Digidesign Announces ProTools 8: New Interface & Features

Digidesign announced Friday ProTools 8, previewing the major upgrade to the companyis signature line of digital recording software at AES. ProTools 8 includes a new interface with several new interface options, fully-integrated MIDI and score editors, new editing features, and 70 plug-ins and virtual instruments.

The first and foremost aspect of ProTools 8 that Digidesign is promoting is the new interface. The company has updated and "modernized" (in its words) the look and feel of the software, while also adding many new interface option.

For instance, the toolbar can now be customized and arranged to suit the useris wishes. There are also new color controls for the virtual mixing board that make it much easier to know at a glance which tracks are used for whatever purpose the user designates.

The Mixing window with the new handy, dandy color coding tools in use

ProTools 8 also includes a fully integrated editor for both MIDI use and scoring your music. According to the company, the new editors will expand functionality for these two features and allow users more flexibility in editing.

Another new expanded feature is the companyis Elastic editing tools. Included out of the box is Elastic Pitch, which offers real-time pitch correction directly in a region.

ProTools|HD 8 will users to control up to five ProTools|HD systems as one. The HD version also includes support for the Media Composer-based Video Satellite option, which brings parent company Avidis HD/SD video playback into the Pro Tools|HD audio workflow.

There are other new features, and Digidesign has put together a breakdown of those new features and a series of Flash videos that offer a fairly comprehensive tour of the product line, all on the ProTools 8 Web site.

ProTools 8 is expected to be released in "late 2008" for Windows Vista- (32-bit Business or Ultimate), Windows XP-, and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)-based Pro Tools|HD, Pro Tools LE, and Pro Tools M-Powered systems.

If you are at AES, you can visit the companyis booth at #701.