All work and no play makes Pro Tools a very dull boy. Digidesign appears to be wooing musicians who want some creative toys with new bundles and a new instrument and, while it wouldn’t sway me to Pro Tools from another system, there are some nice tools for current users.
LE/M-Powered Users: Digi’s new bundles look like a lot of fun. US$99 buys you the $1000 worth of plugins, with the moogerfooger analog delay, the Cosmonaut Voice SFX plugin (any plug that samples declassified Soviet space footage is okay by me), a Joe Meek compressor and EQ, and Digi’s maximizer/limiter for mastering. Shell out US$399 and you get still more toys, like the moogerfooger ring mod, for $3000 worth in Digi plugs. I rate this ‘buy’ for the Moog stuff alone — sorry if you bought it last week at full freight. (See Digi’s press release for more.)
TDM Users: SOLID is a new synth with two FM oscillators and subtractive synthesis, designed by SoundFuel. (See press release) Up to 8-part multitimbral with 32-voices depending on your HD hardwa– hey, wait a minute!! I thought this was supposed to be a retro synth! When was the last time you saw a subtractive synth with that much polyphony? Anyway, hard to say much about this without hearing it. Could sound very sweet indeed with the lavish DSP possible on Digi’s HD hardware. US$495.
10.3.9 Incompatibility? The (potentially) bad news for Pro Tools users is that I’ve gotten a report that the current software version may be incompatible with 10.3.9. I can’t confirm this currently; I’ll let you know if I hear more — write if you know anything — but I say apply the cautionary principle and stick with 10.3.8. And if you’re thinking of upgrading to Tiger on Friday, here’s my advice: don’t. Wait. You’ve waited this long for Dashboard widgets; what’s a little while longer?