Avid’s audio subsiduary, Digidesign, will soon be offering a free version of its popular Pro Tools 5.0.1 LE audio manipulation software. Pro Tools Free, which on both Windows 98 and Mac OS systems, will be available for download from Digidesign’s Web site – or on CD-ROM for a small shipping charge. Unlike the full version of Pro Tools LE, Pro Tools Free is hardware independent. It offers 8-channel audio and 48 MIDI tracks using standard Windows 98 and Mac sound drivers. If users have audio hardware, which could even include a standard soundcard, up to two I/0 channels are available. Pro Tools Free includes all of the standard recording and mixing tools. It also supports standard RTAS and AudioSuite plug-ins – and ships with the DigiRack RTAS Plug-Ins (EQ, Dynamics, DirectConnect, Mod Delay and Dither). Other features include QuickPunch recording, multiple playlists, audio waveform display, batch processing and support of major file formats – including SD II, AIFF, WAV, QuickTime and SND). The Mac version also supports export to RealAudio G2, with both versions including a 30-day demo of the export to MP3 option. Pro Tools Free will become available for download over the next couple of weeks. The CD-ROM is expected to ship four to six weeks after that. Delivery charges have not yet been announced.