Pro Tools 11 now available, initial thoughts

Avid has now released the anticipated Pro Tools 11, featuring the new Avid Audio Engine, 64-bit and offline bounce among other things.

I have already discussed what’s new in Pro Tools 11 when it was released but to sum up, the major new features are:

Avid Audio Engine, which should give you much, much better performance with the same computer setup you run Pro Tools 10 with. This is, in my opinion, one of the best enhancements of Pro Tools since, well, since I started using it! If it performs as promised that is! We will know soon.

64-bit performance, can you say “about damn time”?

Offline bounce, which supposedly is 150x faster than real-time bounce. Also quite a “about damn time”-feature. My concern with it is that – despite what Avid will have you believe – the regular bounce is not reliable, or at least it hasn’t been in the past. I’ve experienced first hand how it simply couldn’t keep up with automation while playing the session back normally was no problem at all. When I spoke to Avid about this they assured me that the new offline bounce was 100% accurate. Then again, I’m pretty sure they will tell you that the regular bounce is accurate as well.

Input buffer, which is there to save Native systems. With dedicated low-latency input and playback buffers, you can monitor record inputs low latency “without sacrificing plug-in performance”, as Avid puts it.

Extended metering, an HD-only feature which gives you 17 different metering options, including K-system. Doesn’t make a difference in my life but I’m sure broadcast and post guys will be happy. And speaking of post…

Avid Video Engine, the same core engine as in Media Composer, which will allow you to add, edit, and play a variety of HD video formats (such as QuickTime, XDCAM, and more) and Avid DNxHD sequences directly inside Pro Tools.


Those are just the major news. The full What’s new guide is available on the Avid website. An in-depth Pro Tools 11 video is also available.

I’ve said if before and I’ll say it again, I like the direction of this release. Instead of just adding features Avid has focused on performance and eliminating ancient remains. My two main questions at this point are:

1) Is it really that much better? I.e., is the Avid Audio Engine kicking as much ass as it promises?

2) Since a lot has been reworked, will the 11.0 version actually be stable or will it be a bug-ridden release?

A word of caution that any professional should know: if you’re in the middle of something important don’t just toss out whatever version you’re working with now in favor of Pro Tools 11! I don’t mean to imply that Pro Tools 11 won’t work for you, it’s just common sense to not experiment in the middle of important things.

I will be back with a no holds barred review later. Please sound off with your own comments and opinions below.

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