Pro Tools 11 FAQ

Avid just released a FAQ page for Pro Tools 11. Like us, you're probably champing at the bit to find out everything you can about the latest installation of Avid's signature digital audio workstation (DAW). From plug-ins to MIDI functionality, you can have a ton of your concerns addressed on the Avid site. To make your life easier, we've listed them below in addition to the link — because we know you love us enough to hang out on our site for just a bit longer. So, with no further distortion, here are Avid's FAQs for Pro Tools 11, in super-vivid italic slantation:

(updated items are marked)Q:  When was Pro Tools 11 released? A:  Pro Tools 11 was released on June 21, 2013. More info can be found on the Pro Tools 11 Product Page or theAvid Webstore.  added 6/21/13

Q:  Why has it taken Avid so long to get to 64-bit? A:  The transition to 64-bit has been in development for some time.  Building the new architecture gave us the opportunity to move the performance and capabilities of the software forward, like the all-new Avid Audio Engine. Simply offering compatibility with 64-bit operating systems would have been easier and faster, but we thought that would be a disservice to our customers.

Pro Tools 11 delivers an amazing user experience due to the improvements made, including:

  • Replacing DAE with a completely new Avid Audio Engine that exceeds the performance of any audio workstation available
  • Enabling faster and simpler workflows with updates to the UI, such as providing built-in access to the most common metering types and standards and other visual and key-command additions
  • Integrating the high-performance HD video engine found in Media Composer

Q:  Will Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD software continue to support both Avid and 3rd party audio interfaces? A:  Keeping Pro Tools software open has been key to the product strategy since the introduction of Pro Tools 9 and remains so today. Pro Tools 11 continues to support Core Audio and ASIO drivers to enable using Pro Tools with or without Avid hardware. We have no plans to close off future versions of Pro Tools to work only with Avid hardware.  added 5/31/13

Q:  Why isn’t Avid supporting TDM and RTAS plug-in formats with Pro Tools 11?  A:  The original RTAS and TDM technology is 15 years old, limited by a 32-bit environment that’s not optimized to deliver such Pro Tools 11 capabilities as:

  • 64-bit architecture, which provides much more accessible RAM to virtual instruments and effects
  • Offline bounce
  • Time-stamped automation
  • Sonic parity between DSP and native systems (uniform 32-bit floating-point audio processing)
  • 1,000 dB of additional processing headroom (compared to the fixed math processing of TDM)
  • Modern graphics library and remote plug-in user interface support for developers

To ease the transition for customers and developers, we will include Pro Tools 10 licenses with all Pro Tools 11 purchases, which can be co-installed to serve as a bridge to AAX and provide compatibility with older sessions, as plug-ins are ported to the 64-bit AAX format.

Q:  I’m already using AAX plug-ins in Pro Tools/Pro Tools HD 10. Will my plug-ins continue to work with Pro Tools 11? A:  The AAX plug-ins you’re been using with Pro Tools 10 are 32-bit. For compatibility with Pro Tools 11, the software code needs to be compiled for 64-bit. The Pro Tools 11 installer includes installers for all Avid 64-bit AAX plug-ins. We’ve been working closely with plug-in developers to ensure that their 64-bit AAX plug-ins are available for download soon. For the latest info, check out our Audio Plug-in Finder.  There will also be a co-install version of Pro Tools 10 included with full and upgrade versions of Pro Tools 11, which will allow you to boot (without restarting your computer) Pro Tools 10 sessions that use AAX 32-bit plug-ins that have not yet been ported to 64-bit.

Q:  How do I find out which plug-ins will be supported in Pro Tools 11? A:  Once Pro Tools 11 is released, you’ll find a list of all supported 64-bit AAX plug-ins on the Audio Plug-in Finderpage.

Q:  I’ve invested a lot in RTAS and TDM plug-ins—is it going to be expensive to upgrade to AAX? A:  Avid and our development partners are making every effort to keep costs minimal. Some things to note:

  • All Avid AAX plug-in upgrades will come at no charge with Pro Tools 11
  • Many third-party developers are offering AAX versions of their plug-ins free of charge to existing customers—check the plug-in manufacturer’s website for upgrade info
  • Most third-party AAX plug-ins to date have been reasonably priced—check the plug-in manufacturer’s website for pricing

Q:  Why should I upgrade to Pro Tools 11 when many of the plug-ins I use are not yet compatible? A:  Pro Tools 11 delivers such a boost in power and workflow enablement that most professionals will want take advantage of it immediately. All Avid AAX plug-ins, along with many plug-ins from our development partners, will offer 64-bit compatibility at the time of release, with many more to come. To ensure that customers retain backward compatibility with older plug-in formats while our partners continue to port their plug-ins to 64-bit AAX, customers can co-install and run both Pro Tools 10 and 11 on the same system, requiring no reboot of the computer.

Q:  Will all of the AIR virtual instruments be ported to AAX? A:  Yes. All AIR instruments previously available as RTAS plug-ins will be ported to AAX Native. Note that AIR is now owned by inMusic Brands, Inc. For more information visit the AIR Pro Tools Creative Collection page.  updated 5/16/13

Q:  Does Waves support AAX and work with Pro Tools 11? A:  Waves has announced that it will support the AAX Native 64-bit plug-in format, which is compatible with Pro Tools 11, but currently do not have any plans to support AAX DSP. See the Audio Plug-in Finder page for a full listing of AAX DSP and AAX Native plug-ins.  updated 5/16/13

Q:  Does Universal Audio support AAX and work with Pro Tools 11? A:  Yes, UAD has announced that its suite of plug-ins will support the AAX Native 64-bit plug-in format, which is compatible with Pro Tools 11, and will be compatible with the new Pro Tools 11 faster-than-real-time bounce feature. See the Audio Plug-in Finder page for a full listing of AAX DSP and AAX Native plug-ins. added 5/16/13

Q:  Will the new Avid Audio Engine and 64-bit architecture change the MIDI capabilities of Pro Tools? A:  Yes. Pro Tools 11 makes much more efficient use of multiprocessor cores and includes dynamic processing, so it can handle more complex MIDI sessions with exponentially more virtual instruments. The 4 GB RAM limit inherent in the 32-bit architecture of earlier versions of Pro Tools is now a thing of the past. The new 64-bit Pro Tools will enable you to have more tracks and more instances of VIs without the issues associated with low memory.  added 5/16/13

Q:  Why isn’t the Complete Production Toolkit supported with Pro Tools 11? A:  To ensure the greatest level of reliability and performance to customers who need extremely high track and channel counts, the premium set of tools previously available to Complete Production Toolkit owners will only be available in Pro Tools HD software (included with Pro Tools HD systems). Avid will provide an upgrade to Pro Tools HD 11 for existing Complete Production Toolkit owners so that they can retain these features.  The upgrade from CPTK + Pro Tools 10 to Pro Tools HD 11 is $599. The upgrade from CPTK + Pro Tools 9 to Pro Tools HD 11 is $999. Upgrade orders may be placed when Pro Tools 11 becomes available.  updated 5/16/13

Q:  What Avid system hardware will Pro Tools 11 support? A:  Pro Tools 11 will be qualified to work with the following Avid systems and interfaces:

  • Pro Tools|HDX
  • Pro Tools|HD Native
  • All Pro Tools HD Series interfaces (HD I/O, HD Omni, HD MADI)
  • 003 family
  • Mbox family (second and third generation)
  • Eleven Rack
  • Fast Track Solo and Duo
  • Mojo DX
  • Nitris DX
  • VENUE systems with an FWx or HDx option card
  • VENUE systems with a built-in Pro Tools interface

Some older Avid hardware could work (but will be untested/unsupported) and some will not work (incompatible).  Please see these pages (in progress) for more specific info:

Q:  Why isn’t Avid supporting legacy Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel systems with Pro Tools 11? A:  The technology in these systems is over 11 years old and not capable of meeting the performance specifications of Pro Tools 11. It’s important to note that customers have gotten 3–11 years of use out of their original system investment in an environment where tech cycles typically span only 3–5 years.

Q:  Why isn’t Avid supporting legacy “blue” Pro Tools|HD interfaces with Pro Tools 11? A:  In 2011, Avid announced that Pro Tools 10 would be the last software release to support the legacy “blue” interfaces. The time required to thoroughly test and develop firmware upgrades for future versions would severely impact our ability to develop and deliver new feature innovations. These interfaces will not be qualified or thoroughly tested for use with Pro Tools 11, and we will not offer customer support to troubleshoot issues. However, we will not disable these interfaces so if you choose to use them with an HDX or HD Native system please understand they are untested/unsupported.

Q:  Is there a trade-in program for Avid hardware and cards that are no longer supported? A:  Yes. We offer trade-in programs for legacy Pro Tools|HD and HD Accel systems, legacy “blue” Pro Tools|HD interfaces, Digi 002 family, 003 family (which is still supported), Control 24, Pro Control, and Mbox Pro (which is still supported) interfaces. For more information, see our Ongoing Programs page.  updated 5/16/13

Q:  I have an older Pro Tools|HD system and several legacy interfaces—am I eligible for a discount on a Pro Tools|HDX system with newer Pro Tools HD Series interfaces? A:  Yes, we are committed to making the transition to Pro Tools 11 as easy as possible for our customers. We offer a hardware exchange program in which you can trade in your legacy HD system towards the purchase of an HDX system, and trade in your legacy I/O towards the purchase of a Pro Tools HD Series interface—all at great savings. For details, see our Ongoing Programs page.

Q:  If I purchase, upgrade to, or cross grade to Pro Tools 10 now, am I entitled to a free upgrade to Pro Tools 11? A:  Yes, beginning April 7, 2013, if you buy, upgrade to, or crossgrade to Pro Tools 10, you’re entitled to a complimentary upgrade to Pro Tools 11 once it is available. Make sure that you register your product here.

Q:  Is there an upgrade for Pro Tools Express to version 11? A:  If you own Pro Tools Express, you can crossgrade to Pro Tools 11 through an Avid Reseller for $499. (the upgrade price was previously $399 up through May 7th).  updated 5/8/13

Q:  Why is the upgrade to Pro Tools 11 so costly? A:  Pro Tools 11 is a major upgrade, redefining music and audio production for today’s workflows. The newly designed architecture turbo-charges production with more plug-in processing, the ability to run more virtual instruments—and a host of new features—letting users create ambitiously, without holding anything back. You will gain faster performance, more robust capabilities, and new workflows—features that will significantly save you time and money in the long run. This release also offers huge value, including built-in Satellite Link functionality for HD customers, which was available as a separate option for $749 US MSRP; and built-in Video Satellite LE functionality (with additional features) which was available as a separate option for $250 US MSRP.

Q:  Are Pro Tools 11 discounts available to students and educators? A:  Yes, Avid is committed to supporting students and educators. We offer academic versions of Pro Tools to educators and students—you can get the full version of Pro Tools 11 Academic for $295 (USD) and receive entitlement to 4 years of $99 upgrades, or upgrade to Pro Tools 11 Academic from a previous version starting at $99. For more information visit the Avid for Education page. If you’re a student who purchased a previous version of Pro Tools Academic and are still within the 4-year window of complimentary upgrades, then you may be eligible to receive your Pro Tools 11 upgrade at no charge. For students who fall outside of this 4-year window, plus teachers and other educators who own Pro Tools Academic, you can purchase an upgrade in the online Avid Store or from your local Avid Education reseller.  updated 5/16/13

Q:  Has Avid moved away from singer/songwriters and home studios? A:  No, Pro Tools 11 represents a massive boost in creative power and capability for all professional and aspiring artists and producers, with the ability to run more plug-ins and virtual instruments natively, with lower latency. What’s more, we just released the new Fast Track Solo and Duo bundled with Pro Tools Express software specifically for singer/songwriters and musicians. These high-quality audio interfaces offer great sound quality and an industrial design—at breakthrough prices—and include many of the same software tools used by commercial studios around the world.

Q:  Is Pro Tools 11 compatible with VENUE systems? A:  Yes. You can use Pro Tools 11 when using a VENUE HDx Option Card with a Pro Tools|HDX or Pro Tools|HD Native card, or when using an FWx Option Card or SC48 system with a connected FireWire laptop.

Q:  Is Control|24 supported in Pro Tools 11? A:  No. Control|24 will not work with Pro Tools 11.  added 5/31/13

Q:  Is Pro Control supported in Pro Tools 11? A:  No. Pro Control will not work with Pro Tools 11.  added 5/31/13

Q:  Can I use an original iLok for Pro Tools 11? A:  No. Pro Tools 11 requires the license (or bundle that include a Pro Tools 11 license) to be on a Second Generation iLok (iLok 2).  Note also that the licenses for HEAT and/or Machine Control must also be on the iLok 2 containing your Pro Tools 11 license(s) for these to work in Pro Tools 11.  Click here for more information about iLok copy protection.  updated 9/3/13

Q:  Can I use an original iLok for Pro Tools 10.3.6? A:  While Pro Tools 10 can run with its license on an iLok (1), any License Bundle that includes Pro Tools 11 can only be Activated to an iLok 2.

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