All Posts by Jon Wright

About the Author

As a graduate of MTSU with a degree in Audio Engineering and Technology Jon has been working as a full time mixer and engineer in Nashville. He loves running, writing, and all forms of entertainment. He also enjoys long walks on the beach with his wife.

New Products for Black Friday Sale and Now Offering Mix Feedback

What’s up MixCoachers! Hopefully you’re all finding yourselves off for a long weekend of fun, family, and festivity! We here at MixCoach are celebrating the holiday of Thanksgiving, by showing all of our followers (That’s you!) how much we appreciate your continuing support.

To do this we are announcing two new courses, a “Black Friday” sale on all of our courses (including the new ones!), and a brand new thing we’ve been offering members for a while called “mix feedback.”


Guide to Rock Mixing 2!

The first new course we’ve got is the “MixCoach Guide to Rock Mixing 2!” This course includes session files of a rock song in 3 formats, a mixing tutorial of that song that you can follow along with, and as a bonus we’re giving you the stereo mix of J.R. McNeely to use as a reference. This is a course we went through a while back on MixCoach Member and it was so much fun, that we decided to make it available to non-members!

Scroll down to this course on the products page HERE!



Guide to Pop Country Mixing 1!

Then we’ve got the “MixCoach Guide to Pop Country Mixing 1.” This course is buffed out by the session downloads in three formats, a mix walkthrough from Kevin, a mixing tutorial from Jon (that’s me!), and features a really cool interview with the artist and producer of this song.This is a course we went through a while back on MixCoach Member and it was so much fun, that we decided to make it available to non-members!

 Scroll down to this course on the products page HERE!

Black Friday Sale!

Not only are we launching these new courses, we’re also putting ALL of the MixCoach courses on sale Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Make sure you’re signed up for the mailing list and check back Friday to see what awesome deals we’ve got going on.

Mix Feedback for Non-Members

The final thing we wanted to tell you about, is a version of something we’ve been offering MixCoach Members for a while now… Mix Feedback. What we do is every month the members have a session to mix, and we post tutorials, like the ones from the courses above. Then at the end of the month, the members can pay a little extra to have us listen to their mix on camera, and give our honest opinions and offer up helpful tips (or feedback) about their mixes. This goes into, what they did right, what could be better, and most helpful of all, how we would approach revising the mix to make it better. We’ve seen so much growth in the guys that regularly submit that we wanted to offer something similar to non members. For $100 one of the MixCoaches will listen to a mix you’ve done, while video capturing their reaction, and then offer their insight about your mix after. This is a great way to grow as a mixer, the MixCoach Members get this at a very discounted rate with their membership, and we’ve seen it work with hundreds of guys. So if you’re interested in the feedback, the options are, sign up for the member side to get feedback at a discounted rate each month and see what else you’re missing in the community, or you can now purchase a feedback video outright. It’s up to you.

Join MixCoach Member by clicking HERE!

Check out the feedback HERE!

Whew! that was an epic bit of news and updates… Now I’m going to go grab some turkey!

– Jon

Gear Talk – AES Convention Announcements! with Sweetwater’s Robby Resnick

This week there were some really exciting announcements made at the AES Convention! We get the details from Sweetwater Sound’s Robby Resnick! Check out the video below!

There you have it! Lot’s of exciting things happening right now! For more details make sure to shoot your Sweetwater Sales Rep an email! If you don’t have a Sales Rep, contact the official MixCoach representative, Robby Resnick at

New! Dangerous Compressor $2799




New! Zodiac Platinum


Sweetwater Deals:
Bose Refurbs
How to save $100 on new Pro Tools!
Manley Specials!

[transcript]John:       Hey guys, John Wright with MixCoach here. I’m just sitting down
with Robby Resnick from Sweetwater to talk a little bit about the awesome
gear that he’s got coming out. Some of the highest sellers that he has in
popular gear as well as a pro-tip at the end here that you’re definitely
going to want to check out. How you doing Robby?

Robby:      I’m doing fantastic tonight. You?

John:       I’m doing great. So, first of all, what have you got going on
at Sweetwater that’s kind of popular right? What’s your hottest

Robby:      Well, we’ve been keeping busy. Of course with the AES show
there’s not a ton of brand new stuff that’s been coming out, but
of course there’s always trends moving around and always
interesting stuff to talk about. Things that I have been talking
about seems like a lot lately. Guys are calling me more and more
for guitar compression which I don’t know if that’s something
that somebody recently wrote an article about and now
everybody’s curious or if we’re reviving the dark art every six

We have to revive guitar compression, but the [Pigtronix] philosopher’s tone has been my go to compressor probably for
about the past year now. I’m absolutely in love with it. It’s
got a little grit to it if you let it, but it can be totally
cleaned. One of the most transparent compressors, no
[artifacting], no weirdness and it’s just a killer pedal. So, I
find myself talking about that a lot.

Brand new, off the line is the Zoom H6 Multi-Recorder, the follow-up
to the H4N which everyone was in love with. As the name probably
denotes or as you can probably tell, the H6 has six inputs which
apparently is a revolution, but nonetheless people love it
actually because of the interchangeable modules at the tops. You
can change it between all different functions, different types
of inputs, different types of microphones, so that’s kind of

I think finally the industry’s become pretty privy to the Eleven Rack
and how cool it is.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Probably didn’t hurt much that Avid decided that they were
going to make the Eleven Rack the same price as Pro Tools. Now,
you can either buy Pro Tools for $699 or an Eleven Rack for $699
and get Pro Tools for free. So, all of a sudden the Eleven Rack
is seeing this whole new resurgence where people are like, well,
I may as well buy and Eleven Rack and for most of them they play
guitar. It’s a great way to get a ton, ton of excellent guitar

Probably one of the best guitar [modulars], we have until you’re
ready to throw down on a Kemper. Of course, people have heard of
the [Fractile]. Both of those are absolutely excellent, but
obviously huge price point over double.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      The studio logs, there’s a lot of talk I would say about the
[Presonnna] studio logs right now.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Probably Presonna just did a really cool thing. They waited for
a long time. They really developed a V2 that’s really, really
cool, but not so significantly different that people think the
V1 is back. We have this overlap where V1 and V2 currently exist
in the same ecosystem which is pretty rare. Typically you find
somebody that announces a new product, they discontinue this
one, it’s gone, now you have this.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Presonna has said, no, we’re going to keep a few left in the
channel and move them around, so the price of the V1’s
plummeted, but guys are picking them up, looking at it as a 16
channel interface for their [doll], buying another one for
alternate lodge rigs or bigger shows and daisy chaining them

John:       Right on.

Robby:      So, that’s huge. I probably talk about a Presonna in the studio
live, I would say, every one to two days there’s a conversation
on it.

John:       Right on.

Robbie:     There’s conversations I often bring up. One of those like, it’s
the best thing that you never heard of.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      It’s one of my personal favorites near and dear to my heart
because a good friend of mine was the one that kind of
discovered the company and brought it to us. On Cloud
Microphones, which I’ve never gotten to play with a Cloud mic,
but we sell the Cloud lifters which are these little 20 db
inline pre-amps. So, they give you 20 db of gain off your
phantom power and they’re excellent to put in front of things
like, large diaphragm dynamics like an SM7B, RE20 on your kick.
They’re also great for ribbon mics, low output ribbon mics where
you find yourself turning up that pre-amp.

John:       Right.

Robby:      Getting all that noise.

John:       Oh, yeah.

Robby:      Your noise floor comes up. It’s like [inaudible 04:17], I love
the tone of this ribbon, but I can’t hear [inaudible 04:20]

John:       Right.

Robby:      Sorry about the sound effect. I’m sure that came through

John:       It sounded pretty accurate to what it would really sound like

Robby:      Good. I’m glad. I totally planned that, but no the Cloud
lifter, absolutely one of those things if you have a ribbon mic
that you love it’s also great because it will protect that
ribbon. It doesn’t allow phantom power through. It burns it in
the pre-amp. It’s 20 db of gain. So, if you have a ribbon you
love that can’t get phantom power and you don’t want to blow it
up, that’s a really great way to stop it and get the added
benefit at 20 db ahead of things.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Finally, the thing I probably talk about not only the most is
studio engineers and singer song writer musicians and their
studios. We talk about it not only because it’s one of my
favorite products and something I’ve owned for years, but it’s
also one of the hardest to understand how to set up.  No matter
how many videos you watch on it, it always leaves you confused
and scared which it should. It’s actually really easy. That’s
the Dangerous Music D-Box.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      I’ve been mixing with the D-Box personally, I think about the
past two years now. I discovered it actually longer than that
now that I think about it. Two and half, three years it would
have to be right when we took on dangerous music at Sweetwater.
Literally, I checked it out of our lending library, brought it
home, played with it for a night and then got an email that
said, hey, you need to return this. The guys from Dangerous are
coming tomorrow. I just walked in the door and literally brought
it back and gave them a check for mine and brought mine home.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      So, that to me is a must have. It’s a centerpiece for any small
recording studio and a large one really. You get eight channels
of summing, an excellent monitor section, two channels of
really, really, really nice I mean, better in my opinion than
Apogee Mini DAC, D to A.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Two high output headphone amps which are good enough to drive
Sennheiser HD650’s.

John:       Nice.

Robbie:     Anybody who owns six HD650’s know that’s a significant

John:       Yes it is.

Robby:       It’s all on one thin RAC-U [SP]. Really easy to work with.
Again, call myself or another sales engineer if you want help
cabling it, but don’t be afraid of it. Once you do a couple of
mixes with it especially the summing side will make you so much
faster. I can burn through a mix in probably two-thirds of the
time and I feel like I get a better result. I love that box.
Anybody who calls me for a monitor section or even calls me for
a better two-channel DAC, I think it’s $1300 or $1400. I’m sorry
I’m not looking at it right now.

If you’re even thinking about one of these improvements, it makes
sense to go do all of these improvements. Not a person I’ve ever
sold one to has ever said, man, these are terrible I hate this
thing. No one says they hated D-Box. Everyone loves the D-Box.

John:       Right on. So, as far as that goes, is there anything that’s
super new and exciting that you guys have that’s brand new
that’s just come out?

Robby:      There’s a couple of things. As I mentioned before, the AES
show’s coming up next week.

John:       Right.

Robby:      [inaudible 07:35], we always have an AES release
and run down. So, Thursday night, October 17th, you’ll start to
see that info populate on our website. Things have been a little
quiet because ahead of AES and like ahead of NAMM, people don’t
announce much. It’s better to wait for the trade show to come up
and blow it up big.

Three companies kind of let the cat out of the bag  a little early
and I guess tried to beat the rush. So, probably the two
companies that most affect people near and dear to your heart
and my heart, recording [inaudible 08:12] would be Yamaha and
JBL who within the past few weeks both put out their new lines
of monitors.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      The new SR series in their lower series and then the new Yamaha
HS’s which are the five sixes and eights.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in front of all of these. We
actually did comparative shoot outs.

John:       Cool.

Robby:      I am positive each of those two assorted manufacturers would
really like me to tell you that their speaker is significantly
better. For certain applications that each one of course is
going to be applicable, so we won’t get into who did better, who
did worse.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Both of them were really good.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      What I will say is if you’ve heard a previous revision of the
LSR’s or you’ve heard a previous revision of the HS’s and you
ever wrote them off as bad monitors, now’s the time for you to
go back and take a look at that and see the new ones because it
is [inaudible 09:05] you can get for $300 now. I got to hand it
to Yamaha who I think did something really cool. They worked
really, really hard on the wave guide and the tweeter because a
lot of people were complaining on the old series, the 50’s and
the 80’s.

When you went between the two speakers, they sounded drastically
different especially in the upper mid-range where the cross over
point occurred. I would totally agree. What they did with this
new series is they worked really hard to make all of that as
consistent as they could, so really the only change in the
output is what the physical woofer is doing. The tweeter’s the
same. The wave guide’s the same. They designed the boxes so that
everything, all other variables are pretty well the same.

They also took off a lot of the features on the back that a lot of
people were misusing like, room mode correction which as a side
note, if you don’t know what those features do on the back of
your monitors, it’s best to kind of leave them alone because you
can really mess yourself up. So many people I talk to everyday,
they get a set of monitors and they’re like [ugh] they just
don’t sound as good as want. Then they come back to Sweetwater
and we look at the back and they have the room mode correction
drastic like, you would never realistically do this unless you
were mixing in a 12 by 12 room made of cinder block.

John:       That’s hilarious.

Robby:      So, that’s one of those things. It was just a side tip. If you
get a new set of monitors and you’re not confident about how to
set them up, get another set of ears involved. It’s cheap.
Typically will cost you beer and pizza and guys typically want
to hear about your monitors when they can, so go visit your

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      The other one I’m super excited about and I don’t know why it
took them so long to build them, but they’re finally here. The
new [Mogue] Mini [Foggers]. If you haven’t seen these, they are
genuine [mogger] foggers built in Asheville, North Carolina. So,
American made, American assembled which is unreal for the price
point that they’re at. All of them I believe are under $200.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      For that, you can get a real bucket brigade delay. You can
finally get a sweeping filter. [no audio 11:14] one has an
expression pedal input, whatever feature that controls, the
expression pedal can take it further than what’s written and
capable on the face.

John:       Wow.

Robby:      So, it’s as if you’re using their boost pedal. Once you turn
the boost all the way up, you press your toe down on an
expression pedal, you will get more boost out of it just by
nature of the CV or the control that they’re using.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      Most importantly, they’re Mogue. They sound awesome.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      I talk to guys everyday. Guitarists and engineers that wish
that they could have those kind of effects cheaply and if you
took something like a batch of mini foggers, there’s hundreds of
ways. The one that comes to my mind is the Pigtronix Key Master
that you can convert these high [impedent] signals to low
[impedance] and back again and actually do it right.

Guys who are producing electronic music will love these pedals
because you can easily string them in with the [synth], get
great effects, real analog effects thrown in. Take your virtual
synths, all your native instrument stuff, all your [inaudible
12:26] stuff. Run it through these analog processors and really
fatten it up before you drop it to your converters. You’ll be
blown away at the difference it makes and again, they’re cheap.
Super, super cheap for what they are.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      So, yeah. I’m really, really excited to see those hit market. I
believe most of them are either in stock or about to be in
stock. The one that I think they said was going to take a little
time was the delay and that’s just because, you know what, in
this world no matter how you try there’s not enough bucket
brigade and chips to go around.

John:       Right on. So, as far as that goes, does that touch on kind of
the coming soon? Is there anything coming up in the next couple
of weeks. Obviously, AES is next week. Is there anything you can
talk about as far as AES goes?

Robby:      There’s a whole lot of stuff I’d love to talk about, but there
are some things that have already been announced that we know
are coming down the pike that pre-orders have even begun with.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      That, are right around the corner that I think a lot of people
are excited about. For your production clients and guys who like
to write electronic music, anything that involves a drum machine
really, Native Instruments just dropped their highly anticipated
sequel two machine which was Maschine Studio. So, they’ve filled
out the family. Now, you got the micro, you got the normal and
you’ve got the studio.

The studio is absolutely incredible, feels great. The LCDs that they
put on it are super friendly for editing and really digging into
your samples. I really think it was what they needed especially
after they changed over the whole color code method on machine
revision two. So, now you can tell just on the face of it, this
is what I’m looking at. It’s a sample. It’s a one shot. It’s a
loop. It’s really cool and really friendly to production.

John:       That’s awesome.

Robby:      Along that line and kind of probably cheating off of them a
little bit would be the new NS7 from [Newmark], a D.J.
controller that again, a lot of guys [no audio 14:29] weird
ways. Electronic music is finding itself more into the
mainstream these days. So, a lot of guys are buying these
controllers, laying down a track bed and then producing over it
to give it that club feel. Even if it’s a pop song, I think that
that one’s going to be a hit and I think people are really going
to bring that into the studio like we’ve never seen before.

Then probably the one that everybody has been watching for months and
months and months and a first of its kind, the X32 Rack from
Behringer. Their long awaited no control surface, all rack mount
mixer. Not as effective in the studio, but for your guys that
like to do studio and then they go out and they do live work,
this is going to blow away the live market.

A band going out on tour or even going out for the every once in a
while show that doesn’t have their own sound guy, to have a
mixer that’s just whacked that’s awesome with no physical
control surface and then you just add a second snake to it, a
digital snake. You can put that on the other side of the stage.
Wire all your stuff up and control it from an iPad or a laptop.

John:       Nice.

Robby:      Whatever you choose. That is totally going to blow things away.
It’s something I believe we should have had in the market six,
seven years ago.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Guys have been doing this with Logic and Main Stage with
digital performer and the chunks feature. Guys have been taking
it out and doing this 100 ways before, but we’ve never seen the
hardware that was dedicated for it.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      Finally, Behringer who notoriously I’m not a huge fan of, but
they came across something that they really could do uniquely
and they did and be excited.

John:       That’s awesome.

Robby:      I promise, next week we will have more studio oriented stuff,
so keep watching and come back next week after the AES show.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      I know that there’s something that everybody’s going to be
really psyched about.

John:       Super cool. So, as far as any sales and specials going on with
Sweetwater right now, is there any sort of specials or sales
going on?

Robby:      Right now, we do have one really cool thing until [inaudible
16:37] capital is using us to beta test a new program that
they’re kind of playing with. So, until October 15th anything
that you previously saw on our website that was 24 months, no
interest is now 36 months, no interest. The way that they’re
doing is a different program than what they’ve done in the past
is that it’s 36 months. They take the total, they divide it up
over those 36 months, so we’re no longer dealing with a minimum
payment where somebody could fall behind and end up owing
interest at the end.

John:       Mm-hmm.

Robby:      When you do it, you understand that you’re breaking your
payments up into 36 equal chunks. Basically, GE Capital’s just
loaning you the money and saying as long as you follow this
payment program you will be paid off in time, you will not pay
any interest and everyone’s going to be happy.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      How they plan to make money with this, I’m not entirely sure,
but I do know that it’s going to benefit the consumer in the
end. That’s not my problem. I’m a customer advocate. I don’t
care what GE does.

John:       Right on, man. All right, so the last thing I wanted to wrap up
with was a pro-tip. You were telling me earlier that you were
talking to somebody about an awesome tip that everybody needs to
hear and everybody needs to take in mind.

Robby:      Yeah. This has come up  a lot in conversation with me lately.
It seems like music is going all different places and it’s
ending up in 101 different destinations. It’s really hard to
always anticipate what those destinations are going to be, but
if you’re doing a mix and you know it’s going to end up at a
certain destination let’s say, radio, television, you plan on
offering it maybe just on your website as a download to MP3
which obviously ends up on every iPod that you will ever come in
contact with. You should be mixing for these destinations.

[Sonox] put out a really cool plugin that allows you to audition
different Codec and looks like you’ve probably seen this thing

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      It’s killer and it really does help especially when you’re
mixing for MP3 or Apple [Lossless] if you going to throw it up
on iTunes. You’d be surprised at how many little tweaks you’ll
end up doing to each mix just to accommodate your MP3 version.
Make it sound as good as your Apple Lossless as good as your [no
audio 18:46]

With that in mind, a simple tip that anybody could do in mixing with
that destination in mind. If you’re mixing it for the radio go
out and buy yourself an FM transmitter. Plug it in to your
laptop and broadcast it to your radio and listen to it. It’ll
give you some idea what’s about to happen.

John:       Right.

Robby:      Even of course the compression on those isn’t nearly as bad as
your local radio station. Apple earbuds, everybody should have a
set of Apple earbuds hanging off the side of their console
waiting for them. I’m sure you check your mix on them all the
time and you’d be amazed like, how bad your mix can sound when
you thought it sounded great on those.

Likewise, Beats headphones. I’m not a huge fan personally, but let’s
face it. I think the statistic right now seems to be at least
one in ten. I’d argue it’s one in six or one in seven below the
age of 25, but that is what it is. If you can get a set of Beats
even if they’re not the expensive Beats, put them by your
console. Eventually, someone is going to [inaudible 19:51] with
as popular as they are. You need to be ready for it because you
don’t want your mix to fall apart there.

Look for things that people spend a lot of time listening to your
material on and try to accommodate those. If you’re an audio
file guy, you’re releasing this at 96K, 24 bit  on a Blu-ray or
whatever as an accompaniment, obviously you want to listen to it
on a Hi-Fi system. Nobody’s going to take that to Beats.

[side conversation 20:19]

Another top tip: if you’re doing an interview, put your cell phone on

John:       Yeah, no worries, man. Cool. That’s an awesome tip. That’s one
of the things I always check them on headphones. I always check
them everywhere I possibly can and I’ve got a different number
of iTunes droplets I always export. I convert it to crappy MP3
and tear it up and take a listen. If I’m listening on the radio
or if I’m mixing for radio, a lot of times what I will do is I
will compress it and EQ it like a radio station does and just
slam it with some compression and give it a nice boost on the
blow end and cut it off a little bit at the blow end.

For sure, everybody definitely needs to mixing for their destination.

Robby:      Absolutely and when you’re compressing especially for radio,
compress the piss out of it then put a limiter on top of that
right after where your peak seems to be riding.

John:       Right on.

Robby:      That’s exactly what you’re going to see in a radio station and
especially a pop vocal.

John:       Yeah.

Robby:      That will butt up against that every time and your kick drum.
If you don’t take that into account all you’re going to do is

John:       Exactly. Well, man, thank you for sitting down and chatting
with us. Basically, we’ll be doing this a little bit more
frequently now. We’ll touch base next week after AES.

Robby:      Yeah. We’ll hook up  right after AES. Hopefully, I’ll have
[Needra Hare] by that time.

John:       Absolutely.

Robby:      I’ll try to be a little bit nicer dressed and I will have a
whole lot more to talk about from the AES show.

John:       Killer.

Robby:      Lots of cool stuff coming up, so keep your eyes peeled. Check
out for the report and for the sales that we have
going on and of course if you guys have any questions, reach out
to me or your sales engineer if you already have one. We’ll be
happy to help you.

John:       Awesome. How can everybody get in contact with you if they
don’t already have a sales engineer?

Robby:      Me, personally? I am either Robby, R-O-B-B-Y, or you can call [in] at 800-222-4700 at
extension 1368. They keep me pretty busy during the day, so if
you don’t get me at first please do leave me a voicemail so I
have a way to contact you back and make sure to repeat your
phone number twice and don’t say it too fast.

John:       Awesome, man. Well, thank you and I will be talking to you
soon, man.

Robby:      You got it, John. Have a good night.

John:       You too.[/transcript] Sweetwater


Meet Robby Resnick – MixCoach’s Official Sweetwater Sales Rep

Hey guys! Just saw that MixCoach’s official Sweetwater sales representative was featured in a company profile on

Sweetwater, MixCoach's

Click HERE to check out the article!

Robby is an amazing guy and we’re happy to have him on board here at MixCoach. We did an interview with Robby for the podcast HERE. And we’ll be featuring him in some upcoming videos about the latest, hot selling, gear so stay tuned!

For all your audio needs call your Sweetwater sales rep, and if you don’t have one… call Robby and tell him you’re a MixCoacher!

Robby Resnick
Ext. 1368

MixCoach’s Sweetwater Sales Rep

MixCoach Podcast 056 : Sweetwater’s Gearfest 2013: An Introduction to MixCoach’s Official Sweetwater Sales Rep, Robby Resnick

We sat down with Sweetwater’s Robby Resnick for this MixCoach Podcast.

Hi MixCoachers, late last month, Matt Butler and I headed to Sweetwater’s Gearfest 2013, it was an incredible experience. If you’ve never been you just need to make it a priority in 2014. We’ve kind of been playing a bit of catch up on posts and content since we got back, but are up and rolling now!

We’ve got a bunch of content coming up that we saw and heard at Gearfest. I will also have a full report on the Sweetwater tour we got as well as my experience at Gearfest 2013 coming up very soon.

The first thing we wanted to feature, was a quick introduction to the official Sweetwater Sales Representative for MixCoach, Robby Resnick. We sat down with Robby literally right after Gearfest and talked with him about his background and about Sweetwater’s amazing company and staff. Check out the podcast and give Robby a call!

Robby Resnick
Ext. 1368

Pro Tools 11 – MixCoach’s First Look at “The New Standard In Audio Production”

Pro Tools 11 – MixCoach’s First Look at “The New Standard In Audio Production”

On Tuesday here in Nashville, Vintage King and Avid hosted an “up-close” look at Pro Tools 11 and everything it has to offer. So I headed on over to take a look at what is being billed as “the new standard in audio production.”

The presenters were running a “late beta” of PT11 HD Native via the Thunderbolt port on a Macbook Pro. The setup was basically as powerful as a tower would be, only portable. The demo session they had was a session that contained heavy Virtual Instrument(VI) processing and a full HD video track. It was a session built by the composer of the music bed for a car commercial using many VIs in Pro Tools 11. The demonstration ran into one small technical difficulty at this point. The video window wouldn’t play the video. After a system reboot this problem was solved. The guys from Avid said that this was a bug found by a tester in Germany literally earlier that morning and Avid was getting a new beta version to everyone with the fix later that evening. So from what it sounds like, Avid is definitely very invested in making Pro Tools 11 less buggy than previous versions. And dedicated to making sure it is stable at launch.

After the reboot the presentation was much less rocky. Pro Tools 11 handled a really large, VI heavy session (9 gigs of sample library were being accessed, with at least 4 instances of superior drummer with multiple outputs, as well as the Vienna sample library) with video playing in it incredibly well. The all new 64-bit architecture is what allows this to happen.

Lets talk about this new 64-bit architecture for a second. Previously while using PT we were limited in the amount of RAM we could access for use. Basically PT could use about half the RAM your computer had to offer. In 32-bit architecture the program couldn’t even see all of the other cores. And if any cores were maxed out… BAM!!! DAE errors. With the new 64-bit engine, you can use ALL the RAM in your computer. So now when you buy more RAM, you will actually be able to use it… all of it.

Housed within PT11 there are two brand new engines: The all new, 64-bit audio engine, and the Media Composer video engine. So when you’re running video in your session, it isn’t using the system resources of the audio engine. This also means that you can import video of many different formats into your session, anything in the Media Composer codec is available. No more down-converting upon import and glitchy, laggy, video. This is full quality video made possible by Media Composer. Another aspect of the two new engines is NO MORE DAE ERRORS. That’s right, Avid has done away with them once and for all… of course this is only because the DAE engine was replaced by the all new engine. I find myself wondering what the new errors will be called when they occur… but nevertheless it’s worth noting this change.

Something I was extremely impressed with in PT11 was the new “dynamic processing”. There are two sides of this, “Dynamic Host Processing” and “Dynamic Plug-in Processing.” I had seen the phrase on the various marketing from Avid, but didn’t quite understand the importance of this feature until it was demonstrated to me. Basically your computer won’t have to use processing power until it needs it. So say you’ve got a session where early on there are a handful of clips playing, but later on more clips enter the session, your computer won’t be “thinking” about those upcoming tracks until they are playing. This also works with plug-ins via the “Dynamic Plug-in Processing.” If at the end of a mix you’ve automated a plug-in to filter the entire track for the last 30 seconds of a song, this plug-in doesn’t affect processing until it is actually inserted. This opens up numerous possibilities from the mixing side of things. You can automate master bypasses essentially “handing off” one plug-in to the next without any worry that all of the bypassed plug-ins are clogging up the system when they aren’t even on. This is an incredibly efficient use of system resources.

Another HUGE change to PT11 is something engineers have been wanting for YEARS. Offline bounce. In PT11 you can now right click ANY output in PT and bounce it to disk. This is a game changer for printing stems and mixes. In the podcasting and broadcasting realm this will save HOURS of time per episode. No more waiting around for a bounce or print to complete in real time. Just right click the output you want to bounce and you can get “up to 150x real time speed”. The actual speed is determined by how much RAM you’ve got and how much processing is going on. The more complicated something is, the longer it takes. An example given was that an hour and a half radio show with music beds sparsely spaced with talking will get roughly 80x real time. This is HUGE. Another super cool thing for HD users is that in PT11 HD you can bounce up to 16 outputs simultaneously. The non-HD version is limited to one output at a time. But still… Offline bounce… best new feature? It may be my favorite.

Some other notable features are:

  • A separate low latency buffer. This means no more switching between buffer sizes when tracking and mixing. When you enter record mode PT11 automatically switches to the low latency buffer which is designed to give you the lowest possible buffer size. So that last minute overdub while mixing need not slow you down.
  • Automation is time stamped. So when you are writing automation it will never be late or early… it will be right where you want it.
  • Redesigned metering. The meters are 30% larger with many different metering types(17 different meter types for HD and 4 types in non-HD). If you’ve ever used a Venue or a D-Command, the metering options are very similar. And don’t worry… a “classic” metering mode is still available for those who don’t like the idea of change.
  • Gain reduction metering. On the channel strip there is a meter showing your gain reduction. So any compressor or limiter you add to the channel can be displayed on the the meter. You won’t have to bank through plug-ins to see the gain reduction.
  • High resolution graphics. These are optimized for retina displays. You can now see your waveforms and buttons more clearly.
  • A few great new key commands. You can now bypass all EQ’s, Dynamics, Delays, Reverbs, and Modulators withe the touch of the keyboard. (shift + E = EQ, shift + C = Dynamics, shift + D = Delays, shift + R = Reverbs, shift + W = Modulators)
  • A consolidated workspace browser. On the menu side of things the workspace browser has been consolidated to make things simpler. This is now a one stop shop instead of banking through multiple browsers and windows.

One other note worth mentioning:

Waves Mercury Bundle will most likely ship with PT11. With many other plug-ins shortly after. For those worried about compatibility issues between older versions of PT and PT11 there is a co-install feature between PT10 and PT11. Basically you will be able to have Pro Tools version 10.3.6 installed on the same system as PT11. So say you pull up a mix you did a while back and are missing a plug-in, or there is some other problem between how the RTAS or TDM plug-in translated to AAX… You can now close out of PT11 and just open the same session in PT10. If you have PT9 or older, you’ll need a separate rig to go back to.

$$ – Pricing – $$:

Ok, so let’s get down to the heart of the matter… How much will it cost you. So there’s good news for some… If you bought PT10 on or after April 11th you’ll get an upgrade to PT11 for free. If not there is an upgrade pricing chart HERE. If you are looking to upgrade, call your Sweetwater rep, or if you don’t have one, give the MixCoach and MixCoach Member representative, Robby Resnick a call. He would be absolutely happy to help you as well as answer any questions you’ve got.

In Summary:

I’m not going to lie I was a bit skeptical going in to the presentation. Avid has under-delivered when putting out a new version of Pro Tools before, and I honestly didn’t grasp the magnitude of the changes made to the system. Yes, I knew it was supposedly an overhaul of everything under the hood, but I didn’t really understand what that meant. After seeing it in action, what it means is, you’ll get the look and feel of the Pro Tools you know and love (except for the larger meters) with a newer, faster, more efficient, engine under the hood. This is Pro Tools stepping into a new generation. Only time will tell whether this is truly, “The new standard in audio production” but at the very least, it’s shaping up to be a great start.


Keeping Creativity Alive In Engineering (Part 3) – From An Engineer’s Journal

As Part 1 and Part 2 have talked about, this is something engineers, producers, and almost any professional artist deals with. There are many things to distract us from our creative side. I’ve been sharing some of the best ways to counteract “creativity killers” and keep you motivated creatively.

Schedule hang time with a friend who does the same or similar work:

Because the music industry is by and large a social industry, I know quite a few engineers. Many of them are my very good friends. Because very few people outside of the industry can relate to many of the challenges and joys of my work, I make a point to grab coffee with one of my engineer friends regularly. Sometimes it’s every couple months, sometimes it’s every couple weeks, but when we hang out, we always leave feeling creative and encouraged. So find someone in the same(or a related) position and grab some coffee with them, it’s good for you. Not only will you have someone who will understand your success and failure(because there is always both), you will be able to collaborate and learn from each other, getting excited by their work and exciting them with yours. One thing to remember though, is that this isn’t a “misery loves company” meet up. It’s not about a shoulder to cry on, or someone to beg for work. This person should be your friend after all. It’s a time to get recharged and empowered to continue knocking things out of the park. If you don’t know of anyone to meet up with in your area, it’s always nice to travel a bit. But if that doesn’t work for you, try something online, skype someone, grab a phone call, or even chat in some forums. If you need a great professional community to plug into, head over to If you’re a member you can hit the forums. There are killer guys who would love to hang on there.

I hope that you can take some or all of these tips and apply them to your own work. As always we’re here to help equip you not only with the technical skills you’ll need, but (hopefully) help empower you with life skills you can use.

Keeping Creativity Alive In Engineering (Part 2) – From An Engineer’s Journal

This is the second set of tips to help you stay creative and passionate in spite of the many things that can distract you from why you started engineering in the first place.

To check out part 1 of this series, click HERE.

So as we’ve said in part 1, remaining creative and happy as an engineer can be challenging in the face of deadlines, hard to work with clients, overwork, and underwork. Here are a couple more tips that can help you out.

Take a day to mix for fun:

This tip comes from something that happens in the Nashville music industry every year… Christmas. Around the middle of December people begin making holiday plans and more often than not they stop working on projects. The key to remaining busy as an engineer is to get things in the mixing phase before the winter solstice. However, without fail there is slightly more down time around the holidays. Which for me is great because I love hanging out with my family and friends more around that time of year. However, the first year this happened I wanted to keep my mixing, “chops” honed. So I decided to take a project I had produced previously and re-mix it. I realized that this was an excellent way to not only keep practiced, but exercise releasing my creativity. So every once in a while, I will still “schedule” a day to open a fun session (either from previous projects or from MixCoach Member) and mix it. No pressure, no rules, just fun. Try it. You’ll love it. If you’re in need of awesome sessions to work with, check out We’ve got a ton of great sessions and training to check out on there. You can even get feedback on your mixes!