Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

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Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:50 pm

This is where I post my questions to Andrew about Pro Tools!


Question 1:

I know you told me this before but I forget. What is the key command to see the progress when PT is rendering something? Also can I do other things while it renders away or is it not recommended? Thanks!
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Postby macrae11 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:07 am

I can forsee this thread taking a considerable amount of my time in the future. :-D

The task manager window is option/alt+' Apostrophe that is if you can't tell. You can also find it under the windows menu.

You can absolutely do stuff while its working, but it will slow a few things down. In the task manager you can also set any background process to pause during playback. You may need to do that if you find you're getting a lot of errors. This will of course make things take much longer. I usually try to plan renders around coffee breaks to limit the slowdowns, but sometimes they're unavoidable.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:19 am

macrae11 wrote:I can forsee this thread taking a considerable amount of my time in the future. :-D

You have no idea....

macrae11 wrote:The task manager window is option/alt+' Apostrophe that is if you can't tell. You can also find it under the windows menu.

Now I remember. Thanks!

macrae11 wrote:You can absolutely do stuff while its working, but it will slow a few things down. In the task manager you can also set any background process to pause during playback. You may need to do that if you find you're getting a lot of errors. This will of course make things take much longer. I usually try to plan renders around coffee breaks to limit the slowdowns, but sometimes they're unavoidable.

I'll just plan them around other things that need doing around the studio.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:28 am

Question 2:

In version 7.4 and higher when using Elastic Audio (EA), choosing the proper algorithm seems crutially important as EA is far from being flawless yet.

My question is in regards to acoustic guitars specifically. Depending on the type of part being played certain algorithms don't work well. X-Form worked great for the parts that were strummed, however the arpeggiated parts got pretty wonky (technical term) and even trying polyphonic and monophonic leave some undesirable results.

What algorithm would you recommend and how would you adjust the analysis markers to give the best result? Would I be right in understanding that the fewer analysis points that exist, the less problems I could have with a render?
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Postby macrae11 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:42 am

Drumwaiter wrote:Question 2:

In version 7.4 and higher when using Elastic Audio (EA), choosing the proper algorithm seems crutially important as EA is far from being flawless yet.

My question is in regards to acoustic guitars specifically. Depending on the type of part being played certain algorithms don't work well. X-Form worked great for the parts that were strummed, however the arpeggiated parts got pretty wonky (technical term) and even trying polyphonic and monophonic leave some undesirable results.



EA certainly isn't a magic bullet, although I don't think there is one. Arpeggiated guitar parts are about the hardest thing to stretch that I've come across. Usually X-form is the way to go. Sometimes beat detective will actually work better for this, unless the tempo is really slow, and the parts are significantly out. Once in a while I'll do it part way with BD, consolidate and then EA. 99.9% of the time, if things are this bad, I'll retrack, because at that point it's really just beyond rediculous.

Some real suggestions:

Try turning on formant in X-Form.

Rhythmic with a slow decay sometimes works wonders on acoustic guitar.

Try splitting the troublesome part onto a separate track and treating it differently.

When in Polyphonic mode, try adjusting the decay time. It's not called decay time, but I can't think of what it is called right now.
Drumwaiter wrote:What algorithm would you recommend and how would you adjust the analysis markers to give the best result? Would I be right in understanding that the fewer analysis points that exist, the less problems I could have with a render?
I'm assuming you mean warp markers. You can have as many analysis markers as you want and it won't affect anything. the amount of warp markers, and more importantly, how far you move them from their starting point affect render tim.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:10 am

macrae11 wrote:Try turning on formant in X-Form.

What does it do differently than having it off?

macrae11 wrote:Rhythmic with a slow decay sometimes works wonders on acoustic guitar.

Haven't tried this yet. Thought about it before going to bed.

macrae11 wrote:When in Polyphonic mode, try adjusting the decay time. It's not called decay time, but I can't think of what it is called right now.

Polyphonic worked the best of all of them so maybe it's just a matter of some tweaks in the settings.

macrae11 wrote:
Drumwaiter wrote:What algorithm would you recommend and how would you adjust the analysis markers to give the best result? Would I be right in understanding that the fewer analysis points that exist, the less problems I could have with a render?
I'm assuming you mean warp markers. You can have as many analysis markers as you want and it won't affect anything. the amount of warp markers, and more importantly, how far you move them from their starting point affect render tim.

I meant analysis markers. I understand the difference between those and warp markers, but without analysis markers there can be no warp markers. I've just had better luck in limiting the points that EA can decided to warp. I guess it's kinda six of one half a dozen of the other, eh?
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Postby macrae11 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:32 am

Digi Manual wrote:X-Form
(Rendered Only)
The X-Form Elastic Audio plug-in is a modified version of Digidesign’s standalone X-Form AudioSuite processing plug-in (based on the Radius® algorithm from iZotope). The X-Form Elastic Audio plug-in is for Rendered Elastic Audio processing only and cannot process in real- time or as an AudioSuite plug-in. It provides the highest quality time compression algorithms for music production, sound design, and audio loop applications.
Quality
Select either Maximum or Low (Faster) from the Quality pop-up menu. Maximum is the slowest processing algorithm, but provides the highest quality results. Low (Faster) produces relatively good results and is much faster than the Maxi- mum setting.
Formant
For audio material with clear formants, enable Formant to preserve the formant shape of audio when applying TCE processing.

Audio with a fundamental pitch has an overtone series, or set of higher harmonics. The strength of these higher harmonics cre- ates a formant shape, which is apparent if viewed using a spectrum analyzer. The over- tone series, or harmonics, have the same spacing related to the pitch and have the same general shape regardless of what the fundamental pitch is. It is this formant shape that gives the audio its overall char- acteristic sound or timbre. When pitch shifting audio, the formant shape is shifted with the rest of the material, which can re- sult in an unnatural sound. Keeping this shape constant is critical to formant correct pitch shifting and achieving a natural sounding result


Formants are sort of like the attack of the signal you're affecting. Having it turned on will keep a more natural attack, on signals with strong formants like acoustic guitar. Not so much as on a string patch.

Drumwaiter wrote:I meant analysis markers. I understand the difference between those and warp markers, but without analysis markers there can be no warp markers. I've just had better luck in limiting the points that EA can decided to warp. I guess it's kinda six of one half a dozen of the other, eh?
Not true. You can have warp markers with no analysis markers. Analysis markers are merely where PT thinks the warp markers should go, but don't have any effect on the audio. You generally will have better luck using less points, and if you're doing it automatically (ie using PT's suggested points) then yes having less analysis markers will make things go smoother.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:39 am

This has the potential of being my favorite thread ever.
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Postby macrae11 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:39 am

I may have to start charging. ;-)
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:55 am

macrae11 wrote:I may have to start charging. ;-)


What do you work for them now? Hahaha...

Their customer support is good, but phone sex would have been cheaper.
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

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Postby macrae11 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:25 am

Now if only someone would have a service that combined the two.... :idea:
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:46 pm

Question 3:

How do I go back to the original take on a playlist after having rendered Elastic Audio (without too much trouble)?

I want to A/B the two... Something doesn't seen right here. [/u]
"Volume automation takes time. You don't got that kinda time. You could be getting naked with somebody somewhere." -Slipperman

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Postby macrae11 » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:34 am

Drumwaiter wrote:Question 3:

How do I go back to the original take on a playlist after having rendered Elastic Audio (without too much trouble)?

I want to A/B the two... Something doesn't seen right here. [/u]


Do you mean an earlier take, or the unedited version of the take?

For an unedited version, either duplicate the playlist, or duplicate the track (alt+shift+D). Then right click on the region you want to reset and click remove warp. Switch back and forth between the two to hear the change.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:13 pm

macrae11 wrote:
Drumwaiter wrote:Question 3:

How do I go back to the original take on a playlist after having rendered Elastic Audio (without too much trouble)?

I want to A/B the two... Something doesn't seen right here. [/u]


Do you mean an earlier take, or the unedited version of the take?

For an unedited version, either duplicate the playlist, or duplicate the track (alt+shift+D). Then right click on the region you want to reset and click remove warp. Switch back and forth between the two to hear the change.


Thanks That did the trick!

Now...

Question 4:

What's the most efficient way to comp a drum performance? I want to use s couple of little parts from different takes. I know how to go between playlists but once I know which parts I want to bring in where, do you have any special tricks to comp them together? Would you recommend a new playlist for this purpose?

Thanks in advance for your time. I know, I should just go to school and learn this shit but I'm poor/lazy. :-P
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:43 pm

Answered my own question. Created new playlist and copy/pasted everything in the order I wanted. Pro Tools is fun.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:07 pm

Question 5:
For arpeggiated guitar parts would Beat Detective be a viable solution since it doesn't stretch the audio just chops it up?
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Postby macrae11 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:16 pm

Possibly. Playing arpeggiated guitar parts properly is the best solution though.

I know you're doing all this to learn PT, and that's great, but some things are just more of a pain to fix than to play properly. Actually, everything is more of a pain to fix than to play properly, but I understand that's not always the right answer. Picked guitar parts however, are one of the worst things to fix IME.

If it needs to be done, I'll often use Beat Detective, Elastic Audio, delays, manual chopping, sledgehammers, whatever it takes. It's one of those things that experience just tells you what tool is best for each individual fix, and if you don't have experience, experimentation is about all you can fall back on. Then the more you experiment, the more experienced you become. Lame answer I know, and if I was there hearing the part, I could be more specific.

Also this post reminds me how much I hate editing, and how much I love it when I don't have to.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:24 pm

macrae11 wrote:Possibly. Playing arpeggiated guitar parts properly is the best solution though.

Actually the new ones are very good. But there may be a handful I want to nudge a little bit. It's really hard (unless you have paid session guys) to not have to do any editing to get a good polished product though.

macrae11 wrote:Also this post reminds me how much I hate editing, and how much I love it when I don't have to.

The foundation of our relationship. I give you parts that you don't normally have to edit, and you continue to not want to hurt me. It's a good system.
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Postby macrae11 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:30 pm

Drumwaiter wrote:
macrae11 wrote:Possibly. Playing arpeggiated guitar parts properly is the best solution though.

Actually the new ones are very good. But there may be a handful I want to nudge a little bit. It's really hard (unless you have paid session guys) to not have to do any editing to get a good polished product though.

Absolutely I hear ya. If you're only moving very small amounts, then usually I find EA works fine. If I hear artifacts with EA, I'll usually edit manually. Sometimes I'll use BD as a primary step to chop up all the pieces or something, but most of the moves are manual. I find it feels much better that way. Also having everything too perfect can start to sound really crummy too. A lot of times I'll only move something until it doesn't offend me anymore, not until it lands perfectly on the grid line. And honestly once I'm happy with the drum groove, I just edit everything to that, and just use the grid as a reference, even if the drums are off.



Drumwaiter wrote:
macrae11 wrote:Also this post reminds me how much I hate editing, and how much I love it when I don't have to.

The foundation of our relationship. I give you parts that you don't normally have to edit, and you continue to not want to hurt me. It's a good system.

It certainly works for me.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:32 pm

Question 6:

Once I have everything edited the way I want and I want to transfer things to another DAW, what is the easiest way to select the regions I want? Do I have to go through my hard drive and fish them out the old fashioned way or is there an easier way to proceed?

Thanks!

xoxo
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Postby macrae11 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:51 pm

Drumwaiter wrote:Question 6:

Once I have everything edited the way I want and I want to transfer things to another DAW, what is the easiest way to select the regions I want? Do I have to go through my hard drive and fish them out the old fashioned way or is there an easier way to proceed?

Thanks!

xoxo


Create a duplicate playlist for all tracks. This will keep your edits as they originally were if you need to come back to them for any reason.

Turn on the group "all". It's in the lower left corner in the groups window.
Make sure all your tracks are named appropriately because this is what your files will be named.

Select all the audio you want to export into your other DAW.
Hit consolidate region. Option(alt)+Shift+3(on the regular keyboard). It's also under the region menu I believe. This will also embed any edits done via Elastic Audio, or anything else. It will create brand new continuous files with no edits in them, but with all the editing done.

Export regions. Command(Control)+Shift+K. This can also be done in the region list on the right hand side from the drop down menu.
Then just select your location by clicking on choose folder, and set your bit depth, sample rate etc. and you're good to go.
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Re: Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:30 pm

I'm back and getting more used to Pro Tools by the day. I don't even think I've had Cubase up for more than 15 minutes since the beginning of the year.

That being said, I still have questions Andrew:

1> Now that I know how to make the cursor go back to the selected point after playback, why is it that the down arrow is not changing that point the way it does when you are doing edits? When I press down it actually disrupts the playback and it doesn't act right in relation to how you've shown me. I'm assuming it's a small setting somewhere that conrols this. Any ideas?

2> I remember a few weeks ago that you were all exciting after having learned key commands for changing playlists and adding new playlists. Do you remember what those were?

Thanks!
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Re: Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

Postby macrae11 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Oh well back to work I guess.

1> I was thinking about this after talking to you last night. The only answer that I could come up with is that you somehow turned Dynamic Transport on. I personally hate that setting and never use it. Control+Command+P is the key command to turn it on and off. After that your relevant settings should have Link Edit and Timeline Selection turned on, and Edit Insertion Follows Playback turned off.

2>Unfortunately there's still no command for switching playlists, so hopefully that will come soon. I don't have a copy of 9 here, but from memory it's Control+\ for new playlist, Control+Option+\ for duplicate playlist.
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Re: Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:32 am

macrae11 wrote:1> I was thinking about this after talking to you last night. The only answer that I could come up with is that you somehow turned Dynamic Transport on. I personally hate that setting and never use it. Control+Command+P is the key command to turn it on and off. After that your relevant settings should have Link Edit and Timeline Selection turned on, and Edit Insertion Follows Playback turned off.


Ahhh... this makes so much sense! I had turned dynamic transport on by mistake when I was trying to figure out how to get this working right. When you had gotten me to turn on "link edit and timeline selection" and turn off "edit insertion follows playback" I had already tried to figure it out on my own... facepalm

Thanks!
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Re: Matt's Pro Tools learning thread...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:45 am

Question 7:

I want to start doing some sample enhancements in Pro Tools. I have all my samples from the drum mapping I did at the end of the drum tracking session, and I'll be cutting them up and organizing them this week.

Andrew, I know you do it manually and I just wanted to know how you go about this task as I don't believe I've ever actually watched you do it. So once I have my samples all ready to go and organized, what is my next step? We're specifically talking about kick drum here.
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