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Going ProTools - education and training
Old 24th May 2006
  #1
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opentune's Avatar
 

Going ProTools - education and training

After a long time working on a "low" level (mainly PC-based ITB mixing on
Cubase or Nuendo, tracking with rented meduim/low level live sound gear)
i decided to do something for my education.

I booked a session in a local studio equipped with the following gear:

PT HD2 on Mac G5 with lots of high quality plugs
Tascam M600
Dynaudio BM15A plus sub
Dynaudio BM6A
Outboard from Neve, Urei, SPL, Lexicon

All that in a decent sounding CR.

On monday i´ll go there with my firewire HD, import my consolidated
files (self-written, self-recorded song) and start mixing.
In the evening i´ll compare my mix to the one i did with the low level
gear a couple of weeks ago.
The owner will show me how PT works. I guess i will get along with the
analog gear well, but....

....is there anything i can prepare for that session (except downloading some
pdf´s and visiting the websites of the plugin manufactureres) regarding
the fact that i´m a total noob to ProTools?

Let me know if you have an idea how i can prepare myself. I really want to
use this day as efficient as possible.

Gimme your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
Old 25th May 2006
  #2
Registered User
 

Well since you only have a few days I'd suggest downloading the pdf's and visiting various web sites. There issome decent info on Digi's website. If you can get a book. PT isn't too difficult and since you're already familiar with other DAWs I don't think you'll have too hard of a time with it. Just get your basics down pat and take some notes along with you and try to remember as many of the key commands as possible since they save some time. Best of luck.
Old 25th May 2006
  #3
Registered User
 

http://akwww.digidesign.com/support/...ed%20Guide.pdf

Try this link, it should help some. By the way, do you know what version of PT you'll be working with and what some of the plug-ins are? I'd use alot of the nicer outboard processing during my mixdown personally because it adds that little something extra. Also remember to save your work often and make backups. If I can think of something else I'll keep you posted.
Old 25th May 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune
In the evening i´ll compare my mix to the one i did with the low level
gear a couple of weeks ago.
.
Let us know what you think...I did the same a couple of years back SX to PT HD both in the box mixes.

thx
Old 25th May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Stizz's Avatar
Would it be possible to work with an intern or assistant from the studio? That would probably help you get on the learning curve easier...
Old 25th May 2006
  #6
Registered User
 

Heres a few more basic tips that might help. Again, I'm not sure how much you know about PT but these are pretty important aspects of the program when getting started. Hope it helps.

Use the Auto Save Backup feature in the Operations Preferences page....it will automatically back up your work just in case you forget.

Learn the 4 Editing Modes : Spot, Shuffle Grid, & Slip modes.

Learn the Editing Tools: the Grabber, Pencil, Scrubber, Zoom, Selector, and Trimmer tools.

Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac computers.

Learn the basics of Navigation & Display : ruler views, time scales, Edit & Mix windows, track sizes, display options, the zoom button for vertical and horizontal zooms, ect.

Learn about editing regions and using memory locations.

Learn about importing audio.

Learn about fades and crossfades.

Learn about managing and organizing your session and audio regions. Remember that [I]compacting sound files is destructive[I]...best to not use this function until you're done.

Since you're doing a mixdown....learn the mix window inside and out. Learn about sends and returns, sends views, insert views, I/O views, hardware inserts, busses....the whole nine yards.

And most importantly have fun. Good Luck.
Old 25th May 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiz7
Let us know what you think...I did the same a couple of years back SX to PT HD both in the box mixes.

thx
When i´m done with the session i will post a detailed report
inlcuding some audio files!
Old 25th May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stizz
Would it be possible to work with an intern or assistant from the studio? That would probably help you get on the learning curve easier...
The studio owner will be there for me the whole time. It´s gonna be like
a PT workshop. Well, actually it will be a PT workshop...heh

(just visited the doppler studio site. Nice!)
Old 25th May 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivers28
By the way, do you know what version of PT you'll be working with and what some of the plug-ins are? I'd use alot of the nicer outboard processing during my mixdown personally because it adds that little something extra.
The system was upgraded two weeks ago. Brandnew G5 dual 2,5 with 6 gig ram,
PT HD2 version 7, PCI-e cards and a wealth of great plugins. I got me a list of the
plugins he has installed on his system. Don´t have the list here at the moment,
but i can remember some...

SansAmp PSA1
Sony Oxford stuff (eq, inflator...)
McDSP bundle (don´t know which one)
UAD 1176
Line 6 Echofarm
Pultec EQ (bombfactory?)
Massive Pack Pro 3 (don´t know what that is)

I have to investigate what all these plugins do before the session starts.

It´s gonna be a hybrid mixdown session. I´m familiar with lots of the nice
outboard gear. I love these two Urei comps that he has. Can´t remember the
exact name. Black front panel, one rack space and great coloring!

Thanks a lot for takin the time to post all the tips! I´m sure it´s gonna
a cool session!

I will see if i can get along with a one button mouse...heh
Old 25th May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 
djui5's Avatar
 

the Compressor Bank and Filter Bank from McDSP are great

Also the Pultec Eq's are nice. I use them a lot.

Echofarm is a lot of fun. Mess with the sweep echo

My advice would be to just get familiar with the workings of the system in general. The automation, channels, auxes, busses, etc etc. PT's is a really easy program to use once you get to know it. There is a lot you can do with it, but for now just focus on the basics. Setting markers, some editing if you need it (the super tool is your friend...ask the studio owner about this, he'll explain it). Get him to show you short cuts for making new tracks, you'll need this a lot if your mixing.

Also, if he dosen't have them, get him to download Smassey's tape sim plug-in. It's great (or if he has Phoenix, use that on everything). Strap this thing on all the original audio tracks.

Good luck, hope it's a lot of fun for you.
Old 25th May 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune
After a long time working on a "low" level (mainly PC-based ITB mixing on
Cubase or Nuendo, tracking with rented meduim/low level live sound gear)
i decided to do something for my education.

I booked a session in a local studio equipped with the following gear:

PT HD2 on Mac G5 with lots of high quality plugs
Tascam M600
Dynaudio BM15A plus sub
Dynaudio BM6A
Outboard from Neve, Urei, SPL, Lexicon

All that in a decent sounding CR.

On monday i´ll go there with my firewire HD, import my consolidated
files (self-written, self-recorded song) and start mixing.
In the evening i´ll compare my mix to the one i did with the low level
gear a couple of weeks ago.
The owner will show me how PT works. I guess i will get along with the
analog gear well, but....

....is there anything i can prepare for that session (except downloading some
pdf´s and visiting the websites of the plugin manufactureres) regarding
the fact that i´m a total noob to ProTools?

Let me know if you have an idea how i can prepare myself. I really want to
use this day as efficient as possible.

Gimme your thoughts. Thanks in advance.
Whereabouts in Germany are you?
I've got a bit of free time- I'd be happy to give you a once over with PT.
I'm right on the French/German/Swiss border- if you are willing to come to Basel, let me know.

JR
Old 26th May 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
joaquin's Avatar
 

Felicidadez Opentune!
I'd just make sure that you have clear understanding of the studio patch-bay and the great outboard you may have acess to!
If it's the editing tools you are interested in...I think it'd be cheaper to get an M-box and study at home.
Anyway...Cool!! thumbsup

PS. if you do not have a PT session, figure out ahead of time the best way to import your files in to one!
Old 26th May 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5

Good luck, hope it's a lot of fun for you.
Thanks for all the tips, Randy! It´s sure going to be fun!
I´ll mix one the tunes you already know, so you can rip apart
my efforts after i posted the new PT mix...heh
Old 26th May 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13
And an excuse to get a G4 Powermac that can run OS9.
http://www.digidesign.com/ptfree/
Too bad i had to sell my G4 couple of months ago... otherwise i would check
out the free version. Thanks for the link!
Old 26th May 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
Whereabouts in Germany are you?
I've got a bit of free time- I'd be happy to give you a once over with PT.
I'm right on the French/German/Swiss border- if you are willing to come to Basel, let me know.

JR
Thanks for the generous offer! I´ll send you an e-mail these days.
Hope you had fun with the CD...!
Old 26th May 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joaquin
Felicidadez Opentune!
I'd just make sure that you have clear understanding of the studio patch-bay and the great outboard you may have acess to!
If it's the editing tools you are interested in...I think it'd be cheaper to get an M-box and study at home.
Anyway...Cool!! thumbsup

PS. if you do not have a PT session, figure out ahead of time the best way to import your files in to one!
The patchbay seems to be in a very good condition. So i will not waste
precious time on finding out how everything is connected.

I don´t have a PT file, so it´s probably the best to bring consolidated
wave files.

Been visiting the Digidesign site. I was really surprised how big the software
bundle for the m-Box is. Interesting stuff...
Old 27th May 2006
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune
When i´m done with the session i will post a detailed report
inlcuding some audio files!
Cool...looking forward to your eval. on the whole experience, after the "Honeymoon's" over.
Old 27th May 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
joaquin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Opentune
In the evening i´ll compare my mix to the one i did with the low level
gear a couple of weeks ago.
The owner will show me how PT works. I guess i will get along with the
analog gear well, but....

Opentune, what's the objective for this experiment? Do not see why you would get such different results with a diferent Digital sequencer?? I mean, the analog pieces that you may find in the studio may give something different to your music, but in an unknown monitoring enviroment, the rewards may be a bit of luck, for the summing bus difference, 32bit floating V/S 48bit double precision math...(or something like that), I'm still to find a convincing answer.
May be the high end plugins what you are looking forward!?
Any way...Good luck
Old 27th May 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joaquin
Opentune, what's the objective for this experiment?
Joaquin, i guess i should´ve posted some more info about my goals.

I booked that session for several reasons.
- wanna learn PT (probably the biggest point) and i want to get
faniliar with the lugins
- i´d like to know how far i can get a mix with equipment that´s
way better than my gear (sometimes i feel a little limited by
the gear and monitoring situation at my place)
- and maybe it´s gonna be interesting having someone with more
expirience watch my workflow and my way to achieve certain sounds.

As far as the 32bit floating vs 48bit double precision...we did a
test with the Cubase engine, the PT engine and the Tascam M600.
My (personal) opinion: The Tascam was just great. Wide, deep and
open sounding. Simple as that.
I liked the PT engine for how it treated the HF range. We did
a test with a drumset i recorded at my place, and the cymbals
and ambience were sounding good. I didn´t like what the PT engine
did to the snare though. Liked Nuendo better since it was just
uhm...rocking... if that makes sense...

The monitoring environment. At my place i use cheapo HiFi speakers
(Magnat) in an untreated room with horrible dimensions. (roundabout
12feet x 12feet x 7,5feet). So i´m sure i will hear interesting
things at the other studio.heh

I´ll definetly do a hybrid mixdown. Special plugins for special stuff.
Nice outboard for the basic tracks.

Can´t wait to do this...
Old 27th May 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
amost's Avatar
 

Look forward to your observations.

I'm still in the Nuendo ITB possibly sounds better than PT ITB camp but it certainly has alot to do with my lack of chops on either, I recognize & admit that. With my limited skills I can get a more pleasing mix(to my ears) in Nuendo than I can can with PTLE but I'm working on it. There's certainly a ton of hit records done in Pro Tools so...

Just got 002 and am determined to learn the software. It's really been great being able to open some Mac PTHD sessions done in a nice studio and bring them home & open the session with my 002 PC rig. Way easier than importing the Broadcast Waves into Nuendo. The Aux/send thing is more advanced in PT than N & I'm enjoying learning that...sorta. I'm also surprised that I'm getting as many plugs up as I can on my PC, thought it would be less.

Good luck
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