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Thread: Is it worth my checking out Pro Tools?

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    Question Is it worth my checking out Pro Tools?

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    I mainly use Cakewalk by BandLab (Sonar Platinum) with Studio One 3 as my secondary DAW; (although Studio One's obsession with everything EDM to the virtual exclusion of everything ese has put me off moving to version 4.) I write and record my own songs as a hobby so I don't need share stems, etc. I use MIDI a lot and SampleTank and Halion Sonic for instrument sounds. For drums I mainly use Addictive Drums. Plugins: TRacks5, Ozone8, FabFilter and some others.

    I was thinking of giving Pro Tools a try and wondered if I could get some advice. What would it give me that I don't have in CWbBL? Is it only widely used in pro studios because 'everyone else uses it' or are their compelling reasons for it being better than other DAWs? Would I be able to use all my existing plugins? Rummaging on the internet I see strange things like users having to use Rewire for their VSTs!

    Many thanks.

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    Hi,
    I don't know Cakewalk at all so I can't tell you what Protools offers over it, or vice versa, but are there features and tools you feel you're missing?
    I might be able to tell if Protools has them.

    Protools is damn good and very well kitted out but, also, not cheap.
    I guess a lot of people pay the premium for the name, or for compatibility with their colleagues or friends, but, for the average home recordist, I've no doubt there are cheaper, simpler, suites which would fare just as well.
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    There at literally hundreds of forum threads on the pros and cons of PT. If you are doing fine with what you have there isn't really any reason to change. Watch some of the YT vids on getting started with pro tools if you want the general idea of the workflow but be advised any new DAW is going to have a learning curve, and PT being one of the oldest can be difficult if you are used to working in a different paradigm. I am not dissing PT as I have been using it since around 1998-9 and though I have tried many others, it's still my DAW. Your going to get nothing but opinions on this subject, as it seems impossible to be objective about. Mainly because we all work differently. Try as many free sample, cut down versions or otherwise if you have the time/inclination, and , of course , watch vids-but be aware that they are all good and all require effort to learn to use fully.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    Thanks guys.
    I'm a tad worried about BandLab's business model for Cakewalk/Sonar as it is being given away free and a lot of us are wondering how they intend to generate income going forward, hence I'm thinking long term a may have to switch and perhaps I ought to try ProTools.
    I watched a couple of their videos and downloaded their free entry-level version, but didn't install it when I stumbled across the issue about only Avid plugins can be used, which to me is a total showstopper. What exactly is the deal with 'third party' plugins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline_UK View Post
    Thanks guys.
    I'm a tad worried about BandLab's business model for Cakewalk/Sonar as it is being given away free and a lot of us are wondering how they intend to generate income going forward, hence I'm thinking long term a may have to switch and perhaps I ought to try ProTools.
    I watched a couple of their videos and downloaded their free entry-level version, but didn't install it when I stumbled across the issue about only Avid plugins can be used, which to me is a total showstopper. What exactly is the deal with 'third party' plugins?
    Maybe that's a limitation in their free version. I think it's quite heavily restricted? The full version has no such limitation.
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    Pro Tools is using a proprietary plug in format called AAX but every "name" dev builds their software in the AAX format as well as (usually)VST and AU. There is a plugin called Patchwork for running VST plugins in Pro Tools. PT Free is highly limited and is meant only to expose newbies to the workflow/setup and for limited use by singer/songwriter home hobbyist types. Plug ins that aren't included have to be rented/purchased in app. You cant really judge the full program by the free one , they are that different. But if you except the limitations you can learn the workflow/design and see if it is good for you. Note: the free version does not save to disk, only to PT cloud unless you pay for more cloud storage.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    I have both protools and reaper. I got Reaper first and liked it just fine. I got a basic education on reaper but never dug deep. Just enough to be able to do basic recording and mixing.

    Then I got protools . In part because thats what a bandmate was using, so compatibility was an issue.
    Now after a year or so, I know PT better than reaper and prefer it.
    Is that because it's better? I don't think so. Im pretty sure it's just a familiarity issue.

    I've heard time and time again the advice of "just find a daw, stick to it and learn it"
    I think most modern daws do pretty much anything you want.

    Under different circumstances, I may never have gotten PT, and would have just worked on mastering reaper.

    My .02cents

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    In the "pro world" of studios and film works, You cannot make a living as an independent without ProTools. It will be in the rider for any major client be it film, voice, music, post, etc etc. Not many other formats is a requirement. As far as tracking I don't think they really care but in mix and post and edit PT is the only one. Is it better? Maybe. Maybe not but it is the markets choice for a reason.
    Chord with this, Teddy......

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    Just on the subject of AAX in Pro Tools, if there are VST only plugins you really like there is a program called DDMF it is a meta wrapper that allows you to use VST's (and others) in Pro Tools, works on any DAW. Think of it as a patch-bay for plugins I guess :P)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog101 View Post
    In the "pro world" of studios and film works, You cannot make a living as an independent without ProTools.
    So the OP would have to ask himself what his aspirations were with respect to the pro world. He would also need to ask how realistic those aspirations were. For many (probably most) home recordists, the pro world is another universe to which entry is extremely limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog101 View Post
    but it is the markets choice for a reason.
    Sure. But those reasons don't always relate to functionality, effectiveness and ease of use.

    "Because everyone else uses it" is a good reason to consider something carefully, but it is not sufficient of itself to clamber on that bandwagon.

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