Mac and Windows Support Tools For Pro Tools Users
This page aims to give you links to some of our favourite and most used third party software tools for Pro Tools users. If you know of a cool application that you think we’ve missed then let us know!
We regularly get questions for the podcast about running Pro Tools with Mac OSX Mavericks on the Apple Mac platform like this one from Glenn Skinner who asks..
I’ve just bought a new MacBook that came with 10.9.2. Its very nice but Avid say its not authorised as a system yet. I’m running Pro Tools 10.3.8 native with an Mbox 2 Pro. What if any nasties await me? Is any one running Mavericks yet? I’m also having a couple of weird problems with some of the Air instruments but generally OK. Bit worried about doing professional sessions on it.
Glenn, you are absolutely right to be worried about running professional sessions with this combination.
Match Your Pro Tools Version with the version of your computers operating system.
We recently highlighted PT Prefs in an ongoing thread looking at the best ways to do a clean de-install and re-install of Pro Tools.
Neil covered the Windows platform and shows how Trasher 11 can really help you to look after all the files and folders that you don’t want to loose.
I covered the same issues with the Mac and pointed out that there wasn’t the same options that Trasher 11 offers on the Windows platform and so listed the locations of all the files that I felt were important, made somewhat more complex as the files and their locations have changed with different versions of Pro Tools.
Then I remembered PT Prefs and covered what it could do. Well Pete Gates has been busy adding features to PT Prefs to give it the backup and restore options to make clean installers much easier on the Mac Platform.
It now covers I/O Settings, Plug-in Maps, Plug-In Settings and your Templates folders and so we now have a tool, thanks to Pete Gates’ hard work that will help all Mac users to do a full de-install and re-install of Pro Tools without loosing key settings and files.
Any problems/queries/suggestions, do let Pete know here or on the special thread on the DUC.
Neil provided a very comprehensive feature recently on How To Perform A “Clean” Uninstall Of Pro Tools 11 On Windows 7 And 8 and in the comments there were questions of how to do this for a Mac, so here are some guidelines.
You Need To Archive Files Manually
There is no Trasher 10 option to undertake the archive process in the Mac world so you need to do this manually. I have covered how to do this is detail in my Pro Tools Toolkit For Mac series in Groove 3. One of the videos covers this in detail.
What Is A Clean Pro Tools Install On A Windows 7 And 8 Machine?
When a new update to Pro Tools 11 comes along it is often said that a “clean” installation is the best way to go about the update, But what does this actually mean?
Well, when you run the packaged uninstaller for Pro Tools regardless of whether you chose the option to uninstall everything or not some files are actually left behind, not removed or deleted as part of the uninstall process and are not even overwritten by the update installer.
If these leftover files are not cleaned up manually and left to remain after the new update they can cause issues and instabilities for Pro Tools so are best dealt with before any new updated installation is carried out.
You can of course just run a new installer over the top of a current installation but there could be file version mis-matches with what remains and what is replaced all causing quite a mess and potential instability, but this isnt always the case and you may get away without any trouble at all but best practices recommended by Avid and Myself are to keep things tidy so heres how….
With Pro Tools 11, a number of the key files are no longer where they used to be. Which is why we need Pro Tools 10.3.6 as well, as that version of Pro Tools 10 is correctly pointed at the new locations for these files.
As you will see above, we have a Pro Tools folder in the Users - Documents folder and inside that folder are a number of key files and folders.
We often get asked questions about what version of Pro Tools will work with what version of an operating system.
There are some basic guidelines we can offer….
If you want a reliable system stick to the approved systems.
- Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Windows.
- Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Mac.
Simply put the current versions of Pro Tools will work on the current versions of the operating systems, like Windows 7 & Mac OS 10.7 or 10.8.
Windows 8 - Nothing is currently supported for Windows 8. Some people are getting it to work, but it is uncharted territory. If you want a reliable system then use Windows 7.
Mac OS 10.8 - Mountain Lion. It is approved for the latest versions of Pro Tools but a lot of people are still having trouble with it. We would currently recommend Lion 10.7.5 is the most reliable solution for Pro Tools.
Pro Tools LE - If you want Pro Tools LE to work with a relatively current version of an operating system you need to get Pro Tools 8.0.5 LE. This should work with Mac OS 10.7, but may not be reliable with Mac OS 10.8.
So you have Pro Tools 8 or 9 etc and you want to find what the last update version was and download it?
The Avid website is an absolute nightmare to find what you are looking for so I’m linking to some very important pages that get you exactly what you need.
For Windows Users:
Compatibility & Upgrade Information for Pro Tools on Windows.
For Windows XP follow this guide:
For Windows 7 follow this one:
Getting Blue Screens or BSOD’s with the Windows Operating system can be a real PITA !
Diagnosing the problem can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack.
Heres a link to the Microsoft Community pages that gives some insight into how to try and narrow down the cause and then what to do about it. (Scroll down past the initial question and read the Answers)
Microsoft Community BSOD Troubleshooting
This great helper app from Jean-Charles Deshaies is currently not available. His site is down and has been for a while.
But the good news is we have a copies available to download.
Jean Charles, do get in touch with us if we help you.
For Pro Tools 10.3.5
This is a self contained installer that extracts the app to the correct places, It includes the option to update a previous Trasher 10 install, Read the ReadMe .pdf included for full details.
For Pro Tools 10.0 up to 10.3.4
Place inside your Documents folder (NOT public Documents folder) and run. a full Read Me will be available once launched.
Backs up and Restores Pro Tools Preferences and DAE Prefs.
Backs up and Restores Pro Tools I/O Settings.
Backs up and Restores Pro Tools Plug-Ins Settings.
Recycles Pro Tools Preferences and DAE Prefs.
Recycles Pro Tools Databases
Opens RTAS Used and Unused Plug-Ins folders.
Opens AAX Used and Unused Plug-Ins folders.
Opens Pro Tools 10 Reference Guide and Documentation - ReadMes folder.
Opens Avid Log Files folder.
For Pro Tools 8.04 through 9
For Pro Tools 8.01 and earlier
This is a nice quick reference table for when you hear somebody talking about a keyboard shortcut combo from a Mac or PC point of view and you want to know what it is from the other platforms point of view.
For an extensive list of Pro Tools key commands WikiAudio have done a fantastic job !
Convert sessions to/from ProTools, Audition, Vegas, Cubase, Nuendo, Samplitude/Sequoia, Reaper, Tracktion, Ardour, Studio One, Studio Live, Wavelab, Pyramix, Audiofile, Fairlight, Waveframe, DAR, N-Track, Sadie, Tascam, Logic, Logic Pro, Media Composer/Adrenaline, Paris, Soundscape, Sonar, Digital Performer, Grass Valley, Lightworks, Cool Edit Pro, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, SAW Studio, TripleDat, Ableton Live.
You have got some audio sampling CDs?
You’d like to have all samples in WAV format but you don’t want to spend countless hours cutting and trimming every sample manually using a WAV-editor?
Then WaveKnife is what you are looking for !
Get it here
Header Investigator will allow the user to open WAV audio files and display the header information and make changes. The actual audio data is never changed… simply the header information. This is useful if the user has accidentally recorded audio while locked to an external digital clock source so that the header sample rate is a mismatch to the actual sample rate of the data – which causes the sound file to play back at the wrong pitch. By simply changing the sample rate in the header – the WAV files can be corrected without having to retransfer or sample rate convert the file.
Full info and Download
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Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get the most out of their computers every day.
The application serves up a perfect mix of maintenance tools and tweaks, all accessible through a clean and easy to use interface. Cocktail’s features are arranged into five categories that helps you manage various aspects of your computer. It also comes with an automatic Pilot mode that allows you to simply press a button and relax, knowing that Cocktail will take care of the rest.
When unregistered, Cocktail (Mountain Lion Edition) for OS X 10.8, Cocktail (Lion Edition) for OS X 10.7 and Cocktail (Snow Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.6 runs in demo mode and will expire after the tenth launch. Cocktail (Leopard Edition) for OS X 10.5 is distributed as freeware and does not require a license.