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Avid ProTools Versus Logic Pro: Pros and Cons

Pro Tools vs. Logic: Audio and Midi

Pro Tools offers a classic approach to audio, essentially digitizing the analog mixer with the
addition of convenient destructive audio editing. Logic invites users to a modified DAW
experience that includes an evolved interface, and a multitude of samples, presets, and plug-ins
suited for the midi musician. Pro tools is like the PC of DAWs, while logic is like a Mac; both
are incredibly capable and comparable, however each is strikingly more convenient for different
users, depending on experience and intentions. In short, Pro Tools is better for the experienced
folks focused on audio (though beginners can be successful with this program), and Logic is
better for beginners concerned with midi and samples (though there is plenty of room for growth
towards advanced mixing).

The Basics

Pro Tools Logic
Who it’s good for
  • experienced folks focused on audio
  • those with live sound exerperience
  • beginners
  • those concerned with midi and samples
  • songwriters
  • destructive audio editing
  • very similar to analog mixers
  • most functions are easily accessible
  • beginner friendly interface
  • huge library of free sounds and presets
  • lots of channel strip presets
  • version 12 $300-$600
  • pro X version $200
  • PC and Mac
  • Mac only

What each offers…

Pro Tools Both Logic
  • easy destructive audio editing
  • easily accessible advanced functions
  • easy manual channel strip design/
  • interface friendly to experienced
    sound engineers, a classic layout
  • high resolution audio processing
  • basic audio editing functions
  • mixing window
  • playback window
  • essential audio plug ins such as EQ, compressor, gate, reverb, delay, etc
  • includes large sample library
  • free channel strip presets
  • many free plugins
  • includes autotune and advanced
    pitch correction
  • beginner friendly interface

Pro Tools: Interface, Editing, and Mixing

The Pro tools interface is made up of two windows, the playback window and the mixer window.
Editing in the playback window is meant to simulate the manual editing that would occur when
using a tape recording system, what differs is the option to destructively edit. Destructive audio
editing is processing audio files such that the edit cannot be later adjusted or reversed other than
selecting undo. This is one function where Pro tools certainly surpasses Logic. Pro Tools’
Audiosuite gives users the option to destructively edit with literally every plug-in in the program,
including the ones that they install that were not included with the initial purchase. This enables
versatile creation of sounds, swells, and details that are otherwise unachievable.

Editing in the mixer window is meant to simulate an analog experience, creating a fairly easy
transition from live to studio mixing. Users will find that they are able to create new aux
channels with effects and bus signal to them, just as they would with real cables and boxes in a
live setting. However, when using the mixer window one needs to know what sound they are
seeking, including the exact steps they need to take in order to achieve that sound as presets are
limited. Plug-ins do offer an array of presets that are helpful when first exploring, but these
become limited fairly quickly as understanding is advanced.

Logic: Interface, Sounds, and Presets

Logic has a different interface than Pro tools, and a greater number and diversity of plug-ins,
presets, and instruments included, one of Logic’s greatest attributes. Logic’s interface is
composed of one main playback and light mixing window that Apple calls the arrange window.
From the arrange window users can adjust volume, mute, solo; basic mixing functions, as well as
view and edit playback of all tracks. Several smaller popup windows give users access to more
specific functions. The mixing window allows channel strip design almost identical to Pro Tool’s
mixer window. The info window displays the channel strip of only the selected track. The library
window lets users scroll through a multitude of preset sounds, instruments and channel strips for
just about any genre or function one can dream up.

Synths, drums, beat pads, samples, and audio presets are all found in the Library window. Logic
includes a very diverse set of instruments that are not only pre made, but also premixed, giving
users quick access to derivative sounds and feels that would otherwise be painstakingly sought out and recreated from scratch. Audio presets enable users to explore and adjust to find the kind
of mix that they want to use for each take that they track. This can be an great time saver for a
songwriter working to create the right arrangement, or a convenient way to learn different mixing
techniques for the beginning engineer.


While Logic does offer a great number of plug-ins and presets, it can be very frustrating for an
engineer who knows what they are looking for. Many functions and files are hidden from view.
Even simply deleting an aux channel you wish wasn’t there can feel like a very advanced
process. If you have never worked with audio, I would point you to Logic. This program can be a
great place for you to discover how other engineers have mixed by using preset channel strip
settings. If you are a seasoned audio junky looking to go digital or transition from live to studio,
Pro Tools is for you. Pro Tools will feel far more familiar to you than Logic and it will give you
the nuts and bolts of mixing, so to speak.

In the world of DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), there are a lot of different options to choose from, and it can be very difficult to decide which platform you want to go with. A simple Google search gets you mixed reviews and conflicting information, so whose opinion do you trust? To give you some guidance, we’re going to talk about two of the forerunners in the industry: Avid Pro Tools, who recently released version 12 of their software; and Logic Pro, who recently released version X of theirs. While they both have a lot of similarities, they also have many differences, as well as distinct pros and cons.

  • Problem with Pro tools is it only offers surround mixing in the HD version which is far more expensive than Logic Pro X which can do surround and output through the HDMI on a MacBook pro to a receiver for monitoring. I currently have Pro Tools 12 on the subscription plan… but will have to buy and use Logic Pro for surround mixing for independent films (until I save up many thousands of dollars for a Pro Tools HD system).

  • Spencer Hemstreet

    All the pros listed here for protools (besides destructive editing) are shared with logic, which makes me wonder if the author has used logic longer than 30 minutes. The mixer window in Logic is easier to manipulate, for one you can see and adjust all your send levels without opening small windows, you can create delete and switch around pluggins faster without worrying if its stereo or mono because logic is smart and will change the plugin for you. If i want the same plugin on 5 tracks in logic i can do that instantly, not in protools. The A-E, F-J listing thing in protools is pointless and makes the arrange window terrible (the arrange window has such a better footprint in logic than protools too in my opinion). Hiding “advanced” features by default in Logic is frustrating but you can disable that and do everything protools has to offer. Auxes in Logic are easier to create and delete, when it comes to creating an aux in Logic it automatically creates your aux bus if it doesnt exist yet. In ProTools you have to go thru command shift n dialog to create the bus, then go to the newly created aux and select its input, which they could’ve added to the aux creation dialog window in the first place ! Switching from Logic to ProTools (only doing so for work) I can see benefits in both, but ProTools seems like its clunky old and just now getting basic features Logic and other DAWs have had for years (when will protools get a tuning editor?). To chalk Logic up as some preset beginner DAW is wrong. In my few months of using ProTools its crashed countless times, where Logic has maybe crashed once this year. The only difference that matters is what program is in more studios.

    • Stanley Spilman

      I’d like to second the points made by the person above – this article is just a pretty cheap rehearsal of what constitutes the collective public conciousness on the issue; logic is for beginners, pro tools is for when you grow up…. rubbish. I use both, but I must stick up for this quirky DAW. I think one of the principle advantages I find using Logic (and in fact a number of other DAWs) over protools now is how the processing is handled. When using a mobile rig, logic is rock-solid reliable even when running enormous sessions – kicking it with no fans going and a glass of lemonade… whereas pro-tools is too often sweating in the corner with it’s apparently optimized buffer size getting playback error after playback error. That advantage used to belong to tools but somewhere along the way it lost it. Still amazing for mixing in an optimised environment but logic is a better mixer than tools is a sequencer… so despite it’s idiosyncrasies and ocassional madness inducing features…. it’s a good all rounder and super reliable – don’t write it off yet.

  • Chocolate Bob

    The author clearly has never worked seriously in logic and should not be making the comparison. To delete an aux channel select it and hit the delete key. Daunting, I know.