updated 08:55 pm EDT, Fri March 23, 2012
Options with full Pro Tools still available
In addition to offering a selection of hardware Mbox audio interfaces with the full Pro Tools 10, Avid is now including a new, lighter version of the music-creation software, called Pro Tools Express, for free with the current Mbox and Mbox Mini, allowing users who don't need the full Pro Tools package to work with the software. The software replaces the Pro Tools LE software that was previously included.
The Express program offers 16 stereo audio tracks as well as virtual instrument and MIDI tracks. It allows users to record at either 96kHz (Mbox) or 48kHz (Mbox Mini) resolution, and features many of the same advanced tools found in regular Pro Tools, including Automatic Delay Compensation, Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch. In addition, the program features a collection of plug-ins (30 in all), including AIR virtual instruments, effects and utility tools.
Sibelious notation tools and MIDI editing are also available, and users can record, edit and mix using the same interface as Pro Tools. The program lets users bring the resulting session files directly into any Pro Tools system.
Pro Tools Express is included free with the just-released third-generation Mbox and Mbox Mini, but is not available to owners of previous versions of the Mbox nor is it sold separately. The company explains that the program has been tailored exclusively to the new Mbox interface and will not work with other Avid products or third-party interfaces, though it is fully compatible with Core Audio and ASIO.
The program is different from full Pro Tools not just by the limit of 16 tracks, however. It also lacks the Clip Gain, Beat Detective and Timecode Ruler feature. Users who want to upgrade to the full version of Pro Tools pay only $399 via the online Avid Store. Pro Tools 10 normally sells for $699. It works with both Mac and Windows 64-bit systems but runs natively as a 32-bit application at present.
The third-generation Mbox Mini, which offers 2x2 channels of simultaneous I/O, sells for $299. The regular Mbox (third-gen) offers 4x4 I/O and sells for $499.
Pro Tools Express