Today in New York at the 139th edition of the AES show, Avid has two exciting announcements to share and we’ll explore them a bit deeper here. First, straight on the heels of the Pro Tools 12.2 and the new Avid All Access Plans and Plug-In bundle launch in September; we are excited to announce Pro Tools 12.3 with some powerful new workflow and editing enhancements. Pro Tools 12.3 is set to be available in early November. Secondly, Avid is pleased to announce a brand new affordable, ergonomic, EUCON control surface called Pro Tools | Dock to enhance and integrate the Pro Tools | Control free iOS app experience as well as work with the Pro Tools | S3 surface and Artist Mix. More on that in a moment, but first…
What’s new in Pro Tools 12.3?
There have now been three releases for Pro Tools 12 with the fourth coming imminently. Here’s a short rundown on some of the key enhancements:
Pro Tools 12.0 on March 23:
Improved I/O Setups and Monitoring/Auto Down-mixing, unlimited busses, in-app plug-in purchases and rentals, stability improvements.
Pro Tools 12.1 on June 30:
Increased track count (128 Audio, 512 Instrument), Track Input Monitoring, AFL/PFL Solo Modes, Copy to Send, Pro Tools | Control support, support for Pro Tools | S3 VCA Spill, and stability improvements.
Pro Tools 12.2 on September 2:
VCA Masters, Disk Cache, Advanced Metering, Gain Reduction Metering, Avid Access Plan options including new Plug-in Bundle.
New! Pro Tools 12.3 – Early November:
(For HD and Standard Pro Tools) Track Commit and Track Bounce workflows, Clip Transparency while editing or moving clips or fades, batch fade enhancements and shortcuts, AudioSuite Pitch II
These features are born from user requests and are also precursors to streamlining Pro Tools cloud collaboration workflows. Also, shown on the floor of AES, to be coming soon in the following release after 12.3, is the highly requested ‘sister’ feature to Track Commit – Track Freeze. They are similar, (and we’ll explore that more in the coming months), but both offer more choice to the user for the best fit for their workflow. One thing’s for sure; Avid’s Commit and Track Freeze implementation is (and will be) far more flexible and ultimately offer more options to users than other DAWs on the market. So, better than me explaining Commit and Track Bounce here on the blog in lengthy written form – check out this 12-minute video that my colleague Gil Gowing and I have prepared for you that runs through some different scenarios and workflows enhanced by the new features in Pro Tools 12.3. (Check back on the blog here for a separate Track Freeze tech-preview video in the coming weeks of November and a webinar in early December).
What is Pro Tools | Dock?
The second big announcement today (and also shown on the floor of the AES show) is a brand new compact, ergonomic, EUCON control surface for integrating our free iPad app, Pro Tools | Control. The Dock is based on the advanced touchscreen workflows on the Master Touch Module of the award-winning Pro Tools | S6. Both systems demonstrate our philosophy that mixers need the best of physical faders, knobs, and switches in conjunction with touchscreen technology for things like fast navigation, metering, and on-screen plug-in control – a true hybrid approach. And, when the Dock is paired with Pro Tools | S3, you gain complimentary and enhanced functionality with the dedicated automation switches, transport controls, weighted aluminum jog wheel, color-coded Soft Key switches, and more. Mixing deadlines have met their match!
Here are some of the key features and areas highlighted on the Dock:
The image you see above on the iPad screen shows you the key concept of a ‘super’ Channel view. The Dock’s eight soft knobs can be used to control parameters like EQ (pictured), Dynamics, Panning, and Sends on the Attentioned (focused) channel – a la the S6 Master Touch Module. ‘Attentioning’ a track is as easy as touching the track tile on the screen and it brings it to the fader. This new ‘super’ Channel view on Pro Tools | Control is unlocked while using the Dock or S3. A better view of what that cool, new expanded Channel view can be seen below:
A highly requested enhancement, that will be free to all Control app users, is the color mapped Soft Keys larger view, (pictured below on connected to the Dock).
The two rows of LED color-coded buttons on the Dock right below the screen change colors and map to the Soft Keys in the smaller view on your iPad – lining up directly underneath the matching soft button onscreen.
The Dock works standalone with an iPad and will be available in early 2016 at $1,199 retail – (iPad Air sold separately). The Dock also pairs with the S3 as mentioned above to offer a powerful, integrated, ergonomic, editing and mixing system for under $ 6,200 retail.
Look for more info and videos coming on the new Pro Tools | Dock in the coming months.
Pro Tools 12.3 further delivers on Avid’s ongoing commitment to provide more value to Pro Tools customers, bring their feature requests and updates more quickly to market with this latest release focused around improved editing, fades, effects rendering and delivery workflows. These improvements ultimately enable audio professionals to work more efficiently and more easily prepare projects for mixing or collaborating with others. All customers who have Pro Tools 12 currently have an active Annual Upgrade and Support Plan. Therefore, all of these customers will automatically get the new v.12.3 release and get access to the new features and be notified in the App Manager when it’s ready for download. Not on Pro Tools 12 yet? Upgrade pricing from Pro Tools 9, 10 and 11 changes December 31st – so act now and take advantage of pricing that will change January 1st.
The new Pro Tools | Dock announcement brings to life a powerful new edition to the industry leading Avid Pro Mixing family and offers audio professionals more choice on how to navigate, get their hands on, control and ultimately mix their soundtracks and music sessions. Pro Tools | Dock will be available in early 2016, talk to your reseller or Avid rep about ordering and also sign up here on Avid to be notified with more detailed information.
Thanks for reading – we’d love to hear from you and please feel free to share this news.
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