Information Technology


Audio FAQ Topics

Audio Suites

Q: What are the differences between the four audio suites?

A: The differences between the audio suites are as follows:

  • i807-Audio01 (audio edit & record): ProTools TDM 9 and Avid Digi003-Studio interface with studio monitors for editing and playback. Interface also includes 4 mic preamp inputs for simple recording.
  • i812-Audio02 (audio edit & record): ProTools TDM 9 and Avid Command8 interface with studio monitors for editing and playback. Suite also includes 2 channels of mic input via API A2D preamp. Suite also includes a DAT recorder.
  • i820-Audio03 (audio recording with live spaces): ProTools TDM 9 with an Avid C|24 console interface with onboard mic preamps, a full complement of outboard effects gear and preamps, and an analog patchbay. Recording from 20' x 25' live recording space or adjacent voiceover booth. Suite also includes a Tascam CF Recorder.
  • i817-Audio04 (audio voiceover recording): ProTools LE 9 with Avid Command8 interface and 2 channels of mic input via API A2D preamp. Recording from adjacent voiceover booth with video playback capability. Suite also includes a Tascam SS-COR2000 CF Recorder.

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Q: Why isn't my audio suite functioning?

A: Make sure everything is powered on. In i812-Audio02, you should be able to power on every item in the Audio Suite with the main orange power switch at the top of the rack (In i807-Audio 1 and i820-Audio03, console power remains on at all times). Check to make sure that no device is turned off via its own local power switch. Once you are sure all items are powered up, boot the computer.

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Q: How do you enable phantom power on the Avid Digi003 in i807-Audio01?

A: The phantom power switches are on the back panel. The switch located between mic inputs 1 & 2 applies power to both channels. Enable this switch for microphones that require phantom power to operate.

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Q:Why can't I hear sound coming from the speakers in i807-Audio01?

A: Ensure that the Monitor Mute Switch is not on mute. This switch mutes the main and alt monitor outputs, but be advised that it has no effect on the headphone outputs. If you are using a microphone, ensure that your gain is at an appropriate level. If you are using headphones, please make sure that the phone level is at an audible level. Lastly, if you are not using headphones, then adjust the monitor level until the appropriate volume is achieved.

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Q. What do I do if I try launching Pro Tools and I get this error message: "Make sure Pro Tools hardware is connected and turned on. Click 'OK' when the hardware is ready"?

A. Quit Pro Tools. Turn on the Pro Tools interface (the 96 I/O hardware) before you re-launch Pro Tools. The Pro Tools hardware was not on before you opened Pro Tools.

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Q: Should I use Pro Tools for MIDI and audio tracks at the same time?

A: Sure. Pro Tools has full MIDI sequencing capabilities, allowing you to record, edit, and mix up to 256 MIDI tracks alongside your audio.

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Q: Why can't I get my signal to the DAT in the audio suites?

A: Check the "input" switch on the DAT. It should be set to "analog" if you are routing via the Kramer in Audio02 and Audio04. If your source is Pro Tools, you can always feed the DAT from Outputs 1-2 of Pro Tools by switching the DAT input to "digital" since AES cables are hard-patched between the DAT and Pro Tools in each audio suite where DAT is available. Also, by pressing "input monitor" on the DAT, you should be able to see and adjust the gain of your signal without going into record.

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Q: How do I route my audio in i812-Audio02 using the Kramer Router on the rack?

A: Always select the destination before you hit the source. For example, if you want the sound coming from Pro Tools to be routed to the speakers, press the speaker as your destination and then select Pro Tools as your source.

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Q: How can I get help utilizing the special hardware, such as Avid Digi003-Studio, Avid Command 8 and Avid C|24, in the Audio Suites?

A: Device and application manuals in PDF format can be found under the dock Apple menu > Manuals & Resources.

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Q: Is there an acoustic calibration system for recording audio in the suites?

A: Yes, there is an acoustic calibration system installed in all three audio suites to compensate for the acoustic imperfections of the rooms. It is available as a regular plug-in on the main output from audio software Pro Tools or GarageBand. There is a Pro Tools template for the acoustic correction called New School Default.

To use the template in Pro Tools:

  1. Create a stereo master fader track.
  2. Insert a plug-in called ARC into this track.
  3. Pick a preset corresponding to the name of the station (ie I807-Audio01)
  4. Activate the plug-in by clicking the "ON" button.

To use the template in GarageBand:

  1. Go to Track menu and click on Show Master Track
  2. Insert a plug-in called ARC into this track.
  3. Pick a preset corresponding to the name of the station (ie I807-Audio01)
  4. Activate the plug-in by clicking the "ON" button.

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Pro Tools

Q: What steps do need to take to start using an audio station and Pro Tools in the open lab?

A: To start using an audio station and Pro Tools in the open lab, follow these steps:

  1. Boot the computer and check the MBox. (The MBox is the digital audio interface connected to the Mac.) If the green USB light is on, you have a physical connection to the computer. No additional power switch exists. Also check that Digidesign MBox 2 Mini is selected in System Preferences: In System Preferences, Click On Sound Icon: Output >DigiDesign MBox 2 Mini and Input > DigiDesign MBox 2.
    • If you're not using the MBox 2 Mini to listen to your audio playback, and are listening through the CPU tower, in System Preferences, select Headphones to hear your audio playback. In Pro Tools, in the menu settings, select Set Up > Playback Engine > Built-In Output.
  2. Launch Pro Tools. Make sure the "Headphones Level" knob is turned up so that you can hear playback.
  3. For basic instructions on getting started with Pro Tools, such as creating tracks, please view the on-line help, or review the manual (.pdf format can be found on under Manuals and Resources, listed under the Apple menu.)

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Q: Why is my project playing back at a slower/faster speed?

A: Make sure that the sample rate of your session matches the sample rate of your audio files. Also, if you are not importing/exporting to DAT or CD (or slaving to video), make sure the Pro Tools clock is set to "internal".

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Q: Why can't I get Pro Tools to record?

A: Check the Setups > Hardware menu to make sure that you have the correct input selected, analog or digital. Record-enable the particular track by pressing the record ("R") button for that track. When you are ready, select the record and then play button on the transport window.

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Q: What kind of audio files does Pro Tools accept?

A: Pro Tools accepts .wav, .sdII, and .aiff files.

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Q: Do I save my work long-term in Works In Progress?

A: No. Other students use the same computer, and may erase your work if they need the space for themselves. Pro Tools stations have DVD-burners and FireWire ports connected to them (for mounting external hard drives). Always back up your work after each session. You can temporarily save your work in Works In Progress.

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Q: How do I make an audio CD from my Pro Tools session?

A: Please follow the instructions below: 

  1. Go to File > "Bounce to Disk"
  2. Select AIFF or SDII as the file type; "Stereo Interleaved" for format; 16 bits of resolution and 44.1 kHz sample rate.
  3. Choose "Convert After Bounce".
  4. Give the file a name and a destination where you want to save it. You will obtain a file that can be imported in any CD burning software. For instructions on how to burn an audio CD, go to Create an Audio CD.
  5. Please note that Pro Tools bounces are done in real time so you can hear audio playback of your mix during the bounce process (you cannot adjust any Pro Tool controls during a bounce).

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Q: How do I export only the audio files from my Pro Tools session?

A: In the Audio Regions List, select the regions you want to export. From the Audio Regions List pop-up menu, choose "Export Region as File". In the Output Options dialog, set the files' format, sample rate, and bit depth. Specify the Conversion Quality and destination parameters (i.e. Work In Progress, External Drive, or CD).

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Q: How can I work with video in Pro Tools?

A: Please follow the instructions below: 

  1. Go to the File > Import > Video > Select Video File to Import.
  2. Select the Video file you want to import from the Apple File Menu.
  3. Click on Open > Video Import Option Window appears
  4. Click on Open > Choose Destination Folder on a Valid Audio Drive
  5. Click on Open > Both Video and Audio Tracks will populate inside of Pro Tools.
  6. To view video while playing, select “Command 9,” to hide the video select “Command 9” as well.

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Q: What's the difference between setting INTERNAL or S/PDIF (digital) as the sync mode in the hardware settings of Pro Tools?

A: You should only set it to S/PDIF (digital) when you are importing from a digital source (e.g.: DAT). This way Pro Tools will lock to the exact digital signal. For all other instances leave it on Internal.

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Q: Can I work between the Audio Suites, Open Lab Pro Tools, and i806 stations?

A: Yes, all stations will handle 16-bit or 24-bit audio with a sample rate of up to 96 kHz.

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Q: What sample rate and bit rate should I use?

A: That depends on your project. Be sure to keep everything consistent. For CD, use a 44.1 kHz sample rate at 16-bit. For sound for DV (digital video) or HD video, use a sample rate of 48 kHz at 16-bit. For sound for analog video (Betacam or VHS), use 44.1 kHz, 16-bit.

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Q: Can you help me with Pro Tools commands?

A: All shortcuts are in the Help window.

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Q: What are the recommended settings for Pro Tools Sessions that experience Buffer Over-Run?

A: To use our recommended settings go to Pro Tools > Setup > Playback Engine and adjust the settings as outlined below:

  • HW Buffer: 1024 Samples
  • CPU: 90%
  • DAE Buffer: 3000ms / Level 4
  • Cache Size: Large

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Q. How can I initialize, or reset, the M-AUDIO Keystation 61es keyboard?

A.To initialize, or reset, the M-AUDIO Keystation 61es keyboard, follow these instructions:

  1. Press the Advanced Functions button.
  2. Press C#3 on the keyboard (this is the black key directly above C3). Edit mode will disengage and the controller is reset.

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Q: How do I use Reason as a MIDI sound source for recording in Pro Tools?

A: Please visit this application specific help on using Reason as a software sampler or software synthesizer.

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Voiceover Booth

Q: What is the i818-Voiceover recording booth?

A. The i818-Voiceover booth is a recording space designed for vocal audio recording such as voiceovers or dialogue replacement. This space must be used in conjunction with either i820-Audio03 or i817-Audio04, both of which can function as a "control room" for your recording session. In addition to audio recording, the configuration allows you to send an extended desktop view from the "control room" Mac station to a monitor in the booth. There is also headphone monitoring (using a headphone breakout box available at the Equipment Center) and talkback communication. This recording space is not connected to and cannot be used with any other audio or video suite.

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Q: How can I reserve the i818-Voiceover recording booth for use with i820-Audio03 or i817-Audio04?

A. Station and suite reservations are available to faculty and degree- or credit-seeking students registered for the current term via MyNewSchool > Services tab > EQUIPMENT AND LAB STATION RESERVATION > "Reserve Stations & Suites @ 55 W 13th, 8th flr." After carefully reviewing and agreeing to the policies and guidelines, login and select the "AT Arnhold Hall 8th fl." checkout center. You will need to select i818-Voiceover from the "Voiceover Booths" resource category, as well as your desired control room from the "Suites > Audio Suites > Audio Recording Suites" category.

Note: Reservations for i818-Voiceover with audio or video suites other than i820-Audio03 or i817-Audio04 will be deleted.

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Q: How do I use the extended desktop display in i818-Voiceover?

A. To send the extend desktop from the Mac station in your "control room" suite to the i818-Voiceover monitor (e.g., when recording voiceover dialogue), follow these steps:

  1. On the Mac station in the "control room" suite, click on the "Video Controls for i817 (i820)" desktop icon. This will open the control application pictured in the diagram below.
  2. If the button labeled "Video to voiceover booth" is green, the image from the Mac station's secondary monitor is already being displayed on the recording booth monitor. If this button is gray, click it to send your extended desktop to the recording booth monitor. If the button is red, there is a problem with the control system or the voiceover booth is being used by the other "control room" - see the 8th fl. front desk staff for assistance.
  3. Drag the window you wish to display from the Mac station's primary desktop to the secondary monitor. This window is now visible in the recording booth.

i817 Video Control Interface

Video active Video not active (click to activate) Control system error (see staff)  Control system locked (see staff)
 1-1-video-active  1-2-video-not-active  1-3-control-system-error  1-4-control-system-locked

To route video from the i820-Audio03 "control room" to the display devices in i821-AVStudio (projector and 46" LCD screen), follow the guide below:

i820 Video Control Interface

  • Video for voiceover booth is routed from i817-Audio04.
  •  Video to the projector in i821-AVStudio is routed from this computer.
  •  Video to the LCD screen in the i821-AVStudio is routed from elsewhere or is not routed at all.

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Q: How do I set up the i818-Voiceover booth for recording with either "control room" suite?

A. First, connect your microphone(s) to the appropriate inputs, based on the "control room" suite you are using (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 below). The breakout box for i820-Audio03 is located near the door. The breakout box for i817-Audio04 is located in the corner under the video monitor. You can record up to two channels with i817-Audio04 (use the first two inputs) or up to four channels with i820-Audio03. Then, connect the headphone breakout box's XLR cable (headphone breakout box and cable available from Equipment Center) to the corresponding headphone output (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 below), and connect your headphones to any of the four headphone outputs on the breakout box.

i818-Voiceover Recording Setup

i817 connection panel (Fig. 1)  i820 connection panel (Fig. 2)
3-1-connection-panel 3-2-connection-panel

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Q: How do I set up i817-Audio04 to record audio from i818-Voiceover?

A. You can set up a simple, single-channel recording session by following these steps:

  1. Use an XLR cable to connect your i818-Voiceover output channel to either mic preamp input channel (see Fig. 1 below). XLR cables and other in-house audio gear can be checked out from the Equipment Center by faculty and degree- or credit-seeking students registered for the current term.
  2. Use the Kramer router to route the mic preamp to ProTools Ch. 1 & 2. Then route ProTools Ch. 1 & 2 to both the Central Station (for headphone monitoring in i818-Voiceover) and the Command8 (for control room headphones and monitors). See Fig. 2 below for final routing configuration.
  3. Launch Pro Tools and create a new track to begin recording. To communicate with i818-Voiceover, press the red button on the tabletop talkback mic (see Fig. 3 below). Make sure the silver "Lock" switch is in the off position, to avoid talking over your recording session.

i812-Audio02 Recording Set-up

 Mic Ouput to Preamp Input (Fig. 1)  Router Configuration (Fig. 2)  Talkback Microphone (Fig. 3)
4-1-mic-ouput-to-preamp-input 4-2-router-configuration 4-3-talkback-microphone

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Q: How do I set up i820-Audio03 to record audio from i818-Voiceover?

A. The microphone outputs from i818-Voiceover in this suite are not normaled and must be manually patched using the patch bay and provided cables. While advanced users may patch in a variety of configurations, a basic setup is outlined in the following:

  1. In the patch bay output section labeled "i818 mic 1-4", patch your microphone output into either a mic preamp input - API or Universal Audio - or into a C|24 built-in preamp. If using a preamp, patch its output directly into a Pro Tools input (see Fig. 1 below).
  2. Headphones do not require patching. Headphone signal comes from the Cue output of the Monitor section of the C|24 board (see Fig. 2 below).
  3. To communicate with i818-Voiceover, use the talkback button on the mixing board (see Fig. 3 below). Volume control for the talkback signal is also in the Monitor section.

i820-Audio03 Recording Set-up

 Microphone Patching (Fig. 1) Cue and Talkback controls in the Monitor section (Fig. 2) Talkback Button (Fig. 3)
 5-1-microphone-patching  5-2-cue-and-talkback  5-3-talkback-button

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