We are currently working on our DAW platform reviews. We have been through all of them I think in the past several months. Some are killer and some not so much. The standard for the industry is obviously Pro Tools but does that mean it is the best one? All DAW platforms need to handle some basic functions and they are recording, mixing, and monitoring, along with some basic editing. So many platforms get over loaded trying to be all things to all people. When that happens the screens can get really crowded. This is where things such as software navigation come heavily into play.
Pro Tools was the first computer based audio platform designed for recording studios. I remember seeing the first versions of this appearing around 1989 or so. Because it is the oldest platform it also has the best name recognition from many different angles. However, just like Windows Internet Explorer, when something tries to be all things to all people you can get seriously bogged down with tons of bloat code as well as crowded screen space and confusing navigation. There are other DAW platforms out there that do some specific things very well and many even better than Pro Tools. Just because it is the best known platform, doesn’t make it the best. The whole “Everyone Is Using It” doesn’t make it the right platform or the best one either.
Platforms such as Nuendo have easier access to direct editing tools that you would think Protools would have adopted a long time ago.
DAW platforms such as Record (discontinued) was very basic but gave you a ton of what you need and not much of what you did not. While the graphics may be very basic everything was very easy to find.
My favorite DAW platform lately is Presonus Studio One. I have to say that I was very skeptical when a friend suggested it. I was like “No way! How can a mid level audio equipment manufacturing company make a software better than Protools?”. He insisted that I try it out before I made any assumptions…I was very glad I did! That DAW software just kicks butt! So easy to navigate and you can drop and drag files to anywhere from anywhere! You can also add effects to any track by simply dragging the effect onto the track from a list! Teddy Riley who re mixed all of the Michael Jackson post humus mixes did two mixes…One with Protools and the other with Presonus Studio One. Well Sony sent back the mixes from the Protools session and said that the Presonus mixes just sounded so much better. I have to agree after going over all of them.