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Pro Tools HEAT: Integrating Analog Saturation Into Your Mixes

February 18, 2024 
pro tools heat
Last Updated on February 18, 2024

Pro Tools HEAT adds analog emulation to every track, enhancing the overall sound of the mix and providing flexibility in using the feature.

Key Insights

  • Pro Tools Heat adds analog emulation to every track in a console style way, enhancing the overall sound of the music.
  • Activating Heat in a session can be easily done through the options tab, providing users with flexibility in using the analog emulation feature.
  • The tone knob in Pro Tools Heat functions as a tilt EQ, allowing for further control over the sound.
  • The settings for the tape distortion mode and tube side can be adjusted to achieve the desired tone and brightness.
  • Due to HEAT being integrated into Pro Tools, it isn't CPU intensive. This means you don't have to worry about audio dropout.
  • Pro Tools HEAT can replace any analog tape or tube emulation plugins you are currently using.


  • 00:00 Pro Tools Heat Introduction
  • 01:19 Heat is a master control for overall coloration and distortion in Pro Tools, and in this video, the speaker shows how to enable and use it, as well as comparing the different types of distortion to help you decide if you want to use it in your mixes.
  • 02:45 Enable heat in Pro Tools by default in all sessions through the preferences tab, or activate it in individual sessions through the options tab.
  • 03:43 Enable the Heat in Pro Tools by accessing it through the mix window views and the bottom left and right corners.
  • 04:37 Heat in Pro Tools is activated and controlled by two knobs, the drive control for tape or tube distortion and a tone knob for tilt EQ.
  • 05:48 Use the Heat in Pro Tools to brighten or dull the sound, bypass it on individual channels, and set it pre-fader for tape distortion emulation.
  • 06:53 Heat can only be applied to audio tracks, not instrument tracks, aux tracks, or master fader, so you'll need to commit instrument tracks to audio before applying heat.
  • 07:48 The speaker demonstrates the Pro Tools Heat plugin and asks for feedback on its analog emulation capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is HEAT?

HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology) is a feature included in Pro Tools subscriptions that adds "warmth" and analog character to your mixes. It emulates the sound of classic analog equipment like vintage mixing consoles and tape saturation.

Is HEAT a plugin?

No, HEAT is not a plugin. It's integrated directly into Pro Tools, making it easier to access and use compared to traditional plugins. You don't need to insert it on individual tracks or search for it in menus.

How do I use HEAT?

HEAT is available in the Pro Tools Mix window. You can apply it globally to your entire mix using the Drive and Tone controls, or you can bypass it on specific tracks to only affect certain sounds.

Is HEAT included with all versions of Pro Tools?

HEAT is only included with Pro Tools subscriptions (Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate). It is not available with perpetual licenses or Pro Tools Artist.

Is HEAT worth using?

Whether or not HEAT is worth using depends on your personal preferences and workflow. Some users find it a valuable tool for adding subtle warmth and character to their mixes, while others prefer the sound of specific analog emulation plugins. Experimenting with HEAT and comparing it to other options is the best way to determine if it fits your needs.

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