehalem mac pro with 24gb RAM off an SSD OS drive. I upgraded to the SSD for the fresh install so most comparisons I make between 10 and 11 will be from this co-install, providing pretty real assessment.

A dialogue premix session, not very big, I switched all the plugins over to native and it ran at 25% on 10, runs at 8% on 11. As all know, its hard to really test without all the plugins we need.

I’m frustrated by their choice of metering ballistics – the only possible reason I can think of for them to avoid true peak and loudness specs is a CPU hit or something. Phasescope/surroundscope is NOT included in 11 as yet, but there’s been no EOL announcement of it either – hopefully they will release a new phasescope with LUFS and true peak meters ala nuendo in a point release soon. Surely it would be easy to rip the existing code from pro limiter and integrate it into phasescope in addition to the new metering options already in 11 – package all that together into a resizeable GUI and wham hey presto kickass metering included, no need for insight or anything else. LOVING seeing my compression in the mix window.


Video performance seems a bit touchy. I’ve had to reinstall my decklink driver and protools 11 to get it to sit ok and see hardware properly. Ive also seen some OMF import errors from FCP OMFs, but they were hard to repro, hopefully just anomalies. Nice being able to claw back CPU power by switching down your video performance:

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 10.04.53 AM

Bounce to disk, offline, is definitely quick, a 90 minute films 6CH mix and MnE in 5 minutes (from stems, not the mix session). Should be great for deliveries – but SRC and Audiosuite processing have not sped up at all, in fact some audiosuite plugins seem marginally slower. Hopefully these get a boost in a point release also. Handy getting to the bounce dialogues from the mix window:


Automation is now sample accurate. This is a big deal but hasnt really been pushed much. I find it much more reassuring and useful that the ability to record automation on recording tracks.

Dubstages get some nice features. A Fade up setting now on playback, no more instant ON/PAIN. Satellite link is included in the price of admission now as well – although it’s not happy locking up MC6.5 as a satellite currently, I assume it will be the newly release 7 and above as a slave or there’ll be a patch or something. PT11 and 10.3.6 should co-habit as satellites, haven’t seen this myself yet.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 10.03.00 AM

My HDX card is behaving tops too, Im starting to see co-habiting of plugins from different manufacturers on the same chip – I saw reverb one and DSM from plugin alliance take up the same chip the other day, really get the $$ worth out of the upgrade. Makes me happy. Not sure of the limits here but once I get more plugs working I’ll report back. Not even sure if this works in 10 and I haven’t noticed, the HDX card is newish.

Those are my late night thoughts so far on the more tweaky topics in v11. More to come.

The Truly Awesome Sonnox Dynamics

If you haven’t already demo’d the Sonnox dynamics suite, grab a demo right now. This beast of a plugin does 6 different dynamics and filtering functions in a single plugin but best of all, its AAX DSP and super lean on those precious new chips!

I’m getting 8 6CH instances per chip which covers my buss compression and limiting for my stems without a sweat. Another great feature is the Bass filter when in 6CH configuration, as that effectively rolls off everything about 150 in your LFE – useful as it replaces the old waves 360 LFE plug which wont make the cut to AAX DSP.

Lastly, the Warmth that it can add is actually really lovely, don’t ignore it. I find it useful for extra low mid in FX for punchiness and also for brittle dialogue.

Apart from sexy compression, a clean as limiter and LFE filter and being AAX DSP it’s on spesh at the moment too, 40% off making the DSP version only a little over USD$300! This month only! Get em while they’re hot!

LINK to Sonnox page with special details

Cutting QT scene cuts with Ediload

Back to Sounds in Sync’s EdiLoad application once more. This time showing its more advanced export options from EDLs.

Ediload Picture cut and Scene change track generation from Brent Heber on Vimeo.

Channelstrip kb shortcuts

This is a great video from fellow blogger Tamas on how to speed up your PT10 Channelstrip operation!

Work faster with the new channel strip from Tamas Dragon on Vimeo.


Radio and Promo Masterclass

This is a video back from the archives. I presented a 1 and a half hour masterclass for radio broadcast production students on how to speed up their work in ProTools – emphasis on fundamental editing and keyboard operation when doing quick turnaround short form audio promos and ads, but applicable to anyone trying to speed up their basic skills.

ProTools for Radio from Brent Heber on Vimeo.

If you’re interested in this sort of tutorial I’d also recommend my more recent Editing Bootcamp Series for further refinement of keyboard and mouse driven ProTools operation.

Ediload – EDL Conforming

Hi all,

Ediload is a brilliant app from Sounds in Sync that does all sorts of things for folks in post production. This video shows how it can generate “dummy” audio files with metadata from an EDL to allow PT10 expand tracks functionality to sync your location sound files.

Why would you need to use this workflow? Embedded OMFs/AAFs. If you get an embedded OMF or AAF from FCP or Adobe Premiere chances are the new audio media that has been created inside the container will not have the iXML metadata retained from location, so you wont be able to match the location sound files to the cut you’ve been given. Coming from Media composer you should be alright post v5.5, when from memory Avid implemented “metadata persists” (double check that if you’re specc’ing a workflow).

EdiloadConform from Brent Heber on Vimeo.


iPads for audio, jan 2013

So I just scored a new retina ipad! Happy boy, having seen the rest of my technologically challenged family all adopt them before me…
So, what to use it for? Seems like the main contenders are:

Air display for extending the desktop – love this for loudness meters and video universe and memory locates

Actions – create macros much like quick keys and customise them on the tablet to send controls to your main pt rig, nice if you don’t have an artist control or are used to one

Vcontrol pro – awesome for non icon users or folks who want a cool surround panner or many other things, great app worth every cent

Lemur and touchOSC for the MIDI brothers out there. My axiom pro has enough hands on to get me into trouble without adding these to my life as yet

There are a multitude of rta’s and dB meters out there, I find it useful to have one for a just in case scenario to check room calibration

I’m enjoying using Siri to enter reminders and appointments and things like this. Much easier than all the pull down date crap in the typical apple UI

Skype of course is tops and podcasts have been a staple of mine for some time – shout out to tone benders!

The WordPress app on the ipad is quite useful for blogging as well – using it right now

Teamviewer allows me to control my pt rig from afar. Useful for when processing stuff, so you can check on progress afk.

Flipboard is scarily amazing. It definitely knows too much about me but makes for great reading

Shame that Gobbler only have an iPhone app. Looking forward to them making the most of the iPads screen real estate.

Dropbox on the other hands is great both for cloud access and as a reader of documents

Liking Remote as well for control of iTunes on my laptop if we’re having a BBQ outside. A handy app.

So what else have you discovered/are using?

Ex Lexicon developer rises with new Phoenix

Michael Carnes has been a developer of reverbs for many, many years. Most recently he was the code monkey behind the much respected Lexicon PCM native bundle, the closest thing Lexi had made available to a 480L as a plugin.

So he has since left Lexicon and is now making his own verbs and selling direct and his first outings are already up for grabs.

Be sure to demo Phoenix and R2 from Exponential Audio – so far the Phoenix is getting rave reviews as the most transparent AAX native verb out there and its under $200 !


Little wonder the price dropped out of the Lexicon plugin catalogue – the last blog post follow up: apparently there’s no new products or even any official announcements from Lexicon on supporting AAX, they’re just dropping their prices, that was the big announcement which we already knew about.

Whats going on at Lexicon Pro?

So if you’re anything like me you have probably heard the wonderful things about the Lexicon PCM Native Reverb bundle and thought “Nice, but no way I can afford that at the moment”. This led me to read up on the cheaper LXP bundle which has a passionate following at a more affordable price point.

Currently all their plugins are ridiculously cheap, up to 75% off, making both a very attractive offer…but should I?

The main developer for Lexicon’s plugin arsenal just left a little while ago – Michael Carnes. He’s set up his own shop and now developing and selling directly against his old employers with one of his new reverbs called “Phoenix” – rising from the ashes…what do we read into that?

Lastly, Lexicon have made no official announcement on AAX support and are not listed on the Avid website as an AAX developer. So…does this massive price drop stink of an “End of Life” firesale?

On the Lexiconpro twitter account there has been ambiguous statements like “Something big is rustling in the air…hmmm Just in time for Christmas too!” – could this indicate EOL and a replcement product on the way?

On the other hand, when I asked their facebook page “Any plans for AAX support now that Michael Carnes has left?” I was told “yep, and I miss Michael too. :) It is an active project now, but no firm date yet”

If I could get something official from Lexicon Pro I’d happily snaffle up the LXP bundle from audiodeluxe or plugindiscounts but unless I know its not going to go the way of the Nuverb, Opus or Studio which were all pricey products that were EOL’ed rather quickly, then there’s no way I’m buying something now that won’t work with the next major version of PT (which will drop RTAS support).

So what are the alternatives? I can’t help but love the little Relab LX480Lite verb (which has a big brother on the way) for its absolute uncoloured space. There’s also Softube’s TSAR reverb which gets good reviews and is already AAX. Then there’s the more rich and robust Valhalla options not counting the new Michael Carnes options from Exponential Audio previously mentioned. There’s also the 2c audio Breeze and Aether options and if you want to take a chance on them, there’s the IRCAM Verb session (but myself and many others have had a terrible time getting support from them, so I’d stay clear if I were you).

Times are good if you’re looking for a cheap reverb – it’s just a question of who you take your chances with (and what your collaborators will also buy, so you can share automation!)…

Dolby Atmos Mixing of Taken 2 – inside ProTools of course

Great little video on how a Dolby Atmos mix is achieved for Liam “I have a very specific set of skills” Neeson’s latest flick “Taken 2″.

Note the ICON – ie ProTools system they are mixing inside. Post main 5.1 mix, true, but how quickly are Neve and Harrison going to have a plugin that can mix for atmos on their desks? Mixing ITB is here to stay folks…

Mixing Taken 2 with Dolby Atmos inside ProTools

Timeline Drop order and room tone

Ever had a bunch of files on the timeline with gaps in between and wished those gaps weren’t there?

Go to your Clip bin drop down menu and change your “Timeline Drop order” from the default (top to bottom) to “Left to Right”.

Now you can drag files from your clip bin and they will be sequentially left to right on your timeline! If you need to order them in a specific way change your “sort order” options in the clip bin drop down menu.

(Before you ask – Unfortunately this doesn’t effect the behaviour when dragging multiple files from the workspace browser, they will still be top to bottom)

This can make for a tidy workflow to make room tone: with strip silence Extract (leaves everything below a given threshold) and then dragging the resultant files back in from the clip bin left to right. Make a clip group and then loop the the resultant clip group to have instant room tone as needed (that you can untrim to any length).


Plugin Auto (still cont)…

OK – the money shot: To quickly see the automation breakpoint playlist/lane for a specific plugin’s parameter hold Ctrl+Cmd and click on that visual parameter in the plugin window and you’ll see your edit window update on that track! Much faster than diving into the track view menu and finding it there…

If you’re on an ICON, holding the same modifiers and touching a pot/fader will achieve the same thing – the track view will change to show its automation!

Plugin Auto (cont)…

To enable or disable a specific parameter in a plugin for automation hold Ctrl+opt+Cmd and click on it, and you’ll get a popup menu to toggle it’s “automatability” (sp!) on/off.

Put that together with the last one and its two mouse clicks to enable everything in a plugin for automation and then disable its bypass without opening that window with the lists. Quick eh? Anyone finding these useful? Post a comment if you are…be nice not to feel like the only guy in the room with a shortcut problem… :)

Plugin Automation…

To toggle all plugin parameters enabled for automation or disabled hold ctrl+opt+Cmd and click on the button under AUTO in the plugin menu bar, here:

D|Command (and D|Control) Preview

Using an ICON D|Command? Love your automation “Preview” mode? You may have it mapped as a user soft key for quick access, but what about when you’re using snapshots or CF groups or any other number of things that get onto those soft keys?

Cmd click on the automation OFF button near the talkback button to toggle in and out of preview mode. When it’s flashing you’re in preview.

Phat meters

Ctrl+Otp+Cmd and click on the meters in your mix window to toggle the fabled “Phat meters” easter egg.

You may have noticed I’m sharing lots of little shortcuts at the moment.

Plugin Alias shortcut

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably doing 80% of your work with 20% of your tools. How long is your plugin list? If you have a waves bundle it can get out of hand with stuff you may not ever use.

Try this: hold Cmd and click on your favourite plugin in the plugin list – next time you open the plugin list to insert/”instantiate” a plug you’ll find an alias of it at the top of the second layer of plugin navigation!

This is a system sticky pref and will be there in all your sessions once you set them up.

If you haven’t already, be sure to set your “default EQ and default Dyn” in your preferences (mixing tab) to add those at the top level of the list.

These shortcuts will also appear in the assignment matrix on your icon if you ever happen to use your desk to insert a plugin.

Instant tone

Need a pip? Maybe a stretch of 1k sine tone at the head of a layback?

Usual thing would be to consolidate a bit of audio and then audiosuite the sig gen, right? Well, try this:

Highlight the selection where you need it and hold shift+ctrl+opt and hit 3 on your qwerty numbers…. instant tone!

Working for Free | Music of Sound

Another lovely set of concepts clearly put forward by Mr Prebble. Much respect.

Working for Free | Music of Sound.

Native vs HDX in a Waves dominated world


I recently had a chance to try the Avid HDX card after working on a Native rig for some months now. I’ve pretty much completely retired my HD3.

One thing I noticed with the HDX was voice count struggles, which should be a moot point seeing as both native and HDX can voice 256 mono tracks, BUT throw lots of native plugins into the mix and suddenly you see the problem. For every stereo native plugin you lose 2 voices, so if you rely on plugins that have yet to port to AAX DSP you will see significantly less voice power on a single card HDX rig versus a native card.

Over here, most freelancers rely on various waves plugins who have made it abundantly clear they have no interest in AAX DSP, which makes a HD Native a more powerfully voiced rig for my clients at this point in time.

Hopefully they will switch to more DSP friendly plugins in the near future and there’s some healthy threads on the DUC asking for everyones opinion on what are the MUST HAVE DSP ported plugins.

FWIW my list would have:

Massey L2007 limiter – and I wish he’s make a multi-channel version of it, that supported true peak limiting!

McDSP ML4000/ML1 – as above

McDSP futzbox – on its way

McDSP de3ss – on its way

Waves W43 – wish it would come to DSP

Waves 360 bundle – particularly the UM225 and 226 and L360 and C360

Spanner – which I believe is in the works if not already around? Justin?


Any HDX early adopters out there? What’s missing from your arsenal?

Top menu update

Hi all,

If you haven’t trolled back through my older videos in a while you’ll be pleased to know that I finally updated the site so it lists all previous tutorials in a much easier to read fashion. Have a browse through the tutorial lists from the top menu bar and if you have any thoughts on improvements I can make drop me a line in the comments.

July 2012 update

Hi all – anyone still out there who reads my (now, occasional) rants.

My blog software had a meltdown a few months back so I just fixed it today and can finally share what’s been going on. So what’s been happening?

Sydney Film Festival – fairly rubbish reproduction of sound at Event cinemas George Street. It seems they are now aware they have issues and will hopefully address them next year.

HDX vs HDNative – well if you use Waves plugins, you’ll lose so many voices and wont be able to run them DSP so I’m sticking on HDNative for the time being. It was either that or go to a HDX2 card system knowing I would lose so many voices on waves plugs. If I was mixing in the room myself I’d stay away from waves and use AAX DSP plugins but there are many dry hires in my room and most of the older engineers wont change their templates and will stick with waves making the HDX a moot point. A massive template for 200 track feature with channelstrips on everything plus verbs and limiters and all the fruit runs at about 65% on my native rig. and we’re expecting 64bit PT later in the year. Why upgrade now?

Loving McDSP at the moment – I’ve revisited analogue channel and found it quite loverly on dialogue along with their de-esser which is a very smart unit, it doesnt need a threshold setting, it automatically adjusts to the signal being fed it!

URS plugins – remember them? I just dug up my old auths to re-visit their S series and N series EQs, still sounding great and surprisingly lean on CPU power for old RTAS code.

Spanner – loving it. Using it on Quad reverbs, and leaving the surrounds muted/down so they are just stereo most of the time, but if I need more, just pull up the surrounds and pan them wherever I want. I could do this workflow with trim plugins and the PT panner but meh, spanner is sexeh and cheap!

EdiCue – just prepped a bunch of dialogue and once more SoundsinSync were great tools to have. I’ll be making some videos to showcase their tools if you havent used them before.

SoundToys – echoboy. that is all.

Sonnox – good to see someone is coding for AAX DSP. Keep up the good work. I may have to use your EQ if massenburg doesnt bring his EQ over!

OH – Avid sold M-Audio and shut down the Sibelius dev team. That was a stupid move. Who knows how this is going to pan out, it could be a disaster or could re-invigorate the company in the pro space. Hard to say at this stage but worth knowing about if youve invested in a bunch of PT gear.

If you haven’t already, check out Flux Verb Session. Super cheap at the moment and fabbo stereo verb, already committed to AAX development as well.

I have a list of videos I intend to make in the coming months, so please come back soon or subscribe or link my RSS somewhere on your browser. See you soon!

Pan the Panner with Spanner!

There’s a very smart chap who lives in Wellington in New Zealand called Justin. He works at Park Road Post a lot of the time. He works in audio post. He gets thrown some “curly” problems from time to time, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Consequently, he makes his own solutions - Maggot Software. Not a lovely name, but great tools.

Justin has just released a new plugin which I am quite in love with. If you are mixing ITB in ProTools you’ll be familiar with the old sub path limitations – ie routing an LCR track into a 5.1 track and its fixed to the front array, you cant move it around within that space – until now. Spanner gives you exactly that power, to be able to pan within otherwise un-pannable situations. At only US$199 (introductory offer, normally $250) and with Maggot software’s reliable name on it, it’s an absolute steal for anyone who is mixing in surround in the box. Just buy it already. Here’s some videos showing how it awesomely works – love the smoothing function and shortcuts to toe things in and out. Brilliant work Justin!


Thurs19th April next Sydney PT night


Next Sydney ProTools User Group Night Announced

Thursday 19th April, 630pm

At the AFTRS Main theatre

Guest speakers:

Mark Franken gives a detailed overview of his cueing, streaming and reconforming apps from “Sounds in Sync”

Stuart Newman from Avid gives details on the new HDX systems

Brent Heber talks all things clip gain in PT10, and how this helps the workflow from fx editors to mixers

Most importantly all the best people will be there, so you should come along and mingle with your fellow soundies.

Event organised/sponsored by AFTRS Open, ASSG and SPTUG


Upcoming ProTools courses at AFTRS


So I’ll be teaching a round of mid-year ProTools v10 courses at AFTRS OPEN – being offered at highly competitive rates.

110 is the first “pro level” course, with a fast paced curriculum covering elastic audio in depth, intro to deeper automation features and advanced editing techniques and shortcuts.

201 starts you on the path to all things hardware, covering things like the new OMNI and MADI interfaces, HD Native cards vs HDX and gets into more detailed mixing and automation workflows.

210P is the hard-core post elective, into satellite connections, timecode workflows and is written with the pro tools audio post operator (who works in the industry already) in mind from beginning to end.

Plus if you do both Pro Tools 200 level courses, or Pro Tools 110 and both Pro Tools 200 level courses, you’ll receive special discounted rates (see below).


Pro Tools 110: Production 1

Designed for industry professionals, this course builds on the 101 module and explains the Pro Tools recording, editing and mixing workspace in detail.

13 – 15 June, Sydney, $900 ($810 Early Bird / Industry discount)


Pro Tools 201: Pro Tools Production 2

The course continues to build on the fundamental concepts and topics Introduced in Pro Tools 110. Learn the core concepts and skills to operate Pro Tools in a professional studio environment.
18 – 19 June, Sydney, $950 ($855 Early Bird / Industry Discount)


Pro Tools 210P: Post Production Techniques

Learn techniques for working with Pro Tools in a professional post production environment. Concepts and skills learned in Pro Tools 101, 110 and 201 are reinforced with practical post-specific examples.

20 – 22 June, Sydney, $1,250 ($1,150 Early Bird / Industry Discount)



Discounted rate of $2,000 if you do both 200 series courses

Discounted rate of $2,500 if you do Pro Tools 110 plus both 200 series courses – over $4000 at other schools!

To receive these rates call: 1300 065 281

Edi Marker for importing text files as Markers


So following on the the useful Just Log It! app, you can use this free tool from Sounds in Sync to import the resultant CSV file into PT as markers!

Edi Marker!

Logging app for iphone and ipad


I’ve been using this handy little app for a while now, great if you’ve got a continuous cut for screenings and can log your notes along the timeline. If you’re working in reels/spools it can be a bit of a pain to split your notes back into reels from a screening.


Feb 2012


So quite a bit on of late…

Wave Rider 2.1 is now available – with a big new interface and quite a lot more flexibility. If you havent already seen this plugin or tried it out, definitely get amongst it.

ProTools 10.0.1 came out a little while ago with some decent bug fixes. Hopefully they get around to fixing channel strips EQ gain coarseness soon!

The Australian Screen Sound Guild has a bunch of new committee members and looks to want to shake things up and get much more active this year. If you don’t know your local members or haven’t applied to join your local guild reach out and get in touch with us!

Apple have a new OS on the horizon, make our mac pros even more consumer…a worrisome trend

Rode have released a new DSLR mic, with an in built flash recorder. The idea being to lower the noise floor on location significantly over using the on board line inputs.

Ohh nearly forgot the new Universal Audio Apollo is just about shipping – cool box with on board DSP to plugin process with low latency on your front end doubling as DSP in your DAW. An ex Digi product manager or two was involved in its design, so I’m confident it will integrate very well with PT10.

Massey Plugin owners may rejoice in an update to the famed L2007 limiter. Just updated to v1.3.3848 on Feb 15th.

AFTRS Open program has kicked off for 2012. I’ll be teaching the first hard core PT production course, PT110, spread over 3 Saturdays in May. Well worth it as it dives deeply into elastic audio, editing and starts people on the path to automation chops.

Lastly – Sydney folks come along to the AFTRS Sound Bytes evening on Thursday Feb 23rd. Reviewing all things Red Dog with Mr Will Ward!


Awesome IPad controller!


Here’s what Paul has been up to over at Neyrinck!! Brilliant!!


Happy New Year!


Hello to everyone and Happy New Year! If you follow my Sumsound facebook page you’ll know I’ve been upgrading my studio and having a fine time doing that. Some news thats new and approved for the start of 2012…

Apparently Waves are sitting very hard on the fence about supporting the new ProTools AAX DSP format. Online conjecture is rife and many fairly reliable sources are saying that Waves are holding out to see what the uptake is of the new Avid HDX core systems (that replace the ageing TDM technology) before committing to any development. As far as mixing goes, I really dont care if I have a bit of delay in my system, but for folks tracking/recording big sessions with waves plugins this creates a bit of a pickle. Email them if you have strong feelings on the matter!

I wrote a comprehensive review of PT10 for AudioTechnology magazine recently- you can read it online via their site, page 64!

I will be teaching the Avid ProTools short courses at AFTRS this year, we are offering PT101 over 6 x Tuesday nights in Feb and PT110 over 3 x Saturdays in late March early April. Any Sydney readers, please spread the word to any family/friends who are looking to speed up their PT chops.

If you haven’t already grabbed Valhalla FreqEcho you’re slow off the mark – an awesome free plugin for 2012!

On the paid plugin side of things, Abbey Road are half price at the moment – IMHO their Brilliance pack is..well…yknow

Anyone out there using Paul Neyrincks VControl Pro? Stay tuned for some awesome developments on that front this year. Can’t say more at this stage but some very nifty features coming to it soon.

Pro Audio “grey-shipping”


I’ve been lucky enough in the last few months to have some small success and have made a decision to re-invest in my business, upgrading some gear, picking up a few new plugins things like that. I havent spent any significant money since I opened my doors nearly two years ago, so I consider it overdue!

So I’m hunting around for a deal on some new speakers and couldn’t help but have a rant about that experience. Read on if you find my ire and frustration marginally amusing, if not, tune in again next blog post…If you’re an australian distributor I urge you to read on, to better understand your clients perpective on your “salesmanship”.

I worked in pro audio distribution for years, I know the frustration of those companies who provide solid support to whoever calls them at whatever hour of the day and they never asks a sheckle for the honour of it. I also understand that distributors largely only get negative calls – I mean when was the last time you rang your reseller/distributor to thank them for a trouble free, solid product? It’s a thankless task being in the middle at times (oh except for the money in it).

However, you’d have to be living under a rock not to realise the aussie dollar and US dollar are close to parity – which makes for “cheap” products when shopping online from overseas stores. I mean A Current Affair have done how many bloody special investigations on the topic since we went over 90 cents? So can I be blamed for shopping around for a deal? I don’t think so, in fact I think its disrespectful to my family not to shop for the best deal to keep my cost of business economical – and more importantly I dont think I deserve a dose of guilt and a lecture on my evils from the local distributors…

I was given a great quote overseas where the landed cost of the goods, with shipping AND having rightfully paid the GST on the way into the country had the gear quite a few hundred dollars cheaper than the best price I could get locally. The locals didn’t have stock, had to check with other folk OS outside business hours to give me an ETA on stock, the turnaround was going to be significantly longer and yet they STILL had an angry tone and defensively asked me questions like “do you buy a lot of gear overseas do you!?” (the implication, HOW VERY DARE YOU!).

They went on to aggressively explain they provide EXCELLENT service, and that I can ask clients XYZ all about it….I’m sorry, but isnt that YOUR job? To SELL me? To convince of this supposed added value you provide? Why should I ring someone other than you to convince me to shop with you?? How about…

a) providing a written warranty document, outlining what added service support I can expect that differentiates your business from offshore businesses?

b) Provide some testimonials of clients in writing – maybe even, go forbid, on the same document above?

Or at the very least, leave your “sense of entitlement” to my sale out of your tone of voice when you try to convince to shop with you? It’s now a global market – you are NOT entitled to my sale, you have to EARN it. Calm yourself down, sell me, do your job and I’ll shop with you – but given a lovely, fast, courteous experience with overseas stores compared to grumpy, defensive, agressive locals who are demanding more money and providing little in the way of justification for the difference, is it any wonder more and more people shop online?

Manage your clients perspectives – “the truth” is subjective – this article is a buyers perspective and I urge local pro audio resellers to adapt to survive and to keep aussie dollars in Australia for all our sakes.