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Pro Tools Intro & 2022.9 Features

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques By Julian Rodgers
Published December 2022

The new Aux I/O feature lets you access additional inputs and outputs — either from software or from secondary hardware devices — from the Pro Tools I/O Setup window.The new Aux I/O feature lets you access additional inputs and outputs — either from software or from secondary hardware devices — from the Pro Tools I/O Setup window.

Avid’s latest 2022.9 release introduces a new free edition of Pro Tools.

In September 2022 Avid not only released Pro Tools 2022.9, but also a brand‑new free version of Pro Tools. The former introduced the much‑anticipated ARA integration with Melodyne, as discussed last month, but also Aux I/O, a feature which extends the input and output options available to Pro Tools by allowing Mac users to add any Core Audio devices as extra I/O to their current playback engine. This functionality provides solutions to a number of issues, many of which no doubt were brought into very sharp focus by the acute need for easy integration with online tools which became necessary with the pandemic.

Pro Tools, and particularly DSP‑based Pro Tools systems like HDX, have in the past been awkward to integrate with hardware and software outside of the Pro Tools system. Whether you are trying to route audio to and from a Zoom call, use a USB microphone, or route audio from Spotify into Pro Tools, it’s often been necessary to devise imaginative workarounds. Aux I/O solves these and many other issues.

Aux I/O allows Mac users on Big Sur or higher (it’s not available on Windows due to its reliance on Core Audio) to add additional devices — both hardware and virtual — that present themselves in the I/O Setup window just like your main audio interface. This differs from creating Aggregate Devices in that your preferred Playback Engine is retained as the primary I/O device, with no compromise to its latency, delay compensation and reliability.

Aux I/O doesn’t inherit the performance of the Playback Engine (its I/O has no deterministic latency and no delay compensation), but for most uses, performance is acceptable. Virtual devices such as other software applications have the restriction that they can be either an input or an output but not both. However, you can round‑trip audio to/from software applications by setting up two separate Core Audio devices, which avoids the risk of creating a feedback loop.

Pro Tools 2022.9 comes with a pre‑installed virtual device, which is simply a software pipe through which audio can be transported between applications. This virtual device — the Pro Tools Audio Bridge — comes in channel widths of 2, 6, 32 and 64 channels, with two versions of the 2‑channel virtual device available. Additional hardware interfaces can be clocked using word clock where available, and the Pro Tools Audio Bridge incorporates...

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