Digidesign previews Pro Tools 8 at AES

At last week’s AES, Digidesign offered a preview of Pro Tools 8, the next version of its music creation and audio production software. Completely updated with a new user interface, more than 70 plug-ins and virtual instruments, fully integrated MIDI and score editors, and an expanded array of editing features, the new software also includes Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools LE and Pro Tools M-Powered in one application.

The most noticeable new feature in Pro Tools 8 is its user interface, which has been enhanced with a different color palette and higher-contrast text and graphics. This GUI frames an expanded set of creative tools. All the key Pro Tools functions that users rely on are still right where they should be, while enhancements such as dockable editor windows and a configurable edit window toolbar have been added.

Pro Tools HD 8 enhances the capabilities of Digidesign Pro Tools HD audio hardware, with support for the new satellite link option, for control of up to five Pro Tools HD systems as one. The Media Composer-based video satellite option brings Avid HD/SD video playback into the Pro Tools HD audio workflow, while the video satellite LE option brings QuickTime HD/SD or Avid SD video playback into the Pro Tools HD audio workflow, all without sacrificing audio track counts or processing power.

For composers and musicians, Pro Tools 8 provides more than 70 plug-ins and virtual instruments. For production and post, new features include elastic pitch, to transpose music in real time in the edit window; 10 inserts per channel; enhanced controller integration with Digidesign and M-Audio control surfaces; and HD QuickTime support on Mac OS X. For serious Pro Tools LE users, the new complete production toolkit (Pro Tools LE only) combines the content of both toolkits above and offers up to 128 simultaneous audio tracks and 7.1 surround mixing.

Pro Tools 8 software is expected to be available in late 2008 for Windows Vista, Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) users.

For more information, visit www.digidesign.com.