Pro Tools 12.3 - Best 5 New Features
With the introduction of Pro Tools 12.3 comes some innovative and timesaving features from AVID that make this the most improved upgrade since jumping from version 11 to 12.
Probably the biggest improvement for many is the new Bounce and Track Commit functions.
Avid have promised for a while to create a ‘freeze’ function, as for many years it has seemed that we lagged behind pretty much every other DAW out there when it came to bouncing audio within sessions.
Creating Stems can be a long and laborious task that no doubt, like me, have got accustomed to by now, creating Sub Aux’s and specific templates. But it always seemed such a slow and long-winded way to achieve what other platforms seemed to have as standard.
So when these new features from Avid were first demonstrated (not Freeze as yet, as there will be a Freeze function coming in a later update) I was genuinely encouraged to see what had been implemented so far being very time saving for the end user.
1. Track Commit
The options are many but these are my favourites that are all selectable :
- You can now run as either realtime or offline a bounce from any Instrument, Aux or Audio track and it automatically drops the rendered audio in place on a new audio track. Volume/Pad and Mute automation is an option to the new rendered audio, you choose!
- The source track has an option to then be made inactive, hidden or deleted or kept as-is.
- You can commit up to a point in the plug-in chain on any track, so that only some inserts get printed into the new rendered audio, also Groups and Sends can be copied to the new committed track as an option
- Using an Audio Instrument with multiple outs can be committed with separate outputs all on different tracks
Basically, if you want to print something there is an easy way now - and it’s extremely flexible and time saving. Not only that, the way it's setup it may encourage more ‘committing’ parts and creating sub groups to work with...
This could be a seamless way to take the project to the next level, focusing on the mix, for example, rather than the parts - especially if you've tracked it all and when mixing later need a fresh perspective just working from Stems.
2. Track Bounce
- Track bounce is probably more useful for final format mixes as it has to go through master faders, but incredibly useful for creating stems, with the same flexibility as many of the commit functions regarding Volume and Pan automation.
3. Drag MIDI to Audio
- Does what it says basically! Drag a Virtual Instrument MIDI clip to an Audio track and it automactially renders the VI to audio.
4. Clip Transparency
- Very useful, and I didn’t realise how much so until using it. For years we’ve all got used to lining up edited Clips by using various ‘methods’ using the timeline, but with Clip Transparency, now you can actually see what you’re moving. Both Midi and Audio clips are transparent on the timeline and the waveforms update in realtime underneath.
5. Fade Workflow
- When applying the batch fades, the controls have now been changed so you can adjust the Fade In, Fade out and Crossfades over selected clips. Whilst many of us have customized fades for various projects ( Post or Music ) this overall new window allows precise editing decisions in one place easily. They also have Quick Recall, Save and File based preset functions to help speed along even more.
There are I/O setup improvements and a list of bugs and tweaks on the AVID website that has gone on with current compatibility requirements viewed here :
These improvements really make a difference with Pro Tools now running much faster than previously.
With these updates Pro Tools not only catches up to its rivals but its implementation is so clever it goes beyond what other DAWs offer at present and makes it a very strong case for upgrading to the latest version.