5.1 control room current setup

This post is a technical post describing the setup of the 5.1 control room and the capabilities of it. This isn’t a guideline as such, however it can be helpful to know what you are working with, and how it is all connected together.

This control room is centered around Pro Tools LE 8 and a 003 control surface which at the time of writing is the latest and greatest version from Digidesign, this runs on an Intel iMac with plenty of ‘grunt’ to get the job done. This Pro Tools setup isn’t your standard run of the mill install of LE 8 with limited number of tracks, plug-ins, etc there has been a lot of research and spending gone into this system. We have installed the Digidesign Pro Tools Complete Production Toolkit on this single iMac, giving you 128 mono tracks, a whole array of different mix formats, and over £1000 worth of top of the range plug-ins to name just a few of the features of this toolkit. What this means to you is that instead of being a limited cut down version of Pro Tools (or Light Edition) we are running as close to a full Pro Tools HD / TDM system as we can get without actually having Pro Tools HD / TDM. Continue reading

5.1 control room start up guidelines

I’ve recently finished setting up the 5.1 surround sound control room and am writing a series of posts detailing the use of this room as there are a few guidelines which MUST be followed. The Pro Tools system in this control room is setup differently to the multi-track control room and has some certain guidelines that must be followed to ensure correct use.

The first thing that must be made clear is that if the system is all shut off when you come to use it there is a certain power up sequence that must be followed in order for everything to sync up correctly. The sequence for correct power up is as follows –

  1. Ensure the BlueSky remote is set to the off position (full left)
  2. DigiDesign 003 Control Surface
  3. Yamaha O2R/96 V2
  4. iMac Continue reading

Setting up the ProTools environment best practices

To get the best performance out of the ProTools environment I have found that making the following changes can be extremely beneficial for Native based systems, HD / TDM systems work in a different manner to Native systems. These instructions are for the Mac OS X version of ProTools, however the setup is the same for a Windows based system, however some of the menus may be in other places, unfortunately I don’t use Windows machines so I cannot check this. I am also using ProTools M-Powered 7.3.1 in the Native section, and ProTools 6.4 TDM in the HD / TDM section, things could be slightly different based on the version of ProTools you are using, however I have not found any major differences between LE 7 and 8 yet.

The first thing to do is start ProTools with a blank session, create a new blank session and don’t add anything to it if you need to. You should now just have the blank ProTools canvas on your screen the first thing we are going to do is to set all the buffer levels, and processing to levels that minimize the latency and provide the most power for the system. Click on Setup, and then Playback Engine, you will be greeted by a settings box for the playback engine of the interface you are using. Continue reading

Audiosuite what, RTAS who? The ProTools plug-in mystery solved

When it comes to plug-ins in ProTools when using LE or M-Powered there are really only two viable options open to you, Audiosuite or RTAS plug-ins. Do you know the difference? Do you even use Audiosuite plugs? What is RTAS? Why should I care about Audiosuite? Well hopefully after reading this you will understand a little more about the differences, and when to use these powerful plug-ins and when not to.

There are actually three different types of plug-in available for ProTools software, these are Audiosuite, RTAS, and TDM. The TDM plug-ins use ProTools HD / TDM hardware which the university doesn’t have so these will not be covered in great detail. The main focus for us are the Audiosuite and RTAS plug-ins as the university has over £1000 worth of plug-ins for students to use, it’s probably best to know the differences. These Audiosuite and RTAS plug-ins are known as Native plug-ins as they use the local “native” CPU for their processing.

Continue reading