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  • Budget Professional Studio Build, Pro Tools or...

    We are putting together a professional budget oriented studio. Pro tools seems like the go to choice for software but cost vs payoff is important to me as well.
    I'm aware that there are alternatives, Logic Pro (Apple), Reaper (Cheap), but I've no idea how they all stack up.

    My main concern is recouping costs if we were to fail in this endeavor. Pro tools 12 is ~800$ Canadian for the standard version and we might be able to qualify for the academic version at half the price, but I'm not sure what the difference is and what limitations we might face using the academic version in a professional setting.

    So while Pro Tools is expensive, if I could resell the license then cost is no object. Otherwise I'm interested in learning more about the potential alternatives. We also don't want to end up buying something that is 75% the cost of pro tools and having no one take us seriously as a result.
    Something like Reaper wouldn't be as big a deal because it's only 60$, and while I know a lot of the draw/cost of Pro Tools these days is in the name, there is always going to be some level of "you get what you pay for".
    Interested to hear the thoughts of the community, any input is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Just realized Reaper is 240$ for commercial use, so that is off the table.

    Comment


    • #3
      Reaper would be a good place to start.
      You may use the discounted license if:

      You are an individual, and REAPER is only for your personal use, or

      You are an individual or business using REAPER commercially, and yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000, or

      You are an educational or non-profit organization.

      What are you planning to use as a audio interface?
      As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
      from the deepest hell to the highest states.

      It is up to you which one you choose to explore
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        All DAW programs do basically the same thing which is manipulate data - NOT SOUND. That's the first thing you have to wrap your head around when working in a digital environment. Once the audio passes through your interface its no longer sound but ones and zeroes.

        Some DAW's do some things better then others. Since you're just starting out, you have no idea what those may be.

        There are some things most daw's can do. They record audio and midi, allow editing and mixing of what's been recorded and allow you to add virtual effects. How well they do this job varies from program to program. One thing for certain, there is no difference in recording quality because they don't alter the data when tracking. The programs simply set up data storage files on the drive, so there is no difference between an expensive or cheap daw when it comes to that.

        Where the difference in price comes into play is first with the stock effects it comes bundled with, then the mixing/routing/editing capabilities.

        There was a Time when Pro tools ruled for studio recording. Mac's were the computer of choice and Pro tools and later Logic were Mac only program. Pro tools has fairly recently made they're program PC compatible because they were loosing huge market share to all the other vendors. many still prefer Mac's over PC's but expect to spend double on everything you buy including plugins if you go that route,

        As far as advising you on what to choose - The first thing is you wont be able to sell the License and keep using the program. That's not only illegal, its simply not possible with the ILoc security system they have now. You can download the program to any computer you want. You simply wont be able to run it without an ILoc. That program is linked to that ILoc and your computer. You may be able to transfer it to another owner, but you wont be able to keep running the program when you do because that license is on the Iloc and once its transferred it's no longer yours.

        I do suggest you look up all the major DAW programs and see what they come bundled with. You don't have to be stuck with one either. You can easily run several different programs until you find which suits you best. I started off with Steinberg, Cakewalk, Adobie, and Logic (an old PC version which is obsolete now) I have tried several others since. I got the M-Audio version of Pro tools (when I purchased they're Delta cards), I have Ableton Live, Reason, FL studio, Garage band, Acid, Audacity, Reason and Reaper.

        Out of the bunch I Prefer Sonar X1 Producer for audio work and Cubase for Midi. I found Sonar to be the easiest to work with and the Producer versions I use allow me to do some video work.

        The rest I've tried just to get to know them a bit. I could be proficient at running any of them but I didn't see anything overly compelling which would make me want to switch over.

        The audio Plugins used on PC's are VST - a Steinberg format all the other DAW programs have adopted as a standard for PC's. Mack computer daw's use they're own unique plugin format. Again, you'll pay more for plugins and the ability to download free plugins is 50% less then what you can find for PC's in many cases.

        Since you're just starting up I suggest you spend your money on hardware and go with an inexpensive DAW like Reaper until you know where you can even turn a profit. The failure rate in new studios is likely over 90% for two main reasons. Its not like you can just slap all this together, and have instant success. You DON"T purchase studio quality with the purchase of soft and hardware. It can take you a number of years just to get up to speed using it. I had an analog studio for a good 30 years before switching to digital and it tool me a good 5 years to get up to speed to do pro work. It never ends either. You are constantly upgrading and learning new stuff.

        If you have a strong experience in recording analog, you may be able to make that changeover in a shorter period of time but don't kid yourself into thinking its easy. If this is your first studio and recording experience - I suggest you spend the least amount of money on software and gear until you have an actual income to offset it. This isn't the 50's, 60's 70's 80's or 90's any more. The days of being hired by recording companies a is gone and not coming back, That model collapsed with the advent of the internet. There's still work in commercial advertisement and the movie industry but the old Hollywood model of the record business only exist in the minds of those who don't know the business.

        Today you have every musician capable of recording themselves with a minimum investment. they don't need to hire expensive studios to do allot of that work now. Earning a profit or even breaking even is more of a pipe dream to most. Other then selling CD's at gigs there is no income stream for musicians any more besides a couple of online sites which don't pay dirt. If musicians cant make money off they're music neither can studios make money off musicians unless they are still believing that old failed model of the industry somehow still exists and are willing to pay out of they're own pocket.

        Anyway my point here is, don't be buying all new gear and high end anything. Buy your gear used at half price and only by new if you have no other option. You don't start out a new business by being stupid and owing more than you take in. Don't run your credit cards up either. You'll pay triple for the gear in the long run and you'll wind up having to take a day job to pay for it all. You want to start a studio start small. Maybe have a mobile rig and do live show recordings. As you earn money do like I do and reinvest that money back into better gear and shop your ass off for the best deals you can. Over the past 40 years I likely invested 10K to get 50K worth of gear. Most of that gear has at least retained its value or gone up in value but I always get great deals when buying because I take my time and wait to jump on the best deals.

        When you're in business, its not how much you spend. Any braggart can boast about how stupid they were getting ripped off paying list cost. The guys who stay in business are the ones who spend the least to get the best bang for the buck. Those are the guys with something called a brain between those ears.

        Comment


        • #5
          Pro Tools for editing workflow.

          Any other DAW for mixing workflow.
          flip the phase

          Comment


          • #6
            I use a few different programs, but spend more time in Pro Tools than anything else.

            Today you can do good work with any of the major DAW programs. If you're a Mac devotee, Logic has a lot going for it. If you're a PC user, then SONAR should be on your list of programs to check out. Cubase and Nuendo, as well as Reaper and other programs have their devotees too. Again, none of them will prevent you from making a good recording.

            Having said that, PT really is the industry standard in a lot of ways, so if you plan on working on projects that are going to be worked on in other studios too (starting at your place, finishing at a high-dollar pro facility, or projects coming to you for overdubs on recordings that were started in another studio, long-distance collaborations, etc. etc.) it really does make sense to have (and be proficient in the use of) Pro Tools.

            If you plan on starting and finishing each and every project in your studio, then it makes much less of a difference.

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MikJames View Post
              We are putting together a professional budget oriented studio. Pro tools seems like the go to choice for software but cost vs payoff is important to me as well.
              I'm aware that there are alternatives, Logic Pro (Apple), Reaper (Cheap), but I've no idea how they all stack up.

              My main concern is recouping costs if we were to fail in this endeavor. Pro tools 12 is ~800$ Canadian for the standard version and we might be able to qualify for the academic version at half the price, but I'm not sure what the difference is and what limitations we might face using the academic version in a professional setting.

              So while Pro Tools is expensive, if I could resell the license then cost is no object. Otherwise I'm interested in learning more about the potential alternatives. We also don't want to end up buying something that is 75% the cost of pro tools and having no one take us seriously as a result.
              Something like Reaper wouldn't be as big a deal because it's only 60$, and while I know a lot of the draw/cost of Pro Tools these days is in the name, there is always going to be some level of "you get what you pay for".
              Interested to hear the thoughts of the community, any input is greatly appreciated.
              You can no longer legally sell your copy of ProTools v 12.x or later to anyone else. In the past you could ...but no longer.

              Comment


              • #8
                if you're on a mac, Logic makes sense

                i started on Logic... it's what i use now.... having said that, if i was starting again, i'd probably bite the bullet and learn ProTools

                Comment













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