On the spectrum of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) over there are countless answers to this question and while the truth is probably, “the best DAW is the one you discover best” us all have actually our preferences. Here at the Portland Pod, we’ve used Audacity, Ableton Live, Audition, FL Studio, Reaper, Cubase, and Hindenberg, yet today, and also for every day come come if we have anything to say about it, we use Avid pro Tools because we think it is the best.

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Industry Standard

In its acquainted form, Avid pro Tools has been roughly since 1989 (though, if we acquire technical, its very first incarnation was in 1984), making it, i believe, the longest living, and still alive, DAW that ever before there was. Surviving that long way Avid has actually seen a lot, learned a lot, readjusted a lot, and also improved a lot of — making agree Tools battle tested and immensely capable. No DAW has better credentials and none are broader used. With over 1-million existing users, Pro devices is THE standard in audio production.

In addition to its created status and capability, Avid also makes Media Composer — an sector standard movie and video editing tool. Therefore if, favor us, girlfriend dabble in light video editing and production, having actually same-brand solutions for both audio and video clip is a quite add. Media Composer and also Pro tools work, together you would expect, seamlessly together.

Real-Time Processing

Audacity is a super popular solution because that podcasters, because that a couple of really great reasons. First, it’s free. Kind of difficult to beat for free! Second, it’s exceptionally easy come use. Third, it’s compatible with all VST plugins (that is, we haven’t run across any the it isn’t compatible with). The greatest draw-back come Audacity is that it doesn’t have real time handling of plugins.

When you EQ in Pro-Tools friend play the audio and also EQ in addition to it — any kind of changes girlfriend make are reflected in genuine time. Use a low-end role off if listening? friend hear it right away. Turn it off, turn it on, adjust it, every these transforms can be heard together you do them.

In Audacity this no the case. You’ll open up up your EQ plugin, make changes, and then click “preview” to hear a couple of seconds that audio with those settings applied to it. Audio engineering forums still complain about this lack of functionality. Worse, this doesn’t just apply for editing and enhancing tracks, it applies during the recording such the you cannot apply effects at suggest of record — a massive advantage to an ext mature DAWs prefer Pro Tools.

Ease of breakthrough and active Support Forums

Let’s pretend there’s a DAW User IQ that runs indigenous 1 to 5. If you’re at the low-end of that, it’s going to take it you a month to find out to use Pro devices competently as a podcaster. If you’re in ~ the high-end, it’ll take it you a week. Ago in 2015 as soon as we an initial started making use of Pro tools in our Florida studio (may she remainder in piece) we carved out a production-free week simply to mess v Pro Tools and get as an excellent as we can as easily as we could.

It’s true that an easy steps which would be an ext intuitive in Audacity do, at first, it seems to be ~ unnecessarily complex in pro Tools. V Audacity you’ll be recording, cutting, and pasting in no time, satisfying the most basic of modifying needs appropriate out that the gate. Once it pertains to the speed and ease with which development comes, however, the contrary is true: as soon as you understand the basics in Audacity, learning the an ext advanced level of audio design will come in ~ a frustratingly sluggish pace together you battle to overcome a poor user interface and also an impossibly limiting attribute set.

With pro Tools, you’ll absolutely it is in frustrated as to why you can’t carry out something as simple as turn grid-snap turn off without having a doctor in Egyptian hieroglyphics and archaic symbolism (so many icons and locations to learn!). However, once you’ve push through these straightforward features, you’ll discover that enhancements to your skill set come regularly and also your breakthrough as an Audio technician is gradual and also easy.

Audacity helps you it is in basic. Pro Tools obstacles you to be far better and then offers you the room you need to grow.

Also, Avid support is amazing and so room their user forums.

Some Draw-backs to agree Tools

For one, that expensive. $500 for a single version through a perpetual license. Or, exactly how we carry out it, $24/month v no contract and a perpetual patent (so lengthy as us pay the bill!). We prefer monthly since while the $500 might mean you never ever pay again, that also method you nothing get complimentary upgrades, you’re just stuck with the version you bought.

It additionally has piracy and billing ~ above lock down. In enhancement to purchase the software you’ll need to purchase a $50 iLok usb stick. This stick holds all your licenses and also if it’s not plugged into your computer, your software won’t work. Avid does not mess about with licensing and it does not mess roughly with you not paying your bill. Miss out on a payment by also one day and also your software won’t job-related until you pay (though there is a 3-day elegant period). Friend can always get a 3-day temp patent from technology support, yet it’s a hassle, for this reason you’ll should be on optimal of your bill.

It can be finicky if girlfriend don’t have actually your audio system configured well. If she someone who pops in and also out of her DAW and also uses the same interface for audio, you can see somewhat frequent crashes. Pro tools is non-destructive and also keeps duplicates of all occupational in 5-minute increments so this is an ext obnoxious than anything else. You do not do it be making use of your audio interface machine for continual listening anyway, it have to only be supplied within the DAW. We’ve been utilizing Pro devices on computer for around four year now and also we have one of this annoying crashes about once a month — i beg your pardon is about once per every 12 sessions. It help to curse Bill gates after every crash.

So if you serious around being an Audio Engineer and also not just a Podcast Editor, pick agree Tools.

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That’s the answer. Though, credit whereby credit is due, if you a MAC user, yes sir very small incentive because that you to use Pro tools over LogicPro X. I still think Pro devices is superior, but factoring in LogicPro’s pricing, standard status, functionality, and also inclusive Apple-y-ness, I’d really be splitting hairs. LogicPro X is a really good DAW, yet for you computer users, Pro tools is the means to walk if you ever want to be anything more than a part-time, casual, just-for-fun audio editor.