Pro Tools is a Digital Audio Workstation platform for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, developed and manufactured by Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology. It is widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film and television post production. Pro Tools has three types of systems; HD, LE, and M-powered. HD is the high-end package and is an integration of hardware and software. The hardware includes an external A/D converter and internal PCI or PCIe audio cards with onboard DSP.
Fundamentally, Pro Tools, like all Digital Audio Workstation software, is similar to a multi-track tape recorder and mixer, with additional features that can only be performed in the digital domain. The high-end version supports sample rates of up to 192 kHz and bit depths of 16 and 24 bit, opens WAV, AIFF, mp3, SDII audio files and QuickTime video files. It features time code, tempo maps, automation and surround sound capabilities. Order of products from lowest to highest are as follows: Essential, M-Powered, LE, HD, HD2 & HD3.
Pro Tools was developed by UC Berkeley graduates Peter Gotcher and Evan Brooks. Both majored in electrical engineering and computer science at Berkeley. The first incarnation of Pro Tools started life in 1984 as Sound Designer, while the pair were creating and selling drum sound chips under their Digidrums label. Sound Designer was originally designed to edit sounds for the E-MU Emulator sampling keyboard. Gotcher and Brooks discussed with E-MU Systems the possibility of integrating their renamed 'Sound Tools' software into the Emulator III keyboard released in 1987. E-MU rejected this offer and Gotcher and Brooks started Digidesign.
Sound Tools was debuted on January 20, 1989 at NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandisers). At this stage Sound Tools was a simple computer based stereo audio editor. Although the software had the possibility to do far more it was limited by the hard drive technology, which was used to stream the audio and allow for the non-destructive editing that Sound Tools offered.
The first version of Pro Tools was launched in 1991, offering 4 tracks and selling for $6000USD. Digidesign continued to improve Pro Tools, adding a sequencer and more tracks, with the system offering recording at 16bit 44.1 kHz. In 1997 Pro Tools reached 24bit, 48 track versions. It was at this point that the migration from more conventional studio technology to the Pro Tools platform took place within the industry.
Most of Pro Tools' basic functions can be controlled within Edit or Mix windows. The Edit window displays audio and MIDI tracks, and provides graphical representation of the information recorded or imported. Here, audio can be edited in a non-linear, non-destructive fashion. MIDI information can also be manipulated. The Mix window displays each track's fader channel and allows for the adjustment of a channel's volume and pan, as well as being the usual place to insert plug-in effects and route audio to and from different outputs and inputs.
The creation of Pro Tools 8 has now seen the addition of a MIDI edit window which enables the user to manipulate MIDI data in either piano-roll or score windows. It also includes the addition of MIDI edit lanes so that the user can see both note, velocity and other CC data in the same window. This move would take Pro Tools from the long held 2 edit window approach to now having 3 edit windows.
Effects processing and virtual instruments in Pro Tools are achieved through the use of plug-ins, which are either processed by the DSP chips as TDM plug-ins, or the host computer as RTAS (Real Time AudioSuite) plug-ins.
Sound Tools stereo recording & editing system
Original Pro Tools system is released featuring 4 voices, ProDECK and ProEDIT software, MIDI, and automation
Pro Tools III system, provides 16–48 voices
Pro Tools | 24 (24-bit audio)
Pro Tools | MIX (expanded DSP capabilities for mixing audio)
Digi 001 with Pro Tools LE (light edition of Pro Tools)
Pro Tools | HD system (supports 96 kHz and 192 kHz HD audio); Mbox and Digi 002 (March and Sept.)
Pro Tools | HD Accel system (additional DSP capabilities); Pro Tools Users group founded in Los Angeles.
VENUE (Pro Tools for live sound); Mbox 2; Pro Tools M-Powered (Aug); Pro Tools 7.0 (Nov), 7.1 (supports Apple's PCIe G5) (Dec.) Avid acquire Wizoo and announce the creation of AIR (Advanced Instrument Group) as a strategic development arm of Avid, creating Virtual instruments and Plug-Ins for use in Pro Tools.
Pro Tools 7.2 (Aug.) and 7.3 (Dec.); Pro Tools LE and HD support Intel-based Mac (May and Sept. respectively); Mbox 2 Pro; Mbox 2 Mini
003 and 003 Rack (Feb.); Mbox 2 Micro (Oct.); Pro Tools 7.4 (Nov.) (Elastic Audio)
Pro Tools 8 (Elastic Pitch, Score Editor, MIDI Tools); 003 Rack +
Pro Tools Essential (Limited track count for starter market); "Eleven Rack"(Guitar effects processor and Pro Tools LE DSP accelerated interface)
Notable Users: Devin Townsend, Nine Inch Nails, Craig Burrows, Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby, Moustafa Amar, Gravity Kills, Marnie Stern, Owl City
Product Key DIGI08002E3100022F331FFF , then dl updates.
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