ProTools & Logic Pro
A comparison of two leading DAW developers, for the ‘Bedroom-Producer’
Today there is a growing diversity of DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations) on the Audio Production market. It can be difficult trying to compare each of these from a reliable online source without encountering biased opinions from bedroom producers.
Of the many DAW’s available, ProTools and Logic Pro are two large contenders. This blog will highlight some reasons for and against using either piece of software.
The first question before choosing your DAW software is to ask yourself:
- ‘What kind of Producer am I?’ If you feel you have a specific genre that you wish to be making then you may have quite an obvious choice for software and equipment.
If you would like to be a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ Producer, then you will be looking for software with diverse capabilities.
In Australian recording studios, ProTools is still firmly believed to be the Industry-Standard production software. When tracking, ProTools performs the function of a Tape Machine. It records and stores the audio ready for reproduction and further mixing. A lot of the dialogue used in ProTools comes from the analog recording era (transport, record arm etc)
If you consider yourself more of an instrumental experimenter or music composer, then Logic Pro will be more conducive towards producing from your angle, yet it still features vast editing and mixing capabilities that arguably match ProTools’ capabilities.
Logic Pro does come with a vast library of software instruments that are controlled with MIDI data. Another unique feature is the ‘Loops Library’. It is worth experimenting with this library as they are royalty free samples of rhythmic, harmonic, melodic and atmospheric sounds you are free to use in your own compositions.
In ProTools, there are only a small handful of default software instruments. The instruments themselves are nothing special, so it is common for producers to expand their personal library with software from third party developers, such as:
- Native Instruments
As someone who works equally between producing bands and composing music for short films, I have found myself using both DAW’s for different stages of production.
In the compositional stage, I will import a short film scene into a new Logic Pro session. From there I will start marking particular cues along the timeline and make corresponding headings in the ‘Notes’ window (not available in ProTools).
I start loading up various software instruments and throw around ideas until something sticks. At this stage I may choose to start recording some audio with microphones or DI.
- The speed at which I can get the ball rolling in Logic Pro reflects the often frantic thought process one undertakes when composing.
- Working in ProTools as a composer can often be stalled by the need to load plug-in instruments manually and spend time assigning sends to auxiliary tracks.
After I have a relatively good quality demo of a composition, I bounce out my multi-track stems and import these WAV files into ProTools.
The process from here becomes one of replacing the demo instruments and sounds with more desirable and accurate ones.
ProTools excels in this stage of production. Recording audio and then mixing can all be done with industry-level precision.
This example has demonstrated one approach where each both Logic Pro and ProTools excel at the different stages of production. For the songwriting, composer I would suggest giving Logic Pro a demo ahead of ProTools. If you see yourself simply capturing and mixing musical performances, then ProTools will be your ideal DAW. When working in most recording studios, it is expected that audio engineers will have a very thorough understanding of ProTools.
Good luck with your future projects!