Avid has unveiled its brand new Pro Tools|HDX digital audio workstation and Pro Tools 10 software at AES 2011.
The Pro Tools|HDX system allows customers to mix larger scale productions, representing a milestone in Avid’s development of DSP-accelerated hardware, delivering up to 5x more DSP per card, over a thousand dB of additional headroom, and up to 4x the track counts and 2x the I/O compared to its Pro Tools|HD Accel predecessor. The system can also be scaled to increase track counts, power, and I/O, using up to three Pro Tools|HDX cards and multiple Pro Tools HD Series interfaces.
With this addition to the Pro Tools|HD family, customers can now choose the Pro Tools|HD Native system if they need the advanced workflows of Pro Tools HD, and want to leverage their host computer to get the best performance and lowest latency. Alternatively, they can choose the new flagship DSP-accelerated Pro Tools|HDX system if they require optimised performance and minimal latency to handle bigger productions.
Pro Tools HD 10 also introduces the new AAX (Avid Audio eXtension) plug-in format, designed to offer improved workflows and sound parity when sharing sessions between DSP-accelerated and native-based Pro Tools systems.
The new Pro Tools 10 software adds a number of new features to the digital audio workstation, delivering on requests from both audio, post and music professionals. One such feature is Clip Gain, which is designed to separate pre-mix levels from Pro Tools software’s mixing automation improve the workflow between sound editors and mixers.
"Today's audio post and music professionals are faced with evolving challenges and much more demanding productions that require more power, extended capabilities, and better sound quality than ever before,” said Chris Gahagan, Avid’s senior vice president of products and solutions. “Pro Tools|HDX and Pro Tools 10 software mark an enormous leap forward in sound quality and efficiency, enabling our top professional customers to deliver their best sounding, most creative work in less time."
Customers have been quick to comment on Avid’s new hardware and software:
"The engineers at Avid are thinking about the way people listen to and create music,” said Tony Maserati, mixer, producer, and engineer (Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys). “The design and the architecture of the new Pro Tools|HDX are going to allow us to do things that we could only have imagined. It’s faster at getting the idea from my head to my workspace. It makes things happen quicker and allows those ideas to come to fruition faster—both on the technology side and the workflow. Does that give me a competitive edge? Of course it does."
"We’re trying to make art and express ourselves and work towards making something that’s really enjoyable to the audience,” added Will Files, sound designer at Skywalker Sound (The Tree of Life, The Smurfs, Cloverfield). “Having this technology lets us work faster and easier—with fewer constraints—and achieve our artistic intent with fewer hurdles. I’m over the moon to see all of these new features in Pro Tools 10 that I’ve been wanting for years. The fact that you can [now] play sessions off of a network storage [device]—that’s going to change everything. That alone—especially for a large facility such as ours—will allow us to manage our projects in a completely different way."
"Pro Tools|HDX with Pro Tools 10 sounds amazing,” commented Vaughn Merrick, engineer, mixer, and producer (Amy Winehouse, Jason Mraz, The Chemical Brothers). “The power of HDX finally allows me to record at 176k sample rates and 32-bit floating bit depth without having to worry about power or latency. This is a huge step up from TDM. When people hear how good this system sounds, I believe there is going to be a paradigm shift in what people expect from their digital systems.”
Complete Pro Tools|HDX systems, which include the Pro Tools|HDX PCIe card, Pro Tools HD 10 software, and a choice of Pro Tools HD Series interface, will be available worldwide on November 18, 2011. Pricing is as follows:
New Pro Tools|HDX systems start at £6,299
Pro Tools|HD 1 owners can crossgrade to Pro Tools|HDX starting at £4,999
Pro Tools|HD 2 owners can crossgrade to Pro Tools|HDX starting at £4,399
Pro Tools|HD 3 owners can crossgrade to Pro Tools|HDX starting at £3,799
Pro Tools|HD Native owners can crossgrade to Pro Tools|HDX for £4,699
Pro Tools 10 software is available worldwide now. Pricing is as follows:
Pro Tools 10 software (full version) retails for £499 (please note that Pro Tools HD 10 software is bundled with Pro Tools|HD family systems only, and is not available for separate purchase except as an upgrade)
Pro Tools 9 owners can upgrade to Pro Tools 10 for £199
Pro Tools HD software owners can upgrade to Pro Tools HD 10 starting at £629