When it comes to Digital Audio Workstations, the story of Pro Tools is the classic case of David and Goliath – only this time, there are no Davids to topple this behemoth. When it comes to digital music and DAWs, Pro Tools is the standard everyone follows.

And as the name, says, Pro Tools is the DAW most professional engineers use, and that for very good reasons. This is not to say though, that you can’t use it in your home studio, you can – especially with the changes Pro Tools has made with its latest release. Spoiler alert: one of the changes is a free version of Pro Tools. But more about all this later, first things first.

Avid – Serious About Music

Since its inception, Avid has had one thing on their mind – helping creatives channel their creativity efficiently. And with Pro Tools, they are doing just that. The major problem with music production has always been workflow, or rather, the lack of it. For a long time, producing a track was a start-stop process that stifled inspiration. And that is one pain point DAWs aim to eliminate, and Pro Tools works around this better than all other DAWs.

The only major drawback for home studio owners, however, was that the Pro Tools software was joined to the hip with hardware components that, frankly speaking, are quite expensive for the beginner. But all that, and a whole lot more changed with the latest version of Pro Tools.

Avid Blogs

Image via Avid Blogs

Pro Tools Version 12 – What’s New and Hot, or Not?

For the artists who are still trying to make a mark (and rent), Pro Tools has made a major change to its marketing and distribution of the Pro Tools software in two major ways:

  • Pro Tools is no longer limited to hardware type. This means you can use Pro Tools on any operating system. Although Avid initially created Pro Tools for Mac, you can now run it on any system. However, this is a biggie so pay attention, you still need to meet their system requirements. Basically, you need to have the latest updates of your OS. If you’re running Windows 7 or OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), you’re automatically disqualified. This is mainly due to the high tech graphics engine that Pro Tools 12 is using. This is a hot change.
  • A Free Version of Pro Tools is now available. No need to fork out a truckload of money to enjoy professional engineering capabilities. The latest version of Pro Tools now comes with a free version called Pro Tools First. Although it allows you to work on only 3 concurrent projects and tracks are limited to 16, but this is more than adequate for most individual projects. You still need to set up both Avid and iLok accounts to handle the license though. But that is a very small price to pay for access to the industry’s top-level standards of music processing. This change is more than hot for many people, supernova maybe?

Among the other hot changes that Avid has made to its latest version of Pro Tools is the enablement of in-line editing and addition of audio manipulation features such as batch fades and “commit”. Commit takes hundreds of edits Pro Tools engineers make and bounces them to a clean audio track – saving you a lot of time on your projects.

On the not so very hot side of the Pro Tools “improvements” is the lack of native support for VST plug-ins and instruments which are used in every digital audio workstation outside of Pro Tools and Apple’s Logic. AAX versions of most popular VST instruments and effects are available but who wants the hassle of looking for third-party plug-ins that aren’t supported.

Overall the latest version really makes Pro Tools’ music stand out from the crowd as is evidenced by its track record of churning out hit after hit. And now those hits are not the privilege of big name studios alone. Simply download Pro Tools (even the free version to start you off) and you have the same opportunity to top the charts as any other big name professional engineer.

Pro Tools – Professional Studio at Affordable Rates

Pro Tools still comes in at a hefty price of  $699 for the standalone package, a lot for many for sure. Fortunately, it’s also available for a monthly rental of about $30. That’s not very cheap either, but at least it makes it easy to give it and try and work on big projects without breaking the bank, especially since it’s super easy to transfer your projects to Pro Tools for that professional touch. Go ahead go pro with Pro Tools.

Feature Image via Avid Blogs


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