Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools Sucks #5 – Tab button doesn’t work in OS file dialogs

In the Mac operating system, hitting the tab key while in an open or save dialog box tabs you through to the filename and highlights it. So say you want to save a new file, you hit save as and then a save dialog pops up. If you hit tab, the file name becomes active and highlighted and you just start typing your filename.

This function is a time saver, especially if you deal with a lot of files. In ProDrools, this doesn’t happen. Tab does nothing. But ProTools isn’t about saving time, it’s about taking MORE time, so your big expensive studio can bill your client more hours and make more money, thus helping you afford your overpriced recording system.

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools Sucks #4 – It thinks it owns every drive, and marks its territory like a cat pissing on your carpet

If you have ProTools running (I’m on the Mac OS by the way), hooking up any kind of drive results in a pain in the ass.

Let’s say you’re working in a ProTools project and your daughter comes in and needs you to print something off of some flash drive or portable drive she brought in from a computer at school or something. You leave the PT environment and print the document. Then you try to eject the drive, but you can’t. It’s in use by ProTools. You then have to go into ProDrools, go to the “workspace” drop down menu, and then select about the 50th menu selection down called “unmount.”

Upon inspection of this drive you had to “unmount” there is a new folder on there called “Digidesign Databases.” I didn’t f’ing ask ProDrools to put a damn thing on this drive. I didn’t tell ProDrools that this drive was going to ever be used for any sort of project.

ProTools owns every drive you hook up to your system while it is running, whether you want it to or not.  And that is another reason ProTools sucks.

Musicians Random Rants Recording Why ProTools Sucks

Drummer needs a vacuum

Tonight I just completed the setup for the big double album technical rock band 1.5 month project. Now I know it is likely that some of these band members I’m working with will be reading my journals here, so be warned not to take any of it too deeply. It’s all in fun… maybe.

The setup went fairly well with a few problems due to the drummer.

First the drummer was late because his dog was “pissing diarrhea blood out it’s ass” and his wife was puking because she was pregnant and couldn’t smell it. Man I couldn’t imagine the hell that guy is going through (not with the dog, with having a pregnant wife).

2nd the drummer’s setup is enormous. He must have literally 20 cymbals. Don’t forget the rototoms and octobans. His kit is so tightly set up, there’s almost nowhere to get the mics into place. Before he could set his kit up he had to vacuum his carpet (see picture)! Believe it or not, that’s happened more times than I can count. Anal drummers… Can’t live with them, can’t kill them.

I haven’t worked in this studio for a few months. It was an experience for me trying to remember how the studio’s patching from room to room was setup, along with remembering the basic functions of the Euphonix console. The main owner/engineer was there to help, which was very good.

One of the tasks before we can record was to figure out how to get all the keyboard tracks into ProTools (or ProDrools as I prefer to call it). The keyboard player, bless his heart, doesn’t know much about what he’s doing. He didn’t even know what or if he had an audio interface with his Apple Logic Express system. He didn’t.

When importing the midi files, the individual takes or chunks were all broken up into separate tracks by ProDrools. I figured that I had to use a merge function in logic to merge each track individually first, before importing into PT. I’m not sure if Cubase is the same, but maybe that’s an entry #3 for my section called “why protools sucks.”

The setup took almost 6 hours, protools issues and drummers included. Tomorrow we start at high noon with the tracking of drums and bass. Noon is pretty late for me. The guys in the band have been complaining a bit about the schedule and not having enough days booked in May/June, yet they want to start at noon. If we started at 9am each day instead of noon, we’d gain one of those precious days back every three…

Off to bed.

Rants Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools sucks #3: ProTools MIDI implementation sucks

ProTools sucks as a MIDI tool.  The tool set ProTools comes with is a fraction of what other applications have.

The worst part I’ve run into is that ProTools demolishes MIDI data when importing it from other applications.  I’ve imported standard MIDI files from numerous other applications only to find the formatting of the tracks and the timelines are so messed up that they’re unuseable.

Rants Recording Why ProTools Sucks

Why ProTools Sucks

I’ve added a new category: “Why ProTools Sucks.”

This section will be where I voice my opinion about Digidesign’s ProTools digital audio recording hardware/software. ProTools has become the industry standard in the recording world. It’s the buzz word everyone always knows.

But in my opinion there are many systems out there which can do what ProTools does, even better. Add that to the fact that you can get these systems for a fraction of what ProTools costs… Customer service? Yeah well i remember calling a 900 number for my ProTools questions, paying $3/minute, being on hold for 47 minutes and then getting asked “did you plug it in?” There goes $150 bucks… But if you have thousands of extra dollars to waste on an overpriced recording system, I guess you can pay $150 bucks to be on hold for 47 minutes.


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 is 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. 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?