Without a doubt, Avid Pro Tools is one of the most feature-packed digital audio workstations in the music industry.
Pro Tools is widely considered the standard among major studios for all types of audio work, including music, film, and television.
As a digital audio workstation (DAW), Avid Pro Tools gives complete control over advanced recording functions, enhanced editing, effects processing, and much more.
No matter where you are in your musical career, Pro Tools has something to offer, and I believe that musicians and producers of all skill levels can benefit from using Pro Tools.
I say this based on my personal experience working with Pro Tools in the studio, but also based on my experience working with other professionals in the industry.
Below are five reasons why I believe Pro Tools may just be the right DAW for you.
Avid Pro Tools: Quick Summary
- Widely considered the industry standard
- Advanced networking capabilities for large projects
- Available HDX hardware for extra power
1. Integration Across Large Projects
While most modern DAW software can produce high-quality audio, no DAW title can compete when it comes to software integration across large projects involving multiple producers.
Pro Tools sessions can be networked across drives to allow users to work on projects from different control surfaces or even remotely.
This becomes a major benefit as more and more audio professionals are collaborating online and relying on cloud services to get things done.
Using Pro Tools’ networking and cloud capabilities, you can share sessions with others and work more efficiently.
I know I’ve personally found these features to be a lifesaver when I was up against tight deadlines and didn’t have the time to drive to a far-off studio to finish a mix.
2. Pro Tools Scales With Skill Level
While Pro Tools may be the go-to solution for large studios with big budgets, Avid also publishes different versions of Pro Tools for varying needs in the audio industry.
Below are two options to consider for both intermediate users and advanced users:
Each of these versions provide different feature sets that can scale as your needs grow.
Additionally, Avid has adjusted pricing for the different versions to offer affordability while still giving the full Pro Tools experience.
Through Avid’s subscription-based model, you can always be sure you’re up to date with the latest version of the software.
Some Key Technical Differences Between Pro Tools and Pro Tools | Ultimate:
Pro Tools’ standard version provides the ability to have 256 mono/stereo tracks, 64 I/O, 128 aux input tracks, and a video track.
Pro Tools | Ultimate expands on the standard version to offer up to 2,048 tracks, surround sound mixing, support for up to 192 I/O when using HDX hardware, 512 aux input tracks, and the ability to utilize up to 64 video tracks in a session.
For more information about the specifics of each version and to learn about current licensing options and subscription pricing, click here.
3. Avid HDX Hardware Delivers a Seamless Experience
One of the biggest challenges in the recording industry is ensuring compatibility between hardware and software.
Even though today’s standardized hardware and software integration is more uniform than in the past, you can still run into compatibility issues.
Avid has solved this through the use of the brand’s HDX hardware. HDX hardware units, cards, and the HDX system allow for digital signal processing (DSP) and complex I/O applications with virtually no latency, even when you’re facing huge load demand from hundreds and even thousands of voices at once.
The best part is that you don’t have to guess whether a piece of hardware is going to work as intended, and you also won’t have to spend time trying to figure out if a particular driver is needed to get things working.
One of my favorite pieces of gear for Pro Tools is Avid’s Pro Tools | Carbon interface. Featuring eight HDX CPU cores, Pro Tools | Carbon gives enough power to tackle the most intensive projects without worrying about plugins bogging down your session.
On top of that, it features near-zero latency, 32-bit float resolution and comes packed with over 100 DSP effects and virtual instruments.
I’ll admit that bedroom producers and those who are starting out in small project studios probably won’t gain as much from the cost of investing in HDX hardware.
If, however, you plan on working with large projects, soundstage production, edit-heavy film and television media, or other processor-intensive audio, HDX is going to be a blessing.
4. Industry Standard Benefits Carry Over
Because Pro Tools is and has been the industry standard, I find that knowing Pro Tools UI and workflow comes in really handy for expanding opportunities.
For example, the other week, I got a call to sit in on a Pro Tools mixing session for a quartet at a regional studio nearby. I got this call because I work with Pro Tools, and the engineer knows my background.
Had I not known Pro Tools, I probably wouldn’t have gotten that call. All of this is to say that learning how Pro Tools operates can expand your earning potential if you plan to pursue recording and producing as a career.
There are plenty of great DAWs out there, and I recommend learning as many as possible, but knowing Pro Tools is going to open a lot of doors for you.
This becomes particularly true if you’re interested in coming on board at a major studio where Pro Tools will undoubtedly be used in some capacity.
5. It’s in the Mix
Finally, I think Pro Tools is the right DAW for any engineer or producer who has a passion for mixing in addition to recording and producing. Pro Tools offers a wealth of mixing tools “in the box”, so even if you don’t want to rely on hardware, you can still have fine control over mixing functions like automation.
In fact, I love that I can automate pretty much any mixing function in Pro Tools. The degree of control and attention to detail Pro Tools offers is unlike anything else, so I can deliver top-quality results on every single project.
This is also important to note because Pro Tools works well with a variety of genres. Some DAW software is designed to suit the needs of specific producers, while others tend to be geared more for simple vocal recording.
With Pro Tools, Avid has you covered no matter what type of genre you record. This is perfect for personal projects that you’re passionate about, but it’s also good news for professional audio engineers who work with a variety of clients across a wide range of musical genres.
Below are some ways that I find Pro Tools useful when recording different styles of music:
Avid Pro Tools For Rock Music
While I don’t run into as many rock projects these days, I still have plenty of clients approach me about laying down guitar, drums, and bass.
I already have a session template created just for these types of projects, making it easy and fast to get things moving.
What’s nice about Pro Tools in these types of recording setups is that I have plenty of power and flexibility to dub tracks to get that “wall of sound” that so many rock musicians are looking for.
I’m also able to tame dynamics easily using Avid’s built-in compression, limiting, EQ, and other effects.
Avid Pro Tools For Hip Hop Music
Hip hop artists approach me all the time to work on a variety of projects, and I find that Pro Tools is often my top choice for DAW when working with this genre.
Whether I’m mixing tracks that a producer brings to the studio or I’m recording audio from a digital sampler or even analog input from classic turntables, the process is easy and fast.
Once I get the audio into the track window, I can make edits, time-stretch audio, and use native plugins to get the right sub-harmonics.
From there, Pro Tools makes it simple to track vocals from multiple artists at once, focus on a specific vocal, or overdub multiple takes for big sound.
Avid Pro Tools For EDM Music
EDM is another common type of project I find myself working with on a regular basis. These projects don’t have me recording as much as they have me focusing on the mix.
Once again, Pro Tools excels at this because I can run dozens of tracks without worrying about clutter or being bogged down. I simply import tracks provided by a producer, create arrangements and edits when required, and then get to mixing.
Many times, I do this “in the box” without any need for hardware because Pro Tools’ virtual mix controls are easy to access and intuitively designed.
Final thoughts on Why pro tools is the best dAW for you
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to answering, “what’s the right DAW for me?”
Modern digital audio software includes plenty of features that were once only available to big-name studios, and Pro Tools is no exception.
Keep in mind, however, that Pro Tools has been the choice for these same big-name studios since its inception.
For all of these reasons and the others listed above, I believe that Pro Tools is the right choice in almost any studio environment, regardless of skill level or professional aspirations.