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There are two main versions of Pro Tools. First there is the Project Studio version simply called Pro Tools. The second version of Pro Tools is Pro Tools HDX. That version is used with Avid's higher-end studio interfaces and is considered the professional version. Pro Tools HDX utilizes PCI cards installed in your computer. That is, the older HD cards, an HD Native card, and the newer HDX cards. They all work with Pro Tools HDX. The HDX software also includes some more advanced features used for video and surround sound.
That said, I know many producers and engineers that are using the Project version of Pro Tools for professional, that is, paid work. You may also see other versions of Pro Tools listed on Avid's site that offer limited feature sets. But all versions are extremely similar in operation. Thus the concepts and techniques described here in the videos in this course apply to both main versions of Pro Tools unless otherwise noted. The main differences between Pro Tools and Pro Tools HDX involve the track count, number of input and output channels, and supported hardware.
For example, Pro Tools can support up to 32 input channels and Pro Tools HDX can support up to 160 input channels. The Project Studio version of Pro Tools can be upgraded with the Complete Production Toolkit, which enables many of the Pro Tools HDX features, like increasing the available track count all the way up to 256, increasing the instrument, aux, and video track counts, as well as offering more advanced features. Also, the CPT extends the disk cache, which enables Pro Tools to load and run an entire session, audio files and all, into your computer's RAM.
You can find a complete list of features on Avid's web site. Pro Tools HDX can be upgraded to include the HEAT package, which adds analog warmth and color emulation to simulate running your tracks through an analog mixing console. Pro Tools 10 works on Macs running compatible versions of OS X, as well as Windows computers running Windows 7. Be sure to check the compatibility between your operating system and the current version of Pro Tools on Avid's web site before installing Pro Tools or updating your OS software.
The session files you create in Pro Tools are interchangeable between Macs and PCs, as well as between different versions of Pro Tools. For instance, you can create a session in Pro Tools on a PC running Windows 7 and then open that same session on a Mac running Pro Tools HDX. Because the versions of Pro Tools are so similar and there's parity between Pro Tools on Windows-based computers and Macs, every technique you learn in this course is applicable to every Pro Tools 10 system. It should be noted that Pro Tools 10 session files are saved in the .ptx file format, which is different than previous versions of Pro Tools that used the .ptf file format.
The new .ptx file format is not backwards compatible with Pro Tools 9 and earlier versions. If you are Pro Tools 9 user who is upgraded to Pro Tools 10, you may find it helpful to check out the differences between Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 9 in our Pro Tools 10 New Features course.
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