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  #1  
Old 06-17-2005, 03:35 PM
ajs ajs is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
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Default Freeze please!!!!!

I know this has been suggested a hundred times already but my frustration is leading me to post this request one more time.

Digi, PLEASE can you add a freeze tracks feature? For me, it's not about saving and re-using processing power (I realize that you might not be excited to create a feature that makes it easier to reuse hardware processing power), but for collaboration it is crucial. I often have to transfer my sessions to various others and they NEVER have all of the sound modules and plugins that I have. If I were working with one person, then maybe I could demand he buy and install every module and plugin that I have, but that is impossible when working with many others.

While it might sound easy to bus tracks over to other tracks and records, the reality is there are over 20 steps that you have to do to make it happen and when you are freezing a dozen or more tracks, it can take 30 minutes or more each time. It is particularly annoying when you try to freeze a mono track which has automated mono-to-stereo plugins that you don't want to freeze... you have to reimport all the automation for those plugs! The worst is when I have to do this several times for each song on a project as various iterations of edits and mixes are exchanged with collaborators. That's hours of time wasted. What a nightmare!

You should be able to specify which tracks to freeze and, for each track, which plug-ins to include in the freeze starting from the beginning of the insert chain (eg, freeze the output from the sound module insert and compressor insert but not the reverb insert after those).
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2005, 04:56 PM
Lee Blaske Lee Blaske is offline
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Location: Minneapolis, MN U.S.A.
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

I don't think you're going to see this. Not only would it have a pretty dramatic impact on the number of Accel cards sold by Digidesign, it would also anger Digidesign's third party partners, because sales of premium-priced PT plug-ins would go down. DAW software manufacturers that don't have the cost of developing TDM hardware/software do no have to recoup that investment, so they can afford to make software that will give you every ounce of power and flexibility your computer can deliver.

The only options are to bounce the tracks, switch to using Logic or DP as a front end for your PT hardware, or possibly rent the plug-ins on a short-time basis from the Digidesign website. BTW, have you ever shopped for used plug-ins on eBay? They work just as well, and can often be had at a bargain price.

In the end, it's the way things are, and it's all just part of the cost of doing business.

Lee Blaske
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2005, 11:49 PM
Steve MacMillan Steve MacMillan is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

Quote:
I don't think you're going to see this. Not only would it have a pretty dramatic impact on the number of Accel cards sold by Digidesign, it would also anger Digidesign's third party partners, because sales of premium-priced PT plug-ins would go down.
OK, I agree about the Accel card issue, but I don't get what you mean about plug-in sales. How could being able to freeze a track make me want to buy less plug-ins? At least being able to freeze instrument tracks would make me want to own more soft instruments, or not use Logic as much. Digidesign should definitely implement a freeze track feature, or lose out to competitors. It's not exactly a TDM world even within ProTools.

STeve
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2005, 04:47 AM
Mikey MTC Mikey MTC is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

If it's that big a deal for your business, just do as Lee suggests and bounce or record those effected tracks to new tracks. Sure it's a couple of extra steps compard to freezing, but it's not as if you can't get the results you require.
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  #5  
Old 06-18-2005, 07:29 AM
Tone Tone is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

A TDM system couldn't allow an offline freeze function like Logic or Cubase because of the nature of TDM being a PCI buss system. However they could do a 'one song pass to freeze selected tracks' function which I agree would be very nice.
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  #6  
Old 06-18-2005, 09:45 AM
Monte McGuire Monte McGuire is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

If you know how to route signals to a bus and print them wet, you can already do freeze. With TDM, it'd be almost exactly the same real time PITA as it would be if they somehow packaged up the procedure for you. For LE, yes, a non-realtime freeze would be more convenient, but you can still do all this with AudioSuite under both TDM or LE.

If you have a track with some plugins, open the inserted plugins, starting at the top, copy the plugin's settings for the TDM/RTAS plug and paste them to the corresponding AudioSuite plugin, process the track's audio and continue down the line 'til your chain is printed.

I guess the hassle is that you have to do all this manually, and you have to manage the files yourself and provide your own undo path. If you're used to working with Sound Designer or Peak, then I guess this stuff is second nature, but I always hated it.

For me, managing all the frozen files and archiving them would be the real pain in the rear. I like it a lot better when all I have to do is print some performances to files I want to keep for the life of the project, archive those, and then archive the much smaller session files and fades, which may come and go, but are much smaller. Destructive processing, even if it's easy to undo, is not all that pretty when you consider archiving and version management.

Regards,

-monte-
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2005, 09:51 AM
Monte McGuire Monte McGuire is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

Quote:

Digi, PLEASE can you add a freeze tracks feature? For me, it's not about saving and re-using processing power (I realize that you might not be excited to create a feature that makes it easier to reuse hardware processing power), but for collaboration it is crucial. I often have to transfer my sessions to various others and they NEVER have all of the sound modules and plugins that I have. If I were working with one person, then maybe I could demand he buy and install every module and plugin that I have, but that is impossible when working with many others.

Why not print a simple stereo/surround/whatever guide mix for these people? Or maybe a few stems? If they don't have all the plugins, they might not need such a fine grained session anyway - it might just clutter up their computer and restrict the number of voices they have for doing their part of the collaboration.


Regards,

-monte-
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2005, 11:49 AM
ajs ajs is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

Quote:

Why not print a simple stereo/surround/whatever guide mix for these people? Or maybe a few stems? If they don't have all the plugins, they might not need such a fine grained session anyway - it might just clutter up their computer and restrict the number of voices they have for doing their part of the collaboration.

Yes, I have done that when they don't need discrete tracks, and that helps. Unfortunately, more often than not those with whom I collaborate do need them. I realize that this may not be the typical workflow but, for me, it does result in a more collaborative creative process and better music overall.

It's just a pain doing the freezing.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2005, 12:34 PM
ajs ajs is offline
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Default Re: Freeze please!!!!!

Quote:
If you know how to route signals to a bus and print them wet, you can already do freeze. With TDM, it'd be almost exactly the same real time PITA as it would be if they somehow packaged up the procedure for you.
Well, maybe there is an easier way than I am doing it but it often takes me over a half hour to do this for a song. I don't even care that the actual bounce is real time. That is only a small part of the time to do the whole process. I may not be the fastest PT guy around, but I do utilize all the keyboard shortcuts.... particularly the option-shift which, now that PT6.9 makes it quicker to select multiple tracks, does help.

Here is the list of steps that I made up to follow each time I freeze (note that I can't use the AudioSuite method because I am primarily freezing my Mach5 outputs). One mistake, like forgeting to hold shift on an option-shift command, or doing them out of order, or accidentally skipping a step can cause you to have to do a lot more work, to lose automation, or even to have to start all over... The bounce process is such a simple conceptual process, this shouldn't take this many steps. And, since we are using a COMPUTER, it seems like this should be an automated process.


22 Steps to Freeze:

1. Save As to a new session name
2. Show all tracks that are to be frozen {"source tracks") and select
3. Deactivate all inserts, excluding those to be frozen (eg, Mach5, AmpFarm)
4. Make sure fader and pan automation has been written on all source tracks (or you'll lose the settings)
5. Suspend all automation on all source tracks ("auto off" position)
6. Reset all faders to zero on source tracks
7. Reset all pan to center for mono source tracks or L/R for stereo source tracks (must manually move pans on each stereo track full left or right since ctrl-cmd-click sets it to center)
8. Create bus (stereo or mono) for each source track
9. Create new destination track (stereo or mono) for each source track, name tracks, and set inputs for each to corresponding bus (use option-shift-cmd-click! once for stereo, once for mono tracks if they are adjacent)
10. Route output of each source track to corresponding bus (again, option-shift-cmd-click)
11. Record enable destination tracks
12. Since send levels could be blasting after faders are reset, be sure to mute all sends, especially any external hardware sends!
13. Mute all outputs of destination tracks (important if there are any hardware inserts downstream)
14. Disable ADC
15. Do the bounce: select range to bounce and record to all desination tracks
16. Enable ADC
17. Unmute all sends
18. Strip silence and compact frozen audio regions
19. Move frozen audio back to source tracks, re-enable inserts, set automation to Auto Read, reassign Ouputs to original outputs, and deactivate frozen inserts (eg, Mach5, AmpFarm)
20. Import (from original session) pan and other automation lost as a result of re-assigning mono track to mono bus and re-assigning mono tracks with mono-to-stereo inserts
21. Remove busses created for the freeze process
22. Delete destination tracks (since audio has been moved back to source tracks)

oh, and step 23, pray that you don't ever change any MIDI parts so that you don't have to go through this all over again.

When you have to do this after a long working session late at night, this is a particularly disturbing process.
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