Avid have released Pro Tools 2022.6 which includes new features and workflow improvements for users working in Dolby Atmos
Pro Tools 2022.6 is now available for all current Pro Tools customers on an active subscription or perpetual Software Updates + Support Plan. This update introduces numerous new features and enhancements. These new features are:
DOLBY ATMOS IMPROVEMENTS (PRO TOOLS ULTIMATE AND STUDIO)
Pro Tools 2022.6 significantly speeds up Dolby Atmos workflows. It introduces the ability to offline bounce Dolby Atmos re-renders, dramatically improves ADM bounce time, and adds the ability to link to WAV ADM BWF files.
Dolby Atmos Re-renders
You can now quickly generate channel-based mixes, such as 5.1, LoRo, and even a binaural headphones mix without going through the process of generating an ADM, importing it into the Dolby Atmos renderer, and then doing a separate export of the re-renders from the renderer. This is great if you need to send off any temp mixes for review. Additionally, while you are bouncing you can simultaneously generate both re-renders and an ADM file. There is minimal impact to export time because both processes happen at once. Pro Tools is now able to reuse one of the most time-consuming parts of the export process, which is analyzing all of the pan automation in the session to convert it into a Dolby Atmos mix. Avid have also done significant performance tuning of the entire export process. Check out this video for an overview of the process:
2022.6 also introduces a more advanced aspect of this feature to help with exporting mixes that are comprised of composite beds. In other words, if you have multiple submixes for different food groups (dialog, music, FX, etc.), and those mixes ultimately combine to feed a single bed, it was previously impossible to generate re-renders that only included the individual members of the composite. This was because the submixes were already mixed together by the time the signal reached the renderer. Pro Tools will now allow you to assign a Dolby Atmos group to different busses, as long as they are mapped to the same output and bed assignment. This way, Pro Tools can pick off the signal during export before it is merged at the output. It enables the beds to participate in different food groups, while still only utilizing a single bed’s worth of input channels to the renderer.
Link to ADM file with import session data
Finally, Avid have added the ability for sessions to link to a WAV ADM BWF file. This is far more efficient than transcoding new media if all you need to do is open an ADM file for previewing, or quick edits and re-export. Keep in mind that deinterleaving a linked ADM file in real-time is more taxing on the disk and CPU, so you can still transcode if it is more appropriate for your workflow.
TIMECODE OVERLAY (PRO TOOLS ULTIMATE ONLY)
Timecode may now be displayed in the video window or on a hardware client monitor. This makes it far easier for the talent or engineer to see the position of the session when working with picture.
The timecode can also be included in a bounced QuickTime file, simplifying the process of handing off files for review and communicating about specific parts of the mix.
Timecode settings are easy to set up. You can place the picture around the screen using multiple preset positions and change the size, text color (black or white), and the background opacity. The enabled state is easily visible and changeable directly from the video track, and you can shortcut to the settings with a modified click to the enable button.
SENDS DEFAULT TO A USER-DEFINED VALUE
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference in a workflow. Previously, you could use a preference to decide if a new send was created at unity or at -∞. It’s great to be able to hear something right away when adding a send, but unity is often too loud. You now have the ability to define the level that is used when a new send is created.
MIDI WORKFLOW IMPROVEMENTS
Pro Tools already has a powerful MIDI quantization feature, but the additions in Pro Tools 2022.6 make it even faster and easier to use. In previous Pro Tools versions, whenever you wanted to change the quantization value, you had to open Event Operations > Quantize, and then manually select the desired value from the Quantize Grid menu. This can be tedious if you need to change the quantize grid often.
With the new improvements in Pro Tools 2022.6, the workflow for quantizing has become much more streamlined. The “Follow Bars|Beats Grid” option available in the Quantize Grid menu allows you to use the timeline grid as the quantize value, and MIDI notes will be quantized to whatever Bars|Beats grid resolution you are currently using. The quantize operation can then be triggered using the new shortcut Command + Option + 0 (Ctrl + Alt + 0 on Windows). This is an intuitive way to work because the grid lines in the timeline serve as a visual guide for where notes will snap.
Since the grid can also be changed using shortcuts (Shift + -/+), you can change the quantize value and then quantize without even using your mouse.
There are three main places in Pro Tools where you can work with MIDI on the timeline: the Edit Window timeline, the Docked MIDI Editor, and the MIDI Editor window. Each of these can have its own grid setting. “Follow Bars|Beats Grid” knows to use the Bars|Beats grid value of whichever window you are currently using. If you are working in the MIDI Editor window, then Quantize will use the grid in the MIDI Editor window. If you are working in the Edit Window timeline, then Quantize will use the grid there.
Remember that the Pro Tools Quantize feature can do a lot more than quantize exactly to a grid. You can set strength, swing, offsets, and more to get the exact result you want. All of these additional parameters are applied when using the “Follow Bars|Beats Grid” option and the shortcut command.
In addition to Pro Tools Quantize being applied to MIDI, it can also be used on Elastic Audio events.
Double-click on MIDI Clip to open docked MIDI Editor by default
Detailed MIDI editing can be done in several places in Pro Tools. One of them is the docked MIDI Editor that can be opened at the bottom of the Edit Window. With Pro Tools 2022.6, a preference option has been added so that the docked MIDI Editor will open when a MIDI clip is double-clicked in the Edit Window.
This is the option to use if you like working in a single main window. With this configuration, the Edit timeline is mainly used for navigating and selecting MIDI clips, while the docked MIDI Editor is where detailed MIDI editing takes place. Fewer windows also mean less clutter and better focus. When you are ready to close the docked MIDI Editor, use the shortcut Control + Option + Shift + = (or Start + Alt + Shift + = on Windows). This shortcut can also open the docked MIDI Editor.
Auto-expanding Grid/Nudge display
In previous Pro Tools versions, the MIDI Editors (docked and window) had a toolbar option to show the Grid/Nudge display as a single unit. This showed either the Grid or the Nudge value, or expanded to show both values at the same time. In most cases, both values should be displayed because they are both important to most workflows and operations. In Pro Tools 2022.6, the display is expanded automatically if there is enough room to show both.
PRO TOOLS | SYNC X STANDALONE MODE
With the firmware update included in the Pro Tools 2022.6 release, Pro Tools | Sync X now has a standalone mode which is automatically accessible when Pro Tools is not launched and connected. If changes are made in Standalone mode, they can be acquired in the session when Pro Tools is launched.
In Standalone mode, the arrow buttons on the right side of the display on the front panel of Sync X navigate between individual menu items so you can use the device to generate or translate incoming timecode and serve as a master clock for all connected devices. To select any item in the menu, press the Action button. Standalone mode is operated entirely from the front panel of Sync X.
Pro Tools 2022.6 is now available for all current Pro Tools customers on an active subscription or perpetual Software Updates + Support Plan. You can update through Avid Link or find it in your Avid Account. If you need to renew your Software Updates + Support Plan for Pro Tools or want to get current to the latest version, you can shop online at RSPE audio, or contact us for information on how to upgrade.
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