What does Melodyne ARA integration mean for you as a Pro Tools user?
Comparing the feature sets and relative merits of different DAWs is natural, and while it can degenerate into pointless rows online, if all the other major DAWs have an important feature and yours doesn’t, then that’s not going to go unnoticed. If that feature remains missing for years then frustration is understandable.
ARA is one such feature. It has been notably absent from Pro Tools for years, but in an unusual move, Avid have pre‑announced ARA integration with Melodyne, and this has made many people very happy. It’s not available at the time of writing but is expected for the 2022.9 release of Pro Tools, which will be out by the time you read this. Melodyne Essential has been bundled as part of Pro Tools subscriptions and active support plans since Pro Tools 2020.11. It is a key element in the audio‑to‑MIDI functionality introduced in that release, so when ARA integration with Melodyne becomes available, current Pro Tools users will already have access to Melodyne.
It has always been possible to use Melodyne with Pro Tools, but previously this involved an inconvenient transfer process known as ‘round-tripping’. Selected audio was exported from Pro Tools into Melodyne and, once tuning and timing correction was done, the audio was imported back into Pro Tools. It worked, but anyone who has experienced ARA understands what a vibe‑killer round-tripping is in comparison. Imagine if you had to export audio out to a separate reverb application rather than using a real‑time plug‑in. (Actually, I don’t have to imagine. My Pro Tools 5 LE system with a Digi 001 interface shipped with D‑Verb, and I used to print my reverb sends and import them into Wavelab so I could run them through a better‑sounding VST reverb. I didn’t do that for long...)
This integration with ARA brings Melodyne into Pro Tools, giving a seamless experience between the two applications.
This integration with ARA brings Melodyne into Pro Tools, giving a seamless experience between the two applications. Having had a demonstration I can say I’m really looking forward to getting hands on with ARA Melodyne as, in workflow terms, there will no longer be the flow‑killing realisation that it’s time to stop what you’re doing because you’re going to have to run some pitchy vocals out to Melodyne before you can get back to mixing.
ARA, or Audio Random Access, works rather differently to a conventional plug‑in. It is an extension which allows third‑party software to ‘see’ an entire performance rather than just the information at the playhead....
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