At NAMM this week, Avid released its newest iteration of Pro Tools software. Let’s dive in a take a look at some of the new features.
MIDI in Pro Tools Gets an Overhaul
This update will be especially useful for songwriters and producers. It includes retrospective MIDI recording, easier transposing/trimming/velocity changes, and useful shortcuts. Learn more from Avid here:
Track Presets Will Be a HUGE Time Saver
My personal favorite addition to Pro Tools with this update is their Track Presets feature. This allows you to save tracks (their settings, plugin chains, even sends) as presets to be recalled in a variety of different ways. You can even create folders to store these presets in for better organization. This could be something like “Vocals Presets, Guitars Presets, Delays Presets, etc.” for example.
Imagine creating a reverb send just by clicking “new send” from the source track, and then choosing one of your reverb track presets to instantly create your favorite reverb chain, including the reverb plugin, EQs, and compressors. Well now you can! How cool is that?! Watch Avid’s Pro Tools Track Presets in action on Avid’s YouTube channel:
Updates to Mix View Will Save Space and Enhance User Experience
Avid made some major changes to mix view. The first I’ll cover has to do with playlists and comping. New shortcuts for comping playlists allow us to select one “primary” playlist to send our comps to, which means we can now comp takes in waveform view, quite a space saver when you’re comping takes with multiple tracks such as drums.
Secondly, Avid has added an EQ window similar to Logic’s, with the exception that Avid’s EQ window works with third-party plugins! As someone who bounces back and forth between Avid and Logic, this one jumped out at me. I’ve always thought Logic’s EQ window was a neat feature but that it’s sort-of wasted by its limitation to Logic’s native EQ. Avid did this one right! On top of providing support for third-party plugins, the EQ window in Pro Tools shows all the EQ plugins on the track, combined. So you’re seeing a culmination of your entire signal chain in visual format. Pretty useful stuff. Learn more from Avid:
No More iLok! Well… Sort of.
As has been rumored for several months, Pro Tools 2018.1 included support for iLok’s new iLok Cloud. This means Pro Tools 12 and Pro Tools HD no longer require a physical iLok dongle to be present in order to work. As someone who has lamented the loss of a USB port since, well, always, I’m not over-the-moon about iLok Cloud… yet. This was a huge step and we should be thanking Avid for including this capability with Pro Tools moving forward, but unfortunately, we’ll probably be waiting for many of our third-party plugins manufacturers to come around for a while longer. So alas! Depending on the third-party plugins you use, you might be stuck with the iLok dongle a little while longer. That being said, this is certainly still cause for celebration. And on that note and all of the above, thanks to Avid for listening to your user base and working hard to implement all of these incredible new features!