Being an Avid educator, the long anticipation and months spent on web gossip sites has all come to reality now regarding the new release of Avid Pro Tools 11. There are many new features in Pro Tools 11 that will be released upon us, and what a beast it is.
There have been very few fundamental changes to Pro Tools over the many years it existed, but with this new release, we will witness one of the most significant leaps in technology we have ever witnessed. Instead of enhancing and improving the existing software, Avid has re-written the entire platform from the ground up. It might still look like Pro Tools, but it is an entirely new beast under the hood.
Being an Avid Instructor at ProMedia Training, the premier Avid Pro Tools Training Center in the U.S., it will be sheer excitement to bring Pro Tools 11 to our courses. Here is an overview of just some of the most noteworthy features of this release.
Introducing the NEW Avid Audio Engine
Many of us long time Pro Tools users remember the DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine) and the good old days when it would launch as a separate application along with Pro Tools. The DAE is the engine of the Pro Tools software driving the entire system. Even though in more recent generations the DAE was a part of the Pro Tools software, it was still the driving force behind all that was Pro Tools. This was the main reason that each prior version of Pro Tools was just an extension of its’ previous self; the software engineers would refine the engine and find power in new ways. After so many years in production, the DAE had reached the end of a lifespan and could not be anything more that what we saw with Pro Tools 10. In order to move onward and upward, Avid had to essentially re-invent Pro Tools from the ground up- a full teardown and re-build allowing new features and functionality to be introduced that would allow us to take better advantage of today’s hi-power computers. The new engine is known as the AAE (Avid Audio Engine) and the biggest attribute everyone has been waiting on: a true 64-Bit application.
One of the main benefits of this new engine’s 64-Bit architecture is the increase in efficiency and performance that promises to deliver processing power many times greater that Pro Tools 10 on the same hardware configurations. Furthermore, the 64-Bit architecture finally allows the software to allocate more than 3GB of RAM to the application and its’ plug-ins. This means that we will see a huge increase in the number of virtual instruments, plug-ins, and even more complex mixes.
What is an Offline Bounce?
Amongst the many new features and bells and whistles that accompany this release, one of the biggest announcements is the ability to do an Offline Bounce. Many, many people over the years have always asked why Pro Tools could not bounce a session in non-real time, or freeze a MIDI performance and create an audio file without having to wait for a real time recording. The reason has always been that the DAE cannot do such a function. Well thankfully, a huge feature of the new Avid Audio Engine is the ability to do an Offline Bounce. This new feature is up to 150x faster than normal speed allowing you to bounce up to an hour’s worth of audio in under 1 minute! Furthermore, this will also allow you to instantly bounce a MIDI performance and render it to an Audio Track allowing for a quick and contiguous workflow without the need to wait on a bounce. WOW!
Avid Media Composer built into Pro Tools 11
Another very interesting by-product of this new engine is the ability for Avid to incorporate their flagship video editing software engine (Media Composer) into Pro Tools 11. For the first time ever, Pro Tools will be able to support hi-resolution video files such as XD Cam and Avid HDX HD as well as being able to utilize a wide variety of video interface’s made by companies such as AJA and Blackmagic Designs, as well as the Avid Mojo DX and Nitris DX video interfaces.
Advanced Metering in Pro Tools 11
Another exciting new feature aimed at the entire audio community is the ability to change the metering standards based on a variety of scale and ballistics options. Avid has gone to great lengths to make sure all bases are covered and have given us the ability to utilize all the major metering standards used across all spectrums of the audio world whether you work in Radio, Television, Film, Music. Furthermore, the meter display will be 30% taller than the meters of Pro Tools 10 and higher resolution.
To go along with this new meter reference Avid have also built in the ability to reference your Master Fader based on a different standard than your session tracks.
Speaking of meters, they have been added to multiple areas in Pro Tools 11, with one of the most noticeable being the addition of tiny meters to the Inserts view and the Sends view. This allows you to see whether or not signal is present without having to open the window.
A very important component of Pro Tools 11 is more streamlined workflow allowing for fewer breaks in the work to check on technical details. To further expand on the metering options in Pro Tools 11, Avid have also introduced the ability to view multiple Sends views at once.
Previously, you could either view the sends as a group or you could view an individual send with a mini fader and controls. The drawback was that you had to constantly switch the view setting to see alternate sends. Pro Tools 11 allows you to view as many sends at once as you want. If you have 10 sends active and with to view them all in the mixer you now can.
What is DYNAMIC HOST PROCESSING?
There are a slew of other technical refinements that have been made to Pro Tools 11, including Dynamic Host Processing. Pro Tools 11 now has to ability to sense when audio is not present on a track and automatically allocates processing away from the active plug-ins on that track and re-allocates resources when audio is active in the timeline. This is an extremely complex bit of math, but it allows Pro Tools to focus the most amount of processing power to the tasks that need it.
There is no doubt that there will be many, many more things to talk about in the coming months as we all get our hands on this amazing new version of Pro Tools 11. Stay tuned with ProMedia Training as we will bring you all the latest news and developments with Pro Tools 11.