Pro Tools has been around since 1992. It was created by Digidesign and was used to record and mix music at a high level of quality.
In 2001, Avid (another company) bought Digidesign and took over production on all its software, including Pro Tools. This made it stand out as the first DAW in history that made it possible to transition from the expensive analog gear to a fully digital workspace that allows the same quality and possibilities as its analog par, but at a much lower cost and more accessible for engineers.
Why Is Pro Tools Best For Mixing?
Pro Tools offers complete control over your sound and allows you to be creative with it. The software also can run on multiple machines, which makes mixing easier on larger projects. In addition, its flexibility allows Pro Tools users to have nearly absolute control over their entire mix from one place.
The HD version has larger track counts (256 vs. 32), advanced audio editing and automation functions, AAX DSP processing, multiple video tracks (64 vs. 1), and surround mixing capabilities (up to 7.1)
Pro Tools is beneficial because it has HD connectivity systems for multi-channel recording and processing that could be applied to waveforms and regions during editing. Also, it provides the best workflow speed once you have learned key commands and shortcuts and file/project sharing and management features.
What’s so great about Pro Tools?
Pro Tools continues to be the most reliable, complete, and professional recording studio software on the market. It offers a 64-bit recording and mixing engine, which is fast and effective; it also includes solid track freeze and commit options and even enables GPU acceleration when working with video.
Other features that keep this powerful software at the top of its game are:
- Digidesign has worked with video and film since its inception. The company was also very successful in the film industry, so it was one of the only viable options if you were trying to sync to the picture. When Avid purchased Digidesign, that focus became even more substantial.
- Pro Tools is a full-featured recording package that provides excellent sound quality and an intuitive interface. It supports multitrack audio recording, MIDI sequencing, editing, mixing, and mastering.
- You can add a wide range of effects to your tracks (allows up to 10 inserts per track) with the included native plugins. Each one is transparent, easy to use, and sounds great on its own or in combination with other effects.
- In many ways, editing is the heart of digital audio workstations. Pro Tools offers several editing modes that have been specifically designed to reduce or eliminate wasted time.
Why do so many audio professionals use Pro Tools?
Because it’s a lot easier and practical, Pro Tools has become a universal language of sorts as its usage has increased. Sessions are easily saved and transferred between computers and/or studios. If you use Pro Tools, it is a good bet that another studio will be able to open your project and work with it as needed.
Pro Tools offers a lot of additional features as well. It can be used as a self-contained workstation, and it has lots of automation, digital processing capability, and surround sound mixing options. At the same time, most other DAWs are more focused on music production and editing, making Pro Tools the best way to go when editing audio for films, television, and even video games.
The audio engine in Pro Tools is one of its most important features because it makes processing several audio files more manageable. The engine also accounts for the high-quality sound this application produces. It delivers exceptional audio quality and gives professionals control over processes that are impossible to achieve with other DAWs.
Is Pro Tools good to make beats?
If you’re making beats and want to mix, edit, and master, in one place, then Pro Tools will be most efficient to achieve the best quality outcome. However, Pro Tools is not ideal for composing and arranging beats because it was made for recording and post-production.
Why is Pro Tools better than other DAWs for audio mixing and post-producing?
Pro Tools is the industry standard, so having a working knowledge of the software will help with landing bigger jobs. Most professional environments work with Pro Tools because it is easier, faster, and far more practical than nearly any other DAW, at least on an average industry level.
Also, Pro Tools is a powerful audio processing tool. It is highly accurate in audio manipulation and synchronization. It also has enhanced workflow options for massive multitrack recordings and multi-stem mixing, making it ideal for capturing audio at its highest fidelity.
Some specific traits that make Pro Tools a superior DAW for mixing, editing, and post-producing audio are:
- Enhanced workflow:
It may take a little while to learn all the key commands and controls, but it is worth it. Almost every action you can make in Pro Tools can be mapped to an external controller or key command. This is essential during audio clean-up and editing. A tap on a dedicated control surface or computer keyboard can replace several mouseover-click-drag-select-and-drop operations and save a lot of time and energy. DAWs like Reason and Ableton have a variety of shortcuts but are nowhere near enough to be useful for serious editing and mixing. You could do it, but it will undoubtedly take a lot more time, and it can become a lot more frustrating.
- Higher-level metering:
The meters aren’t fully useful in Ableton, FL Studio, and Reason, but their analysis tools are somewhat handy. In comparison, Pro Tools has 17 metering options that are more advanced than those found in any other software. An audio signal can often be much hotter than we perceive it. Pre-fader metering lets us see if an input is clipping before reaching channel inserts. Pre-fader metering is especially important in Ableton and FL Studio (which supports third-party plugins) because you may unintentionally drive high levels into a particular plugin that was not designed to deal with such hot input. It could also be a source of unwanted gain in your signal chain and eating up headroom. The lack of metering accuracy might look like a minor issue, but it makes an immense difference reflected in the outcome.
- Synch and video:
Neither Reason, FL Studio, nor Ableton Live has the resources to nudge audio by single sample or frame increments and then lock the edited region, support OMF, nor have surround mixing capabilities. On the other hand, Pro Tools can work with OMF files and allows you to import up to 64 video clips from your hard drive or camera to the timeline.
- Sound quality:
Pro Tools is mainly an audio tool rather than a MIDI or synth-based program. That means that it is primarily concerned with capturing and processing audio, not generating it. Ableton and Reason run on software synths to generate the sound. The Synths use plugin EFX to manipulate their audio. They employ algorithms called “warping” to make the recorded tracks easier to manage. These DAWs process all of this data, including the audio itself, making a huge difference in audio quality. It was possible to hear Ableton warping artifacts when importing audio tracks into the software until the most recent versions.
There is a common misconception that Pro Tools became the industry standard because it was first. While there is some truth to this, many of its advantages are also significant reasons why it is still the standard today. Although you can indeed get good results with most other modern DAWs, you’ll have to put in a lot of extra work to get anywhere near the quality you’re aiming for.
In addition to the basics of beat-making and singer/songwriter bedroom production, there are several advanced functions in Pro Tools that make it superior to Reason and Ableton. For example, Pro Tools has better synchronization capabilities, sample-accurate editing features, routing options, video editing tools, advanced automation features, and so on.
Finally, I recommend that you try out Pro Tools when a commercial job comes along and you have to score to cues, sync sound effects and sound design to timecode, share files and OMF data with clients and collaborators, recall mix sessions, and make rapid adjustments to meet deadlines.
I have a B.Sc. Degree in Audio Engineering and +5 years of work experience. I specialize in Audio Post-Producing and Sound Design to help brands and online businesses stick out delivering top-notch audio quality for advertisement, podcast, films, and music.