It looks like we worked out part of the problem we were having with the Digidesign Core Audio Drivers that came with Pro Tools 6.2.3. If you remember from my earlier post, we are trying to use this on an officially unsupported system: PowerMac G4, OS X 10.3.3, Pro Tools 6.2.3 software, and Pro Tools | 24 Mix Plus hardware. I haven’t really used the OS X core audio drivers before. I didn’t realize that there was a Core Audio Setup program in the Digidesign folder. Once we ran that, and selected the proper interface, everything seemed to work fine. There is still one little bug though: both Pro Tools and the Core Audio Driver think that the 888 | 24 that is hooked up to the Mix Plus cards has 16 channels in and out. (Not the 8 that it actually does.) If haven’t tempted fate to see what would happen if I selected Outputs 9 through 16.
I did notice that Digidesign has slightly updated its compatibility page. It still lists the Mix hardware as being in testing, and they still note that there has not been any problems with a PowerMac G4 in early testing. They have changed to information on the G5 though to say that it does NOT work with Mix hardware and that support is TBA.
We’ve started using Soundminer as our sound effects database program and it’s excellent! We spent many hours yesterday letting the program scan our hard drives full of sound effects, and compile a database. Today Cameron pulled some sound effects for a friend and it took only a few minutes to make some selections and then transfer them to a folder. (This was a huge change from some of our recent experiences with Mtools where we’d spend an hour or two just trying to get the software to behave long enough to get the files on to a hard drive.)
One effect that was needed was the sound of someone getting hit in the face with a bell telephone. That’s not exactly the kind of effect that you tend have sitting around. And even though I’m willing to give up quite a bit of my life to my career, getting smacked with a telephone while a microphone is pointed at me is not one of those sacrifices. So the sound had to be built from individual components. A couple of hard telephone hand set slams, a body hit, a punch, and a slight bell ring off made the perfect “phone introduced to head at high velocity” sound. Cameron didn’t find quite the right bell sound, but he had a lot of great old phone rings. With the Soundminer software, you don’t have to transfer the entire sound effect. You can set in and out points for the piece that you want. He selected the tail-end decay of a phone ring, had just that section transfered, and there was the needed ring-off.
On the on the “when are we going to get a paying gig” news front: we have been given scripts to three different movies that studios are interested in having us do the sound on. All of them start later in the year, and it would really be nice to find something that starts up in May, but I’m not complaining. It’s nice to be wanted. As long as we can convince the “powers that be” that we’re the right ones for the job, we should be busy the second half of this year. Keep your fingers crossed.