Since moving to a subscription model with Pro Tools 12, Avid have produced a steady stream of incremental updates, and the latest 12.6 version introduces some intriguing enhancements to the core audio editing functionality. For a while now, Clip Gain has given Pro Tools users the ability to modify the level of audio regions directly in the Edit Window, and the new Clip Effects extend this idea considerably. Each audio clip can now, in effect, have its own mixer-style processing derived from Avid’s Channel Strip plug-in, incorporating equalisation, compression and an expander/gate.
There are also changes to the way clips behave during editing. Previously, if you moved a clip over the top of another, then moved it away again, a gap would be left; now, Pro Tools ‘remembers’ what’s underneath. It is now also possible to enable a behaviour whereby moving one clip wholly on top of another automatically ‘pushes’ the obscured clip onto a new Playlist. One obvious context in which this behaviour makes sense is when loop or cycle recording, where it means that each subsequent take is automatically allocated to its own Playlist.
In response to user requests, Avid have also taken the major step of ‘unbundling’ the HD version of Pro Tools software from their hardware. Previously, the HD software was available only as part of a complete system, but for the first time, it is now possible to buy a software-only HD licence, either outright or on a subscription basis. This represents a major step for those who need HD-only features such as surround sound support, but don’t require the other benefits of HDX hardware such as extreme low latency and DSP plug-ins.
Pro Tools 12.6 is available now to anyone who has a current Upgrade Plan. New users wanting to buy the HD software ‘unbundled’ from hardware will pay $2499 for a perpetual licence, including a year’s upgrades, or $999 per year on a rolling basis.