Avid’s Pro Tools | Carbon audio interface promises to bring DSP-powered plugins to “a new generation of music creators”

Avid has released Pro Tools | Carbon, a new DSP-equipped audio interface that integrates tightly with its industry-standard DAW. Described as a “hybrid audio production system”, this promises to combine the power of your computer’s CPU with HDX DSP acceleration to deliver “the smoothest, most inspiring tracking experience Avid has ever designed”.

The new Pro Tools Hybrid Engine is designed to let you record through AAX DSP plugins in real-time, with sub-1ms latency monitoring. However, because you can toggle in and out of the DSP mode, it’s possible to run the same plugins (with the same sound quality) whether or not you have the Carbon interface connected. So, you can continue to work on projects when you’re away from your studio or share them with other Pro Tools users who don’t have the interface.

Carbon - a 25-in/34-out interface that can operate at up to 32-bit/192kHz quality - is built for recording everything from solo artists to full bands. It offers eight preamps, four headphone outputs so that you can set up individual monitor mixes, 16 channels of ADAT and an onboard talkback mic. Unusually, connection is via Ethernet, which is said to preserve the highest possible sound quality while supporting future workflow enhancements.

“With Pro Tools | Carbon, Avid brings groundbreaking, innovative tools and technologies like HDX DSP to a new generation of music creators around the globe to capture their best performances,” said Dana Ruzicka, General Manager of Audio at Avid.

“Pro Tools | Carbon is a complete project studio solution that has immense capability without the complexities that bog down music creators. It has onboard HDX DSP, which lets you record through effects in real-time, virtually eliminating latency, along with some of the highest quality I/O we’ve ever delivered to record a whole band and dial in individual low latency cue mixes for each player.”

Avid also announced several new features for Pro Tools 2020, including a dark mode that's designed to be easier on the eyes in low light conditions, and an audio-to-MIDI option.

Available now, Pro Tools | Carbon starts at $4,000, with this price including a one-year subscription to Pro Tools and a selection of plugins from the likes of Arturia, McDSP, Plugin Alliance, UVI, Native Instruments and Embody. 

Find out more on the Avid website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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