In this third article on the release of Pro Tools 12.6 we are looking at the changes to the pricing as a result of Avid unbundling the HD Software and Hardware. In the first article we presented an overview of the new features and changes and in the second article we covered the new features added in Pro Tools 12.6.
New Pro Tools HD Pricing And Packaging
The big news with the release of Pro Tools 12.6 is that Avid are unbundling the HD hardware, interfaces and software so you can buy just the bits you want. So yes you will be able to buy the Pro Tools HD Software on its own, without having to buy a card or an interface.
Alternatively you will be able to buy an HD Native or HDX card and the Pro Tools HD software without having to buy an Avid interface. So if you would prefer to own and use one of the 3rd party HD interfaces then you can without having to buy an Avid interface and then go through the trouble of selling it.
Pro Tools HD DigiLink I/O License
However as part of the process to decouple the interface from the bundles, Avid are introducing a new one-off DigiLink I/O license, which all users will need whether they are using an Avid interface or a 3rd party interface. This is a one time license that will be $299 but note this is NOT per interface. If you have one interface then it will be $299, if you have 10 interfaces it will still be $299 and NOT $2990.
DON'T worry as there are a number of scenarios that will mean most people will automatically receive the DigiLink I/O license at NO extra cost. If you fit into any one of these categories you will not have to pay for the DigiLink I/O license.
- All existing customers on an active upgrade/support plan when Pro Tools 12.6 is released irrespective as to whether you own an Avid interface or a 3rd party interface.
- Any customer purchasing an upgrade/support plan reinstatement
- Any customer who purchases an Avid HD Series I/O
- Any Customer who purchases a Legacy hardware Exchange (Old TDM Systems)
If you are buying a new system from now on and you choose to buy an HDX Core or HD Native Core System, so that you are able to buy a 3rd Party interface, then you will be able to go to the Avid Store and buy the DigiLink I/O license for a one off charge of $299 and you will be good to go. Remember this is a single fee, and not per interface.
What the license effectively does is to turn on the DigiLink ports on an HD Native or HDX card. If you don’t have a valid DigiLink I/O License then your HD interfaces, irrespective of what brand they are, including Avid, will not work once you are running Pro Tools 12.6.
But remember this is only for new HD customers buying into hardware. Pro Tools Vanilla and Pro Tools HD standalone software users do not need a DigiLink I/O license and so you will NOT be affected and will NOT need to buy the DigiLink I/O license.
Resellers will also be provided with activation cards to include with their existing stock. So moving forward Avid interfaces will have the DigiLink I/O license included in the box, again at no extra charge, in fact Avid have taken $500 off the prices of all their HD I/O Series interfaces.
Pro Tools 12.6 HD Software Only Pricing
Pro Tools HD Software Standalone will be available later in September 2016 in two formats, either as a perpetual license or on a rental subscription plan.
Pro Tools HD Software Standalone Software - Perpetual
The Perpetual version will be $2499 and will include one year’s annual upgrade plan If you want to keep up to date you will need to have an HD upgrade and support plan which will cost $399 as it did before.
Pro Tools HD Software Standalone Software - Rental (subscription)
Pro Tools HD Software with be available to rent for $999 per year on a subscription rental plan. If you wanted to buy the HD Software outright, it is equivalent to 2.5 years of rental subscriptions. Unlike other rental options, Avid will not be offering Pro Tools HD Software Standalone Software on a monthly rental scheme, only annual.
Upgrade Path For Pro Tools Vanilla Users
Pro Tools Vanilla users can also upgrade to Pro Tools HD standalone for the price difference between Pro Tools vanilla and the HD software and so this upgrade will cost $1899
Pro Tools HD Software Not Transferable
We understand that the HD Software Standalone will not be transferable so just as at the moment it is not possible to transfer a Pro Tools HD ilok license from one iLok account to another, Avid will not allow the new standalone license to be transferable so as before you won’t be able to sell it.
Pro Tools HD Software - Is It Worth It?
You may be thinking that $2499 is expensive but consider the entry point for Pro Tools. Before Pro Tools 12.6, if a professional working from home, for example, needed the HD only features like surround tracks, they had to buy the minimum of an HD Native card, an HD Omni interface and the HD software, which was around $5000. Now with the unbundling options, for half of that you can get the HD software and access to all the HD only features, including the new Clip Effects feature introduced in Pro Tools 12.6. Over 12 months that is just over $200 per month.
Consider The Rental Option
If you prefer to rent the Pro Tools HD Software, then you can rent it for $999 per year, remember that there is no monthly rental option for the standalone HD software but this works out at around $84 per month. A further advantage of the rental plan is that you don’t need to buy into the upgrade/support plans.
Ongoing Perpetual Costs
If you go for the perpetual option, the first year is going to cost you around $209 per month and then subsequent years are going to cost you around $33 per month for the ongoing upgrade/support plan.
For Professionals This Is Not Expensive
Either way, whether you choose perpetual with a continuing upgrade/support plan or go for the rental option, for professionals earning their living from working with Pro Tools this is not a lot of money for the features and power that comes with Pro Tools HD.
Consider Cap-Ex or Op-Ex
For those bigger facilities managing budgets you will know exactly where you stand. You can choose whether to fund it from capital expenditure with the perpetual route or operational expenditure with the rental subscription route.
For smaller, one person operations, going down the rental option means it is an operational expense and can be recharged to the client.
New Pro Tools HD Hardware Pricing
To help you through the changes that Avid have made, we have prepared a table to show the new pricing structures. Please read this table in conjunction with the notes below.
|Product||Pro Tools HD License||Upgrade Plan||Plugin Bundle||Support||Price||Notes|
|Pro Tools HDX Core||Yes||1 year||1 year||1 year||$4999||Represents a 29% reduction pro rata from previous bundles based on a $7k spend|
|Pro Tools HDX Card||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$2999|
|Pro Tools HD Native Core||Yes||1 year||1 year||1 year||$2999||Small price increase to tie in with Pro Tools HD Standalone price|
|Pro Tools HD Native Card||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$999|
|Legacy to Pro Tools HDX Exchange||No||3 years||3 years||3 years||$4999||Exchanges are now the same price as the Core but you get 3 years of upgrade/support plan worth $798|
|Legacy to Pro Tools Native Exchange||No||3 years||3 years||3 years||$2999||Exchanges are now the same price as the HD Native but you get 3 years of upgrade/support plan worth $798|
|HD I/O Interface||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$3499||This represents a reduction of $500 for each interface|
|HD Omni Interface||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$2499||This represents a reduction of $500 for each interface|
|HD I/O Digital Interface||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$1999||This represents a reduction of $500 for each interface|
|HD MADI Interface||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||$4499||This represents a reduction of $500 for each interface|
HDX Core Price Reduced By 29%
Avid have reduced the HDX Core price by around 29% when you look at the old price bundled with an HD I/O. Once you take the price off for the HD I/O the new price is 29% lower than the old price.
Avid Interface Prices Drop By $500
They have also reduced the prices on all the HD I/O Series interfaces by $500 per interface and so they are taking steps to make the pricing of the HD systems more competitive, to try and retain as many customers as possible.
Upgrade Paths For HD Software Only Users
You might be wondering why Avid is offering the HD Native card without the HD Software? One example would be that an owner of the Pro Tools HD Standalone software now wants to take advantage of a Sync I/O. The Sync I/O needs an HD card to work so they have thought this through and so it is possible now for an HD Software owner to buy into HD hardware at a later date.
New Legacy Exchange Pricing
Avid have changed the Legacy hardware upgrade offering, so now the price for an HDX Core is the same as the Legacy upgrade price but the difference is that with the Legacy upgrade you get 3 years of upgrade/support plans included rather than the normal one year.
Pre-Ordering Available Now
Although Avid don’t expect to start shipping Pro Tools 12.6 and the new hardware options until much later in September they will be offering the option to pre-order from today.
What Do you Think?
So there you have it, Avid have finally decoupled the Pro tools Software and Hardware, they have added Clip Based Effects as well as several neat new editing features, but still no support for higher surround channel formats and no folders in the clip list. What is your view on Pro Tools 12.6? Like it or not? Do share your thoughts in the comments below...