Pro Tools 8 Delivers Inspiration for Jez Colin

For chart-topping producer/remixer Jez Colin, the studio is more than just a place to work; it’s an instrument in and of itself, and a major part of his creative palette. And with the introduction of Pro Tools 8, it’s taken on an even larger role.

Jez Colin

“Pro Tools has always been the focal point of my working canvas,” he says. “Everything in the creative process happens in Pro Tools for me, from conceiving ideas through mixdown and mastering.”

He explains why upgrading to Pro Tools 8 has been a major creative jolt. “Visually, it’s more inspiring. I love the new colors – it just feels more creative, and it’s much easier to look at for eight to ten hours per day. But more than that, it’s got a whole new world of features that make it much more flexible, more exciting and dynamic to use.”

Colin’s prolific output is fueled by the inspiration of new sounds, and he points to the instruments in Pro Tools 8 as contributing to that inspiration. “I love the fact that there are some really hard-hitting virtual instruments in Pro Tools 8,” he says. “I really love Boom. It’s very immediate to me; hundreds of pre-made patterns, with sounds that are quite unique and original. It’s very intuitive and easy, and I love the sounds that come out of it.”

Transfuser is another favorite. “Transfuser is very musical,” he says. “It’s tight with the beat. I use the Beat Cutter function a lot. And Vacuum has actually given me just that particular sound I was looking for on more than one occasion.”

Needless to say, the ability to do some serious MIDI-based editing is critical in remixing. “What we’ve got now in Pro Tools 8 is the ability to see simultaneous controller lanes underneath the actual MIDI performance,” he observes. “Being able to reveal so much information with the flick of a button is fantastic. I’m able to double-click on a MIDI track and have it come up in a separate window with the timing, velocities, virtually all the control information, and access everything. It’s so immediate. It’s really twice as fast as it used to be.”

And manipulating audio is equally important, he points out. “Elastic Audio is really useful, especially with remixes. I’ve spent hours in the past tweaking files, moving each track up five BPM. Now with the flick of a switch I can move the Master Tempo up, and with Elastic Audio turned on everything follows. It really does a great job, and I’m quite picky when it comes to pitch shifting.”

For someone who has always drawn on technology as a part of the creative process, Colin is excited about all that Pro Tools 8 has to offer. “I already know I’m going to be a whole lot more productive with Pro Tools 8,” he concludes. “At the end of the day, that’s what you want – you want to be inspired by your software. You don’t want to be sitting there trying to figure it out, you want it to almost be shouting out, ‘use this! explore this!’ And Pro Tools 8 is doing that for me.”