Pro Tools 12.7 is the latest update of Pro Tools 12 and is the sixth quarterly update in a row that Avid have released and we understand that this is the first of a number of music creation centric updates and adds revision history to Pro Tools projects in the cloud collaboration workflow, tagging in the Workspace browser and 2GBs of audio loops from Loopmasters.
Find And Audition Loops and Sounds With Tagging With SoundBase In The Workspace Browser
First up in the 12.7 release of Pro Tools, Avid have added tagging in the Workspace window with a new feature called SoundBase.
It will enable you to tag audio loops and sounds to make finding the one you want much quicker and easier. Effectively SoundBase adds tags to the Workspace Browser. Tags can be added to any audio file, not just loops and samples and then Workspace indexes those tags to speed up searches. The good news is Avid have not chosen to use a proprietary tagging format, instead they have gone for id3 tagging format which is open and readable by any generic reader application.
In the Workspace there is a new entry called Sound Libraries. Anything in the Sound Libraries folder, which is a new folder to Pro Tools 12.7 that is located in the Pro Tools folder in the Documents folder, will be displayed in the Sound Libraries section in the Locations section.
Once content is tagged you can click on a tag in the top section and it will appear in the Search bar above and you can select as many tags as you like to help narrow down the list of files to be only those with all the selected tags.
If you would like to do a 'negative' selection, so perhaps show all Drums that are NOT Processed, then by holding down the Alt key when clicking the Processed tag, will make it a NOT selection.
You don't have to click on the tags. If for example you only have 2 rows of tags showing, if you start typing into the Search bar it will use predictive search to offer you what it thinks you want so you don't have to type your tags in full.
The good news is that you don't have to fill up that Sound Libraries folder inside Documents to make content appear in the Sound Libraries section of the Workspace Browser. In a similar way to the way you can already create catalogs in the Workspace, you can create Sound Libraries of content that isn't in the Sound Libraries folder. So in this example, if you right click on the Demo Folder and select Add Sound Library Location from the contextual menu, an Alias version will appear in the Sound Libraries section. Note none of the media has been moved, it is using aliases just as Catalogs has done in the Workspace from the start.
To add tags to files that don't already have any, simply right click on the file in the Workspace and select Tags from the contextual menu that pops up, then use the pop up window to add tags. You can select from the Recently Used list which can really save time if you are tagging a library with a lot of similar content. Below that is a Master List, which shows every tag that has been used on your system, and there are around 500 default tags to get you going. Predictive search works here too, so you don't have to scroll down to find a particular tag, just start typing in the search bar in the pop up window and you will soon get the tag you are looking for.
You can add tags to multiple files, by selecting all the files you want to tag in the list and you can use Control+Alt+T as a shortcut to bring up the Tagging window, choose your tags and add them to the selected files. Tags that are common to all the selected files are shown in bold, those tags that are only in some of the files are shown in light text.
You can use the usual modifier keys to help with multiple selections of the tags in the tagging window and so Command will allow you make non contiguous selections, Shift will select all between the two tags and so on. Hitting the Delete key will remove all the selected tags from the selected files.
If you have Read Only volumes then Pro Tools will write the tags to its own database files. So if you are using shared content in a multiple system environment, only you will see your tags because the tags are stored locally, the read only common media is left untouched.
When using the Simple Search or Advanced Search you can incorporate tags into your text searched to help narrow down the files you are looking for.
Avid have added some new columns to the Workspace Browser. Columns like Key, and this can be read from the metadata already in the file if for example a sample library has embedded the meta data in the file, the new Workspace in Pro Tools 12.7 should be able to read it. Next there is a Time Signature column, then Avid have added a Favourites column so you can click on the heart to mark the file as one of your favourites. There is a new button at the top of the Workspace browser with a heart icon. Clicking on that will show just your favourites.
Pro Tools 12.7 To Include A Freshly Curated 2GB Loop Library From LoopMasters
Avid have added a 2GB library of Loopmasters content that comes fully tagged and ready to go.
Revision History Added To Pro Tools Projects In the Collaboration Workflow
Avid has added Revision History to help keep track of all the different versions of your projects when working in a collaboration workflow in the cloud.
Revision History is designed to bring "Save As..." functionality to Projects. When Cloud Collaboration was added to Pro Tools in Pro Tools 12.5, Avid added Projects as a way of delineating between sessions held in the cloud as part of the collaboration workflow, which are called Projects, and sessions held locally on your drives, which are still called Sessions.
Sessions are held locally and Projects are held in the cloud for collaboration. Prior to Pro Tools 12.7, you couldn't do a Save As on a Project. The new Revision History feature in Pro Tools 12.7 combines the automatic session backup and Save As functionality for Pro Tools Sessions and applies it to Projects. As you can see from the image above, you can add Project Notes to the Revision History version of a Pro Tools Project.
Just as you can with Save As Sessions or Auto Backup Sessions you can open specific Revision History versions of a Pro Tools Project or use Import Session Data to bring in specific track or session data from an older version of a project. Just as Pro Tools manages all the media within a session folder, with Revision History all the Project media is managed and everything stays in one bundle just as Pro Tools keeps everything together in a session folder with Sessions.
Even though everything is kept in one bundle if someone pulls down a version of a project from the cloud, Pro Tools only pulls the media required from that version of a project, it doesn't pull down anything that is not needed for that project, to save on cloud bandwidth.
With Pro Tools 12.7 Revision History is only available for Projects. Currently Revision History is not available for Pro Tools Sessions.
Pro Tools 12.7 - What Do We Think?
Pro Tools 12.7 is a small release in terms of features, there is no way one can compare it to say the 12.5 release which brought cloud collaboration, but just as some of the pre 12.5 releases appeared to bring little to the table, once 12.5 came out it was clear what Avid were doing, and all of the features like Track Freeze and Track Commit had to be in place before Cloud Collaboration could be implemented. It is our view that 12.7 is the start of a series of music creation updates that are part of a bigger plan, but like an iceberg we can currently only see a small part of the plan with the Pro Tools 12.7 release.