As the DAW marketplace continues to expand and the tools available to home recording enthusiasts become more accessible, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of options available.
We are here to try to help you with that. And today, we’ll take a look at a couple of the long-standing stalwarts of digital music production: Logic Pro vs Pro Tools. If you have been looking to invest in some software to record music, you have certainly found these two names.
They both do similar things, they both have great respect in audio engineering circles, and they both cross the line from hobbyist software to something a little more serious.
Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro X are very similar. Basically, they perform the same general functions and are very popular audio recording software options. But, are there some important differences between the two that audio engineering professionals need to know … or are the differences really that important?
As far as recording software is concerned, this is premium level material. It is for people who need to know a little what they are doing.
Table of Contents
Logic Pro vs Pro Tools: Main Differences
The main differences between Logic Pro and Pro Tools are:
- Pro Tools is more standard in the industry, while Logic Pro is popular with musicians.
- Avid Pro Tools has the capability that third-party applications are usually required, while Logic Pro’s user interface is much easier to maneuver.
- Pro Tools offers a free trial, while Logic Pro does not.
- Pro Tools offers flexible annual, monthly, or one-time payment plans, while Logic Pro offers a one-time fee of $199.
In short, they both use MIDI. However, Apple’s Logic Pro makes MIDI much easier to manipulate. All of this makes the Pro Tools workflow less fluid than Logic Pro.
So, let’s start looking at these two products in a little more detail.
What do they do?
When it comes to audio recording software, the market is awash with endless options. But, there are 2 that tend to shine above many: Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro.
On the surface, both Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro are digital audio or DAW workstations. Generally, they both do the same things and perform the same functions. However, each is preferred by different industry professionals:
Pro Tools: More industry-standard audio recording software. Popular as a tool for music production, post-production, band recording, and broadcasting.
Logic Pro: Most popular as an audio recording program for musicians, songwriters, jingle producers, prosumer base, etc.
The layout differences
Apple Logic Pro X Layout: This audio recording tool has a loop library where you can quickly choose loops, strings, etc. Just drag and drop them where you want, and Logic puts it on time with that session’s tempo. It comes with a MIDI editor for various instruments, such as a piano. Logic is great for MIDI composers and producers as it has many of the Pro Tools features, but editing is a little different.
Avid Pro Tools Design: With this audio software, you can easily open instrument rolls, tracks, audio, MIDI, etc. Because this makes work simpler and faster, Pro Tools is better than Logic for high-pressure sessions. Also, you can check out our guide for the Best MIDI Keyboards for Logic Pro X.
These are just a few of the main differences with which our audio production school helps students.
Logic Pro X is available for $199 as a Mac App Store app. And that is that. There are no other pricing options. There were no discounts for people who upgraded from the previous version, which is unusual in the progression and price of the DAW version.
There seem to be no education discounts or anything, another unusual aspect for high-end commercial DAWs.
Did you notice that I only mentioned the Mac App Store? Yes, Logic Pro is not available for Windows or Linux or anything. I am sure I will return to that point a little later. The discussion on Logic Pro pricing options ends there.
Professional tools have a little more variety in terms of purchase options. First, it is available for both Mac and PC – it doubles the market potential, right away.
Second, similar to many software packages, it has several price points to make it as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, with some variations in the characteristics of each. Currently running a tiered pricing system, freemium.
The first level is completely free forever, but it obviously has restrictions. The main one is that you can only record up to 16 tracks, it includes 23 plug-ins and it includes 3.1 GB of sounds.
The next level costs $24.92 per month. With that, you can record between 32 and 128 music tracks on the sequencer, depending on the kHz setting. You also get up to 128 auxiliary tracks, and now you can play video.
Just a video, but it’s a start. The included sounds were also increased to 5.4 GB. That’s not an insignificant leap from the free version. And finally, the upper level. That will cost you $83.25 per month.
Here you can record up to 256 tracks in one project! Woah! I feel like that’s for orchestral arrangements, and maybe big backing vocals. It’s probably a bit unnecessary for a Joe Schmoe home recording enthusiast, but I guess it’s nice to know it’s there.
If you are a video enthusiast this is probably the level for you as it allows up to 64 video tracks. The main thing you will notice in the increasing levels is the capacity of each one. In addition to the usual levels, the creators of Pro Tools have not forgotten the underfunded education sector of the world, and offer a discount range just for that.
For the educational version, if your budget allows you to pay in advance for one year, it will work at $8.25 per month, that is, $99 for a full year. Yes, I know: All home recording enthusiasts on a budget are now checking to see if their master friends can tell them about this discounted version.
If you need to convince your school’s budget holder of value before they commit to a year, you can try paying $9.99 per month monthly, just for a month or two to prove yourself.
And it can be difficult to get this last educational option on your first proposal, but for $299, you’ll get a perpetual license to use Pro Tools for educational purposes. That means there are no annual renewals and you don’t ask for money every year. That’s a good deal.
|Pro Tools Perpetual License NEW 1-year software download with updates + support for a year||10 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
OK, these are aimed primarily at very serious home users and professional producers, so any one of these will do a lot … not everything is a particularly fascinating read. Could it be easier to analyze what they both do and then give details on what they stand out as their selling points?
So both Logic Pro and Pro Tools:
- Give you a professional sequencer
- Allow multitrack recording
- Allow the use of a full range of plugins and VSTs that you get through purchase or for free
- You need a relatively powerful computer to avoid delays and profanity
- Allow you a fairly tight edit
- It will work perfectly fine for mixing and mastering
- Come with many automated features
- Depends on the room you are recording in: each room sounds different
- Depends on the output hardware you are using: I am talking about monitors and headphones here
- It depends on your own ears and your knowledge and skills as a producer to make the output sound good
- It depends on your ability to put in good sounds in order to get better sounds, as my first producer told me, “You can’t polish a turd.”
I think that avoids generalizations about both products. Now, let’s see if we can choose some unique identifiers for them.
Well, the elephant in the unique identifiers room here is that Logic Pro is only available for Mac. This is neither the time nor the place for discussions between PC and Mac, so I’ll leave it at that, just as an information point. Other than that, here is a list of things that Logic Pro highlights as important:
- Smart Tempo: This means it will automate the timing of your tracks; Gone are the days when you start playing a click: now you can do what you feel and coincide with you.
- Brushes: This is for using brushes or drum kits designed for brushes, rather than sticks, to give that softer sound for jazz or roots.
- Logic Remote: This turns your iPhone or iPad into a remote device to adjust your tracks or use it as a virtual instrument.
- Accessories: They are particularly proud of their ChromaVerb reverb and Vintage EQ collection.
- Flexible time: allows you to move the form at the correct pace without having to cut the sample, that’s handy!
- Flexible Step: This allows you to adjust the note parameters within the sample, which is useful if there is only one note that is slightly off.
So, as noted above, one of the unique identifiers for Pro Tools is that it has versions for Windows and Mac. Again, I just leave that statement there. I’m not getting into that. Now looking for a comparable but unique list of features is tricky with Pro Tools, and I’m not sure if that’s because your marketing copy isn’t as sharp or what, but I’ll do what I can with what I’ve got.
Here are the main things, and yes, there will be similarities to what you read in the last section.
- Project Reviews: Not sure if the shot you are listening to was correct? Take a different look on the go and see if it’s working better.
- Pro Tools Control: an official application that allows you to control things from your phone.
- QuickPunch recording: allows you to quickly replace an error as if it never happened.
- Plugins: Yes, includes plenty of things to help further shape the sounds you’re working with.
- Collaboration cloud: now it’s great; you can easily connect with other Pro Tools users who want to participate in your creative action or can participate in yours.
- Artist Community: The best way to describe it is as a private social network for you and other Pro Tools users.
- Elastic Time: allows you to quickly adjust the tempo of your project.
- Elastic Pitch: allows you to quickly and easily correct vague notes.
I’m not really going to think about this too much. Here’s the thing, and it applies to almost all the different categories of computer software available, when you can use a DAW, you can use almost all of them.
The processes and results are identical; it’s just a matter of figuring out what’s different in user interfaces. In DAWs, particularly with Logic Pro and Pro Tools, the debate over which one is more usable is as controversial as debating Mac Vs PCs. Not only controversial but ultimately somewhat useless.
Both Logic Pro and Pro Tools are so usable with each other, to the point that it is not worth dividing them into sections. Most producers will have started using one or the other, and just stick with it, I suppose just for simple comfort with relatives. I don’t think there is anything unreasonable about that.
However, it might be useful to talk about usability. I’d say that with Logic Pro or Pro Tools, they both have an intimidating amount of features for a novice. Where do you start? A common complaint on Reddit about it is that even the tutorials on any of the products are barely intelligible and too long.
But, you have to start somewhere if you want to be a professional someday. In this regard, I think that just getting stuck and making mistakes is the best way to get acquainted with the usability of high-end DAWs that try to include a lot of functionality.
If you get stuck, it is highly unlikely that you will be the first person, so a solution is more than likely just away from Google. I have mentioned Mac Vs PC several times throughout this review. It stands to reason that if you are already a PC user, you don’t want to buy a brand new machine, so it stands to reason that you choose Pro Tools. There. That is your decision and now you can go with it.
If you are a Mac user, you will probably enjoy the exclusivity of things that are only available in the operating system, so you will probably lean towards Logic Pro. Congratulations. They are both using software that is as useful and as confusing to beginners as the other. Let’s all relax.
Both Logic Pro and Pro Tools are essentially as good as they are when it comes to DAW and producing music on a computer.
Automation, plugins, usability … all completely on par with each other. That is why today so many successes are created in one or the other.
If you are a total newbie, I recommend starting with Pro Tools. If you already have a Windows computer, you don’t have to buy a completely new machine and you can start with the free version to get an idea of digital music production, its processes, and terminology. You can keep updating as you need or how you can pay.