In Podcast 179 I revealed that I had upgraded my Pro Tools HD system from Pro Tools 11 to Pro Tools 12 and in this article I am going to share my experiences of the upgrade process.
Backup Before You Start
I have a system where I use Superduper on update a clone of my boot drive every day at 9pm. So I knew that worst case I had 24 hours to decide if this was going to be a good idea. Also I have Time Machine running so I could choose to 'roll back' if I felt the need.
Finally as a belt and braces I made a copy of my Pro Tools 11HD app and wiped it up for good measure.
Target Pro Tools 12.1HD
The first think I noticed after I had restarted my computer is that there was a new 'target' icon in my menubar.
When you click on it it opens the Avid Application Manager, from where you log into your Avid User account. In the Apps tab you can see what the status is of your different Pro Tools related apps. In my case the first thing I noticed was that the Application Manager was out of date. I was able to download and install it straight from the Application Manager.
Add Some AIR
Next I installed the AIR Effects Bundle fro Pro Tools First and 12, and then the AIR Instruments Bundle for Pro Tools First and 12.
Once they were installed, I noticed that the Avid Application Manager had updated itself to reflect that the AIR Effects & Instruments bundles were now up to date. As part of the original install I updated the HD Driver and so it was nice to see that the Avid Application Manager confirms that too.
However I like to archive all my installers so I have current copies of all the installers on a Network Attached drive, but as I hadn't downloaded these installers myself I had not idea where they were being kept, or if they were even being kept at all.
After some digging around on my Mac Pro, you can see from the image above, that the Avid Application Manager has put them in a dedicated folder in the Caches folder. So I made copies of them onto my installer backup drive for good measure.
Which got me thinking, I wondered where I was with all my plug-ins and then quickly realised that I should have checked these BEFORE I started updated to Pro Tools 12, not after. As we have said many times, out of date plug-ins can cause Pro Tools to become flaky, they don't even have to be loaded into your session, just being in your plug-ins folder can be enough.
Update Your Plug-ins Ideally Before you Update Pro Tools!
I opened up the excellent free utility PluginUpdate and asked it to scan my Plug-ins folder and I was a little shocked as to the number of out of date plug-ins. In the image below are just some of the out of date plug-ins on my system, there were more than 5 pages of plug-ins that needed to be updated.
Now although PluginUpdate is brilliant at telling me what plug-ins need updating, it is less helpful in pointing me at the appropriate installers. What it does do though, if you click on an entry, it will open the home page of the appropriate software developer's site, but after that you are on your own.
Some brands don't have the installers available in public areas, you will need to log into your account on their sites and access the latest installers that way. It would be brilliant if I could put all the appropriate details into PluginUpdate and easily access the latest installers. That said, for a free application, courtesy of Plugin Boutique, it still makes the whole job of checking which plug-ins are out of date, so much easier.
Well there isn't much to tell, as I have said more than once in other articles and review, "it just works". What triggered me to look at upgrading was Avid's excellent feature on their blog on the new features in the I/O Setup on Pro Tools 12.
I would say that for anyone who handles a lot of sessions from other systems, because in Pro Tools 12, Avid have separated the I/O Setup for your hardware from the setup for the sessions, Alternatively Pro Tools 12 is very useful for those who want to work on surround sessions on a laptop without having to destroy the I/O Setup, because of the automatic inbuilt downmixing.
But did we know about these features? No we did not! It was only as a result of the article on the Avid blog that I learnt about these features, but how long has Pro Tools 12 been out?
Yes we are still waiting for the cloud collaboration features as well as Track Freeze, and if you largely work on your own then these new features are not going to help you, but for anyone working on sessions from other facilities than I would recommend you take a closer look at the features already in Pro Tools 12, as you may decide, as I have done, that it is worth investing in Pro Tools 12 now.
We will be bringing you more articles on real features that are in Pro Tools 12 and 12HD as well as show you the Avid iPad app in Pro Tools 12HD.