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Optimizing OSX for Audio

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Apple computers are almost studio ready right out of the box. There is very little required from the user in terms of optimization.

  1. Enable secondary click in Mouse Preferences
  2. Disable Natural scrolling direction in Mouse Preferences
  3. Set scrolling to without inertia in Universal Access>Mouse>Mouse Options
  4. Change show spotlight from CMD+Space to Option+Space in Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts (so you don’t conflict with Pro Tools recording shortcut)
  5. Disable Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible in Energy Saver preferences

These are just some of my own suggestions.

please note, this article was originally written for OSX 10.7 but has been updated over the years and should be considered almost entirely up to date. (more…)

Home Studio Corner is a great resource for Pro Tools users

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

This Thursday, February 25th Joe Gilder of Home Studio Corner is hosting a webinar entitled “Why I Use Pro Tools”. It’s free to sign up and will be fun and informative. Fair warning, he is going to be promoting his upcoming tutorial video (which is going to be something you’ll want to pick up).


Besides things like the upcoming Webinar, Joe has some brilliant articles and videos on various Pro Tools related topics. His latest blog post lists them all, as reposted below.


12 Home Studio Necessities #2 – DAW/Recording Software
Why I Use Pro Tools
Ask Joe #4 – Pro Tools Questions
Do I Need Pro Tools Certification?
Mbox2 Pro or 003?
Using the Stock Digi Plug-ins


How to Make Your Hard Drive an Audio Record Volume in Pro Tools
Productivity Part 1 – Label Your I/O
Productivity Part 2 – Using Session Templates
Inserts and Sends in Pro Tools
How to Create a Click Track in Pro Tools
Using the 4 Edit Modes in Pro Tools
Solo Safe in Pro Tools
Pro Tools Track Types Part 1
Pro Tools Track Types Part 2 – The Master Fader
4 Ways to Use Playlists in Pro Tools
Using Groups in Pro Tools (or any DAW)
Inserting Time in Pro Tools
File Management in Pro Tools: Using Save Copy In to Shrink Your Sessions
Using QuickPunch in Pro Tools
Importing Session Data
Printing Effects and Instruments in Pro Tools
Session File Management in Pro Tools

Pro Tools Tip – Conflict with Melodyne & MP3 export

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Just an FYI if you use Pro Tools and Melodyne and ever want to use the MP3 export function.

I came across this today (don’t I have the best luck?), isn’t it lovely. [click to embiggen]

It turns out there’s is a conflict with Melodyne Plugin & the MP3 Export for Pro Tools. The FAQ on Celemony’s website has this info to correct the situation.

Exporting audio as MP3 can lead to a crash with the error message: Set ENV Var KMP_Duplicate_Lib_ok = True. If this happens, proceed as follows:

  • Right-click My computer and choose Properties.
  • In the System Properties window, click on the Advanced tab and select Environment Variables.
  • In the User Variables section, select New.
  • Enter KMP_DUPLICATE_LIB_OK into the Variable Name field.
  • Enter TRUE into the Variable Value field.
  • Click OK to exit first the New User Variable, then Environment Variables, then System Properties windows.
  • Restart Pro Tools

I can confirm this works.

Pro Tools Tip – Don't trust the timing accuracy of Audiosuite processing

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Today I was mixing a song in Pro Tools and came across a big problem with the Pitch Shift and Time Shift Audiosuite plugins.


Here’s what happened:

I had a horn part that just didn’t sound as thick as I wanted.
I duplicated the track and processed the duplicate with Audiosuite Pitch Shift down one octave.
I played it back the notes were all way off in timing!
I tried it again with the TimeShift plugin and had similar results.
I had to manually pocket every phrase because it was just so badly off and inconsistently too. In the picture above that one note is 79ms later than the original.

Obviously this is annoying! It might have gone unnoticed had I been just replacing the part and not layering it.


Of course if you think this is operator error let me know what I did wrong.

AVID/Digidesign skipping AES 2009

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Posted on the DUC today:

For those of you planning on attending the 2009 AES Convention in New York (October 9-12), we want to let you know about our plans for the show this year.

After much thought, Avid has decided not to exhibit at AES 2009. While Avid won’t have a booth presence on the show floor, we will have a team of sales managers, application engineers, and executive staff in attendance, and will be hosting meetings at a nearby hotel suite.

Avid will also be interacting with customers, prospects, and the media on a more highly personalized level through various initiatives planned through the year.

This decision is not a financial one nor is it a permanent one — AES is an important show for Avid, and the company is 100% committed to the audio community. This decision has no impact on plans to attend other tradeshows this year.

Avid has decided to use its resources to plan more customer-focused initiatives to work with and support the artists, musicians, producers, engineers, mixers, composers, and sound designers that make up a vital part of the Avid community.

What do I see from this? The next version of Pro Tools will not be announced in October. The version with all the bugs fixed that came with PT 8. Traditionally new software and hardware is announced at either AES in October or NAMM in January/July. If it’s not in October it’ll be January and that will be far too late.

Personally, I’ll likely be pretty cozy with Logic 9 by October.

FXpansion VST to RTAS Adapter and Mono Plugins

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

I guess this isn’t really a trick, but since I don’t often read manuals for software this option went unnoticed for a long time. I was always cursing that some of my favorite plugins would only work on stereo tracks. This was a big pain in the ass for gates (like ReaGate, which I prefer over the digi Dyn3 Expander/Gate because there’s no latency) and especially for guitar amps (like the awesome Nick Crow 7170, 8505 and LePou SoloC). By default these show up in the wrapper program as stereo plugins, which means they would only show up on stereo tracks. I did NOT know this was a user assignable parameter! I’ve been using this program for over a year! Facepalm. See the picture below, click to enlarge.


So just for fun I looked up what the manual has to say about this:


This column reports whether a plug-in can operate in mono. If a mono to stereo

or stereo to stereo plug-in can operate in mono, it will also appear as a mono

plug-in in Pro Tools. This parameter is user-editable, so that you can force plug-

ins to operate in mono.

Yep, I’m an idiot. I wish I knew about this a year ago!

I hope this helps someone else, it certainly made my last mix better.

Free Plugin Of The Week – Old RTAS plugins from Digidesign

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Every Monday I highlight free plugins new and old that are worth checking out. See all posts in the Free Plugin Of The Week Series.

For those of you that missed this on the Twitter, Digidesign has released a few of the older plugins free.

Pro Tools 8 comes with a ton of new plugins, but it also comes bundled with a few very useful oldies. These are now free for anyone on a 7.3+ system. Look for the version 8 download for each of these. No iLok required for any of these, no codes, just run the installer.

Digidesign: D-Fi Bundle (Lo-Fi, Sci-Fi, Recti-Fi, and Vari-Fi)

Digidesign: Maxim

Bombfactory: Sansamp PSA-1

Trillium Lane Labs: TL AutoPan

Trillium Lane Labs: TL Utilities (TL Metro, TL InTune, TL MasterMeter)

Even if you don’t upgrade to Pro Tools 8 you can still use these. Sansamp is my favorite right now.

You’ll likely need to get the most recent Pace InterLok drivers [end user dropdown box on right]

Happy Holidays!