M-Audio and Digidesign team up for $99 Pro Tools, hardware bundles

It's probably safe to assume that most of the Grammy Award-winning readers of Engadget (hi, Evanescence!) already have expansive -- and expensive -- recording studios in their Bel Aire mansions. For the rest of us, however, the fruits of Avid's acquisition of M-Audio is beginning to pay off in the form of inexpensive Pro Tools bundles that see the digital audio workstation paired with entry-level recording gear. Right now, we have three Pro Tools Essentials packages for you, including: the Pro Tools Vocal Studio USB condenser mic (includes a stand and a case for $99), the Pro Tools Recording Studio comes with a Fast Track 2-in / 2-out USB audio interface with mic / line / instrument inputs ($129), and finally Pro Tools KeyStudio 49-key MIDI keyboard (bundled with M-Audio USB Micro soundcard for $99). Of course, for prices this low you can't expect the full-blown ProTools treatment, but even the streamlined version here should be sufficient for most would-be Johnny Marrs: 5 GB of instruments and loops, 60 virtual instrument sounds, and the usual reverb / chorus / delay / flanger / phaser / compression / EQ effects. To be released mid-September, but in the meantime check out the hardware in the gallery below.