Avid's latest announcements are really rather exciting for collaborative musicians and producers. Firstly, Pro Tools 12 was announced and at the core of this new version is a set of Cloud Collaboration tools. These should enable artists to compose, record, edit, and mix sessions working with other Pro Tools users in the cloud, as if they are all together in the same studio. They simply invite other artists to collaborate on a session using built-in text/video chat, or find new collaborators through the new Avid Marketplace Artist Community. If the person they want to work with doesn’t already have Pro Tools, then they can simply download the new free Pro Tools | First (more on that later) to start working together immediately.
Collaborators can work on the same session simultaneously or create offline and share updates directly within Pro Tools. There are new workflows for sharing audio, MIDI, edits, mix changes automation etc., and simplified project and media management tools for version tracking.
Then there's Avid Marketplace — a platform for engaging with other artists, buying new plug-ins and apps, as well as storing and sharing work — all built into the Pro Tools software.
Avid also announced that 17 new plug-ins and nine new plug-in bundles are now available in the Avid Marketplace and as in-app purchases in Pro Tools. There are now over 60 Avid plug-ins and bundles available for in-app purchase for Pro Tools | First, Pro Tools, and Pro Tools | HD. The new bundles include:
- Eleven® Effects Bundle — A collection of 17 Avid AAX Native, DSP and AudioSuite 64-bit plug-in effects modeled after circuitry and design of many popular analog “stomp-box” guitar effects.
- Pro Series Bundle — Includes all five of the popular Avid Pro Series processors in AAX Native, DSP and AudioSuite 64-bit format as a single bundle at over 50% savings.
- First Distortion Bundle, First Reverb Delay Bundle, First Guitar Bass Bundle, First Modulation Bundle, First EQ Dynamics Bundle, First AIR Effects Bundle, and First AIR Instruments Bundle — Include selections from the new Eleven Effects and other Avid plug-ins, allowing Pro Tools | First users to access the professional creative tools they need to create richer sounding, more complex mixes.
Pro Tools 12 should be available in February 2015 and can be purchased outright as normal, or as part of Avid's new subscription model. Ever since Adobe Creative Cloud showed us that the subscription model for software can work, several other software developers have followed suit — Cakewalk, Steven Slate, and also Avid. Monthly subscriptions start at $29.99, annual subscriptions start at $299, while a perpetual license, which includes 12 months of updates and support starts at $899.
Avid also today unveiled Pro Tools® First, a free version of the company's renowned recording software.
With Pro Tools | First, artists can quickly turn ideas into professional-sounding songs by recording, using software instruments, and applying audio effects. To expand their creative toolset further, the integrated Avid App Store provides a world of affordable AAX plug-ins and 'First' bundles on the Avid Marketplace that make creating, shaping, and enhancing sounds quicker and easier.
To accommodate the mobile lifestyle of artists and aspiring pros, Pro Tools First saves and manages sessions securely in the cloud, enabled by the Avid MediaCentral Platform. This allows users to log into an Avid account and access and work on music from any Mac or PC with Pro Tools First installed. When changes are made, the project syncs with the cloud as soon as it’s saved. And, as a special introductory offer, artists can work on and store up to three Pro Tools First projects in the cloud for free.
In addition, Pro Tools | First will be compatible with Avid Cloud Collaboration when it becomes available, helping artists collaborate together from wherever they are in the world.