The general mood of the show was upbeat, although everyone agreed that business is tough out there, whether you're a musician, producer, artist, or manufacturer. It seems like the whole world is working harder for half the money these days. That being said, most are now accepting their new fate and determined to push through it, and that lightened the mood a bit.
seen numerous articles on the details of the product by now (if not, look here) so I won't bore you with that stuff yet another time. What I would like to talk about is the implications of PT 9, which are many. Here's why it will affect nearly everyone on the creation end of the music business.
1) PT 9 now plays nice with others. Until recently, Pro Tools has been a closed system. The software was more or less free, but what you really paid for was the hardware, which was a great business model for Digidesign (now Avid). If you didn't own the hardware, the software wouldn't work. Although there were a lot of reasonably low price points to enter into the Pro Tools world, you were stuck with their sometimes inadequate hardware (to be fair, some of it was quite good too), and if you wanted to get into a full-on pro system, it was going to cost you a bundle.
Now that PT 9 will talk to any hardware, not just that from Avid, a whole new world opens up. There are a lot of great DAW applications out there, but Pro Tools is the professional standard. Want to do pro-level work? Better know or own Pro Tools. Now you can stay with any hardware you prefer, and PT 9 will happily talk to it. That means that you can now use your preferred DAW and cheaply have PT 9 around for those times when you want to do transfers or a quick fix to your DAW of choice. There's no reason not to have it anymore.
By opening up the system, Avid has just opened up the rest of the non-PT world as well.
2) PT 9 has built in delay compensation. What the heck does that mean, you might ask? Some plug-ins are processor intensive and cause a slight time delay in the track in which they're used. That means that there can be some tremendous phase issues in a mix as a result.
Delay compensation was standard in the expensive PT HD systems, but not in the inexpensive LE version. That means that if you wanted to mix with all those fantastic third-party plug-ins that are available, you were forced to use one of the big systems. Now that PT 9 has built in delay compensation, anyone can do a major mix on a relatively inexpensive system. You're going to see more inexpensive laptop systems as a result, and more plug-in sales than ever.
Bottom line, Pro Tools 9 means that those engineers, producers and musicians that have refused to use PT now have no reason not to own it since it opens up so many work possibilities. On the Avid side, it means they will rule the DAW world for some time to come.
I'm not sure what the long term business model is for Avid's opening up Pro Tools system to the outside world, but I have some ideas. More on this on an upcoming post.
Tomorrow - Part 2 of my AES report.
Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.