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Digital mixer with monitor and keyboard

Digidesign was an American manufacturer of hardware and software for music and post production based in Daly City / California . In 1995 the company was bought by Avid , but its products were initially sold under the Digidesign brand.

With its main product, Pro Tools , Digidesign is now mainly represented in professional recording studios around the world ; it has long been the industry standard. Since Pro Tools software up to version 9 only worked with Digidesign hardware, it was a closed system for a long time. The DSP-supported HD system is still operated exclusively with the in-house hardware.


The company was founded in 1984 by Peter Gotcher and Evan Brooks, at that time still under the name "Digidrums". The two of them initially sold EPROM chips for drum computers to finance their band . When modifying the drum computer, they gained experience with digital signal processing (DSP) and then gradually developed new hardware and software that repeatedly set new standards in the following important stages:

  • 1989 Sound Tools, the first digital audio workstation for the Apple Macintosh
  • 1990 Renaming of the company "Digidrums" to "Digidesign"
  • 1991 Pro Tools , in the following years various software and hardware variants
  • In 1995 Digidesign introduced the first HD recording system that could compete with the analog tape machines that were predominant at the time ; In the same year, Digidesign was acquired by Avid , the leading provider of non-linear video editing systems . The integration of Avid video hardware as an AV option in Pro Tools enables simultaneous digital editing of sound and images
  • 1997 Pro Tools 24 (24-bit system)
  • 1998 Pro Tools 24 Mix (with additional and more powerful DSP chips)
  • 1999 Digi 001 with Pro Tools LE (low-cost system for the home recording area)
  • 2001 Grammy for Pro Tools
  • 2002/3 High End System Pro Tools HD; mobile systems Mbox, Digi 002, Digi 002 Rack
  • 2003 Oscar for Pro Tools; Acquisition of the plug-in company Bomb Factory and integration of the products into Pro Tools
  • 2004 Takeover of M-Audio , thereby rounding off the product range downwards, special version Pro Tools M-Powered for M-Audio hardware in the following year
  • 2005 acquisition of Wizoo , a Bremer sound design -Company, inclusion as Advanced Instrument Research Group (AIR), the proprietary software tools for Pro Tools developed; Pro Tools 7
  • 2006 Takeover of Sibelius , the maker of the notation program of the same name
  • 2007 Pro Tools 7.4 (with Elastic Audio)
  • 2008 Pro Tools 8 (completely revised)
  • 2010 Digidesign is redistributed under the name Avid
  • 2011 Pro Tools 9 (completely revised with a new user interface), no longer dependent on AVID / Digidesign hardware.
  • 2012 Pro Tools 10
  • 2013 Pro Tools 11
  • 2015 Pro Tools 12 - Introduction of the new upgrade and licensing system

Own audio formats

A development by Digidesign is the Sound Designer II format (SDII or SD2 for short), a mono / stereo audio file format that was developed for their Macintosh-based recording and editing software Sound Designer and served as the successor to the original Mono Sound Designer I file format. Today Pro Tools works with the widely used WAV format.

DigiDelivery is a system sold by Digidesign for exchanging data over the Internet.

Known products

  • Pro Tools 442
  • Pro Tools III NuBus
  • Pro Tools III PCI
  • Pro Tools 24
  • Pro Tools 24MIX
  • Pro Tools HD
  • Pro Tools HDX
  • Pro Tools LE, ~ M-Powered (Essential), ~ Academic
  • Xpand !, Hybrid, Strike, Velvet, Structure, Transfuser ( software instruments from AIR); Eleven
  • Mbox, Mbox 2, ~ Pro, ~ Mini, ~ Micro
  • Digi 001/002/003 (rack)
  • Control 24
  • Command 8
  • ICON D-Control
  • ICON D-Command
  • Avid S6

Web links

Commons : Digidesign  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Pro Tools History on facebook


  1. Archive link ( Memento of the original from March 2, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. SD2 format information @ riverpast.com @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.riverpast.com