Why do people still use Pro Tools?

bottlenecker

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If you are a PC user,using anything but the free Cakewalk by Bandlab ,the good old Sonar, seems absurd to me unless you deal with professional studios in the US where PT is the norm.

Are people really using Sonar again? I'm still using an old version, but it seems like there are so many options now, even for free.
 

beyer160

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Pro Tools is the industry standard, and if you want to swim in those waters you need to be on board with the standard. The price point reflects this.

If you don't have to worry about that there are tons of other options, most of which work just fine and cost a TON less money.

For me, Reaper was a godsend. If using Reaper is your first time operating a modern PC, I can see that the learning curve would be steep. Otherwise, I find it generally pretty intuitive. My gold standard for user interfaces is to jump in without looking at any documentation, and if I can figure out how to perform basic operations quickly without looking anything up, I know you've got a good UI. Reaper is like that for me.

I think the guitar comparison is generally accurate- if ProTools is a Custom Shop Fender (and a Studer A800 is a vintage Fender), Reaper is a USA G&L. Not as sexy, but if you can play it doesn't really matter which one you use. If you can't play, the Custom Shop won't help you.


I don’t know what everyone is talking about - just use tape.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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As a home recordist I've been using PT10 since around 2013 on a now dedicated box with Win7. I have too much invested in plugins to bail or even upgrade my O/S. When this box croaks I've been telling myself I'll move on to something like Samplitude, mainly because my perception was that PT is now subscription only. Am I understanding correctly that perpetual/non-subscription licenses are available for the latest versions?

I started out using Sonic Foundry/Sony Vegas. They all seem clunky and temperamental during the learning curve. I'm not married to Pro Tools just because it's Pro Tools, but would prefer not having to learn a whole new DAW just to make music at home. I've often equated that process to attending a 2 week training class learning how to operate the latest and greatest power saw because you want to cut some boards in your garage.
 

loopfinding

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I do have one question though, why is it we diss Pro Tools on a regular basis ?

i have some simple reasons.

-when i came up with pro tools, only way in for me was to use their sub par overpriced hardware. may not be this way anymore, but that's why i left, at version 7.

-when i started making music electronically (MIDI, samples, clips, synthesis, etc), doing it in logic was much more straightforward/faster. ableton is just the most sensible/flexible/efficient way. and now even bitwig is giving ableton a run for its money (it is basically ableton if it had the routing capabilities of a modular synthesizer). protools is like the most convoluted ass backwards tool to compose music electronically of the bunch. last time i used it was ten years ago and it was stuck in 1990 something.

-protools is also a resource hog. that's why i use reaper when i'm tracking/just working on tracked stuff (and not making electronic music). there's no need to waste resources on bloatware before you've even touched anything.

there's nothing catastrophically wrong about protools. "it does the job." it's just woefully inadequate for a lot of use cases or configurations. you said it's not really for us "prosumers." yeah well, the flipside is that prosumers have no incentive or obligation to be brand loyal, hahaha.
 
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whetherkings

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I was kidding in my earlier comment (I do love recording to tape though).

I use Pro Tools and Logic - I prefer Logic for tracking and Pro Tools for mixing and editing but that’s more about my workflow than the products themselves.

As previous posters have said, they’re industry standard tools so in terms of getting work or being able to fully leverage the studio time you’re paying for, you ideally need to be able to drive them.

I haven’t personally had any particularly painful issues with either of them but they do have their own little quirks - Avid always takes an eternity to support macOS updates which probably pushes me towards using Logic more. But they’re both great.
 

T Prior

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i have some simple reasons.

-when i came up with pro tools, only way in for me was to use their sub par hardware. may not be this way anymore, but that's why i left.

-when i started making music electronically (MIDI, samples, clips, synthesis, etc), doing it in logic was much more straightforward/faster. ableton is just the most sensible/efficient way. and now even bitwig is giving ableton a run for its money. protools is like the most convoluted ass backwards tool to compose music electronically. last time i used it was ten years ago and it was stuck in 1990 something.

-protools is also a resource hog. that's why i use reaper when i'm tracking/just working on tracked stuff (and not making electronic music). there's no need to waste resources on bloatware before you've even touched anything.

you're talking about it not really being for us prosumers. yeah well, the flipside is that prosumers have no incentive or obligation to be brand loyal, hahaha.

Lots of interesting comments here, thx ! Just a few obvious conclusions.

First, since 2009, PT9, you could use any interface you want, it was no longer an AVID only product, that was 11 years ago !

You said yourself that you have not used the product for over 10 years. Just saying, this is 2021, Pro Tools is up to version 2021.6

No disrespect intended but it sounds like you are lifting up REAPER and dissing Pro Tools, of which you haven' t used in over a decade

One thing of note, PT's is not a resource hog any different than any other modern DAW. But it may very well have been back in the dark ages ! I ran PT 8 on a 4 gig XP machine for 4 years on MAUDIO Interfaces which as you know are NOT Avid products . It was the beginning of the hardware handshake, in 2008.

So back to my answer to your original question.

Whats the point here ? Other than you like Reaper better ? Which is fine, Reaper is a good choice for a $60 package !
 

Tuneup

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My own experience and comments from others tell me over and over that Pro Tools is trouble. Terrible customer service, very difficult technical support. The software is also extremely finicky - I hear plenty of people say, once it's set up and working, don't change anything because it'll break.

So why do people use it? Logic, Digital Performer, other options exist. I've never heard anybody complain about MOTU's support, although it just seems lower profile in general. Even my local dealer complains about Avid and says they have lousy customer service. With that kind of reputation, I don't see why people just switch. "Industry standard" surely can't overcome a mountain of bad customer service & support, can it?
Everyone has heard of it, it is in most major studios (probably all just for compatibility) and they have entire studio systems you can buy designed to work with pro tools.

So a guy with a room can go online and buy an entire studio, desk, monitors, cables, software, everything and get it shipped to him.
For someone that doesn't want the mess of setting up and tuning their own gear they buy, it's nice to get that pre packaged deal.
Plus it has the term "pro" in it.
That said I hate it, just use Reaper.
 

loopfinding

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Lots of interesting comments here, thx ! Just a few obvious conclusions.

First, since 2009, PT9, you could use any interface you want, it was no longer an AVID only product, that was 11 years ago !

You said yourself that you have not used the product for over 10 years. Just saying, this is 2021, Pro Tools is up to version 2021.6

No disrespect intended but it sounds like you are lifting up REAPER and dissing Pro Tools, of which you haven' t used in over a decade

One thing of note, PT's is not a resource hog any different than any other modern DAW. But it may very well have been back in the dark ages ! I ran PT 8 on a 4 gig XP machine for 4 years on MAUDIO Interfaces which as you know are NOT Avid products . It was the beginning of the hardware handshake, in 2008.

So back to my answer to your original question.

Whats the point here ? Other than you like Reaper better ? Which is fine, Reaper is a good choice for a $60 package !

sorry, edited for clarity. at home i got out of their hardware/software at 7. i had used it since then on and off outside of home around 2011-2012. the point is that protools is not the best solution for a lot of use cases or configs. and especially nowadays with electronic music production, it feels a bit like using slide rule instead of a calculator. there also isn't another fully featured DAW currently available as lightweight as reaper that i'm aware of. i'm not personally loyal to any DAW.
 

Wheelhouse

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Kinda surprised to see two pages on this! Thanks all.

Dealing with support has been difficult. I don't even know how much you have to pay for the privilege of being able to talk to them, that's not my area. But getting a new system working with the Avid HD IO has been a pain. After considerable time trying to figure out what was going on, finally got support to provide details for a diagnostic, resulting in the conclusion of needing to send the device in for repair/replacement (and practically new).

So this isn't "Pro Tools bashing" in terms of complaining about the software, it's just about the support.

Oh, and apparently we also have an issue getting into our old Sibelius license now that we're ready to upgrade that, and again the support is a barrier. Why can we not just call a phone number, and get an answer? It's not like we don't have the license details available, but it's still a chore.

And again, it's not like Pro Tools is the only thing out there. Digital Performer has been used for serious recording for a whole bunch of years too, but it's more obscure. Like others have said, it's that "industry standard" tag, and good or bad have little to do with that. Actually, since our Pro Tools is giving us so much trouble, we've been using DP. DP works great, but we have all the extra hardware for PT - the control surface, Ipad integration, etc.
 

guitarmikey

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I work in a couple of studios that have been forced by industry to switch on PT. Worked previously on Vegas Pro, but...
I love Cubase, Reaper, (after years of Cakewalk) and that is what I use home or mobile, but in studios... just because of "industry standard"...
 

Ben Harmless

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Lots of plausible reasons here. My feeling is that at least 50% of Pro Tool users are in it because they know Pro Tools. They've been using the same shortcuts and the same plugins for 20 years, and they can make very good recordings with them. The learning curve is over. It's a horizontal line. There's no pressing need to change, so why throw it out the window? I mean, this isn't a computer game we're playing. We're not always looking for the next-gen graphics - we're looking for the next great sound. Plus, if I'm doing this for a living, I'm not about to start re-inventing my workflow unless I have a very pressing need to do so.

I think it was in 2011 or 2012 that I had one of my best studio experiences ever. It was at a friend's studio. His system was rock solid, air-gapped, and he never had any cause to change it. They guy was a wizard. The moment we'd stop a take, he'd be flying on the keyboard, editing out hum, tweaking drum hits, playing with reverbs, all that. This was while we were still tracking. He did at least 50% more work than I've seen any other engineer do in the same amount of time, and when it was time to mix, we were mixing.

His system? Magix Samplitude as his DAW, which he used in school about 16 years prior, and an old digital board with a broken screen as his front end. His fanciest studio gear was 20 years of practice and a great personality. He knew his tools well enough that he could do his job blindfolded. He gets some pretty cool names calling him up, too. They don't care what he's recording into. Reputation earned.

That said, I use Reaper because I like it's strengths, but at this point it's mostly because I know Reaper. I'm also an amateur again at this point, since my day job has gone from sound guy to social worker...
 

kingvox

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I have no idea. I'm a huge fan of Reaper myself and it's all I use.

I use a handful of plugins and VST's and it more than gets the job done for post-processing, and also couldn't be easier for Direct-In or mic recording. The interface is pretty intuitive. Reaper is very powerful and very awesome and it keeps getting better with every update.
 

soundchaser59

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Marketing. Any numbnut that knows nothing about recording but wants to be the next gazillionaire knows about “Pro-Tools” and “Autotune”. And little else. So they call studios and ask if the studio has Pro Tools. If not, they hang up and call the next one.
A friend's kid came over to see how I record. He knew nothing at all before he went to a local community college for sound engineering.

He was thrilled when he walked in. Then I told him I use Reaper. "You don't have Pro Tools? Why?"

Suddenly he was ready to leave, all interest evaporated. I was suddenly lower than bug piss in his eyes.

That's some pretty effective marketing.
 

suthol

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A friend's kid came over to see how I record. He knew nothing at all before he went to a local community college for sound engineering.

He was thrilled when he walked in. Then I told him I use Reaper. "You don't have Pro Tools? Why?"

Suddenly he was ready to leave, all interest evaporated. I was suddenly lower than bug piss in his eyes.

That's some pretty effective marketing.

Most high end software has student pricing, Autocad springs immediately to mind and early days Microsoft aimed at the home market and because of penetration there became the corporate standard.

Why the kid turned his nose up is another issue altogether
 
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nedorama

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My own experience and comments from others tell me over and over that Pro Tools is trouble. Terrible customer service, very difficult technical support. The software is also extremely finicky - I hear plenty of people say, once it's set up and working, don't change anything because it'll break.

So why do people use it? Logic, Digital Performer, other options exist. I've never heard anybody complain about MOTU's support, although it just seems lower profile in general. Even my local dealer complains about Avid and says they have lousy customer service. With that kind of reputation, I don't see why people just switch. "Industry standard" surely can't overcome a mountain of bad customer service & support, can it?

I owned Digital Performer and I've used Logic for 90 days - I prefer Pro Tools. As someone who's used it for 20 years now, it works fine - if you have cracked plugins, if you have a bunch of other junk on your computer or not one that's been qualified, if you update your OS to a non-supported version, yes, you can have problems. Those by far and wide are the issues people report on the DUC (Avid's message board). Professionals need to have reliability, zero latency and the ability to handle massive track counts. Pro Tools can do all of that with HDX.

Can't tell if you're serious or just being a troll, as the second-hand accounts don't mean anything. I can't stand Logic but I know some people like it for MIDI-songwriting. Digital Performer hasn't been in contention for a top spot since the late 90s - and I own their product! It's just not what most people use. Pro Tools is the industry standard because that's what most studios use and people in the industry.
 




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