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Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1 Read Me

October 19, 2000

Important Information
Pro Tools FREE is not qualified for use with Digidesign hardware, with the exception of Audiomedia III on Win98 SE platforms only.

Installing Pro Tools FREE on computers configured with Digidesign hardware systems will render the existing Digi system inoperable because it will overwrite some of the existing Digidesign software components. Complete re-installation of the original Pro Tools software will be necessary.**

There is no benefit to installing Pro Tools FREE over existing Pro Tools hardware systems. Many features and functionality offered by hardware-based Pro Tools systems such as high track count, peripheral compatibility, and some editing features do not exist on Pro Tools FREE.

Users of Pro Tools 4.x should note that the Audiomedia III card is not supported by Pro Tools FREE on the Macintosh. Registered Audiomedia III owners wishing to try Pro Tools 5.x software should check the Digidesign web site for an offer to upgrade to the latest version of Pro Tools LE software for a very affordable price.

Cross­platform File Exchange is not supported in this version of Pro Tools FREE
File interchange between Mac and PC versions of Pro Tools FREE is not possible in this 5.0.1 release. We hope to include this functionality in a future release of Pro Tools FREE. You can exchange files with Pro Tools LE and TDM users who use the same platform (Mac or Win98/Me) as you, but remember, Pro Tools FREE is limited to 8 audio and 48 MIDI tracks.

Use of Built-in Computer Microphones
If you decide to use your computeršs built-in microphone with Pro Tools FREE, you may experience instances of feedback. (Sustained hums or squeals which often become louder if volumes are not reduced) This is due to the fact that in most cases built-in microphones are quite close to the computeršs built-in speakers and therefore feedback is more likely to occur.

To avoid this problem if it occurs, users should mute the track before record enabling and recording.

To hear the recorded track, reverse the process by disabling record and then unmuting the channel.

Using any external microphone, mixer, or speakers to put distance between the recording input and the speaker output is highly recommended.

Software Synthesizers and Volume "Zipper Noise"
Users may notice a "zippering" sound when using software synthesizers (Quicktime Musical Instruments, or using Koblo Studio 9000, Bit Headz Unity, etc. with DirectConnect) when moving the volume control on MIDI channel strips that use these soft synths. This will not occur when using external hardware synthesizers. Users of DirectConnect enabled software synthesizers can work around this problem by using the volume control on the corresponding audio channel strip which plays the output from the soft synth.

Compatible PCs and Macs with Pro Tools FREE
Because of the huge variety of available computers, soundcards, and supporting software combinations possible, Digidesign cannot guarantee compatibility with any particular computer or various hardware and software combinations that may be configured on it.

For full compatibility details, please check the Pro Tools FREE compatibility information on the Digidesign website:

Pro Tools FREE Compatibility with RTAS and AudioSuite Plug-Ins
Pro Tools FREE supports the AudioSuite and RTAS Plug-In formats. Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1 plug-in compatibility is currently as follows:
… All Digidesign RTAS and AudioSuite Plug-Ins
… RTAS and AudioSuite Plug-Ins from Digidesign's Development Partners, with the exception of the RTAS and/or AudioSuite Plug-Ins from the following:
1. AnTares Systems
2. Bomb Factory

For the latest plug-in compatibility information for Pro Tools FREE, refer to the Pro Tools FREE compatibility documents, located on Digidesign's website.

NOTE: Before purchasing any RTAS or AudioSuite Plug-In for use with Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1, be sure to check compatibility with the manufacturer.

Known Incompatibilities
Operating Systems
- Windows NT or 2000.
- Japanese versions of Windows 98/Me.

Third Party Audio Products
- Montego soundcards
- Aureal soundcards
- Ego-Systems Waveterminal U2A USB audio interface

Make sure your soundcard or sound chip is configured before launching Pro Tools
In the Multimedia Control Panel, verify that the sound card you intend to use is set for input and output.

Specific recommendations for working with different PC soundcards and chip sets
Sound Blaster
- Sound Blaster soundcards should be used ONLY at a sample rate of 48kHz. Use of 44.1 kHz with recent Sound Blaster cards, such as SB Live, can cause playback to drift out of time by about 490 samples per minute of playback.
- For best results, the hardware buffer size should be set at 8k (the highest setting).

Diamond Monster MX400
- The Diamond Monster MX400 should be used ONLY at a sample rate of 48 kHz. This is recommended because at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz., this card can drift out of time by about 136 milliseconds per minute of playback.
- For best results, the hardware buffer size should be set at 8k (the highest setting).

Echo Electronics Gina
- Testing with this card has shown that large hardware buffer sizes are not necessary for successful operation. We have had good results with hardware buffer sizes as low as 256. This greatly reduces monitoring latency as well as control sluggishness that is associated with higher hardware buffer size settings.

Windows SampleCell and Pro Tools LE users please read:
The released version of SampleCell 2.1.3 and Pro Tools LE installer will overwrite the DAE.dll.rsr of Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1, even though the Pro Tools FREE file is newer. The Digidesign System Files installer will also UNinstall both the DAE.dll.rsr and DAE.dll files, even when it didn't install them in the first place.

The effect of this installer behavior is that someone using Pro Tools FREE will experience problems if they install SC Editor 2.1.3 after installing Pro Tools FREE because they will have a Pro Tools FREE DAE.dll with a PTLE 5.0.1/SC 2.1.3 DAE.dll.rsr. Additionally, the user will also lose the new DAE.dll if they uninstall the old Digidesign System Files.

The scenarios/workarounds are:
- If SC Editor 2.1.3 or Pro Tools LE was installed first - the Pro Tools FREE installer will see the old files and prompt the user to uninstall them so that there can't possibly be a mixture of files.

- If Pro Tools FREE was installed first, after installing SC Editor 2.1.3 or Pro Tools LE, go to the Add/Remove Control Panel, and uninstall the Digidesign System Files. Then use the Add/Remove Control Panel to reinstall the System Files component in the Pro Tools FREE installer.

Select Built-in Sound on the Mac
Macintosh users should verify that their Sound control panel is set for built-in sound input and output. 44.1kHz. is the highest sample rate available in the current Mac OS Sound Manager for built-in sound. Failure to set the Sound control panel to built-in sound input/output may result in type 2804 errors.

What Mac soundcards will work with Pro Tools FREE?
While any Mac sound card with properly written Sound Manager input and output drivers should work with Pro Tools FREE, Digidesign has not fully qualified any of these sound cards for operation with Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1.

If your sound card does not support Sound Manager but uses another system to record into the Mac (ASIO or MAS for instance) you can use Pro Tools FREEšs "Import" and "Bounce to Disk" capabilities to move audio files in and out of Pro Tools FREE for editing, processing, and mixing.

Use of USB Speakers with the Power Macintosh G4 Cube
Connecting the Power Macintosh G4 Cubešs USB speakers to the keyboard can cause audio playback problems with Pro Tools FREE 5.0.1. To avoid this problem, be sure to connect USB speakers to the USB ports on the CPU (main case) of the computer rather than the USB connection on the keyboard.