Pro Tools has gone through some substantial changes since Avid took over a few years ago. One of the biggest was Avid’s move towards a subscription program called Avid® All Access. For better or worse, most software programs are going this route: getting rid of stand alone versions of software and moving towards a subscription based incremental updates. After December 31, 2015, all Pro Tools upgrades will only be available through an Avid® All Access plan. You will no longer be able to purchase a standalone upgrades. The subscription plan will also increase significantly if you don’t renew before the end of the year so it’s worth doing. Some questions you may be asking:
How do I upgrade Pro Tools from now on?
If you are a Pro Tools 11 owner, you have two choices available, but only through December 31, 2015:
- Upgrade to Pro Tools 12 for $99 through the new All Access Annual Upgrade Plan, which includes access to all future Pro Tools releases for 12 months, renewable annually for $99/year
- Upgrade to Pro Tools 12 for $199 through the soon-to-be retired Annual Upgrade and Support Plan, which includes:
- Access to all future Pro Tools releases for 12 months, renewable annually thereafter for $99/year through the new All Access Annual Upgrade Plan
- Access to a collection of 17 bonus plugins and support, renewable annually thereafter for $99/year through the new Annual Plug-in and Support Plan
You can purchase these upgrade plans through the Avid Store or your local reseller. Please note that the Annual Upgrade and Support Plan will be retired at the end of this year.
What is this 17 bonus plug-in collection you speak of?
If you choose the $199 option, Avid promises 17 bonus plugins. They use the term bonus because the plugins included cost significantly more purchased on their own. This bundle consists of the Space reverb plugin (which admittedly is a great deal for the plugin) and 16 stompbox plugins pulled from their Eleven guitar interface. If you’re a big fan of the Space plugin and/or play guitar or do a lot of guitar tracking/re-amping then this option may be good for you. Otherwise, you may not find it worth the money.
What happens if I don’t upgrade in 2015 or let my plan expire?
You’ll still be able to upgrade your software at any time, but the price of a new or reinstated Annual Upgrade Plan will increase to $299 starting in 2016. This plan gives you access to all new Pro Tools releases for 12 months, renewable annually thereafter for $99/year. If you want access to the bonus plug-ins and support, add the Annual Plug-in and Support Plan for $99/year.
Can I still use my software?
Yes, if you choose not to upgrade your software or renew an expiring plan, your Pro Tools perpetual license will continue to work. You just won’t be able to upgrade your license or receive software updates. That said, if you decide that you want to upgrade at a later time, just purchase the $299 Annual Upgrade Plan to get current.
What if I’m still on Pro Tools 10 because of my 32-bit plugins?
It would still be worthwhile to purchase the license for your i-Lok so that when you do decide to abandon your old plugins (you’re going to have to eventually!) you’ll be able to upgrade to the newest version at the lower price. Think of it as buying insurance.
Is a subscription worth it?
If you see yourself using Pro Tools for the next few years the answer is definitely yes. This offer is basically rewarding current Pro Tools owners by allowing us to subscribe to a lower-priced subscription plan into the foreseeable future. Think of it this way, if you renew by December 31 then you’re paying $99/year, if you don’t you’re paying $299 a year. Think you’ll be using Pro Tools for the next 5 years? Renewing by December 31 with the new upgrade plan would save you $1,000 in 5 years. You could buy a decent condenser mic for that!
Find out more on Avid’s site here: Pro Tools Licensing And All Access Plans