∞ Avid intros new Pro Tools HD interfaces, HEAT software

Avid on Tuesday introduced three new Pro Tools HD interfaces and a new piece of software, called HEAT, that the company said will add the realism of vintage analog sound to Pro Tools recordings. There are three new HD Series interfaces — the HD I/O, HD OMNI and HD MADI. The interfaces provide a variety of I/O and configuration options to best suit each engineer’s needs.

I spoke with Avid about the new gear and they said the interfaces have all been completely redesigned from the ground up with new I/O options that they haven’t had before.

The new HD series includes filtering and clocking, as well as Curv, a new soft-knee analog limiter in HD OMNI and HD I/O. Avid said Curv will reduce the time customers spend re-recording and editing by tracking hotter signals when recording, preventing distortion when overloading inputs.

The HD I/O comes in three configurations: a 16×16 analog, 16×16 digital and 8x8x8 analog and digital—in a 2 RU rack mountable interface.

The HD Omni includes conversion, two mic pre-amps, headphone outputs and a surround monitor section and a 14×26 channel persistent mixer that functions even when the computer is off.

With the HD MADI, Pro Tools HD users can now easily connect their systems to the industry standard MADI infrastructures without using a converter. The MADI has built-in sample rate conversion on all inputs and outputs, making it easy to integrate into projects with multiple sample rates.

One of the interesting things about Avid’s Pro Tools announcements is a new technology called HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology). Avid said this is designed to add some vintage realism to your digital recordings.

I am really looking forward to hearing HEAT in real-time to see what it can really do. Adding warmth and vintage sound to a digital recording has become somewhat of the holy grail of digital recording over the last few years.

We all have plug-ins that purport to do this type of thing for us, but so far, most have fallen short of giving us everything we need.

I have a lot of hope for HEAT, in part, because it was designed in collaboration with digital/analog engineer Dave Hill of Crane Song. Avid said HEAT is specifically designed for mixers “who value the warmth and sound qualities of tubes, tape machines and analog consoles.”

HEAT will come on all new HD systems and will be a $495 option for existing users.

HD OMNI, HD MADI and HD I/O converters and HEAT software are all available today. Pricing begins at $3995 for the HD I/O; HD OMNI is available for $2995; and HD MADI is available for $4995.