Avid Pro Tools 11 Review

ProTools11_Activation_BoxShot_3Qtr_Left-hThe latest version of Pro Tools is much more than an update; it is a reinvention of the most popular and by now, the de facto standard in computer-based audio production. Avid Pro Tools 11 is now a 64-bit application with multiple times more processing power than previous versions given the same hardware configurations. A 64-bit application allows for many more simultaneous virtual instruments and makes possible long-awaited features that have been available in other DAW platforms.

Pro Tools’ 64-bit architecture necessitated a whole new Avid Audio Engine (AAE) and the new AAX plug-in format. The AAE and AAX format ensures that plug-ins provide exactly the same performance and sound quality across all PT 11 versions—Native or HDX.

Pro Tools 11 requires MAC OS 10.8 or above. Thoughtfully, Avid facilitates the “light speed” jump to Pro Tools 11 by offering it along with a special co-installed version of Pro Tools 10.3.6. If you have session projects running in 10 you can pre-process or bounce-to-disk track(s) using third-party plugs not yet available in 64-bit AAX and then close 10 and import them into 11—all without restarting your computer. Pro Tools 11 comes with 55 bundled plug-ins and several virtual instruments and soft synths.

Now possible is offline mix bounces up to 150 times faster than real-time of up to 16 stems simultaneously. Each stem can be up to eight channels wide and works with both virtual instruments and audio plug-ins.

I tested Pro Tools 11.0.1 and co-installed Pro Tools 10.3.6 in my 8-core Intel Westmere Mac tower. I am running the Native version and just 12GB of RAM (8GB is minimum requirement). A 24-track mixing session with automation and plugs used only 10 percent total host processing resources and I’m sure it will smoke my old HD3 TDM Accel system with the same computer. Avid offers many upgrade paths from older versions, too. Check out http://avid.com.

By Barry Rudolph

miniBio: Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum RIAA awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and also teaches recording engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. http://www.barryrudolph.com