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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pro Tools M-Powered Trial and Error

I was testing out some relatively new equipment and programs so I could successfully implement these new aces-up-my-sleeves for the Elan Vital soundtrack. Anyhow, some of the equipment is (hopefully subtly) implemented in this new Mutiny Universe commercial:

In the process of creating the above video, I stumbled upon a new problem with Pro Tools M-Powered, as well as a possible workaround (through the process of trial and error). When using Pro Tools M-Powered with the Mobile Pre USB to score to a video file, make sure the video file is on the computer's hard drive and not on an external drive. If both the music files and the video are on the same external hard drive, the external M-Audio interface/sound card will make a hideous noise to prevent any and all productivity...or at least on my shoestring budget equipment. I'm guessing that my external hard disk drive isn't as fast as the computer's hard disk drive to access video.

To reiterate the above spiel: Save your music files on an external hard disk drive (as recommended by virtually everyone who uses Pro Tools), and have Pro Tool M-Powered access the video on the computer's main hard drive. The interface will be less noisy, less often, and you will be more productive. (I just did a quick search on Google, and apparently, intermittent noise is inherent to M-Audio's Mobile Pre USB...which means I really should save my rubles and pesos and Euros to get a better Pro Tools-ready interface.)

Also, on a related note: A few months ago, I discovered a catastrophic problem in Pro Tools M-Powered. Never, ever, ever add time to the beginning of the Pro Tools timeline, as it will give you an Access Error involving the Tempo Map.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

See (Hear) the Forest AND the Trees!

To save my computer (and myself) from needless strain, I recorded each soundtrack song separately. While still a long way from saying each song is "complete," I've taken early drafts / recordings / demos of each song and mixed them down as separate WAV files (actually a left-mono and a right-mono file for each song).

I put the songs in order at each precise point of the film (think BITC). And now the director and I can see the soundtrack as a whole. I personally can tell which parts need tightening and how to craft a unifying score, rather than a loose collection of songs that fit the movie...kinda, sorta.

Here is a cryptic track list for the soundtrack, with links to cool people:

1. First
2. Drone
3. Samba
4. Alessandra
5. Isabelle
6. Boogie
7. Katrina
8. moxy
9. Waltz
10. Jazz
11. Stranger
12. Robert
13. Christine
14. Last

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