Avid Releases Pro Tools – Carbon

Avid Carbon

It’s been years since Avid has spruced up their lineup of interfaces. A whole new subset of engineers has emerged, with different needs than the “old guard”, whose card-based systems unlocked the true power of recording and mixing in Pro Tools. Suddenly, the audio world was filled with rack-mounted, all-in-one solutions with onboard DSP, headphone controllers, and preamps for days. The “Prosumer” home studio couldn’t fathom the amount of Louis Vuitton purses they’d have to buy to get out of the dog house for buying a full HDX system (believe me, I tried). All the while, not much was heard from Avid. Little did we know they were quietly building hardware to bridge the gap.

Behold. Pro Tools Carbon! A system that brings HDX capability to both a rack-mountable chassis AND both Pro Tools Standard and Ultimate. No longer do you have to buy the cards, the I/O, and even a headphone and monitor out. Carbon does it all. This 1 RU chassis packs all of the punch of an HDX system but geared toward that zone right between “I’ve outgrown a standard interface” and “I don’t quite need HDX”. Carbon has 8 preamps with the ability to expand to 8 additional line ins, and yes, up to 8 more channels via ADAT. Top it all off with a footswitch and 8 outputs to send to summing or various hardware pieces, and you have a one-stop for nearly everything needed to create audio. Carbon also comes with a Pro Tools Standard Perpetual license with the option to upgrade to the next version after a year.

And yes, you guessed it, Pro Tools had to be upgraded to accommodate Carbon as well. On top of added “Dark Mode”, with Carbon, you have the ability to pick which tracks use DSP and which do not. Now, you can track with stacks of AAX DSP and switch seamlessly between versions without losing your presets. The sky truly is the limit. Let’s see what Avid has to say about Carbon.

Avid® (Nasdaq: AVID) today announced the launch of Pro Tools | Carbon™, a new generation audio interface that empowers artists, bands, engineers and producers to record every detail of every performance with the utmost clarity and precision. Built to capture brilliance, this hybrid audio production system features incredible sound quality and intelligent Pro Tools® integration that combines the power of the user’s native CPU with the unparalleled performance of HDX DSP acceleration. The result is the smoothest, most inspiring tracking experience Avid has ever designed.


Building on Avid’s heritage of making high-end studio technology more accessible to all music creators, Pro Tools | Carbon brings the power of its HDX technology to anyone who records and produces music.


Darrell Thorp, nine-time Grammy Award-winning engineer for such artists as the Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Beck, commented, “With onboard HDX DSP, Pro Tools | Carbon puts low latency power at your fingertips. I can have AAX DSP plugins on my tracking channels at the ready and access them whenever I want. I work extremely fast, so the fewer steps that I need to think about, the better. Pro Tools | Carbon really speeds up the recording process. Plus, its transparent converter and preamp design sounds amazing.”


“With Pro Tools | Carbon, Avid brings groundbreaking, innovative tools and technologies like HDX DSP to a new generation of music creators around the globe to capture their best performances,” said Dana Ruzicka, General Manager of Audio at Avid. “Pro Tools | Carbon is a complete project studio solution that has immense capability without the complexities that bog down music creators. It has onboard HDX DSP, which lets you record through effects in real-time, virtually eliminating latency, along with some of the highest quality I/O we’ve ever delivered to record a whole band and dial in individual low latency cue mixes for each player.”


The all-new Pro Tools Hybrid Engine lets users push their CPUs to the limit when working with virtual instruments and mixing. It simultaneously allows users to access on-demand, low latency channels to record through AAX DSP plug-ins in real time—with sub-1 ms latency monitoring performance. With the ability to easily toggle a single DSP Mode button per track in Pro Tools, users have the flexibility to simplify their workflow for recording and mixing, so they can focus on the music they’re making—not what they’re making it with.


AAX DSP is at the core of the Hybrid Engine and is the only plugin architecture that offers true hybrid capabilities. AAX DSP delivers the same sound quality in both native and HDX DSP Acceleration domains, enabling users to toggle in and out of DSP Mode while maintaining equally exceptional sound quality. This also enables music creators to easily disconnect Pro Tools | Carbon and take their mix on the road or collaborate with others who don’t have the interface.


Featuring pristine converters, double resolution clocking, and Avid’s most transparent mic preamp design yet, Pro Tools | Carbon has been meticulously designed so that with the push of the record button every nuance of every performance is captured with the greatest depth, dimension, and clarity.


Pro Tools | Carbon is ready to record any session—from solo artists to full bands. With four headphone outputs to send individual monitor mixes, eight pristine preamps combined with 16 channels of ADAT inputs and an onboard talkback mic you are primed for tracking a band. Pro Tools | Carbon also delivers a super-fast, high-bandwidth Ethernet connection to the host computer, that preserves the highest possible sound quality from input to output, as well as supporting future workflow enhancements.


In addition, Pro Tools 2020 introduces a new dramatic dark themed UI that’s sleek, inspiring, and easier on the eyes—especially in lower light conditions. It also provides new ways to create and advance ideas with the ability to analyze audio and render it as MIDI notes. For audio post professionals, Pro Tools 2020 includes native integration to export ADM files for Dolby Atmos®, a new space clips function that lets you arrange a multitude of clips in a fraction of the time, and it reintroduces the ability to bounce sessions to QuickTime formats in macOS Catalina.

Pricing and availability

Pro Tools | Carbon is available TODAY at resellers, starting at $3,999 USD, which includes a one-year Pro Tools subscription and highly respected partner plugins from Arturia, McDSP, Plugin Alliance, UVI, Native Instruments, and Embody at no additional cost. Please consider our Affiliate Link (Here) to support our site. It doesn’t cost you any more and helps us keep the lights on!