Pro Tools 9 vs. Pro Tools 11... is it worth the upgrade?
Old 5th November 2013
  #1
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Pro Tools 9 vs. Pro Tools 11... is it worth the upgrade?

I've been using Pro Tools 9 for about 2 years now and they are already on 11, what the heck. I just saw that it's flippin' $400 just to upgrade from 9 to 11.

Does anyone have any experience with the differences between the two that I might notice or find worth it? The jump from 7 to 9 when I did it was worth it simply for being able to bounce MP3's and also so that I could use Windows 7, but I'm recording just fine with 9 and am pretty used to it. Can't think of anything new I REALLY need, but don't know the true benefits of 11 (is it that much faster or anything)? Even if it's faster I don't know if $400 is worth just a little more speed.

Any of your thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
Old 5th November 2013
  #2
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I am in Pro Tols 10...but for me PT 9 was the worst PT ever....
Old 5th November 2013
  #3
RiF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zak7 View Post
I am in Pro Tols 10...but for me PT 9 was the worst PT ever....
What didn't you like in 9 that got better in 10?

I am still on 9 and it pretty much does what it should (except for endless app and project loading times).
Old 5th November 2013
  #4
Gee
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Im still on 9 over here. It does the job for sure. I will eventually make the jump (getting tired of explaining to clients to save their project to an older version of PT among other things).

I suppose you have to decide if what 11 is offering is worth $400 for you.

Have fun!
Old 5th November 2013
  #5
We moved from HD9 to HD11 a few months ago. We haven't upgraded our hardware yet, though, so we're using the 10 license that was included until we take the plunge. 10 has been a huge improvement. It's way faster.

And the clip gain feature is the single greatest improvement to Pro Tools in like five years. It's one of those things that, within a few sessions, makes you wonder how you ever comped vocals without it.
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Old 5th November 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

PT11 features offline bounce, it's a 64 bit program so you can finally use all available ram (great for using VI's), dynamic buffer which allows you to set only the tracks you record to at a low buffer, while the other tracks run at max, and it's a whole new program. In general, you should see increased performance on your computer.

Plus, most plugins are now finally in AAX format, so they can be used in PT11.
Old 5th November 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
PT11 features offline bounce, it's a 64 bit program so you can finally use all available ram (great for using VI's), dynamic buffer which allows you to set only the tracks you record to at a low buffer, while the other tracks run at max, and it's a whole new program. In general, you should see increased performance on your computer.

Plus, most plugins are now finally in AAX format, so they can be used in PT11.
K so the list so far I've seen:

1. much faster since it's 64-bit(session loading times too?)
2. bounce offline (could you explain that better please?)
3. Dynamic buffer (that actually sounds pretty sweet, I have issues recording without errors below 256 buffer all the time so either have to deactivate a bunch of tracks or do my best at recording on 1024. Does it work pretty well and seamlessly?)
4. AAX plug-ins? Not sure what the benefit is there if someone could clarify.
5. Clip gain feature (damn that would be pretty useful, used to have to use Melodyne for that)
6. ?? will add to list as I hear them

I thought PT9 was the first to allow you to use 64-bit operating systems. Is it not actually benefiting at all from my 64-bit processor unless I upgrade to 11?

Has anyone noticed any improvement in the actual sound quality of your productions from upgrading?
Old 5th November 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post

And the clip gain feature is the single greatest improvement to Pro Tools in like five years. It's one of those things that, within a few sessions, makes you wonder how you ever comped vocals without it.
Yea clip gain changes everything IMHO. I've been talking about it lately!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 5th November 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMac View Post
K so the list so far I've seen:

1. much faster since it's 64-bit(session loading times too?)
2. bounce offline (could you explain that better please?)
3. Dynamic buffer (that actually sounds pretty sweet, I have issues recording without errors below 256 buffer all the time so either have to deactivate a bunch of tracks or do my best at recording on 1024. Does it work pretty well and seamlessly?)
4. AAX plug-ins? Not sure what the benefit is there if someone could clarify.
5. ?? will add to list as I hear them

I thought PT9 was the first to allow you to use 64-bit operating systems. Is it not actually benefiting at all from my 64-bit processor unless I upgrade to 11?

I don't have 11 yet, just going by the specs and people's experiences. Up until 11, Protools was still a 32 bit program, even though it worked in 64 bit operating systems. So it was still limited to using a max of 4 gigs of ram. This made it really behind the curve of other DAW's, especially when using Virtual instruments and sample libraries. For that reason, people would use outside hosts for VI's, like VE Pro or Reaper. Or use their VI's in other DAW's like Logic, then print to audio and import the audio tracks into Protools for mixing. This limitation is now gone. It also seems to help with plugins and performance in general. Protools can now use all available ram. The more you have, the better.

PT11 was completely redesigned from the ground up, and now takes much better advantage of multicore processors (no more having to set 7 out of 8 processors for RTAS, etc.).

With the dynamic buffer, playback is always at the maximum of 1024 (2048 in 96k). When you set the buffer size, you're only setting it for recording. And it only puts that low buffer on the track you're recording to. So if you already have 50 tracks with plugins, it's playing back those at 1024, but you can set your track you're recording to to 64, 32, etc. This alone can make the difference between having to bounce down, deactivate, etc. This should allow you to go for longer before you have to do any of that, if at all.

Speaking of bouncing down, this is where offline bounce comes in. Offline bounce means faster than realtime bounce, which other DAW's have already had. Bouncing a song, or some tracks, may only take a few seconds. You no longer have to let it bounce in real time. You still may want to for your final checks, but it's convenient to not have to do that for bouncing just to deactivate tracks. Note that to bounce down just some tracks, you would need to solo those tracks in regular Protools. HD Protools allows you to specify more specifically multiple destinations at one time.

AAX is the new Avid/Digi format and is what PT11 uses. RTAS is old code that no longer works in PT11. Some plugin companies have taken longer than expected to make their plugins available in this format. Because of that, it's only now that people can start to really make comparisons of how 11 performs with the same sessions, vs. 10 or earlier. Though 11 came out in April, it's only in the last month or two that we finally have AAX format from major players like Waves, Native Instruments, and East West.

Because it uses the new AAX format, and not every company was ready yet, for the first time, Protools 11 can be installed right alongside PT10. This allows you to keep using your non-AAX plugins in 10 if needed.

Note that for AAX updates, as with any updates, some companies are charging, some are not, and some are charging in a back door way, in that only the new versions of their products are in AAX. For example, BFD2 will not be AAX, you must buy BFD3 for that. But on the other hand, you get all the new features and sounds of BFD3. So you're paying for more than just an update, you're getting the new version of the program. In the case of Waves, if you're on v.9, you get the AAX update, even if your WUP is expired. But for anything earlier, you must get WUP to update to the latest version. On the flip side, updates from McDSP are free. Sonnox is charging, as are a few others, but a few others are free.

You'll have to check with each manufacturer of each plugin you have.

I suggest you check out the new features on the Avid website here:

Avid | Pro Tools 11 — Professional Audio Recording and Music Creation Software

Also there's some videos on Youtube, etc.
Old 5th November 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 

One more thing I always let people know:

The upgrade, as you mentioned, is $400. You will also need the new Ilok 2 in order to run PT11. That's $50.

If you play or record guitar, a better way to do might be to get a new Eleven Rack from Bhphotovideo.com. It's $669, and gives you a new license for PT11 and 10, plus a new Ilok 2 in the box, as well as a cool guitar effects processor (that also works as an interface). For $270 more than you would be paying, it might be something to consider. Not only that, but then you could sell your existing PT9 Ilok license to someone, offsetting your costs even more.
Old 5th November 2013
  #11
Gear nut
 

10 was much better than 9 and 11 is even better.
$400 upgrade fee would gives me an idea that you are using LE9. Am I correct?

Here are my 2 cents
1. It isn't much faster but it's much efficient imo.
2. Complete production toolkit (used to be $2k by itselft) giving you input monitoring
3. Clip gain feature was in PT10 so not a new feature
4. PT9 allowed you to install their software on 64-bit operating system. All 64-bit operating system let you run 32bit software. That was the case for PT9. PT11 is the one and only PT that is completely 64bit.

Hope this helps
Old 5th November 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
One more thing I always let people know:

The upgrade, as you mentioned, is $400. You will also need the new Ilok 2 in order to run PT11. That's $50.

If you play or record guitar, a better way to do might be to get a new Eleven Rack from Bhphotovideo.com. It's $669, and gives you a new license for PT11 and 10, plus a new Ilok 2 in the box, as well as a cool guitar effects processor (that also works as an interface). For $270 more than you would be paying, it might be something to consider. Not only that, but then you could sell your existing PT9 Ilok license to someone, offsetting your costs even more.
wow thanks for all that info. It's heavily leaning my decision towards upgrading now... I built a computer with all the upgrades possible back in the day that i see are still not being utilized for PT9 including the 8 gbs ram and 64bit i-7 processor.

I like the ElevenRack idea also as guitar is my main instrument (acoustic mostly but also rock out on the stratocaster from time to time). This might be a whole different subject, but is the Eleven Rack pretty worth it? I actually bought the license just to use the Eleven plug-ins which are just ok. I'm assuming the rack will have much better benefits?
Old 5th November 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMac View Post
wow thanks for all that info. It's heavily leaning my decision towards upgrading now... I built a computer with all the upgrades possible back in the day that i see are still not being utilized for PT9 including the 8 gbs ram and 64bit i-7 processor.

I like the ElevenRack idea also as guitar is my main instrument (acoustic mostly but also rock out on the stratocaster from time to time). This might be a whole different subject, but is the Eleven Rack pretty worth it? I actually bought the license just to use the Eleven plug-ins which are just ok. I'm assuming the rack will have much better benefits?
Actually... the AAX plug-in thing worries me. I am pretty much a plug-in ***** when it comes to producing music and only use MIDI for drums/piano/sound effects and I know they are all RTAS and not sure if I even saw AAX as an install option for them. Will those items just become de-activated in my session if I were to open one of my PT9 sessions in PT11?
Old 5th November 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMac View Post
Actually... the AAX plug-in thing worries me. I am pretty much a plug-in ***** when it comes to producing music and only use MIDI for drums/piano/sound effects and I know they are all RTAS and not sure if I even saw AAX as an install option for them. Will those items just become de-activated in my session if I were to open one of my PT9 sessions in PT11?
Yes, gone missing. Sorry bro!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
Old 5th November 2013
  #15
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinMac View Post
Actually... the AAX plug-in thing worries me. I am pretty much a plug-in ***** when it comes to producing music and only use MIDI for drums/piano/sound effects and I know they are all RTAS and not sure if I even saw AAX as an install option for them. Will those items just become de-activated in my session if I were to open one of my PT9 sessions in PT11?
yes gone missing in pro tools 11 but you get to run PT10 as well, which supports RTAS. Many companies already released AAX version. So it should not be a huge issue in the future.

If you have Eleven plugin version already rack is redundant IMO. just my 2 cents
Old 5th November 2013
  #16
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The Eleven Rack has new amps and pedals that are not in the plugin version, so it's not quite the same thing. Also, using the rack with its own processing frees up cpu power on the computer (amp sim plugs are cpu hogs). In addition, having the processing in the rack means you can record in low latency modes that normally bypass plugins, and still have your processed sound.

Besides all that, it can be used in a live setting.
Old 5th November 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawon View Post
yes gone missing in pro tools 11 but you get to run PT10 as well, which supports RTAS. Many companies already released AAX version. So it should not be a huge issue in the future.

If you have Eleven plugin version already rack is redundant IMO. just my 2 cents
Alrighty then... I saw I can actually download PT11 trial for 30 days, so I'm assuming I can test out which plug-ins work and don't work doing that. If anyone else is interested...

Pro Tools 11 Trial - Get Your 30-Day Free Pro Tools Trial

Unfortunately I don't have iLok2 yet either :/ upgrades are a pain in the booty.

In terms of Eleven Rack I probably think I'll pass... I recorded all the guitar lines in this song recently using my Elevel plug-in. Think it holds up nuff' stuff to the Rack?
Attached Files
Old 5th November 2013
  #18
Kind of been mentioned, but I went the ElevenRack route as well. I'm on PT 9, and all my plugs weren't available in AAX yet as of a month or so ago, so I've been lingering on 9, but to me the little bit extra for the ElevenRack (while getting PT 10 and 11) was well worth it. Well, if you'd find the ElevenRack a useful tool to add to your arsenal. I was personally using amp sim plugs prior, and the ElevenRack was a perfect addition for me (and freed up a lot of CPU).

I plan on going to 10 very soon, and keeping my eye out on the AAX availability of all my plugs as 11 sounds great... No doubt that I've heard that PT 11 (from friends who use it) is a great upgrade, but make sure you don't do it and then get left high-and-dry on your existing plugins being incompatible.

Sean
Old 5th November 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgalow View Post
Kind of been mentioned, but I went the ElevenRack route as well. I'm on PT 9, and all my plugs weren't available in AAX yet as of a month or so ago, so I've been lingering on 9, but to me the little bit extra for the ElevenRack (while getting PT 10 and 11) was well worth it. Well, if you'd find the ElevenRack a useful tool to add to your arsenal. I was personally using amp sim plugs prior, and the ElevenRack was a perfect addition for me (and freed up a lot of CPU).

I plan on going to 10 very soon, and keeping my eye out on the AAX availability of all my plugs as 11 sounds great... No doubt that I've heard that PT 11 (from friends who use it) is a great upgrade, but make sure you don't do it and then get left high-and-dry on your existing plugins being incompatible.

Sean

Yeah I'll need to do some research on what plug-ins are going to work before making my decision.

By the way, this is the iLok 2 that I need, correct? It says 2nd generation in the description so I'm assuming that is it.

Amazon.com: iLok Software Authorization Device (holds hundreds of software licenses): MP3 Players & Accessories
Old 5th November 2013
  #20
Hmmm. I'll take a look, but I've always seen an iLok 1 or an iLok 2 (iLok 2 looks sleeker, and smaller and can be fit side by side in 2 USB slots on your machine). Someone can tell me if i'm nuts and there was a new one introduced that wasn't one of the 2 prior designs. I don't think so though.

I believe with the Eleven Rack I got one that looked the same as the iLok 2 I am currently using with PT 9 (I had an iLok 1 back when I was on PT 7). As far as I'm aware, it's just the 2 models. If you search for iLok 1 and iLok 2 and look at the visual differences, it's obvious. It should just say iLok 2 (not sure why you saw 2nd generation but that has to be it)...

Sean
Old 5th November 2013
  #21
Gah. Missed your link. That's the one I got with my ProTools 10/11 upgrade, and the same one I'm currently using for PT 9. That's the iLok 2.

Sean
Old 5th November 2013
  #22
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FWIW........I got the 11R a couple of months ago to run as an outboard unit into my ancient PT 7.3 rig. My equally ancient single core PC just finally left the building and I went out and bought an off the shelf PC (<$500.....amazing) with 2TB, 8G......the whole nine yards.

So now I have just hooked up the 11R as an interface and I'm in heaven. None of my ancient Waves plugs work, but I don't even care.

Old 4th December 2014
  #23
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PT 10 Vs. 11

Thanks guys, I've been reading through to see the main differences between 10 and 11 and it sounds like the AAX will be the main thing for me. I'll have to check into all my 3rd party plugins to see who is still on the fence!
Old 4th December 2014
  #24
RiF
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I just upgraded from PT9 to 11 (Vanilla) 2-3 weeks ago, because Avid just recently lowered the upgrade price to $199 (including 1 year of support).
FWIW, here's my experience.

My main reasons to upgrade were:
- Lowered $199 upgrade price
- Higher overall performance -> my ancient Core i5-750 can live a little longer
- Faster loading times of both the application and projects
- Offline bounce for faster mixdowns
- 64-Bit -> get rid of memory problems with VI's that are using a lot of RAM
- Double buffer

And here are my findings:
- The overall performance is way better, so I don't need to upgrade my CPU. But the UI-performance feels the same if not even a tiny bit sloppier (probably due to the fact that in PT9, I had reserved one full CPU core for the UI and in PT11 everything is distributed to the cores automatically).
- Application loads a little faster (maybe 50% of the PT9 time), project load time is not significantly faster (probably due to plugin instantiation times).
- Offline bounce yields about 1.2x to 1.7x rendering times for my multitrack music projects. So not a big improvement. 3hr podcast-recordings should benefit more from this. And my CPU is not the fastest.
- VI-related memory problems are gone.
- You'll need an iLok2 (but I already had one)
- The double buffer feature is cool and I don't have to switch buffer sizes for recording and mixing anymore.
- Clip gain is good, but I can do basically the same with Trim automation in PT9.
Overall it has been worth the upgrade price for me.

These plugins of mine would work, if I had payed an upgrade fee (but didn't):
- McDSP
- Massey
- Velvet (miss it, but the fee is the full price of the current version)

These plugins of mine DO NOT work due to missing AAX support:
- URS (so what)
- Slate VCC (miss it)
- Steven Slate Drums 3 (Kontakt-based) (bought Trigger 2, so no big deal)
- All standard Avid Delay-plugins are replaced by the ModDelay III, but projects with the old plugins are not loading properly (plugins are deactivated and all settings have to be transferred manually into ModDelay) :-(.

These plugins should probably work, but I have not figured out how:
- IK Multimedia T-Racks Singles (the Fairchild, Pultec, etc stuff)
- NI Driver (the free one)

These plugins did work out of the box or after a simple re-install of the latest version:
- Waves (had to WUP my v7 versions up to v9)
- Bomb Factory / Avid Smack, Classic Comps, Moogerfooger
- ValhallaDSP Ubermod, Vee3, VRoom, FreqEcho (I am using the betas, which work just fine)
- iZotope Ozone 5
- Native Instruments Battery 4
- Toontrack Superior Drummer 2
- Steven Slate Drums 4 Custom
- Klanghelm
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Old 4th December 2014
  #25
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I found exactly the same points RIF described.

A freeze function is the last thing really missing for me comparing it to other DAW.
Old 6th December 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by findingtheSound View Post
I found exactly the same points RIF described.

A freeze function is the last thing really missing for me comparing it to other DAW.
forgive me for my ignorance..but for modern builds, i7xx, X79xx. is track freeze still necessary??
Old 6th December 2014
  #27
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Yes it's less important today, but for some people like me writing with many VI and sound designing, with a very big mix, it would help.
Old 6th December 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tal213 View Post
forgive me for my ignorance..but for modern builds, i7xx, X79xx. is track freeze still necessary??
It's not only useful for native plugins but dsp plugins like uad. Other daws have freeze and bounce-in-place. Both features disable the used processing and stream a wave file that free those resources that were use automatically.

It's great to have and every other daw has both functions even with very fast cpu, some people use it for creative purposes as well.
Old 6th December 2014
  #29
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Exactly, and you make me think of another problem I have with UAD plugins which induce high samples delays that can reach the limit of ADC in a big mix; no other way than bouncing those tracks.
And moreover when a mix is near completion it can be a little bit sluggish too.
For your information I'm running a 12 cores 3,46GHz 64Go ram 1To SSD system+3 To HD in mac pro 2009 upgraded, with HDX1 and an UAD Octo card.
I've just sold my second UAD octo card because with my setup I much prefer using AAX-DSP plugins cause they're ultra low latency compared to the same plugs running in UAD (like for exemple the maag eq4, I did a little thread about that:https://www.gearslutz.com/board/musi...s-aax-dsp.html ).
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Old 6th December 2014
  #30
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thanx for clarifying that for me. we have had that feature in Sonar for many years. i guess Avid is still trying to figure out a way to justify charging you $299 for it.
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