Pro Tools 12 from Avid takes the audio creation software not into the realm of function updates (it is already very comprehensive software), but rather into the world of the "cloud" with all of its promises. Access to the program has been expanded with the availability of a free version (feature-limited), or by using a flexible licensing program, or outright ownership. Sessions created in any versions are upward- or cross-compatible. All purchases, upgrades, and subscriptions come with a twelve month upgrade and support plan (renewable) that ensures access to the latest enhancements, and includes future software updates and upgrades (as long as the plan is active), along with 24/7 access to Customer Care to get help whenever it's needed.
Here is a quick overview of some noteworthy features of the program that were first introduced in Pro Tools 11. Because the software is based on a 64-bit architecture, the program is able to access as much RAM as is present on the computer, which in turn allows virtual instruments that contain large sample libraries to be fully loaded for instant playback. Additionally, the number of instruments that can be simultaneously available in a session has also increased. Another major feature is an offline bounce function. Preparing intermediary or final mixes is much faster using a simple command. Sound quality is maintained due to time-stamped automation, and multiple files with different file formats can be created simultaneously.
Record input monitoring features ultra-low latency even when routing through plug-ins. Those working with audio for picture will appreciate the ability to play Avid DNxHD files and other HD formats directly within the timeline without transcoding. A wide variety of plug-ins are included with the software, as are six virtual instruments. The software not only works with the company's interfaces, but since version 9, with any Core Audio or ASIO compliant interface.
Some of the upcoming enhancements include collaboration in the cloud with other artists and producers, anywhere in the world. A Marketplace where artists can share, license, or sell music and audio projects, and buy virtual instruments, plug-ins, and more. Access to prior work from anywhere using an audio archival service that stores content and tracks it regardless of whether a session is stored locally, or in the cloud. Archive a stereo mix, the full session, individual stems, or even flatten all tracks so that the original plug-ins used to create them aren't required.
The introduction of a universal metadata schema into the software will help manage, track, and document every asset and project created. This metadata will enable media creators and distributors to keep track of everyone who creatively contributed to specific content, making it easy to document who did what, manage and control versioning, and provide accurate credit information. Some of these enhancements are implemented, while others and future ones like it will be delivered via the upgrade plan.
Note: Purchaser needs to provide proof of ownership of original product to take advantage of this upgrade.