The Unique Geek

The Unique Geek
November 1, 2010

Logic vs. Pro Tools (Part II)

Logic vs. Pro Tools (Part II)

If you’ve been following along you will know this is Part II of a comparison between Logic and Pro Tools.  I split this into two posts for your eyes’ sake because it was soooo long.  I get that way sometimes.  So let’s get to it.  To recap here are the misconceptions we have argued against in part 1:

1. Logic is only for serious tweakers

2. Pro Tools is for engineers not songwriters

3. Logic sounds inferior to Pro Tools

4. Pro Tools is awful at MIDI

… and now

5. Logic is “very German”

Vee Are Za Germans

Vee Are Za Germans

Logic was very German. That was a xenophobic way of saying that Logic used to be very complicated and sterile. I used to think it was a way of saying, “golly, I’m just a mouth-breathing American and I don’t want to read an owner’s manual.” Then Apple bought Emagic (originators of Logic – pre version 7) and I stopped reading owners manuals. Logic is radically different now that Apple owns it. It was clear to everyone who launched Logic version 8 the first time. Apple had made a product that was as powerful as Emagic’s Logic ever was and it would be easier for the Garage Band graduate to be able to figure out.

6. Pro Tools is owned and operated by an evil force

Vee Are Not Za Germans

Vee Are Not Za Germans

Pro Tools is owned by Avid. Avid is publically traded on Wall Street. Digidesign (bought by Avid in 1997) had a genius way of protecting the Pro Tools brand and have kept it so their hardware was nearly all you could use if you wanted to run Pro Tools. It is frustrating, it’s limiting, but it is capitalism at its best. Or worst. I used to share this “f the man” feeling towards Pro Tools and Digi myself. Then, Avid went and bought M-Audio in August of 2004. Suddenly, Joe Q. Public felt like the little man was getting a seat at the evil empire’s table. Years before the M-Audio acquisition, Digi actually started making “Pro Tools LE” that enabled you to get into Pro Tools for $300 and not $13,000 +.  You have to use their $300 (on up to $2300) interfaces to run LE of course. Alright, it’s a little evil, but, not full-on “power, corruption and lies.”


7. Logic is only $499

Logic is $499 and it comes with more content than you’ll know what to do with. You’ll have to hire a babysitter to watch the kids all day as you install the software and loops the first time you install it. This will blow your mind when you think you only paid $499 for it. Ah ha – but, don’t forget – you have another piece of equipment that you must own in order to launch it. The $2000 (less if your frugal about it) computer you have is also necessary to run Logic. So, it isn’t just Digidesign that forces you to use their equipment in order to run their software. Pro Tools will run on your Windows Frankenstein’s monster your cousin built for you or a 12-core (I still can’t believe there is such a thing) Mac Pro.

8. You have to use a Digidesign interface for Pro Tools

Fast Track Pro

Fast Track Pro

Are you still on that Digidesign (now Avid) is evil kick? Pro Tools runs on over 20 different M-Audio interfaces. It runs on the Mbox series of interfaces, the 003 (001 and 002 before) series of interfaces, their HD interfaces and Mackie Onyx firewire mixers. Say wha? Yeah. Mackie kinda went ahead and cracked the code on how to write drivers for Pro Tools M-Powered (the is title that works with M-Audio interfaces) and their Onyx firewire mixer looks like a ProFire 2626 to your computer. Avid decided just to take some money from Mackie in lieu of making a big fuss. Oh, and don’t forget these studio guys. They buy the HD rigs (which have cards you put in your desktop to do the workload of the software) and then use Apogee, Metric Halo and other convertors with their Digi rig. Say what you will about the merits (or lack thereof) of staying away from The Man. But, there are a ton of options for working with Pro Tools now. There are workarounds if you want to run Pro Tools and don’t like The Man.

Post Script: …and then on November 4th, ,  2010 Avid announced Pro Tools 9. This version works with any interface or none at all. Well, maybe there is some interface that doesn’t have a Core Audio or ASIO driver. Wait, okay, you can’t use an Apogee Duet with Pro Tools 9 on Windows. Why? Go ask Apogee.

Cut to the chase already!

Logic gives you a ton of plug-ins and content that is great if you are working with a small window of time to deliver on music for a client. If you need simple music for post production and don’t want to spend hundreds of hours racking your brain to make your genius work shine through a project that really doesn’t live up to genius work level – you want Logic. There are over 38 gigabytes of loops to get you in the musical ballpark before you add a few more tracks to it and polish up to taste.

If you need to edit audio and edit quickly; Pro Tools workflow can’t be beat. Pro Tools is all about efficiency in the recording studio. Laugh, as you might, about Pro Tools just being for the engineer, but that person needs to get work done fast. If you charge $200 per hour, the client wants it done fast. Truth be told, I can edit and mix engineer way faster in Pro Tools. I won’t go down that road of “industry standard” because everyone outside of the Pro Tools fan club hates to hear it. I’ll leave it at that.

Logic is elegant, simple to use and gives you more bang for the buck. Pro Tools is a dream to create and slice and dice on. They are both excellent applications and we should consider ourselves lucky to be alive in an age where both DAWs exist. That last line was a bit over the top. Strike that. They are both great apps. You can’t go wrong using either.

Hope you appreciate the comparison.  If you liked it, why don’t you subscribe? Ha… alright off to write another for you guys.  Check back soon.

~ The Unique Geek