Avid strikes right chord, releasing free version of Pro Tools with latest launch

23 Jan 2015

Along with the soon-to-be-released Pro Tools 12, AV production technology company Avid is launching a free version of the music-production software to the world.

Called Pro Tools First, the free version doesn’t seem to be hugely limited, according to reports.

First allows new users to compose, record, edit and mix music, giving previously unaware consumers a nice entrance into the world of high-quality digital sound engineering and recording.

There are session templates to choose from when users start a project and it’s often just a matter of plugging a mic or instrument into a computer.

Pro Tools 12 and First are coming on the back of Avid’s ‘Cloud Collaboration’ features, allowing users to connect with other musicians around the world, adding a nice layer to the Pro Tools offering.

Not out yet, these features look like they could well add a whole new dimension to what’s already available. There’s cloud storage, which is one help, but also a new ‘universal metadata schema’, which allow users to manage, track, and document every project created in the cloud, keeping an eye on anyone and everyone who has collaborated on a particular project.

Altering the relationship between creators and collaborators

“This metadata will enable media creators and distributors to keep track of everyone who creatively contributed to a piece of content,” said Avid, “making it easy to document who did what, when, and where; manage and control versioning; and provide accurate credit information so that you have a better chance of getting paid for your work – and getting hired for future projects.”

For Pro Tools 12 there are new payment plans. There are upgrade options (from Pro Tools 11), monthly payment options and annual ways to pay and continuously upgrade in future – utilising cloud capabilities helps in this regard, too.

“In addition to the software being available to own and upgrade as before, you can now subscribe to Pro Tools software on a low-cost monthly or annual basis, enabling you to pay only for the software when you need it.

“And you’ll always have access to the latest updates, upgrades, and support through the included Avid upgrade and support plan. Plus, when updates are available, you can get them delivered to you straight from the cloud.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic