Archive for the ‘Pro Tools’ Category

Apple Doesn't Care About Media Professional People

I was pretty stunned by the news of Apple’s new cylindrical Mac Pro.   Because of it’s amazing speed?   Because of it’s ground breaking design?

No…..because of it’s ability to immediately piss off thousands of Pro Tools users around the word with its exclusion of internal expansion….namely PCIe slots.
Audio professionals have been waiting for an updated Mac Pro for YEARS now.   Apple neglected to updated the highly sought after computer for a long time.  When they released specs on a new machine last year, it came with lackluster reviews, mainly because the specs where barely any different than a 5 year old model.

Now, with the release of the new Mac “Trash Can”, Pro Tools HD users are left completely in the dust.  Without PCIe, Pro Tools users will have to purchase costly Thunderbolt expansion chassis, adding thousands of dollars to the purchase price of the computer. …IF Pro Tools HDX even supports or works well with this technology)

Video and 3D modeling users are in a worse predicament since a replacement video card is completely out of the question.

Unfortunately, we are in the age of laptops and disposable computers.  Expansion and upgradeability have been tossed out the window.   Consumers are expected to buy a new computer almost every year.   My Mac Pro in the studio that runs Pro Tools HD  is going on 7 years old.  It’s still working like a champ, but it’s about time to switch.  That kind of longevity is being phased out buy money hungry corporations like Apple who only care about what’s being sold CURRENTLY…..not what they have sold already.

Another little piece of information that came to me today was the exclusion of OMF export in Final Cut Pro X.

I have a client that needs me to do an audio mix on a film trailer.  I asked my client to send me a DV video file (unfortunately the best format for Pro Tools) and export me an OMF so I have the individual tracks and audio elements.  “What’s OMF?”, he asks?    I have yet to use FCPX so I went out to the internet to find the menu options for exporting OMFs in FCP.   To my surprise, I find that Apple thought it would be a GREAT idea to remove the OMF/AAF export feature from FCPX altogether!

I’m speechless!

You can NOT do a decent audio mix in video editing software.

How does Apple expect people to give audio to a professional to mix?  How does Apple expect FCP to be taken seriously and used in the pro world?

They don’t……they can’t…..They don’t care.

Apple has officially showed their true colors.   Their main customers are teenagers, hipsters, and fanboys buying iPhones and tablets.   All of those media professionals that kept their company afloat during the tough times are being put out to pasture.   Without us, Apple would have died a quick death in the mid late 90’s.

So, maybe it’s time to take the hint a leave you behind Apple.  We’ve had a good run.  The studio will be upgrading soon when Pro Tools 11 comes out.  And since Avid has made some big changes as well, we will have to fork out 10’s of thousands of dollars in upgrades.  A PC may be at the studio when we upgrade.  I guess my Hackintosh I built for home few years ago was foreshadowing the future and making for the perfect transition from my G5 to a shiny new Windows box running Pro Tools 11.

EDIT 06-14-13

Here’s a really great article on what the Mac Pro means for engineers and “Pros”


EDIT 7-22-13

Found this great image while browsing Reddit that perfectly exemplifies my issue with the new mac pro.

New Mac Pro 2013

New Mac Pro 2013


I was having this problem with my Pro Tools LE 8 rig at home.  It was driving me so crazy (preventing me from getting ANY editing work done) that I actually spent more time looking up prices for 9 crossgrade than doing work.

I ended up figuring this problem out on my own.  (Although it’s one of those “workaround” fixes) But in my journeys on the Avid DUC, I hit the Pro Tools 8.0.3 release notes which includes bug fixes.  Now, being that we’re on Pro Tools 10 I’m a little late in figuring this out and quite frankly a bit upset that I didn’t know this 2 years ago.

In 8.0.3 there is a little feature at the bottom of the Options menu called “Edit/Tool Mode Keyboard Lock”.  I have been screaming for YEARS that you can’t lock the trim tool in place causing me to inadvertently time compress regions rather than trim them.  I’ve been on the verge of punching my LCD monitor many times on those LONG editing sessions.  I could never understand why Avid never added this feature.  I even went so far as to post it on Ideascale.  Well, they DID fix and…and a while ago too!

This is a happy day indeed!  No more wasted editing time!  HOORAY!!!!

Audio Engineers bitch too much.

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Pro Tools

I finally realized why I ended up being an audio engineer.  The field is full of complainers…….and I’m a complainer.  It all makes sense now.  The field is completely suited to my personality.

I realized this yesterday when I was checking out  I don’t know why I read this audio forum.  It’s probably the biggest one on the internet, with the most users, but unfortunately that means you have to sort through all the uninformed, highly opinionated, unchanging, and uneducated posts from weekend warriors and hobbyists who just regurgitate more uninformed information from their hobbyist counterparts.  As mixerman put it: “The blind leading the blind”.

Sure there are professionals posting that have been doing this MUCH longer than I have, but those people are severely outnumbered.  I’m not saying the less experienced shouldn’t post, but should be a little more humble. I personally prefer the Womb forums, but that one is slowly dying.

Anyway, back to the point at hand. A few posts came up about the new Avid Pro Tools HD hardware. Immediately, the trolls came out of the woodwork. People (mostly NON-Pro Tools users of course) are complaining about how much it sucks without even using it.

“It costs too much”
“Native is better”
“It took too long to release”
“It’s still not as good as Apogee, Lucid, whatever converter”

The list goes on and on.

The funny thing is, these are the same people that would complain about the fact that the Pro Tools HD hardware is too old and it sounds bad!!!  So Avid finally does something about it, releases new hardware that is (supposedly) a big sonic improvement, and people still bitch about it.  You can’t win.  People will always find something to complain about.

I think being a cynical person just goes with the territory of being an engineer.  Granted, I know some that don’t fit that mold, but I know a LOT who do.  And as I’ve mentioned, the forums are about 80% crabby whiners.

Of course, I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t call myself out on it.  I’m totally guilty of these actions.  The state of the music industry, mp3, loudness war, studios going out of business, cheap audio gear, “engineers”  who aren’t engineers…….all things I have no problem telling people my opinion on.  However, I think most of these issues are important and shared by the culture at large.  Not as petty as complaining about the products a company releases.  If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.  Pretty simple.

So, you know what the irony of this whole post is don’t you?  I’m complaining about the complainers.  Imagine that.

The craziest thing happened to me today while I was in session.  The light when out on my BF76 plugin in!  Out of all of my years using Pro Tools, that has never happened before!  I wonder if it was programmed in as a joke to happen over a certain period of time, or under certain conditions.  I’d like to try and find out the details of this.  It’s like finding a secret area in a video game.  Pretty funny.