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ProTools has been around 15+ years...
It's my "home" even tho I've run away from home for the almost entirely. Only I DAW I'd consider myself as a "pro" user. I'm lighting fast in this fucker but time has brought so much more to what was once a narrow market. It was industry standard when I was around so it wasn't really something I chose-it was required if I wanted to stay in my field. Not a bad thing tho, not for me at least.
I've mostly moved on for my own reasons, not cuz ProTools "failed me".
In good hands? It's rock sold -
I personally used it as I would a tape machine largely...lots of "traditional" band tracking...one where the client could head fuck themselves into endless tracks & endless nitpicking themselves into endless punch-ins, etc. It doesn't have to go that way tho.
Behave as if every take is your last. Use your powers wisely.
I have Free Upgrades, but this works for me.
Hard to pick up, Protools has it's ups and downs. I mainly focus on the ups. I love being able to render effects using audio suite. I'm not a fan of automation because I find it distracting, so being able to render my effects quickly allows me to save on time, and cpu.
I find that sticking with a software and really learning alllll of it's functionality is great. I treat Protools like an instrument, not a DAW, and that is why it works for me.
Editing is fast, and there are TONS and TONS of resources out there for free tutorials on how to use this unser-unfriendly software.
PT is the de facto standard among studios. Yes, PT is very rich in cool and useful features. Yes, with version 9 Avid has finally un-crippled Pro Tools so that it works with any interface and unlocks features previously available only to users of their dedicated-hardware TDM version (of course these features and the ability to work with any interface have generally been available in competitors' products).
But the sad truth is that the big studios that use Pro Tools use it on Mac-based systems with tens of thousands of dollars worth of specialized TDM hardware, and they have service contracts with technicians who keep it configured and running smoothly.
As a PC user running PT9 on native hardware, I have found Pro Tools to be extremely buggy. I installed PT clean on a new PC, and followed the (several pages of) hardware guidelines for setting up the box so that PT would be happy. I am using a new Avid interface. The virtual instruments I use are limited to either Pro Tools Instrument Expansion (PTIE) and Native Instruments Komplete (the latter of which never hangs or crashes under other hosts). Nonetheless, I have experienced frequent crashes and hangs. In particular, I can reliably expect that when I close PT down and try to restart it I get a message the "Pro Tools did not close properly and your system will need to be restarted." Likewise, Pro Tools intermittently fails to recognize my licenses for PTIE's Structure, and will crash if I open up too many virtual instrument tracks. Users who have invested in a 64-bit system should be aware that PT9 is a 32-bit product, by the way. If you just want to learn Pro Tools, then getting PT9 for the PC is an OK choice. But if you really want to use it you may have to get a Mac (I can't absolutely vouch for this, but on the DUC message board I do not see Mac users complaining about these things the same way PC users do).