NAB 2006: What’s New for Digidesign

Digidesign is previewing advances in mixing and automation, improved post workflows and new technologies at NAB 2006.

Digidesign is showcasing the upcoming Pro Tools HD 7.2 software upgrade, which includes enhanced mixing and automation capabilities plus improved post workflows. Digidesign will also present a technology preview of Avid HD picture support in Pro Tools|HD; introduce Pro Tools
LE and Pro Tools M-Powered 7.1.1 software, which offer Intel-based Mac support; display the new Surround Panner Option by JL Cooper Electronics for ICON D-Command and Pro Tools|HD systems; and more.

Pro Tools HD 7.2 Software

One of the most significant software upgrades for ICON and Pro Tools|HD systems to date, Pro Tools HD 7.2 software introduces a wealth of new features and enhancements designed to give audio post professionals more speed, power, and flexibility. Currently expected in the second half of 2006, the upgrade will retail for $199.

  • Enhanced integrated video capabilities
    • Edit video as easily as audio
    • Work with multiple video clips, tracks, and playlists
    • Play QuickTime video through AVoption|V10?„? or Avid Mojo®
    • Bounce edited audio and video to QuickTime format
  • Integrated multi-channel field audio features
    • Replace guide tracks with multi-channel audio from field recorders
    • Select alternate channel audio with automatic fade rebuilding
    • Browse, search, and edit iXML metadata in regions and Broadcast WAV files
  • New destructive punch record mode
    • Punch into mix tracks without creating additional files
    • Use third-party paddle controllers for input/output/record switching
  • Powerful, efficient new mixing and automation features
    • VCA-style groups
    • Pan controls grouping and plug-in parameters linking
    • Flexible new automation modes
    • Real-time graphical display of automation data being updated
  • New SignalTools multi-channel metering and analysis
    • Comprehensive level and phase metering up to 7.1 surround
    • Choose from multiple international metering standards
    • Full LeqA analysis

Streamlined Avid-to?€“Pro Tools Workflows

Thanks to enhanced export capabilities in Avid systems (currently expected in the second half of 2006), Pro Tools editors will soon be able to enjoy, among other improvements, the simplicity of importing a single ?€œmixed-down?€ video file while still viewing all of the clip names and cuts from the Avid sequence for easy navigation and frame-accurate selections. Improvements include:

  • Import both a mixed-down video sequence and the cut information (Pro Tools HD software)
  • Updated ?€œSend to Pro Tools?€ templates simplify AAF sequence exports (Avid systems)
  • Send an audio mixdown from an Avid editor along with all other audio tracks (Avid systems)
  • Consolidate media to any local or network storage location (Avid systems)
  • Use the integrated ?€œSend via DigiDelivery?„??€ command, which
    automatically includes all relevant media files with the sequences
    (Avid systems)

Avid HD Picture Coming to Pro Tools|HD (Technology Preview)

This upcoming solution from Digidesign will allow ICON and Pro
Tools|HD system users to work with Avid HD picture without needing to
render effects or perform time-consuming AAF sequence exports.
Utilizing two separate workstations with bi-directional control, Pro
Tools editors will be able to quickly open and play Avid sequences,
including DNxHD video, while still enjoying full audio performance.

  • Synchronized playback of Avid sequences and Pro Tools sessions on separate workstations
  • Support for Avid HD resolutions, including DNxHD
  • No need for effects rendering or AAF video exports
  • Complete control from either workstation
  • Full Pro Tools audio performance

Avid Unity ISIS Push/Pull Support Coming Soon to Pro Tools|HD

A push/pull workflow with Avid Unity ISIS will be officially
qualified for Windows XP?€“based Pro Tools|HD systems soon. Users of
Pro Tools HD 7.1 software will be able to identify Unity ISIS volumes
as transfer drives, causing Pro Tools to pull media to local drives
when opening sessions off of Unity ISIS and to push media to Unity ISIS
volumes through the use of session copies. Avid and Digidesign also
plan to qualify Windows XP?€“based Pro Tools|HD systems with direct
streaming playback from, and record to, Avid Unity ISIS in winter
2006/2007.

Avid Interplay Integration

In winter 2006/2007, Avid and Digidesign plan to introduce direct
Pro Tools integration with the new Avid Interplay system, greatly
simplifying the AAF exchange process between Pro Tools and Avid
editors. By using a new software add-on and following documented,
qualified workflows, Pro Tools users will be able to take advantage of
the rich feature set of the Avid Interplay Access client, allowing them
to interact more directly with other users within the Avid Interplay
environment. Planned Interplay integration includes automated output of
draft-resolution video elements to the audio editor, with seamless
return to high-resolution video on check-in, streamlined AAF
interchange, simplified and centrally-managed import/export options,
version control of exchanged sequences, and even support for remote
workstations connected via a WAN.

Surround Panner Option by JL Cooper Electronics

This Surround Panner option offers ICON D-Command and Pro Tools|HD
system users a perfect solution for dedicated panning control. With an
industrial design that matches D-Command, the panner features one
touch-sensitive joystick with brushed aluminum handle, plus knobs and
mode buttons for individual parameter control and a single, integrated
MIDI/power cable to reduce clutter. Expected to ship in Q3 2006, the
Surround Panner Option will retail for $1,695.

Pro Tools LE and Pro Tools M-Powered 7.1.1 Software

Expected late May 2006, this free update to Pro Tools LE and Pro
Tools M-Powered software will run as a native application on Apple?€™s
new Intel-based iMac and MacBook Pro computers, making full use of the
host computer?€™s processing power.

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