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Thread April 18, 2015 editorial: comments

  • 9 replies
  • 7 participants
1 April 18, 2015 editorial: comments

Pro Tools 12: Much Ado About Nothing (Yet)

Oh Avid, Avid, Avid, what art thou doing? Pro Tools 12 is here, and from what I have been able to find out, it has almost nothing new. (I can only go by published reports because I don't dare upgrade at the moment as I'm right in the middle of a big project, and frankly, I'm not sure I want to anyway.)

The only significant new aspect of the this first version of Pro Tools 12 appears to be its subscription pay structure. One would think that Avid would have tried to soften the blow to its users of introducing the subscription plan by loading Pro Tools 12 up with great new features. How about some new included plug-ins instead of adding a store to sell me new plug-ins? How about the ability to save a channel strip, a basic feature in almost every other DAW? No such luck.

It's standard procedure in the software world that a major release, designated by a new non-decimal number, is supposed to be just that, a major release, full of new features. By that standard, Pro Tools 12 is more like an incremental decimal release. The sharing features that were touted at NAMM, as well as Pro Tools First, the free version, are still in the vaporware stage.

Rather than the yet-to-appear remote collaboration features, I wish that Avid would give us new production capabilities and better stability. I'm sick of the instability of PT 11. The most frustrating thing is that I've already invested a lot of time and money into Pro Tools, and it is the most efficient DAW for the way I work — current bugginess notwithstanding. But between the new pricing model and the lack of new production features, I may finally jump ship when I finish my project. I want to love you Pro Tools, but you're making it tough.

Rant over. Your thoughts?

Mike Levine
U.S. Editor


Gave up on Pro Tools years ago, when my Ilok busted and Ilok wanted over $300 do just transfer the licenses to a new one, plus $50 for the new Ilok. Couldn't have had a better thing happen - I went to Cockos' Reaper, then to Presonus Studio One. So much easier - and cheaper! Pro Tools and Ilok may not be a complete rip-off but I am never going back!!
I've had similar issues with both Cubase and Cakewalk Sonar. For a long time Sonar's upgrades were basically just some new plugins that I would never use any way, instead of making the application more "reliable" and stable as well as a better sounding audio engine. So I switched to Cubase who has an astounding sounding audio engine but has pathetic and nearly non-existent customer support. But luckily I was saved with the latest Sonar Platinum release which finally put some effort into reliability (though I had to succumb to the subscription bull jive). The marketing plan for most DAW companies, seems to me, is to get more "new" customers and converts and simply leave us long time users to fend for ourselves. There are some really good stock plugins in most DAWs but serious users usually have an arsenal of 3rd party plugs that we use. So coming out with a "major" upgrade and only offer some new stock plugs is just trying to gain newbies into their church. Ah, capitalism at its best. I tried ProTools and didn't find it as easy to get around as Sonar. And that's where I am now. I highly recommend Sonar Platinum now that they have rock solid stability and a 64bit audio engine.
Time to begin looking into alternatives. It really bugs me how companies that originally were into providing musicians with good, fairly complete tools have devolved into money making entities who really do not care about music, rather are well into the big bucks aspect. I'm in search of an open source program that will keep me at least in mind when modifications are being made.
I have recently decided to register with Full Sail University for the On-line course they offer and was very disappointed with the gear requirements. They have a bundle that you "must" purchase for $5K that contains everything I already have except totally different. Everything in the bundle is Mac based so I have to change my OS. Then there is the Pro Tools issue. I am a loyal Cubase user and now I have to completely re-tool my studio because of the industry "standards". I hate Pro Tools. Yes, it is very powerful but what a pain in the butt. With the new subscription debacle and the re-tooling I have to endure, I may just take up basket weaving instead.

What the heck is Avid thinking?! Just because the all-mighty industry says "use this program", Avid thinks they can sell whatever BS floats down the river in a new and shiny box, and we will worship at their feet for it. You know what, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We allow them to do this and just sit back and suck on it. All for the love of money. Well, when that dries up what then.
Gotta side with Robert...

Studio One kicks butt - and the workflow is remarkable.

Joe Gilder (home studio corner) made the switch, and did a great job of explaining why:


(starts at about 4:40)

[ Post last edited on 04/18/2015 at 14:14:57 ]

An interesting side note - I worked for 12 years at a local community college that built, while I was there, a $26 million Fine Arts building, and they included a $2 million dollar recording studio for a major in "Music Business and Performance. The guys they hired as faculty were complete Pro Tools nuts so that was all they taught. The program ended after three years when the school couldn't show the legislature a single job in recording that anyone had gotten after taking the course. I tried to take the Pro Tools course three times but dropped it each time when I ended up correcting the instructors nearly every day that I was there. it was this that led me to reject Pro Tools as a feasible DAW. Of course, having the program's supervisor bring in cronies of his who ripped off equipment from the school didn't help. So - if you are looking at a DAW, make Pro Tools the last item on your list.
if you are looking at a DAW, make Pro Tools the last item on your list.

It's too bad, because in a lot of ways, Pro Tools is a very good DAW. I don't want to bash Avid, but the company is either not interested in serving users of its native versions of Pro Tools, or is completely clueless. I really don't want to switch DAWs, but I think it might happen in the pretty near future.
Chronological Snobbery; I use PTLE 8.05, and it works great! Digi 002. Works wonderful. Could not afford to keep up and maybe ignorance is bliss, but the end result is a stable, useful DAW. I also use Cubase 5. Same deal. Started with PT Free back in the day. Went to 6.4 with Digi 001 and it worked. I have a copy of PT 10 but like 8.05 better.;)


I use PTLE 8.05, and it works great! Digi 002. Works wonderful. Could not afford to keep up and maybe ignorance is bliss, but the end result is a stable, useful DAW.

It sounds like you made a good choice by sticking with that version. It's easy to get caught up in wanting the latest and greatest software, but if you can manage to keep an older system working that does what you need it to do, more power to you.