Audio Engineering and Sound Production

Computer Recommendations

All Audio Engineering students are required to have a laptop computer and Pro Tools 2019 by the second semester of their first year, when they enroll in A102. The computer and software will be used in classroom and lab instruction and for individual projects for the duration of the student's studies.


Any current Macintosh laptop running at least OS 10.12, a minimum of 8 GB RAM, 500 GB or greater boot drive. We recommend an i7 processor if your budget allows. Note that current Macbooks have only a USB-C ports, you will need an adaptor to connect your iLock. Check the Avid support website for the latest information.


Any current laptop computer should work, Windows 10 operating system, a minimum of 8 GB RAM, and a 500 GB boot drive. We recommend a quad-core i5 or i7 processor if you budget allows.  Check the Avid support website for compatibility details and laptop recommendations 


Pro Tools 2019 is required. Avid has moved to a subscription-based pricing structure which requires a yearly subscription fee. Avid offers educational discounts to students (linked below). 

Annual Subscription ($99/year): You must renew the subscrition every year you want to use Pro Tools. If you do not renew the subscription, Pro Tools will no longer work.

Monthly Subscription ($9.99/month) You must renew the subscription each month. If you do not renew the subscription, Pro Tools will no longer work.

If you already own Pro Tools follow this link to upgrade to the current version or renew your existing license.


An iLok is required to run Pro Tools. You may choose to purchase a physical iLok or subscribe to the iLok Cloud service, however if you choose to use the iLok cloud you must be connected to the internet to run Pro Tools.


No interface is necessary to run Pro Tools, you may use your computer's internal sound card. Most third interfaces will work with Pro Tools, however make sure to do a thorough Internet search before you buy to make sure there are no reported issues.

System configuration and troubleshooting

Mac and WIndows system optimizations (from Avid)
MAC and Windows system optimization
 (from Sweetwater)
Pro Tools troubleshooting (From Sweetwater) 

Hard Drive

Minimum of 500 GB, 7200rpm, with 8 MB cache. Other than that we have no specific recommendations. It is best to use drives from a reputable manufacturer such as Seagate or Western Digital. We recommend purchasing drives with a USB 3 interface. Note that the Pro Tools system in MC327 and the Joshi studio do not have Thunderbolt interfaces.

Data Backup

Each student is responsible for backing up their data. Data loss will not be accepted as an excuse for a late or unsubmitted assignment. For this reason we recommend that students have two data hard drives, one for production and a second for backup. Students should also regurlarly backup the boot drive of their laptop. SuperDuper (Mac only) and FreeFileSync (Mac and PC) have proven to be reliable.


All departmental Pro Tools Systems are Macintosh based. If you use a PC for your personal system we recommend installing MacDrive which will allow you to use HFS+ formatted drives on your PC. Otherwise you should create NTFS and HFS+ partitions on your drive to allow you to work on both platforms. Macintosh computers can read the NTFS file system but not record to it. We do not recommend using FAT32 because of file size restrictions, or EXFAT which has been unreliable in our experience.