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Seriously...Does Pro Tools Do Anything Better than Other DAWs?

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  • Seriously...Does Pro Tools Do Anything Better than Other DAWs?

    As you may know, I work with a lot of DAWs. Most of the time I can get NFR (not for resale) copies because companies realize that if I'm going to include screen shots and such in articles, if I had to buy every piece of software to cover them in books and articles, I'd be broke.

    Well, Pro Tools 10 got broken somewhere along the way, and I can't open stuff any more. Apparently this is not an isolated problem. I downloaded Pro Tools first so I could get a couple of screen shots, but it puts all this crap on your system...it's like willfully installing a virus.

    So I asked Avid for an NFR, and didn't get an answer (even "go away"). All the people I knew at Avid weren't there any more. I kind of though it would be weird that I'd have to pay Avid to give them free publicity, but hey, it's Pro Tools...right? Surely there must be something it can do that other DAWs can't do, and that I would find useful enough that buying a copy would be a good idea?

    The only thing I could think of was easy project exchange with other Pro Tools users. And of course, Pro Tools also has several key features other DAWs don't have, like...uh...well...hmmm...well there must be something, isn't there? Can anyone tell me what Pro Tools can do better than other DAWs?
    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

  • #2
    If this was ten, or even five years ago, I'd say what Pro Tools does that no other DAW does is makes your studio look professional and gets you paying clients. Now that the greatest percentage of studios operating today have no outside clients, then this is no longer a selling point.

    If you're collaborating with friends or band members, Reaper, Studio One, and Mixbus are all cheap enough so that everyone who actually needs to import and export session files can have a copy. They all import and export WAV files which is really all you need to be able to do to get a guitar solo from someone across town or across the country. And one person should be "in charge" of the mix.

    What Avid is pushing is collaboration, sometimes with people who you don't even know (a dangerous thing if there's going to be any copyright, publishing, or marketing issues). This certainly has its place in commercial work, and can be a big kick for music hobbyists, but people have been pushing at this concept for a long time and it hasn't really taken off - which I suspect is the reason why every DAW program today seems to have some sort of collaboration features.

    It doesn't bother me to use Sound Forge screen shots when writing about stereo work. There's nothing unique - I point out what I want the reader to understand and he or she can find an equivalent function on whatever DAW he's using. I have a copy of Pro Tools 10 (it was a handout at a big press conference where they introduced it) which I've never used for a project because I've never bothered to learn it. If I'm writing about an interface, I'll load it up so that I can say honestly that "it works with Pro Tools" as well as other programs I try it with.

    But I'm having the same problem with hardware (I don't know enough about software to ask for a freebie) manufacturers now that you're having with Avid - I've been trying to get an Antelope interface to write about for 3 or 4 years now, and they never come though. And my buddy at Focusrite is no longer there. But it's scary that you have a problem - I can't claim more than 500 visitors to my web site a month, which isn't enough to impress anyone that there's a value to my reviews. But you! You're CRAIG ANDERTON!

    Welcome to the real world of the unemployed.

    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post
      Welcome to the real world of the unemployed.
      I'm definitely not unemployed, and Avid is the only company I've dealt with that isn't interested in free publicity.

      A good example is MOTU. I never really got into DP, especially when I ended up using Windows more than Mac. Although they knew that, they always made sure I had a copy so that if I was writing an article like "how to ReWire anything to anything," I could include info on DP.

      Eventually DP went over to Windows, and DP8 included all kind of really excellent guitar plug-ins (and DP9 added to that). So because I had it around, I started getting into it and I have to say, it has a lot going for it so now I'm writing about more than just "obligatory" situations.

      My one rule is that if I get a piece of hardware or software that I use in my personal projects, not just for work, I figure out some way to pay the company for it. Often this involves giving them presets, or providing content for their web site for which they otherwise would need to pay.

      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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      • #4
        But I still want to know if Pro Tools does anything special that other DAWs don't do...
        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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