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It’s a battle of the sequencing titans!
When you’re looking to go pro in audio, most people in the business would say there are two choices: Pro Tools vs. Logic. PC vs. Mac.
But which is the best choice? Which has the most useful features and which is the most intuitive to create music on?
Let’s put them head to head and find out…
Let’s start with some of Pro Tool’s flagship features…
Tab to Transient – Ever recorded some drums and felt the kick isn’t quite punchy enough? Use Tab to Transient to put midi notes to the audio transients where the kicks are and link that to a sampler – voila! The live drum feel with a programmed drum power.
Masses of exclusive Plug ins – Stuff like Serato’s “Pitch n’ Time” and Digidesign’s Smack! compressor are just incredible and you won’t find them anywhere else.
Grouping – With the grouping sidebar, editing groups of tracks (for example, when mixing drums) is ridiculously easy.
And a few choice Logic Features…
Awesome Soft Synths – Comes out of the box with some incredible synths like Ultrabeat for drums, Sculpture for some high quality instrument modelling and EXS24 for Sampling. 6 synths allow for some amazing electronic sounds too!
Guitar amp modelling - with some incredible quality amp modelling presets in there, this is perfect for guitarists wanting a full package!
Flex Time - Record audio at one tempo and change it to another without a reduction in quality. Frickin’ amazing.
Ease of Use
Logic is streamlined. It’s intuitive and it looks pretty, so even the beginner won’t be deterred from it. It has everything easily accessible, and the newer versions have reduced on the number of windows open at once (one of the main issues people had with older versions of Logic).
Pro tools is clunky. There are a lot of techniques to learn and there are a lot of short cuts to memorise. However, once you’ve done this memorising, the workflow is impressively speedy. Perhaps even more so than Logic.
Logic Pro is mac exclusive software and is developed by apple, so it’s naturally going to run fast, and the mac-ness of it means that it won’t be getting a virus any time soon (not that you should be connecting your studio PC to the net, you naughty engineer!) but when you’ve got a lot of plug ins on the go, the system is prone to collapsing in on itself.
Pro Tools HD (The top of the range version) uses Digidesign external hardware to make sure the software is as reliable as possible. Of all the people that use Pro Tools that I’ve met, the main reason they say they use it is stability. It just doesn’t crash. However, there is a reason for this…
For top-end logic 9, you’re looking at £399, or to upgrade from a previous version, £159 at time of writing. Now we hit the main stumbling block for Pro Tools. For the high end version including the PCI card that makes it nigh-on uncrashable, it’s a wallet-shrivelling £4,881.76. A snip. However, for those of us who aren’t quite millionaires yet, there’s the LE or M-Powered versions for around £300, including the external hardware, but you’ll need to grab yourself some decent plug ins to match what logic offers, which might cost you a hell of a lot more.
So which is the winner? Which sequencer is so successful that it obliterates it’s opposition? Annoying alliteration aside, let’s have a look at what they offer.
Logic is brilliant for creativity – with that many plug ins and VST instruments included in the package, it has definitely got the edge on value for money, however, when it comes to the actual editing side, while it’s intuitive, it is still noticeably designed for the musician rather than the engineer.
Pro tools certainly looks to be the other way around. Engineers will feel at home with the audio tools and high quality plug ins for mixing, but musicians might lose their inspiration while learning their way around it’s complex user interface.
So I guess it comes down to a choice – are you a Musician or are you an Engineer?