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Why Pro Tools?
Old 9th July 2005
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Why Pro Tools?

Hi,
A little thought came to me this morning and thought it might be a nice Saturday afternoon topic.
I was wondering about ‘why is Pro Tools so widely used?’

From working in studios and reading on here it would seem that it is rather popular. But I was wondering why you guys thought it was popular.

Is it the ease of use or just that its become an industry standard so people use it?

3.....2......1......Go!!!!!
Old 9th July 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 
DrC:Drive's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markwilson
Hi,
A little thought came to me this morning and thought it might be a nice Saturday afternoon topic.
I was wondering about ‘why is Pro Tools so widely used?’

From working in studios and reading on here it would seem that it is rather popular. But I was wondering why you guys thought it was popular.

Is it the ease of use or just that its become an industry standard so people use it?

3.....2......1......Go!!!!!
1)Its stable having had 15 years of development and investment
2) It sounds amazing despite what the luddite protools bashers say, particularly HD- it rocks
3)The editing is dreamy
4) It is widely used because it is good so it is transferable
5) There are cheaper native competitors that can run the plugins, but TDM allows maximum power to use first class plug-ins.

For audio recording, mixing and editing it has rightfuly established its place as a leader at the moment. things may change of course with increasing power of native systems!!

James
Old 9th July 2005
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I see a few reasons:

1) They got there early, and had hardware that allowed the software to be much more powerful than just a computer of the time

2) Stability

3) and this one is the most important factor...


























MARKETING!

MARKETING!

MARKETING!
Old 9th July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
nlc201's Avatar
 

For better or worse, it IS the recording medium. Clever marketing and a timely arrival as a full fledged tool in the 90's seemed to secure its place. Back in the day, the TDM architecture allowed any slow ass computer to actually process audio (albeit poorly) without dragging the very limited system preformance down. Even with today's faster computers, having those cards do some of the work still seems appealing. It also adds to the platform's scalability. You can add cards up the wazoo to really obtain some sick amount of DSP. You can also add multiple interfaces to get a large number of I/O. Now, it's not that you can't do this with other systems nowadays, it's just that PT seemed to get into the market first with a very USABLE this form technology and has been there since.

Digidesign's foray into the lower end market with it's PTLE products was also one of the more brilliant steps towards total market domination. Having a compatability between the low end and high end systems is a big step for middle of the road users. That middle market where people can work on lower end systems for many projects (say, tracking) but then go to a higher end system for mixing, etc. Very big move.

Digi's virtual monopoly on the DAW market has just simply built on itself. Try to think of a pro studio that doesen't at least have one rig sitting around. For every one that doesen't, there's a thousand that do. Back in the day when cutting to 2" 24-track, you would go to other studios and simply expect to be able to throw up your reels and got to work. Granted some had Studers, some had Otaris, etc. , but you could work. Try going into a random studio nowadays with a Nuendo session.......You're up **** creek......But, you go in with a PT session and odds are that you can work.......

As for sound quality, it used to be terrible. But, it HAS definitely gotten better. It's all in how you use the tool. If you track everything blazing hot on 888/16s without an external clock and mix ITB with loads of cracked plugins on everything, odds are that unless you're Elliot Scheiner (sp?), it's gonna sound like poo on a stick (I think Fletcher said that one!). BUT, if you get an HD rig, put a Cranesong/Apogee front AND back end on it, clock your interfaces properly, track proper levels at higher sample rates, minimize your use of plugins, use a good analog console with some choice outbaord to mix on, then one DEFINITELY has the capability of making a fabulous sounding recording.


PT is simply a tool with strengths and limitations, it's all in how you use it. It reminds me of a certain brand of console that seems to have made a similar domination of the market a few years earlier. Is an SSL 4k the best sounding console out there? Not even close by most peoples' opinion. Have people figured out usable tricks/modifications to minimize its weaknesses and emphasize its strengths? Absolutely! It's a matter of learning the tool and adapting new ways to make it sound good. It always has been.

As for other DAWs, the day I start getting asked to work in Nuendo/Logic/Cubase/DP on real projects for real money (not John Q Notalent's $200 demo) then I will seriously consider these other platforms. However, since that has NEVER happened, I'll stick to PT. It pays the rent and I'm OK with that thumbsup
Old 9th July 2005
  #5
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nlc201

As for other DAWs, the day I start getting asked to work in Nuendo/Logic/Cubase/DP on real projects for real money (not John Q Notalent's $200 demo) then I will seriously consider these other platforms. However, since that has NEVER happened, I'll stick to PT. It pays the rent and I'm OK with that thumbsup
There are enough producers/engineers who work on "real" projecys who do use Nuendo/Logic/DP.

As far as being ASKEd to use somehtign else.W ell, I know I don't get asked what platform I use when starting on a project.

As far as stability, when's the last time you visited the DUC?
It's filled with complaints and stability issues on both the TDM as well as LE platform.
Old 9th July 2005
  #6
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

yada yada yada...

stability problems my ass

EVERY DAY...WORKING...EVERY DAY... BIG SESSIONS.. SMALL SESSIONS.....NO CRASHES.......


LE, MIX, HD... all is good...always.... what is this stability nonsense????? Setup your machine properly, use the correct cs updates and versions and operating systems etc..etc.. etc...



its used cos it works..period...learn it...live it..work it hard.. tools rocks..you can make it sound great..its easier to make it sound ****e...editing is peerless and with many of the clients I work for SPEED is key, you can do the same on other platforms but after much investigation, protools is the most elegant etc.. etc.. yada yada yada whatever, thats my take on it!!

flame on henchman
Old 9th July 2005
  #7
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid

stability problems my ass

EVERY DAY...WORKING...EVERY DAY... BIG SESSIONS.. SMALL SESSIONS.....NO CRASHES.......


LE, MIX, HD... all is good...always.... what is this stability nonsense????? Setup your machine properly, use the correct cs updates and versions and operating systems etc..etc.. etc...



its used cos it works..period...learn it...live it..work it hard.. tools rocks..you can make it sound great..its easier to make it sound ****e...editing is peerless and with many of the clients I work for SPEED is key, you can do the same on other platforms but after much investigation, protools is the most elegant etc.. etc.. yada yada yada whatever, thats my take on it!!

flame on henchman
I'll repeat, when's the last time you were on the DUC?

Yesterday, I was doing an OMF export, boom. Crash. Application quits.

As far as speed, that's a matter of opinion, not fact.
Old 9th July 2005
  #8
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

I don't NEED to go on the DUC the rigs I use work...

as for editing speed..there is nothing faster...period heh
Old 9th July 2005
  #9
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
As far as speed, that's a matter of opinion, not fact.
Then you haven't seen toolskid working on a project yet...
Old 9th July 2005
  #10
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeltaM
Then you haven't seen toolskid working on a project yet...

Which means it's the fastest for him.
It doesn't mean it's the fastest out there.
Old 9th July 2005
  #11
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

fair point...ok I'll rephrase

from checking out all the other major DAWs on the market, and working with people who are killer users on said systems...

there is nothing faster...period
Old 9th July 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

PT is to recording what windows is to computers: pure marketing! Most of the world is obligated to use windows for compatabitily reasons and the same happens with protools.
It may sound like I am a PT basher, but actually, I am not. I got over that years ago. I have never conformed to being herded with the rest of the cattle, but that does'nt mean that I should bash something because I don't use it. Well' maybe windows, I really dislike windows and have always used mac. I don't hate pc's. They work fast and cheap. As soon as windows is involved the pc turns to crap. Getting back to the subject, It's not that I don't use PT because everyone else does. It's just that I broke into this DAW business using DP. I actually would have seriously less work if I switched to PT. I made a business decision. The producers and arrangers hear score to DP and seqeunce their scores in DP, thus these sessions arrive in my studio ready for tracking. I would be up [email protected]#$ creek if I did'nt have DP. but that is my particular case. I have no beef with PT execpt for it's $$$$(hd) I have heard some mediocore stuff from a full blown HD system and I have heard amazing stuff from a simple 002 system. It all depends on how you use the tool. The day I get asked "do you have PT?", or start getting less work because I use DP, Then maybe I would consider changing platforms. Until then I am just fine.
Old 9th July 2005
  #13
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

There are three reasons.

1. It was the first multi track workstation priced under 100 grand. It was quickly adopted by people in post production and digidesign was smart enough to incorporate their suggestions.

2. They introduced third party plug-ins. One of them, Auto-Tune, replaced the Eventide Harmonizer for tuning vocals and people quickly figured out that it made comping vocals much easier.

3. Nobody has come out with anything significantly better that would lead people to throw out the Pro Tools systems they bought when there was absolutely no competition.

Digi doesn't have particularly great marketing but they have a reliable product that does everything most people want. Everybody can imagine something better and I think people will be shocked by how quickly it will be adopted when that finally happens.
Old 9th July 2005
  #14
Moderator
 
toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
There are three reasons.

Digi doesn't have particularly great marketing but they have a reliable product that does everything most people want. Everybody can imagine something better and i think people will be shocked by how quickly it will be adopted when it finally happens.

Aint that the truth, especially the last sentence!!
Old 9th July 2005
  #15
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Doublehelix's Avatar
 

I started using computer-based DAWs about 5-6 years ago, and my first app was Cubase VST. I have obviously progressed along that path quite a ways and have fallen into the Steinberg trap from which there is no escape!!!

I have invested heavily into the VST plug-in architecture, and if I made the switch to PT, I would have to start all over again...no thanks!

PT gives credibility and portability, which are desireable, but I would have to start all over again with my plugs-ins...

UAD-1, Powercore, Waves, URS, Melodyne, Auto-Tune, Sony Oxford, on and on...

And to be honest, my system is solid as a rock and works perfectly...it is just as I mentioned credibility and portability that are attractive...
Old 9th July 2005
  #16
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I have used other software (Nuendo, Logic, Cubase, SAW) that don't manufacture their own hardware or allow other companies to write drivers for their software, it can be a struggle at times to get through a session. When hardware and software are working together, the session just gets done. The simplicity of Protools, two main windows.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 9th July 2005
  #17
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I have been eyeing a PTHD 1 or 2 system for some time, and yes it is a huge replacement cost to what I already have...

The only reasons I would make this investment is because of 1) client perception (I've had people, potential clients, say that if a studio does not have PT, its not really a studio...); 2) Compatability with other PT systems; 3) so I would know what the hell half of you are talking about when addressing plug ins, etc....and 4) the idea of a system appeals to me and my work habits far more than a hodge-podge of stuff...

But damn...the costs of getting it are staggering, and the costs of staying current with updates, etc, is obscene.

The thing that appeals to me is "everyone" uses it....which is also the reason I am so reluctant to get into it...if "everyone" uses it, then where's the competition?

FWIW: I've been begging Samplitude to integrate a hardware/software system for years....similar only in structure to PT....looks like it will never happen.
Old 9th July 2005
  #18
Gear Nut
 
pitman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan
The thing that appeals to me is "everyone" uses it....which is also the reason I am so reluctant to get into it...if "everyone" uses it, then where's the competition?
The same as with any other field or product...the ability to better at it than the next guy. Knowing your market and how best to meet client needs better than the next guy.
Corny example but...there are countless guitar players that use a strat. What seperates them from Jimi Hendrix. Clue...it wasn't the guitar, or the amp, or the strings, or the mic used, or the pre amp used etc.
Old 9th July 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan
I have been eyeing a PTHD 1 or 2 system for some time, and yes it is a huge replacement cost to what I already have...

The only reasons I would make this investment is because of 1) client perception (I've had people, potential clients, say that if a studio does not have PT, its not really a studio...); 2) Compatability with other PT systems; 3) so I would know what the hell half of you are talking about when addressing plug ins, etc....and 4) the idea of a system appeals to me and my work habits far more than a hodge-podge of stuff...

But damn...the costs of getting it are staggering, and the costs of staying current with updates, etc, is obscene.

The thing that appeals to me is "everyone" uses it....which is also the reason I am so reluctant to get into it...if "everyone" uses it, then where's the competition?

FWIW: I've been begging Samplitude to integrate a hardware/software system for years....similar only in structure to PT....looks like it will never happen.

Yaa, they (digidesign) irritate me to no end. I bought Mix Plus from them then gave it back to them and had to pay another 13 grand. In their defense, I am lucky we are not back in the Studer days where machines were much more than $20.000, and you had moving parts, tape rubbing against a piece of metal and you always needed a tech at screaming distance. They do need to stay in business.

It would be nice if there was a little competition.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 9th July 2005
  #20
Gear Nut
 
pitman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
There are enough producers/engineers who work on "real" projecys who do use Nuendo/Logic/DP.
No one is denying that. That's not the issue nor was it the question. The question was ‘why is Pro Tools so widely used?’ I believe everyone that had a positive answer hit all of the most valid points. Mr. Olhsson's response summed it up quite nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
As far as being ASKEd to use somehtign else.W ell, I know I don't get asked what platform I use when starting on a project.
Perhaps I'm mistaken but don't you work for a post production facility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
As far as stability, when's the last time you visited the DUC?
It's filled with complaints and stability issues on both the TDM as well as LE platform.
You constantly whine and complain about Apple and Digidesign products. Why do you feel so compelled to visit the DUC if you do not use the product? What motivates you to be so involved with threads and posts involving equipment you don't like?

Lie down on the couch and tell us about your childhood...LOL!

Old 9th July 2005
  #21
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T_R_S's Avatar
Because!
Old 9th July 2005
  #22
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

DAE Engine

I use HD, and I'm doing a mix right now with Logic TDM (6.4.2)
I am going crazy, coz the in logic the mix sounds more open!!
How can that be?? And it's not that I want it to, coz it gets unpractical
by the way I work, plus I like the flow of working on PT.
Aargh


ruudman
Old 9th July 2005
  #23
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by markwilson
Hi,
A little thought came to me this morning and thought it might be a nice Saturday afternoon topic.
I was wondering about ‘why is Pro Tools so widely used?’

From working in studios and reading on here it would seem that it is rather popular. But I was wondering why you guys thought it was popular.

Is it the ease of use or just that its become an industry standard so people use it?

3.....2......1......Go!!!!!

Like all industries, someone sets themselves apart as the clear cut leader. You can argue this and thats you may like better about the other systems, but nothing is more widely used. Therefore, if you ever have to work outside your studio, it is best to know Pro Tools. Debating this topic is a waste of breathe. People just like to rally behind what they (huhmmm, Henchman) buy, but numbers have spoken. Pro Tools holds and owns the market. The end. Nothing else to say.
Old 9th July 2005
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

For me its a mater of cost. A Digi 002r is around $1200. A Motu 896 is about a $1000 and Cubase SX is around $600. What I sacrifice in the small advantages in what the MOTU does over the 002r I gain in only dealing with one manufacturer for tech support. Ever been caught in the "Its the other guys fault you gear doesnt work" charade?
Old 9th July 2005
  #25
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drew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitman
No one is denying that. That's not the issue nor was it the question. The question was ‘why is Pro Tools so widely used?’ I believe everyone that had a positive answer hit all of the most valid points. Mr. Olhsson's response summed it up quite nicely.

Perhaps I'm mistaken but don't you work for a post production facility?

You constantly whine and complain about Apple and Digidesign products. Why do you feel so compelled to visit the DUC if you do not use the product? What motivates you to be so involved with threads and posts involving equipment you don't like?

Lie down on the couch and tell us about your childhood...LOL!

you obviously don't know henchie. standard operating procedure for him. he's become something of a joke around here when it comes to PT and Apple.
Old 9th July 2005
  #26
Gear Nut
 
pitman's Avatar
 

LOL!
Don't know the person...only the whine.
Old 9th July 2005
  #27
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drew
you obviously don't know henchie. standard operating procedure for him. he's become something of a joke around here when it comes to PT and Apple.

I wonder if Hench owns an ipod?
Old 9th July 2005
  #28
Gear Nut
 
pitman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K
I wonder if Hench owns an ipod?
Yeah! but only listens to it in the privacy of his bathroom and then immediately after runs to confession followed by a strong bashing of Apple in Slutzville.
Old 9th July 2005
  #29
Gear Addict
 
cletus's Avatar
 

I admit I got into pro tools simply because it was what everyone uses. I did'nt want to be the odd ball who knew how to use cubase or logic really well but not PT's. I definetley understand why some people use something else. In the end it's all about the final product, the music. I figure however you get the job done and make it sound good is good enough. I don't really like the fact that in order to upgrade to HD1 it's gonna cost $7,000. I don't really need to worry about making that purchase right now though. I use an 002r at home and the studio I work at has HD3. I figure unless your rich or are really making money running out of your own studio, LE's just gonna have to suffice. It's kind of a good thing that I can't have a ton of tracks and plug ins though. It forces me to work smarter and slimmer and to use as much analog and out board gear as I can. What do I know. I'm just a slack-jawed yockel! heh
Old 9th July 2005
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Larrchild's Avatar
 

In the early 90's, when I was the chief engineer of a big 'ol Studer/Neve room, we would get a weekly unsolicited offer in the mail from Digidesign to buy their product. I would toss them into the trash, beliveing man was meant to push faders and turn knobs.

Then Avid bought them and applied the take no prisoners marketing approach that worked so well for video.

And Mackie made this cool thing with faders and knobs to go with it.

So it's ergonomics improved, and in the late 90's we bought a PT tower.
But it was too late, all our clients had them at home.
So we closed.

That burning personal issue aside, It's because they got in early and did a good job. Since many had already gone to digital multitracks, they never felt any sonic loss.

They sound better now.
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