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Issue: November 1, 2011

Post Script: Avid gets busy

By: Marc Loftus
Avid’s been busy in recent weeks with several new announcements regarding the company’s pro audio and video editing products. In mid-October, in conjunction with the annual AES show, the company introduced Pro Tools 10, and only a few days later, Avid pre-briefed Post on its next Media Composer releases, which begin shipping on November 15. Pro Tools, now 20 years old, gains more than 50 new features in the V.10 release, including Clip Gain, which allows users to adjust levels in the edit window, eliminating the need to return to the mix window. The system also now allows for realtime crossfades without the need to render or recalculate.

Avid also introduced a brand new plug-in format with V.10. The AAX (Avid Audio Extension) format runs on both hardware and software-only systems, and is seeing support by many third-party developers. Additionally, existing RTAS plug-in users can continue to use their plug-ins on new Pro Tools 10 systems.

On the hardware side, Avid announced Pro Tools|HDX, which provides more than 5x performance than the previous HD Accel. HDX is full 32-bit and supports up to 256 voices per card. A Mac tower can employ up to three cards. Pro Tools 10 has a starting price of $699; users can upgrade for $299. The HDX hardware will ship by year’s end for just under $10K.

On the video editing front, Avid introduced the next release of its Media Composer and Symphony — V.6 — as well as V.10 of NewsCutter. The NLEs have been completely rebuilt from their core as 64-bit apps giving them the ability to access greater amounts of RAM, thereby improving playback and the number of streams and formats they can handle.

The UI has been modernized with a tab-based interface, but doesn’t lose its familiarity. And stereo tools are standard, allowing users to work with single and dual eye material, as well as adjust convergence and color.

For more on Media Composer V.6, turn to page 4 in this issue. And check out our Website for full details on Pro Tools 10.