The last time I purchased Pro Tools was in 2012. I bought Pro Tools 10.0 for Students, which came with a miraculous four years of software upgrades for just a few hundred dollars. The last version I received under that plan was Pro Tools 12.4, in December of 2015. Four years on, that version is still working really well for me under macOS Mojave (10.14.6).
Avid announced some Cyber Monday deals that are still live until Christmas Eve, which has me investigating whether now is the time to upgrade. It looks like my options are:
- $199 for an upgraded Pro Tools perpetual license, with one year of active support (and new releases).
- If I can get education pricing through my wife, this reduces to $99/year.
- A subscription Crossgrade: $80 for year one (with a Cyber Monday promotion), $99 for year two, then $299/year.
- Apple’s Logic Pro X for $199.
The main driver for upgrading at all is Catalina support. It looks like the Avid Video Engine is the only part of 12.4 that isn’t 32-bit, and I don’t do anything with video, but I’m not sure if the bundle will work well with the embedded 32-bit binary. I don’t plan to update my machines to Catalina for a while, so this is more of a theoretical issue for at least a few more months.
I’m pretty sure I’ll go with a perpetual license when I finally upgrade. After the end of year two, it’s substantially less expensive than a subscription, and I’ve already demonstrated that I can easily live with an out-of-date version for a while. $299/year for a subscription doesn’t match the value I’m getting out of Pro Tools at this point in my life. Since there’s no current discount on a perpetual license upgrade, I’ll just wait until upgrading to Catalina forces my hand.