Digidesign has introduced Pro Tools HD, a system for professional music studios.

This expands on Digidesign's established reputation within the audio industry, of delivering integrated audio-production environments.

Pro Tools HD's features include digital-signal processing (DSP), sample-rate support and routing flexibility, among others.

The hardware is driven by Digidesign's well-established Pro Tools software, which harnesses the processing power of PCI-equipped Macs.

Three expandable core-configuration systems are available: Pro Tools HD 1, HD 2 and HD 3. HD 1 (£5,989) features the HD Core PCI card, supporting up to 32 channels of I/O, 96 tracks of simultaneous audio and a variety of DSPs to provide the mixing and processing horsepower.

HD 2 (£7,479) also features the Core Card, with an additional Process PCI card, which together support 64 channels of I/O and up to 128 audio tracks.

Pro Tools HD 3 (£8,979) features three PCI cards, supporting up to 96 channels of I/O and 128 simultaneous audio tracks.

Whichever system is chosen will also require at least one HD audio interface - 192 I/O (£2,989) or 96 I/O (£1,499). It supports sample rates up to 192kHz and is expandable. 96 I/O also offers multiple channels and sample rates up to 96KHz.

Other hardware components in the suite include Pro Tools HD Sync I/O (£1,569), which serves as a master synchronization device, and supports all industry-standard clock sources and time-code formats. Pro Tools HD PRE (£1,869) offers eight channels of microphone pre-amplification. MIDI I/O (£449) is the custom-made USB-powered MIDI solution for Pro Tools set-ups. This features ten MIDI I/O ports.

The solution ships with a complete selection of cabling (DigiSnakes and DigiLinks), more of both are available for customized set-ups.
Pro Tools 5.3, the current version of Digidesign's software solution for its HD set-up provides the visual interface. It works with the hardware components, furnishing musicians with a complete composition, recording, mixing and editing solution. Pro Tools runs the gamut of sound processing work, from manipulating audio waveforms to editing MIDI note and automation data.

The system ships with HDpack, a plug-in bundle containing many compatible plug-ins.