We explore the 2020.3 update and specifically Pro Tools' new Folder Tracks.
The long–awaited new version of Pro Tools finally hit users' accounts on the very last day of March, making this the 2020.3 update. (The new numbering system replaced version numbers with the year of release followed by the month number after the decimal point.) So what's new and what does it mean for the typical user?
Pro Tools 2020.3 supports Mac OS Catalina and is fully notarised, making the increased security in Catalina less obstructive. It also supports the new Mac Pro 7.1 with Native systems or DSP systems using up to three HDX cards, though this is likely to be an issue for rather fewer users. This isn't without qualification, however, as for the serious power users who have 24- or 28–core machines there are known issues with performance on Native systems. But for those of us who use more modest computers, what does Pro Tools 2020.3 offer to our everyday work?
This column has already discussed Folder Tracks in some detail, but that was based on the available information from the preview shown at the 2020 NAMM show. As such these features were always subject to minor changes, and while we knew quite a lot about how Folder Tracks were going to work, we didn't know everything. Having now had some time with the actual released version, what more is there to say and, most importantly of all, what are they actually like to use?
When I first saw the Folder Tracks feature in use, I assumed that I would use them in preference to submixing via Aux Tracks. Having now used them I'm not sure the transition will be as immediate as I had assumed, as the impact that...