Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning Pro Tools

If you're looking for a Pro Tools tutorial this isn't it. I'm just here to complain. We're starting a recording project at work shortly in a studio that like all other studios is equipped with Pro Tools. I've been working in Reaper for most of a decade because I tend not to have to pass anything off to a studio. So it was high time I got back into it. I say back into it because the last time I messed with it was in 1999 when upgrading the studios at school from PT3 to PT4.

I have to say that I was a little excited to finally find out what all the hubub was about. Sure, I've had my knocks against it. Like every time there's an update and PT users finally get something that Reaper users have had for ages. (Clip based gain anyone?) But if it's the industry standard DAW it must be pretty good right?

I started my lesson by reading about half the manual to PT8 because that's what they have at the studio. I only read half of it because the half pertaining to MIDI didn't pertain to moi. Then I journeyed over to Brother Anth's place of employment for a tour and some tracking in PT 10.

I spent the first hour grousing about how difficult PT makes things that are pretty simple in Reaper. Then I asked him a bunch of questions about how to do stuff that he doesn't usually do and we both dug into the manual for a while. Eventually though we had to get some work done and I sat down at the helm.

Tracking seemed pretty easy but when it came time to punch or edit I was all thumbs. After a few fumbles though I could see that it would just be a matter of some practice to unlearn all the keyboard shortcuts that are so familiar to me.

All in all I can't really see anything that should be keeping Pro Tools on top of the heap other than that it's firmly entrenched. It's better suited to tracking audio than Logic or Ableton but people do it on those platforms. The only reason people don't go to anything else is that evrybody has Pro Tools. The thing is though, there's not really any guarantee that it will stay on top of the heap. 
With up and coming engineers starting out on Reaper because they're broke, you could see it popping up more and more in the future as they grow into the business. Nothing guarantees that Avid will keep the train on the tracks. Things might stay just the way they are or it could be a brand new world in the blink of an eye. 
Grumble all you want and flame me in the comments. But before you do, I present the case of the Sony PCM-3324. It was the digital reel to reel that absolutely everybody had to have. It was the new standard for digital audio, there was literally one in every room that mattered. And then overnight they became obsolete. Pro Tools happened. What happens when Pro Tools gets Pro Tool-ed?

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