Good news for those fledgling musicians and producers hesitant to pony up the big bucks for Pro Tools: A free version of the music audio software is on the way.
For decades now, Pro Tools and its various bundles have cost a pretty penny: A quick Amazon search yields price tags in the $700 range. Factor in any of the hardware add-ons and the final cost can easily run into the thousands. It’s because of that sizable financial component, paired with Pro Tools’ storied status and history in music-producing circles, that Avid Technology’s announcement of a totally free (that’s $0.00!) edition is bound to stir up chatter within the industry.
As to be expected, the forthcoming “Pro Tools First” won’t come loaded with all the goodies offered by the full version. Instead of eight total track inputs, there will only be four. Also, projects cannot later be exported to either iTunes and SoundCloud. Even so, “Pro Tools First” will still be quite functional, especially for those beginners looking to get a feel for the software. Users can record, edit, and mix music, and there’s even an entire “suite of effects, sound processors, and a couple of basic plug-ins” to get started.
Whether this free edition will later translate to more full version Pro Tools sales remains to be seen. At the very least, it will likely bring the Pro Tools name into the homes of people who might’ve been previously turned off by its hefty price tag. “Pro Tools First” is scheduled to be released sometime in the next few months. Watch a demo clip below.