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  #1  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:39 AM
katerkarlo katerkarlo is offline
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Default Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

I know how AFL/PFL solo works on a console, but I am not sure how to use it with PT (non-HD, RME interface, no control surface).

What's happening on a console in AFL solo is that all soloed channels are routed to a solo bus. As long as solo is engaged the console routes the solo bus to the monitor output and cuts the mix buss, so that I hear only the solo bus.

In my setup, hardware outs 1 and 2 is my monitor output. If I define outs 3 and 4 as AFL/PFL solo path and solo a track, I can still hear outs 1 and 2, because they are not muted. If I want to hear only the AFL solo bus, I have to klick on the mute button of the master fader for outs 1 and 2.

Is there a more sensible way to do this or is full functionality of this solo mode reserved for those with certain control surfaces?

And what are the most common scenarios when Pro Tools users would use AFL/PFL solo modes?

Is it used primarily during recording, because soloing in-place a track during recording would cut the other signals in the cue mixes?
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:07 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

Don't set a separate output path(you are using 3&4). Then anything solo'd should mute everything else The only reason to give a separate set of outputs is if you WANT to be able to hear both signals at the same time(something I do, but in a different way, with multiple sets of speakers)
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:42 AM
katerkarlo katerkarlo is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

Are you sure??? If you route your AFL/PFL buss to the same hardware output as your mix you will not hear a difference when you solo a channel, because in AFL/PFL solo mode no channels are muted.

Or wait a minute ... am I not using channel routing the way that is intended? So far, I've always had every channel routed directly to hw out 1/2. Would it make a difference if I routed all channels to a mix buss first and that mix buss to hw out 1/2?

Would the mix buss then be cut if I soloed a channel in AFL mode and had outs 1/2 defined as destination for the AFL solo buss?
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:53 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

You're best off experimenting and trying the various options, and for 2 reasons. 1-so you gain a better understanding of how/why each option works. And 2-so you can decide what works best for you. What I describe works as advertised. No solo buttons lit means the main mix is what I hear from my speakers. Anything I put in solo, over-rides the mix and I only hear what is in solo(subject to routing, but that's a deeper subject) For me(and I can't speak for others), this works fine during most any MIX situation. What about while recording? I NEVER solo anything while tracking, because it can cause headphone mixes to suddenly change, which can distract players...never a good thing to do (I'm sure you're thinking, make the headphone sends pre-fade and then nothing will change....but it will, because effect sends are USUALLY post-fader, so when you hit a solo button, non-solo'd tracks will suddenly stop sending to reverbs and delays, which players have in their headphones)



Now there ARE times when I wish to hear something by itself while tracking and I have a handy cheat that allows that. Every track in my session(except master/midi/VCA) has a send in the last send slot, and all of these sends are set to nominal(-0) and pre-fade(these are my "Alt-Solo" buttons). To listen to a single track(or select group of them), I Ctrl-click on that send, and that track gets sent out a separate set of outputs. I can either switch my monitor source to those outputs, or I feed them to a separate set of speakers(or phones) so I can listen to my full mix(on one set of speakers) and my "alt solo" selections on a second set of speakers(fun with a Presonus Central Station that I'm sure the folks at Presonus never imagined) An added bonus here is; I can "solo"(but not with the solo button) something like an AUX track with a reverb so I can hear the return, without the source track(if I wish).


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Old 12-11-2018, 03:31 AM
katerkarlo katerkarlo is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

I did some experimenting with routing and solo modes. Indeed, routing the channels of a mix session not directly to an output bus but first to an internal "mix bus" did solve my problem. With this kind of routing, AFL solo mode works as I would expect: Whenever I solo a channel, my monitor output switches its input from the mix bus to the solo bus.

However, I still can't quite see the use of the AFL solo mode. One advantage you get over solo-in-place is that you can solo any channel without worrying about routing. For example, if you solo a group channel (like a drum bus) in SIP mode you need to make sure that the individual channels routed to the group channel are soloed too in order to hear anything (and vice versa). This is not an issue in AFL solo mode, because the non-soloed channels are not muted. But you can solve this issue in SIP mode by creating solo groups and by solo-saving channels.

I found that the only thing you can do in AFL solo mode that is not possible in SIP mode is to listen to an fx return aux channel. If for example you have a reverb which multiple channels are sending to, and you want to listen to the pure reverb signal then you run into a problem in SIP mode. In SIP mode, you would have to solo the fx return plus all the channels sending to it and route the fx return to a dedicated "cue bus" and mute the mix bus. Sounds complicated and it is.

But then there are some serious downsides in AFL solo mode. For example, it's almost impossible to just listen to one channel plus its associated send effects - if other channels are sending to the same effects. Because if you solo the channel you will not hear the send effects. If you then solo the effects too, you will hear the complete fx return signals from those fx channels, not just the signals caused by the channel you want to hear.

In a recording situation it shouldn't make a difference whether you use SIP or AFL solo mode becuase if you set up the cue mixes with pre-fader sends none of them should cut signals routed to the cue mixes.

I'm guessing most people exclusively use SIP and never even think about the other solo modes. I'd be curious though to know in what situations people use AFL/PFL solo modes.
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:33 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

Quote:
Originally Posted by katerkarlo View Post
..I'd be curious though to know in what situations people use AFL/PFL solo modes.
If you're printing to a mix track (something I always do when printing live 2 mixes while tracking an ensemble for later take/edit referencing) then AFL/PFL is the only way to solo without disturbing the live 2 mix.

If you're generating cue mixes in a live tracking situation and you SIP a track you'll kill all effects sends to everything other than the solo'd track; the musicians may object to this - in addition it's common to be sending your 2mix to video crews / music editors / remote talent / etc - one must use AFL/PFL in these situations.

You need a way to quickly solo fx returns only (which are usually solo-safe'd) - AFL/PFL is the best way to do this.

I personally have a KM macro that toggles the solo status and I use it all the time.

There's loads of other applications where one would need AFL/PFL - others can chime in.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:25 AM
katerkarlo katerkarlo is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

Thanks, that's interesting. It would be convenient if there was a shortcut to toggle solo modes plus a visual indicator of which mode you're in.

I didn't know about Keyboard Maestro. Does it let you create keyboard shortcuts for any menu item in a software? Is there a Windows equivalent which is recommended for Pro Tools?
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Old 12-12-2018, 09:06 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

Quote:
Originally Posted by katerkarlo View Post
...Does it let you create keyboard shortcuts for any menu item in a software? Is there a Windows equivalent which is recommended for Pro Tools?

Yes, you can create macros to do anything that can be controlled from the UI. Yes, there are definitely many Windows macro utilities, but someone who uses Windows will have to post to let you know which ones are good.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2018, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Need advice on using AFL/PFL solo modes

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