I went to a Pro Tools 8 demo
at JMC Academy on 8 April. It was run by Digi techster Brent Heber
There are lots of improvements over Pro Tools 7:
- Multiple tracks in one view—events are colour-coded
- Editing looped or duplicated MIDI segments alters all iterations
- MIDI editor has a score editor mode
- print mode for editing printed scores
- can export Sibelius (.sib) files, but can only read MIDI files—WTF?
- Vacuum—monophonic, dual oscillator synth. Has about half a dozen overdrive controls for distorted everything!
- Xpand now responds to up to four MIDI channels
- Boom—a grid-based beat box editor like the old TR808 sequencer
- Mini Grand—sample-based piano with a 900MB library and reverb effect
- DB33—a Hammond-style organ with a cabinet effect that can take an external input
- Structure sample player now allows one to drag and drop regions from audio track playlists. Different versions (free or paid) have different features
- all the usual DigiRack plugs with a true stereo EQ3,a new version of Sansamp, new algorithms in D-Verb
- some plugs previously available for money are now free: DFi and Maxim
- Eleven—guitar simulator. Different versions (free or paid) have different numbers of amps and tones
"Comp" edit workflow is much improved:
- Loop recording takes can be in one file (as before) or in separate playlists (new preference setting)
- If in separate playlists, those playlists can be displayed in the edit window below the "main" playlist
- Can copy selection of region in comp playlist to main playlist
Digi still hasn't fixed the loop record to include pre- and post-roll in the loop. As before, pre-roll is played before the first iteration of the loop and then only the selected part of the timeline or playlist is looped. I've been asking Brett about this since version 6. For those times when the context
of the punch-in is important to the performance—most of the time—loop record is useless.
All in all, it's looking pretty good. There are still things one would like to have, like removal of the 18I/O limit in LE, but Digi has demonstrated time and time again, that they won't do anything that would poach the HD market, and they still don't provide an upgrade path with any "middle" ground between LE and HD. It sucks, but what can you do when they have the market power?