AES: Digidesign Announce ProTools 6.0

Mac OSX and Windows XP support are scheduled for Q2 2003      08/10/02


Digidesign announced the new big upgrade of ProTools, Version 6.0, with support for Mac OSX and Windows XP. Version 6.0 features a new look, but don't overly excited (or worried) as the new look adhere's pretty closely to what everyone is used to. The graphics have been enhanced to make them a little prettier, but it looks like there won't be any kind of learning curve if you are already familiar with Pro Tools. Version 6.0 supports dual-processor Macs, although there's no information on whether it supports the Altivec engine. Also new is a file management utility for viewing, searching, auditioning and importing files. The TDM version will offer advanced search and customized catalog capabilities with DigiBase Pro (purchased separately). Digidesign is also enhancing MIDI functions in version 6.0. It will fully integrate with OSX's Core MIDI services, and will also support Midi Time Stamping for better timing tightness. Digi is finally adding groove quantize as well. New midi features also include "Restore Performance" for non-destructive midi processing. These kinds of features are very old news to anyone using Digital Performer or Logic, but it is heartening to see Digidesign continue to develop the midi side of their software. Digidesign has also enhanced the Beat Detective functionality. You can now create custom DigiGroove templates from your audio files. Beat detection has also been improved, with automatic extrapolation of missing triggers. Audio can be conformed to DigiGroove templates, which sounds like a very useful feature for anyone working with looped drum tracks. Digidesign has also enhanced Import Session Data in the TDM version, as well as added some machine control options. The machine control additions are a new Create Machine Profile utility, where you can name tracks in each remote unit. A new "remote LTC Mode", so you can chase LTC while receiving 9-pin machine commands. There's a couple of timecode enhancements: Timecode offset for machine control, chasing timecode and MMC, and "Set Timecode Position", allowing the user to relatively reset the entire timeline. The new volume browser allows waveforms to be veiwed and auditioned right from the window, and also supports drag and drop of audio right into the session timeline. Altogether a nice upgrade of the ProTools software, but the big news of course is OSX and Windows XP support. No word on whether plugins will need to be rewritten again, but one plugin maker told me unofficially that they will have to do some additional work to make it PT 6.0 compatible. Albert
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