Pro Tools is a Digital Audio Workstation platform for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, developed and manufactured by Digidesign, a division of Avid Technology. It is widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film and television post production. Pro Tools has three types of systems; HD, LE, and M-powered. HD is the high-end package and is an integration of hardware and software. The hardware includes an external A/D converter and internal PCI or PCIe audio cards with onboard DSP.
Pro Tools Essential
This is based on the standard version of the software and enables you to record on up to 16 audio tracks. Up to eight virtual instrument tracks can be used simultaneously, and the Structure Essential plug-in (which gives you more than 60 sounds) comes supplied. It comes bundled with 3 different M-Audio interfaces; Pro Tools Vocal Studio, Keystudio and Recording Studio which are bundles of microphone, keyboard or USB MIDI interface respectively. They are aimed at the starter market, and offer very limited scope including no 3rd party plugins & limited usb device support. No competitive upgrade path or discounts are available either, the next step up in the protools chain is the full retail purchase of one of the other versions.