The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
October 27, 2010

Logic vs. Pro Tools (Part I)

Logic vs. Pro Tools

This is Part 1 of a two part article comparing Logic and Pro Tools.  I wrote this down and realized it was so long it was worthy of two posts.  So here’s part one for you.

In the beginning, there was ether and chaos all around. Then Al Gore Jr. enabled (not invented) the Internet to come about. Then, there was more chaos. It is on the Internet where you can find plenty of embittered people arguing why it is either Logic or Pro Tools that you should use. I choose both. It is from this position that I argue their merits. Not in any real depth, but in simplicity. Sometimes too much information is just that; too much information.

Have you ever been on the fence about making a move in life; you talked to two more people and then decided you didn’t know what to think anymore? This is a common occurrence in audio world. We are flooded with information and the next thing you know, you get “paralysis by analysis” – as they say.



Well, with Logic and Pro Tools it is much the same. There is no app that is superior to the other. Not really. What is superior is how many users one has over the other. Right, you guessed it; Pro Tools has a ton more users. And one is superior in the content it gives you right out of the box. Right again; Logic is uber-generous with what they give you in the box.

But, don’t let the DAW (digital audio workstation) you use become another “us and them” proposition. We have enough things in life we argue about: religion, politics and our OS choices. There is one thing we universally agree on though. If Steve Jobs and Bill Gates got into a knife fight – Steve Jobs would win. That man has demons.

The Word on the Street

Both Logic and Pro Tools suffer from preconceptions that they can’t shake. Let me run down some oldies, but oldies. Let’s take some time to shoot them all down.

Environment ScreenShot

1. Logic is only for serious tweakers

Logic used to be complicated to work with out of the box. You had to spend a good amount of time, back in the day, to get your external MIDI devices to play nicely together. I used to revel in how complicated it was just to use a blasted ReWire instrument with Logic. I’d just sit there and waste time in the “Environment” and make one of my MIDI faders do 8 tasks at once. What a dork I was. Now, however, I’m way cooler. Well, you probably get that just from reading this.

Pro Tools Screen Shot

2. Pro Tools is for engineers not songwriters

Pro Tools, originally, was built with the recording engineer in mind. The precursor, Sound Tools, dates back to circa 1989. Who were the earlier adaptors of Pro Tools (est. 1991)? Why, recording engineers of course. Who else could afford a Pro Tools rig before 1999-ish? A: a full-on recording studio more times than not. So, of course it looked like something an engineer would like. But, think about it. This was the first time these guys were getting off of tape machines and the analog realm into the computer. You had to make Pro Tools look and feel like a simple utility in an effort not to alienate all of your potential users. It worked. Fast-forward to version 8 and suddenly you have a piece of software that engineers and songwriters alike can understand and make full use of.

Logic Waves

Logic Waves

3. Logic sounds inferior to Pro Tools

Logic doesn’t sound inferior. Some may be able to scientifically prove it does. This is where we get into floating-point coefficients. But, honestly, they both sound great. If Peter Gabriel and Michael Brook are comfortable with its sound quality, I’m quite sure it will suffice. Personally? I like the sound of Pro Tools a smidge better. But, that is subjective.

4. Pro Tools is awful at MIDI

Pro Tools was awful at MIDI. More times than not, studios used Logic for the MIDI work they needed to get done. They’d capture all of that as audio files in the end and move that into Pro Tools to work and couple it with the stuff they were tracking from mics and the external world. Now, both apps are strong enough on their own to stay within just the one DAW.

Pro Tools Midi

Pro Tools Midi

OK, that’s it for Part 1.  Part II coming soon where we talk about the price and Avid vs. Apple among other things.  Stay tuned!  Don’t forget to comment and subscribe.

~ The Unique Geek