Here's a tutorial to help outline some of the new features available in Pro Tools 8...
Pro Tools 8 offers up a whole new set of features that all Pro Tools users should be made aware of. If you have Pro Tools 8, I hope that this helps you to become more familiar with the new features, and if don't, hopefully this convinces you to upgrade, as I really think it's well worth it. The main difference between Pro Tools 8 and previous versions is the new and improved interface. The new interface is a lot more colorful and is much more easier on the eyes. If you're going to be staring at a screen for a long number of hours, it's nice to have an interface that is easy to look at, which really wasn't the case with earlier versions of Pro Tools. Another thing you'll notice about the interface right off the bat is the universal view on top that allows you to scroll through your tracks and throughout the sessions easily. At first I thought it was going to take some time to get used to the new interface, but it's safe to say that it didn't take much adjusting at all.
Probably the most useful tool in Pro Tools 8 when compared to other version of the software is the ability to comp together tracks using the new comping system. There is now a drop down item for each track that allows you to view all of your playlists simultaneously. This makes it possible to easily pick and choose what takes you'd like without having to pull up each take individually. Already this new feature has been paying dividends for me, as I've been finding it easier than every to comp tracks.
The next most useful new feature in Pro Tools 8 has to be it's ability to handle MIDI much easier than before. The new MIDI editor makes it really easy to manipulate your MIDI tracks - something that wasn't really possible in Pro Tools before. While it still isn't as easy to use as Logic when it comes to MIDI, they have certainly up'd their game a bit as at least now it is possible without too much of a hassle. The new instruments also make it much more feasible to get good sounding MIDI tracks in Pro Tools, which is something I'll continue talking about in the next section...
Probably my favorite thing about Pro Tools 8 is all of the new instruments and plug-ins that come stock with it. For me, these new plug-ins and instruments are worth the upgrade fee alone. Most of the new plug-ins fall under the AIR title, which stands for Advanced Instrument Research. They've got a new AIR plug-in for just about every type of effect that you can think, and they still have all of the DigiRack plug-ins as well. Some of the AIR plug-ins include a few different reverbs and delays, as well as modulation effects like flanger, phaser, and chorus, just to name a few. It also has a few other new plug-ins that aren't under the AIR name, like a free version of Eleven (amp modeling software) and the Sansamp plug-in which was previously not free. The instruments are also great sounding and easy to work with, which include the DB-33 organ and the Mini Grand.
The last feature I want to talk about is the scoring feature. This isn't something that I've delved too deeply into yet, but it is definitely worth talking about a bit as Pro Tools hasn't ever had something like this available that I'm aware of. The convenience of this is that you've got a one stop shop for everything music related, as you've now got audio, MIDI, and scoring features all in one place...
Pro Tools has always been a powerful piece of software, but in my opinion Pro Tools 8 is a major upgrade. If you don't already have it, I'd recommend getting it!