Chris Winsor, one of the Pro Tools product designers at Avid has put together the definite guide to the I/O Setup window on the Avid Blog covering all the new features added in Pro Tools 12 to this key part of Pro Tools. Although its one small part of the Pro Tools experience it can have consequences way beyond its size in even getting any sound out of a session that has come from another studio with different I/O settings.
Over the years Avid have refined this window, including adding the option for the session I/O settings not to overwrite the system I/O requirements, but even then it can still cause problems to the unsuspecting Pro Tools user. So Avid have made some more refinements that definitely help to make it easier to move sessions around. I first experienced this a couple weeks ago when I went into SSR in Manchester as guest lecturer and found reconfiguring my sessions to their I/O settings so much easier. Chris starts his article...
The I/O Setup is extremely important in how users interface their Pro Tools software based sessions, with their ‘out of the box’ gear. It has always been a very deep and complicated section of Pro Tools, for both us as developers and for our customers. We’ve received a lot of feedback over the last few years, and it has encouraged us to make some improvements in this area. What I’d like to do here in this blog post, is walk you through the thinking behind these changes, and explain the new behaviors of I/O Setup in Pro Tools 12. The product design team plans to share more posts like this on feature enhancements and workflows over time.
One of the key things that sparked these changes was the overwhelming large bus buildup that would happen when interchanging sessions between different systems. The original thought was to keep everything all of the time, which created a lot of unused orphaned busses. The question then became, “which busses are safe to get rid of?” This led us down the path of making a distinction between session and hardware, which I will explain a bit more later.
The next area of improvement to focus on was really how important the flexibility of session interchange is to our users workflow. Sessions often travel to different I/O’s, of different sizes, that are used in different ways. Some only have stereo outputs, some have surround, and some are used to send the session to an external mixing board. The only way to really ensure that you hear something is to overwrite your own I/O configuration to mirror that of the session, and even then, you might need to do some additional work in the session to hear the intended output. The key thought was – ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if you could leave your I/O labeling and session routing alone?’
We strongly recommend you go over to the Avid Blogs and read Chris' excellent article on the I/O Setup window and the changes brought to it with Pro Tools 12. I have to say, that it is making me seriously consider jumping to Pro Tools 12HD especially as a number of people I respect are saying it is a very stable version of Pro Tools.