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Old 19th May 2017
Lives for gear
Owen L T's Avatar

ProTools became the industry standard at a time when consumer/prosumer hardware (ie computers) wasn't sufficiently fast or reliable to run the kind of big sessions that you need to be able to run - without crashes - in a professional studio. By pairing software with hardware, ProTools was able to offer a rock-solid performance - and extremely low latency - that you wouldn't get by installing a.n.other DAW on a PC running Windows 95/XP/whatever. (And not just because, prior to Windows 7, PCs were only able to access 3Gb of RAM, which had considerable limits even before you get into latency issues.)

But computers, and DAWs, have come a long way since then - and with a reasonably new, fast, well spec'd computer you can get very stable performance, and run a whole host of plug-ins, in whatever DAW you choose.

Cubase has long been the composers' tool of choice (composer friends of mine were using it in the late 90s) as has Logic. Indeed, for a while, I believe both of those - and certainly Cubase - offered considerably greater MIDI programming/editing facilities than ProTools, not least as Cubase started life as MIDI only, while ProTools was basically an in-the-box multi-track. I believe ProTools MIDI features are now basically on a par of those with Cubase - though possibly the latter still has the edge.

If you were starting from scratch, pretty much any DAW would do. If you already have, and use Cubase, and aren't in an environment where people come to your studio and expect/need you to have ProTools so you can mix/work on their existing ProTools session, then ... you're absolutely good to go. I'm a fan of Cubase myself, but I'm also firmly of the opinion that if you have a DAW as a composition tool, then whichever DAW you're used to is the best one for you (unless you hate it) and that any time spent learning another DAW is wasted time!