Avid took its first steps as a broadcast and professional audio company this week (17th August) by announcing new interfaces for the Pro Tools HD Series, writes Kevin Hilton. The nonlinear systems manufacturer is branding itself as a single company and no longer uses the Digidesign name to brand its digital audio workstations.
The new products - HD I/O, HD OMNI and HD MADI - are intended to give operators greater flexibility in how to record, mix and reproduce audio projects. The aim, says Tony Cariddi, segment marketing manager for Avid pro audio, is to give full openness, with the ability to work with third party analogue and digital devices.
Also new is the HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology) software program, which replicates the warm sound of old analogue recording consoles.
The new HD Series interfaces offer “good quality audio” combined with new configurations and more connectivity using open standards, including MADI. HD I/O comes in a 2 RU rack mount unit and has three settings for recording and playback: 16x16 analogue, 16x16 digital and 8x8x8 analogue and digital. HD OMNI combines a range of outboard devices into a single system, including mic amps, pre-amps and headphone outputs. HD MADI is a single, 64-channel 1 RU rack interface that connects Pro Tools HD to standard MADI networks without any format conversion.
Cariddi comments that the new interface products are part of Avid’s push towards more openness and connectivity for its video and audio systems. He acknowledges that this is of particular importance in broadcast production and for post houses.
“We know that customers need to work in many different ways and with other products,” he says, “so we needed to make our products play well in the playground.”
Pro Tools is now branded as an Avid product. Cariddi says the change was made following research that showed users were more familiar with the Pro Tools name than that of its manufacturer. “We found Pro Tools is a much stronger brand than Digidesign,” he explains. “On the opposite side of the business no one ever says they’re going to edit on Media Composer, they say they’re going to cut on an Avid. Now everything is a single company we can use the strengths of our combined engineering departments for future developments.”