How much better is Pro Tools vs. Logic X?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Luba, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Luba macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    I recently bought Logic X to learn and play around with a DAW. I am into photography (Aperture, and soon Pixelmator) and video (FCPx). I hear Pro Tools is the pro standard, but didn't want to spend over $1k, to find out I am not cut out to do audio. I assume Logic works better with FCPx? What the big features, what can Pro Tools do that Logic X can't? Thanks!
  2. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    both are pro standards...depending on your style.
  3. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    What did you hear about Pro Tools being the pro standard? There are much better converters on the market than what ships with a Pro Tools desk.

    I'd just stick with the DAW you work best with and not bother about the label of "pro standard". :)

    edit: I never tried Pro Tools Native. If it doesn't require the Pro Tools hardware, it could be interesting.
  4. DarthMoops macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2010
    Baltimore MD
    If you're looking for an intro DAW to learn and play with, I'd suggest GarageBand. It's a pretty powerful DAW in it's own right w/o the steep learning curve of Logic.
  5. bwhli macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I prefer mixing in Pro Tools, but Logic definitely wins in composition and MIDI sequencing.
  6. tsongming macrumors newbie


    Jan 16, 2014
    Studio One is My Favorite

    Personally I prefer Studio One Pro, which is integrated with Melodyne and is fantastic with editing. Additionally, Studio One Pro is unsurpassed as the only DAW ( that I know of) that comes with Project Mastering.
  7. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Pro Tools HD is the one thats over 1k you can get the standard version for around £400. I currently use Logic X however I have Pro Tools 11 coming on Monday, its just the little features in my opinion that make it quicker to use, things like tab to transient etc (watch the PT11 videos on youtube) it also depends what you will be using it for, Pro Tools 11 won't replace Logic X in my workflow as i dont feel i could produce my own tracks in it however I will no longer be using logic to actually record, like bands and acoustic sessions etc.

    Hope this helps :)
  8. Destroysall macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2012
    United States
    Not much difference. Logic may have a few more features incorporated into it, but Pro Tools is just what most studios primarily use. Some even swear by it, but both capture the same identical way. The general consensus is that most prefer Editing and Mixing with Pro Tools over Logic.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Features overlap a lot. But Logic has better (I think) soft instruments. It has that new drummer and some really good synths and I think handle mIdi best.

    PT has an ecosystem and lots of good hardware available. It used to be best at audio while Logic was better at MIDI but the two have both expanded.

    With PT you can buy a 24 track mixing desk from the same people who make the software. Apple does not do that

    For a small home studio I like Logic best But I always tell people to use Garage Band until they can identify a good reason not to.
  10. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2012
    Yeah, the key here is "better for what?"

    Every DAW has it's strengths and weaknesses.

    Pro Tools is not "the industry standard", but if you qualify it as "the industry standard for multi-track audio with little or no MIDI involved" you're much closer to right.

    Meanwhile, Logic has long been a favorite of heavy users of MIDI, because the Environment view is a Swiss Army knife for MIDI, and because the value-for-money of the built-in virtual instruments is awesome.

    MOTU has continued working hard to compete with Logic in that arena, though, throwing more and more effects&instruments into each release.

    Live is great if you want to use your DAW to perform, well...Live.

    Ardour is great if you want to use the same DAW on Mac and Linux

    Reason is great if you like fiddling with patch cables in a pretty, pretty interface.

    Renoise is great if you like the vertical-scrolling old-school tracker style of composition.

    But if you're on a Mac, it's hard to argue against starting with Garageband. It's more DAW than most people will ever need, and under the hood it's using the power of Logic's audio engine and virtual instruments, just in a more accessible way.

    As others have said, start there and stay there until you find a compelling reason to try something else. I have Logic, and I still fire up Garageband on the regular when I just want to sketch out an idea for a song without getting distracted by six dozen options to tweak.
  11. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I completely agree with everything you just said, Garageband 2013 has pretty much the same interface as logic X anyway, as you said pretty good starting point.
  12. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I use Cubasis/Cubase Elements myself. At $99, it's not a bad starting point.

    I started out with Pro Tools and getting into Logic was like a smack in the face. Absolutely clueless with it. Hence I ended up going the Cubase route.

    I looked for alternatives mostly because of the dongles and interface requirements of PT. For a laptop with only two USB slots, side by side, it wasn't going to cut it.

    Your better DAW is always going to be the one that doesn't require hardware. Pro Tools has a mixer in the interface itself, and that's what I always used in the classroom. I don't get why I had to have a 5 pound version of it hanging from the computer too. :rolleyes:

    No hardware, the ability to use plugins, DAW UI standards, and the handling of audio correctly. Those are the only things a DAW needs to have. Forget about industry standard, you're a musician, not a studio. Your microphones matter the most as they can make or break you.

    You'd be surprised at how many bands do demos in GarageBand.
  13. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    In my opinion they are meant for different tasks.

    For all audio, no/little virtual instruments, so recording a band etc. Pro Tools is the winner, thats where its workflow is.

    MIDI/Composing/making electronic music with virtual Synths , Then Logic is the way to go.

    I personally use Cubase as i find its a good mix of both, but Logic and Pro Tools are both really really nice.
  14. t434 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2013
    To OP

    Alright lemme lay it down for u. :)

    Pro Tools - good for dealing with audio (mixing, mastering, recording)
    Logic - good for dealing with midi (building your song)
    FL - good for dealing with midi (i own FL for Mac)
    Ableton - good for both audio and midi
    Cubase - good for both audio and midi

    i own all except Cubase, but it really comes down to the way you work (your workflow). The only reason the Pro Tools is in almost every recording studio is because those people mainly use hardware instruments and effects, not plug-ins. There is little to no need for midi in the studio.

    And imho, Pro Tools is not as great as everybody makes it out as. It is just a tool to use. (Just like any other DAW!)
  15. dytac1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2011
    Epsom Surrey
    Just love to listen to you guys talking about what DAW is better than the other totally agree that there are different costs and makes that do different jobs...they will all take you to the same place it's your creative minds and talent which will make the big difference...that coming from and old timer that loved to work on 24 track machines and huge SSL mixers plus tons of outboard gear filling the studio with flight cases.....create and have fun:)
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    In agreement with the poster above who mentioned Cubase.

    Excellent blend of power, usability, and "learn-ability"...
  17. MiesVanDerRobot macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2012
    Indeed, I forgot to mention Cubase, which is sort of the "jack of all trades, master of none" option.

    And FL Studio, which has that Garageband "just do a cannonball into the deep end of the pool" approachability factor. But their Mac version is currently the Windows version with a wrapper, so you're not going to get the kind of performance you'd get from a native app. Lots of people love it, though.
  18. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    I've got some love,not much, but some love, for garageband.

    Its a nice program, and its easy to use, but it trains bad habits for when you move to 'better' DAW.

    Cubase is, as i said before, my personal favourite. But i've been using Logic X the past few weeks, and it is nice, the built in effects are nice, the exciter is superb.

    ProTools is super nice for audio, but thats it.
  19. producerspot macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2014
    Here is a brief review focused on Logic Pro X improvements and new features: Logic Pro X Review
  20. BigRed1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    If I had all the money I needed, I think I'd gt cubase and NI Komplete and be done.

    For $200, though, which was still a stretch for me, you can't beat what you get with Logic out of the box. I'm very happy with it. As someone who does all of the instruments, writing, programming and recording in my stuff, Pro Tools doesn't do anything for me, but I honestly haven't looked at it too closely in several years. Maybe they've added some integrated synths and stuff.
  21. barkmonster, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I swapped from Logic to Pro Tools years ago when Logic was garbage and barely more than a ported over Atari ST/Falcon sequencer. As I tolerated Digidesign, then Avid's forced obscelecence, I started playing around with a "borrowed" version of Logic Pro 8 to see how it faired. It didn't sway me. It still appears far from intuitive even but now with it's lower price of £139, I might concider it.

    There's nothing that can touch Pro Tools for editing/mixing but Logic has a vast array of plug-ins, much better dynamic processors in it's standard suite (like multi-band compressors instead of using multiple compressors with different Lo/Hi band EQ settings on the input like you need to do as a work-around in Pro Tools without buying a third party plug-in), it has much better sequencer features, much better CPU utilisation (less so now they've killed Logic node but still offers more CPU-based plug-ins for your system resources than Pro Tools).

    One thing that I think people overlook is Reaper. It's kind of a combination of the two, it's significantly cheaper than either and even though the plug-ins it comes with are garbage compared with the standard AAX/RTAS or AU plug-ins Pro Tools and Logic come with, it's free to try out for as a long as you want and there's lots of online resources for learning it's interface. Also, it still supports using additional systems for extra CPU power unlike Logic X.

    Avid have so far decided to make their very expensive Control 24 desks obsolete, use hardware copy protection (and the iLok caused people a TON of headaches last year) and gouge customers for updates prices. I'm still on the LE version that came with my Mbox2 because I'm undecided. I simply don't want to be forced to buy £40 worth of iLok2 because of their forced obsolecence + £310 for the LE to Pro Tools 11 cross-grade just for the pleasure of an intuitive interface and proprietary plug-ins.

    There WAS a VST to AAX wrapper at one point but Avid killed it.
  22. mintfan7200, Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014

    mintfan7200 macrumors member


    Feb 18, 2014
    Well if you are not a Power User then I do not think it is worth it , they may offer a trial I am not sure if they do or not but I do not think you should get it unless you have extra cash and are really interested . You should try Audacity or even ardour . Audacity is free but I am not sure about ardour but I think you have to donate like a $1.00 to get it . Those two programs are very advanced like Pro Tools but they take a while to learn , but they are great alternatives to Pro Tools if you want a cheap or free program that is similar .
  23. flyingmanatee macrumors member


    Jan 7, 2014
    Cubase tends be better at waveform audio than Logic and Ableton, as it has the warping grids of Ableton, built-in melodyne-like pitch correction, plenty of non-destructive editing, etc. Out-of-the-box, it isn't nearly as loaded at Logic and its always been less stable/more-CPU intensive. I attribute that largely to VSTs vs AUs.

    Logic for whatever-reason, seems to mix better (I'd guess the limiters and some of the algorithms) are better.

    For midi, both apps are mostly the same. Cubase is more old school, it still has some carry-overs from Cubasis, but you can capture/send Midi commands easier than Digital Performer. I think AUs have a slight edge as I rarely have plugins bring down Logic, and the default suite of AUs that Logic ships with are second-to-none.

    If i had to use one out-of-the-box without using any additional software, I'd probably pick Logic but Cubase is the more powerful of the two and much easier to deal with waveform audio. For sampling, Cubase really has the edge for its ability to manipulate recorded audio.
  24. 7enderbender macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2012
    North East US
    Just went through the same decision process. I'm a musician and not a recording engineer. And as much as I think that ProTools is THE industry standard at least in North America I decided it was too expensive and involved for my needs.

    For 200 bucks you get a fully functioning tool with Logic. I'm mostly looking at composing, songwriting and tinkering a bit. Honestly, Logic was one of the deciding factors for me to go the Mac route after decades of Windows.
    I'm not going to build a full fledged studio in my home any time soon so investing in top level expensive Pro Tools seemed like a waste. And as far as learning goes I had to start over anyway after years and years of using Cubase (with its own frustrations).

    And so far I can only say: it simply works except for a few minor things that I did't understand at first (or didn't find in sub menus). The best part for me is that it solved all my existing hardware issues and I can focus on the music. Which would probably be the same in ProTools on a new Mac.

    If I'll ever get to record another album I'd go to a professional studio again anyway and let them deal with the technical details. So for me this was one of the better 200 bucks spend on music equipment.
  25. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I used to use Logic but moved to Pro Tools because of the better audio editing and edit window features. I recently started using Reaper because I'm not prepared to give Avid £40 for a new iLok and over £300 for an LE to Pro Tools 11 cross-grade. From an interface perspective. It's like the best of both and unlike Logic X, it still allows the use of additional systems for extra plug-in processing via Ethernet. Logic X removed Logicnode from the equation now it's 64 bit and I'm sure half of that reason is Apple would rather you buy a Mac Pro over an iMac or Mac Mini rather than simply network your older system to a newer one.

    Pro Tools offers very basic dynamics processing that doesn't include multi-band compressors, it has fixed buses and it uses a proprietory AAX plug-in format (previously RTAS). Avid also forced the only company making a VST to AAX wrapper to take it off the market.

    Logic has a much steeper learning curve than both Pro Tools and Reaper but offers much better plug-ins than Pro Tools for mixing (such as multi-band compressors, EQs with built in waveform displays, vast amounts of software synths). Reaper has less in the way of software synths but easily matches Logic and beats Pro Tools for the standard set of mixing plug-ins and effects.

    Reaper is also free to use for an indefinite time, dirt cheap to register as a full product and the best thing is, it can host both 32bit and 64bit VST/AU plug-ins at the same time AND can be rewired to other DAWs as a plug-in host!

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