Join David Franz for an in-depth discussion in this video Utilizing the new audio engine features, part of Pro Tools 11 New Features.
- View Offline
The most important advancement that Avid made in Pro Tools 11 is with it's new Avid Audio Engine, or AAE. Here's where we find the settings. Go to Set Up > Play Back Engine. Note that I'm using a Mac laptop with no interface connected. Your playback engine window may look a little different than this. The audio engine has been optimized to maximize the usage of your computer's processing power, meaning that you'll get more power for virtual instruments, sample libraries, plug in effects, automation and audio clips. AAE has a 64-bit architecture now up from 32-bit in previous versions, and in those 32 bit versions, you were limited to using just 4 gigabytes of RAM. Now, ProTools 11 can utilize as much RAM as is available on your computer. And you can check the RAM usage in the memory meter in the System Usage window. I'll go there now.
Window > System Usage, and right down here where it says Memory is where you can check your RAM. Here, you'll also see usage for each individual processor within your computer. I have two cords on this machine, and thus, one and two are shown. These meters show the CPU usage for native plug ins, mixer processing, clip gain processing, and elastic audio processing. I'm going to close this up. There are three things that are interesting upgrades to the playback engine that will have serious, positive effects on how Pro Tools performs while recording and mixing.
Now, there's not much to show visually on them, as they're happening behind the scenes. In earlier versions of protools you might have experienced latency when monitoring virtual instruments in record enable tracks. That really shouldn't be an issue anymore. Protools 11 has a new ultra low latency buffer that's automatically engaged. Now you'll notice down here at the bottom of the Options menu, we have low latency monitoring, but you may not need that anymore. Second, when you turn Delay Compensation on, as I'll do here, ProTools 11 applies the maximum amount of automatic delay compensation.
In previous versions of ProTools, you needed to go to the Playback Engine window, and choose it here. But as you'll see, that option isn't in this window anymore. The third upgrade is this, and it's a big one, Dynamic Plugin Processing. This feature allocates processing power for host based plugins, only when the plugins are actually processing audio. For instance, if you have an area on a track where there's no audio, and there's actually a plug in on the track, Pro Tools is smart enough now to not use processing power while there's no audio playing through it.
And here are a couple of other improvements related to the audio engine. You can now automate while you're recording. If I go to Setup > Preferences, and go to the Operations page, there's a new option here, Enable Automation in Record. I've checked that off, and now I can down to this track here, record enable it. And you'll see there is signal coming in, and I can change the automation mode to right.
So as I playback and record here you'll see me adjust the volume and record animation in real time. (MUSIC). Now this will be a great feature in music studio and it's probably even more helpful for broadcasting live venue applications. And finally, there are now up to 64 levels of undo. If I go back to the Preferences, and look in the Editing tab, you'll see down here levels of undo, 64.
This is up from 32 in previous versions of pro tools. So as you can see there are some serious upgrades in the audio engine in Pro Tools 11.