Buy Pro Tools – Your 3 Choices

PT is owned by Avid now (since 2010) and no longer Digidesign. The newest line of Mbox is called “Avid Pro Tools Mbox” and is 3rd generation so some people refer to it as Mbox 3.

You can still buy Pro Tools Mbox 2 but with my experience with these guys is when they release a new product they soon drop any support on the old line so if you’re thinking about getting an Mbox go for the new 3rd generation. If you want to buy PT you’ll be happy to know that the latest version comes installed with any of it’s Hardware you choose to buy. When buying Pro Tools you have 3 options:

  • PT HD
  • PT LE
  • PT M-Powered

The HD Core Systems is their hi end hardware recording gear including a special software version as well and these start at over $10,000 and are more often found in commercial recording studios.

PT LE is the most popular system. You could be running PT on the most inexpensive interface in this case it would be the Mbox Mini for a little over $300. There is actually a smaller one than the Mini, it’s the Mbox Micro and plugs in directly to the USB slot of your Laptop but this is available as the 2nd generation only and is not available in the 3rd gen line-up.

Other recording software like Apple Logic sells for around $500 for the software package alone. Remember, whatever recording program you decide to use it will require a hardware interface. Used to be In the case of PT it would be an Mbox, or the 003 Digi Rack but now with the Pro Tools 9 it will work on any interface.

With Logic, you’d need to buy the hardware interface as well, there is a real good one called “Apogee Duet” which sell for about $500. The Mbox is also compatible with Apple Logic or most other recording programs like Cubase, Cakewalk, etc. With M-Audio interfaces you get PT installed as well, even with the lower priced ones like M-Audio Fast Track.

Buy Pro Tools LE options:

  • Mbox Mini
  • Mbox
  • Mbox Pro
  • Digi 003 Rack Factory
  • Digi 003 Factory

Software is included with any Mbox and 003 package. To Buy PT M-Powered you will need: PT M-Powered Software M-Audio MobilePre mk II (hardware interface) When going the M-Powered route you will need to buy the PT software separately from the audio interface… like the one I mentioned above (M-Audio MobilePre mk II) or a similar model… these are quite inexpensive, between $120 and $150. Of course you’d need to my the Software as well for about $250.

This is only if you’re not getting the new PT 9 version because if you buy version 9 it works with any interface unlike the previous versions which required the hardware mentioned above.