Glad to be back!

Recently I was enticed to buy Pro Tools 11 as it was on offer at $449 at Audiodeluxe. So for the last month I threw myself into Pro Tools. I had never used it before but I see people using it everywhere so I was intrigued. One month later and I am back using Cubase 7.5.2 and have never felt more relieved, I thought some might be interested in my experiences.

The registration and installation went faultlessly and PT worked with my Steinberg MR816 well. I reinstalled most of my plugins to suit the AAX 64 format. I had the demo installed for PT HD 11 which has surround sound but I had bought the “regular” license so as soon as I registered that I lost all of the HD features such as surround sound. Upon investigation, I found out there was no way to upgrade the license to HD unless I bought some Avid hardware which was a minimum $3000 or bought a CTPK license off EBay with an HD upgrade at $1600 cost. $1600 to get the same features as Cubase out of the box? No chance.

I started working on a remix and initially things went well. I imported the stems OK and started working on the drums and bass. I added the new Spark 2 drum machine plug in. I soon found out this plugin is still in its early days of development as it crashed PT out completely so I added it to VE Pro and split the outputs to give me separate kick, snare, etc., Connected PT up to VE Pro and the aux in outputs are out of sync with the master output with the delay compensation on. I jump on the Avid forum and there sure enough is a long thread about this particular bug concerning VIs and multiple outputs. Switching off the the delay compensation on individual tracks seems to cure it but it still feels loose.

I then record some guitars and the nightmare delay compensation bug kicks in big time. I record a guitar with Amplitube 3. I then went to print the track with the insert recorded and that plays back out of sync. There is no delay compensation on the track so I have to manually move it forward to get it in sync! At this point, I am losing trust in this DAW as I wanted to concentrate on my performance and not have to worry about whether it was playing it back in time! FFS!

By this time, I am starting to get “CPU overloaded” warnings popping up every so often even though I have not started mixing with effects yet. I check the System Usage screen and all seems well so I ignore them. Again a search on the Avid forum reveals this is another well known bug. PT also crashes out completely once or twice, possibly due to rogue plug-ins. No warnings like Cubase but straight out and work is lost.

I then come to mix. All is going well until I come to bounce down. I think, lets try this famous “Off line bounce” that Avid are so proud of. Bam! a set of raw code errors suddenly appear and down PT goes again. Stupid me. i should have saved my work so I have to revert to a autosave back up but I lose work again. Switching off the offline bounce check box allows me to bounce normally in real time.

Last night I concluded that I had had enough and that Pro Tools 11 in its present state is simply not fit for purpose. You are given a license to the more stable PT 10 as well but there is no way in 2014 I am going to use a 32bit application so my only option is to return to Cubase.

Whatever you may think of Cubase, it is so much more stable than PT11 which is frankly unusable. It looks better, performs better, and gives far better value for money. So the next time you are complaining about the font in the mixconsole. spare a thought for our PT colleagues who have to constantly implement workarounds in order to get a session completed. Using Protools 11 reminded me of what it was like to use Cubase between 1995 - 2005 and how far we have come in the intervening years. I would put forward that PT is no longer “the industry standard” but a poor reflection of its former self supported by a company that has no idea that the rest of the Audio Industry has caught up and passed them.

Aloha G,

and welcome home! E’ komo mai’

Hi Graham,

Glad you’re back with Cubase. I agree that Cubase is superior in many ways to Pro Tools. It’s definitely my preferred DAW for most uses, and I have been through or still own and use most of them. Cubase is an extremely well rounded DAW that is mature and powerful, as we all know. I had to chime in though, in all fairness to PT since I do disagree that Cubase is “so much more stable” that PT11. I use both – as do many folks of course – and in my experience, PT11 has been just about as stable or maybe even more stable than Cubase 7.5 in production for the types of projects I’m involved with.

The problems that a lot of people have in terms of stability, in my view, as they test out or migrate from one DAW to another, are more often related to other factors than the core DAW software. A person’s decision about these two powerful DAWs should not focus so much on stability in my view, but rather what features they really need. Both can be very stable.

For example, a lot of people tend to install all their DAW software on the same machine, then go about reinstalling all their plugins for the new plugin formats. Or worse yet, they have their DAW software installed side-by-side with tons of other unrelated software on the same machine, even after multiple installs, reinstalls or upgrades over time.

After years of fighting this myself, I’ve learned the hard way that some DAW apps just don’t co-exist on the same machine as stably as they do on a dedicated boot partition, that has been customized JUST for that DAW environment. Not to mention some DAWs just don’t play nicely with other DAWs on the same boot partition. Additionally, some plugins and hardware drivers that are very stable with one DAW are just not as stable with another DAW. Then add to all that the relative newness of Avid’s AAX format, and relative inexperience of plugin developers with this format, and you get a host of new issues. And finally, there’s user workflow, expectations and experience with the software to round out the potential issues. I won’t even mention platform issues. :slight_smile:

As you well know, it just takes one errant plugin to screw things up. Or one flaky driver. Or one rogue app running in the background. Etc.

In the case of Pro Tools (and some other DAW apps too), I find that a totally dedicated boot partition with approved (or mostly approved) hardware, etc., that only has Pro Tools on it, tends to run extremely stably. A carefully tuned machine dedicated just to Pro Tools, in my experience, can be even more stable than Cubase, depending on the plugins and drivers. I’ve tested this on both Windows and Mac machines extensively. I’ve hammered Pro Tools in marathon sessions and it handled things with grace. I’ve done similar with Cubase of course. Problems, if they arise, are usually related to an errant plugin or driver that misbehaves.

That’s not to say either are perfect. Far from it. But when both DAWs are given equal attention and a dedicated boot partition, they are both remarkably stable. Pro Tools may be more finicky of the two in terms of co-existing with other DAWs on the same machine (frankly, more so on Windows I hate to say), but Cubase is not exactly king of stability. There are other DAWs that perform better and more stably in mixed environments. No need to get into which ones.

Selection of plugins is crucial. There are some unstable plugins out there as you know… some of which work great in Cubase, but their AAX version is inferior in terms of stability, and vice versa. It’s pretty frustrating to be honest. Even U-he, one of my favorite plugin developers of all time, and no stranger to VST plugin protocols with high-degree of stability, mentioned an issue they were having with the VST3 format, and even recommended that users stick with the U-he VST2.4 format for now… and how long has VST3 been out? And this, from a top VST developer!

Hardware drivers are also critical. I used to own the MR816 (great interface BTW, loved it!). However, the MR816 drivers were not the best for me. They were okay, but not nearly as rock-solid as RME or Lynx drivers, for example. This makes a huge difference. I wouldn’t be surprised if the MR816 might have played into it a tiny bit as well with your PT installation. Not to criticize the MR816, but even in Cubase I had a number of minor issues with the MR816’s drivers that disappeared with RME drivers, for example.

So the problems that many people have switching between DAWs can be frustrating, subtle, and increasingly difficult to diagnose the more plugins and drivers are installed.

Having said all that, and considering how powerful and complex both Cubase and Pro Tools are, it’s a miracle it all works when it does! :slight_smile:

Between the two programs it simply boils down to this, in my view: Workflow… or basically, whatever helps you get the job done and suits your creative, personal and/or professional workflow needs. There are some projects I’d never consider doing inside Pro Tools. And there are some I’d rather do in Pro Tools.

If I am writing or producing music, Cubase is the right choice for me, personally. If I am in post production for film or for certain mixing projects, or if I have to be compatible with my colleagues, I’d choose Pro Tools. But that’s just me. Frankly, if I am editing dialog of spoken word projects, I’ll be doing it in Reaper, which has a faster workflow for that scenario than both Cubase and Pro Tools combined.

Anyway, both Pro Tools and Cubase systems can be configured on dedicated machines or boot partitions, with careful attention to drivers and plugins, and both systems can achieve very high levels of stability. And frankly, once set up, they can be very complimentary to each other, and help you get more work done depending on the clients and projects. It’s no wonder that many big composers (including some heralded here in this forum) use both Cubase and Pro Tools in their workflows.

My two bits only! Best of luck with whatever you use. And, as I said initially, welcome back to Cubase. It is indeed a great DAW.

Thanks for the reply Uarte.

I hear what you are saying. I agree particularly with the porting of plugins to AAX in a lot of cases has been hurried and the root of a lot of my problems. However, I am used to this with Cubase which gives you a “serious error” warning but then allows you to save your work. PT just crashes straight out which is something I have not seen Cubase do in a long time.

I take on board what you are saying about configuration of DAWs. However, the Delay Compensation problem was for me a deal breaker and unrelated to configuration. This was the final straw as far as I was concerned as you have to be able to trust that the DAW you are using will playback what you record faithfully. If it does not then it is not fit for purpose. A well known and serious bug that Avid have failed to fix.

I used Cubase for the first time last night. What a joy! I know some of this is due to familiarity but not having to deal with PT11 and its bugs and crashes was a relief!

Exactly :sunglasses:

Had the Pro Tools 11 demo installed recently to export continuous files from a pro tools session to get them imported into Cubase. Felt very unfamiliar in PT but got the job done at least. It’s a monster of complexity just like Cubase, I’d give myself at least 3 months of time to get over the basics if I had to learn it. If I’d be new to Cubase, I’d give myself at least the same time.

Aloha guys just to chime in,

Agree with the above but let’s all remember that PT IS the industry standard
so we have to know it and keep it around for those special times
when our work is heading out into the rest of the world.

once Cubase gets its score/notation thang really happening (and it ain’t bad now)
there will be no DAW on the planet that can touch it. 'BARRE NONE!!!


@uarte: tanx for those words. Right on!
Cubase (C5.x/6.x/7.x) and associated plugs are the only programmes on my studio axe.
And the machine only goes on-line for updates. (when necessary)

System is rock solid. No fear!

Yep agreed with you both. I was only beginning to tap the surface of PT11. However, I am used to Cubase and getting my way through a session without it crashing out completely or playing stuff back without it being out of sync. As evidence it is not me or my configuration, I give you this 34 page thread on duc on the delay compensation bug which is a sticky at the top of the Pro Tools 11 discussion board:

I have a lot of sympathy for those guys who have to stay on PT10. Avid does not deserve their loyalty and we should thank our lucky stars we have such a viable alternative in Cubase.

On a positive perspective you can now list Pro Tools on your software list, therefore clients will feel comfortable knowing you are a pro…even though you never use it. :mrgreen:

PS Thank you again for your tip about Compatibility vs. Cubase mode.

BTW, as everyone knows, Avid is facing some serious financial troubles. Has been for years. If Avid had to go bankrupt, I kind of hope Yamaha will step in and buy the Pro Tools brand and codebase from them, and give them some real stability. I know that’s highly unlikely for a lot of reasons, but stranger things have happened. There’s a lot to love in Pro Tools, and sadly, the current decrepit Avid is not able to give Pro Tools what it needs right now, IMO. Yamaha has been a very good partner/owner for Steinberg, and has provided a solid foundation for Cubase to flourish and improve to the point that it is such a superb DAW. Makes me think Yamaha could do the same for the Pro Tools division. Just a thought.

Just a thought.

But a really koool thought!
Just imagine it. Nice!