Avid Intros Free Pro Tools | First


At the 2015 NAMM Show, Avid announced Pro Tools | First – a new free version of Pro Tools.

Pro Tools | First includes a subset of Pro Tools features. It’s designed to let musicians and audio producers get started with Pro Tools for free, without requiring an iLok.

Pro Tools | First offers up to 16 mono/stereo audio tracks, 16 MIDI tracks and 16 Instruments tracks for a maximum of 48 tracks, compared with hundreds of tracks for the full Pro Tools.

Notably, Pro Tools | First only saves projects to the cloud. Three are included free. You log in to access and work on your projects, but you can work offline when not logged in or if there is no internet, on the last project you saved to the Cloud from a local cache within the application.

Here’s the official video introduction:

Here’s a look at how Pro Tools | First compares to the other versions:

Supported Tracks

Pro Tools | HD

Pro Tools

Pro Tools Express

Pro Tools | First

Maximum simultaneous audio tracks @ 48/96/192 kHz 256/128/641(up to 768/384/192)2 96/48/24(mono or stereo) 16 / 16 / –(mono or stereo) 16 / 16 / –(mono or stereo)
Maximum inputs (hardware dependent) 192 32 8 4
Audio recording (maximum simultaneous tracks) 256 32 4 4
Instrument 256 128 8 16
MIDI 512 512 16 16
Auxiliary 512 128 8 16
Busses Unlimited Unlimited 16 Unlimited
Video 64 1 1 n/a

Avid has not announced a release date for Pro Tools | First, but says it is ‘coming soon’. See the Avid site for details.

20 thoughts on “Avid Intros Free Pro Tools | First

  1. so in 2015 the industry leading, professional daw doesn’t support interleaved multichannel audio files ?
    Who have they hired for rd ???????????

  2. This whole cloud restriction… blegh.

    Reaper now, reaper tomorrow, Reaper forever.

    ProTools is irrelevant, even when “free”, where “freedom” is defined as “enslavement” to Avid’s servers.

    For $225 I greatly prefer to have freedom. Freedom, sweet freedom.

    As well as support for MIDI channel ALL on tracks, and sysex messages larger than 256 bytes. (For shame Avid, how dare you call that a pro application, it is a toy for small children.)

    1. Pro Tools is increasingly irrelevant for music production (or at least unecessary), but sadly it’s still the norm for film soundtrack production, much of which has to take place in a studio because of the need to deliver in surround sound and match established standards for average loudness etc, in order to sound good in any theater or on any TV. And of course film projects tend to involve lots and lots of tracks as well as some exotic file formats, all of which require expensive PT upgrades. If you want to make a career in post production sound/sound design then you need to be willing to throw down $$$ on a PT system unfortunately.

      1. protools is as relevant to commercial music recording as it has been for the last 15 years. If you run a commercial studio or post-house, protools is practically a requirement. its not necessary of course, but its not gong anywhere. Not trying to start an argument, just stating a fact (seriously, go through any studio directory and look at what their main recording system is)

        All that said, this “free” version is a tragic joke. Three projects max, all cloud storage, no plugin support except via the in App Store, no session interchange with real protools. they have made a massive mistake here.

        1. What I mean is that if you do a good job recording something at home with some other DAW, nobody is going to say ‘it’s crap because you didn’t do it in PT.’ But if you do a film soundtrack in some other DAW, you’re going to have problems when you try selling it to a distributor, because they want access to PT project files (often for doing dubs into different languagesor for the purposes of trailer creation) so it’s just an unavoidable necessity in the film/TV world, regardless of aesthetic or technical quality.

  3. What they also don’t say is that you can’t open sessions created in other versions of Pro Tools.

    Pro Tools | First, of all the missteps Avid have made recently, is the one that’s pushing me away after 8 years on the platform.

    It’s one thing to offer cloud services, but quite another to force it on new and old customers alike.

  4. LEFT PT 7 years ago…nevr missed anything…AVID and their “fine-guys in suits” aren´t able to understand that PT is´nt some kind of an “big deal”…´cause you´re fuckin job depends on the “pro & contra” of artists.

  5. With Avid, there are always “gotchas.” In this case, the “saving to the cloud only” thing is it. No local files is bad enough but, the real “gotcha” is that you can only save 3 projects for free. Nasty. Another case of “crippleware” that isn’t worth a damn.

  6. Give with one hand, take with the other. Beginning with Pro Tools 9, AVID’s recent history has been one of contempt and opportunism. I am on 8, still, as my work depends on it and you really can’t beat PT for voice over editing. But it will be my last version, and given that PT Free Part Deux, uh, sorry, Pro Tools | First can only be useful 3 times before they start charging us, this is just more of the same.

  7. i work in post production – and no question, PT is the standard – but so is delivery by stems – as long as you’re in the same timecode sync and everything locks up

    one of my favorite engineers uses motu exclusively – as do a ton of pro soundtrack composers (the compositional tools for cinema are light years beyond anyone else’s) – these guys are top in their fields and $$$ isn’t an issue

    and dumping on RTAS, TDM and moving to yet ANOTHER proprietary plugin system??? not to mention abandoning many plugins that I/we’ve become reliant on in the process – is shameless -no wonder the company is bleeding

    avid/pro tools are also behind the iLok mess – a single hardware dongle – in this day and age- and no cloud support??. Wave, Propellerheads, Adobe and a myriad of others have all move on and/or incorporated cloud authorizations.

    its an elegant UI and very reliable (tho’ since PT10, not quite as bulletproof) – but it isn’t the only game in town – and, imo, loosing relevance quickly


Leave a Reply