Tiger; Pro Tools 6.9 Bug-fixing

Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

Published in SOS September 2005
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Technique : Pro Tools Notes

It's update frenzy this month, as Digidesign deal with the move to Tiger and iron out more of the bugs in Pro Tools 6.9.

Mike Thornton

pro tools notes 1 Expose window
Some of the keyboard shortcuts in Pro Tools clash with the default controls for Mac OS 10.4's Expose features. The latter can be reassigned in the System Preferences window.
Some of the keyboard shortcuts in Pro Tools clash with the default controls for Mac OS 10.4's Expose features. The latter can be reassigned in the System Preferences window.

This month, Digidesign have been very busy releasing updates, the first set of which are for Pro Tools v6.9 on Mac OS 10.3.8 or Windows XP. First, the update to version 6.9cs1 for Pro Tools TDM fixed the following bugs:

While writing automation, a Pro Control fader could lose communication with Pro Tools, resulting in no automation written for the time the lapse occurred.

When using Machine Control with an external timecode offset (in the fields labelled 'Session Start Offsets' located in the Session Setup window), Pro Tools did not take the offset into account when performing an auto-edit on the nine-pin device.

Scrubbing or shuttling a nine-pin device did not smoothly update the nine-pin device when using either the control-surface jog wheel or the 'Shuttle' Numeric Keypad Mode.

If a selection had been made on a Playlist at a timeline position after the incoming timecode, the screen would not properly scroll to the timecode location.

Digidesign then announced a further update up to version 6.9cs2 for Pro Tools TDM, which fixed a bug with input gain on legacy peripherals attached to a 192 or 96 I/O. If you have a 192 I/O or 96 I/O, and the interface firmware version is 4.3, you need to run the Digitest firmware updater. If your 192 I/O or 96 I/O has firmware version 3.0, incorrect input gain on legacy peripherals will not occur, and you will not be able to update the firmware. This does not apply to the 96i, which does not have a legacy port.

Finally, Digidesign have released another update, which takes Pro Tools TDM to version 6.9.1 for all HD and HD Accel owners. The Pro Tools TDM 6.9.1 updates replace the previous 6.9 TDM updates and is required for Avid Mojo users with the Media Station PT 1.6.1 option on Mac OS 10.3.8, and for AVoption V10 and Mojo users with Media Station PT 1.6.1 on Windows XP. Pro Tools TDM 6.9.1 also includes the Pro Tools TDM 6.9cs1 fixes for users of D-Command, D-Control, Pro Control and Control 24, and the Machine Control option.

Tiger Tools

There are also updates for Pro Tools 6.9.2 running with Mac OS 10.4.x (Tiger) only. The 6.9.2cs1 update is for TDM users of v6.9.2, and fixes the problems found in the 6.9cs1 & cs2 updates to the Tiger-compatible version of Pro Tools (v6.9.2). Digidesign have also released Pro Tools LE v6.9.2, for M Box, Digi 002 and Digi 002 Rack users. Update to Pro Tools LE 6.9.2 if you want to use your Pro Tools LE system on a Macintosh computer running Mac OS X 10.4.1. Note that there was no 6.9.1 software release for Pro Tools LE systems. Pro Tools LE 6.7 or 6.9 must be installed in order to use the Pro Tools LE 6.9.2 updater, and you will need your Pro Tools LE 6.7 or 6.9 authorisation information. An update for Pro Tools M-Powered systems to run on Mac OS 10.4.1 will be forthcoming.

There are a number of 'known issues' with v6.9.2. They are:

Macintosh Journalled File System is now recommended for all Pro Tools systems (LE and TDM) running v6.9 or above. See this month's Pro Tools Workshop article for more details on this.

Pro Tools does not support sleep mode on Macs, so make sure it's off by going into your System Preferences, launching Energy Saver, clicking the Sleep tab, and disabling all Sleep features. Set 'Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive' to Never. Also, do not manually put your computer to sleep when running Pro Tools.

Because of the default F-key settings in Mac OS X and Expose, the F9, F10, and F11 keys will not initially work in Pro Tools. To change the Expose settings in order to use these keys in Pro Tools go into your System Preferences, launch Expose, and in the middle section turn off the F9 to F11 settings. This will enable you to use the F9 (Scrub tool), F10 (Pencil Tool) and F11 (Wait for MIDI Note) shortcuts.

After copying a Session from a CD-ROM to a local drive it is necessary to change the permissions of the data. From the Finder, choose the File Menu and Get Info, open the Ownership & Permissions pane, and change the permissions from 'Read only' to 'Read & Write'.

It is possible that Pro Tools will crash when you are simultaneously burning a CD with iTunes and working in Pro Tools, so the advice is to quit Pro Tools before burning CDs with iTunes.

When opening Sessions which have been renamed in the Finder with names longer than 31 characters, Pro Tools will truncate the name with an added unique identifier tag when the session is open. Pro Tools does not rename the Session, but just visually represents the name differently, so don't worry — there's no need to rename the Session again.

With the Core Audio driver installed, Digidesign recommend that you wait 5-10 seconds before launching another sound/multimedia application after Pro Tools has quit to ensure smooth playback with other applications using Core Audio.

Renaming a mounted drive while Pro Tools is launched will cause Pro Tools to quit automatically. You have been warned!

Also updated this month is the EQ III Digirack plug-In. The update fixes the problems with settings being incorrectly recalled which was mentioned last month. As usual, all the updates I've mentioned here are available from the Support/Downloads section of the Digidesign web site (enter www.digidesign.com/download/to go straight there).

Core Audio Problems
Pro Tools 2 preset site
The Pro Tools Plug-in Preset Co-op allows Pro Tools users to share settings both for Digidesign's own plug-ins and third-party ones.
The Pro Tools Plug-in Preset Co-op allows Pro Tools users to share settings both for Digidesign's own plug-ins and third-party ones.

With Mac OS 10.3.9 (which isn't approved for use with Pro Tools) and 10.4, Apple report that some of their own applications might not open fully or at all if the Digidesign Core Audio driver has been installed. Instead of opening, an application's icon just bounces in the dock indefinitely, or a black triangle appears below the icon in the dock, but the application's windows and menus don't appear. The applications that may be affected are Quicktime Player, iTunes, iDVD, iMovie, Garage Band and Final Cut Express.

If this happens to you, Audio MIDI Setup can usually be used to work around the issue. Apple's recommended solution is to change the default audio device used by Core Audio as follows:

Open Audio MIDI Setup (which lives in the folder Applications/Utilities on your hard drive).

Click the Audio Devices tab.

From the Default Output pop-up menu, choose Built-in Audio.

You should now be able to open all affected applications as expected.

Meanwhile, Digidesign are reporting problems with Core Audio 6.9 and Roxio's Jam, whereby Jam won't play through Digidesign hardware using Core Audio v6.9. They advise the following:

Make sure the Digidesign hardware is selected in your Sound Control Panel.

Launch Jam and, in its preferences, select 'Mac OS X Audio HAL' for the audio driver.

Quit Jam, launch the Core Audio Manager and check that it's showing it's 'connected' in the status field.

Launch Jam. It should now play through your Digi hardware. If it's not, try trashing the preferences for Jam and the Core Audio driver (trash DAE Preferences, Digisetup and either com.digidesign.coreaudiosetup.plist or Digidesign Core Audio Setup.plist), then empty the Trash and restart the computer before trying the above steps again.

Pro Tools EQ III
Digidesign's EQ III plug-in has been updated to fix a bug with settings being incorrectly recalled.
Digidesign's EQ III plug-in has been updated to fix a bug with settings being incorrectly recalled.

Some folk are still having problems, but they seem to be those who upgraded to Mac OS 10.3.9 and/or Quicktime v7. The official line is that for 10.3.x ('Panther') you shouldn't go beyond 10.3.8 and Quicktime 6.5.2.

Finally, Digidesign have pointed out an Audiosuite bug which affects Pro Tools v4 and above. When you try to use an Audiosuite plug-in on a region, you can you get a error message that reads 'This plug-in only processes 48 channels at a time. The current selection is not a multiple of that.' It was first thought to be a Waves plug-in issue, but then there have been reports that the Digirack EQ III causes a similar problem which Digidesign have confirmed. It can be avoided by closing the Audiosuite window after processing. It seems to only happen if you keep an Audiosuite window open between processes. They have added a further workaround, which is to change a parameter in the Audiosuite window before processing. They are continuing to look into this but, in the mean time, the safe advice is not to have more than one Audiosuite plug-in window open at any one time.

Very Useful Site

Finally I would like to draw your attention to a useful web site. It is The Pro Tools Plug-in Preset Co-op, which has been set up to allow Pro Tools users to share plug-in settings in the form of plug-in preset files which can be uploaded and downloaded. Preset files are categorised by plug-in, and can have a searchable description including what they are and how they can be used. It has been designed with extensive searching and selecting capabilities making it easy to find the sort of preset you're been looking for.


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