Here’s a question we come across a lot – which Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) is the best one to invest in? It’s kinda like asking who’d win in a fight; Batman or Superman? And we all know the answer to that one right…anyway.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a student taking an avid pro tools course or maybe you’re a newbie just starting out and looking to cut your teeth with the best technology, there’s some subtle differences between the two leading D.A.W.’s that are useful to be aware of and might help you decide which to invest in.
When you take one of our audio courses you’ll have the chance to get stuck into the various bits of kit out there. And we don’t want to get too technical in this short article but here’s some of the things you might come across when comparing DAWs. At first glance they can look very similar and in reality, they do a lot of the same things but each has specific advantages and often they tend to get used by different types of people because of their unique capabilities.
- Apple Logic Pro is typically used by musicians, guitarists, singer songwriters as the package is very user friendly. It comes with nice drum loops and effects and is easily installed on a laptop so you can set up a little home studio or record on the move.
- Avid Pro Tools has of course held the top spot as the industry standard for a long time (almost since the beginning of digital recording!). So when you walk into nearly any top studio in the world, you’re going to find a copy of Pro Tools and people who know how to harness its power!
Flexibility and Compatibility
Ok so there’s two things we want to discuss here. First of all, Apple Logic Pro will only work on a Mac so if you’ve already got a Windows setup you’re going to need to invest in some Apple gear. Avid Pro Tools can be installed on either Apple or Windows so it gives you a bit more flexibility.
The second thing worth noting is compatibility and this is an issue we discuss a lot at with our sound engineering students. We mentioned that Pro Tools is the industry standard in audio software and if you do decide to go with Logic Pro or another package like Cubase, then you’ll want to go to a studio for mixing or to add some overdubs. But will the studios software be compatible with what you are using – it’s important to check that out in advance or time and work can be wasted; and most budding artists don’t have money to waste!
Interface and Layout
Apple Logic Pro has a very easy to use interface and comes with lots of plugins and instruments installed. You can jump right in and start adding drum loops, strings, brass to track, record some vocals with maybe a guitar and a bass and really get it sounding good quickly. Add in a MIDI controller and easily record piano or create your own drum loops.
Avid Pro Tools is really the king when it comes to recording live music because it can capture such great detail. The software allows you to dig in deep to the tracks and move things around without any hassle – in fact it’s even easier to do a lot of things in Pro Tools than in Logic Pro.
“Pro Tools smooths up my mixing process a lot when I have a good grip on what the editor has in mind…it’s amazingly robust and steady as a rock” Jeff Fuller – Sound Mixer, Foo Fighters
Whichever one you decide to go with, you’re gonna want to learn all you can to become a guru!
Price is obviously going to be a factor in your decision. Logic Pro is the cheaper option and can be downloaded from the Apple Store. Pro Tools is the more expensive option and you can buy lots of extra plugins so the sky’s the limit!
Here’s a little tip for you: download a free basic version of Pro Tools First. It comes with 16 audio tracks so definitely enough to get started on.
We hope you’re a little closer to deciding but if you still aren’t sure why not pop along to one of our open days. You can have a chat to some of our staff and other students and get more information. It’s always good to talk to other people and see what they’re using and get some advice.
Learn from a Pro
If you want to become a pro and work in the world’s biggest recording studios, you’re going to have to become a Pro Tools master. Learn from one of our expert tutors in our Avid Pro Tools Courses. Our courses range from the Level 110 all the way up to Level 310M.
Contact us for more information.