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Avid Tiers of ProTools Spring 2022


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https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/audio-recording-software

 

$9.99 a month “Artist” 

 

$31.99 a month “Studio”

 

$99.99 a month “Flex” 

 

They cripple this or that feature/function based on what type of work they feel you need at that level. 

 

 

 


 

 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I'm wondering if they're going to phase out perpetual licenses. Also, Pro Tools First is no longer around. I wonder if it was considered sufficiently full-featured to prevent people from going for the Artist tier, or whether it didn't bring in new people, so it wasn't worth supporting from a time/money standpoint.

 

FYI Avid lists Studio as $39.99 a month. Here's a comparison of the three versions. Artist looks somewhat like the basic Perpetual license.

 

There sure are plenty of choices these days. Cakewalk for free, Logic Pro for $200, PreSonus Sphere for $15 a month or just buy it, Reaper for the license fee where I wonder how many people actually pay for it...and then you have Ableton Live, which seems to live in a parallel universe where it has not only created its own market, but locked in a user base without having to force them to do anything. And you have FL Studio, which other companies underestimate at their own peril - $300 and free updates for life. And there are a lot of free plug-ins that are decent, if not excellent, quality. Something for everybody, I'd say.

 

I predict quite a few people who want Pro Tools will go for the Artist version, supplement it with NI's Komplete or IK's Total Studio, and call it a day. That's still cheaper than reel-to-reel tape :)

 

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LOTS of affordable or free DAWs that are very capable.

Pro Tools has gotten an lot of mileage out of "this is what all the high end studios use" but you have to wonder how far they can stretch that when so many others have more or less "caught up" and the only real penalty to switching now is the learning curve. In some cases that will be enough, it may not be enough overall to keep them going with so much competition. 

And, many of us are starting with something else and staying there since there has not been any unhappiness caused by the vendor. Tough market!!!!!

 

We looked at a pro studio up here a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to see the room(s) and meet the staff. "What DAW are you using?" was more of an "Oh, by the way..." sort of question and I would never have gotten there if the rooms or staff were not to my liking. They use Pro Tools and Logic and honestly they could have said just about anything and it would have been fine with me. There just isn't that much difference in the results anymore, it probably matters more what plugins somebody has and uses and even that's pretty much a "sounds good to me" kind of deal. 

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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AFAIK Pro Tools is still what most schools teach, so it's logical to think a lot of people might choose not to switch. Although I recently talked to someone who uses Pro Tools, but several classmates were advising her to use Live or Studio One.

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2 minutes ago, Anderton said:

AFAIK Pro Tools is still what most schools teach, so it's logical to think a lot of people might choose not to switch. Although I recently talked to someone who uses Pro Tools, but several classmates were advising her to use Live or Studio One.

 

"And, many of us are starting with something else and staying there since there has not been any unhappiness caused by the vendor. Tough market!!!!!"

 

^ From my post above. Schools may teach Pro Tools but there are going to be lots of people who work their way into recording by starting with a small inexpensive Presonus interface and a free version of Studio One Artist is included. Once they figure that out, they may move up the food chain but they'll probably stay with Studio One if they like it. 

Same with Garage Band and the transition to Logic. Most all interfaces now come with a starter version of a DAW and that can take you far if you have music you want to record. 

 

For the most part, the basics of using a DAW are pretty simple to grasp. At that point, any DAW is a gateway to recording music. I think one of the largest markets is music creators and another big market is people who know musicians and love music and want to do something. 

 

Many people will never even try Pro Tools, I only used the free version briefly and then went from MOTU's free DAW (forgot the name) and then to Digital Performer. 

Next up, a Mackie interface and Tracktion. I've stayed there, I don't really want to learn another program. That's time I would prefer to spend on other endeavors. 

For you, it's been helpful to learn multiple DAWs, you've generated income streams writing about them, for instance.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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I feel like Avid is completely out of sync with young people, up and coming music makers and how to attract them to this DAW.  The only argument in their favor is that colleges/universities teach it and professional facilities continue to use it.  And perhaps, whatever you personally use to create - sooner or later your project is going to be imported into it before distribution, at least at the highest level.  

 

They need to make it easy to get the software onto young people's computers.  A subscription fee for an entry level, feature limited version isn't going to do that.  Neither is changing the plan constantly.  There's a student version, no there isn't.  There is a free version, no there isn't. It needs Avid hardware, no it doesn't.  It needs a dongle, no it doesn't.  Think it through, come up with a good plan and stick with it.  :idk:

 

 

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Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I wonder how much division among DAW's is based on type of music? I cannot imagine creating or finalizing electronic music and not being up on Live. Pop was big into Pro Tools. A lot of hip hop artists used to mention Pro Tools but I always wondered if it was mostly name dropping. Not sure about country or Gospel. 

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14 hours ago, KuruPrionz said:

 

For you, it's been helpful to learn multiple DAWs, you've generated income streams writing about them, for instance.

 

1 hour ago, RABid said:

I wonder how much division among DAW's is based on type of music? 

 

For me, these two concepts are intertwined. Using different DAWs is like playing different guitars. Studio One is my choice for songwriting because it's so fast. Nothing beats Live for live performance and looping. Cubase has fantastic MIDI capabilities and great plug-ins. Pro Tools works well when you just want something obvious (not a diss), but I've engineered a lot of Pro Tools sessions so I need to know what I'm doing anyway. Cakewalk is like a pair of familiar slippers, and has a lot of built-in functions that other DAWs don't have (e.g., being able to create stretchable acid-format files, run just about any plug-in with a pulse, etc.). At one point when I needed to come up with a lot of quick audio-for-video soundtracks, first Acid and then Mixcraft always got the nod. 

 

It may sound daunting to have to learn all those DAWs, but as pointed out, they have more similarities than differences. So you really need to learn only those elements of the program you want to exploit for particular kinds of projects.

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Quite a few years ago while at Sweetwater Gearfest I bought the Avid Elven guitar rig. It was at the deal booth, Pro Tools was included, and it was cheaper to buy it than to buy Pro Tools. I bought it, installed Pro Tools and never took Elven rack out of the box. A few years ago it got water damage while in storage and I tossed it. The next year I took a day long class on Pro Tools at Sweetwater back when they offered classes the day before Gearfest. Learned a lot, mostly about how to listen and isolate sounds that need tweaking. I used Pro Tools for a couple of weeks and never loaded it again. I may see if my account is still active and I have use of the program. I know I don't have rights to updates so I don't know if I can even download my latest version again. Having the same issue with Microsoft office. Have a key bor 2016 version but cannot download it to a new computer. Finally just signed up for the personnel 365 account for $7 a month.

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Just checked, my Pro Tools Studio plan ran out in 2016. Would cost me $349.00 to "get current". I also have the option of a subscription for Studio at $300 a year or Ultimate for $1000 a year.

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1 hour ago, RABid said:

Just checked, my Pro Tools Studio plan ran out in 2016. Would cost me $349.00 to "get current". I also have the option of a subscription for Studio at $300 a year or Ultimate for $1000 a year.

 

Does Studio have features you need beyond what Artist and some free plug-ins offers?

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3 hours ago, Anderton said:

So with Pro Tools being subscription-only...if you don't re-up, does the program stop working?

I think so, because ProTools requires a live internet connection if you aren’t authorizing the machine or the iLok.   Heck, if you have Sibelius running on a license server in an institution and the Wi-Fi gets spotty as a large number of people log in or off the network, it tells you to save your work, because Sibelius is about to shutdown.  
 

 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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57 minutes ago, Anderton said:

 

Does Studio have features you need beyond what Artist and some free plug-ins offers?

Well they apparently think dabbling in writing songs to sync with a video is a $100 a month feature. 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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If you don't renew, does the program do an Adobe, where it dies until you renew? Or does it stay frozen wherever you left off?

 

I did think of a useful aspect of monthly subscriptions. If I subscribe to a lower-tier program, but someone sends me a file to mix in a higher-tier program, I can subscribe to the higher-tier program for a month, finish the mix, and then return to my plebian version.

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I just thought of a way that companies offering subscriptions could retain a lot of customer goodwill. If you don't renew a DAW, the software doesn't die...it just can't record anymore. You could still open files, play back, swap out plug-ins, and mix with it. You just wouldn't be able to record any new tracks. Basically, the only limitations would be that a project's track count would be frozen, and the record button wouldn't work.

 

That would eliminate the "I'm not going to subscribe because all my old projects will vanish into the void if I don't pay." You'd still be able to open old projects and remix them, or export stems for use in a different program. But if you wanted to actually keep working actively with the program, then you'd need to subscribe.

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I think some people say "Pro Tools" like people say "Google" or "PowerPoint" or "Excel spreadsheet" or "Band-Aid" or "Vaseline" where the specific product name is used instead of a generic one. I laugh when people talk about things like how bad it is with Pro Tools and infinite editing or number of tracks of whatever. They're really disparaging DAWs [which I do not pronounce as "daws" rhymes with paws, BTW], but I like to hear Avid taking all the hits. :D

 

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"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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1 hour ago, ElmerJFudd said:

 

Old Shouty Rick Beato here makes me want to gouge my eyes out and I sure as hell would avoid him like the plague if he turned up a BBQ, but his points are valid :thu:

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9 minutes ago, Dr Nursers said:

Old Shouty Rick Beato here makes me want to gouge my eyes out and I sure as hell would avoid him like the plague if he turned up a BBQ, but his points are valid :thu:

 

What Dr.Nursers said. Plus ear plugs. 

He could have said everything he had to say in about 90 seconds. 

 

I'm not a Pro Tools user so I don't care. 😳

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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lol 

 

whatever content makers think they need to do to get some views I guess. 
 

point being, Avid clearly is looking at their revenue  and trying to increase their income by squeezing loyal users rather than addressing how to get new users and keep them.  

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Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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2 hours ago, ElmerJFudd said:

lol 

 

whatever content makers think they need to do to get some views I guess. 
 

point being, Avid clearly is looking at their revenue  and trying to increase their income by squeezing loyal users rather than addressing how to get new users and keep them.  

DAWs in general have all progressed and improved to the point that the only compelling reason to stay with Pro Tools is to avoid having to learn how to use something else.

That's not as compelling as Avid may believe. 

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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18 minutes ago, Anderton said:

How well this goes over long-term will depend on how often Avid provides something new (or unavailable elsewhere) to subscribers.

One of the things that outright crushes Avid and ProTools is content and fx plugins.  They mainly focus on keeping the DAW compatible with new versions of Windows and macOS  (and are never in a rush to do so).   They are forever playing catching with innovative features and last to the party to implement them.  And they don’t invest enough in content and included plugins in their own DAW.   They prefer to take a cut from their partner’s plugins and content sold through their store.
 

 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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Well, that certainly shines a light on the importance of their Edit on Demand SaaS, Media Composer, and enterprise clients. 

 

But aside from what's happening internally at Avid, I found this very interesting:

 

 

We'll never go back to the marketing spend like it was. We'll never be spending at the level that we used to at trade shows, even if we go to NAB. As an example, this year our investment -- I'm giving you a rough number, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but it was probably around a tenth of the cost of what we did prior to the pandemic.

 

Interesting point. If everyone's subscribing, your emphasis is going to be on customer retention, which is far less expensive than customer acquisition.

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7 hours ago, Anderton said:

Well, that certainly shines a light on the importance of their Edit on Demand SaaS, Media Composer, and enterprise clients. 

 

But aside from what's happening internally at Avid, I found this very interesting:

 

 

We'll never go back to the marketing spend like it was. We'll never be spending at the level that we used to at trade shows, even if we go to NAB. As an example, this year our investment -- I'm giving you a rough number, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but it was probably around a tenth of the cost of what we did prior to the pandemic.

 

Interesting point. If everyone's subscribing, your emphasis is going to be on customer retention, which is far less expensive than customer acquisition.

So their focus will be on keeping their place in professional facilities and educational institutions.  They concede the battle for hobbyist, semi pro, creatives at home isn’t going to get any better no matter how much they spend. 

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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21 hours ago, Dr Nursers said:

Old Shouty Rick Beato here makes me want to gouge my eyes out and I sure as hell would avoid him like the plague if he turned up a BBQ, but his points are valid :thu:

What do you expect from a guitar player?  :duck:

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"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I do see Pro Tools Artist as a good choice for schools. It's not that expensive, and the 1:1 correspondence to physical devices helps teach concepts like routing in a very visual way. I think it also takes care of the reality that most people don't use their DAWs to anywhere near their full capabilities. Something like Artist gives people what they need, without overwhelming them with choices. 

 

One thing I really don't understand is the $31.99/month pricing for Studio. $29.95 would have the same gestalt as the other tiers.

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