Why ProTools Sucks

10 reasons I’d pick Cubase over Protools

1. Cubase (or Logic or any other system) costs about a billionth of protools.  But if you really want to be cool, you could pay lots more for a system which does lots less.  Your choice.

2. Cubase (and many other software based daw’s like Logic etc) has a billion more features. I’m not kidding. A billion. Protools is so feature-less it is amazing people pay for it. For instance, if you want a good four band parametric on a channel in protools, you have to BUY one for hundreds of dollars, which will likely work on only one to four channels, if that. Cubase comes WITH a four band parametric for every channel, and could run hundreds of them at a time if you have enough computer processor power.  The same applies with other types of inserts on a channel, like compressors, gates etc.

3. Commercial plugins (effects, compressors etc), cost more for protools, because you’re so cool being a protools owner that you want to pay more for everything.  Case in point, a VST plugin reverb I bought for Cubase at $200 sold the Protools version for $500.

4. You are committed to Digidesign’s hardware, which can’t even record at 32 bit.  That blows.  But hey, if you own protools, you are cool.  It doesn’t matter if you have 10X the dynamic range on systems which cost thousands less.  You just want to be cool.

5. Cubase can use any of hundreds of hardware devices, and records at 32 bit.  Know how hard it is to clip a 32 bit system?  A hell of a lot harder than it is to clip a Protools system.

6. Protools tech support sucks worse that a $20 hooker.

7. Protools thinks it “owns” every hard drive you connect to your computer, and insists that it “mark its territory” by putting a bunch of files on them, even if you have no intention of using protools on that drive.  And it bugs the crap out of me when running protools that I have to use Protools to eject a damn drive, not the computer’s own operating system.  What’s next?  I have to use Protools to flush the toilet in the studio?

8. Midi on protools is so limited and crappy, that it may not even be better than the midi implementation of a Commodore 64 from 1983, while Cubase’s midi is outstanding.  Don’t believe me?  Well just find out what sort of HELL you’ll go through working with Midi and buy a PT system.  You’ll come crying back to me later.

9. Cubase can output sheet music from midi you play in. Protools couldn’t do that in a million years.

10. When you pay your billion dollars for protools, upgrading is SO fun!  Like when my buddy bought a $15,000 system, and then couldn’t update it when they came out with a new version two weeks later unless he forked out another $5,000! Yeah baby. Protools is SO cool!  My last Cubase update, from version 2 to version 4 (a large upgrade) cost me $249.

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools Sucks #9: Delete key doesn’t delete markers

If you have markers you want to delete in a ProTools project, you can’t just select them and hit delete.  You have to use a pull down menu called “clear marker.”

This really sucks.  Let’s say you need to delete 10, 100, 1000, or even 2800 markers from a project like I had to once.  That means individually selecting 2800 markers then pulling down a menu 2800 times?  No f’n way!  That is at least 5800 mouse clicks and a case of tedinitis waiting to happen.

To be clear, there is a “clear all markers” in ProTools.  But in this particular project I had over 3000 markers, 2800 of which needed to be deleted.

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools Sucks #8: Can’t select multiple markers

I’m editing this book on CD. It’s a 350 page book where the author has read the entire thing. The author has a speech impediment and screws up constantly. So there are over 3000 markers in this ProTools project, each marker represents an edit or fix that needs to be done.

I’ve got the book edited and now I need to get rid of most of the 3000 markers and put new ones in. So about 2800 of the markers need to be deleted. Should be easy, right? Just select a marker, hold down the shift key, then select the end of the group you want to delete….right? WRONG.  Click and hold your mouse, then drag across the markers then?  NO.  You can’t select multiple markers in ProTools. You can delete ALL the markers, but you can’t say select 30 of them and delete them, leaving the rest.

I have the choice of deleting all 3000 markers, and losing the 200 I want to keep. Or I can delete 2800 markers, one at a time. Oh you can’t just hit the delete key when you have a marker selected either. You have to select the marker, then use a pull down menu to select “clear marker.” This process would take me close to 10,000 mouse clicks on this project. Is digidesign willing to pay my doctor bill for ligament damage which I’ll incur from clicking my mouse so many times?

See Why ProTools Sucks #9…

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools sucks #7: ProTools plug-ins cost more

Reason #7 ProTools sucks? Plug-ins cost more.

Say you find a plug for VST or other systems which runs around $200.
The same exact TDM plug for ProDrools would cost about $500.

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools sucks #6: Cost per bit

I just converted a session from ProTools to Cubase. I had to convert the files from 24-bit (ProTools) to 32-bit (Cubase). Seems odd I’d have to “upgrade” my audio files to go from an insanely expensive and industry standard system costing tens of thousands of bucks, in order to work with a program that retails for $799.

Do you have any idea how much of a headroom difference there is between 24-bit and 32-bit recording? It’s huge.

Steinberg’s Cubase and Nuendo can record 32-bit and they cost from $199-$2,000.
ProTools maxes out at 24-bit and can cost tens of thousands of $$$.

Reason #6 ProTools sucks? The cost per bit!