Avid will present a preview version of Pro Tools 2019.5 at Avid Connect and NAB 2019 showing some of the new features due to be released in the first iteration of Pro Tools 2019. There was an expectation that the first version of Pro Tools would be 2019.3 but that didn’t materialise. You can hear and read the story of the delays in our exclusive interview with François Quereuil, Avid’s director of audio product management in which we also learned that the first release of Pro Tools this year would be Pro Tools 2019.5.
The version of Pro Tools 2019 that Avid are presenting in Las Vegas has some significant changes to what we announced exclusively in our NAMM 2019 coverage, including changes to the new extra voices, support for Mojave as well as the Mac mini 2018 and MacBook Pro 2018 as well as a quicker way to both create and name new tracks.
More Pro Tools News From NAB 2019
Beyond the news about what features will be in Pro Tools 2019.5, we also have separate articles covering Avid showing a tech preview of Avid Video Engine Improvements With Support For Frame Rates Up To 120fps for an unnamed future release, a new DigiLink Option Card For The Avid MTRX Interface due for release towards the end of Q2 2019, and MultiSeat licensing that is being released very soon.
Most Pro Tools Ultimate Users Get More Voices
We announced exclusively during NAMM 2019 Pro Tools Ultimate 2019 users would get 50% more voices, which means we can play and record with more tracks at the same time. Because of the challenges that we discussed in our exclusive interview with Francois from Avid, what will be in the 2019.5 release will be a little different, but still very useful especially for Pro Tools Ultimate Standalone and Pro Tools HD Native with Ultimate software users who will get those 50% extra voices and the option to add voice packs to get up to a maximum of 768 voices matching the maximum number of voices for an HDX3 system.
What is a voice and why is the increase so valuable? A voice is a discrete audio stream in Pro Tools. A mono audio track uses one voice, a stereo audio track uses two, and so on, meaning that a 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos track with use 10 voices. The higher the voice limit, the more tracks you can play back in Pro Tools to work on bigger, more demanding sessions. This is a powerful workflow improvement for anyone working on sound for picture, where track counts routinely soar into the several thousands, especially if you are working with Dolby Atmos.
Why is there a voice limit at all? All systems, no matter the DAW, have a practical voice limit, even if it isn’t advertised. Avid have chosen to opt to publish the maximum simultaneous voices in Pro Tools so that users can be confident in the capabilities of their system. Some DAWs claim to enable ‘unlimited’ tracks (i.e. voices in Avid speak), but in practice any system has a maximum capacity that it can handle. The upper limit may vary, but it is not truly unlimited.
2019.5 - Pro Tools Ultimate Standalone And HD Native Users Will Get 50% Extra Voices
Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 will enable users to work with up to 384 simultaneous voices/audio tracks (up from 256) with standalone Pro Tools Ultimate software or Pro Tools Ultimate Software running on a Pro Tools HD Native system.
Note that the 384 voices is when you are working at 44.1K or 48K sample rates. The voice counts drop with higher sample rates.
Users with Pro Tools Ultimate Software and Pro Tools HD Native hardware with Pro Tools Ultimate 2019.5 software will be able to purchase or rent voice packs in blocks of 128 voices up to a maximum of 768 voices at 48K sample rate.
2019.5 - No Change For Pro Tools HDX Users For Now
Users with Pro Tools HDX hardware with Pro Tools Ultimate software can still install up to three HDX cards in your Pro Tools HDX system but still for now will have 256 voices per card) up to a maximum of 768 voices/audio tracks with 3 HDX cards working at 48K sample rate.
Pro Tools 2019.5 - Notes On Additional Voices
Pro Tools HDX will not support Pro Tools Ultimate Voice Packs. HDX users can only increase your voice count by adding HDX cards to get up to a maximum of 768 voices. Voice Packs are only for Ultimate Software only and HD Native users.
Pro Tools HD Native and Pro Tools Ultimate Software Only users can use voice packs to increase their voice count up to a maximum of 768 voices.
You will be able to rent (subscription) voice packs via the Avid Webstore and through your Pro Tools dealer.
To get perpetual licensed voice packs you will need to go to your Pro Tools Dealer. You will not be able to buy perpetual licensed voice packs via the Avid Webstore.
For example, each Voice Pack allows the following track counts at 48/96/192KHz sample rates…
128/64/32 more mono audio tracks
64/32/16 more stereo audio tracks
32/16/8 more quad audio tracks
21/10/5 more 5.1 audio tracks
16/8/4 more 7.1 audio tracks
Other track options and combinations are possible this list is simply to illustrate some simple examples.
Pro Tools Will No Longer Stop When Undertaking Tasks Like Creating Tracks, Adding Or Moving Plug-ins (For Pro Tools First, Pro Tools And Pro Tools Ultimate Users)
With Pro Tools 2019.5, you can now do so much more like making updates to tracks and timeline selections during playback without Pro Tools stopping. You can now continue to be creative without interruption and freely experiment with different effects, presets, loop points, and more as your music plays on, keeping you in your creative pocket. Tasks that no longer cause Pro Tools to stop playback include…
Create or delete tracks
Enable or disable tracks
Add a preset to a track
Insert, move, or remove plugins
Insert, move, or remove sends
Make changes to your I/O
Record-enable and disable tracks
Adjust start and end points of a loop or timeline selection
Move an entire loop or timeline selection
Get Twice As Many MIDI Tracks (For Pro Tools And Pro Tools Ultimate Users)
Pro Tools 2019.5 will support 1,024 MIDI tracks (up from 512), for example, giving you the freedom to create huge richly orchestrated pieces. You can now have a larger palette of instruments and articulations at your disposal, making it ideal for film scoring and ardent sample library users, where MIDI tracks can quickly run up into the hundreds.
Name Tracks Faster (For Pro Tools First, Pro Tools And Pro Tools Ultimate Users)
With Pro Tools 2019.5 you will be able to name new tracks as you create them, there is now a new “Name” field in the New Track dialog. This makes it faster and easier to name multiple new tracks whilst you are creating the new tracks rather than have to name them after you have created them. But don’t worry, if you forget to give a new track a name in the New Track window, Pro Tools will still automatically create a default name for you, and the default name will respect the track type, making it easy to understand what type of track it is if you forget to name one.
Support For macOS Mojave And Latest Mac Computers (For Pro Tools First, Pro Tools And Pro Tools Ultimate Users)
As we were able to include in our NAMM 2019 coverage, Avid were sharing from the show floor that the first release for Pro Tools in 2019 would have macOS Mojave support. This will make it easier for Pro Tools users who have needed to upgrade to Mojave to maintain support for other application on your Apple Pro Tools computer and users who have either bought a recent Apple computer like the Mac mini 2018 or the MacBook Pro 2018 as Avid will announce that both these computers will be approved with the release of Pro Tools 2019.5 with a small number of caveats with the issues they are seeing limited to extreme cases whereby the stress tests on the lowest buffer sizes are such that 99% of our users would not experience it. Avid’s advice in these cases is to raise the buffer size.
Avid Link Now Bundled With Pro Tools 2019.5
Avid Link, the replacement for the Application Manager will now included in the Pro Tools installers with effect from this Pro Tools 2019.5 release.
This update to Avid Link adds Cloud Project and Storage display on the Products tab, adds User avatars on the Profile tab, improves the Marketplace shopping experiences as well as the Messages and Projects areas. It also includes additional usability and performance improvements.
Pro Tools 2019.5 Feature Summary
|Feature||Pro Tools First||Pro Tools||Pro Tools Ultimate|
|Voice Limit Increase||N/A||N/A||X|
|Non-stop playback features||X||X||X|
|Name in Create Tracks Dialog||X||X||X|
|Selective Project Sync||3 Projects||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|macOS Mojave Support||X||X||X|
MIDI Tracks has increased from 512 to 1024 in Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate
Previously Selective Project Sync was not available with Pro Tools First
Features Added To Pro Tools During 2018
There has been some debate about how many features have been added to Pro Tools during 2018, so here to conclude is the full feature list for Pro Tools 2018 so you can see the range and number of features that Avid has added during 2018..
|New Feature||Pro Tools First||Pro Tools||Pro Tools Ultimate|
|Pro Tools 2018.12 Released In December|
|Support for macOS 10.13.6||X||X||X|
|UVI Falcon Added To Pro Tools In November|
|UVI Workstation 3||X||N/A||N/A|
|Plugsound Avid Edition||X||X||X|
|Falcon Factory Sounds||N/A||X||X|
|Pro Tools 2018.10 Released In October|
|128 Track Record With E6L or E3L||X||X|
|Pro Tools 2018.7 Released In July|
|Relative Grid Copy / Paste||X||X||X|
|Search Plug-ins and Busses||X||X||X|
|Multi-Select Menu Items||X||X||X|
|9-Pin Track Arming||X|
|Pro Tools 2018.4 Released In April|
|Avid Complete Plugin Bundle included||Compatible but not included||X|
|Pro Tools MachineControl included||Compatible but not included||X|
|Pro Tools 2018.1 Released In January|
|Retrospective MIDI Record||X||X||X|
|MIDI Editing Enhancements||X||X||X|
|Mixing UI Improvements||X||X||X|
|Improved Import Session Data||X||X|
|Playlist Comping Enhancements||X||X|
|"Start Collaboration" File Menu Item||X||X|
|iLok Cloud Support||N/A||X||X|
Don’t forget to check out our other articles covering Avid’s tech preview of Avid Video Engine Improvements With Support For Frame Rates Up To 120fps for an unnamed future release, a new DigiLink Option Card For The Avid MTRX Interface due for release towards the end of Q2 2019 and MultiSeat licensing that is being released very soon.