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Pro Tools vs Sonar or Cubase

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by falkon2, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    One thing someone told me recently (as I'm a SONAR user very interested in investing in a Nuendo setup) is that a good craftsman can produce something worthwhile on whatever tools he uses - on any range of the quality scale, even. (Not to say any one product is most definitely better than the next, of course. ;) )

    His advice to me was to stick with SONAR for the time being, see how far I can go on it, and then invest my saved-up money later on something I really need. I've already got workable software, and spending money on a (seemingly) better software package wouldn't be as wise as using it on something I absolutely don't have as of yet. (Good mic, good mic pres, decent plugins, etc)

    I personally felt his advice was sound, and now I'm waiting out and just watching to see what I can get that will give me the most mileage and value for my money.

    Of course, this advice is quite specific to my situation, but I thought I'd just float it to see if you thought likewise.
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    popularity shouldn't be a deciding factor when choosing something. Like Lemmings to sea as they say..are you going to jump off a cliff just because the others think it's popular?!!!! :D
  3. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Just an add on.....

    Go with what you know. You've already invested a load of time learning one format. Why go backwards and start from scratch again?

    Pro Tools is the standard for Pro Studios.

    But, if you ever need to bring your material to said studios, you can export your work from Sonar (2.2) into the Pro Tools file format...where a pro studio can play with it until your heart's content.

    I'm a Sonar user also, and I've toyed with several other programs; but I always returned to the one that I feel is the most intuitive product on the market.

    None of these products are inherently better than the others....just a different way of getting to the same place.


  4. froyo

    froyo Member

    Hello. Well I will agree with some things and disagree with others. I agree that a good engineer will achieve good results with bubble gum and a hair pin, a la McGyver. There is also something to be said to adding other gear besides software like mic pre's, better converters, microphones, etc.

    I will also agree that popularity shouldn't be the only deciding factor, but the flip side of that coin is that popularity shouldn't be a factor against it. Just because Led Zeppelin or the Beatles were massively popular doesn't mean they weren't a hundred times more valuable than say Britney Spears or Limp Biskit. Just because Pro Tools is popular doesn't mean it is not good. I know it's kind of strange to make this point, but you do come across the attitude sometimes of people who think if you buy into something massive you are not cool, or independent minded or intelligent, but rather a zombie lemming blindly following the masses for no reason.

    I will agree with testing things out first. This is the advice I always give everybody whenever there is a question on gear. Never ever spend a penny on a sale before trying it out. You may spend money to rent or try stuff out, but that's much better than buying outright. Most stores give you a period of time to return items. There are also rental houses and demos, as was mentioned before. Neumann U87's and 47's are universally regarded as excellent microphones. However, maybe they won't work with your voice or your singer's voice where a $300 RODE mic may. So always try stuff out first. I don't care if Bob Ludwig or God himself recommends it, your ears are the only opinion that matters.

    I will disagree slightly however with Kev1's comment
    I really disagree with this. That's like saying you know how to work an SSL, why bother learning a Neve, Euphonix, Amek, etc. Actually, in my opinion and personal experience, it is much better to know and work with as much gear and software as is humanly possible. If you can find the money and time, I would definitely recommend working with just about every software out there. They all have different things to offer that others don't. So keep Sonar and try others out.

    Good luck.

    [ August 18, 2003, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: froyo ]
  5. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    It's popular to hate popular things! ;)
  6. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

  7. If you want to make money doing your engineering Pro tools is the only software to advertise. The others are surely equal or even BETTER but, the uneducated players out there have to relate or hear the words Pro Tools.
    I have used and owned a 2 inch machine, Cubase, ADAT XT's, Mackie HDR, and now finally a full Pro Tools HD3 system. While all my work sounds very good the customers want Pro Tools. I always had to do alot of explaining before I landed on Pro Tools planet. I do not think it is superior at all, just a buisness thing.
    I also record to an analog 2 inch machine when the budget permits, then mix from the computer.
    It all boils down to the song anyway. Give me a SM57 a mackie mixer and a 4 track 2340 tascam and I will make a record. (CD???)
  8. [ August 25, 2003, 07:44 AM: Message edited by: Pfaeffle ]
  9. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member


    That's the most bogus statement I have yet to hear.

    It's all based upon the skills of the engineer. If you need a name brand to bring clientelle to you then your're doing something wrong. Sorry to be harsh but I truly can't stand closed minded people who are biased to a platform.

    Yes, I have worked on just about all the platforms out there and indeed Pro Tools has a name but when you choose an engineer to do your work you choose him based upon his skills and past work.

    I know several studios strictly working without Pro Tools and they are slamming out big hits, post production movie works and much more.

    You can not just say you need "X" brand to get you work. It's just not correct in any way.

    Don't think that I don't know the industry either, I'm in it. I work for Apogee Electronics and talk to just about every engineer/producer out there NOT working on Pro Tools who are making a living.

    People like Ed Cherney, Eliot Scheiner, Hector Delgado, Skywalker Ranch(yes, they have a Nuendo system), Berklee College of Music(all the professors I talk to all hate Pro Tools!) and the list can go on and on.

    Opus :roll:
  10. BUZAIN

    BUZAIN Guest

    Someone once said "It's not the desk in front of the man that matters, but the man behind the desk."
  11. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    I just don't get why this whole board is subtly imbued with hate for Pro Tools.

    Every once in a while you get comments like " Is the Digidesign monopoly over?" or "I know lots of people who hate Pro Tools".

    This really doesn't make sense to me.

    C'mon guys, it's a piece of software (and HW as well), what is it that makes you so angry and mad about it? To me it is just what the name says: a Tool for professionals; I don't think Digidesign aimed at taking the world when it designed it, I think they decided to meke a good DAW (and do profit out of it of corse), as all of the many others in the market; and judging by the success they had, well...they did it: who do you think is the final judge of the success of a product? Is it the engineer using it on a daily basis or the dumb producer who repeats and asks the Pro Tools words just because he heard them so much around the studios and don't even know what they mean.."yeah, just Pro Tools it..."?
    I think that if Pro Tools took off the way it did there should be a reason behind it other than a good business strategy, isn't it?

    It's been one of the first apps to be written to handle audio in an efficent way, when Cubase was only MIDI, so clearly it's been one of the first to be embraced and used by the pro comunity, not to mention that it actually works great.

    Arguing over such a topic to me is like bashing MDMs or ADATs or 2" tape: it's just a tool that got popular and became a standard, or would you say "well I know lots of people hating Beta tape machines, and I hope their reign is over". Maybe someday in the future a new app will come out and Pro Tools will gather dust in a pawn shop like all things in history, right now is the standard in the HD recording format between pro studios the world over: I think that instead of bashing it one should just learn to use it as another tool in his/her palette; if you prefer another DAW, great, that's fine with me (and I can agree on the fact that other DAWs can sound better than PT, but that's a highly subjective thing and depends a lot on HW factors like AD and DA conversions), and you can surely work out great pieces of music out of them, but keep in mind that if you want to comunicate on a professional level with pro studios around the world and be sure to have your mixes playable whichever studio you go, then you have to learn and adopt Pro Tools like you did with 2" tape.

    Me? As you may have understood by now, I'm a Pro Tools user, but I know (and actually use when necessary) other softwares like Logic, Digital Performer or Vegas; I just chose Pro Tools for my studio because of the way it clicked with my own way of working, just like other apps like Cubase didn't, and because I don't have a tracking room, so I usually track in a nearby facility that uses, guess what... Pro Tools...and because to me it sounds just as good as other apps.



    [ August 26, 2003, 03:50 AM: Message edited by: gerax ]
  12. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that I don't speak for everyone, (not by a long shot!) but I think that the biggest gripe that many have is that Pro Tools is selling a lot based on name alone - there are systems which can do just as well or better, yet are decently priced.

    It's as if Pro Tools is selling its name alone. I won't argue that compatibility is hardly a problem with a PT rig, but a finely-tuned system using another rig could easily do as well. Attention to detail saves money here. Problem is, these people lose out some business because everyone seems to be shouting "PRO TOOLS OR BUST", regardless of the knowledge or skill of the engineer, hence the hate.
  13. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member


    Now I start to see what maybe the real point is in all this:

    People don't want to spend money to get a system they can be able to work on; sure, the new digital revolution has brought computers into the game, so now everybody with a stock PC and some cracked software can make his own hit; that's a good and bad thing simultaneously: good because creative people can have acces to the tools to make their good material be heard as deserved, bad because of the same reason, so that everybody and their mothers can flood the world with garbage and want to do it for free, just download your favorite app from Kazaa and you're in business.

    You couldn't do this with the analog days gear, either you had it (and payed for it) or not. I don't blame Digidesign for making its own hardware to run their software on, to me it's just keeping up this kind of idea. Sure, a TDM or HD system is pricey, and there's lots of alternative in between such big rigs and a souped up email machine with some software, but the results are directly correlated, I think that where technology is concerned you sort of get what you pay for; I'm not discussing the importance of skills and good engineering and quality material, the best TDM rig in the world won't make a song sound good if those are missing. I think people hire me because of my ears and skills, not because I have a Pro Tools rig, though it's definitely a plus (at least it's been so far for my business) to be able to run one.
    I consider myself open minded, and even though I've embraced Pro Tools I recognize its weak points, I acknowledge the fact that other daws can do some things better, but again, I don't think its popularity is based on name only: do you think Mercedes or BMW sell their cars only because of their name?


    L.G. :)
  14. kevinwhitect

    kevinwhitect Active Member

    Hey Froyo-

    In defense of my statement related to not abandoning Sonar after spending time learning it.....

    If you are in the recording business, if all you do is record for eight hours a day, if you have unlimited access to equipment and/or money, THEN perhaps your advice might be realistic....learn it all.

    Why not? To better educate yourself is an obvious goal.

    But, IMO, this is a narrow target market...consisting of industry professionals and the rare persons with too much time and money on his or her hands.

    My advice was given in the hope and scope of appealing to a larger, broader audience. Said audience is, like myself, mainly home studio based.

    We, as a general rule, do not have a full day to contribute to learning multiple systems. We do not operate as a business, and therefore do not encounter varied situations to master. We do not have unlimited amounts of money to spend on our avocation.

    We usually operate in the precious hours after all of the rest of our stuff is done...when we have a few moments to breath easy.

    Spending extra time learning multiple applications is not the most realistic or productive way of spending those extra moments.

    The equipment mentioned by Dave appeared to lean more toward this type of user...and I assumed he was one and offered advice accordingly.

    I know....when you assume.....

    Not that I think that you reply was wrong, Froyo, for your advice is quite right and good.

    But, I stand by my original statement as being more realistic and appropriate for my intended target.

    BTW- Pro Tools is great...I don't know why people like to flame it...but it's just one of many viable options.

    To me, it's the expense that lessens its appeal. I think there are better bargains out there.


  15. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member


    If people don't have to spend as much as they do on a Pro Tools system and get something at half the cost that does the same exact thing, why buy Pro Tools then?

    That's where the reality is! Most people in the long run don't want to use Digidesigns converters. It's a widely known fact. Believe me, I get calls all day long from people who are wondering what to do in terms of converters to go i nto Pro Tools! Mix and HD systems.

    With the economy the way it is, people are looking to save money to make money. They want the best bang for their buck.

    Now, either platform you choose you are going to run into snags either in the software or the hardware side. There's no getting around it.

    Again, if someone requests Pro Tools and I say, not available, and also mention that I did this song on Neundo, this song by this engineer was done on Nuendo...they usually say..wow, ok!

    It's all in your selling points to the client.

    I think one of the main reasons I hate Pro Tools is because of the arrogance that comes with it!

    It's like Macintosh fanatics. They will defend their computer platform till they are blue in the face. Meanwhile us PC users just laugh and go work on a machine that has the same power or even more for half the price!

    I'm not talking about an email machine turned into a DAW with some cracks from Kazaa here either.

    That's insulting to say. Plain and simple. That just goes to prove the arrogance surrounded by Pro Tools users.

    You work on a platform that best suits you and you only. You have the 10,000 to spend on converters and some software...not including the computer..go for it.

    You want to spend about 5,000 and get the same results as a 15,000 system...more power to you.

    Opus :D
  16. dr.sound

    dr.sound Member

    Member # 1642 posted August 25, 2003 07:57 PM
    I know several studios strictly working without Pro Tools and they are slamming out big hits, post production movie works and much more.

    You can not just say you need "X" brand to get you work. It's just not correct in any way.

    Don't think that I don't know the industry either, I'm in it. I work for Apogee Electronics and talk to just about every engineer/producer out there NOT working on Pro Tools who are making a living.

    People like Ed Cherney, Eliot Scheiner, Hector Delgado, Skywalker Ranch(yes, they have a Nuendo system), Berklee College of Music(all the professors I talk to all hate Pro Tools!) and the list can go on and on.


    dr.sound replies:
    What Post studios doing "big hits" without Pro Tools? And don't say Wilshire Stages. Not try to rag on you, just curious of who's on your list.
    And while Skywalker has Nuendo, how many Pro Tools systems do they have?
  17. BUZAIN

    BUZAIN Guest

    "It's not the desk in front of the man that matters, but the man behind the desk."
  18. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member


    While I do belive that in a couple of years native processing will substitute TDM, and I'm preparing myself for that switch (I'm currently running a 001 setup at my project studio, and swap projects between my place and a TDM studio nearby), right now the conmparision is not equal: you can get a really great native system running whatever app (I'll use ...Pro Tools for the comparision, you guessed it :)
  19. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Now, that I can relate too! Well said sir!
    Good debate as well!

    Wishire Stages...hmm..forgot about them! Yes, bic clients of Apogee...Richard D'abo..comes in a few times now and then at Apogee....

    Opus :p
  20. dr.sound

    dr.sound Member

    And those "Big Hit Post Houses" without Pro Tools are?

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