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Pro Tools: Ableton Link & Record Arm

Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques By Julian Rodgers
Published January 2021

We explore Ableton Link, record arm options and other new features from the 2020.9 update.

Released in September, Pro Tools 2020.9 coincided with a new version of EuCon, and brought proper support for Folder Tracks in the Avid Control app. This, for me, has been the most significant new feature, though version 2020.9 also made some changes to the way Pro Tools works with Cloud services, as well as adding a couple of exciting new features and incorporating the usual bug fixes.

Ableton Link support is the first of these new features and is the easiest to appreciate, as it brings this simple but addictive feature (already in use by Ableton, Reason, Bitwig and many more desktop apps) to the rather longer‑in‑the-tooth Pro Tools. The idea behind Ableton Link is simple: it’s a way for devices to share a common time reference across a local network. By ‘time’ I mean in the sense of tempo; this isn’t to do with sample clock. Because the 'beat clock' is shared across a network it can be shared wirelessly, and it is in this guise, as a way to keep iOS devices playing together in time, that it is best known, but there are many products, including some hardware, which are Link-enabled.

The performance‑based focus of Ableton Link doesn’t stop at impromptu iPhone jams, though I can confirm that these are great fun.

Ableton Link

The performance‑based focus of Ableton Link doesn’t stop at impromptu iPhone jams, though I can confirm that these are great fun. The possibility to sync VJ applications and lighting equipment, hardware such as the Akai MPCs, as well as more open‑ended software like Max and Supercollider, means that Pro Tools...

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Published January 2021

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