Avid ProTools | Carbon identified by the manufacturer itself as a hybrid audio production system that provides a “superior sound quality” and the native power of your computer with integrated HDX DSP acceleration combined. The possible seamless integration of Pro Tool is especially important here, as the strong performance of DSPs and also near-zero latency monitoring (according to Avid less than one millisecond).
Eight HDX DSPs are under the hood, the “Hybrid Engine” is supposed to take care of the “intelligent” integration of the hardware with Pro Tools. In practice, this means that the real-time processing of the AAX DSP plugins can be outsourced to the carbon hardware as required. And of course, that should benefit your workflow.
Based on the AVB protocol, Carbon is connected to the computer via Ethernet. The Core Audio driver is used to connect to Pro Tool, so other DAWs can theoretically use Carbon as an interface at the same time. Hmm, that sounds good!
In parallel to this audio interface, Avid is also introducing the new Pro Tool 2020.11. Carbon is supplied with a valid license (runs for one year). If you do not extend this after the time has expired, it becomes a permanent license without an active update plan. This is a good decision by the manufacturer, so all customers can decide for themselves whether they want to subscribe or not. Those who already have a Pro Tools license (both Standard and Ultimate with an active support plan) can convert the enclosed license into a one-year extension.
And that sounds good too: The scope of delivery includes permanent licenses for various AAX DSP plug-ins from third-party providers worth over $1100.
The manufacturer mentions an “Avid-qualified Apple Mac” with macOS 10.15.6 or higher as well as an Ethernet connection or an original Apple Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter as system requirements. Support for Windows will probably be submitted later. According to Avid, Pro Tools 2020.11 is also a requirement.
Avid Pro Tools | Carbon Features
- 25 x 34 inputs and outputs that can be used simultaneously
- 192 kHz / 32-bit conversion
- 8 HDX DSPs for processing AAX DSP plug-ins and latency-free recording
- 8 mic/line preamps with “Variable Z” (impedance) at inputs 5 to 8
- 2 instrument inputs with “Variable Z”
- Stereo monitor outputs
- 8 x 8 line inputs and outputs
- 4 headphone outputs
- 16 x 16 ADAT inputs and outputs
- Word Clock I / O
- Built-in talkback microphone, foot-switchable
- Footswitch connection
- 2 ethernet ports
- Internal power supply
Price and availability
Avid Pro Tools Carbon Rackmount will be available from December 2020 at a price of $3,999. You can already pre-order it on the Bhphotovideo.com website.
Earlier this year, Arturia AudioFuse has introduced new USB audio interface models: “AudioFuse Studio” and “AudioFUse 8Pre”.