I've owned enough Pro Tools non-HD rigs (002, Mbox, Mbox 2 Pro, Micro, Transit) to know that one of my biggest complaints about the LE line is the lack of automatic delay compensation when using plug-ins. In the much more expensive HD format, this feature can be enabled, but in LE the user either basks in ignorance ("Why do the drums sound worse when I add plug-ins?"), or a complex series of Time Adjuster plug-in settings or track nudging must occur to keep all the tracks time aligned. Gary Newby at Mellowmuse has created an RTAS plug-in for Pro Tools LE and M-Powered (7.4 or higher) called ATA (Auto Time Adjuster). This jobbie simply sets up a plug-in on each track with a master plug-in on the master channel. Then it "pings" the individual tracks and registers this at the master plug-in to assign compensation values. Pretty ingenious! It will also work (via a slight workaround) with aux tracks and sends. ATA is a very affordable godsend to those working in the Pro Tools LE and M-P worlds, as phase relationships and timing of tracks will be kept intact during mixdown. Check out the online tutorial videos if you're curious; it will all start to make sense.($49, www.mellowmuse.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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