Avid announces three new Pro Tools versions and shifts to a subscription-only basis
The new launches both upgrade and displace the post-production company’s current offerings.
Recently announcing three new versions of Pro Tools, tech giant Avid has marked a shift into an exclusively subscription-based market. The new variety of plans cater to a range of musicians, from casual hobbyists to professional music studio owners, and provide a major upgrade to their previous offerings.
The three new editions of Pro Tools come as an entry-level, mid-range and top-tier package, each giving creators increased mileage out of the software. In addition, each new version comes featuring Avid’s two brand-new creative tools, the GrooveCell, a virtual drum machine and sequencer that combines sample playback and manipulation with a percussion-oriented groove engine, and the SynthCell, a virtual-analogue software synthesizer that incorporates dual oscillators, a brace of envelopes, two multimode filters, an arpeggiator and a comprehensive modulation matrix.
The first of the three new launches is the Pro Tools Artist: an entry-level subscription set to replace the free Pro Tools First. Able to pay the subscription charge as either $99 yearly or on a monthly basis of $9.99, users will immediately notice the extra features provided by the Pro Tools artist in comparison to its free predecessor.
The most affordable and basic version of the Pro Tools, features of this new Artist version include a 16 channel multitrack recording, up to 32 aux tracks and 32 audio tracks, a maximum of 64 MIDI tracks and 32 virtual instruments as well as AAX plug-in support. What’s more, when purchasing this version of Pro Tools, the software ships with over 100 bundled AAX instruments and plug-ins to get you started – including the two new creative tools, the GrooveCell and SynthCell.
The mid-range option of the three latest announcements is the Pro Tools Studio. Probably the most desirable of the launches, this Studio version is ideal for the vast majority of consumers, with only the most exclusive professional setups requiring the top-tier model.
Available for $299 a year or $39.99 per month, the Pro Tools Studio allows for hundreds of audio tracks, full Dolby Atmos mixing capabilities, maximum audio, aux, instrument and MIDI track counts of 512, 128, 512 and 1024. Moreover, this version includes support for 64 channels of simultaneous native I/O, support for a single video track and is shipped alongside the complete collection of Avid AAX plug-ins.
Finally comes the top-tier model, the Pro Tools Flex, coming in with a much more extensive price tag of $999 a year or $99.99 per month. However, with this increased cost comes a significant increase in features, tailor-made for the top studios.
In this edition, the track count is increased to over 2000, while the channel count has also sufficiently risen, allowing users to have up to 256 active I/O when using a native audio interface. Perks of the Pro Tools Flex don’t stop there, when purchasing this version, Avid’s ‘gold service’ ExpertPlus support plan and a DigiLink licence also come included. This is crucial as the licence is required to use Avid’s current flagship HDX and HD Native interfaces.
Whilst numerous current users may be disheartened by the introduction of a subscription-only plan, Avid assures us that the new launches will help make audio-production software “more accessible to a broader community of music creators” and boasts to help musicians “deliver their best possible sound no matter where they’re at in their career.”
To make the shift to a subscription plan easier, Avid has offered those opting for yearly payments access to their Inner Circle: an ever-growing package of free content including free plug-ins and samples provided by a wide range of partners.
Further, the company has made the transition more appealing to users by incorporating other perks, including the introduction of various upgrade paths for existing owners of perpetual licences and for current subscribers. Avid is also allowing owners of perpetual licences to upgrade to the latest version of Pro Tools for a one-off payment, without committing to a subscription, as well as offering a heavy educational discount on the mid-range and top-tier options.
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