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Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation developed and released by Avid Technology (formerly Digidesign) for Microsoft Windows and macOS which can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes. Pro Tools can run as standalone software, or operate using a range of external analog/digital converters and internal PCI Local Bus (PCI) or PCIe audio cards with on-board digital signal processors (DSP) to provide effects such as reverb, equalization and compression. Like all digital audio workstation software, Pro Tools can perform the functions of a multitrack tape recorder and audio mixer, along with additional features that can only be performed in the digital domain, such as non-destructive editing, using the Undo feature.

Pro Tools
Pro Tools 9 DAW software product box
Pro Tools 9 DAW software product box
Original author(s)Evan Brooks
Peter Gotcher
Developer(s)Digidesign (now merged into Avid)
Initial releaseJanuary 20, 1989; 30 years ago (1989-01-20)
Stable release
Pro Tools 2019.10 / October 31, 2019; 21 days ago (2019-10-31)
Written inC, C++, Assembly
Operating systemmacOS, Windows
Available in9 languages
List of languages
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
TypeDigital Audio Workstation

Audio and MIDI tracks are graphically represented in a timeline; here, both can be recorded, imported and edited in a non-linear, non-destructive fashion. Audio effects and virtual instruments can be added, adjusted and processed in real-time in a virtual mixer. 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit float audio bit depths at sample rates up to 192 kHz are supported. Pro Tools handles WAV, AIFF, AIFC, mp3, and formerly SDII audio files. It has also incorporated video editing capabilities, so users can import and manipulate high definition video file formats such as XDCAM, MJPG-A, PhotoJPG, DV25, QuickTime, and more. It features time code, tempo maps, elastic audio, automation and surround sound abilities. The Pro Tools TDM mix engine, supported until 2011, employed 24-bit fixed-point arithmetic for plug-in processing and 48-bit for mixing; current HDX hardware systems, HD Native and native systems use 32-bit floating point resolution for plug-ins and 64-bit floating point summing[1].


Pro Tools was developed by UC Berkeley graduates Evan Brooks, who majored in electrical engineering and computer science, and Peter Gotcher. The first incarnation of Pro Tools was introduced in 1984 under the brand name Sound Designer. At the time, the pair were creating and selling digital drum sound chips under their Digidrums label.[2] Sound Designer was originally designed to edit sounds for the E-mu Emulator sampling keyboard, but it was rapidly ported to many other sampling keyboards, such as the Akai S900 and the Prophet 2000. Thanks to the universal file specification developed by Brooks, Sound Designer files could be transferred to and from one sampling keyboard to another keyboard made by a different manufacturer.

This universal file specification, along with the printed source code to a 68000 assembly language interrupt driven MIDI driver, were distributed through Macintosh MIDI interface manufacturer Assimilation, which manufactured the first MIDI interface for the Mac in 1985. Macintosh Editor/librarian software development pioneers and visionaries, Beaverton Digital Systems, provided a dial-up service called MacMusic starting in 1985 which used 2400-baud modems and 100 MB of disk, and used Red Ryder Host on a 1 MB Macintosh Plus, allowing users of Sound Designer to download and install the entire Emulator II sound library to other less expensive samplers. MacMusic allowed users worldwide to share sample libraries across different manufacturers platforms without copyright infringement. Beaverton Digital Systems President John Connolly already had several conversations with Evan Brooks in 1985, as he was listed as a contact for technical support for the Assimilation MIDI toolkit, and the current Apple operating system in 1985 did not have native MIDI communications drivers. One evening in 1986 at John Connolly's Beaverton, Oregon home, an alert was sent online from MacMusic requesting the system operator, and to Connolly's surprise it was Peter Gotcher, thanking him for providing such a revolutionary service and making Sound Designer a much more attractive program to buy, by leveraging both the universal file format and by developing the first online sample file download site in the world, many years before the World Wide Web use soared.[3] In 1987, Gotcher and Brooks discussed with E-mu Systems the possibility of integrating their renamed 'Sound Tools' software into the Emulator III. E-mu rejected this offer and the pair started Digidesign, with Gotcher as president and Brooks as lead engineer.[4]

Sound Tools[5] debuted on January 20, 1989 at the NAMM Show. At this stage Sound Tools was a simple computer-based stereo audio editor. Although the software had the possibility to do far more, it was limited by the hard drive technology, which was used to stream audio and allow for the non-destructive editing that Sound Tools offered.[6] The first version of Pro Tools was launched in 1991, offering four tracks and selling for US$6,000. The core engine technology and much of the user interface was designed by and licensed from a small San Francisco company called OSC, known at the time for creating the first software-based digital multi-track recorder, called DECK, in 1990.[7] That software, manufactured by OSC but distributed by Digidesign, formed the platform upon which Pro Tools version 1 was built. The OSC designers and engineers responsible for that technology, Josh Rosen, Mats Myrberg and John Dalton, split from Digidesign in 1993 in order to focus on releasing lower-cost ($399)[7] multi-track software that would run on computers with no additional hardware. The software was known circa mid-1990s as Session (for stereo-only audio cards) and Session 8 (for multi-channel audio interfaces). Although the original design remained largely the same, Digidesign continued to improve Pro Tools software and hardware, adding a visual MIDI sequencer and more tracks, with the system offering 16-bit, 44.1 kHz audio recording. In 1997, Pro Tools reached 24-bit, 48 tracks. It was at this point that the migration from more conventional analog studio technology to the Pro Tools platform took place within the industry.[8]

Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca" (1999) was the first No. 1 single to be recorded, edited, and mixed fully within the Pro Tools environment, by Charles Dye and Desmond Child.[9]


Pro Tools 9 running on Windows

Most of Pro Tools' basic functions can be controlled within Edit or Mix windows. The Edit window displays audio and Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) tracks, and provides graphical representation of the information recorded or imported. Here, audio can be edited in a non-linear, non-destructive fashion. MIDI information can also be manipulated. The Mix window displays each track's fader channel and allows for the adjustment of a channel's volume and pan, as well as being the usual place to insert plug-in effects and route audio to and from different outputs and inputs. The release of Pro Tools 8 introduced a MIDI edit window, which enables the user to manipulate MIDI data in either piano-roll or score windows. It also includes MIDI edit lanes so that the user can see note, velocity and other CC data in the same window. These additions took Pro Tools from the long standard 2 edit window approach to having 3 edit windows. Real-time effects processing and virtual instruments in Pro Tools are achieved through the use of plug-ins, which are either processed by the DSP chips as DSP plug-ins, or the host computer as Native plug-ins. Additionally, out-of-time processing is available in the form of AudioSuite plug-ins, which also enables time-domain processing.


HDX systemsEdit

In October 2011 Avid introduced a new line of DSP accelerated PCIe cards, named HDX, along with version 10 of its Pro Tools software. The cards included DSP processors manufactured by Texas Instruments, operating with increased computational precision – 32-bit floating point versus the previous 24-bit fixed (in the older generation 56k chips made by Motorola). Benefits claimed for the new system included improved technical performance in terms of audio dynamic range, monitoring latency, and overall computational power, compared to the older HD line.

The "HD" product line was reorganized to include "HD|Native" (without DSP) and HDX. The HD|Native systems made use of the host system's CPU for all audio processing while retaining the augmented workflows and sound quality factors of Pro Tools HD. HDX's primary advantage over HD remained the considerably lower latency for all DSP-reliant operations. As a result, in order to maintain the required consistency of performance, HDX products were specified with a fixed maximum number of "voices" (audio tracks). Up to three HDX cards could be installed on a single system, for a maximum of 768 total "voices" (audio channels).

While native systems from all manufacturers may offer an apparently unlimited number of tracks/voices, every system necessarily has practical limits to what can usefully be achieved, depending on the technical specifications of the host computer, software configuration and user preferences. HDX systems accelerate digital signal processing for Avid's own AAX format plugins only. The company ended support for the older TDM technology for use with its HDX products.[10]) Avid advised users that Pro Tools 10 would be the final release for Pro Tools|HD Process and Accel systems, and that its TDM technology would be discontinued.

HD systemsEdit

Pro Tools HD and HDX systems represent the company's professional product line. They rely on dedicated chips that aid audio processing, in conjunction with rack-mounted interfaces, which handle outgoing and incoming audio, MIDI, and sync connections. With the introduction of Avid's HDX line, HD ("native") interfaces no longer offer DSP, and this feature has been reserved for HDX only. HD and HDX systems utilize proprietary cables to interconnect with external units. Older Pro Tools HD cards used DSP chips from the Motorola 56k family. Newer HDX interfaces rely on DSP chips from Texas Instruments and have split facilities for managing track playback and signal processing operations. At launch Pro Tools HD cards were called HD Process cards. Approximately 2 years later, the HD Process cards were replaced by the HD Accel card, which was designed around a faster variant of the Motorola DSP chip and provided approximately twice the signal processing power per card. When Apple changed the expansion slot architecture of the G5 to PCI Express, Digidesign launched a line of PCIe HD Accel cards that both adopted the new card slot format and also slightly changed the combination of chips.

On October 6, 2010, Avid released Pro Tools HD Native, a lower cost PCIe card system designed for host-processing with fully functional HD software.[11] On November 4, 2010, Avid released Pro Tools 9, a lower-cost application that decoupled hardware from software. Pro Tools 9 had a new track feature named HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology), which is used for emulating analog sound coloration by introducing harmonic distortion.

When first available, Pro Tools systems relied exclusively on integral hard disks for storage and were thus limited to the storage options available on the Apple hardware platform. In 2002, AVID rebranded a proprietary SAN product called MediaNet and promoted it to Pro Tools users who were becoming aware of the benefits of network-based collaboration and workflows.[12] MediaNet was based on WindowsNT and could only be administered using Windows-based tools. In 2018 Avid introduced the Avid Cloud, permitting collaboration among Pro Tools systems over the Internet.

LE systemsEdit

The Pro Tools LE (Limited Edition) line was discontinued as of the release of Pro Tools 9. Pro Tools LE systems performed data processing on the host CPU. Purchasers were required to choose from a range of proprietary audio interfaces, one of which was required for all audio I/O (recording and playback). The hardware thus doubled as a copy-protection mechanism for the software, as the software did not function without the specialized Digidesign interface. The entry-level MBox range of interfaces connect via USB or Firewire 400. All have a stereo audio output, and include a small number of line and microphone inputs. The more powerful 003 (formerly 002) interfaces use FireWire and have significantly larger I/O abilities. The Eleven Rack, in addition to several input options, included in-box DSP processing via a FPGA chip, offloading guitar amp/speaker emulation and guitar effects plug-in processing to the interface, allowing them to run without taxing the host system.

Pro Tools LE had a similar look and feel to Pro Tools HD, but had a smaller track count and a lower maximum sampling rate. Pro Tools LE also lacked the ability to export to MP3, SMPTE time code, Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC), ability to import OMF and AAF files, DigiBase Pro, and multi-track Beat Detective.

9 system changesEdit

In 2010–11, Pro Tools upgraded Pro Tools LE with some of the features of HD and effectively merged it into one hardware-independent software package named Pro Tools Standard. Pro Tools 9 had no proprietary hardware requirement, allowing use of the software with any interface. It could operate using the internal sound card of a PC via the Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) driver and a Mac using Core Audio. Mac Core Audio also allowed, for the first time, the use of aggregate devices, allowing the use of more than one interface at the same time. This could also be achieved on a PC by using the third party application ASIO4ALL. Pro Tools 9 also included a new keyboard shortcut for "New Playlist".[13]

When operating on a machine containing one or more HD Core, Accel or Native cards, the software ran as Pro Tools HD 9, with the full Pro Tools HD feature set. In all other cases it ran as Pro Tools 9, with a smaller track count and a number of advanced features turned off. Pro Tools 9 also included as standard many features which on Pro Tools LE were only accessible via additional "Toolkit" upgrades. Pro Tools 9 used iLok for copy-protection. Pro Tools 9 was the first version to have a 'unified' installer for the software, with the iLok license determining which elements of the software are unlocked.

M-Powered systemsEdit

M-Audio, formerly Midiman, was acquired by Avid Technology in 2004–2005, and Digidesign soon released Pro Tools M-Powered, which brought Pro Tools LE functionality to a subset of M-Audio USB, FireWire and PCI interfaces. Pro Tools M-Powered used an iLok license as copy protection and was formerly the only way to run Pro Tools without using Digidesign/Avid hardware. Avid later divested M-Audio.

Control surfacesEdit

Digidesign/Avid control surfaces attempt to bridge the gap between old-style analog desks and modern DAWs by providing physical controls for the Pro Tools software. Early models were the C|24, a 24-fader surface with 16 built-in pre-amps, and the ICON: Integrated Console Environment (consisting of user selectable fader count units D-Command, D-Control and their add-on fader banks and X-Mon monitoring system), which worked alongside Pro Tools|HD or Ultimate. VENUE, a similar system, was released for live-sound applications. The Command|8 was a smaller eight-fader control surface. In April 2010, Avid acquired Euphonix, a manufacturer of high quality control surfaces. In 2015 the Avid S6 control surface, with design elements from both the ICON and previous Euphonix surfaces, superseded the ICON as the flagship controller.

Pro Tools compatible control surfaces have also been developed by other companies. For example, the Audient ASP2802 has integrated DAW control, and is compatible with Pro Tools as well as Logic Pro and Cubase.[14]

Related products and servicesEdit

An official Pro Tools training curriculum and certification program, which includes courses in music and post production, was introduced by Digidesign in 2002. The curriculum is delivered by a number of schools and universities. The Music Production and DV toolkits increase the abilities of non-HD Pro Tools systems. Both increase the maximum number of tracks and highest possible sample rate to 96 kHz and include additional plug-ins. The LE-only DV tool kit adds feet and frames and timecode timelines and functionality.

Advanced Instrument Research (AIR)Edit

In August 2005, Avid acquired the German company Wizoo, formerly working mainly for Steinberg (Cubase, Nuendo) and developers of virtual instruments. They further announced the creation of Advanced Instrument Research (AIR), which meant Avid would be developing virtual instruments and plug-ins for use in Pro Tools.[15]

This also resulted in the landmark redevelopment of Pro Tools, versions 8 through 10. This relied heavily on the inclusion of AIR Virtual Instrument plug-ins to bring it closer to its competitor Logic Pro. Those included with Pro Tools Standard (called the Creative Collection) include:

  • Structure FREE, a sample playback instrument.
  • Boom, a drum machine
  • Xpand2, a multi-timbral sample-playback/synthesis plug-in
  • DB33, a Hammond Organ emulator
  • Vacuum, a monophonic vintage synth.
  • Mini Grand, Piano.

AIR also contributes reverbs, dynamics, modulation and other effects as part of the Pro Tools, all of these work in native format only.

Some of the additional virtual instruments for Pro Tools that AIR has created include:

  • Hybrid, a high definition Synthesizer
  • Velvet, vintage electric piano
  • Transfuser, real-time loop, phrase and groove creator

In July 2012, inMusic Brands, parent company of brands such as Akai Professional and Alesis, announced its acquisition of AIR from Avid[16] as part of a larger acquisition that included Avid's consumer audio products and the M-Audio brand.[17][18]

History of Pro Tools systems and softwareEdit

1985Sound Designer
1989Sound Tools
1991Pro Tools
1992Sound Tools II
1993Pro Tools II
1994Pro Tools TDM
Pro Tools III
1996Pro Tools PCI
1997Pro Tools 4
Pro Tools | 24
1998Pro Tools | 24 MIX
1999Pro Tools 5
Pro Tools LE
2001Pro Tools Free
2002Pro Tools | HD
2003Pro Tools 6
2005Pro Tools 7
2008Pro Tools 8
2010Pro Tools 9
2011Pro Tools | HDX
Pro Tools 10
2013Pro Tools 11
2015Pro Tools 12
Pro Tools | First
2018Pro Tools 2018
Date Software Hardware Release information
1985 Sound Designer visual sample editing software for Akai, Roland and E-MU samplers[19]
1989 Sound Tools stereo hard-disk recording and editing system with 16-bit audio, 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sample rate adopting the SDII proprietary audio format[19]
relies on a Sound Accelerator NuBus card connected to an external 2-channel AD converter and Sound Designer II software running on Macintosh SE and Mac II[20]
Sound Designer II Sound Accelerator
1991 Pro Tools Mac-based 4-track digital production system handled by ProEDIT (editing software) and ProDECK (mixing software)
MIDI sequencing and automation[19][20]
1992 Pro Tools 1.1 4–16 voices support in mixing using up to 4 cards/interfaces[19]
Sound Tools II support for Pro Master 20 interface with 20-bit A/D conversion[20]
1993 Pro Tools II editing and mixing software merged in a single application called Pro Tools with the component DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine)
4 voices support[20][21]
1994 Pro Tools II TDM (2.5) Time-division multiplexing technology enables real-time effects to run as software plug-ins; up to 4 NuBus cards can be linked together[20][21]
Pro Tools III 16–48 voices on NuBus-based Mac systems (up to 3 cards linkable)[20]
DSP Farm NuBus card equipped with 3 Motorola 56001 chips (40 MHz clock speed) for additional processing power[22]
software editing functionality improved
DSP Farm
1996 Pro Tools III PCI 16–48 voices for PCI-based Mac systems (up to 3 cards linkable)
88x series interfaces with 8 channels I/O, 16-bit AD/DA converters, AES/EBU I/O[20][21]
DSP Farm NuBus card equipped with 4 Motorola 56002 chips (66 MHz clock speed)[22]
Pro Tools 3.21 888 I/O, 882 I/O
DSP Farm
1997 Pro Tools 4 Pro Tools Project Card WAV and QuickTime file support; Sound Designer file editing features integrated in AudioSuite tool set
runs on Pro Tools III NuBus/PCI systems or without TDM hardware with limitations (Project or PowerMix versions)
destructive editing integrated, fade improvements, Strip Silence, continuous playback during editing, independently-resizable tracks, up to 26 track groups, automation extended to all mixer and plug-in parameters, new automation modes
Loop Record, Half-Speed Record, Destructive Record, QuickPunch (punch-in and out recording during playback)
Edit window configurations can be saved and recalled with Memory Locations[21][23]
Pro Tools | 24 24-48 or 32-64 channels of 24-bit audio I/O support via the d24 PCI card[24]
88x interface line upgraded with 24-bit AD converters, 20-bit DA converters (888|24), 20-bit AD/DA converters (882|20)[20]
Pro Tools 4.1 d24
888|24, 882|20
1998 Pro Tools | 24 MIX 16–48 I/O channels, 64 voices
MIX, MIXplus and MIX3 system configurations with one MIX Card and up to two MIX Farm PCI cards equipped with 6 Motorola Onyx chips[20]
Pro Tools 4.3 MIX Card
MIX Farm
ADAT Bridge I/O 20-bit digital interface with 16 ADAT optical input channels[20]
ProControl first dedicated control surface for Pro Tools using Ethernet connection with microphone and line inputs[20]
1999 Pro Tools 5 integrated MIDI and audio editing and mixing[20], MIDI piano-roll display, graphic MIDI velocity editing, MIDI quantize
single-stroke key commands for editing, Region Replace, floating video window[25]
2000 Control|24 touch-sensitive control surface equipped with 24 Focusrite preamps[20]
Pro Tools LE Digi 001 (LE) mid-level recording system with 24 tracks, 8 analog I/O channels, 2 microphone preamps, 24-bit AD/DA, digital I/O and MIDI
rack-mountable interface connected with a PCI card running a new feature-limited software line ("Light Edition") with RTAS host-based processing (without DSP)[20][25]
2001 Pro Tools Free free version with essential features, based on version 5, runs natively on OS 9, OS 8.6, Windows 98, Windows ME
8 audio tracks, 48 MIDI tracks, RTAS support
Pro Tools 5.1 surround mixing, Beat Detective (TDM)[21]
2002 Pro Tools | HD HD software and hardware line adds support for 192 kHz and 96 kHz sample rates, runs with 192 I/O and 96 I/O interfaces providing 32–96 I/O channels
HD1HD3 systems are based on one HD Core adding up to two HD Process PCI-based cards equipped with 9 Motorola 56361 DSP chips (100 MHz clock speed)
96/48/12 tracks at 48/96/192 kHz sample rates with HD1 systems
128/64/24 tracks at 48/96/192 kHz sample rates with HD2/HD3 systems[20][21][26]
Pro Tools 5.3.1 192 I/O, 96 I/O
HD Core
HD Process
Mbox (LE) low-cost USB-powered audio interface with 2 analog inputs, 1 mic preamp, S/PDIF digital I/O, bundled with Pro Tools LE software[20]
Digi 002 (LE) mid-level FireWire audio interface with 8 analog inputs, 24-bit/96 kHz converters, touch-sensitive control surface, running Pro Tools LE 5.3.2 on Windows XP and Mac OS 9[20][27]
2003 Pro Tools 6 support for Mac OS X platform (OS 9 dropped), GUI redesign, Digibase (Workspace browser) for media/project management, Groove Template, Import Session Data replaces Import Tracks, 256 MIDI tracks; more powerful LE version[28]
Digi 002 Rack (LE) mid-level FireWire audio interface with up to 18 I/O channels, 4 mic preamps, 24-bit/96 kHz AD/DA, support for 32 tracks with Pro Tools LE software[20]
HD Accel DSP cards expansion equipped with 9 Motorola 56321 chips (200 MHz clock speed)
twice the power as the HD Process cards, extends track count to 192/96/36 tracks at 48/96/192 kHz sample rates (combined with one HD core card)[20][26]
Pro Tools 6.1 support for Windows XP and ReWire[21]
2004 Pro Tools 6.4 +12dB fader mode; support for Command 8 control surface, Automatic Delay Compensation, TrackPunch, input monitoring on single tracks (HD)[29]
Pro Tools 6.9 160 auxiliary tracks, 128 busses, Surround Panner support (HD)[30]
ICON D-Control
ICON D-Command
modular control surface line with 16–32 (D-Control) or 8–24 (D-Command) touch-sensitive faders and HD3 Accel DSP system[31]
2005 VENUE new line of modular digital mixing consoles with DSP and integrated playback and recording with Pro Tools[32]
Mbox 2 (LE) second generation of the Mbox USB audio interface[33]
PT M-Powered M-Audio interfaces standalone feature-limited product line bundled with M-Audio interfaces, same as Pro Tools LE[34]
Pro Tools 7 multi-threading RTAS engine improves performance on multi-core systems, support for 10 sends per track, Instrument tracks, Region Groups, region looping, real-time MIDI processing, new session format with Mac/PC interoperability; 160 I/O at 96 kHz (HD)[35]
2006 Pro Tools 7.11 support for Intel-based Macs, Hybrid and Xpand! software sampler plug-ins added
Pro Tools 7.2 digital VCA groups, enhanced automation, enhanced track grouping system, extended support for contextual menus, Dubber and Field Recorder enhancements; support for multiple Video tracks (HD)[36]
Pro Tools 7.3 Dynamic Transport, Windows Configurations, Key Signature timeline ruler, MIDI selection enhancements, fade editing enhancements, continuously-resizable tracks, mixer configurations changes possible without stopping playback, mouse scroll wheel and right-click enhancements, Memory Location and Digibase enhancements, Signal Tools and Time Shift plug-ins added, MIDI data can be exchanged with Sibelius scoring software[37]
Mbox 2 Pro (LE)
Mbox 2 Mini (LE)
new formats/variants of Mbox 2
2007 Digi 003 (LE)
Digi 003 Rack (LE)
Mbox 2 Micro (LE) portable USB interface with mini-jack stereo output and bundled with Pro Tools LE; support limited to 44.1/48 kHz sample rates[38]
Pro Tools 7.4 Elastic Audio, Digibase browser enhancements[39]
2008 Pro Tools 8 revamped user interface, support for 10 inserts per track, Playlist view and enhanced track compositing tools, support for multiple automation lanes view, Elastic Pitch, MIDI Editor, Score Editor, AIR Creative Collection; Automatic Delay Compensation on sends (HD)[40]
Digi 003 Rack + (LE)
2009 PT Essentials limited track count for starter market
Eleven Rack guitar effects processor with Pro Tools LE DSP
Mbox (LE)
Mbox Pro (LE)
Mbox Mini (LE)
third generation, first full release by Avid
2010 Pro Tools 8.1 HEAT software add-on (HD)
HD I/O, HD OMNI, HD MADI, PRE, SYNC HD HD Series Interfaces introduced, replaces the previous "blue" HD series[41]
HD Native PCI card or Thunderbolt interface, enables to run HD software on up to two HD (or HD-compatible) interfaces with low-latency performance and without DSP[42]
Pro Tools 9 "standard" version replaces LE and M-Powered lines, gets most of the HD-only software features and can be run on native systems with ASIO or Core Audio driver protocols
full HD features can be purchased with Complete Production Toolkit 2
added 7.0/7.1 surround support (HD)[43][44]
2011 Pro Tools | HDX 96 voices, 512 Instrument tracks, 128 aux inputs, 1 video track, 128/64/32 tracks at 48/96/192 kHz sample rates (standard version)
256–768 voices, 512 Instrument tracks, 512 aux inputs, 64 video tracks, 256–768 tracks at 48 kHz sample rates, 64–192 I/O channels (HDX systems with 1–3 HDX cards)
HDX replaces HD Core systems and HD1HD3 configurations; each PCI card is equipped with 18 Texas Instruments DSP chips (350 MHz clock speed), can run AAX DSP plug-ins
AAX (Avid Audio eXtension) plug-in format introduced with 64-bit ready SDK (32-bit still used); AAX DSP plug-ins replaces TDM plug-ins in HD systems, RTAS still supported
Clip Gain, Disc Caching, real-time fades, 4x maximum Automatic Delay Compensation, Avid Channel Strip plug-in[45][44]
Pro Tools 10 HDX
2013 Pro Tools 11 application upgraded with 64-bit architecture. 32-bit RTAS and TDM plug-in support dropped in favor of 64-bit AAX format; support discontinuation for HD Accel systems
Offline bouncing, Dynamic Plug-In processing optimizes session performance; up to 16 sources can be bounced simultaneously, advanced metering options (HD)[46]
2014 Duet
two/four channel USB interface and monitor controller with 192kHz AD/DA conversion developed by Apogee
2015 Pro Tools | First free software line with essential features, cloud-based sessions
up to 96 kHz sample rate, 16 tracks per type (audio, MIDI, Instrument and auxiliary), 4 I/O channels, MIDI editor, Elastic Time, Elastic Pitch, Workspace, AAX Native and AudioSuite[47][44]
Pro Tools 12 available as monthly or yearly subscription; metadata tagging, updated I/O setup[44]
Pro Tools 12.1 increased track count, AFL/PFL solo modes, copy to sends, native HEAT support (HD)[44]
Pro Tools 12.2 VCAs, Disk Caching, advanced metering options unlocked to standard version[44]
Pro Tools 12.3 Commit, fade presets, batch fades, clip graphic overlay[44]
Pro Tools 12.4 Track Freeze, fade workflows[44]
2016 Pro Tools 12.5 Cloud Collaboration, updated Avid Video Engine, send to playback (Interplay)[44]
Pro Tools 12.6 Clip Effects, Layered Editing, playlist improvements[44]
Pro Tools 12.7 Pro Tools | MTRX support, project revision history, workspace improvements[44]
2017 Pro Tools 12.8 Dolby Atmos integration and NEXIS optimization (HD); workspace and project enhancements; Cloud Collaboration (First)[44]
Pro Tools 12.8.2 Ambisonics VR Track support, Dolby Atmos enhancements, improved MIDI editing and recording features, Batch renaming features[44]
2018 Pro Tools 2018.1 iLok Cloud support, Track Presets, assignable target playlist, retrospective MIDI record, MIDI editing enhancements, EQ Curve can be shown in the Mix window, improved Import Session Data[44]
Pro Tools 2018.4 "Pro Tools | HD" software line rebranded as "Pro Tools | Ultimate"
bug fixes and improved stability[44]
Pro Tools 2018.7 real-time search in track inserts and I/O (busses and sends), multiple selection within I/O and interface menus, playlist navigation shortcuts added, Relative Grid mode extended to cut, copy, paste, and merge, retrospective MIDI record enhancements, Low Latency Monitoring enhancements; bug fixes[48]
Pro Tools 2018.12 bug fixes and improved stability[49]
2019 Pro Tools 2019.5 384–96 voices on native systems (Ultimate), 1024 MIDI tracks
performance improvements (HDX / HD Native)
continuous playback on most timeline and track interactions, key command enhancements; bug fixes[50]
Pro Tools 2019.6 bug fixes[51]
Pro Tools 2019.10 support for up to 130 outputs with Dolby Audio Bridge, multi-stem bounce in a single file (Ultimate)

updated Avid Video Engine with 4K/60 fps support and H.264 playback performance improvements, steep break-point smoothing option added, AAF importing improvements, SMPTE ID support for wave files; bug fixes[52]

Timeline of acquisitionsEdit

  • 2005 – Avid acquires Wizoo and announce the creation of Advanced Instrument Research (AIR) as a development arm of Avid to create virtual instruments and plug-ins for Pro Tools.
  • 2010 – Avid acquires Euphonix and integrate EuCon protocols to Pro Tools, adding the Artist Series and System 5 Family to its arsenal of control surfaces
  • 2012 – Avid sells AIR to inMusic

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Avid HDX". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  2. ^ Battino, David; Richards, Kelli (2005). The Art of Digital Music. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-87930-830-3.
  3. ^ Sound Designer Page at the Emulator Archive
  4. ^ Evan Brooks, Digidesign Archived 2008-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, EQ Magazine, Mar 2006
  5. ^ "iCloud". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Library -". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Wired 2.12: Consume the Minimum, Produce the Maximum". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  8. ^ YouTube. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Recordin' "La Vida Loca". Mix Magazine, Nov 1999. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04.
  10. ^ "Pro Tools DigiRack Plug-Ins Guide: Version 5.0.1 for Macintosh and Windows" (PDF). Digidesign, Inc. 2000. p. 18. Retrieved 23 October 2013. time domain plug-ins
  11. ^ "Avid - Pro Tools - HD Native - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) from Avid". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Avid's Unity MediaNet", Editor's Guild Magazine, May 2002
  13. ^ "Pro Tools 9: Do You Need It? We Ask The Early Adopters - SonicScoop". Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Musikmesse 2010: Audient ASP 2802 (Video)". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  15. ^ Interview with Peter Gorges of AIR on Air Users Blog
  16. ^ "Avid Downsizes, Sells M-Audio To inMusic". Synthtopia. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  17. ^ "Avid Divests Consumer Businesses and Streamlines Operations". Avid. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Avid sells M-Audio". MusicRadar. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  19. ^ a b c d "The History of Pro Tools - 1984 to 1993 | Pro Tools". Production Expert. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
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External linksEdit