First Impressions of Pro Tools 8 M-Powered

I’m working with Pro Tools 8 M-Powered for a whole week now. So I think it’s about time to give some impressions.

Overall, I’m very satisfied and don’t regret the step switching from Pro Tool 8 Essentials to M-Powered. I’m far away from having discovered all the new possibilities, so I’ll probably give some more detailed review sometimes later. So lets start:

The Box Content

Pro Tools 8 M-Powered contains three discs: the installation disc, a bonus disc with sample songs, drum loops and other samples, and a Video-DVD which, which lasts about one hour and explains the basic controls of Pro Tools. Further you get an iLok USB stick, which has to be connected to the computer to run Pro Tools.

Sadly, there wasn’t any printed manual included, so you have to read the 1000 pages reference guide on your computer.

Lesser Restrictions

Now up to the software side. Pro Tools 8 M-Powered lifts a lot of the restrictions given in the essential version. That is:

(at least) 10 Inserts

The essentials version was restricted to 3 inserts per track. That is, you could only use 3 plug-ins to tinker your sound in real-time. This limit is quite easy to reach. Given a guitar track, using Sans-Amp for distortion, an equalizer and a compressor, you’re already hitting the roof. The full version supports (at least) 10 inserts per track.

External Plug-in Support

Using essential, you couldn’t use any third-party plugin. This restriction is lifted in M-Powered. There aren’t a lot, but there are even free plug-ins using the RTAS format. E.g. I’ve already used the awesome Izotope Vinyl.

More Plug-Ins in the Box

M-Powered offers much more tools and sound-modifying plug-ins than Essential. E.g. Two very handy tools for me have been TL inTune and TL Metro. The former one gives the possibilities to tune your guitar right in Pro Tools (not necessary, but quite handy and time-saving), the latter one is nothing more or less than a metronome. But opposed to the click track, it lets you define clicks on 8th or triads. Very handy.

Additionally, there are (for example) additional limiter, reverb, delay and distortion plug-ins.

Stay tuned for a new preview release and some notes on “vocals exiter” during the next week.


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