Today Avid announced a completely new line of audio interfaces for Pro Tools HD. First up, the HD I/O. This is a 16 in/16 out interface that can be configured for eight or 16 channels of analog I/O; plus it has built-in ADAT and S/MUX optical and stereo AES/EBU and S/PDIF. “Curv” analog limiting is a standard feature. An expansion bay can accommodate eight channels of AES/EBU or TDIF I/O.
A MADI version of the HD I/O is also available, with 64 channels of audio carried up to one mile over optical connections, or you can use coax connections. Bi-directional sample rate conversion can be applied at either end of the signal path, and up to 56 channels can be transmitted in varispeed mode.
The last of the new interfaces, the HD Omni, is really going to turn some heads. This interface offers four inputs and eight outputs, with a built-in 14×26 mixer. Also built-in are two digitally controlled mic preamps, control room functions for two sets of monitors (up to 7.1), surround sound fold-down, eight channels of ADAT I/O, eight channels of AES/EBU output, and 2-channel AES/EBU and S/PDIF I/O.
All of these interfaces feature phenomenally low latency (around a quarter-millisecond), have improved power supplies for better jitter and noise performance, and redesigned AD and DA converters for pristine sound.
In the realm of software, Avid announced HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology), new analog-emulating processing for Pro Tools HD. HEAT achieves realistic modeling of analog harmonic distortion similar to vintage mixers and outboard gear, as well as the non-linear aspects of magnetic tape. Tone and Drive controls allow you to dial in exactly the sound you want from your Pro Tools mixer. You have to hear it to believe it!
Finally, Pro Tools HD 8.1 software provides the platform for the new interfaces (with new I/O routing control features) as well as support for the HEAT processing. Version 8.1 is a free upgrade for registered owners.