We’ve written about the best recording software for home studios a couple of times here at the Sage Audio mastering blog. While the definition of “best” can vary from studio to studio and person to person, there’s no denying that Pro Tools remains the standard DAW software in studios around the world.
And now we have that big news again as the company released Pro Tools 11. The version is the first since the 10th incarnation was released back in 2011
You won’t be able to see the biggest change in the software, which is that Avid has completely redone the audio engine -- the very core of the software. This is essentially the guts of the software, and has remained largely unchanged since the turn of the century. This made the program quite cumbersome in many situations.
Basically, the audio engine went from a fixed-point algorithm to floating-point. But that’s gets too far into the tech specs; what it actually means for the user is more power. Basically, the processing power of the program is better allocated, meaning users have more power to use a ton of virtual instruments and plugins without worrying about bogging down the system.
Avid puts it like this: “Get exponentially more processing power than Pro Tools 10 using the same hardware.”
Another non-visible change is the addition of 64-bit architecture, which will be a welcome change as many expected this to be included in Pro Tools 10, though it was not.
An additional feature PT users have been long asking for is offline bouncing, which is now included in the software. This allows for faster than real time bouncing of tracks, and can bounce tracks by channel at speeds up to 150x. This is not available for stems, however.
Though the high end HD version of Pro Tools is a little too much motor for most home studios, it has received new metering options not available on the standard edition of the software. Avid describes these as “a variety of scale and ballistics options, so you can be assured that you’re creating the best mix possible.”
Though it also won’t be a part of many home studios, if you use Pro Tools for video, you can now play a variety of HD formats in the program without transcoding.