Avid Pro Tools to Provide Native Dolby Atmos Mixing

April 22 2017, 18:00
Avid has introduced several groundbreaking innovations at NAB 2017, including a next-generation video/audio interface in cooperation with Blackmagic, a new version of its Avid NEXIS storage platform for media, a free version of its Media Composer video editing system, and much more. On the audio front Avid announced a collaboration with Dolby to deliver deep integration of Dolby Atmos audio mixing to create a new powerful immersive audio workflow.

During its Avid Connect event, on the opening of another NAB show in Las Vegas, Avid announced the next phase of it Avid Everywhere strategy, extending the company's MediaCentral Platform to the cloud, now in straight collaboration with Microsoft and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, while introducing several new solutions to power end-to-end 4K/IP workflows, and expanding its Alliance Partner ecosystem.

“After four years of intensive effort and unyielding dedication, we’ve completed the transformation of Avid Everywhere from vision to reality,” said Avid Chairman and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. “Now we’re turning our attention to accelerating the pace of innovation — a key part of which involves extending media production to the cloud — to address the most critical challenges facing our customers.”

Avid's announcements at NAB 2017 include the evolution of its MediaCentral platform to the cloud. As Louis Hernandez explained: "With new cloud-based applications, media services and infrastructure on demand, media organizations can capitalize on the efficiency, agility, flexibility and scalability that the cloud facilitates. To enable continued cloud innovation, Avid announced Microsoft as its preferred public cloud partner."

To further expand its strategy, Avid confirmed new solutions, including enhancements to its Avid NEXIS intelligent media storage platform, now offering greater bandwidth scalability and extended workflows with Pro Tools, empowering creative teams with even better speed, efficiency, and collaboration. At the same time, as Avid did recently with Digital Audio Denmark (DAD) for the introduction of its MTRX audio interface for Pro Tools, Avid announced an extension of its collaboration with Blackmagic Design and introduced the new DNxIQ video hardware interface and monitoring system. Built in partnership with Blackmagic Design, Avid Artist DNxIQ supports SD, HD, 2K, UHD and 4K ingest, monitoring and output. As well as supporting all major NLEs, it also supports Thunderbolt 3 and PCIe for Mac and PC.

To push even further its market share in the competitive video editing market, Avid announced a new free version of its Media Composer non-linear editor. Emulating what Avid did with the free version of Pro Tools (Pro Tools First), the company now announced the new Media Composer First, a redesigned but simpler to use version of the software. To encourage even more new generation of users to learn about Avid's software, the company also launched the new Avid Media Campus program, including flexible volume licensing and deployment options for educational institutions.

Avid Media Composer First allows users to easily connect and collaborate with other media professionals through the Avid Artist Community, and provides a comprehensive yet simple-to-use editing toolset, in a new powerful, streamlined interface. With four video tracks, eight audio tracks, and a host of built-in visual effects, transitions, color correction presets and titling templates, users can quickly cut together layers of video, dialog, music and sound effects. Media Composer First also allows easy sharing, with easy publishing to popular social media channels including YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.

Those new products and initiatives expand also into audio solutions, including the introduction of Avid Dialogue Search, a new scalable search platform that enables users to locate clips based on spoken words or phrases across archives, media asset management systems and production asset management systems, while the new Avid Illuminate provides a file-based quality assurance system for verifying captions, video descriptions and languages.

Dolby Atmos mixing to Pro Tools
In the main announcement for the audio community at NAB 2017, Avid announced that the forthcoming release of Avid Pro Tools will now offer native Dolby Atmos mixing. With deep integration of Dolby Atmos in Pro Tools, audio post professionals can now create massive multichannel mixes more easily in the industry’s leading immersive audio format for movies, TV shows, music, and video games.

Through a collaboration between Avid and Dolby, Pro Tools will streamline complex workflows and facilitate the most fluid, efficient audio mixing for Dolby Atmos. Pro Tools will feature a comprehensive suite of Dolby Atmos workflows to enable audio post professionals to work more fluidly in the multi-channel and object-based audio format. New features will include built-in Dolby Atmos panning, deep Avid pro mixing control surface integration, advanced automation with the Dolby Rendering and Mastering Unit (RMU), and more.

“Dolby Atmos is becoming the hottest thing in cinema and home theater, enabling filmmakers to deliver bigger, more immersive audio experiences,” says Dana Ruzicka, chief product officer, Avid. “We’ve worked closely with Dolby to deliver an unparalleled workflow to empower our user community of world-class audio professionals to raise the bar for immersive sound in movies, TV, music, and video games. It’s another example of the deeply integrated workflow you won’t find anywhere else, powered by the Avid MediaCentral Platform.”

Pro Tools enhancements include support for Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 audio stems with built-in fold-down logic, with on-the-fly switching and automation between surround and object outputs. For the most fluid re-recording workflows, Pro Tools also synchronizes audio and automation punches between input and playback modes in conjunction with the Dolby RMU. And support for ADM BWAV files, containing object metadata, makes remixing more efficient and economical for repurposing content.

Combined with the Pro Tools S6 modular control surface and Pro Tools HD systems, the premium suite of Dolby Atmos mixing tools delivers a powerful, integrated and affordable solution for mixing Dolby Atmos soundtracks for theatrical releases. Dolby Atmos support for the fully cloud-enabled Pro Tools application also enables users to make mixing for immersive content a flexible, collaborative process.

With the upcoming availability of the latest version of Avid NEXIS software-defined storage platform for media, Avid NEXIS and Avid NEXIS PRO systems will provide faster and reliable real-time media workflows and introduce new collaborative shared storage workflows for professional audio production with support for Avid Pro Tools. With Pro Tools combined with Avid NEXIS, users can share projects on a centralized pool of media storage, turning work around faster by eliminating the time wasted moving files between different systems. Avid NEXIS and Avid NEXIS PRO systems also provide real-time creative team collaboration using not only Avid Media Composer, but other editorial and creative tools including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Apple Final Cut Pro X, DaVinci Resolve and more, as well as allowing for easy integration with third-party asset management systems.

Pro Tools with native Dolby Atmos mixing will be available in Q2 2017.
www.avid.com | www.dolby.com/Atmos
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