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!
In putting together the article on how to do a clean install for Macs, following Neil’s article for Windows 7 & 8 users. I was reminded that there was a new Pro Tools Prefs helper application. Peter Gates from Free Range Audio here in the UK has taken up the baton left by Jean Charles Deshaies and produced PT Prefs. The latest version now includes the feature we had in Jean Charles’ version which enables you to back up and restore preferred settings.
Pro Tools Prefs Helper v1.2 New Features
- Update V1.2 can now backup and restore. It creates a mirror folder structure in PT Prefs folder in Documents. This makes it easy for users to zip this folder structure to keep multiple backups.
- Separated Version 11 onwards prefs/AAE from pre Version 11. Handy for co-installs.
- Confirmation for trashing/restoring items
- Added another file to AAE prefs trash/backup/restore
- Added the com.avid.plist file
- Added nice little icon!
You can see that this covers all the different location for both Pro Tools 10 & 11 for Preferences related files and includes the Apple AudioMIDIsetup and MIDI files.
But unlike Trasher 11 for Windows users, Pro Tools Prefs doesn’t include files and folders like the Plug-ins and Plug-ins Settings folders that I referred to in my Clean Install For Mac article so you will still need to do those manually.
Any problems/queries/suggestions, do let us 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.
However the file locations vary depending whether you have Pro Tools 10 or 11. My video covers Pro Tools 10 but some of the files and folders are in different locations for Pro Tools 11.
Files & Folders to Archive For Pro Tools 10
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-ins
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Pro Tools/Databases/Unicode/Catalogs
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Digidesign/Plug-ins
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Digidesign/Plug-ins Settings
- Boot drive/Applications/Avid/Pro Tools/Session Templates
- Boot drive/Applications/Avid/Pro Tools/IO Settings
- Boot drive/Users/Your user name/Library/Preferences/Pro Tools Prefs
- Boot drive/Users/Your user name/Library/Preferences/
Files & Folders to Archive For Pro Tools 11
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-ins
- Boot drive/Library/Application Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-ins Settings
- Boot drive/Users/Your user name/Documents/Pro Tools
- Boot drive/Users/Your user name/Library/Preferences/Avid
Obviously replace Boot Drive with the name of whatever you have called your Macintosh HD drive, the drive with your OS on it and Replace Your User Name with the name of the User account that you are logged into.
Pro Tools Preferences are kept in the Preferences folder in the Library folder in your Home folder. It is not essential to archive these but they hold information like your favorite plug-ins, the Open Recent list and all the settings you changed in the Pro Tools Preferences window. The User Library folder is hidden by default. The easiest way to get to it is hold down the Alt key and access the Go menu in the Finder, select Library. A window showing what is in the User’s Library will open. Look for a folder called Avid. Inside that folder is a file called Pro Tools Prefs. That is where a lot of info is stored including Open Recent and what your Plug-in Favourites are. If you archive that before rebuilding the system and then put it back then that will keep all these settings.
Once you have copied these files to a safe location like your Desktop maybe inside Folders labelled Pro Tools 10 & Pro Tools 11, then for Pro Tools 10 you can use the Un-Installer in…
Boot drive/Applications/Avid/Pro Tools/Pro Tools Utilities/Uninstall Pro Tools
For Pro Tools 11 delete the Pro Tools application inside - Boot drive/Applications.
Now run the installers, run the Pro Tools 10 installer first and then Pro Tools 11.
Check both run fine before you reintroduce any of your backups. Once you are happy then copy back in your 3rd party plug-ins and presets as well as catalog and I/O settings but if there is a new fresh version, then use that, rather than your archived version.
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….
Before getting into the actual uninstall you might want to backup your carefully crafted IO and Plugin Settings, Track Hack Presets and Session Templates amongst other things so step 1 is to familiarise yourself with Trasher, An application worth its virtual weight in Gold made by My Buddy in the USA and fellow Pro Tools PC colleague Steven Gilliland.
Trasher is donationware so if you like it and use it a lot (you certainly should) please consider making a donation to help Steven keep it in development.
So take a look at the options the pages of Trasher give you and backup all the things you think you might want to keep, once we are done with the reinstall you can use Trasher to restore these things.
Once you are all backed up you can go ahead and run the uninstaller from the “Programs and Features” module found in the Windows “Control Panel”
Just right click the Pro Tools 11 item and select “Change”
The Uninstaller Wizard will appear, Click “Next”……..
Check the “Remove” option and click “Next”…….
Check the third option, This will remove everything it lists and click “Next”…..
…..And Click “Remove”.
Once the removal process is complete you can restart your computer.
Now It’s Time For The Manual Clean Up
First of all browse to C:\Program Files and Delete the “Avid” folder.
Next, browse to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid and Delete the Pro Tools Folder, BUT keep the “Audio” folder (This is where your 3rd Party Plugins live and you might not want to have to install these from scratch especially if you have as many as I do !)
Next, browse to C:\users\*Your Username*\AppData\Roaming\Avid and Delete the “Pro Tools” folder, Take care not to delete the Pro Tools 10 folder (unless you are “clean” uninstalling that too).
If you can’t find this folder you might need to go to “Control Panel” and “Folder Options”
….and on the “View” tab check the box that says “Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives”
Next, browse to C:\users\*Your Username*\AppData\Local and Delete the “Avid” folder
Finally you might want to brows to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins just to double check your 3rd Party Plugins are still intact.
You might even want to make a copy/backup of this whole folder somewhere else on another drive just in case something goes wrong with it at some point in the future.
You might want to empty your Recycle Bin and Reboot, but from there you now have are now ready to perform a new install of Pro Tools 11
Once the new install is complete you can restore the setting you had previosly backed up with Trasher and you should be back in business.
As a side note (although its not usually necessary) before installing Pro Tools again you might want to go back into the “Programs and Features” module and uninstall “Pace License Support”
This is the ilok driver which gets updated with the Pro Tools installer anyway but you might want to do this to cover all bases.
I hope that helps you with a bit of good housekeeping and goes towards keeping your Pro Tools Workstation in tip top shape!
Unitil next time…… Neil Hester
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.
Documentation - All the documentation for Pro Tools 11 is now here because on the Mac the Pro Tools application is a single drag & drop application in the Applications folder. All the Pro Tools 10 documentation is still in the Avid folder in Applications.
Grooves, I/O Settings, Plug-in Maps & Session Templates - These have all been moved from Pro Tools folder in the Avid folder in Applications.
Plug-In Settings - This has been copied from the Digidesign folder in Application Support in the Library folder. The orginal has been left. This means that when you need to do a full uninstall, it is this Plug-In Setings folder you need to make a back up of, not the one in the Digidesign folder.
Video Test Patterns - This is a new folder and contains a number of still images that can be used to create video files. It is not referenced in the documentation, but we have a video in the member’s area to show you how you can use it.
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 !
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Get it here
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