Equipment, Systems & Project Design

Technical Tips and Reference Information

Here is a place where we will post important technical information that we hope will help you keep up with the current technical information. we will also post some cool tech tips that may help you out.


Avid Pro Tools 10 and 11. Things to try when things are not working properly:

Mac Pro (Late 2013): Using multiple displays and PORTS

Learn about using multiple displays (such as monitors, TVs, and projectors) with your Mac Pro (Late 2013) via Thunderbolt, Mini DisplayPort, and HDMI connections.

What display configurations can I use with my Mac Pro (Late 2013)?You can connect up to six displays to your Mac Pro (Late 2013). Check the list below to be sure you’re setting up your display in a supported configuration via the HDMI and Thunderbolt ports. Note: Windows has different specifications for connecting multiple displays.You can connect up to:

  • Six Apple Thunderbolt Displays (27-inch), Apple LED Cinema Displays (27-inch), or third-party Mini DisplayPort displays.
  • Three 4K displays: two connected via Mini DisplayPort and one connected via HDMI.
  • One 4K Ultra HD TV or 4K display using HDMI and four Apple Thunderbolt Displays (27-inch), Apple LED Cinema Displays (27-inch), or third-party Mini DisplayPort displays.
  • Two HDMI (HD or 4K) devices: one connected via HDMI and one connected via Mini DisplayPort with an HDMI adapter (see note below).


Note: Attach displays to different Thunderbolt busses when possible (see figure below). Do not attach more than two displays to any Bus. This means that if you use the HDMI port, be sure to then only use one of the bottom two Thunderbolt ports (Bus 0).


Which 4K displays can I use?

See Using 4K displays and Ultra HD TVs with Mac computers for a complete list.

Can I use more 4K Ultra HD TVs in addition to one connected to the HDMI port?

Yes. You can connect one additional 4K Ultra HD TV by using an adapter that conforms to the High Speed HDMI cable standard and connecting it to a Thunderbolt port. Check with the manufacturer of the cable to determine if it supports this standard. Do not use Thunderbolt Bus 0 to connect this additional device if you’ve connected a 4K Ultra HD TV to the HDMI port.

Are display rotation and scaling supported with my connected 4K Ultra HDTV or 4K display?

Scaling and display rotation are supported for a 4K Ultra HD TVs or 4K displays using the HDMI port. When rotating a 4K Ultra HD TV or 4K display at 90 or 270 degrees, the resolution will change to 1080p.

Can I connect a DVI display?

Mac Pro supports DVI displays using Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapters. Use a single-link DVI adapter such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter for DVI displays with a resolution up to 1920×1200. Use a Dual-Link DVI adapter such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter for resolutions up to 2560×1600.

Mac Pro supports a total of two single-link DVI displays. If you connect a third DVI display using a passive adapter or a display via HDMI, it will cause one of the three displays to become inactive.

Can I connect more than 2 DVI or HDMI displays?

Mac Pro supports a total of two DVI or HDMI displays when connected via the built-in HDMI port or using the Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. To connect additional DVI displays, use an active DVI adapter such as the Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter. You can connect up to six active adapter DVI displays. This requires a powered USB hub since Mac Pro offers four USB ports and you will need six to connect them all.

Which displays are active during startup?

Usually only one connected display will illuminate until OS X is finished starting.

Deleting Pro Tools Databases and Preference

These are important steps in order to resolve various issues, such as assertion errors, graphic or display problems, and other intermittent issues that are not specifically hardware or compatibility related. Listed below are the paths to all the database and preference files installed by Pro Tools. Once you have deleted these files, you should restart your computer. These files will be recreated when Pro Tools is launched.

Note: It is not necessary to delete database files in Pro Tools 11 and later. Deleting preferences is still a recommended troubleshooting step, however the preference file locations changed as of Pro Tools 11. See below.

Pro Tools Databases (Pro Tools 10)
  • Double-click on the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop.  (This would be your system drive if you have renamed it to something else.)
  • Go to the Library folder.
  • Go to the Application Support folder.
  • Go to the Avid folder.
  • Go to the Pro Tools folder.
  • Find the folder called Databases and drag it to your trash.
  • NOTE: If you are using Pro Tools HD or Complete Production Toolkit, you will want to backup your Catalogs folder before deleting the Databases folder.
Pro Tools Preferences (Pro Tools 10)
  • From the Finder, click on the ‘Go’ menu at the top of your screen.
  • Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard and choose ‘Library’.
  • Go to the Preferences folder.
  • Delete the following files:
    • com.digidesign.ProTools.plist
    • com.digidesign.ProTools.plist.lockfile
    • DAE Prefs
    • DigiSetup.OSX
    • Pro Tools Prefs
Pro Tools Preferences (Pro Tools 11 and later)
  • From the Finder, click on the ‘Go’ menu at the top of your screen.
  • Press and hold the Option key on your keyboard and choose ‘Library’.
  • Go to the Preferences folder.
  • Go to the Avid folder.
  • Go to the Pro Tools folder.
  • Delete all files in this folder:
    • AvidListFile.txt
    • DSIPrefs
    • InstalledAAXPlugins
    • Last Used.pio
    • Pro Tools Prefs
Repair Disk Permissions
  • Double-click on the Macintosh HD icon on your desktop. (This would be your system drive if you have renamed it to something else.)
  • Go to the Applications folder.
  • Go to the Utilities folder.
  • Double-click on Disk Utility.
  • Select the boot volume. (This would be called ‘Macintosh HD’ unless you have renamed it to something else)
  • Go to the ‘First Aid’ tab and select “Repair Disk Permissions”.
Avid Knowledge Base

Avid Knowledge Base Pro Tools 11 Documentation (All)

Last Updated : August 14, 2014
Products Affected : Pro_Tools_1_6, Pro_Tools_HD

Activate and Download Your Product: Pro Tools 11 This document will guide you through the process of activating and download the Pro Tools software.
How to activate and download Pro Tools 11?See Also: Avid Product Activation for additional video tutorials.


1. Log in to your Avid Account
2. After logging in , click on the “Avid Software Activation and Download” section
3. Insert your Activation/Download Code (PTS/PTX/UPTS..), and click Download Now.

4. On the next page, you will need to insert your iLok ID, and all the details requested, then click Continue.

Please note: The iLok ID is not printed on the iLok key. If you don’t have an iLok account, then you will first need to create one on the website.

5.  Complete the Registration Information in order to finish this process
6. After you complete this process, the installers will be available for download in your Avid Account, in the “My Products and Subscriptions” section. You can re-download your software at anytime after this, as many times as you need. This software download list will always be populated with the newest up-to-date installers.
7. To download Pro Tools, click on “My Products and Subscriptions”, then on the product itself, then on ,,Show” to see the downloads related to that product. “““`

8. First you will need to download Pro Tools, depending on your OS.
Once you click that, the product will directly start to download.
If you have any problems downloading (getting incomplete files) it might help trying this with a different web browser.

9. You will need to follow the same steps to download the AIR Creative Collection (depending on the version/OS).

10. After downloading Pro Tools and the Air Creative Collection installers, you will also need to install them on your machine.

Windows: In order to install Pro Tools, first you will need to go to the location where the Pro Tools installer was downloaded. Then you will need to unzip it by: right-click and select “Extract All” and follow the on-screen instructions. After the file is extracted, a new folder will be created. This folder contains the “Setup.exe” file. Double click the “Setup.exe” and the installation will begin. After you finish the installation of Pro Tools, you will need to follow the same steps for the installation of the Air Creative Collection.

Mac: In order to install Pro Tools on the Mac, you will need to go the location where Pro Tools installer was downloaded and double click the  Pro Tools 11.dmg file.


After you double click, a new window with several options will appear. You will need to drag and drop the Pro Tools icon to the Applications Icon. Then you will get a dialog with the status of the copy procedure. Run the Pro Tools application from the Applications folder to complete the installation.

After the Pro Tools installation completes, you will also need to install the AIR Creative Collection by double clicking the AIR_Creative_Collection_11_0.0_Mac.dmg file.

After the double click a new window will pop up and you will need to double click the “Install AIR Creative Collection.pkg”
11.Use the iLok License Manager (already on your machine now that Pro Tools is installed) to download the license to your iLok.
For more information on how to download your license and how to use the iLok License Manager, watch this video.


Avid Initial Setup Videos

See all the steps for setting up your iLok account, activating your software, and finding updated hardware drivers. These videos are a great place to start if you are having any trouble getting Pro Tools set up.

How to setup your Pro Tools System


How to install Pro Tools and plug-ins (MAC)


How to use iLok License Manager


Avid Optimizations

How to optimize your computer for optimal Pro Tools performance. Follow the instructions in this video if you are having any technical issues, the steps described resolve a majority of technical problems

How to optimize MAC OSX for Pro Tools


How to optimize Windows 8 for Pro Tools



Avid Troubleshooting and Support

This series will help you diagnose your issue, provide you with tips and common troubleshooting techniques, and tell you where to go for help when you need it.

How to download your software again


How to troubleshoot iLok license issues



Avid S3 Setup
Before you get going with your Pro Tools | S3, there are three important configuration processes. These can be done once the EuControl software has been installed. If you don’t yet have the EuControl software, please go here for EuControl activation and Pro Tools | S3 registration instructions.

Enabling Studio Mode
The S3 must be in Studio Mode to be recognized by EuControl and any EUCON aware media applications.

  1. Power off the S3.
  2. Press and hold the Application/Workstation switch on the right side of the S3.
    User-added image
  3. Press the power switch on the back of the S3 to the “on” position.
  4. Keep holding the Application/Workstation switch until the two rightmost top row encoder displays (encoders 15 and 16) show Live Mode/Studio and OK, respectively.
    User-added image
  5. Press the encoder under the display showing Live Mode/Studio once, so that Studio mode appears above and in larger text than the other mode in the display.
    User-added image
  6. Press the encoder under the display showing OK. The S3 will reboot automatically into Studio Mode.
    User-added image

 Updating S3 firmware
The following describes how to update your S3 firmware. Please be patient as it’s a two-part process that takes about 7-8 minutes.

  1. Ensure your S3 is connected to your computer, powered on, and in Studio Mode.
  2. Install EuControl, or launch EuControl if already installed.
  3. Click (Mac) or double-click (Windows) the EuControl icon and select EuControl Settings. If necessary, click Surfaces to display the Surfaces tab.
  4. Click Avid S3 in the My Surfaces list so it is highlighted.
    User-added image
  5. Click Update Firmware. If the Update Firmware dialog shows a message that the surface is up to date, no further action is necessary. If the firmware needs to be updated, click Update Firmware. Do not power off the S3.
    User-added image
  6. The first part of the firmware update will take about 2 minutes. Click Done once progress bar reaches 100%.
    User-added image
  7. Studio Mode will be displayed on the S3 and S3 will reboot after about 15 seconds.
  8. The second part of the firmware update begins when “Updating Do not power down” is shown on the S3 displays. This part takes about 5 minutes.
    User-added image
  9. The S3 will reboot again and be added back into the “My Surfaces” list and ready for use with the latest firmware installed. If S3 does not appear in the Surfaces tab or is not detected by your DAW, click on the “E” menu at the top of your screen (Mac) or System Tray (Windows) and choose “Restart EUCON Applications…”.
  10. If S3 still not detected, restart your computer and launch EuControl.

Enabling AVB on your computer
To use the S3’s built-in audio interface as an AVB device, an AVB-compatible Mac is required. Enable AVB audio on your computer as follows:

  1. From the Finder Menu, click Go, then choose Utilities.
  2. Double-click Audio MIDI Setup.
  3. In Audio MIDI Setup, click the Window menu, then choose Show Network Device Browser.
  4. Click the checkbox next to “Avid S3” in the Network Device Browser window. Your S3 can now be used as an audio interface with your Mac.
    User-added image
  5. If you are using Pro Tools, go to Setup > Playback Engine and choose Avid S3:AVB to use the S3 as your Pro Tools audio interface.
    User-added image
  6. Choose Setup > IO Setup. Click Default on both the Input and Output tabs, then click OK to close IO Setup.


Registration and Activation for Avid Audio / Pro Tools Products - March 13, 2017
Avid Knowledge Base
Registration and Activation for Avid Audio / Pro Tools Products
Advice on the registration and activation processes for new Avid Audio / Pro Tools products (hardware, software and plugins). How to register Avid Audio / Pro Tools software, plugins and hardware with a registration card or activation card / code.

Last Updated : March 13, 2017
Products Affected : Pro_Tools, Pro_Tools_HD, Pro_Tools_LE, Pro_Tools_M_Powered


How do I complete the registration process for my new Avid Audio / Pro Tools product?How do I register Avid Audio / Pro Tools software / hardware or plugins?How do I activate my Avid Audio / Pro Tools software or plugin?How do I register my Fast Track or MobilePre interface?


Avid Audio / Pro Tools Registration / Activation /
Avid Audio / Pro Tools Hardware products are usually registered using the Yellow Registration Card
Fast Track and MobilePre USB interfaces are registered using the hardware serial number at
Avid Audio / Pro Tools Software products have 2 different ways to register…
       EITHER…                                                                     OR…
Yellow Registration Card withReg ID, Serial Number and (sometimes) Release Code   Activation Code  A single long code split into 3 parts     ….. – ….. – …..
Using the Registration CardRegistration card information (Registration ID, Serial Number, Release Code) is entered Serial numbers will usually begin with letters e.g. CCDGH12345678.

(Avid part numbers look like e.g. 9900-12345-00 and are not entered during registration).

Not all products have a release code, but please enter if provided. This will be four letters e.g. ZZMZ

Using the Activation Card / CodeCommonly used for software upgrade / download products and software plugins.Here’s a full guide on using your activation card / code:


Note: Products are registered during activation

If you have an activation code for your software you won’t have a yellow registration card with Registration ID, Serial Number or Release Code for that product.

Activation codes work only once.After activating your product downloads become available in the Avid account, section ‘View My Product Details’ or ‘My Products’.

Note: Educational verification codes (which begin EDU-…) have a separate process when verifcation is required at identit-e/avid


Once you’ve successfully registered / activated your Avid Audio Pro Tools software / plugin or hardware you should receive a confirmation email to your nominated email address (and an Avid Support Code if you have a qualifying product).Note: If you have purchased a hardware/software bundle you may need to register/activate the hardware and software separately.