Thats right, offline bounce lets you turn your track into a mixdown at up to 150X real time! Major selling point for Pro Tools 11 for sure. This is especially appealing to those who do audiobook or podcasting work. Not all is sunshine and rainbows with PT 11 (sorry to ruin your day). The latest edition of Pro Tools will NOT run your old 32-bit plug-ins (which was virtually all plug-ins at the time of release). Lets get to the specs and see what this version of Pro Tools has to offer:
-96/48/24 maximum simultaneous tracks @ 48/96/192 kHz
-192 kHz & 32-bit maximum
-32 inputs & 32 maximum simultaneous audio recording tracks
-128 instrument Tracks
-512 MIDI tracks
-128 auxiliary tracks
-1 video track
-Support of 64-bit plug-ins
-Offline bounce mode
-16k delay compensation
-60+ virtual instruments, effects, sound processing, & utility plug-ins
-Ultra low latency with a dedicated input buffer
-New video engine
-Compatible with any core audio or ASIO compatible interface
It's a solid build, I'll be the first to admit that. Running only 64-bit plug-ins will definitely improve your systems performance when using many plug-ins at the same time. And like I said before offline bounce, what a life saver. No more leaving your computer to sit for hours while you bounce down that audiobook chapter. Bouncing at 150X's real time will have the track ready before you know it. I have to confess, I have way to many plug-ins to switch over to PT 11. For now I just work within Pro Tools 10
and then bounce long files in PT 11.
Latency is attacked from a different angle in Pro Tools 11. A dual buffer system allows an input buffer for record-enabled or input-monitored tracks (among other things). A much lower value can be set for the latency, allowing low latency monitoring of input through plug-ins, and instant response when using soft synths live. A 16k delay compensation will help you monitor while you record a track.
Extended metering gives you 30% more meter space for those really fine adjustments. We've all done it before, battling with the gain knob because you can't seem to get the gain right. Well this isn't going to solve that problem, but it will help! This is extremely helpful for those who don't have the best eye sight or have their monitor too far away. Sadly only the HD version has the 13 extra metering options.
It is important to note that Pro Tools 11 is a 64-bit DAW, so do not buy it if you have a 32-bit system.
The thing I liked least about PT 11 and every version of Pro Tools, iLok. People will always figure out ways to steal the software and the only one that hurts is the person who pays for it. We are the ones who have to have a USB slot taken up (and have a small amount of CPU being used because it is plugged in). We are the ones who have to pay to a subscription service to have "zero downtime" or else we face hell trying to get our paid for licenses recovered. I must digress, this is the software I am best at using and so I must play by the rules.
Value for price, it's really hard to put a price on these things. You get the argument that says that people work so long on this, but are they the ones who are getting a percent of the profits? Or are the hard working deserving people at avid all on salary. With a price tag of $699 it's no cheap item. I don't personally know Avid's finances but I can imagine they are making some nice change at $699 a pop, especially since this is an industry standard. I received it as part of a free upgrade, which was great because I think I would have just stayed with Pro Tools 10
if I had to pay. You also have to consider the loss of some of your paid plug-ins. Say you bought some great sounding plug-ins in the past and spent a good amount, it can't feel great not being able to use them with your new DAW.
Lets not forget about the wonderful Avid Virtual Instruments package. With the new 64 bit plug-in system, your mini grand piano has never preformed so well. Seriously you need to try running Boom, Vacuum, Xpand and the Mini Grand.. all at once. I have yet to have Pro Tools stop the session before of an error with too many plug-ins.
Overall it's a great program, a few steps back may have been necessary to usher in the next step in digital recording.
-64-bit program (running 64-bit plug-ins)
-Offline bounce allows you to bounce at up to 150X real time
-iLok, iLok, iLok
-No support for 32-bit plug-ins
-Will not work on your 32-bit computer
-If something goes wrong and you need support you will most likely have to buy a $30 call ticket (and potentially one for Pace (iLok))
-Due to licensing issues Avid has removed the Big Fish Audio loops from it's website.