Pro Tools 8– for LE, HD, and M-Powerer Systems– looks like it is finally on its way. My understanding is that Digidesign announced it yesterday at the AES convention in San Francisco. Check out the full set of features:

New Look and Interactivity:

All of the Pro Tools functionality you know and love is still in place but with some subtle enhancements, double the inserts per channel, more customizability, and easier access to editing options than ever before. Customize the toolbar to show only your favorite tools, and rearrange them the way you want. Tile or cascade your window arrangement. Change the color of your channel strips, tracks, regions, groups, and markers to any hue. Navigate through sessions quickly using the Universe view. And with the QuickStart dialog, you can jump right into an existing session, quickly create a new session from scratch, or start from one of the new session templates.

Well Stocked Studio:

Pro Tools 8 comes fully packed with a huge, comprehensive collection of music creation and sound processing plug-ins, giving you a well-stocked studio right out of the box. read more
Create and play music with groundbreaking new virtual instruments, including the Mini Grand piano, Boom drum machine, DB-33 tonewheel organ, and Vacuum and Xpand!2™ synths. Dial-up awesome guitar tone with Eleven™ Free and SansAmp®. Play DJ with Torq® LE. Add character to tracks with 20 new AIR effects. Make music with nearly 8 GB of high-quality loops. And with dozens of professional sound processing plug-ins and tools at your disposal — including nine new additions worth over $1,300 (USD) on their own — you can fix, enhance, and polish your mixes with ease.

More Tracks:

Pro Tools 8 expands the power of your current hardware interface, allowing you to work with up to 48 mono or stereo audio tracks. Add Music Production Toolkit 2 (for serious musicians and music producers) or DV Toolkit™ 2 (for complete post production, Pro Tools LE only) and you can create huge mixes, with up to 64 mono or stereo audio tracks. And with the new Complete Production Toolkit (Pro Tools LE only), which combines both toolkits, you can work with up to 128 audio tracks AND get 7.1 surround mixing capabilities, making it easier than ever to collaborate with Pro Tools|HD users.


Whether you want to compose music using the notation tools, or transcribe recorded, imported, drawn (with the Pencil tool), or step entered MIDI data into notation, the Score Editor features everything you need and nothing you don’t. Write parts on a single staff (choose treble, bass, alto, or tenor clef) or grand staff. Place and edit notes, and edit the meter and key signature at whim. Add chord symbols (Dm7, G, and so on) and chord diagrams (for guitarists) to sessions. Transcribe MIDI parts in real time. Print out a score in its entirety or print only certain instrumental parts. You can even export sessions as Sibelius (.sib) files for further finessing in Sibelius.

MIDI Production:

Gain extensive MIDI editing power through MIDI Editor windows, which can display MIDI and automation data for Instrument, MIDI, and Auxiliary Input tracks. Work with new features that let you separate, consolidate, and mute MIDI notes; scrub and shuttle through parts; view superimposed MIDI and Instrument tracks for easier arrangement editing; color code MIDI notes by track, type, or velocity; audition velocity changes; and play MIDI notes when tabbing. Edit MIDI automation and continuous controller (CC) data through multiple Automation and Controller lanes. Even watch your musical handiwork scroll by in real time during playback.

Transpose with Elastic Pitch:

As a complement to Pro Tools software’s powerful Elastic Time tempo and time manipulating tool, Pro Tools 8 introduces Elastic Pitch, which allows you to effortlessly manipulate or correct the pitch of any audio region in real time, right inside the Edit window. read more
Easily transpose an entire audio region in semitones — up or down up to four octaves — without affecting its timing or tempo. Fix a less than perfect vocal performance by altering the pitch of individual notes in cent intervals. Or create cool sound effects by linking pitch changes with time compression/expansion using the Varispeed algorithm. [Umm... hi Ableton?]

Comping Tracks:

Pro Tools 8 features new track compositing workflows, enabling you to quickly and easily piece together the best possible version of a performance from multiple recording passes. Simply loop record multiple takes on an Audio track, view and audition the takes in Playlist view, select the best parts from the track’s alternate playlists, and copy them to the main playlist with a single click. You can also rate regions on a scale of 1 – 5 to help identify which takes you like the most when compositing playlists.

New Editing and Mixing Capabilities:

Lock regions to the timeline to prevent them from being inadvertently moved or edited. Use the Automation and Controller lanes to view and edit track automation (such as volume, pan, and plug-in automation) and MIDI CC data (such as velocity, pitchbend, and modulation) without changing track views. And with 10 inserts to play with per track, you can now use more plug-ins than ever before.

Expanded Pro Tools HD features:

For the ultimate in post-production efficiency, the new Video Satellite and Video Satellite LE options bring Avid® and QuickTime HD/SD video playback to Pro Tools in high definition, without sacrificing your audio track counts or processing power. Pro Tools 8 also delivers major enhancements to ICON users, bringing new functionality to the Soft Keys, adding a local assign mode, introducing I/O view, and letting D-Command® and D-Command® ES users expand their console to 40 faders.

If you actually go to the Digidesign link I posted above and check the videos and pics, you'll kinda see the direction they're headed in with this new update. At least graphics-wise, it definitely looks like Digi stepped to the plate and created a platform that can hang in a post-Leopard/Vista world. That said, Digi is notoriously slow as shit with updating just about any of its product line. They literally moved at a snail's pace rolling out Leopard support for 7.4, and most people on PCs seem to be stuck with XP. I mean, that just sucks, having to live with an operating system that is outdated because your DAW platform can't get with the times. But stability is key, so I can dig it. But I mean really, we're just now getting to 128 tracks? In 2008? Geez.