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.
# 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.