With all the different plans available with Pro Tools, it can get a little confusing on what is what, and what you need. We'll we have worked with our Avid folks to get the skinny on all the different plans and details, so that you can fully understand things, and get what you need – fast and easy!
Honestly, once you've wrapped your head around it, it's actually very easy to understand. Though getting there might be a little bit of a headache. Well, nonetheless, that is what this post is about. So let's dive right in, and get you the information you need – to be up and running with the right version of Pro Tools.
There are two main license formats with Pro Tools (standard). The Perpetual License, and the Annual Subscription.
The Perpetual license is what is sounds like; a license for use of Pro Tools that you own outright. Meaning that license is yours, and you can use Pro Tools (virtually) indefinitely. This is the best option for those that are Home to Professional musicians and engineers. You pay for a single license, and that license is yours. This is the classic, tried and true way to own the license. Now with the license, you get one year of free upgrades, free tech support (including one free phone call per month), and access to 17 additional Plug-ins. At the end of that first year, these features will expire. If you wish to continue access to the Plug-ins and Support, you simply purchase the Annual Plug-in and Support Plan Renewal. If you wish to continue access to free upgrades, you purchase the Annual Upgrade Plan Renewal. You can let these plans expire, and then say a year or two later (if you decided to get back on these plans) purchase the Reinstatement Plan. The Reinstatement Plan will get you back on with one year of Upgrades, Support, and access to the additional plug-ins, in which after that years time – you renew with the previously mentioned Renewals. But, if you decide to let your plans expire, you still have your license to use Pro Tools (you simply do not receive any further updates, no free support, and you lose access to the additional plug-ins).
So to break that all down into simple bullet-points:
- Perpetual License - You own the License to keep using Pro Tools
- The above comes with one Year Upgrade, Additional Plug-ins, and Support
- To renew your annual upgrade(s) – Purchase the Annual Upgrade Renewal
- To renew your annual support and access to additional plug-ins – Purchase the Annual Plug-in and Support Renewal
- If you have let your plans expire – Purchase the Pro Tools Annual Reinstatement
The other type of license is the Annual Subscription Plan. Sounds like what it is, a yearly Subscription to use Pro Tools. If you only need Pro Tools for a short period of time, and do not want to commit to outright owning a license – This is the way to go. If you are a Home Studio Musician/Engineer, or a Commercial/Pro Studio Engineer, honestly – get the Perpetual license. It's what you are going to want. Owning the license and being able to choose what you want to renew or not, is much more efficient and cost effective. A subscription based license will expire after one year, and then you will have to repurchase that subscription, for another year period. This subscription based plan is best suite for Educational Purposes. Having the flexibility to control how many licenses you lease, how many you may add or let lapse over time, and only being tied to the license for a year – is a good solution for Educational situations. As a student, you may need Pro Tools for classes (while enrolled), but not need to remain in possession of a license for an extended period of time. Same as with teachers or universities. You may need a temporary license for a class or program, but not need it for a long period of time.
So to break this all down into simple bullet-points:
- Want to lease a Pro Tools license for a year - Purchase the Annual Subscription Plan
- Want to renew your subscription – buy the above again.
All of the above information also pertains to EDU versions of Pro Tools (whether leasing or owning). All that breaks down to this:
Owning the license (for Students and Teachers):
- Student/Teacher Perpetual License
- To renew your annual upgrade(s) and support – Purchase the Student/Teacher Annual Upgrade Plan Renewal
- If you have let your plans expire – Purchase the Pro Tools Student/Teacher Reinstatement Plan
Owning the license (for Schools/Universities):
- Institution Perpetual License
- To renew your annual upgrade(s) and support – Purchase the Annual Institutional Renewal
- If you have let your plans expire – Purchase the Annual Institutional Reinstatement
Leasing the license
- Annual Student/Teacher Subscription
- Annual Institutional Subscription Plan
Things get a slight bit different, but are still really the same (just a little more simplified) with Pro Tools HD. If you have a previous version of Pro Tools HD (9-11, or have lapsed on your PT12 HD annual plan), you'll want to purchase the Avid Pro Tools HD Annual Reinstatement. If you have the latest version of Pro Tools HD and need to continue receiving updates, you'll want to purchase the Avid Pro Tools HD Annual Support & Upgrade Plan Renewal. Pro Tools HD is available with Pro Tools Hardware systems/bundles, as well as through the hardware exchange/upgrade options, and in a standalone version - as the Avid Pro Tools HD Perpetual License. (Please note that there is a service fee to use Pro Tools HD with 3rd Party Hardware).
So, overall it is pretty easy to understand, it just take someone taking the time to explain it properly. We hope that this helps you in determining your needs, and getting the right plan for you. If you have any questions, email or call us.