The biggest audio news to come out of this year’s NAB show was without a doubt the release of Avid Pro Tools 11. Chief among the things you need to know is the fact that this iteration of Pro Tools has been completely rewritten as a 64-bit application, so if you’re using old Pro Tools HD or HD Accel hardware, you’re going to need to update your hardware to use it.
Why upgrade to Pro Tools 11?
Well, that 64-bit audio engine means Pro Tools 11 has better sound quality and far more headroom, while a restructure of the way Pro Tools works with plug-ins means you’ll now see better response times, even if you start working with more plug-ins. You also get offline bounce that’s up to 150 times faster than realtime, and the ability to edit Media Composer files directly, rather than having to transcode them to QuickTime.
Software aside, your new HDX cards are going to be up to five times more powerful than your current ones, so you’re going to see a massive jump in the number of plug-ins you can work with and the responsiveness of your system. You’ll also get support for up to 192 channels, the ability to use up to three cards per system and four times the voices and delay compensation of your current card, not to mention doubling your I/O count.
How do I upgrade my hardware?
Luckily for you, Avid have an ongoing trade-in programme that lets you swap your HD or HD Accel cards and interfaces for HDX or HD Native ones at a sizable discount – you can literally save yourself thousands off the price of a new system.
These offers aren’t time sensitive, but it’s always going to be cheaper to trade in your hardware and upgrade than wait until it all burns out and then buy everything new. It’s also worth noting that anyone who upgrades to Pro Tools 10 now will get a free upgrade to 11 when it’s released in May, which will work out cheaper than buying 11 outright closer to the time (don’t tell Avid we told you.)
And finally, a word on Mac Pros
With no more being shipped to the EU, it’s getting harder to get hold of Mac Pros now, but thankfully we have a plentiful stock of 8-Core and 12-Core machines that make perfect Pro Tools workstations. We have Avid-qualified models in stock, and Avid-qualified staff on hand who can help you build custom workstations to suit your setup without compromising on performance.