Something must have changed. With the release of the 2022.9 update, AVID has re-introduced a free Pro Tools version, now called Pro Tools Intro. The free DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software comes with the following features and limitations:
36 Plugins: 36 plugins are included (13 more than Pro Tools First), spanning dynamics, channel strips, EQ, reverb, delay, amp emulation, virtual instrument AIR Xpand!2, and Loopmasters Sample Pack
8 Audio Tracks: half the 16 tracks included in Pro Tools First
8 Instrument Tracks:
8 MIDI Tracks: half the 16 tracks included in Pro Tools First
4 AUX Tracks: a quarter the 16 tracks included in Pro Tools First
4 simultaneous recording inputs
1 Stereo Master Track
ARA 2 support: new with the Pro Tools 2022.9 update
Audio Specification: 32 bit floating point bit depth, 192 kHz sample rate (double Pro Tools First)
External Plugins: AAX paid and free plugins can now be used in Pro Tools Intro
Projects: Unlimited projects can be saved locally (Pro Tools First only allowed 3 cloud projects)
Exclusions: No video tracks, no multi-channel mixing, support only through the forum
The comparison shows the differences between the free Pro Tools Intro, and the paid Pro Tools Artist, Studio and Flex.
I have to applaud AVID for reversing their decision to discontinue Pro Tools First, their free DAW. The specification is somewhat reduced, limiting the number of tracks you can record. However, building Pro Tools Intro on the same code base as the paid Pro Tools Artist, Studio and Flex should guarantee a more reliable choice for those looking for a free DAW.
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