i tried to search, but not much luck.

hey, i have noticed some people on the internet suggest buying a PTHD9 license on ebay rather than buying PT9 (as for the price you get the feature set of PT9 + the complete production toolkit) for roughly the same price as PT9 by itself.

now, im still a student for a few more weeks and i could get PT9 for roughly $300AUD. but is it worth paying a bit more to get basically the CPTK, i understand you dont get the HD only features without the hardware.

it just seems a little dodgey to me to buy a HD licence and then have them transfer the ilok code to you or whatever they do. and i kinda think it will be better to go full legit and just buy the PT9.

BTW im on a MBP 2010 and its more for learning and stuff at home. so i guess the features you get with the CPTK wont be necessary straight away but would be nice maybe for the future.

thanks heaps Jamie

2 Answers 2


I recently purchased a DOA MBox 2 Mini and CPTK1 license specifically for the upgrade path to PT9 + CPTK2. It saved me about $800US. iLok licenses were transferred and re-registered to my account. It was a completely legit transaction, everything runs smoothly, it just required a little bargain hunting.

For me, the features you get with the CPTK are worth the upgrade for the higher track count, VCAs, advanced automation / editing modes, and the proposed "seamless" integration with HD systems (I have yet to personally put this feature into action). The one disappointment was that I'll have to purchase the Neyrink and X-Form plug-ins as they weren't included with the CPTK1 license that I bought. So if you go the upgrade route, be certain of what you are and aren't purchasing.

If you're simply trying to learn, I'd say save your money and just go with PT9. Learning the fundamentals & core functionality of the system should be priority one. After you have mastered that (and possibly earned a little money off your knowledge) continue down the path to expand your knowledge and toolset.

  • Nice answer. btw Where were you last Thursday night? Would have liked to meet you, too!
    – Utopia
    Sep 21, 2011 at 20:17
  • thanks, sounds like a good idea. ill go to my local store and suss out the options i have, as well as look at ebay a little more. cheers Sep 21, 2011 at 21:38
  • @Utopia - I'm tying up loose ends and contracts until the end of the year over here in DC. Soon enough I'll show up to the meetup, sounds like it's an awesome time! Sep 22, 2011 at 1:00
  • @Steve Cool. Yeah - it was like a Saving Private Ryan moment. She was talking to someone and said "My name is Karol Urban" and I thought "wow no way" and asked - small small small small world.
    – Utopia
    Sep 22, 2011 at 2:36

The biggest differences between 9(HD) and 9 with the CPTK are TDM processing, input monitoring, system latency, and reliable track count.

TDM processing is great for mixing, but you will obviously pay more for it. You will also pay more for plug-ins that are designed to work with the TDM chips versus what you would for RTAS/Native plug-ins. Input monitoring is useful, but not game changing (bigger in the music community than in the post/design community). System latency is system latency. It goes (from lowest to highest): TDM HD, HD Native, Native. As for track count, this is going to be dictated by your system. Even TDM HD systems have track counts that are limited by the number of TDM cards you have.

To put this in perspective, I have a session that I've run at both home (PT9+CPTK) and work (TDM HD3 system), and neither one can run the full track count. I've had plans to break it out for more detailed pre-mixes anyways, but it was an interesting test.

As far as eBay purchases go, you have to be EXTREMELY careful. Most of the HD systems that you are seeing up for auction are being resold by someone (rarely are they the original owner). The problem is this...if they aren't the original owner, they may not have all the necessary data and authorization to complete the "change of ownership" process. If you can't get that done, you're going to have a very hard time getting your system registered with Avid. If you can't get it registered with Avid, you will not be able to upgrade the software unless you end up buying yet another used license down the road...repeating any time you want to upgrade.

If you decide to purchase a used LE system for the upgrade path (as Steve did), make sure that the owner hasn't already used it themselves to upgrade to 9. There are a number of people who have upgraded using the serial number on their hardware, then sold the hardware because it was no longer required. Only 1 upgrade to 9 is allowed per hardware unit. Meaning you could be in a similar situation to what I described with the HD systems.

Summation...9 with CPTK is pretty powerful, and you're going to have to be involved in some very serious work to notive a measurable difference between 9 and 9HD...and make sure you're educated and ask the right questions before buying ANY used Pro Tools systems/licenses (be they 9 or 9HD).

  • thanks for the heads up. thats what im worried about, being basically scammed (all the HD software is coming from the states, so it may be harder for me to do anything about it if it were dodgy) ive always been wary about buying any used software. cheers Sep 21, 2011 at 21:42
  • @Jamie Famularo - a lot of people selling the Pro Tools gear aren't even aware of this. so it may not be that they're actively trying to scam others, they're just uninformed/ignorant. of course, the end result is the same. ;) Sep 21, 2011 at 22:05
  • +1 on the point about ensuring that the serial number hasn't been used to upgrade yet. That's a significant point that I forgot to include... Sep 22, 2011 at 0:57

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