Learn about purchase options and hardware requirements for installing and running Pro Tools.
- [Instructor] When you're first getting Pro Tools up and running, the process can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. The multitude of choices, considerations, and installation requirements can be daunting. Do not be discouraged. We're going to walk through the options and go over everything you need to install to get your Pro Tools system operational. You can purchase Pro Tools from retail outlets like Guitar Center or sweetwater.com, or directly from Avid. You also have the option to purchase a subscription plan. Subscriptions are available as annual plans or on a month to month basis.
So your first decision is whether to purchase or to subscribe. If you purchase the software, you will own a perpetual license, but you pay more up front. You will receive updates for one year after your purchase, after which your software will remain frozen at the current version unless you purchase a subsequent upgrade. But you will be able to continue using that version of Pro Tools indefinitely. If you do choose the purchase option, you can elect to purchase either a download copy or a boxed copy.
Now the software is the same either way, but the boxed copy will include an iLok USB key, which you will need to run Pro Tools. If you opt for the download instead, you'll need to purchase an iLok key separately which can cost you another $40 or $50. So for that reason, I recommend the boxed copy unless you already own an iLok key. If you choose to purchase a subscription plan, the upfront cost will be substantially lower, and you will continue to receive updates for as long as your subscription is active. Additionally, you'll have the flexibility to cancel or change your subscription as your needs change.
The downsides to a subscription plan are one, you will have to buy an iLok key separately, so that will be an additional upfront cost, and two, you will have to pay for the subscription indefinitely to have continued access to Pro Tools. In either case, whether you choose to purchase or subscribe, be sure to look for academic pricing if you are a student or an educator at an accredited institution, as you will be eligible for significant discounts. These options may be labeled as Pro Tools for Education or Pro Tools Student Teacher, or something similar, but the software is identical to the full priced version.
Once you've completed your purchase, you will need to download the associated installers. You can do this through your Avid master account which you will set up at the time of purchase. Go to Avid.com to sign in. I'm going to log in to my Avid master account, navigate to the My Products and Subscriptions page to access the product details and download links. Download and run the latest Pro Tools installer for your computer platform, Mac or Windows. We're going to skip the download in this case because I've already downloaded Pro Tools.
So let's scroll on down to see some of the installers we're going to need to access. Depending on your subscription, you may see different installers, but a few of things you will need access to are the Pro Tools plug-ins. In this section, you'll want to download the Air Effects bundle, the Air Instruments bundle, and the Expand 2 installer for your platform. I'll just walk you through the process of downloading and installing the Air Effects bundle. This download and installation process will be the same for downloading the Pro Tools installer and running it and also the other plug-in installers that you need.
After clicking on an installer, the package will download to your Downloads folder. I'll show you how to access the folder on the Mac. On Windows, just look for your Downloads folder. On the Mac in Safari, you can simply click on the Downloads button at the top. A pop-up message will appear listing any recent downloads. Next to the download is a magnifying glass you can click on which will take you directly to your Download's folder. At this point, simply double-click on the download package to run the installer, and follow the instructions on screen.
Once you've finished installing the software and plug-ins, you're ready to begin working with Pro Tools. Whether you've selected a subscription or a perpetual license, it's time to buckle up and start exploring the vast capabilities of this venerable software platform.
- Getting started with Pro Tools menus, windows, and edit tools
- Creating a session
- Creating a click track
- Recording audio
- Importing audio and video
- Recording, viewing, and editing MIDI data
- Selecting and navigating within tracks
- Adding markers
- Editing clips
- Creating fade effects
- Mixing tracks and adding automation
- Backing up a session
- Bouncing a mix to disk
Skill Level Beginner
Q. This course was updated on 03/23/2017. What changed?
A. Challenges and solutions were added to chapters 3–10 and three videos were updated in the first couple chapters.