Pro Tools to Release Free Version of Recording Software

Pro Tools to Release Free Version of Recording Software
There's a big new development coming for people who record music: Pro Tools, the recording software that has long been the industry standard for studios, is about to release in a free version.

This stripped-down version of the program is called Pro Tools | First. It accepts up to four simultaneous inputs and 16 audio tracks, along with lots of features like a MIDI editor, synthesizer, genre-based templates, audio effects, and tools to edit pitch and timing. For those who are willing to pay a bit of money, there's an app store with more effects and virtual instruments.

An announcement from maker Avid calls this "simple enough for beginners, yet sophisticated [enough] for experienced musicians."

Its exact release date hasn't been announced, but it's said to be "coming soon" and is expected in the first quarter of the year. In the meantime, learn more over at this website.

A chart that compares Pro Tools | First to other versions of the software can be seen here. You'll notice that the free version doesn't export to MP3 or iTunes, and some of the features are significantly reduced. Watch a trailer video for Pro Tools | First below.

This is a big change for Pro Tools. Up until a few years ago, its recording programs required proprietary hardware to operate. Now, it seems that the company is aiming for the market currently occupied by Apple, which has GarageBand as a free program and Logic for paying professionals.

For paying customers, Pro Tools 12 is also on the way soon.