Pro Tools | First – Free Music Software – Avid
The first incarnation of Pro Tools was introduced in under the brand name Sound Designer. At the time, the pair were creating and selling digital drum sound chips under their Digidrums label. Thanks to the universal file specification developed by Brooks, Sound Designer files could be transferred to and from one sampling keyboard to another keyboard made by a different manufacturer.
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The first incarnation of Pro Tools was introduced in under the brand name Sound Designer. At the time, the pair were creating and selling digital drum sound chips under their Digidrums label. Thanks to the universal file specification developed by Brooks, Sound Designer files could be transferred to and from one sampling keyboard to another keyboard made by a different manufacturer. This universal file specification, along with the printed source code to a assembly language interrupt driven MIDI driver, were distributed through Macintosh MIDI interface manufacturer Assimilation, which manufactured the first MIDI interface for the Mac in MacMusic allowed users worldwide to share sample libraries across different manufacturers platforms without copyright infringement.
One evening in at John Connolly’s Beaverton, Oregon home, an alert was sent online from MacMusic requesting the system operator, and to Connolly’s surprise it was Peter Gotcher, thanking him for providing such a revolutionary service and making Sound Designer a much more attractive program to buy, by leveraging both the universal file format and by developing the first online sample file download site in the world, many years before the World Wide Web use soared.
E-mu rejected this offer and the pair started Digidesign, with Gotcher as president and Brooks as lead engineer. 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 audio and allow for the non-destructive editing that Sound Tools offered.
The core engine technology and much of the user interface was designed by and licensed from a small San Francisco company called OSC, known at the time for creating the first software-based digital multi-track recorder, called DECK, in The software was known circa mids as Session for stereo-only audio cards and Session 8 for multi-channel audio interfaces.
Although the original design remained largely the same, Digidesign continued to improve Pro Tools software and hardware, adding a visual MIDI sequencer and more tracks, with the system offering bit, In , Pro Tools reached bit, 48 tracks. It was at this point that the migration from more conventional analog studio technology to the Pro Tools platform took place within the industry.
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.
These additions took Pro Tools from the long standard 2 edit window approach to having 3 edit windows. Real-time 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 DSP plug-ins, or the host computer as Native plug-ins. Additionally, out-of-time processing is available in the form of AudioSuite plug-ins, which also enables time-domain processing.
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The cards included DSP processors manufactured by Texas Instruments, operating with increased computational precision — bit floating point versus the previous bit fixed in the older generation 56k chips made by Motorola.
Benefits claimed for the new system included improved technical performance in terms of audio dynamic range, monitoring latency, and overall computational power, compared to the older HD line.
As a result, in order to maintain the required consistency of performance, HDX products were specified with a fixed maximum number of “voices” audio tracks.
Up to three HDX cards could be installed on a single system, for a maximum of total “voices” audio channels. They rely on dedicated chips that aid audio processing, in conjunction with rack-mounted interfaces, which handle outgoing and incoming audio, MIDI, and sync connections.
HD and HDX systems utilize proprietary cables to interconnect with external units. Approximately 2 years later, the HD Process cards were replaced by the HD Accel card, which was designed around a faster variant of the Motorola DSP chip and provided approximately twice the signal processing power per card. Pro Tools 9 had a new track feature named HEAT Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology , which is used for emulating analog sound coloration by introducing harmonic distortion.
When first available, Pro Tools systems relied exclusively on integral hard disks for storage and were thus limited to the storage options available on the Apple hardware platform. The hardware thus doubled as a copy-protection mechanism for the software, as the software did not function without the specialized Digidesign interface.
All have a stereo audio output, and include a small number of line and microphone inputs. Pro Tools 9 had no proprietary hardware requirement, allowing use of the software with any interface. Mac Core Audio also allowed, for the first time, the use of aggregate devices, allowing the use of more than one interface at the same time. Pro Tools 9 also included a new keyboard shortcut for “New Playlist”. In all other cases it ran as Pro Tools 9, with a smaller track count and a number of advanced features turned off.
Pro Tools 9 also included as standard many features which on Pro Tools LE were only accessible via additional “Toolkit” upgrades. Pro Tools 9 used iLok for copy-protection.
Pro Tools 9 was the first version to have a ‘unified’ installer for the software, with the iLok license determining which elements of the software are unlocked. Avid later divested M-Audio. VENUE, a similar system, was released for live-sound applications. The Command 8 was a smaller eight-fader control surface.
In April , Avid acquired Euphonix, a manufacturer of high quality control surfaces. Pro Tools compatible control surfaces have also been developed by other companies. The curriculum is delivered by a number of schools and universities. The LE-only DV tool kit adds feet and frames and timecode timelines and functionality.
Structure FREE, a sample playback instrument. Mini Grand, Piano. AIR also contributes reverbs, dynamics, modulation and other effects as part of the Pro Tools, all of these work in native format only. Hybrid, a high definition Synthesizer Velvet, vintage electric piano Transfuser, real-time loop, phrase and groove creator In July , inMusic Brands , parent company of brands such as Akai Professional and Alesis , announced its acquisition of AIR from Avid,  as part of a larger acquisition that included Avid’s consumer audio products and the M-Audio brand.
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