Digital Audio Workstation
We currently use Avid's Pro Tools HDX Ultimate Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for all all recording, editing and processing. Pre Amps feed directly into the HDI/O, or Omni interfaces and we use the C24 control surface for that big mixing desk feel.
Why Pro Tools? It's the industry standard for all professional audio and post-production studios.
There are several reasons for this:
- Pro Tools is the most feature laden DAW available and the DAW of choice for Post Production studios
- The standard platform for recording ADR due to its video integration
- Works on both Mac & PC - take your session to any Pro Tools studio and it will load seamlessly
- Pro Tools Ultimate HDX allows the much faster off-line bounce - saves clients studio time and money!
- Multitrack audio editing - applying edits to multiple tracks simultaneously - saves time
- Workflow: It is simply faster, easier, and more productive
- Superb quality, dedicated hardware - both consoles and interfaces
Audio Clean Up and Restoration
We have a number of processors that address the problem of sub-standard audio recording which is brought into the studio by clients desperate for a fix. Pops, clicks, location recording noise, mains hum, mouth noises, plosive hits and breaths can all be intrusive. We find the two most useful software bundles by far to be Izotope's RX Advanced and Waves Clarity VX Pro.
RX is really excellent at many aspects of audio clean-up, restoration and repair:
De-Click, De-Clip, De-Crackle, De-Ess, De-Hum, De-Plosive, De-Reverb, De-Rustle, Dialogue Isolate, Mouth De-Click, Spectral De-Noise, Voice De-Noise. A real time saver.
Clarity VXPro tends to cover aspects of background noise removal rather better than RX.
Remote Session Direction
For clients not wishing to attend sessions in person, we offer a free alternative to the usually expensive and outdated ISDN link-up. Remote direction can be via almost any on-line portal (and even telephone!). We offer our own Source Nexus audio-visual link-up with unlimited session time, multiple camera and screen share feedback plus the possibility for clients to record their own comments as the session progresses - all at no extra cost.
All on-line links provide a direct live hook up to the studio engineer, other attendees and the talent. As communication is two way you can both monitor the session as it progresses and give feedback - just as you would if you were present in the studio. We've had telephone patch, Zoom and Source Connect all running simultaneously to the USA, Canada and Europe without problem.
Current free tried and tested portals include Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, MSTeams, Jitsi Meet, Cleanfeed, Riverside.fm, Whereby and more.
For those on slightly higher budgets, we offer Source Connect Pro and Sessionlink Pro capability to suitably equipped studios around the globe. The free/low cost platforms like Source Nexus produce generally excellent quality audio monitoring and are to be recommended over the lower quality (and increasingly rarely used) standard telephone patch. Source Connect Pro and Sessionlink Pro offer the best quality but do require a suitably equipped studio to monitor from.
Tuning and Timing Software
We use a number of tuning/timing applications for fixing problem vocals and instruments.
We have the classic Autotune but there are a number of other options:
Revoice Pro can automatically and instantly transfer the timing, pitch, intonation or loudness features from one signal to another.
Melodyne can adjust even polyphonic sources - we've used it on choirs.
We use any number of other plugins in our sessions. We have a huge range of processors and instruments available - currently too many to list!