Avid announces details of update to recording industry standard software, but is it really relevant to dance music producers?

pro tools 11Avid has announced details of the latest update to its Pro Tools DAW. Pro Tools 11 will introduce a new 64-bit audio engine, offline bouncing and new video and metering options.

The timing of the announcement is interesting; Avid is currently experiencing financial difficulties, leading the company to delay the announcements of its earnings release for the fourth quarter of 2012. The company owns some of the strongest brands in AV, but struggles to make a profit, leading to speculation that the entire business may be sold or that individual brands could be split off and sold in order to improve the parent company’s finances.

At this stage we could happily bore you to tears by picking apart the details of the update and explaining what the improvements mean in terms of performance and workflow but, to be quite honest, we don’t really think many dance music producers actually care about Pro Tools any more.

There’s no denying the fact that Pro Tools has revolutionised the world of recorded music over the last 20-odd years, but it’s no longer the dominant force it was a decade ago. Its audio recording features remain top quality and the DSP-based TDM platform offers some of the best effects you’ll find anywhere, but for dance music producers alternatives like Logic and Cubase embarrass Pro Tools when it comes to MIDI functionality, while Ableton Live’s handling of loops and samples offers a much more dance-focussed approach than anything you’ll find in Tools.

There’s no denying that Pro Tools remains the industry standard for recording live instruments. Virtually every studio in the world has a Pro Tools rig for precisely that reason: producers and engineers expect it (although it’s debatable whether it’s still actually the best option – we’ve met a lot of recording engineers over the last few years who prefer to work in alternatives like Logic and Nuendo whenever possible).

But when it comes to dance music – which is, after all the reason we’re here – Pro Tools simply isn’t very relevant any more. We’re certainly not saying there aren’t any dance producers who use Pro Tools, but, in comparison to the likes of Logic, Ableton Live, Cubase, FL Studio and Reason, the size of Pro Tools’ dance music user-base is negligible. Version 11 doesn’t look like turning that situation around.


What do you think? Is Pro Tools relevant to dance music? Let us know your thoughts below.

8th April, 2013

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