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.

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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.

9 responses to Pro Tools 11 now available, initial thoughts

  1. AS says:

    Loaded HD 11 ok on my 17″ early 2011 i7 MBP – which is listed as untested on Avid’s website (last time I checked).
    Can’t do any real world comparisons of performance between 10 and 11 due to sparse 64 bit AAX support. I own loads of plugins and I’m only now realising how thin on the ground supported plugins are, and the real world difference between AAX 32 and 64 bit.
    Hope things pick up soon. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

  2. AS says:

    V-Control Pro on ipad 2 working well on above system.

  3. I feel like I have a Ferrari without a steering wheel. All these great new things, yet it won’t recognize my AAX McDsp plugs, and Slate Digital VCC is still RTAS only.

    I have a nice version of Pro Tools that I can’t turn corners with. It’ll sit on my HD unused until I can. Once Waves and Slate are AAX, I will be a very happy music producer.

  4. I second Chris. I am also waiting for Waves, Slate and Native instruments to go 64bit – then I skip my PT 10 entirely. PT11 rocks.

  5. Scott Senchak says:

    I’m actually having an issue with PT11. I’m using an RME FireFace UFX via USB2 to record. When I’m actually recording into PT11 there is no problem. The latency is not audible. Then after I get done recording that track I just recorded has a noticeable delay when it prints the track. I’m on the Avid DUC asking for help and there seem to be other users with the same problem. Anybody else have this problem? I didn’t have it a week ago using PT9. The problem does show up in PT 10. I’m also a Ohm Studio user and I have no problems there. I have delay compensation on, and this issue happens with or without any plugins on the channels. Other than that 11 seems very stable and quick. I like it so far.

  6. Audiofanzine says:

    Hi! Did you get around to writing your full review? Could not find it on your blog. Anyhow, we just published ours here: http://en.audiofanzine.com/general-sequencer/avid/pro-tools-11/editorial/reviews/the-best-eleven-on-the-pitch.html and was curious to compare with your sentiments…:-)

  7. I’ll confirm it

    the offline bounce is amazing compared to the old method

    I used to sit down and do 100 or more mixdown for one two minute song with pro tools 10 because it glitched and jittered so much that I had to. Even when busing and recording your tracks to audio it was unreliable.

    The regular bounce and just playing back sampled stuff in pro tools in real time is still garbage. it’s just as bad as ever. hasn’t been fixed at all.
    At least the offline bounce makes up for that.
    only problem is that once you have too many tracks to run as instrument tracks,
    you’re going to need to bounce them instead of recording them from now on to get peek performance.
    this should not be the case.
    I hope a future update fixes the real time engine. That would be a big “about time” right there.

    so that’s it.

    Offline bounce is 100 times more reliable.
    what used to take you 100 tries to do, now only takes one or two :)
    So in a nutshell i’ll save money on couches since I won’t need to rip them in half anymore :P

  8. god i should have checked my grammar before posting that. oh well :P

  9. shab says:

    hello

    I have just upgraded to ProTools from Logic 9 and have been getting some issue when trying to record in external hardware synth into ProTools 11 with midi.

    When playing heavily groove dependent material like funk u can notice it straight away, that something is suddenly not in the groove when it definitely was when you recorded it.

    With Logic, you just connect your hardware synth, set up a midi channel and play away …. no latency issues and all the notes play back from the midi information on time and with no issues BUT with ProTools 11 is a different game…..

    Can anyone please advise me on how to get this problem fixed as I love using ProTools and it’s a shame every time we come to record some synth lines with midi this obstacle kills the creative flow….

    I have a firewire interface which is Prism Sound Orpheus and my Mac has 26 gig of ram with a 2 x 2.8 Quad-Core Intel Xeon and 500 GIG SSD.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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