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Review: Avid Pro Tools 12.5
Audiomediainternational.com by Simon Allen
There has been much talk about the DAW’s new Cloud Collaboration feature, but does it live up to the hype? Simon Allen finds out...
Like many, I have been keeping a careful eye on the developments Avid has been making with Pro Tools. The company has seen some tough times recently and end users have been skeptical about the constant flow of updates. Plug-in and third-party software manufacturers have had to play catch up, providing new 64-bit AAX versions of its products. However, there is apparently light at the end of the tunnel, and in my opinion Pro Tools has something to shout about again.
Pro Tools has now reached version 12.5, which has accumulated several small but significant updates since my last review of the software.
There’s much to appreciate, which we could easily take for granted. For example, Avid has addressed moving from TDM over to HDX processing and the AAX plug-in format. Initially this also gave us off-line bouncing, but since version 12.4 this also gave us track Commit and track Freeze. These are among the best new features Pro Tools has had to offer for a while.
Pro Tools 12 introduced Avid’s new subscription payment plan, which has been a massive benefit to some of my clients. They are now working with an affordable and appropriate version of Pro Tools that can be used for sending me parts or creating guide tracks, via the same platform that we use in the studio.
However, in addition to the new features and Cloud Collaboration, the biggest reasons for moving to Pro Tools 12, in my opinion, is the quality of audio and the efficient use of system resources. This is for the most part down to the 64-bit engine introduced with Pro Tools 11, but now most plug-in manufacturers are on board with the AAX format. This means we can truly harness this architecture and my own experience with Pro Tools 12.5 is that it’s even more ‘system-efficient’ and stable than its predecessor.
Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools combines and accumulates all the new features mentioned above and many more. This is a significant new aspect of Pro Tools and is already more advanced in my opinion than similar services provided in other DAWs, despite this being the first release.
I trialed the Cloud Collaboration feature with my co-producer who lives in Cyprus. Getting set up with user accounts and experimenting with creating and sharing an online ‘project’ was fairly straightforward, but also highlighted to us the varied uses for the service...[continue reading]