MARCH 24, 2023

Pro Tools 2023.3 delivers qualified native Apple silicon support, Sonic Drop content program, PlayCell instrument, new Elastic Audio options, and more.

Adam Lunn working with Pro Tools

The Pro Tools 2023.3 software update is now available and delivers official support for running Pro Tools natively on Apple silicon processors, more Elastic Audio processing options, Scripting SDK updates, and numerous workflow improvements, such as the ability to tab to automation breakpoints, include rulers in an Edit Group, and more.

This release also introduces new sound content and instruments for Pro Tools customers on an active subscription or perpetual license with current a Software Updates + Support Plan. Note that while 2023.3 update is available to all Pro Tools Intro users, they do not get access to the new content and instruments below:

  • Pro Tools | Sonic Drop—a new monthly program curated by multiplatinum artist and Avid sound designer Matt Lange that deliver inspiring new samples, loops, and instrument presets
  • Pro Tools | PlayCell is a new sample playback instrument that includes a comprehensive collection of sounds and streamlined interface that makes finding and dialing in the perfect sound is easy
  • Updates to Pro Tools | GrooveCell and SynthCell virtual instruments, with 17 new GrooveCell kits and 30 new SynthCell presets that provide a diverse range of sounds and textures


At the end of 2022 we released a public beta with native Apple silicon support. This allowed users to try some of the performance benefits while also giving plugin developers a head-start on supporting Apple Silicon natively. In order to release it quickly, some native functionality was not included, but we’re pleased to say that Pro Tools 2023.3 restores planned functionality and then some.

The native Apple silicon Public Beta introduced with Pro Tools 2022.12 was not fully qualified and was missing some key functionality, including AIR plugins and instruments (except Structure Free), support for Cloud Collaboration and projects, X-Form Audio Suite and algorithm in Elastic Audio, MP3 Export, Score Editor, and Chord Extraction. Pro Tools 2023.3 delivers fully qualified native Apple silicon support for M1 and M2 processors, and restores the features listed above missing from the Public Beta.

Apple M2 and M1 logos

As we announced for the public beta, users will not be able to run ICON, C24, and Command 8 control surfaces natively on Apple silicon. Although these control surfaces have been out of support for several years now and are no longer tested, they should continue to work as before when running under Rosetta 2. Note that support for AAC Import and the Structure Free instrument is not available at this time, but will be added in an upcoming release.

Note that Pro Tools 2023.3 now launches in native mode by default. This video shows you how to switch between native and Rosetta modes:


All plugins that are bundled with Pro Tools, including AIR Instruments and FX (with the exception of Structure Free—coming soon), are now available with native Apple silicon support. Our third-party plugin developers have been moving quickly too. You can find a comprehensive list of qualified third party plugins here.

Why is this important to you? Quite simply, it’s a huge performance improvement across the application. You’ll find that Pro Tools is significantly more responsive, and actions are quicker. We’ve also seen a lot better CPU utilization with plugins. The results can vary by plugin, but we’ve seen some plugins improve their performance by up to 2.5x compared to Rosetta on the same system.

Below is a table that shows some of the measurements we’ve taken:

Pro Tools Function % Improved*
Plugin CPU Performance Up to +150%
Launching Pro Tools +80%
Opening Complex Large Sessions +25%
Delete, Create and Duplicate Tracks +80%
Activate Tracks by dragging 100 tracks from inactive folder +67%
Deactivate Tracks by dragging 100 tracks from active folder +62%
Offline Bounce (complex Sessions - surround & Dolby Atmos) +64%
Workspace Indexing on an SSD +25%
Importing AAF (copy from source) +24%

*Performance specifications based on Avid test systems and do not guarantee performance.


Not only do we now support X-Form with native Apple silicon, but we added an entirely new elastic algorithm, élastique Pro V3 by zplane.development, to all tiers of Pro Tools. élastique offers stable timing, inter-channel phase coherence, and sample-accurate stretching, as well as formant-preserving pitch shifting for monophonic and polyphonic audio in real-time.

The tempo interaction with the Melodyne ARA plugin has also been improved in this release. Though Melodyne is not a direct Elastic Audio plugin that can participate with warp markers, it can stretch audio to in time with tempo changes on a tick-based track, as long as the clip is analyzed by the Melodyne ARA plugin. Pro Tools 2023.3 now automatically makes sure that all new clips added to a tick-based track are analyzed, ensuring that all clips stretch appropriately with a tempo change.

Check out this new video on Elastic Audio to learn more:



M4a AAC audio has been a popular compressed audio format on Apple computers for a long time. We decided to leverage Apple’s audio toolkit to allow the format to be exported across all tiers of Pro Tools, on macOS only.


The 2023.3 release also introduces Pro Tools | PlayCell, a new sample playback instrument that offers Pro Tools users a range of diverse sounds in a streamlined interface. PlayCell organizes instruments by “collections” that share the same macro controls which are optimized to get quick results for each instrument type, or you can use the randomizer to create something spontaneously. And this is just the beginning—we’ll be adding more sounds over time through the new Sonic Drop content program. PlayCell is available to all Pro Tools subscribers (monthly and annual) and perpetual license holders on an active plan at no charge (Pro Tool Intro users do not get PlayCell).

Watch the video tour with Matt Lange in which he takes you through Pro Tools | PlayCell:



Tab to automation breakpoint

You can now tab to automation breakpoints! I find it funny that when I told people we were doing this feature, they said “doesn’t Pro Tools already do that?” I can only imagine that it was never done because of all of the workflow complexities. In other words, a selection can contain many elements: clips, transients within clips, and automation breakpoints. If we allowed tabbing everything within a selection, the cursor wouldn’t move much. Breakpoints can be particularly dense, so we wanted to make sure that tabbing to them was intentional. We didn’t want to add yet another mode to think about, so instead we added contextual logic to make tabbing more of a right-brain activity. While we were at it, we also made it possible to double click between breakpoints and select a range.

Rulers optionally included with Edit Groups

It’s now possible to include rulers in Edit Groups. This will make it much easier to include things like markers and tempo changes in any kind of arrangement change, or even in a re-conform. As a part of this change, we also wanted to make it easier to access and modify the ALL group because this is often the group that you’d want rulers to be included with. Now you can navigate to the ALL group from within the Modify Groups window’s ID menu.

Pro Tools Modify Groups

Enhanced quantize controls in toolbars

The Quantize Controls in the Edit Window and MIDI Editor toolbars were introduced in Pro Tools 2022.9 to improve access to quantization workflows. Based on user feedback that we’ve received since then, we’ve added the following improvements:

  • The two primary parameters can be turned on/off directly from the toolbar by clicking on the parameter name—no need to use the Event Operations window!
    • The two primary parameters are Strength and Swing with a note grid, and Timing and Velocity with a groove
  • The ‘Options’ button (gear icon) shows an amber LED light if any advanced parameters such as ‘Tuplet’ and ‘Randomize’, are enabled in the Quantize page in the Event Operations window
    • The button will continue to open/close the Event Operations window
    • The button lights up blue if the Event Operations window is open
    • Hint: use Option+0 on Mac and Alt+0 on Windows for even faster access to the Quantize page in the Event Operations window

Quantize controls in Pro Tools Edit Window toolbar

Tips and Tricks:

  • Remember that the Quantize Controls simply mirror the Quantize settings in the Event Operations window.
  • Instead of a specific note value or a groove, you can select “Follow Bars|Beats Grid” to use the timeline grid setting as the quantization grid
    • The timeline grid lines will show you where your notes will snap to when quantized
    • Further streamline the workflow by using shortcuts Shift+ -/+ to decrement or increment the timeline grid value!
  • For even faster operation, use the shortcuts (Command+Option+0 on Mac and Ctrl+Alt+0 on Windows) to quantize
  • Power user tip: Pro Tools can quantize audio too! You can either snap individual audio clips to a grid, or quantize the contents within a clip using Elastic Audio

Pro Tools Event Operations Window


The Pro Tools | Sync X can now generate video reference signal that is relative to the incoming 10 MHz clock signal. This is supported in standalone mode and when used with Pro Tools. A firmware update is required. For more information, please visit Sync-X-Support-and-Compatibility.


Pro Tools 2023.3 is now available for all Pro Tools customers on an active subscription or perpetual license with current a Software Updates + Support Plan, as well as all Pro Tools Intro users. Note that Pro Tools Intro users do not get access to Sonic Drop content and the new PlayCell instrument. You can update through Avid Link or find it in your Avid Account. If you need to renew your Software Updates + Support Plan for Pro Tools or want to get current to the latest version, you can find options to do so here. And if you’re new to Pro Tools, you can try out the latest version with our free 30-day trial.

For more details about this release, please see the new documentation now available in your Avid Account.

ARA and Melodyne are registered trademarks of Celemony Software GmbH.

  • Chris Winsor

    Chris Winsor is a senior principal product designer for Pro Tools who has spent the last 14 years testing and designing solutions, including improvements in I/O Setup, field recorder, the video engine, and Dolby Atmos workflows.

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