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fairlight is too good to talk about ;)? ProTools Import?

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by bette, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. bette

    bette Guest

    Obviously no one here has problems using a fairlight system! Or are henchman, bill and me the only fairlight users in this forum? Well, as we know that there is no DAW easier to use, better sounding or more effective, maybe this forum should be closed? We can amuse ourselves by looking at the ProTools-and-stuff user forums, and relax with a beer ;) ?

    Nevertheless I have a question to the fairlight users importing or exporting ProTools files (with the software option of the mfx3 plus): Is this really safe and usable? What experiences did you make?

    Christoph
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Christoph, great to see a thread here. Noone knows much about Fairlight. I have always loved their keyboards but as far as recording??????

    If you would like to moderate this forum and/or know of any other users, let it be know here. DAWworld is just getting going.

    I know alot of us just enjoy learning about what's out there and hearing the "REAL" truth about gear.

    Looking forward to more posts here.

    best regards :cool:
     
  3. bette

    bette Guest

    Hi Chris,

    thank you for your reply to my post. We (mango studios, cologne, germany, www.mango-studios.de) own a fairlight mfx3 plus since 1998 and believe me: No other DAW is that fast and safe in it´s handling. To give an example: when I did my first job on a fairlight (a radio drama for WDR, Cologne, 1996) I got 2 hours before to learn it. An experienced technician from WDR instructed me in this 2 hours and when she was gone I did the job. Quite as fast as any other one did before. This convinced me to buy a fairlight by myself when I started my own business and I don´t regret. In all this time there was only one (!) little crash. And just when I had switched off and on, I could coninue working exactly at the point it broke down (no "autosafe" or other stuff: just continue working). Our other DAW, a SADiE is good for mastering and editing of classical music and so on, but there´s no alternative to fairlight in multitrack production or film- and videosync if you like to be fast and safe.

    To your question: As no one replied to my post and no one but henchman and bill ever talked about fairlight in any of the recording.org forums, I really think it´s not important to most people here (maybe in future). For this reason and for my limited time (and my limited english) I don´t want to become moderator for the fairlight forum. But if there are more people out there who are interested in talking about fairlight, please post here! I´ll have a look from time to time and try to answer questions if I can. I´m also always interested in learning new things about fairlight. See my question above.

    regards, Christoph
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It's good to hear something from a Fairlight user, I look forward to the day where I can demo one. Hope we see more of you Christoph, your english is good too!
    I know of one other user and I will try and get him back here.

    How are you dealing with the Pro Tools popularity? Are clients saying "Do you have Pro Tools?"

    Just currious

    Chris
     
  5. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    I was very interested in what Fairlight had to offer at the 2001 AES show. They looked like some very intuitive, fast, and stable systems. However there are certain things I have grown accustomed to over the years, and Fairlight has overlooked just a couple of them. The most glaring one is the ability to operate in "grid" mode referenced to bars/beats/ticks. This simple omission prevents me from recommending their systems to anyone who is used to working on PT. I am not just some staunch supporter of Digi-d. In fact, I would love the opportunity to support any serious competition to Digi-d. Fairlight is almost there. It certainly exceeds digi in many areas. But Fairlight has to listen to the music making community very carefully if they are serious about taking on the PT behemoth.

    Just look around, it's apparent that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Maybe if we all got together and sat on Fairlight's front doorstep, might they start to consider a more aggressive approach to this market? What do you think?
     
  6. bette

    bette Guest

    First to ANG1970: What you mentioned as a lack is just the difference. And I think it should remain. Fairlight is NOT a toy for musicians and NO I-do-my-stuff-alone MIDI-Sequenzer DAW. It is a unique Multitrack machine for professional recording in professional studios. No MIDI capabilites at all. But Of course you can synchronise it to any other machine e.g. Cubase or Logic or what ever you prefer (Here you can work in bars and beats, and fairlight follows wherever you go). Another point: my MfX3 has got no effects but an EQ and I love it, because I spent a lot of money for good outboard equipment. And until today no PlugIn I heard really compares to a well equipped studio rack. And last but not least: There´s no built in mixer. I think for intuitive work you need as much controls as features. And since there are Digital Consoles with a dynamic automation available for a very low price (Yamaha, Sony or else), you don´t need any built in mixer in a DAW.

    For me it´s even difficult to explain a PT user the tremendous advantages of working without all of this built in stuff, without a mouse, without computer crashes (well mostly they understand THIS point ;) ), with a jog wheel that feels "analog" simultanously over 24 tracks and the possibility to record on every track up to 99 subtracks (clips). My first priority is the ergonomic use, thats the difference to most PT users.

    But, and I can see that, it always depends on your methods and priorities. And in the past, PT was cheaper than fairlight, so it is in fact nearly a standard.

    To Chris: That´s not a bigger problem to us. Most of our clients make acoustic music and don´t have any problem recording on a fairlight. After they have seen how fast it is, they love it. Up to now we had three or four clients requesting PT cause they wanted to use prerecorded tracks or mix at home. Maybe we will buy a small PT (Digi001?) to be compatible. All the others want to record and mix in our studio, so there´s no problem. MIDI-musicians have their own studio with a Logic or Cubase or else. Of course we do have this stuff too, but most of them cannot afford a professional studio.

    A technical service company as we are, doing all the jobs from radiofeatures and audiobooks to jazz or pop or classical orchestra recordings, recording and broadcasting with recording mobiles, doing PA and videosync we need a system we can rely on. And the fairlight is such a system. By the way: in germany the big film companies use fairlight. Just as they do in hollywood. And here in cologne I know 5 studios and 2 radio stations using it. It´s not really that exotic ;) .

    So that´s enough propaganda for fairlight. Often I do use other DAW´s as well. If I need special features I need special tools. And no DAW can do everything in the best way.

    regards
    Christoph
     
  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by c bette:
    [QB]First to ANG1970: What you mentioned as a lack is just the difference. And I think it should remain. Fairlight is NOT a toy for musicians and NO I-do-my-stuff-alone MIDI-Sequenzer DAW. It is a unique Multitrack machine for professional recording in professional studios. No MIDI capabilites at all.[QB]What about professional musicians recording in professional studios who are used to sequencing and mixing on the DAW? Do you think 90% of the professional music recording community should shrug off all the convenience PT has allowed them? Or do you want Fairlight to keep its head in the sand until Digi (a "toy" manufacturer, as you imply) finally crushes it?

    But Of course you can synchronise it to any other machine e.g. Cubase or Logic or what ever you prefer (Here you can work in bars and beats, and fairlight follows wherever you go).So I have to record into a separate logic or cubase system first? Maybe using PT hardware to get the audio in and out of that system? What sense does that make? Fairlight is perfectly capable of recording audio, and all they have to do is implement a tempo and snap to bar/beat function in order to be useable to a great many people. I was positively dumbfounded when the rep explained the LACK of this COMMON function to me.

    Another point: my MfX3 has got no effects but an EQ and I love it, because I spent a lot of money for good outboard equipment. And until today no PlugIn I heard really compares to a well equipped studio rack. And last but not least: There´s no built in mixer.I think you might want to double check that one. (Dream systems)

    I think for intuitive work you need as much controls as features. And since there are Digital Consoles with a dynamic automation available for a very low price (Yamaha, Sony or else), you don´t need any built in mixer in a DAW.What about having a DAW with a mixer built into it and a control surface with a control for every function? Again, you might want to check with Fairlight on this one. (Dream Console)

    For me it´s even difficult to explain a PT user the tremendous advantages of working without all of this built in stuff, without a mouse,Believe me, I was not always a PT user. And I can fully appreciate the concepts. I can also refrain from using any feature on PT that I don't need to use. But there are certain features that are usable many times in a day, and not having them feels like a step backwards. It's kind of like if you were to take a Cadillac and put a 4 cylinder engine in it, or don't have power steering, or don't have power windows. It just doesn't make sense. If it isn't that much work to make what you have the best of the best, why just stop? I don't think they intended to stop just short of best. IMO they just didn't listen to enough people when it came to designing the GUI.

    without computer crashes (well mostly they understand THIS point ;) ), with a jog wheel that feels "analog" simultanously over 24 tracksThese are excellent features, and both good reasons why Fairlight has my attention.

    and the possibility to record on every track up to 99 subtracks (clips).Now I am going to ask you to do a little more research on PT. They have had "playlists" for quite some time now.

    My first priority is the ergonomic use, thats the difference to most PT users.The pro control isn't quite as good as the Binnacle layout, but it ain't chopped liver. I can work pretty fast with it. In fact, using the pro control, I can work faster than the computer can keep up with it. This is not the pro control's fault, but the fact that PT relies a little too heavily on the cpu and mac os. So to me, ergonomics is important, but does not set Fairlight that far ahead of the pack. Not nearly so much as it's stability and sound quality.

    And no DAW can do everything in the best way.I believe Fairlight could... if they tried. Why wouldn't you want them to?
     
  8. bette

    bette Guest

    Hi ANG1970, don´t kill me. You posted:

    What about professional musicians recording in professional studios who are used to sequencing and mixing on the DAW? Do you think 90% of the professional music recording community should shrug off all the convenience PT has allowed them? Or do you want Fairlight to keep its head in the sand until Digi (a "toy" manufacturer, as you imply) finally crushes it?

    All I can say is: no. Sometimes it is difficult for me to say what I mean in english. In my opinion an AUDIO WORKSTATION should do audio and a SEQUENZER should do MIDI. I think fairlight is good in audio because they concentrate on audio. Sorry about the word "toy": better change it into "tool". A little explanation: I work as a recording engineer and musicians come to me to record audio signals in a high quality. Often they have MIDI playbacks. For MIDI most of them use a sequenzer workstation like Logic or Cubase. So in my studio I don´t need a combined MIDI and audio workstation. I can sync them. I think you only need it if you make music and record it by yourself.

    So I have to record into a separate logic or cubase system first? Maybe using PT hardware to get the audio in and out of that system? What sense does that make? Fairlight is perfectly capable of recording audio, and all they have to do is implement a tempo and snap to bar/beat function in order to be useable to a great many people. I was positively dumbfounded when the rep explained the LACK of this COMMON function to me.

    Why do you want to record into a Sequenzer?? I didn´t understand that. Of course I record into the fairlight. Maybe a display of bars/beats is helpful, but I think the musicians should play tight enough to match the bars and beats of their music.

    The DREAM console or PT ProControl

    Yes, you are right. I am wrong. If the controls are ergonomic (let´s say if you like them) and the system is safe, there´s no reason not to use it.

    It's kind of like if you were to take a Cadillac and put a 4 cylinder engine in it, or don't have power steering, or don't have power windows. It just doesn't make sense. If it isn't that much work to make what you have the best of the best, why just stop? I don't think they intended to stop just short of best. IMO they just didn't listen to enough people when it came to designing the GUI.

    Sure, everything can be made better. I talked to the fairlight people in germany and they are very open to suggestions (don´t know whether they are in australia). But, to stay in the picture: I work with my car earning money with it. So I don´t need a cabriolet with 12 cylinders but a van or truck in which I can put my stuff in to transport it. I don´t even need power windows. I think the fairlight is a big truck having all the features I need to work with (and some more). Of course, it´s fine to have some luxury sometimes, but at work the highest luxury for me is a good ergonomic. I think that the "featuritis disease" of most DAW companies is the killer of ergonomic. And: If you would add MIDI to a fairlight with all the features a good MIDI machine must have, the remote couldn´t be that easy to use anymore. A fairlight would loose the reason to buy it.

    99 "subtracks"

    This is a special feature of fairlight, that is hard to explain for me in english. It´s not similar to the PT "playlists" as you suggest. If you ever come to germany I show you. It was meant as an example, but it didn´t work as I can see. There are some very fast working methods that you only can do on the fairlight, but I cannot explain without showing it.

    And no DAW can do everything in the best way.
    --------------------------------------------------
    I believe Fairlight could... if they tried. Why wouldn't you want them to?

    I don´t think anyone could. But I sure want them to try and they sure do (DREAM). If they don´t leave the good way they are on.

    Peace
    Christoph
     
  9. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Traurig, mein Deutsch ist mehr schlecht als Ihr Englisch. Also versuche ich geduldiger.

    Ok, I see now that you are confusing my bars/beats feature request with MIDI. I don't neccesarily need (or even want) MIDI on my DAW. What I want to be able to do is tell the Fairlight "this song is 100BPM" and the Fairlight makes a grid which I can use to quickly place music or vocal edits. Some people may want MIDI, and I don't think it would be a bad thing to include. But I agree that for MIDI an external sequencer is not difficult at all.

    To use the van analogy, my van has shelves and drawers built into the sides so I can organize the stuff as I put it in. It doesn't add much value to include power windows, but that doesn't make the van any harder to use.

    Now, on the disease of featuritis... I don't believe a DAW that includes more features automatically means a compromise in ergonomics. Of course, when you pack 1000 more features into a DAW that costs $1000 to begin with, there are obviously going to be some cut corners. But if you keep ergonomics in mind, and think the interface out carefully, and offer it as a modular, optional addition to the existing interface, there's no reason why it would compromise the rest of the system. Oh, it would cost an arm and a leg too... but it would be worth every penny.

    I tried to raise Digi's interest in expanding on the pro control a few times, to develop a more professional control surface. They were totally unresponsive. Seems they were already designing a cheaper version of the pro control with a bunch of cheap junk added in. Now Fairlight has the Dream Console. This seems to be exactly what I was looking for in a control surface. Now if I could just edit on it, there would be no excuse for me to use PT anymore.
     
  10. bette

    bette Guest

    Well, I think we can discuss this until our very end...

    Two little thoughts though:

    1: Power windows need at least 2 switches per window. This would cause 2 switches more on your remote if you, as I suggest, have one switch per function.

    2: I thought you can edit on the dream console? Isn´t there an edit station built in?? Didn´t see it yet in natura.

    At last fairlight may be good for me, because I don´t need this bars/beats grid you mentioned. And I am sure you wouldn´t need it too, if you would be familiar with the fast and intuitive access to your clips in the fairlight. Especially with this really incredible useful jog and scrub wheel. You take the clip wherever you want and let it "fall" whererever you want. You don´t even have to look at the screen! Just hear it!! I love it.

    best regards
    Christoph
     
  11. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by c bette:
    1: Power windows need at least 2 switches per window. This would cause 2 switches more on your remote if you, as I suggest, have one switch per function.Isn't that what the door is for? You don't have to squash the power window switches on the dashboard with all the other controls, do you?

    2: I thought you can edit on the dream console? Isn´t there an edit station built in??No, you can edit with it. I am used to working a little differently. And I ask you now to respect that. I have not asked you to change the way you work. Please allow me the same courtesy.

    And I am sure you wouldn´t need it too, if you would be familiar with the fast and intuitive access to your clips in the fairlight.I am familiar with it. The rep at the AES show was very fast and proficient... and effectively showed me that he would not last 20 minutes with some of the producers I work with.

    You take the clip wherever you want and let it "fall" whererever you want.See, that's the problem. I don't want the clip to fall "wherever I want". I want the clip to fall on a specific sample, looping thru the whole song, in phase with another 20 tracks of music, without drifting so much as one sample from start to end. How long does it usually take you to do that with fairlight?
     
  12. bette

    bette Guest

    O.K. let´s take it to an end.

    The car broke down. Where´s the door on a DAW remote?

    I am NOT a fairlight seller, I don´t want to you to love it. I don´t want you to change your work. I like to work with it, that´s all what I´m trying to say. If you don´t, please don´t.

    I saw PT several times and some people (even some reps of Digidesign) showed me PT and the ProControl several times. I never would say I´m familiar with it. This maybe a problem of me, I think it is the problem of DAW´s like PT (too complex).

    If I understood, what you want to do (looping in a MIDI environment?), that is of course possible with the MfX3, but maybe takes a bit longer. This is a feature you may need better implemented, I don´t.

    Christoph
     
  13. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    well, I just read the thread. And we sue ur fairlights for Music and Post.

    WhatI do to set-up a grid is the following.
    Record the click track, synched to the fairlight as we record the basic tracks.

    Then, I use the autogate function, splitting the click track into separate clips. I have a macro Iuse to then place a marker at thehead ofeach click-clip. Presto. A grid is created.

    As anyone who has read my various posts about PT s Fairlight. Well, they knowwhere I stand. And I got there after having been a PT user for 2years in a different post studio.

    One ofthe advantages with the Fairlight, is that
    it sounds amazing. I don't need a ton of plug-ins to make stuff sound good. The level and EQ clip atomationis wicked.

    Another big time saver is their post conform software. It allows you to place markers basedonthe video EDL. Our SFXeditors lovethis when cutting the BG FX. Becaue they can jump exactly to the video cut.
    There are somany things thatmake working with the fairlight superfast.

    If you ever get the chance, try one out, and then you'll understand what we mean.

    Mark
     
  14. Vikram

    Vikram Guest

    Hi guys,
    This is an attempt to reply to the original post.
    There is only PT import available with the Direct Filex option on the MFX3, but it is very specific (PT compatibilty may improve with the adoption of the AES31 file exchange protocols). Only 16bit audio and ver4 projects. All the audio and fades have to be on the same disk partition.
    If all these criterea are satisfied, the import works very well :)

    With regards to the ensuing discussion MFX vs PT - my 2 bits worth

    PT is a great creation tool with its plugins and general architecture.
    The MFX is the best and most rugged Audio Post/editting workstation on the market. With the launch of the new QDC machines and now DREAM, they have just got better and faster.
    Fairlight is now talking of doing plugins (VST) via SSM, which is a slaved PC connected via gigabit ethernet, and is too gimmicky for my liking. They should stick to what they do and do very well - EDIT.
    Hope this doesn't offend/set off any one! :D

    Regards

    Vikram
     
  15. Vikram

    Vikram Guest

    Henchman,
    instead of the process u mentioned try using the IBM command
    At a shell prompt type ibm -? to find out the usage. It is a beat/bpm calc, which uses markers to setup a grid.

    Vikram :cool:
     
  16. Luna

    Luna Guest

    Hi guys...This is my first time on this forum. I have been an Avid Instructor, Pro Tools Instructor and an Audio Vision Instructor. I live
    and work in L.A. so I've had a lot of chances to
    edit and mix on different systems including
    Fairlight and it is indeed the best. I am currently working with AV and PT. Pro Tools
    is just not a TV Post system. It does not handle video changes well...you can't enter offsets form other machines w/o the use of
    Micro Lynx...Its machine control is only partialy
    implamented (can not scrub or shuttle a deck)...
    to do a lay back to video tape you have to open
    three or four windows to setup peramaters...you have to use tricks while your mixing to get around the fact that you can only
    up the level of a clip +6 db (normalize gain, increase eq plugin output ect.)...you can now do a paste to fill but you can't do it from the list...(it would be nice to import a ambience file
    and do a paste to fill form somwhere in the middle of the file...there is now an object tool that finally allows you select noncontigues clips but unless you first do "seperations"(a lot of clicking) you cant select from within a region. They have annouced there new HD system and I have read all the paper on it...nothing new on the post side of things. Anyway...thanks for letting me rant.
     
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hench wrote "WhatI do to set-up a grid is the following.
    Record the click track, synched to the fairlight as we record the basic tracks"

    What? Non sample accurate? With midi drift? poor show for such an expencive system...

    No midi - IT SHOULD GO F**KING GET IT

    MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC

    & PRO MUSIC

    I'm with Angelo,

    I have a ProControl

    I will be speaking to Fairlight soon

    My geuss? - they will treat my like a poor cousin for being in Rock n Roll and wont understand or be interested in my needs...

    Your geuss????

    I will let you know how it turns out...

    Actually after a hiccup at the start they have been v nice....

    :)

    Jules
     
  18. Matt Allen

    Matt Allen Guest

    I have to respectfully disagree. One of the great strengths of the Fairlight is it is not trying to be all things to all people. It is specifically designed for audio post production work, and as others have enthused, it rocks. Adding unneccessary features (MIDI) to a post product could potentially dilute its power and we could all go down the road of other DAWs that try to be too many things at once, making them slower and overly complicated. There is other software out there that handles MIDI much better than Fairlight could possibly implement in a reasonable amount of time.
    As for the attitude, most of the time you will get it from them no matter who you are or what type of work you do! :)
     
  19. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    I've tried this. But the sequencer I had used for teh original click, didn't quite line up correctly. I have done it using the IBM thing before though.
     
  20. Henchman

    Henchman Active Member

    My guess? you need a spellchecker. ;)

    BTW. You guys are gonna hate me. We just picked up another MFX3plus for $7500,-.

    Mark
     

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