Avid Pro Tools 2020.5 update: New cloud features & bug fixes

Avid recently announced the Pro Tools 2020.5 update (last updated May 21, 2020), where users can find new preferences that expand upon existing cloud based synchronization services. Additionally, some previously existing bugs have been worked out.

New Features in Avid Pro Tools 2020.5 Update

Cloud Storage Services

Cloud computing has become a game-changer for creators, with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive freeing collaborators from physical constraints, increasing productivity, and enriching workflow. In 2016, Pro Tools 12.5 saw the highly-anticipated incorporation of such services within the DAW, allowing for cloud storage and simultaneous remote collaboration. A “session” which would then need to be converted to a “Project” in order to be accessible on the cloud. Since then, the preferences for these services have undergone a few upgrades to encourage as efficient a collaborative workflow as possible.

Prevent Others from Overwriting Open Session

With the new Pro Tools 2020.5 update, there will now be a “Prevent Others from Overwriting Open Session” preference, which when enabled, will allow for multiple users to work on a session in a synchronized and shared location. While the session is open, a temporary file gets created next to the session file, and any other user is denied the ability to overwrite the project directly, notified instead that the session is currently open for someone else. They can, however, “Save As” a separate file if they so desire. Once the original user closes the session, the temp file will be removed, allowing other users to open and save over the session once again.

I recommend enabling this option if, within the group of collaborators, it is deemed most appropriate to work individually on the same project at different times, without one collaborator’s edits getting in the way of another’s as they are working.

Keep Unused Folders on Session Close

By default, Pro Tools removes unused folders within your session folder.  You can enable the “Keep Unused Folders on Session Close” preference with Pro Tools 2020.5 update to keep your folders safe from automatic removal once the session gets closed. Enabling this preference also prevents additional synchronization options.

Local Waveform Cache Versions

The existing “Local Waveform Cache Versions” preference will now work with sessions on drive shares when “Prevent Others from Overwriting Open Session” is enabled. The Pro Tools 2020.5 update also helps to significantly lower the amount of syncing operations. This preference determines whether or not copies are stored locally for sessions in network-storage.

If you are not concerned about losing any hard drive space, I would recommend creating a local copy of Waveform cache to facilitate the start-up process of any sessions you have saved on network storage. When waveform cache is stored locally, the rendering tasks which occur when opening a session are greatly sped up.

Bug Fixes with Pro Tools 2020.5 Update

Cloud Collaboration

  • Fixed an issue where project synchronization never completes when closing a shared project. (PT-261007)
  • Fixed a crash that can occur when opening or creating a project/session on a case sensitive APFS drive. (PT-261018)
  • The progress bar no longer freezes when opening a project’s revision history. (PT-261025)
  • Fixed a series of errors that can occur when creating a new project. (PT-261156/PT-261129)
  • Improved reliability when uploading and downloading media to and from the cloud. (PT-261443/PT-261140)
  • File transfers are now successfully canceled when signing out. (PT-261552)

Crashes and Errors

  • Fixed crash on quit while launching. (PT-258817)
  • Fixed crash on quit after authorization failure. (PT-261020)
  • Fixed a crash that may occur when closing menus. (PT-261023)
  • Fixed crash that occurred after removing iLok then experiencing volume mount. (PT-261518)
  • Fixed crash that occurred when pressing “Show Last Saved Setup” in I/O Setup. (PT-260747)

Editing

  • Optimized Clip Effects to remove short SWOD after saving. (PT-249992)
  • Fixed assertion when selecting a clip containing a fade-in with Object Grabber tool. (PT-253723)
  • Fixed an assertion when unarming an Instrument track after changing timebase. (PT-257119)
  • Manually linked channels of a multi-mono plug-in are now saved. (PT-258044)
  • Rendering duplicated clips with Clip FX or Clip Gain no longer generates blank audio. (PT-259446)
  • Fixed a discrepancy in selection length when entering the values in the ‘Start/End’ field of the transport, versus the ‘Length’ field at 59.95 DF. (PT-25975)
  • Fixed an assertion when moving clips with layered editing enabled. (PT-260489)
  • Fixed a crash when dragging a VCA track into a nested folder under certain circumstances. (PT-260779)
  • Fixed an issue where All or Pan Automation on Stereo Tracks would paste on the wrong tracks. (PT-260939)
  • Entering a value in the ‘Length’ field of the transport will no longer force the selection to the grid when in Slip Mode. (PT-261073)
  • Fixed an error that can occur when using Paste Special on a folder track. (PT-261366)

Import

  • Fixed an issue that prevented import of certain OMF files. (PT-260941)
  • Dragging files over the timeline, when a video track is present, will no longer cause a disruption to playback. (PT-261511)

Installer

  • The Pro Tools installer will no longer remove the AVX2_Plug-ins folder when co-installed with Media Composer on Windows. (PT-261136)

MIDI

  • Command Shift + U now always selects unused midi clips. (PT-243181)

Playlists

  • Fixed assertion stemming from having mixed timebases on alternate playlists. (PT-258370)

Production Management

  • Clip boundaries are no longer incorrectly adjusted when round-tripping rendered audio FX through Production Management. (PT-260909)
  • Importing a higher than 30fps sequence from Production Management will no longer incorrectly informs user that session TC rate will change (PT-261152)

UI

  • Fixed incorrect error dialog when activating track in a folder under certain conditions. (PT-260739)
  • Fixed device naming issue in resulting dialog when interface is removed. (PT-260770)
  • Select All now works properly in Comments & Type Ahead search. (PT-260911)
  • Copy and paste commands in the comment box no longer affect selected clips on the timeline. (PT-261400)

Video

  • Fixed an issue where some systems would only display black picture. (PT-260602)
  • Fixed several cases where video clips would have an extra frame of black on the end. (UME-1584)
  • Fixed a frame offset that may occur if the encoded audio within a QuickTime file did not start at the same time as the video. (UME-1586)
  • Fixed an issue where VFR H.264 video will show an “Invalid Bounds” message when opening a session saved in an earlier version of Pro Tools. (UME-1593)
  • Video files with special characters in the name will no longer cause picture to be black (PT-261066)

To learn more about these updates, see the Avid Pro Tools 2020.5 Release Notes.


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Sam Proctor

I'm a recent Arizona State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Culture (Music). I am an aspiring musician and immersive media developer, and am deeply fascinated and inspired by experimental, interactive, and spatial sound. I love to produce house and techno, as well as ambient and downtempo music.