1991 Digidesign Pro Tools

Sep 1, 2006 3:00 PM


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On January 20, 1989, Digidesign founders Evan Brooks and Peter Gotcher unveiled Sound Tools, a Mac-based (SE or Mac II) 2-track digital recording/editing system. Offering outboard converters, Sound Designer II software and a $3,995 price tag, Sound Tools was ideal for editing DAT tracks, and its SD II file format became (and remains) a worldwide standard for digital file exchange.

In 1991, Digidesign made a giant step with its debut of Pro Tools, a Mac-based system that integrated multitrack digital audio recording/editing, DSP and onscreen digital mixing. The platform originally supported four to 16 independent I/O channels, analog and digital I/O and SMPTE sync; systems were priced from $5,995 (less the $6,700 for a Mac IIci—including 4 MB of RAM and an 80MB hard disk). The system has since evolved fifty-fold, expanding to provide full 192kHz/24-bit resolution, MIDI sequencing, TDM DSP plug-ins and cross-platform (PC/Mac) support. The latest iteration is the current Pro Tools|HD, and recent upgrades include a variety of controllers, from compact, all-in-one Digi002 systems to ICON, a fully integrated console environment featuring the D-Control™ tactile worksurface.

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