Feature comparison: GarageBand vs. Pro Tools Essentials

Avid announced a series of bundles that pack low to midrange M-Audio gear with a new version of Pro Tools aimed squarely at the amateur market. How does it stack up to the competition?

I feel personally like PTE is closer to something like Ableton Live Lite than GB. Of course, since it says “Pro Tools” on it some people are making way too big of a deal out of it. It will surely boost sales for Digidesign and maybe even bring more folks into the audio & recording tent like Garageband originally did (by the way that video is what I base my first MT lesson for level one on.)

My inner cynic, though, says many people who buy a PTE bundle will end up feeling gypped because they thought they were getting the “real” Pro Tools and not some stripped down lameness that can’t do half of what GarageBand, a free program, can do.

Not to mention that for all it leaves out, PTE includes what is probably the most hated feature of Pro Tools: hardware lock-in, albeit they did ditch the dongles and allowed the interface to serve this task but that’s not that much better. Have fun with that hissy Fast Track; you’re going to need it for awhile if you use this program.

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.