The rumors were true, Pro Tools 10 has been announced. It has over 50 new features, some of which have already been previewed. You’ll find the list at the bottom of this post.

Upgrade from Pro Tools 9 to 10 will be $299. If you purchased Pro Tools 9 or an Mbox + Pro Tools bundle after October 1st you’re eligible for a free upgrade.

My comments: I’m starting to wonder what’s going on with the numbers here. Didn’t we just get Pro Tools 9? In the good old days we had several updates – some of which were major – before jumping to another X.X version. Ah, screw the good old days! Pro Tools is better than ever. Avid can roll out Pro Tools 59 for all I care.

While there are a lot of intriguing news in Pro Tools 10, it really doesn’t feel like a version 10, does it? I think the biggest news were already announced. Clip-based gain and real-time fades seems to be huge workflow improvements. And remember, in the end the DAW with the best workflow wins. These features have been showcased before so I direct you to the posts for more on that. In a few words: I love’em!

EDIT: Here’s another video showing clip-based gain.

Extended disk cache (HD only) is high on the list but might cause a little bit of confusion. What it means is that audio can be loaded into the RAM, making sure you can take advantage of all those GB’s on a 64-bit system. Pro Tools prioritize the files closest to the playhead location so when you start playback they are already cached. My technical knowledge is a little limited when it comes to this, but it seems like this could avoid some common errors.

Other news that could have come from yours truly (in fact, if you dig into the archive here you’ll find more than one post suggesting them years back) includes a plugin store available from within Pro Tools. Also a much improved, web-based help. I find it so strange that it has taken them all this time. Not just talking about Avid, I’m talking about all DAW developers. In fact, Avid appears to be in the forefront here.

Track and aux count have been increased. I don’t care, but then again I’m a minimalist. I’m sure someone in post will appreciate it. Speaking of tracks, CPTK users now get to reap the benefits of Track Input Monitoring (woho!) and Destructive Punch Record. HD users also get much greater ADC with up to 16K samples.

Some features that probably won’t be talked much about but that I was happy to see was the enhanced export and import features. ‘Export selected tracks as new session’ is self-explanatory and worthy Vandelay Industries. Some new school features also fall under this category. Export to iTunes, Share to SoundCloud and the like. Will probably make the kids happy. Actually, Export to iTunes makes me happy too, but I’m a child sometimes.

There’s some news in the controller department too. Multi-mode for D-Command lets you use a single D-Command unit to access two separate Pro Tools rigs. Could be useful for a larger house. The second addition for us control freaks is phase 2 of EUCON support – over 500 command, shortcuts and other functions have been EUCON-ized and are now available for SoftKey assignment.

And the big announcement I know some of you have been waiting for: Audiosuite handles!

Some great additions but there’s still a lot left to be desired. ProToolers have been asking for track freeze and faster than real-time bounce for years! 64-bit also seem to be on everyones tongue these days and while Extended disk cache is cool, it doesn’t mean Pro Tools is 64-bit. Luckily, it appears that Avid is slowly on the way. The new plugin format hints about it.

Here’s a list of some of the new features:

• Clip based gain workflow
• Real-time Fades
• Extended Disk Cache
• Improved Disk Scheduler
• Support for NAS
• 24-Hour Timeline
• Visual Indication Improvements
• Export Selected Tracks
• Interplay Send To Playback
• Improved ISIS Support
• EUCON Integration Phase II
• Channel Strip Plug-in
• Down Mixer Plug-in
• In App Browser for Plug-in App Store, Help etc.
• Support for Mixed File Formats (FIle type, Bit-depth)
• 32-Bit Float Session Format
• Bounce To iTunes
• Send To Soundcloud
• Bus Interrogation
• Low Latency Monitoring for ASIO/Core Audio
• Audiosuite Now Preserves Metadata
• Audiosuite Now Has Multiple Windows
• Audiosuite Handles
• Di-Fi Update
• Right Click to Reveal In Finder
• Media Composer Clip Gain Interop
• FGS UI Localisation
• 256 Voices (Pro Tools HD and Pro Tools with CPTK)
• 768 Tracks
• 512 Aux Tracks
• Improved ADC with up to 16,000 samples (Pro Tools HD and HD Software only)
• Extended Disc Cache
• Field Recorder Improvements
• Input Monitoring (with CPTK)
• Destructive Punch (with CPTK)
• Support for up to 2 Satellites
• Support For D-Command Multi-mode
• Media Composer Surround Track Interop
• CPTK Users now get Track Input Monitoring and Destructive Punch Record

The fine print:

Pro Tools 10 uses a new session file format, meaning that sessions created in Pro Tools 10 can’t be opened in earlier versions.

Pro Tools 10 has supported for both RF64 (an extension to WAV that addresses the 4GB file limit) and WAVE extensible. It also has supported for mixed audio file formats in a session.

‘Regions’ are now called ‘clips’. It’s not just because Avid thinks it sounds better, it’s for consistency between the audio and video world.

See what Russ at AIR Users Blog is saying about Pro Tools 10.

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EDIT: There are now many posts on Pro Tools 10. The following covers the basics about AAX, HDX and Channel Strip.

HDX – The next generation Pro Tools HD

AAX – A new plugin format

Channel Strip – Euphonix in your DAW