October 3rd, 2008 – I use ProTools when I work in outside studios; it’s the industry standard. It’s a solid program to record and engineer music, and it’s great for cutting and manipulating audio. Whether it has a special sound, as some contend, is a matter of debate with me.
Perhaps you could say that it has a sound if you use the bundled hardware for all input and output duty. For serious studios, however, the AD and DA are separate from the ProTools hardware, and that hardware is only used to interface the AD/DA with the software (through ADAT usually), bypassing any chance of sound-colouring from the ProTools gear.
For my work as a composer, I’ve never found that ProTools helped me write music in the way that Logic does. Logic bundles samplers (with gigs of samples and loops), synthesizers, effects, and loads them with presets to help you on your way to compose. There aren’t any barriers to writing the music. That being said, its handling of audio infuriates me. Editing and recording audio is irritating at best and downright unusable at worst. That’s why when I record live instruments and vocals, I prefer to use ProTools. Unfortunately, samplers, synthesizers and good effects are not easily integrated into ProTools so I’ve never considered it for songwriting. That is, until now.
ProTools 8 now bundles software instruments and plug-ins as well as supports MIDI and music notation (via Sibelius style integration). These improvements, along with UI tweaking (hey, I’m a sucker for eye-candy), ProTools’ dominance in studios, and my disappointment with Logic Pro 8, may tempt me to switch my project studio environment over to the DigiDesign dark-side. I’ll wait to see what kind of instruments and effects are included before I totally make the switch. How about you?