Pro Tools 9 announced — finally delay comp and more tracks — but no flying car…


Here are the big draws — pulled right from the headlines of the Sweetwater promo page (honest to gawsh):

More Tracks and Pro Features Standard!

Automatic Delay Compensation!

Check your smart phones, gentlemen and ladies, it’s 2010. We may not have flying cars — but most serious soft DAWs have had not only unlimited tracks but full automatic plug and other delay compensation for many years now. Lifetimes in computer chronology.

Someone suggested that it sounded good to be true…


For Avid’s competitors?

There is no question that PT has remained the big dog in commercial studios and still has many of the serious, heads-down, production oriented features that those doing heavy work flow production (like radio and other non-music audio production for mass media) appear to need.

But this promo is just nutty. Of course they had to let loyal PT users in on the fact that they finally have brought the software forward to some sort of vague parity with other DAWs on these fronts — the lack of real, full delay comp (and I haven’t looked into this so I’m taking it at face value, here) has been a major thorn in the side of PT users for… well, since people started using plug ins and sending analog and digital signal out for outboard processing.

And there’s no doubt that many PT users have got tired of their let’s-make-lemonade refrain of I really like having track count limitations — it forces me to be more resourceful.

This may well be a positive change for the company — which could seriously use some positive change, judging from their market valuation (still mired in the low teens after trading around 50 for several years in their glory days in mid-decade).

But I suspect that, while there may well be some residual curiosity about PT from those who’ve never had access to the official hardware as well as outright newbs for whom, like so many musician studio customers, PT is somewhat synonymous with studio fixes and other trickery, most people who are currently doing serious computer recording have probably already made up their mind.

So, it seems to me what we have here is big news for PT LE users and, to some extent, PT HD users and more or less shruggable news for many of the rest of us.