In our studios it is a daily operation that you might record something in studio 1, but continue with the editing process in studio 2, while doing the mix in studio 3 just to return to final mix in studio 4, or back to studio 1. So in essence I always try to keep everything on the very same version. Meaning we have identical MacPros, with identical OS, Pro Tools and plugins. Everything is the same except the audio hardware.
With this session exchange and studio change never cause any problem. Some would say I might be overly cautious but in my experience this is the easiest and most convenient way to avoid any hiccup in the studio life.
While this is the theory, when we are prepared to upgrade, I always make that gradually so if anything happens we’d still have perfectly working rigs. The process goes like this:
- upgrade on my MacBook Pro (only if I have no ongoing job)
- upgrade the HDX system I mostly work on
- only if everything is rock solid I dare to upgrade all other rigs
Basically I serve as a test person. But we have to record/edit/mix more than 200 events (concerts/tv/radio shows/film score, etc.) a year so downtime is not an option.
Mac Os Sierra and Pro Tools 12.6.1
Of course everyone wants to have the latest and greatest with rock solid stability, unfortunately that rarely, if ever happen to be the case. New bugs, plugin incompatibility, not Avid approved OS, you name it how many different thing can hold you back from upgrading. One simple advice though. Although user forums can be very helpful to gauge how stable a certain version is approximately, please never completely trust what you read there. Plethora of different configurations can have vastly different results, you can’t filter our user related errors, corrupted installations and any other unknown issue. Always test all versions on your systems. There’s really no substitute for this. I know it’s tempting to skip the tedious process of testing, but believe me, it’s not worth the headache later. One final advice which is so basic I shouldn’t even mention it: BACKUP before you install any new version.
From the first minute even on the test rigs Mac OS Sierra with Pro Tools HD 12.6.1 with S6 software 3.5 has been so fast, stable and error free that today I upgraded the remaining workstations to these versions.
Which, of course, means that again, all our studios are on the very same versions down to the last plugin you can find. This is the most peaceful state I can imagine. For now as we don’t need cloud collaboration yet, I uninstalled that feature as well as I immediately uninstalled the Avid application manager which is a fantastic idea but a very shoddy execution.