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Autor: Redaktion


AVID Audio Pro Tools

Pro Tools is a digital audio editing, mixing and sound design application, made by Avid.

It is one of the leading industry tools for professional audio post production.

Pro Tools is available in three versions: Pro Tools First, Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD. Pro Tools First is aimed at singers and muscians and this article will not explore this version.

Pro Tools and ‘Pro Tools HD’ exist for professional audio mixing and design. ‘Pro Tools HDX’, is an AVID hardware platform, supplying a specialist machine optimised for the use of Pro Tools HD. Whereas Pro Tools can be installed on any machine meeting the minimum specifications. Both versions have an identical user interface and operate exactly the same with data able to be exchanged between the two versions. The difference lies in performance and capabilities. Pro Tools works well for stereo editing projects (and beyond), however Pro Tools HD supports all popular advanced audio formats from 5.1 to Dolby Atmos.

Pro Tools HD(X) systems work with virtually no latency which is very important for high-quality sound post production such as ADR, Foley or film scores. A Pro Tools HDX system alone can process well over 700 tracks.

Pro Tools HD I/O’ provides a high-performance audio interface for Pro Tools HD(X) systems and a hardware controller, such as the AVID S6 audio mixer, works as a state-of-the-art mixing console for film audio post production.

A Pro Tools HD(X) system does not rely solely on the CPU of the host computer but also on PCIe plug-in cards which provide high performance audio processing. Such systems are used on the biggest movie mixes that often have several hundred audio tracks requiring optimum audio quality.

In addition to analogue and digital recordings, Pro Tools has extensive import options covering all common exchange formats such as AAF, OMF, MXF and more. Videos can easily be integrated as a QuickTime track in the timeline. Again, the HD(X) version provides significantly more video features.

AAX is a powerful plug-in format for Pro Tools providing a range of functions such as virtual instruments and emulations of favourite effects and sound processors. These high-quality plug-ins are available from Avid,AIR, Sonnox and NUGEN Audio via the Avid Store.

The Pro Tools GUI is divided roughly into two areas. The Edit window and the Mix window, the latter being a graphical simulation of an analogue mixer. On-the-fly mixes are a thing of the past; everything that happens in the mix today happens in a non-destructive manner and can be recalled at any time.

The Edit window recalls the spontaneity of the audio tape recorder from analogue days whilst simultaneously allowing precise editing of every audio clip along with the ability to introduce audio filtering or applying ADR. As long as the metadata workflow is established, these clips can then be synchronously re-imported. Finally, tracks using plug-ins, Aux and Master tracks can be compiled to form the final mix.

Pro Tools has become one of the industry standard tools, allowing the more time-consuming, preparatory work to be carried out in a small project studio as a pre-mix, before going into the final mix as a Pro Tools session in a large finishing studio.

Author: Robert F. Kellner

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