In April 2022, Avid announced that Pro Tools is moving to a subscription model and introduced three new software subscription options: Pro Tools Artist ($99/year) for aspiring music creators, Pro Tools Studio ($299/year) for professional music creators and producers, and Pro Tools Ultimate ($799/year) for audio post professionals and music studios.

If you currently have an existing subscription or perpetual license, you’re probably wondering what will happen to your current license. Don’t worry, customers with active subscriptions and perpetual Update + Support plans will automatically get the equivalent tier moving forward. For more information on how these changes will affect you when your annual subscription ends, visit our Pro Tools Finder page. 

In this Buyer’s Guide, we’ll summarize what’s included in the new Pro Tools Artist, Pro Tools Studio and Pro Tools Ultimate software options, as well as explain the differences between them to help you find the right software for your studio. But first, let’s take a look at some of the new creative tools that everyone has access to in the latest 2022.4 update.

What’s New In Pro Tools 2022.4?

Pro Tools 2022.4 introduces a number of new features across all three software offerings, including new virtual instruments, industry-leading plug-ins and production tools to help you streamline your workflow. 

Available with Pro Tools Artist, Pro Tools Studio and Pro Tools Ultimate, the new GrooveCell and SynthCell virtual instruments make it easy to quickly create beats and melodies. Tailor-made for beatmakers and producers, GrooveCell is a versatile drum machine with a built-in sequencer that’s sure to get your rhythmic ideas flowing. SynthCell is an expansive virtual synthesizer that’s perfect for sculpting searing leads, lush pads and expansive soundscapes.

All three versions of Pro Tools also include Celemony Melodyne 5 Essential, the industry-leading pitch correction software. Featuring all of the basic functions for editing pitch and timing, Melodyne 5 Essential is the quickest and easiest way to edit your vocals.

In addition to the Standard Support Plan included with all annual subscriptions, you also get access to the Pro Tools Inner Circle, which includes a curated collection of free plugins, sound libraries, training resources and more from Avid and other popular software developers.

Pro Tools Artist

Perfect for aspiring music creators, Pro Tools Artist has everything you need to make beats, write songs, record vocals and instruments, and mix studio-quality music. The annual Pro Tools Artist subscription includes Pro Tools Artist software, which supports up to 32 audio tracks, aux tracks and instrument tracks, as well as 64 MIDI tracks for recording and producing music. 

Pro Tools Artist also supports up to 16 channels of simultaneous I/O—enough to track a live band or mix a multi-track session. Speaking of hardware, Pro Tools Artist supports any Core Audio or ASIO-compatible audio interface. Finally, an annual Pro Tools Artist subscription includes Avid’s Artist plug-in bundle, offering more than 100 of Avid’s top plug-ins and creative tools for recording and mixing.

Pro Tools Studio

Pro Tools Studio is designed for engineers, producers and other music professionals seeking advanced features and workflows, including increased track counts and immersive audio mixing capabilities. Pro Tools Studio software supports up to 512 audio tracks, 128 aux tracks and 512 instrument tracks. Other workflow enhancements include additional VCA and master tracks and video editing support.

Compatible with Avid’s Carbon hybrid audio interface and S6L control surface (as well as popular third-party interfaces), Pro Tools Studio offers up to 64 channels of native I/O for recording and mixing. When paired with the S6L, Pro Tools Studio offers full surround sound support, including traditional 5.1 and 7.1 systems, as well as immersive formats such as Dolby Atmos and Ambisonic.

In addition to the Complete Plug-in Bundle, featuring all of Avid’s most popular EQs, compressors, effects and virtual instruments, Pro Tools Studio also includes Avid’s HEAT software for adding analog warmth and color to your tracks. Pro Tools Studio also introduces a number of new features like Clip FX editing, support for AAF and OMF formats, and improved bouncing options to streamline your workflow.

Pro Tools Ultimate

Tailor-made for audio post facilities and music studios, Pro Tools Ultimate is the ultimate version of Pro Tools with full track and I/O counts, Pro Tools | HDX workflows and advanced features to tackle even the most demanding music and audio post productions. 

The Pro Tools Ultimate tier includes Pro Tools Ultimate software, which offers a maximum of 2048 audio tracks, 1024 aux tracks and 512 instrument tracks for massive post-production projects. In addition to an impressive 256 channels of native I/O, Pro Tools Ultimate offers even more workflow enhancements, including additional VCA tracks, master tracks and video tracks.

Another perk of the Pro Tools Ultimate tier is that it comes standard with the ExpertPlus support plan, reducing case response time down to just 4 hours—a must for professional post-production houses. Additionally, those on ExpertPlus support plans receive phone support for as well as “high priority” status for critical issues.

Pro Tools Ultimate also includes many of the same perks as the Studio tier, including support for immersive audio, AAF and OMF formats, ClipFX editing, improved bouncing options, HEAT software and the Complete Plug-in Bundle. Much like the Studio tier, Pro Tools Ultimate also supports Avid Carbon and S6L products, along with HDX and HD Native systems (as well as most popular third-party audio interfaces). Pro Tools Ultimate also includes a DigiLink license for interfacing with non-Avid DigiLink-enabled audio interfaces.

Finally, Pro Tools Ultimate includes SoundFlow Cloud Avid Edition, a specialized software that automates tedious tasks with macros and shortcuts for Pro Tools to speed up your workflow.

Pro Tools Comparison

Still not sure which version of Pro Tools is right for you? Check out our Pro Tools comparison chart below to see what each version has to offer.

Now that you’ve selected which version of Pro Tools is best for you, head to our Pro Tools Finder page for help selecting the best subscription option.