Pro Tools Expert: Audio Design Desk Tested - Audio Design Desk

Pro Tools Expert: Audio Design Desk Tested

Tuesday June 1, 2021


By Paul Maunder – This article originally appeared on Pro Tools Expert

Post-production workflows are time-consuming. Importing a film sequence, creating spot markers, labelling them (something descriptive to help find the type of sounds later), creating sounds – either from scratch or from sound libraries – meticulously placing and often layering at spot sync points. Auditioning alternative sounds for the same location requires additional channels and samples. Do these sounds require time-stretching, compression, fades?

This is a slow and painstaking process. But there is a solution.

Enter Audio Design Desk. Part DAW. Part sampler. Part sound library.

Audio Design Desk is a multi-award winning platform that lets you perform sound design on your QWERTY keyboard (or an external controller) as if it were an instrument – placing hits, rises, footsteps, punches, and gunshots to your project – all in real-time.

This intelligent approach to audio post-production provides a lightning-fast workflow for adding sound effects, foley, ambience, and music to your video sequence.

Packed With Over 20,000 Sounds

Audio Design Desk comes packed with a vast sound library, covering every kind of sound, hit, drone or musical element you could want – and if there’s a sound you can’t find or something specific to a project – it’s a cinch to import your own sounds.

Preset Sync Points

Preset sync points are an essential part of the process and workflow. Each library sound comes with an embedded sync point that lets you drag the clip into your project, and it will automatically sync to your video project. A game-changer and a complete time-saver.

Map Sounds To Keys

In our video example, the fight scene has repetitive rapid action that calls for dozens of sound effects to be placed within milliseconds. It is surprising how accurate the QWERTY key tigger hit process is. And for those hits that go astray, there are simple controls to nudge each sound backward and forward on the timeline.

Replacing Sounds According To User-specified Attributes

Audio Design Desk lets you switch sounds while maintaining complete sync, audition and replace sounds for longer or shorter equivalents – on-the-fly – changing the genre, mood, feel, intensity and complexity with one click.

Time Stretch Tool

With the onboard time and pitch stretching tool, you have complete control over the timbre, attack and decay speed of the sound you’re working on.

Onboard AI

Each sound in Audio Design Desk has rich metadata. The software’s unique onboard AI learns the sounds you regularly use in a project and based on metadata builds a library of similar sound sets for you to use.

In this series of videos for Production Expert, Paul Maunder gets up and running with Audio Design Desk, importing his fight sequence and taking a first look at the software, its functionality and the sound library.

Audio Design Desk is priced in 3 tiered packages, but you can get started with a free version that includes over 500 sound design elements plus an additional 2000 sound effects and music compositions. The free version comes with programmable triggers, replacement tools, AI creative engine, and sync technology. There are some limitations, for example, you only get three trigger options, and export options are also limited to Stereo AAC and Watermarked Movie.

Pricing Tiers

Create – Free

Produce – $15 per month.

Professional – $30 per month or $399 perpetual license.

Final Thoughts

Audio Design Desk will never replace a traditional post audio professionals work station – Pro Tools – in terms of mixing. However, Audio Design Desk’s combination of key-mapping and preset sync points is truly an innovation in the post audio process, and what used to take hours (as you can see in the videos), now takes minutes.

Audio Design Desk has reimagined sound design. A hybrid set-up integrated with Pro Tools (more of this coming soon) will radically change the way post professionals and sound designers work.

YouTubers, content creators, editors and those new to sound design for film can get up and running with Audio Design Desk in next to no time, creating professional-quality sound and having an enormous amount of fun in the process.

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