Could DaVinci Resolve Fairlight be your next DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)? 1
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Douglas Ray

Is there any training in Fairlight available to a total novice? I’m a video editor, usually I do a rough mix in Final Cut Pro and that’s it. Sometimes I send stems to an audio team who send me back stems. But I need to finish a drama edit in Resolve and figure it makes sense to at least try to use fairlight rather than round tripping to pro tools again…

Scott Simmons

Check here for some of the official Blackmagic training as there is Fairlight training there: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/training

Steve Hall

Resolve Fairlight can’t (currently) record MIDI.

That’s a huge weakness compared to a real DAW. The convenience of being able to quantitize inputs and then adjust the primary voice and applied effects non-destructively is what separates it from anything that would be used by the music industry.

Oliver Peters

I think MIDI depends on what you are doing. For example, a mixing engineer working with live-recorded instruments has very little need for MIDI. Same for an audio post mixer. I doubt that you’ll see a big shift away from Pro Tools, but Resolve with Fairlight is a very viable option.

Steve Hall

I’d think anyone doing live music recording would buy a full featured DAW with MIDI and a piano roll: Pro Tools, Logic, Abelton Live, FL Studio, Cubase, or Reaper.

I had to make this decision myself last week after evaluating Fairlight because I needed MIDI. I hated to do it—I already use Resolve for video. I can’t believe adding MIDI and a piano roll would be that difficult (in context, given Resolve/Fairlight’s incredible sophistication, VST use, wave form display, etc.). Was quite surprised to find it couldn’t, but expect that will be a near term feature add because it seems to be the only major DAW feature missing.

Oliver Peters

I don’t disagree that MIDI is important. There is actually a form of it in Fairlight designed for foley. Remember that Fairlight is intended for audio post for picture, not music creation. However, I doubt it will unseat Pro Tools any time soon.

I think there are many audio production situations in which Fairlight works pretty well in its current form. For instance, if you are recording and mixing live musicians and don’t use synthetic instruments like drum packs, then MIDI is a bit of a non-issue. I’ve mixed songs with 30-40 tracks that were all live musicians/instruments. No need for MIDI at all.

I also don’t see much need for automation on these types of processes. But, there is automation in Fairlight. On larger projects that would be better-suited if you used a control surface, which BMD would be happy to sell you. For instance, mixing a feature film.

I would suggest using a broader definition of a DAW. In the world of podcasts and radio spot production, Adobe Audition has a strong presence. Fairlight is certainly move advanced. Then of course, in mastering, apps like Sonic Solutions and Sound Forge have been popular with mastering engineers. Certainly those are DAWs, albeit not designed for mixing. Over on the PC-only side, you also have Sony Vegas, which originated as a DAW.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, etc. Merely that Fairlight – considering you can start for free – is a very viable option, as long as you don’t need to exchange Pro Tools session files.

Oliver Peters

A link to info about the Foley sampler.
https://youtu.be/rss3Byp7T18

Mark

Great article! I’ve switched 90% of my editing and grading to Resolve. I’ve become used to Fairlight and it keeps getting better although I think the adoption rate to replace Pro Tools or Nuendo is still slow. One thing I’d love to see is a way to incorporate external Hardware Inserts on an audio track to allow using external Reverb, Delay, EQ, etc.. From what I can tell this isn’t possible in Fairlight. Probably not the most requested feature for Post workflows but still something I’d love to see added.

Oliver Peters

I don’t know for a fact, so I’m just guessing. However, external inserts might be possible with the separate Fairlight audio hardware – interface and control surfaces. Or maybe with some other audio interface.

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