Avid is previewing Pro Tools 2019 at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas. The upcoming release will bring an increase in the number of voices/audio tracks, among other improvements. But we’ll have to wait a while longer until it hits the market.
The new version of Pro Tools | Ultimate will be capable of 384 simultaneous voices (mono audio streams) at 48 kHz for the standalone software and HD Native systems, up from 256. This is great news for film composers and all others who work on big projects and routinely run out of tracks. And if that’s still not enough, you’ll have the option to add Pro Tools | Ultimate Voice Packs for an additional 128 voices per pack, up to a total of 768 voices. That’s on par with the voice count of a 3-card Pro Tools | HDX rig, and it means that users will have the flexibility to move their projects seamlessly between Ultimate and HDX systems. Avid says that a voice increase for HDX systems is also in the making.
Doubled MIDI track count
Pro Tools 2019 also features twice the number of MIDI tracks as previous versions. With a total of up to 1024 MIDI tracks, it will be difficult to run out, even if you’re a hardcore user of big sample libraries. Again, Avid has film composers in mind, who tend to be the most demanding users of orchestral libraries with many different articulations.
Pro Tools 2019 will come with several workflow enhancements. Most prominently, many interactions with tracks will now be possible without stopping playback, such as adding and removing tracks, adding and removing insert plug-ins or sends, and changing I/O settings. This is actually a pretty big deal for Pro Tools, and apparently getting it to work is the reason for the delay of the release. Adjusting loops and timeline sections is another thing that Avid says will now work more fluidly. There is also a new option to name a track while creating it in the New Track dialog, which is one of those little things that can speed things up a lot.
Finally, Avid says that Pro Tools 2019 will be compatible with macOS 10.14 Mojave. It sounds like you’ll actually be able to run your computer’s most current operating system – at least until the next update. We’ll see how this plays out.
As of now, we still don’t have a definite release date for Pro Tools 2019 yet. Avid originally planned to release it at NAMM 2019, but so far hasn’t been able to deliver. Now it looks more like we’ll have to wait until sometime in May. This interview explains some of the reasons for the delay.