If Avid's videos called 'Master The Art Of Music Creation' prove anything then if you want to use a DAW for music creation then Pro Tools is not the one to use. They have some talented people making some nicely produced videos, but all they highlight is how far Pro Tools has fallen as a music production tool, overshadowed by every other DAW on the market. Avid may be able to stretch the 'industry standard' line for post production and large format studios, but music production has evolved in the last decade and Pro Tools has failed to evolve with it. The last big MIDI changes in Pro Tools were in version 8 and that was 7 years ago!
Where Pro Tools Excels
Let's be clear Pro Tools is still holding top spot in post-production and many large format recording studios. Go into any post house, broadcaster or top recording studio and you are more than likely to see Pro Tools being used, in fact it is rare you don't, Pro Tools is ubiquitous as the weapon of choice in theses scenarios, anyone who suggests otherwise is nuts. It is Pro Tools' strengths in tracking, editing and mixing audio that has made it so, especially with large track counts. Combine this with the workflow possible using Avid Media Composer and other Avid applications and you can see why many large organisations choose Pro Tools as part of a complete solution.
Where Pro Tools Is Way Behind The Competition
Music production. Avid making videos showing Pro Tools being used for synth based music production is as bad as Ford making a series on the merits of using one of their vans for Formula One racing - of course it's possible to drive a van around the Monaco race circuit but you're unlikely to win.
Logic Pro had been giving Pro Tools some tough competition for many years, then came Ableton Live to really hammer home what music production could look like and now Studio One 3 is really putting a nail in the coffin, with PreSonus declaring it 'The Next Standard in Songwriting and Production.' Avid may not like this but it's hard to argue with when you see how easy it is to be creative in these platforms, try them for yourself and you will see what we mean.
The Future Of Pro Tools
It wasn't long ago that Avid jettisoned M-Audio and AIR Music Tech, for many this seemed to spell the end of Avid's attempt at consumer or Prosumer music making. With the lack of real development in Pro Tools as a music production platform one can't help wonder if they should stick to what they know and leave music production to the rest.
For example their latest attempt, Avid Pro Tools First, is missing in action. Despite being trumpeted as the new free version of Pro Tools everyone could use to make music on it is nearly 6 months since being announced and still no sign of arriving. The limitations from the outset are going to put many off, but even if they don't then anyone simply wanting to produce VI based music fast has better choices.
When it comes to music production we've seen no real innovation from Avid, just a series of slow steps playing catch-up with every other DAW on the market, 64 bit and track freeze (still not here) are just two examples.
It would take a minor miracle to see Pro Tools get even close to DAWs such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro X or Studio One 3 for music production, these are now the weapon of choice for many music producers or composers who need an agile and reliable tool for fast music creation.
Limited Resources Require Focus
Surely Avid would do better to focus on the areas of audio production that they do best and stop trying to convince everyone that Pro Tools is a music production tool - it isn't.
One can't help think that the only people who still think this is Avid, with their finite resources surely they would do better concentrating on building on Pro Tools' strengths in post and large studios? Their business reason for wanting to try and appeal to this generation of producers is that they need to ensure they will be using Pro Tools for years, but neglecting the music production aspects of Pro Tools for so long has made that job nigh on impossible.
We run this blog because we've been passionate advocates and users of Pro Tools for many years and use it for many aspects of our work, but music production isn't one of them. We've made hundreds of videos showing workarounds to some of the deficiencies, but there comes a time when you have to look at your Ford van and admit that it's unbeatable for many things but it's never going to win you an F1 race.
What do you think, is it time for Avid to concentrate on Pro Tools strengths?