Since Avid announced Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools HD 11 at NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, we’ve now had a bit of time to let the news sink in, and properly inspect all the new features, CSI-style. With improved performance, enhanced support for video and video hardware, as well as a cheaper upgrade path, Pro Tools 11 is shaping up to be Avid’s most impressive version of their digital audio workstation yet.
Improved metering and efficiency
Firstly, the audio engine in Pro Tools 11 has been completely rewritten as fully 64-bit. There’s also improved comprehensive metering, with 17 different metering types and views available, so it’s now easier to keep your levels in check.
In Pro Tools 11, Avid have really thought about their customers who are working in audio for video. The Avid video engine is now built in, so you can play and edit HD Avid video files directly on the timeline, rather than transcoding to QuickTime as you previously would have had to. There’s also now far improved support for Avid video hardware. As well as the existing support for Blackmagic cards, pro Tools 11 now has support for Avid Mojo DX and Nitris DX cards, plus AJA Kona 3G, Kona 3, Kona LHi, Kona LHe Plus, Io Express, Io XT and T-Tap hardware. This further tightens the integration between Pro Tools and Media Composer, just as new features in Media Composer 7 enable easier sharing to Pro Tools. Both post-production and studios with multiple operators will also be pleased to know that Satellite Link and Video Satellite LE syncing software are now included with Pro Tools HD.
… and new audio hardware
Also announced at NAB 2013 are two brand new Fast Track audio interfaces – the Fast Track Solo and Fast Track Duo. These are rugged metal-chassised audio interfaces with either one or two audio inputs, which ship with Pro Tools Express and are also iPad compatible. Ideal for recording vocals and instruments in the studio or on the go.
Cheaper upgrade path
Now for the really important bit: how much does it cost? Happily, upgrades are now actually cheaper than upgrading to Pro Tools 10 was. Upgrading from Pro Tools 10 to Pro Tools 11 will set you back £199 ex VAT, and going from Pro Tools HD 10 to 11 costs £399 ex VAT. Both will be available at the end of May, so keep checking back for more news on pricing, availability and more.