Recently Dan Cooper, Deputy Editor of Pro Tools Expert, wrote a piece on why Pro Tools would continue to be his DAW of choice for his new studio.
He made some valid points, mainly based on his circumstances of a legacy control surface that only works with Pro Tools, but vital because of sight issues.
As one would expect (and I certainly hope will be the case with this article), some other community members expressed their opinions on the subject.
So this is part two on why no one should choose Pro Tools, or any other DAW for that matter, as the single solution for their music studio.
Building a modern music studio around one solution, especially Pro Tools, is in my opinion unwise.
Personally, I use two DAWs, Studio One and Pro Tools, and you can read why this is the case here. But to cut a long story short, I do not think there is a DAW made that offers a single solution for all the complex requirements of a modern studio. Without repeating the entire article, I will sum it up that for me I can write and work faster, plus have rock-solid stability in Studio One. But there are some things that Studio cannot do, mainly around the requirements I have when working with video and so I still use Pro Tools for this stuff.
If you are running your studio as a business having options is always a good idea. It's also smart having a plan B should something go wrong, for example; Opcode folding being the worst case scenario, or Emagic getting purchased by Apple and PC users left with either moving to Mac or learning a new DAW the best. You may want to think your DAW is always going to be here, but history tells us otherwise.
While Avid may have made some moves in the right direction over the last few years, there is still a lot missing from Pro Tools that modern music makers need, with everything from recallable channel presets, track folders to a more agile and modern VI environment.
There comes the point where you can spend your life contributing to endless threads in forums pleading for features or bug fixes, or you can simply get on with your life and find your way past the roadblocks in the Pro Tools workflow.
Enter DAW 2 stage left.
Dan made a point in his article of not wanting to be sitting in a session and not knowing if another DAW could do something and having to explain he didn't know. I agree that's unprofessional, Dan is right. But in the same way, I don't want to find myself sat in a session telling someone I cannot do something because of the limitations of my software. I work a lot of the time on my own (cue violins), and I need to have every tool I can have at my disposal to be able to deliver work to clients on time and budget - in most cases, this means having around ten different software applications at my disposal.
Despite what marketing people will tell (I'm one of them), there is no silver bullet; no one size fits all solution, and that includes DAWs.
As our surveys have shown, more and more of us are realising this and moving to a multi-DAW approach. I know it feels like a right pain in the ass to learn another application, let alone invest in one, but I think this is where you need to be in when running a modern studio.
Perhaps some of the resistance to a multi-DAW approach comes down to the 'jack of all trades' thinking from a previous generation. But the generation who used that phrase left school and had one job for life, this isn't the case anymore.
I listened to a fascinating BBC Radio 4 documentary a few weeks ago 'Is One Career Enough' on the emergence of the portfolio career. In many ways and for the first time it described my life; that I have several strands to my skill set and several things I do to make money, these include songwriting, music production, video creation, marketing and a blog publisher too. I used to feel somewhat odd about it, as if I wasn't making a commitment, or that I wouldn't be taken that seriously because I didn't have one thing on my business card. I fixed the business card problem simply by not using them - another remnant of a previous age.
I'm of the view that many of us now have portfolio careers and for this reason it is likely we need to have a portfolio of software options to do our jobs.
Many of the team, although sound editors and producers, can also cut videos and are proficient in various applications like Final Cut, Premiere and Media Composer. I don't think most of them would describe themselves as video editors, but in the course of their work it is likely, they have to open footage or projects sent to them in various NLE formats.
Of course, many of us will have a primary skill we excel in, and in most cases, it's smart to stick to what we are good at, see here what happens when we don't know where our skills begin and end. But we work in a new age, where many of us will have a portfolio career and need to adapt to different skills and have numerous software applications at our disposal.
By all means make Pro Tools the centre of your studio, after all, it's the industry standard, but I think it unwise to make it the only thing you know and use.
At best you might be limiting your choices, at worst you may be using the next Opcode and one day find yourself forced to buy and learn another DAW.