Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The New King Of Music Production Software?

There's an interesting new chart (seen on the left) making its way around the Internet from Digital Music Doctor that shows the popularity of both Sonar and Cubase exceeding Pro Tools for the first time during the first quarter of 2011. Both Sonar and Cubase are great pieces of software and have quite a large installed base that I'm sure is growing, but there's a flaw in this DAW hysteria.

Digital Music Doctor doesn't measure the installed base of users or even sales of software packages, they measure Internet search results. This is like saying that Rebecca Black should be on the top of the sales charts based on her Internet popularity, when we know that those numbers have nothing to do with actual sales (which are dismal despite nearly 200 million YouTube views).

I'm no shill for Pro Tools but I can tell you that if you really want to work professionally in just about any area of the entertainment business, knowing how to use it is a necessity because that's what the majority of pros use. From music production to film and television post to voice-over work to anything else you can think of, it's a Pro Tools world for the most part. That's not to say that any of the other fine DAWs don't have their place. They're great learning and production tools, every one of them. But if you're looking for a job that has to do with audio, you'll need some Pro Tools operational skill no matter which way you cut it.

This comes from a person who started with Digital Performer version 1.0, then switched to Nuendo 1.0 (which I loved), only to go kicking and screaming into the Pro Tools world after it became just too painful transferring projects back and forth to those other platforms. I've never looked back and my projects never suffered from the change. So just a word of warning when looking at software popularity charts; they don't always tell the whole story.
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7 comments:

Faza (TCM) said...

I've used Sonar quite a bit and still do - love it.

I've tried to use Cubase and failed miserably, so my assesment is probably obvious.

However, after having used Pro Tools for a while I know there's no turning back. The productivity achievable is just beyond anything else that is out there. So I guess that Internet popularity is one thing (unless we're looking at annual averages, of course ;) ), but recognition among those where it really counts is another thing entirely.

Brian Stephens said...

You should take a look at Nuendo again, Bobby. For mixing, I find it much more aurally satisfying than ProTools. Of course, I too have been with Nuendo since the 1.0 days. Now, in Version 5, it has become a really mature platform. I still spend an appreciable amount of my time in ProTools, especially when collaborating with others, but when it comes to mixing, I always end up in Nuendo.

Anonymous said...

multitrack recording is multitrack recording, "standard" seems relative nowadays. any daw mainly on inexpensive pc's will obviously be popular regardless

Bobby Owsinski said...

Yes, Nuendo is great and I still love it, but most of the professional world is on Pro Tools and life is a lot easier if you don't rock the boat and just go with it. I bucked the system for too many years with no material advantage for doing so. In fact, it caused me a lot more work.

auramac said...

Do not, will not do Windows. It's Logic for me- and just watch- new version is coming.

Andrew said...

I use Cubase for my personal productions, but if I were recording others professionally I'd have no problem using Pro Tools.

Rob Hill said...

I agree that you do need to know how to use ProTools, but it is still far from my favorite. In fact I still use Nuendo 3.02 mostly, even though I have Protools 10, Cubase 5, Logic, Sonar, and Nuendo 4. I only use Protools to track in alternate studios, and do file transfers. I find that any of these programs can do a professional recording, but for me, I can get the best mixes out of Nuendo 3.

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