16 April 2007

Soundtrack Pro 2: The Soundtrackenning

Since I'm out on the road for a gig (in Walla Walla, no less, ooh-la-la), this one will be brief.

Apple had their annual to-do at NAB this past Sunday, where they announced Final Cut Studio 2, which includes Soundtrack Pro 2.

From 2-pop.com:

# 5.1 surround sound mixing with stereo and 5.1 in the same project and aligned with 3-up video display;

-Finally, they get the big-boy toys!

# Surround sound Plug-ins;
# Library of over 1000 music tracks and sound effects supplied in 5.1;
# A new continuous Conform feature that tracks changes, syncs changes, etc. in Final Cut Pro and updates the Soundtrack Pro project accordingly, with differences highlighted that you can accept or over-ride;

-Speaking as someone who just spent over 120 hours doing post with Soundtrack Pro, I can tell you that this feature will be huge. I had numerous changes to implement, and something like this will greatly streamline that process and possibly lower my blood pressure.

# Frequency spectrum view in built-in waveform editor

-A feature that some of us had been drooling over since we saw it demo'd as part of Adobe Audition.

Pro Tools is still the de facto standard for film post, as well as in many other pro audio markets. But if the inroads made by Final Cut are any indication, Soundtrack Pro may have the same potential to shake things up a bit.

Competition like this can only help end users, as it nudges companies out of stagnation, encouraging innovation and, eventually, economies of scale.

Economy is paramount in the indie world, where I do my post work. Here, daddy needs a new pair of everything, and an affordable, powerful platform like this upgrade promises to be could even the playing field a bit for us entry-level folks.

Link to the main Soundtrack Pro 2 splash page, via apple.com.

2 comments:

Eric Peacock said...

I've been using Soundtrack Pro at work since it's initial release. No ProTools here because we have the budget clients.

I did learn PT waaaaay back in the '90s in school (along with StudioVision Pro, Sound Designer II, etc.). In those days it had no MIDI, so I didn't use it all that much as I was doing a lot of MIDI + audio multitracking.

Once I started using Final Cut Pro I used the bundled Peak as an editor for a while, but I never liked Peak.

I was glad when Soundtrack hit, though simple it was a definitely a tool I saw growing up and it has.

I'm keen on the surround stuff since that's what I've been doing on my own with Digital Performer. Surround is a lot of work over a stereo mix, and maintaining a proper stereo mix from a surround project can be tedious. I'm curious how well this will sound compared to doing it in DP.

The conform sounds awesome - assuming it really works well and all that. Aaargh - I really could've used that for a spot I cut recently.

Christian Dolan said...

Eric,

I never liked Peak either. It seemed like an add-on utility rather than an app, so I pretty much ignored it.

The whole shebang seems like a shot across Avid/Digi's bow, especially in the broadcast realm with Final Cut Server, et al. I think the next couple of years are going to be pretty interesting.

-Christian