One of the coolest things to come to the audio world since the DAW itself, is the ability to collaborate with other people in the same room, the same town, the same state, the same country, or even around the world.
Avid Link, in combination with Pro Tools, has created a way for creatives to become absolutely engaged with the music that they are creating at any time and at any level. This is remarkable, considering that just a few short years ago, ideas were committed to a DAW, then file sharing services had to be used in order for band members, or session players, to input their ideas to the session as well.
As much as file sharing services offered a way to collaborate, it came at a sacrifice. This sacrifice was inspiration. When one person is inspired and they are alone, the inspiration generally begins to fade as the minutes and hours clock forward. To maintain that level of inspiration, an outside stimulus is required. This can be in the form of another musician or another instrument. Pro Tools has come to the rescue of inspiration with Cloud Collaboration, but now they’re giving us a new creative community to elevate collaboration even further with the introduction of Avid Link.
I personally remember the first time I was exposed to cloud collaboration; I could not believe how incredibly effective this tool was at solving my personal dilemma of having musicians not be available because they are at great distances from my studio. I immediately jumped on board and convinced my clients that this was the wave of the future. Ideas travel at the speed of light, and can be heard at the speed of sound.
I’m finding that my global clients are now within reach and the only thing stopping us from working together is a need for sleep. Which at times, is negotiable.
With the introduction of Avid Link, collaborating has never been easier. The Lounges area is an amazing way to create dialog with users around the world. A user can post a question and anyone in the community can reply. If the poster finds the replies helpful, this will foster more dialog. I personally like to reply to the poster’s questions with as much knowledge from my analog & digital world experiences as this can solve their particular problem or improve their workflow. I also enjoy listening to mixes posted on a user’s profile in Avid Link and, if I’m asked, I’ll have a listen to works in their portfolio. Many times, the next request is how they can improve. I always try to be helpful with good suggestions to encourage the community to communicate. My reward is how my contact list grows rapidly and I’m proud to have had the opportunity to lend an ear.
One of the wonders of Pro Tools Cloud Collaboration is track freeze. This tool is indispensable for collaborating with other users found through Avid Link because it allows two creatives to work on the same project who may or may not have the same plugins. By freezing the track, the user at the other end of the project can hear exactly what the originator had in mind. The ability to freeze a track allows for extreme flexibility and is powerful as it allows another plugin to be instantiated after the frozen plugin. How cool is that! (Pun intended).
I am currently offering my 50-plus Avid Link contacts the ability to be tutored online in their project that has been initiated by Avid Link. There are many creatives in my contact list that have tracked their instruments exceptionally well and their music is ready for mixing. As I’m mixing and using plugins that they already have, I push to the cloud these changes in the mix so they can learn on their end, how I’ve mixed their music. They can stop the mixing at any time and ask questions so they can learn for themselves. I’m happy to be mixing their music at the same time they are listening and learning from their own studio.
Tutoring is a wonderful way to learn. Avid Link has allowed me to connect with other artists looking to improve their craft by letting me dive into music they created themselves and showing them in a hands-on fashion exactly what they can be doing to improve their mixes!