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Old 09-30-2020, 07:14 PM
Flyingrockstudios Flyingrockstudios is offline
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Utah, United States
Posts: 47
Default Making The Avid Cloud Work For You

Like other things from Avid, the Avid Cloud is finicky. Over the last year there are some things I have found that can be done to overcome the Avid Cloud unexpected behavior. This is just my experience, so your experience may be different! I am using Pro Tools HDX 2020.9.0:

1. Know where your project cache in Pro Tools is located. You can change it in Pro Tools preferences. I moved my folder from the default location to an external drive. I didn't want my system drive to fill up with the cached files for each cloud project.

2. You can work on a cloud based project, record on it, edit it, etc, as you're actually recording to the local cached location from what I can tell. But at some point, you need to upload it. Also, you should use the save a copy in function in Pro Tools to make a local backup copy of the entire project. After each session after I work on a cloud project and I have "keeper" tracks or edits, I perform the save a copy in function. Not much different than a normal backup workflow.

3. If you somehow become disconnected from the Avid Cloud during a project, perform the save a copy in function for all the audio tracks so you have all your latest files. If you need to quit the project, Pro Tools or even reboot your computer, you still have a copy of everything on your local hard drive that you just worked on. You can then either create a cloud project from those saved files, or if the project is already on the cloud, then open/download the latest project from the Avid Cloud, and use the import session function to add just the tracks you changed from your backup since the last upload failure/disconnect/crash/freeze.

4. Sometimes the Avid Cloud shows the green arrow on a track that says you have changes that haven't been uploaded, but when you click on the green upload arrow, nothing happens. I have found that if you un-share the track with the blue arrow button, then after a second or so, re-share the track the next time you hit the green arrow for upload it works.

5. Just recently, I had a project that showed the large green upload arrow meaning I had changes that needed to be uploaded, but pressing it didn't upload anything. I discovered that there was an inactive hidden track that I had changed, but didn't upload the change. Once I un-hid and activated the track, I could upload it and the green arrow went back to grey/inactive.

6. When you are uploading to the cloud, watch for the Task Manager status icon in the transport window. You can even click on it and it opens the task manager window. Avoid closing the project or quitting Pro Tools while there is upload activity. I have seen a project have some tracks that become corrupted by quitting Pro Tools and shutting down the computer before the tasks finish. Yes, you can quit Pro Tools while uploading is still happening, and you will get a notice that tasks are in progress, but I would just wait for the tasks to finish while keeping the project open. This way you can at least verify that Pro Tools is telling you that the project did indeed finish uploading. And of course if you followed the save a copy in routine, you don't need to fret if something does happened during the upload, since you already saved the latest changes locally.

7. When you hit save on a cloud project, it's not uploading it to the cloud. It simply saves your preferences for that project locally, and it saves/updates the caches project files. This way, the next time you open the cloud project, it only needs to download changes/new tracks that were made by another collaborator, and not every track in the project. Sure, you can upload changes to the cloud by using the green arrows, and not save locally. It just makes for longer opening/download times on the cloud projects. And Pro Tools will prompt you to save the project when you close it. Again, saving the cloud project is not uploading it. And even if you don't save the changes to your project, I would never keep the latest changes to a project ONLY on the cloud.

8. Just because you delete a track from the project, doesn't mean that others won't still have it. Each cloud project has a local cache that saves your tracks, the track order, which tracks are showing last time you saved it, and perhaps other aspects that are not as noticeable. I think if you own the project, and you un-share a track and delete it and then others won't have it. But if you are only a collaborator, this only removes it from your cached copy, and next time you sync up it will download it again.

9. Every time you touch a fader, hit mute or a solo Avid shows that you need to upload to the Cloud. But you won't always need to upload every change you make to a cloud project, like fader and mute changes, solos, etc. If you're just listening or rehearsing parts and you haven't added or editing anything, you may not want to mess up a mix someone else has been working on by blindly hitting upload.

10. If a project just won't download without an error (I had a few of those times), don't be afraid to delete your local cache. Just right click on the cloud project in the open project window, and select delete local cache. I am NOT telling you to delete the project from the cloud, just your LOCAL CACHE! My guess is there are times when the cloud project and the local cache have unresolvable differences. This will then allow you re-download the whole project again.

So in conclusion, you can make the Avid Cloud work for you, if you follow important steps like the save a copy in recommendations, and never let the Avid Cloud be the only repository of the latest files. Each collaborator can store their own local backup copy multiple times as the project progresses, and if everyone follows this procedure there will always be the most recent copy on someone's hard drive. I like this way of collaborating remotely better than having to zip up and upload the entire project files to a cloud server service every time I add something or make a change. After a year of working on an album project with remote collaborators, I have never lost any projects or lost any tracks for that matter. And we did follow the backup procedures. The Avid Cloud is a little buggy I will admit, but I think you can make good use of it.
PT 2020.5 Ultimate HDX, Dual Slate Raven MTi2, HD IO 16x16, Mac Pro 6.1 2013, Focal Solo Be6, Roland V-Drums, DW drums, too many VIís and plug ins to mention
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