Last month, Avid finally introduced the updated line of interfaces for Pro Tools HD systems. While they may not appear to be revolutionary in the manner that it seems many people were hoping for I think that they are a solid base to move forward from. Let’s look at them a little closer.
To me this is the most useful interface that there has ever been for PT, in the LE world or the HD/MIX world. Multiple monitoring options including a headphone port, sufficient inputs (6 analog and 16 digital), 2 Mic Pres. It’s the everymans interface for Pro Tools.
64 Channels on a single interface. While MADI interfaces are now old news on many fronts the very fact that this is an Avid approved box goes a long way with me. Yes SSL make a very similar box but why go third party digital? I can understand the analog arguments, better preamps etc but with digital there are only so many ways to send a 1 and a 0. An HD2 can now be essentially represented as having 4 192’s attached to it. This is wonderful for taking sessions to mix stages. Why is this useful?
The replacement for the 192/96 ranges. Available in three configurations: 16x16 Analog; 16x16 Digital and the do it all 8x8x8 which is effectively the new 192 Analog.
Well, there’s the new version of Pro Tools v 8.1 which has a brand new IO configuration, more to follow on this.
Also the new Mini-DigiLink connection, the question is why change something that has worked so well over so many years. To my knowledge there haven’t been a massive range of problems with the Digilink standard so why miniaturise it? There’s been rumours of ExpressCard interfaces as one example. I don’t know how I feel about that, but I think that if that were going to happen then it would have been released alongside the new interfaces.
I think that this, like Apple’s decision to only support intel for Snow Leopard and Avid’s own decision to End-Of-Life support for Mix interfaces on expansion ports, demonstrates a clear vision going forward rather than continuing along the legacy support that has existed for so long.
The remote port on the interfaces, whilst not enabled right now, should be able to be enabled via firmware updates paving the way for 9-pin control. The strange part to the remote is why not have it as an Ethernet port which could then tap in to EuCon going forward. I’d stab at it being that the Euphonix acquisition came to late in R&D to add it to the interfaces.
More detailed breakdown of these interfaces coming soon. Hoping to get a hold of units to crash test in the next few weeks.