updated 09:15 pm EDT, Fri November 5, 2010
Will run as needed on approved hardware or alone
After years of selling various levels and editions of Pro Tools with hardware and software options, developer Avid will reunify the package into a single product -- Pro Tools 9 -- that adapts to the hardware users run it on and configures itself accordingly as a premiere Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Previous users of "lighter" versions will see more "new" features, but even top-line Pro Tools HD users will notice significant improvements, changes and additions, including a doubling of MIDI tracks and busses, complete Core Audio support and variable stereo pan depths, among many others.
Another major change in v9 -- much requested by users over the years -- is full compatibility with third-party hardware. The company now says that "any Core Audio or ASIO-compatible interface" will work, and console and control-surface support is available for any analog or digital surface that supports the HUI protocol. Previous versions required an Avid- or DigiDesign- made card.
The new version also includes direct MP3 export, a Time Code ruler, updated 7.1 surround-sound panners and new support for OMF, AAF and MXF interchange. The new version also upgrades the PACE copy protection, delay compensation settings, new Track and Send Output selector commands, and Avid Interplay support for Mac users.
Pro Tools v9 will ship worldwide on November 12th, and the full version of the software sells for $629. Upgrades for existing Pro Tools users vary depending on their present setup. For Mac, Pro Tools 9 requires 10.6.2 or higher with a minimum 2GB of RAM on an Avid-qualified machine and an iLok USB smart key.