Avid sported their famed video editing platform with Media Composer, and the industry-standard sound mixing program Pro Tools for years, but other companies have been chipping away at that by offering lower cost and even free alternatives.
The company fought back by releasing both Media Composer | First, and Pro Tools | First, along with their collaboration platform, Avid Connect. There may be cheaper versions of the full software, but Pro Tools is still extremely powerful, and the free application should help bring new users into the fold. Now Avid has just released some major updates to both the standanrd Pro Tools and thee free platform Pro Tools | First.
The major update for Pro Tools 12.8HD is the inclusion of native Dolby Atmos mixing. This will allow you to create three-dimensional sound to be rendered directly to Dolby RMU, or to the Dolby Atmos Renderer software.
It also features a new 3D Panner with Height Controls, allowing users to adjust signal height manually. There’s also a new view known as the Theater View panel, which provides a 3D perspective panner of a theater to plan your sound. Check out this video below for more on the new Avid Pro Tools 12.8HD update:
Meanwhile, Pro Tools | First has received some love, as well. The update to the free platform focuses on users being able to collaborate with others on the Pro Tools and Pro Tools | First platform, without having to pay a dime. Here’s a video about the new feature:
Pro Tools | First users can start their own collaborations for as low as $4.99/month, and Avid has made their virtual stomp boxes available for $4.99 each.
Pro Tools 12.8HD and Pro Tools | First are available now from Avid. Here is the full breakdown of all the new features for both platforms:
Avid Pro Tools 12.8
Native Dolby Atmos™ Support – Pro Tools HD Only
- 7.1.2 and 7.0.2 Track, Plug-in, and Bus Support
- 3D Panner with Height Controls for adjusting signal height manually as well as automatically with shaped pan guides. A New “Theater” view for the pan window provides a dimensional, rotating theater perspective panner.
- Atmos Renderer Communication and Object panning – connect up to 128 inputs with a total of 118 Objects from Pro Tools directly to a Dolby RMU or to the Dolby Atmos Renderer software
- New “Atmos” tab in Setup > Peripherals to manage Renderer connections
- Object mapping for busses via I/O Setup – any mono path or stereo pair of mono sub paths can be mapped to Objects found declared on the renderer
- Automated Bussing between a track’s Object output and Main output
- Object Fold-down Bus
- Prepare, repurpose, edit, and rough-mix using all of the Object based workflows in Pro Tools but without needing to be actively connected to a renderer – Object routes are automatically folded down to an output of your choice for monitoring until a render is connected
- Enhanced Re-recording Workflows
- Link and unlink punching of audio and pan automation on recorder systems receiving mastered object audio and metadata
- Input monitoring controls on the recorder toggle between sending source metadata or re-recorded metadata to the renderer to achieve true PEC/DIR film mixing workflows with object audio and metadata
- Import ADM BWAV files generated from Dolby Atmos Printmaster files using Import Session Data to repurpose archived printmaster content. A complete session including object assignments, track names, and pan metadata can be generated from a single supported WAV file.
- Automatically duplicate automation from the Dolby Atmos(tm) Panner Plug-in to Track automation in Pro Tools. Also send track automation from Pro Tools back to the Dolby panner plug-in with simple Edit Menu > Automation commands.
NEXIS and Shared Storage Enhancements
- Support for much higher Track counts streaming from NEXIS systems
- Improved session load times
- Faster Disk Cache load times
- Added Support for Dual 1 GB connections and 10 GB connection when using Nexis with Pro Tools
- Local Storage of Session Waveform Overview Cache files with quantity preference in Setup > Preferences > Operation allows for substantial speed-up of session open
- Parallel Task Optimizations setting in Setup > Preferences > Processing increases processor threading, network utilization, and file/read write optimizations
- More Details may be found at the NEXIS Compatibility Pages
Soundbase and Workspace Enhancements
- Advanced Search and Column criteria usability improvements
- List is now alphabetized
- When right-clicking on a column the Defaults now appear at top of list
- Hold Command (Mac) or Control (Win) to select multiple column criteria within that list
- Hold Option (Mac) or Alt (Win) and click a column name to hide it
- Hold Shift and click a column name to change the sort priority
- Ability to set column metadata values for multiple selected files
- Editable ISRC column
- Loop indicator in Tags popover
- Updated Play and Stop buttons in Waveform column
- Updated Advanced Search button
Keep Window on Top Preference
- The MIDI Event List, MIDI Editor, Score Editor, and Workspace/Soundbase windows let you independently set them to remain in the foreground even when clicking on and focusing another window (such as the Edit or Mix windows).
Undownloaded Shared Tracks Appear in the Track List
- Shared tracks now appear in the Track List and may be downloaded individually
- Turn on and off the automatic pre-downloading of all track data to help control your bandwidth usage in Setup > Preferences > Collaboration or by right clicking on the AUTO mode enabler for the “Download All Shared Tracks” button
Enable and Disable Cloud Backup of Projects
- Turn on and off backup of projects to the cloud to help manage your storage and focus your shared projects to active collaborations
- Functionality of Sessions and Projects has been more clearly differentiated in the Dashboard, and sessions are once again the default document type
Smart Tool Fade Adjustment Preference
- Added a preference to Setup > Preferences > Editing > Fades section to determine how the smart tool interacts with fade shapes. The new preference allows the Command key (Mac) or the Control key (Win) to be used as a clutch while hover over a fade to show the real time fade adjustment tool
UNC Path Support
- Pro Tools now supports working from volumes mounted as UNC Paths, specifically tested for ISIS and NEXIS workspace mounted in such a way.
SMPTE ID Support for MXF Files
- Pro Tools now supports linking to MXF files containing a SMPTE ID.
- A new column in the workspace displays the ID, if found
Pro Tools | First Update
- Track Collaboration features available in Pro Tools First – explore the low cost extra cloud plans or collaborate for free on projects started by Pro Tools Software or HD owners
- More Sends and Inserts – maximum of 10
- Track Freeze
- Layered Editing
- Soundbase replaces Workspace
- Restored the Tracks List, removed the Clips List
- Quick Buttons toolbar pop over for easy access to common windows and features
- 500MB Loopmasters sample pack included free
Check out Avid.com for more details.