Pro Tools SE is the intro version of Pro Tools bundled with several M-Audio interfaces and available for around £100. I know some Pro Tools user get all sniffy when the mere mention of anything but a full HD rig is suggested, perhaps they are insecure about the idea of a talented young kid learning how to make music or have forgotten where they came from?
Anyway, I’m doing some work with Pro Tools SE for a project I have on at the moment and whilst it may not be the full version of Pro Tools, in my opinion there are some things that should have been in the full version that appear in SE. Let me tell you my top 5.
- Avid decided to speak English with naming conventions in SE. An example; in SE if you have a number of clips you want to combine after edit it’s called ‘Combine’ not ‘Consolidate Region’ which sounds more like the merger of several European states than gluing some audio edits together.
- When you right mouse click on an audio clip it gives you a ‘Transpose’ audio option; it doesn’t require me to know I have to turn on elastic audio and choose the Polyphonic algorithm to make it work.
- The loop browser works in one click. Again to get to your loops in Pro Tools normally takes several clicks into Workspace, then when you’ve found the right folder of your loops you’ve got to make sure that the audition patch is set correctly to hear them. Workspace is long overdue for an overhaul and loops in SE seems far simpler to use, even if it is based on workspace.
- I don’t need to create a separate click track to get a click, it is simply a button on the transport of SE.
- Pro Tools SE has effects combinations. In other words you can open up one window that has 3 different plug-ins and their controls, so reverb, eq and delay in one handy little rack.
Now I understand that Avid has 25 years of legacy to have to work with and they can’t just start naming things differently overnight, although Regions became Clips in 10, so a precedent has been set for naming conventions. I also understand that SE is meant to be simple, but perhaps in trying this approach with SE, Avid may want to consider that even pro musicians and engineers don’t want to have to second guess the developer’s naming conventions, or have to open the manual every time they want to do everyday tasks. Oddly enough in some ways working with SE is more like working with Logic than Pro Tools.
As Pro Tools 11 is a new build from the ground up, perhaps Avid could learn from the ‘less-is-more’ approach of Pro Tools SE and really make some changes to help us all in our daily workflow, professional or not.