I'm still on Pro Tools 7.
Is 8 worth the upgrade?
What new features have you found in it that you can't imagine how you were able to do anything before without them?
I work in PT8. For one thing, it's easy on the eyes. Literally. Staring at that screen all day I don't mind coming home and staring at it some more. They give you some new AIR plug-ins and VIs which are nice to mess with. You get elastic time, and track comping is pretty cool. The automation lanes are really nice. Oh, and 5 additional inserts per track keep you from having to chain through an aux.
BUT I updated to 8.0.3 and stumbled onto this HUGE BUG.
Since I work with a DV output to Firewire in pretty much every session I do, after the update every session I opened crashed ProTools. The work around is easy, I just take the video offline before saving (or if I forget to do that, just unplug the Firewire box before I re-open) and the session opens fine. But seriously? That's a pretty huge thing to miss.
8.0.4 has come out and it's supposed to be fixed. I'm finally slow enough to make the update this week, so I'll let you know how that goes. But I would recommend that you do like I typically do (and for some reason didn't this time): Wait for 8.1
The other thing to keep in mind when updating is your plug-ins. For example, Waves v6 is good through PTv8.0.1 while Waves v7 is the only supported version for the most current PTv8.0.4. So there may be an additional expense lurking in the alley for you. Or at least a little frustration when your plug-ins start behaving strangely.
What I like: +1 for complete toolkit (even if it's really expensive): I could not work anymore without it when I'm away from the studio.
Shift-S : solo any selected tracks Shift-M : mute any selected tracks THey seem just two stupid little keycommands, but they are really useful and powerful and a real time saver.
Display multiple automation line beneath your track: nuendo had this since version 1 (if I remeber well); finally even protools and I like this feature a lot
The firsts protools8 realeases were buggy. 8.0.3 seems much more stable and bug free. 8.0.4 has a long list of other bugs/fix it should handle. in a few weeks I'll try it and see.
What I dislike in PT8:
Why they changed the position of the plugin preset/automation buttons? Why they moved the menu button in the workspace/project windows?
Working with PT 7.4 (lots of the studios here didn't upgrade) and PT 8.0 it's always frustrating the first few hours after you switch. looking on the right corner of a window for a button and it's on the left... argh!!
I miss some of the color that I use in PT 7. in pt 7 used to be a set of color so bright that the waveform was barely visible: I used those colors to highlight specific regions (denoised, dessed, etc); the color was so bright that you ouldn't miss them! now all the color are much more dull...
Elastic Pitch The new elastic functions are very useful for editing especially if you're trying things out. Select a region and open "Elastic Properties" and you can do a whole bunch like pitch, etc non-destructively.
Air Plugins I feel that these are a great set of plugins if you don't have plugins that already do those stuff.
Playlists I really don't understand why it took so long for this to appear in Pro Tools but its really a game-changer. Work on multiple variants without increasing track counts. Sessions are much neater with playlists.
Display Multiple Automation Lines When I automate, its not simple. Its really useful to be able to see more than one parameter at the same time.
PT8 has a couple useful features but all in all I find myself longing for v7. PT8 seems to be a little slower in its response to user input, not in its recording functions but in how I interact with it, for example zooming in, scrolling, changing tools. I am talking milliseconds here, but enough that it throws me off my game just a little bit. It might be all in my head, but all in all I liked the feel of PT7 way better.
But in the LE universe you need PT8 to run the "complete toolkit" and have surround capability, and access to more tracks. I need this option so I have to stick with PT8. Now that I have been using it for a while I am more at ease with it and it does its job, but it took me much longer for this upgrade to feel like home as opposed to all the previous upgrades.
Overall I'm agreeing with all of the above. However, I'm not liking the new I/O in 8.1
My issue is when I import tracks from another session (say the Main Titles mix stems), it adds buses with (1) on the end instead of automatically routing them to outputs of the same name that are already in the session. Still haven't figured out why I can't change this, anyone know?
In case people want to know I discovered that a lot of the plugins that are free in v8 will work in v7, e.g. Vari-Fi. Just got a load of free plugins for my personal LE7.4 rig at home. Hurrah!