Pro Tools 12 is the latest version of Pro Tools and has since it was launched it has gone through a number of updates. Each free update released by Avid adding more functionality, and for those not using Pro Tools HD, a lot of free extra features previously only available to Pro Tools HD owners. For those still unsure about what is included with Pro Tools 12 and pricing then here is everything you need to know about Pro Tools 12.
The Evolution Of Pro Tools 12
Pro Tools 12.0 – Launched March 2015
At launch both Pro Tools 12 and Pro Tools 12HD saw improved I/O setups and monitoring including auto down-mixing, unlimited busses. Avid, the makers of Pro Tools also introduced in-app plug-in purchases and rentals. With each release Avid also offer stability improvements.
Pro Tools 12.1 – Launched June 2015
For Pro Tools Native owners there was an increased track count to 128 Audio tracks, and 512 Instrument tracks. Pro Tools 12.1 Native now had track input monitoring, AFL/PFL Solo Modes and well as Copy to Send. These features were previously only available to Pro Tools HD owners but became free.
With Pro Tools 12.1 Avid also introduced Pro Tools | Control support, support for Pro Tools | S3 VCA Spill, and again other Pro Tools stability improvements.
Pro Tools 12.2 – Launched September 2015
Pro Tools 12.2 brought more goodies to owners of the standard version of Pro Tools: VCA Masters, Disk Cache, Advanced Metering, Gain Reduction Metering.
Those using Pro Tools HD and Native on an Avid Access Plan also received free Avid Plug-ins, here is a summary of the Pro Tools 12.2 features.
Pro Tools 12.3 – Launched November 2015
Pro Tools 12.3 HD and Standard saw the arrival of Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows. For many this was a welcome way to bounce-in-place the audio as well as create audio versions of instruments in Pro Tools. Pro Tools 12.3 also gave Clip Transparency which means that while editing audio or moving Pro Tools clips or fades the clips now display the waveform as well as the clip below too.
There were also welcome improvements to fades with the new Batch Fade option and shortcuts. In addition Avid introduced AudioSuite Pitch Legacy, and for those working in post production support for Avid DNxIO video interface. Here is a summary of Pro Tools 12.3 features.
Pro Tools 12.4 – December 2015
Perhaps the most requested feature from Pro Tools users, with the Pro Tools 12.4 release, Avid added Track Freeze for both Pro Tools HD and Standard. Track Freeze enables Pro Tools users to reclaim CPU power by 'freezing' instruments and plug-ins on the Pro Tools timeline as audio.
Pro Tools 12 Pricing & Licensing
With Pro Tools 12 Avid, the makers of Pro Tools, introduced a new pricing structure offering users the option to buy Pro Tools outright (a perpetual license) or to rent Pro Tools on an annual or monthly subscription plan. Pro Tools subscription pricing starts at $24.92 a month if committing to an annual plan, or $29.99 if paid on a month by month basis. Pro Tools HD is not available for purchase as software alone and comes as part of a Pro Tools HD system.
Avid also now offer a free download of Pro Tools called Pro Tools First. Pro Tools First is a feature limited version of Pro Tools 12 but offers many of the features found in Pro Tools.
Pro Tools Feature Comparison Chart
Avid have compiled a very useful comparison chart to give an overview of the differences between the different versions of Pro Tools, below is a chart showing supported track counts between Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools, Pro Tools Express and Pro Tools First.
|Supported Tracks||Pro Tools | HD||Pro Tools||Pro Tools Express||Pro Tools | First|
|Maximum simultaneous audio tracks @ 48/96/192 kHz||256/128/641(up to 768/384/192)2||128/64/32(mono or stereo)||16 / 16 / –(mono or stereo)||16 / 16 / –(mono or stereo)|
|Maximum inputs (hardware dependent)||192||32||8||4|
|Audio recording (maximum simultaneous tracks)||256||32||4||4|
Pro Tools 12 could be described as a work in progress, with Avid taking a similar approach to software development that companies like Adobe and Apple have adopted, release a version and then offer regular updates with added features and Pro Tools bug fixes.
It has taken Pro Tools users some time to adopt this new way of thinking, but now they are getting used to regular Pro Tools news of another Free update for Pro Tools 12. Soon we should see Pro Tools 12.5 which is expected to offer Pro Tools cloud collaboration features.