Introducing Pro Tools 11

Pro Tools 11Pro Tools 11 was officially unveiled by Avid today. Here’s the summary of new features, pricing, and availability.

The Summary

With under-the-hood improvements to enable Pro Tools 11 to utilize more of your computer CPU and RAM than before (giving you more power out of the same system), and new features designed to speed-up workflow and efficiency, Pro Tools 11 is all about Performance.


A Brand New Pro Tools: Rewritten Code Base
Avid Audio Engine & 64 Bit Native Architecture
Dynamic Plugin Processing
Offline Bounce
Low Latency Input Buffer
Pro Tools 11 Pricing and Availability

A Brand New Pro Tools: Rewritten Code Base

One of the most significant aspects of Pro Tools 11 isn’t a feature at all. It’s the fact that Avid have re-written the core code that is Pro Tools.

Pro Tools software has been built upon the same foundational code for most of its existence. The problem with an old code base is that the longer you develop on it, the more you find yourself writing hacks, and workarounds to get things working, while not breaking anything. As you do, it becomes increasingly inefficient and kludgy.

Pro Tools 11 is a fresh reboot. Starting four years ago, Avid engineers have been rewriting the under-the-hood Pro Tools 11 core code with the goal of having a clean and efficient code base to build upon from Pro Tools 11 forward.

Avid Audio EngineAvid Audio Engine

The new Avid Audio Engine is the heart of Pro Tools 11. Its 64 Bit native architecture means that if you’re running in a 64-Bit environment (application, OS, & CPU) Pro Tools is going utilize all of the available processors and as much RAM as you can make available. This translates into more plugin processing, virtual instruments, and more Pro Tools power in general.

RAM: Upgrading Your RAM Will Be Key To Getting the Benefits of Pro Tools 11. Crucial RAM at Amazon.

Dynamic Plugin Processing

Up until now, when you instantiated a plugin in Pro Tools, a certain amount of CPU resources were allocated to that plugin for the entire session. Even when the plugin wasn’t doing anything (like during silent parts of that track), those CPU resources were still tied up.

In Pro Tools 11, Avid have introduced dynamic CPU allocation. This means that if you have a plugin instantiated – let’s say an effects plugin that you only use in the middle-eight/bridge section of a song. Pro Tools will allocate CPU resources to that plugin when that middle-eight section hits and the plugin is working. The rest of the time, those CPU resources will be freed up and made available to other processes in the session.

This should result in a significant performance boost where plugin processing and virtual instruments are concerned.

Pro Tools 11 Offline BounceOffline Bounce
Pro Tools now offers several offline bounce to disk features including the option to create multiple offline bounces simultaneously (such as bouncing all of your stems/music sub-groups) in a single, super-fast, offline bounce. That will be a major time saver.

Attention UAD-2 and Apollo Users: Offline Bounce will not include UAD Plugin Processing.

Low Latency Input Buffer
This is something everyone is going to love. Pro Tools 11 has two different hardware buffer settings – one for the session, and one for inputs when you’re recording.

This is great because currently (PT10 and earlier) you set your HW Buffer for the session. The higher the buffer (say, 1024 samples) the more plugin processing and mix CPU becomes available. The trade off is that recording with the throughput latency that a 1024 sample buffer added is totally useless. So, thus far the solution was to lower the buffer setting when recording (to reduce latency) and increase the buffer size when editing and mixing.

Well, now in Pro Tools 11 all of that run around will no longer be necessary. You can set a specific buffer setting (say 32 samples) for tracks that are being recorded onto and at the same time retain a larger buffer size for the rest of the session.

Pro Tools 11 Pricing and Availability

Pro Tools 11 is scheduled to be available during the second quarter of 2013, before the end of June.

The pricing (as quoted by Avid) is as follows:

  • Pro Tools 11 $699
  • Pro Tools 10 -> Pro Tools 11 Upgrade $299
  • Pro Tools 9 -> Pro Tools 11 Upgrade $399
  • Pro Tools Express -> Pro Tools 11 Upgrade $499
  • Pro Tools MP -> Pro Tools 11 Upgrade $499

There’s way, way more in Pro Tools 11 than what I’ve covered here. But hopefully this has answered some of your initial questions. I’ll try to refine this post as more information about PT11 becomes available.

Some helpful Pro Tools 11 links

Pro Tools 11 HD System Requirements
Pro Tools 11 System Requirements
Pro Tools 11 AAX Plugin Developers

RAM: Upgrading Your RAM Will Be Key To Getting the Benefits of Pro Tools 11. Crucial RAM at Amazon.

Disclaimer: All of the information on this page is subject to change without notice. You should always carefully review the Avid compatibility documents for your system before buying a major Pro Tools software upgrade.