I am on the finish stretch of my new home recording studio build, the end is in sight! I've posted several studio build articles sharing a selection of my thought processes and soundproofing building stages - studio build video to follow in the coming months.
We have considered every tiny detail of the build from soundproofing materials to acoustic treatment, I'm even considering a new set of drum microphones and audio interface as I want to embrace the new studio with some new workflows. Recently though, I asked myself a question in regards to Pro Tools - Should I switch to a different DAW seeing as I'm about to change some aspects in my workflow?
Plenty of my music producer friends in the Music Industry switched from Pro Tools to DAW's such as Studio One with great success - Is it time I give a different DAW such as Studio One a serious look? There isn't a simple yes or no answer to this as there are several reasons why Pro Tools has been and will be the center of my studio workflow...
Switching Software Isn't Expensive - Hardware Is
An Avid C|24 control surface has been at the heart of my Pro Tools studio since 2011. There are no comparable control surfaces currently on the market. The C|24 really helps me to get mixes done quickly and, most importantly, creatively. I'm partially sighted so the C|24 also helps me to visually navigate sessions with ease.
Like other pre-Eucon AVID control surfaces, the C|24 is only compatible with Pro Tools and that will never change. When I load up Logic Pro or Studio One sessions the C|24 displays "Offline" instantly turning the C|24 into an expensive studio ornament.
The process of switching from Pro Tools to a different DAW for me wouldn't just be software, I would have to switch my C|24 as well which will be costly. One day I will have to change my C|24 as inevitably hardware breaks, who knows, maybe when that day comes I'll reconsider changing or implementing a new DAW into my studio.
The cost of switching the DAW software wouldn't be expensive, the cost of replacing a fully functional control surface would be.
Forgetting My Pro Tools Chops
One my friends who switched from Pro Tools revealed to me that there was a downside. His audio work involves moving between studios. On rare occasions, he has to run a Pro Tools Session only to find that he isn't as sharp with Pro Tools as he used to be prior to his switch. It's easy to forget the simplest of things especially as software moves forward and develops. It's not uncommon for my clients to request a mix revision or change to an old mix. Often these requests are made by a publisher or a song needs to be altered quickly for a pitch. Whatever the reason, I need to be ready and able to open an old Pro Tools session fast and deliver to my clients. If I switched to a different DAW would I suffer the same forgetfulness, would I be able to problem solve Pro Tools errors and bugs as efficiently as I do now?
Handling Pro Tools Crashes vs Not Knowing Something
I'd prefer a Pro Tools crash in a client attended session over a "I don't know how to do this or that in Studio One" scenario. When I work with a client I consider my work as mission critical so I in every single session I need to be able to trust in my tools and more importantly my abilities to run a session smoothly. This is really down to making time to learn something new, if I don't know how to use a software in a session I stay well clear as I'd rather save myself the embarrassment of not knowing how to do something in front of a client.
Have You Considered Switching From Pro Tools?
When I move into the new studio Pro Tools will continue to be the center of my music production workflow. The cost of changing my control surface is the main reason why I can't seriously consider changing my DAW. Have you considered switching from Pro Tools and chose not to? Share your reasons.