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Pro Tools 6.0 for Mac OS X Due by Year's End

Dual processor support, new file managment options and extensive MIDI upgrades By DMN Staff Writer
Edit Window (Click for larger view)
The release of Pro Tools 6.0 for OS X is scheduled for the end of this year, giving Mac users the ability to run Pro Tools on dual processor machines and taking advantage of the CoreAudio and CoreMIDI features of OS X.

Digidesign showed version 6.0 at the 113th AES Convention, with demos of new features such a file management utility called DigiBase that enables management all of the files on the system. DigiBase allows viewing of complete file information, including duration and timestamps, and has two user comment fields. This is designed to help users keep track of multiple media files and projects with various media sources, such as external drives and effects CDs. The DigiBase Pro option (TDM systems only) provides for the creation and sharing of custom catalogs that reference files wherever they're stored, including on networks and offline media, and viewing, searching and spotting files from offline media. Files can be accessed by searching any combination of file information, such as file type, comment and creation date.


Users will be able to audition files and view their waveform thumbnails before importing into Pro Tools, regardless of file format or sample rate. After a selection is made, the one-step drag-and-drop process from DigiBase to a session timeline includes automatic file copy and conversion for project compatibility. Pro Tools 6.0 also handles tasks such as copying, conversion, and fade creation in the background, so users can continue to record and edit without interruption. A new Task Manager feature also enables monitoring and management of background processes.

The new version features enhanced MIDI functionality (including hi-res groove templates), additional Beat Detective features, new Import Session options, plug-in functionality enhancements and MachineControl additions. Customized display layouts for multi-user login functionality let individual users save custom display, operation, editing, automation, processing, compatibility and MIDI preferences.

The new MIDI functionality supports OS X's Core MIDI Services. MIDI Time Stamping (MTS) provides sample-accurate MIDI with Pro Tools-compatible software synths and samplers, and allows sub-millisecond accuracy of MIDI data with MTS-capable MIDI I/O interfaces.

Extensive manipulation of MIDI rhythmic content is made possible with new groove creation and modification tools. The Groove Quantize feature incorporates intelligent Bar|Beat adjustment as well as support for the new 960 ppq DigiGroove templates.

New Beat Detective functionality (TDM systems only) enables users to extract and generate DigiGroove templates based on audio performances and use the timing and dynamics of passages elsewhere in a composition. These DigiGroove templates are also compatible with new Groove Injection templates from Numerical Sound.

A new Restore Performance function allows the return to an original MIDI-based performance at any time in a non-destructive manner that allows recovery from adjustments made during a project. The Flatten Performance feature solidifies edits and creates a permanent basis from which to proceed.

Mix Window (Click for larger view)
Additional new features include a Relative Grid option, a keyboard shortcut for temporarily disabling Grid mode, and definable note duration when drawing notes (the Pencil tool now also trims notes). The Trim tool now trims notes in Velocity view, and MIDI Operations and Tempo/Meter Change are easily accessible via floating windows. In addition to more MIDI tracks than ever (256), Pro Tools 6.0 supports DirectMIDI for plug-ins, enabling automatic tempo data broadcasting to select plug-ins to ensure that rhythmic delays stay in time without user intervention.

The mixing environment in Pro Tools TDM 6.0 offer new efficiencies, including the ability to import any track attributes from one session into another (TDM systems only). This includes importing any combination of track data, including audio playlists, MIDI playlists, mixer automation, routing assignments, plug-in instances and settings, and plug-in automation. Pro Tools 6.0 also supports the importing of audio/MIDI playlists while preserving the mixer layout, routing and plug-in settings.

Other improvements include the Selector tool's (I-beam) ability to select across multiple tracks as well as a definable Zoom for toggling track heights.

MachineControl option enhancements (TDM only) are also included in Pro Tools 6.0, including a new Machine Profile utility for creating deck configuration profiles for controlling any Sony 9-pin controllable deck, and support for custom track name entry in each deck profile. For remote track arming, 9-pin deck emulation operation now includes a "Remote LTC Mode" that allows it to chase LTC while receiving 9-pin record and track-arming commands, resulting in higher track counts and faster operation when in deck emulation.

A new Offset setting for MachineControl, chasing timecode, and MMC enables compensation for minor differences in source tape versions. A single session can be set up with multiple VOs and then quickly offset Pro Tools compared to the tape for each layback performed. Additionally, the Set Timecode Position function allows selection of a location in the timeline and re-entry of its timecode position, relatively resetting the entire timeline.

Pro Tools 6.0 supports the following systems: Pro Tools TDM (Pro Tools|HD, Pro Tools|24 MIX, Pro Tools|24) and Pro Tools LE (Digi 001, Audiomedia III & ToolBox) with support for Mbox and Digi 002 to follow. Windows XP support of the new features in Pro Tools 6, and OSX compatibility with AVoption|XL, Unity, and MediaManager are scheduled for Q2, 2003.

System requirements include Digidesign-approved Pro Tools TDM (Pro Tools|HD, Pro Tools|24 MIX, Pro Tools|24) or LE (Digi 001 and ToolBox) system running Mac OS X (support for Mbox and Digi 002 coming soon).

For more information, go to www.digidesign.com.


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Related Keywords:Pro Tools 6.0, OS X, CoreAudio, CoreMIDI, AES, DigiBase, TDM

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