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Avid Vocal Studio Unboxing

Posted By Joe Kelly On March 15, 2011 @ 10:02 am In Unboxings | Comments Disabled

Today I’m going to unbox Avid Vocal Studio [1]. Avid Vocal Studio is a hardware and software bundle that turns your PC or Mac into a mini home recording studio. Based on the price I paid for it ($100 Canadian), Avid Vocal Studio is an entry level recording system. But don’t let that deter you. According to the reviews [2] I’ve read,the software is easy to use and the microphone produces superb results for both vocals and acoustic instruments.

So what do you get for $100?  The bundle includes two main components:

  1. The M-Audio Producer USB microphone
  2. The Pro Tools SE recording software. I’ve only played with it for a few minutes but it seems to be somewhat similar to products like Acoustica Mixcraft [3] and  Apple Garage Band [4].

According to the back of the box, Avid Vocal Studio is used for creating vocals for songs, soundtracks, podcasts and voice-overs. Personally, I bought it for two reasons:

  1. For adding voice commentary to screencasts and software demos.
  2. For adding voice snippets to home-made techno music.

Okay, that’s enough talk. Here is my Youtube video of the Avid Vocal Studio unboxing (don’t miss the bloopers at the end of the video, after the credits!):

After I shot the unboxing video, I had a few minutes to try Avid Vocal Studio. I haven’t used it enough to do a full review but I will give you my initial impressions. Think of the following as a mini-review.

First, let’s talk about the microphone. It’s heavy and solid like a rock, which I think is a good thing. No cheap plastic here. To my untrained ears, the sound is very good. My only quibble is that lack of a pop filter.

As for the Pro Tools SE software, I was not impressed with the installer program. It forces you to install everything on C: drive. That’s a major pain in the butt for guys like me that have a small solid state drive, meant mostly for storing the operating system and a few select applications. I prefer to put disk-hungry applications and media files on my gigantic spindle drives on the other drive letters. I cannot imagine any good reason for forcing you to install the application on C: drive. This is a major flaw, in my opinion.

Once you get the software installed and fired it up, it seems quite powerful. However, I didn’t find the user interface nearly as intuitive as Mixcraft 5′s user interface. With Mixcraft 5, my 10 year son and I were able to put together the new NerdBoys.com video intro music in about 10 minutes, without once having to look at the manual. With Pro Tools, on the other hand, I had to dive into the manual right away.

The other annoyance with Pro Tools SE is that it will not playback your music project over the PC’s speakers and sound card (at least not until you are finished your editing session and have rendered the project to a sound file). At first, I thought that I had done something wrong but after searching the Avid Audio Forums [5], I found other [6] users [7] with the same problem [8]. Apparently, if you want to listen to your music during your editing session, you must connect headphones to the mini headphone jack on the microphone. I find this extremely annoying! Mixcraft 5 does not have this restriction. Why does Pro Tools SE have it? I cannot think of any good reason for this silly restriction.

Anyway, I like the microphone and will continue to use it. As for the software, I’ll keep trying it for awhile but I may revert back to using Mixcraft 5.

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    Article printed from Nerd Boys: http://nerdboys.com

    URL to article: http://nerdboys.com/2011/03/15/avid-vocal-studio-unboxing/

    URLs in this post:

    [1] Avid Vocal Studio: http://www.avid.com/US/products/Avid-Vocal-Studio

    [2] reviews: http://www.itreviews.co.uk/software/s965.htm

    [3] Mixcraft: http://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/

    [4] Garage Band: http://www.apple.com/ilife/garageband/

    [5] Forums: http://duc.avid.com/

    [6] other: http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=294822

    [7] users: http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=291715

    [8] problem: http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=295229

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