Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 04:26AM
Hi,

I have finished my edit in FCP and now will venture into sound work, cleaning up audio, mixing, etc...

I have never used either Soundtrack Pro or Pro Tools, I'm familiar with Audition. Anyhow this is an opportunity to learn one of these programs, any thoughts on either one for audio work for film?

Obviously, STP interacts directly with FCP so that would make things easier. Do I need anything special (hardware, plugins, ect...) for PT?\

Thanks
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 09:48AM
hey, Joe.

i hate to say it, but if you're going to invest time in learning one of these,
ProTools would be the one.
it is a VERY common industry tool, used across the board in TV and features.

(there could be something in being a niche specialist, however)

you do need extra hardware for ProTools. look into the M-Box series.
getting from FCP into ProTools is fairly easy, although you need to pay extra for that option in PT.


nick
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 02:13PM
Thanks Nick, you do need extra hardware for Pro Tools? So the program won't even open without it? I just want to bring in audio from final cut, I don't need to record anything.

Ok, I did a little research, it seems Pro Tools 9 HD needs hardware while Pro Tools 9 does not. Unfortunately, without the card you get a "smaller track count and a number of advanced features turned off."
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 02:27PM
Yes, Pro Tools needs extra hardware to run. Pro Tools LE is driven by the MBox ("M-Powered"winking smiley and Pro Tools HD is paired with an array of "Core" and "Accel" cards.


www.derekmok.com
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 02:52PM
I don't think Pro Tools LE gives you OMF import options, which you need to import audio from FCP to Pro Tools. So you may need to check on that (it's probably a paid option). Soundtrack Pro is a bloated piece of software IMHO, but I do find it occasionally handy and it has some pretty useful tools to touch up audio for an indie style mix. Pro Tools will probably give you access to a lot more features.

Certainly it's always good to learn a software or a new skill, and I'll echo Nick Meyers on being a niche specialist, but Pro Tools is the industry standard for sound editing and music recording all over the world. Personally, I think Logic is probably a less pricey alternative, but somehow not as many houses use Logic as much as Pro Tools.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 03:11PM
ProTools recently added the option of using non-AVID hardware but it still needs some kind of hardware to work.

If you want to learn an industry standard tool, ProTools is it. No question.

Say you are a self contained shop and you do all your own work yourself and you want to learn some sound mixing tools?

ProTools is still a good choice but by no means the only option.

Apple's Logic Studio is a good deal nowadays and you get lots of extras, albeit with some duplication if you already have FCStudio. I use it every week to polish mixes, fix audio, wack a compressor on the whole mix for quick and dirty web mixes, producer screeners etc. You can use whatever audio interface you have on your mac.

Steinbergs Nuendo is a popular mixing tool in some markets. I know this from reading forums but I haven't met a pro Nuendo mixer in TV or Film post myself. Music composers and producers? yes.

ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 05:25PM
Quote

do need extra hardware for Pro Tools?

re: hardware, there used to be an M-Box MICRO, which was no bigger than a small USB dongle.
checking the M-Box site, i don't see that anymore.
smallest option is now the MINI at $400. (that's for hardware AND software)
[shop.avid.com]

Quote

I don't think Pro Tools LE gives you OMF import options

not out of the box. i'm pretty sure that you can pay a bit more for that, though.
i know i've cut film dialogue on an M-Box system

Quote

Pro Tools will probably give you access to a lot more features.

again, at a price.
there are (or used to be) bundled versions that came with extra software and plug-ins.
certainly the thing that Sound Track Pro is famous for: it's noise reduction, and auto click and pop removal, does not come standard with PT.
this looks like a good replacement for those tools:
[www.izotope.com]


sadly the incredible duke-em-out between FCP and Avid which saw more features being offered to us for less money didn't happen to the same extent in the audio world.


Quote
Andrew
Apple's Logic Studio is a good deal nowadays... I use it every week

so andrew, does Logic now allow you to import OMFs, or similar?


nick
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 06:41PM
As above, ProTools is great. MBox system is ProTools LE (light) only, but works fine.

FCP will spit out OMFs.

Digitranslator used to be required to translate the OMFs to a ProTools session file, though. It's in the $8-$1200 range. (Does a buncha other timecode-related stuff, too.)

There used to be a small, free, utility called OMF Tool. It did the translation from OMF to a ProTools session, too. !!OS 9 only!!

randy
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 06:46PM
>so andrew, does Logic now allow you to import OMFs, or similar?

I did work with an audio guy who was on logic. I believe it takes in OMF out of the box. Soundtrack Pro has it too.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 10:42PM
no love for Soundtrack Pro at all? I've found it not to be very intuitive but we send most of our complex mixes out of house -- any thoughts on Soundtrack pro's usabability?
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 26, 2011 11:40PM
Avid released version 9 of Pro Tools in Nov last year. It DOES NOT require any hardware to run. You can run it on a laptop and all the tools such as OMF import and timecode are included in the software which retails for under $600. So you will not need to buy any hardware, however if you plan on mixing a film it would be advisable to get something of quality rather than using the output of a computer to send the signal to the speakers.
You can read more about it here
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 06:24AM
ProTools is definitely the industry standard. That being said, if you learn SoundTrack Pro you'll have an understanding of how ProTools works. While not exactly the same, the concept is similar and you'll be able to transition from one tool to the other.

Kind like learning FCP now and then transitioning over to Avid. Both are non-linear editors and if you learn one you'll have an understanding of how the other works and can transition pretty easily from one to the other.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 10:45AM
Quote
Nick Meyers
so andrew, does Logic now allow you to import OMFs, or similar?
Logic's OMF import used to be quite flakey. As recently as v.6 I think there was a warning buried somewhere in the manual that made it clear that you weren't going to be happy with OMF import if you couldn't do the tweaking at the source yourself. Not fun if you are trying to get an edit house to deliver an OMF and all you can do is make them jump through hoops to get it to work on your end.

I use v8 myself (FCP6 too. I am all x?1, where x=current version) and FCP OMFs get imported with very little effort and syncing picture playback is a breeze. v9 has all sorts of new toys but it's pretty much the same w.r.t. OMF.

I have found Soundtrack to be a frustrating tool to use. The audio clean up is great but, using the same tools in Logic you have much more control over them and it's easier to apply the same settings to tons of clips if need be. (Hello Mr. I-dont-need-to-monitor-my-audio-cameraman, I am looking at you, yes you).
Building CDs of mixes for cue playback in a live performance, I gave Soundtrack a try and the exported aiffs wouldn't import into WaveBurner without being converted again in Quicktime. I switched over to Logic and it was far easier.

I also have a complaint about the lack of interface consistency between all three of these Apple products as well as Waveburner and DVDSP. They all have timelines and tracks but the keystrokes for moving and zooming are all widely different. It's a struggle to have all three open, which happens on occasion, and make the cranial high jumps to get your hands to do what your brain wants to see.

Sorry I went off topic there, what was the original question? Who are you people and how did I get here? What day is it? Who's the president? What is the standard mode of transportation and do have ubiquitous jet packs yet?
Thursday, Obama, Cars and No. Really? Put me back in and defrost me when you have better answers.

ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 12:48PM
Frank,

That's weird -- my ProTools 9 includes the MBox mini 2 on which it seems to depend for monitoring. But maybe you have a better version than I do.

Best

Harry
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 06:48PM
Most of my friends without big budgets use Logic, but Pro Tools is the standard here too. Soundtrack seems very bloated and slow, although I do personally use it when I have to for repairs and sourcing free SFX.

Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 09:30PM
Not sure why you would need omf coming out of FCP. There is a 2gig limit on omf's in FCP 5,6,7 and omf's are the full sequence(SEQ) regardless of in/outs.

The aiff file will accept in/outs and it is native to PT v5-9. If your SEQ has all of the audio in the correct places you can use that in protools (track by track as far as i know). Then you can place the file back into the FCP SEQ after your mix. The if you layoff needs an omf you can just export that already mixed audio from FCP.

BTW, DV Toolkit can get OMF's to PT.

""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
""""
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 09:39PM
Quote
.
Not sure why you would need omf coming out of FCP. There is a 2gig limit on omf's in FCP 5,6,7 and omf's are the full sequence(SEQ) regardless of in/outs.

sorry, J, that is 100% wrong

the OMF is like a "media managed" version of your audio.

yes it is trimmed, you have options for handle duration in the FCP OMF dialogue window.

simply exporting your sequence audio will meld it all into one file.
you don't want that.

even if you have split your tracks, you are carrying all the empty portions in the file.
it's a much bigger file size than making an OMF.


nick
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 27, 2011 09:52PM
sorry, i miss-understood your point.

"There is a 2gig limit on omf's in FCP 5,6,7 and omf's are the full sequence(SEQ) regardless of in/outs."

yes that is TRUE.

the common and simplest way to deal with that is to split the sequence into smaller sections,
not by simply marking in/outs, but by creating new sequences.

this is a lot better and more efficient that using simple AIFF exports

another approach is to split the sequence "Horizontally" by turning off certain audio tracks.
this can be less successful as MOST of your audio will probably be in your first few tracks.
a 90 minute film with lots of dialogue could be over the 2-gig limit on A1+2 alone


nick
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 28, 2011 12:13AM
So Jude, what would put you OFF Sound Track Pro? What specifically does it lack, or do poorly, that makes it less worthy? I'm sure it has fewer features, but is there a quality difference if your audio editing needs are modest?

Scott
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 28, 2011 12:50AM
Well, it's slightly slow, which I find annoying. Slow to load, slow to draw waveforms, slow to act (on smaller computers - on my home system there is only minimal delay - but it's there). Also, I don't personally find it very intuitive.

As for quality difference, I'm not sure. I know that many of the fx are the same as in Logic - such as the Space Designer, which is apparently world-class. But I'm really not the person to ask about sound. It's not my forte. I'm more of a 'Crap - that sounds terrible, how can we fix that?' kinda gal. I just know that my friends who are into sound on a mac and are on a budget use Logic.

Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 28, 2011 03:00AM
harry323 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Frank,
>
> That's weird -- my ProTools 9 includes the MBox
> mini 2 on which it seems to depend for monitoring.
> But maybe you have a better version than I do.
>
> Best
>
> Harry


Harry look in your set up>playback engine> drop down menu. You should see a selection there like Aggregate I/O and Line outputs. You can use the mac line outputs or with aggregate you can use several different interfaces at the same time.
try dis connecting your mbox and launching PT's then go to the set up and select Line out. Audio will play out of your mac.
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 28, 2011 03:30AM
Once I had a 20 min project that I wanted to do sound editing on in soundtrack. I havent touched a multi track project for some years now, so I thought it would be a good experience. Turned out I couldn't get the QuickTime movie into soundtrack pro without the spinning ball of death and crashing. I ended up exporting sections as aiff for audio clean up.

I do like the effects. Quite a few of them came from Logic Pro during the emagic days. Very handy tools indeed. Yea, I do use it along the lines of how Jude uses it. Quick touch ups and sound fx. Nothing intensive, but at times it's a life saver for this purpose.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 28, 2011 11:20AM
Wow. You're right. Never knew that. Thanks for correcting me.

Best

Harry
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
January 30, 2011 08:56PM
working the effects in STP is so much better that FCP,
very intuitive interfaces.

the built in effects in PT are similar to the FCP ones in my experience: all sliders and unhelpful interfaces
(i haven't used PT in years, it might be different now, but i doubt it)

oh! how i wish we could get good, simple to use, Audio effects directly in FCP.


nick
Re: Soundtrack Pro vs. Pro Tools
February 02, 2011 02:47PM
Nick
I use a lot of aiff because it fits into the PT/Reason workflow the easiest. I don't often worry about storage/processing issues as it relates to size. Drives are cheap.

I think i will try your method with an old project. I haven't seen an omf in at least 3years. SDII and Wav is what i see mostly outside of the aiff's.


About STP

I like STP for the quicky and the effects. I once tried to use the effects on audio from a protools session and it was really horrible for nudging audio, syncing to a predetermined tempo and getting micro offsets on the tracks for tunneling. I don't like the slider rulers need more detail. There should be more choices for nudging.
Editing the waveform itself it excellent in STP.

I personally only use it to edit audio from or for video. Its a mild audio editor for targeted, specific purpose rather than simply being an audio editor like PT.

""" What you do with what you have, is more important than what you could do, with what you don't have."

> > > Knowledge + Action = Wisdom - J. Corbett 1992
""""
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