A Deeper Look at Voice Count Increases in Pro Tools | Ultimate 2019

By in Audio Post, Music Creation, Pro Mixing

Whether you are working in music, TV post, or film, Pro Tools sessions just keep getting bigger. Immersive audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos, require more tracks and users are bumping up against even the highest voice counts offered by a maxed-out HDX system. To address the trend toward bigger and bigger sessions, Pro Tools | Ultimate 2019 offers new options to increase your voice count on native-based systems.

A voice is an audio stream used for a single channel of audio on an audio track. A mono audio track uses one voice, a stereo audio track uses two voices, a 5.1 audio track uses six voices, and so on.

Prior to this release, Pro Tools | Ultimate users working natively (HD Native or Core Audio/ASIO) have only had up to 256 voices available.

 

A 50% voice increase to Pro Tools | Ultimate native-based systems

With the latest version of Pro Tools | Ultimate, the maximum available voices on native-based systems has gone up from 256 to 384—a 50% increase. In short, this means that you can now have more active audio tracks in your session. Pro Tools | Ultimate users working with native-based systems now get 384 voices as standard.

 

Voice Packs give you more flexibility to work on the largest projects

We’ve heard from users that they would benefit from more voices on native systems. This would enable them to prepare large sessions in Pro Tools | Ultimate running without HDX cards before transferring the session to the main HDX system for mixing.

This is a typical workflow in feature film production. Sound design sessions, for example, can be massive and it’s useful to have the flexibility to work on the session using a smaller, or even portable, rig. When the tracklay process is complete, the final mix can be completed using the power and guaranteed performance of HDX cards for mixing and processing. In the final mix, it is common to use multiple Pro Tools | HDX playback systems that are synchronized using the Satellite Link protocol in order to handle the massive track count required for dialog, music, sound design, foley, effects, etc.

To enable these workflows and allow for voice parity with HDX, Avid has introduced Pro Tools | Ultimate Voice Packs for native-based systems. Voice Packs let you go from the standard 384 voices up to 768 voices—the same maximum available with HDX systems. Voice Packs increase the voice count in multiples of 128. The table below shows how the voices increase as you add Voice Packs.

Voice Packs 44.1 / 48 kHz 88.2 / 96 kHz 176.4 / 192 kHz
0 (Base Software) 384 192 96
1 512 256 128
2 640 320 160
3 768 384 192

As you add more audio tracks to a session, the load on the native system will increase. So, it is important that you know your system is capable of dealing with this additional overhead. With that in mind, we offer a 30-day trial version of Voice Packs that lets you assess how well your system will handle additional voices.

 

The value of predictable performance and voice limits

Avid has always been more conservative when it comes to Pro Tools voice counts compared to some other DAWs. However, this allows us to provide a level of predictable performance that professional users require from their systems. The new voice packs offer the degree of flexibility and performance that our customers have come to expect from Pro Tools.

Visit the Avid Store for Voice Pack purchase information or the Trial page to use the free 30-day trial. For additional information on Pro Tools 2019, visit our What’s New page.

The Sound Backed by an Industry

Pro Tools | Ultimate provides everything you need to compose, record, edit, and mix audio—in the studio or in the cloud, from anywhere.

I’ve worked in the audio industry for over 25 years and I’m still passionate about the technology that enables talented, creative people to produce amazing music, films and TV shows.