What is Pro Tools|HD?

Pro Tools|HD is a high definition, fully integrated professional production system with expandable I/O, dedicated processing power, and a wide array of optional components. HD offers virtually unlimited track counts and the on-board processing power allows you to run a ton of plug-ins and virtual instruments with no strain placed on the host computer. When you buy a Pro Tools|HD system, you buy one of three Core systems (each has progressively more DSP power) and one or more audio interfaces. HD systems provide the power and flexibility for you to record, edit, mix, master, and deliver world-class productions.


Pro Tools|HD Types

Pro Tools|HD 1

Pro Tools|HD 1 features the HD Core card, supporting up to 32 channels of I/O and guaranteed support for up to 96 simultaneous audio tracks with no stress on the computer. The HD Core card houses a host of powerful DSPs that provide the dedicated mixing and processing horsepower audio professionals have come to expect from Pro Tools. Expanding the system's dedicated processing power and I/O capacity is as easy as adding additional HD Accel cards.

Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel

Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel includes the HD Core card and an HD Accel card, offering more than four times the mixing and processing power of HD 1 systems, support for 64 channels of I/O, plus guaranteed support for up to 192 simultaneous audio tracks with no stress on the computer. Expanding the system's dedicated processing power and I/O capacity is as easy as adding additional HD Accel cards.

Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel

Pro Tools|HD 3 Accel features the HD Core card and two HD Accel cards, supporting up to 96 channels of I/O and guaranteed support for up to 192 simultaneous audio tracks with no stress on the computer. Of the three core systems, this configuration offers the most power and flexibility, enabling you to complete projects more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Expanding the system's dedicated processing power and I/O capacity is as easy as adding additional HD Accel cards.

Pro Tools|HD Advantages

Pro Tools|HD Accel combines specialized DSP cards with the processing resources of your computer to deliver awesome audio performance and large track counts. A Pro Tools|HD3 system supports up to 96 channels of I/O and can play back up to 192 simultaneous audio tracks.


Pro Tools|HD Accel delivers unprecedented sonic fidelity and performance. Featuring dramatic DSP power, sweeping sample rate support, high-resolution audio interfaces and peripheral options, abundant track count and I/O capacity, extensive routing flexibility, and much more, Pro Tools|HD Accel gives you control over your audio world like never before.


Pro Tools' editing capabilities set the standard for what we expect from a DAW. Using a single screen - the Edit Window - you are able to adjust literally every aspect of both audio and MIDI tracks. Pro Tools' non-linear, nondestructive approach to editing enables you to act instantly on your decisions without having to commit to them, and the versatile Super Tool turns your cursor into a tour de force of editing power and speed. Pro Tools 8 also supports Elastic Time - so you can easily change the tempo and timing of your audio files - and Elastic Pitch - which lets you easily transpose an entire audio region. All in all, you're empowered to make necessary edits with surgical precision - all while preserving flawless audio quality.


The Mix Window offers an extremely intuitive means of adjusting the parameters of your mix with all the functionality of a traditional console. Plus, Pro Tools 8 gives you the ability to change channel colors, tracks, and regions as well as customize the toolbar the way you want, so you can quickly identify tracks and ultimately speed up your workflow. You can also lock regions to the timeline to prevent them from being inadvertently moved or editing. And, you can use new Automation and Controller lanes to view and edit automation for volume, pan, and plug-ins, as well as all your MIDI CC data - without changing track views. For those who prefer a hands-on approach, a Digidesign-compatible control surface merges the software and hardware world and places the power beneath your fingertips. However you choose to operate, Pro Tools presents you with a variety of methods to control and automate your mix - all within a non-destructive, recovery-friendly environment that's geared toward rapid, superior results!


Pro Tools 8 includes dozens of plug-ins ranging from dynamics to effects to instruments. To name just a few, there are a Mini Grand piano, a drum machine, 20 A.I.R. effects, multiple synths, guitar and amp modeling tools, and a host of processing plug-ins - plus more than 9GB of high-quality loops. To use plug-ins, you simply activate them within Pro Tools. You are also free to employ presets, customize settings, and/or automate any plug-in's activity. Plug-ins that have been designed for Pro Tools lend a world of flavors to your sonic landscape!


Any session you create can seamlessly be moved between both Windows- and Macintosh-based Pro Tools LE, M-Powered, or HD systems while retaining all automation, track configurations, MIDI data, and even plug-in assignments. Pass your session to a collaborator or take it to a professional studio without compromising your session's integrity. Pass your session to a collaborator or take it to another professional studio without compromising your session's integrity.


The full MIDI sequencing capabilities of the industry-standard audio production software allow you to record, edit, and mix up to 256 MIDI tracks alongside your audio. MIDI events and sequences are manipulated as easily as audio in Pro Tools 8. What's more, Pro Tools 8's new Score Editor lets you view, edit, arrange, and print MIDI data as music notation - all within the Pro Tools environment. You can write parts on a single staff or grand staff, easily place and edit notes, edit the meter and key signature at will, and you can also add chord symbols and chord diagrams 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.

Pro Tools|HD Interfaces

Create a Pro Tools setup that matches the way you work with these interfaces and control surfaces from Digidesign.

192 I/O

The 24-bit 192 I/O provides you with plenty of connection options to get the most from your Pro Tools|HD audio production system. It offers support for up to 16 simultaneous channels of high-definition I/O.

192 Digital I/O

Go digital with your Pro Tools|HD production system! The 192 Digital I/O is completely configured with digital I/O options, including up to 16 channels of AES/EBU, TDIF, and ADAT I/O, along with S/PDIF I/O. It’s a digital world and the 192 Digital I/O has you covered!

96 I/O

The 96 I/O is the perfect choice for those who want to experience the power of the innovative Pro Tools|HD system but don't need all of the 192 I/O's high sampling support capabilities. The affordable 96 I/O offers eight channels of high-definition analog I/O, eight channels of ADAT optical I/O, two channels of AES/EBU and S/PDIF I/O, and word clock I/O.

96i I/O

The 96i enables you to easily introduce output from third-party outboard gear — keyboards, samplers, effects, and other line-level equipment — into your Pro Tools environment. Its 16 analog inputs provide balanced or unbalanced A/D conversion using TRS 1/4" connectors. A S/PDIF port capable of 24-bit digital I/O allows you to connect professional DAT recorders, CD players, and other digital recording devices.


Built to accommodate the high sample rates of Pro Tools|HD, the Sync HD supports all major industry-standard clock sources and time code formats including tri-level sync for SD and HD video reference input. It's THE master sync device for your Pro Tools|HD system, with extremely fast lock-up time and state-of-the-art low-jitter clock..


Digidesign’s Pre offers a pristine signal path designed specifically for the Pro Tools|HD environment. This premium studio preamp accepts nearly any input signal, easily accommodating mic, line, and direct instrument (DI) level inputs on all eight channels. The Pre is remote-controllable via Pro Tools software or Digidesign control surfaces.

Command 8

The Digidesign Command|8 is a full-featured control surface for Pro Tools|HD systems that's especially well-suited for space-challenged multi-room music and post facilities, as well as home and project studios. The Command|8's eight bankable channels of touch-sensitive motorized faders, rotary encoders, and LCD displays enable you to control your Pro Tools system with channel strip mixing functionality, view and edit plug-in parameters, and automate sends, pans, track volume, and mutes. Transport controls (Play, Record, etc.) are also included.

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Pro Tools is powerful software, and the C|24 control surface takes that power to a whole new level. It offers 24 bankable channel strips, each with a touch-sensitive, motorized fader, motion sensitive encoder and LED ring, and dedicated Mute, Solo, Select, Input, Record, EQ, Dynamics, Insert, Send, and Automation illuminated switches. High-quality analog components provide great sound on the front end along with outputs to handle tasks such as monitoring. Easy-to-read, dual-row LED scribble strip displays let you easily keep tabs on each channel.

HD Comparison Chart

Digidesign ICON

The Digidesign ICON integrated console is a total audio production environment that redefines the state of the art in recording and mixing technology. Featuring a choice of the flagship D-Control worksurface or the medium-format D-Command worksurface, ICON has a Pro Tools|HD Accel system as its DSP mixing and processing engine. Modular Pro Tools|HD I/O interfaces and peripherals complete the system. ICON enables operators to accomplish every aspect of a project within a single environment while enjoying the familiar feel of a professional console.

D Control

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