NASDAQ Suspends Trading Of Avid, Maker Of Sibelius & Pro Tools

avid-logoNASDAQ today suspended trading of Avid, maker of Pro Tools, Sibelius, Media Composer and other pro audio/video tools.

Avid received notification from NASDAQ on February 21, 2014 that the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Hearings Panel had determined to delist the shares of the Company from The NASDAQ Stock Market. NASDAQ suspended trading in the Company’s shares effective at the open of business today, February 25, 2014.

NASDAQ’s move was expected.

In March of 2013, NASDAQ warned Avid that the Company was no longer in compliance with NASDAQ rules, which require timely filing of periodic financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Avid’s latest Annual Report and 10-K are for the year 2011. And Avid has stated that “its audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009 should no longer be relied upon,’ because of accounting errors.

Following the suspension of trading of the Company’s common stock on NASDAQ, the Company’s common shares will begin trading on the OTC Markets – OTC Pink Tier under the trading symbol AVID.

The Company says that it ‘intends to complete the restatement and regain compliance with its SEC filing requirements as soon as practicable’.

Update (2/27/2014): This post has been updated to remove a statement about Avid’s recent financial performance.

Avid notes that they have not published current financial statements, and that their delisting was because of financial reporting delays, not operating performance.

Here’s what our contact at Avid had to say:

Avid’s de-listing from NASDAQ and its subsequent listing on OTC is the result of delays in the reporting of financial information – it was not related to operating performance in any way.

We are continuing to work very hard to correct the accounting, which is related to nearly 5 million transaction lines spanning eight-and-a half years. We announced that we are targeting completion of the restatement by mid-2014.

We continue to invest in product innovation. Since the beginning of the restatement process, we released Pro Tools 11, Media Composer 7, Sibelius 7.5, two new online shared storage offerings, a brand new mixing console – the S6, as well as a new live sound system – Avid S3L.

With a compelling Avid Everywhere vision established, the launch of the ACA, a significant number of new product innovation announcements planned for 2014, we believe we remain well positioned to support our customers’ ongoing success.

via avid, cdm

74 thoughts on “NASDAQ Suspends Trading Of Avid, Maker Of Sibelius & Pro Tools

  1. I would use Logic Reaper Ableton or even a Steinberg product for projects with a 100+ tracks any day of the week over Pro Tools …. and I do just that. The only thing PT had going for it over other DAW’s was automated mix surfaces that worked well. The fact that you couldn’t use Vst’s was a joke. Then there was the list of unfixed Buggy behavior and on top of that midi is a joke in PT. Then the proprietary interfaces was another problem not to mention the fact that when you went to the user groups all you found where professionals looking to jump ship because they had had it with PT. I predicted that Avid would be where they are now 12 months ago on another forum. The only way they pull out now is to sell cheap automated surfaces for all DAW users. Off course they have the film and soundtrack market but I’m not sure that’s enough to save them at this point. ………………. or Gibson could step in. Wha ha ha ha ha.

    1. you clearly don’t get out much. protools is the dominant tool in commercial recording studios and post houses, as well as soundtrack recording and film post. the reasons are many, and have little do with integration with control surfaces. it’s about audio quality, performance, near zero latency, etc. etc. this is not a statement of opinion, but a fact. go to the website of any decent sized commercial studio or post house and they’ll be using protools.

      logic (which is excellent in other ways) for example does not have a coherent clock – it drifts on a per track basis which is why if you bounce stems and compare them to a bounced stereo mix they don’t entirely phase cancel. cubase doesn’t suffer this problem, but like logic has appalling tools for basic audio editing. reaper, well, i’ve yet to use a studio that uses it, so i couldn’t comment. most of the engineers i talk to consider it strictly a hobbyists tool, though i recently spoke to an orchestral tracking engineer that loves it.

      none of the daws you listed are capable of true low latency (sub-millisecond) monitoring, or large scale i/o, or proper video sync. they have crappy multi-track / muliti-take capability, essential if you’re tracking an orchestra or a band, for example.

      how is it “a joke” that protools doesn’t run vsts? (despite the fact you can, in fact wrap them). why is not a joke that cubase doesn’t run rtas or aax plugins? how is a VST a benchmark of anything?

      you’re also forgetting that Avid is by far the dominant video editing platform in both film and television.

      fact is, Avid is not going anywhere. it’ll be bought by private equity and continue.

      and also, i’ve said before, who cares? if logic works for you, use logic.

      1. Avids problem is their brand and technology are worthless in the wider market, it can’t compete against, logic, live, reaper ect. It’s like Rolls Royce trying to compete against ford or nissan. The big difference is that RR can charge high luxury prices for their goods. Avids business model was to branch out in to other areas but that never came of because the brands were all wrong and company took massive losses. Their was talk of apple trying to buy them but if you look at apples business model it’s slowly been squeezed to the consumer side, even Microsoft is going that way so what tech company has the clout for such huge debits.

        It makes grim reading, the last years figures are some of the worst of a company listed the NASDAQ

        1. i agree. their mistake was to engage the consumer market. if you’re a hobbyist / semi-pro, protools LE or whatever is a more expensive, less useful version of something like logic or reaper. if you’re an HDX user and you need all the sync / multi tracking / low latency / stability-or-you-get-sued stuff, there’s really no alternative.

          and your comparison to RR is apt. they’re doing just fine in two very small niche markets : jet engines and luxury cars that cost a quarter of a million quid.

          avid has been consolidating – ditching m audio, etc and will return to its previous position as market leader in professional video and audio editing.

          1. The consumer products may not have been as good but they did need something in the market since a lot of home producers wanted to be able to move their projects through the bigger houses. There just isn’t as big of a high end pro market. Prosumer is big in audio though and they could have made it work. Small and home studios still spend a good amount of money and it’s a much bigger market. My opinion is they were too little too late and had a bad reputation in new market with upgrade costs and hardware tying.

            1. most of the professionals I know who have made an effort to get away from Protools (mostly for their personal projects – as swarmboy pointed out, PT isnt going anywhere in the professional space) has to do with issues with limited compatibility, forced paid upgrades due to limited compatibility, and most importantly, with the introduction of the new mac pros, no native way to use their existing HDX investment without another significant cash outlay. sure, its part of the business when you work in this field, but eventually the bean counters see how much is being spent on incessant upgrades and try to put a stop to it, eventually the independently working professional cant justify the expense when the margins are growing thinner all the time.

      2. I don’t have a clue where your coming from.

        Near zero latency?? We can do that in all the DAWS I mentioned.
        Audio quality?? Every DAW I mentioned has superb audio quality.
        Performance?? Did you not read the part where I said 100+ tracks?

        None of the daws I listed have true low latency (sub-millisecond) monitoring, or large scale i/o, or proper video sync.?????? What are you smoking? Really?

        I stand by everything I stated in my first post .

        1. Mate, I’m not smoking anything, and ad homs don’t make your argument any stronger. Stand by it all you like, you are mistaken.

          When I say video sync, I don’t mean loading a QuickTime and having it play along, I mean video sync. I mean quarter-frame or better lock to an external video reference. I mean an audio clock that will resolve sample-accurately to a house video clock.

          When i say zero latency monitoring I don’t mean turning down your buffer to 32 and hoping the system doesn’t fall over. I mean reliable, sub millisecond monitoring with plugins active, and auto correction for hardware induced recording delays.

          There are reasons why they’re not running ableton or reaper at abbey road / air / ocean way / insert your favourite studio here.

          Audio quality – well that’s subjective. Logic’s mixing engine sounds mushy to me. Never mixed in ableton. Had good results in Cubase but the automation is a dog.

          And as I stated quite clearly, logic, ableton, et al are perfectly fine tools. I use them myself all the time, just not for tracking any more than a few players and not for mixing.

          What all this has to do with avids financial troubles, I also fail to understand.

          1. You don’t need PTools to do any of that. If I get some extra time to properly reply to you then I will give you a rundown of what I am running and the reasons. I do own and run Protools but I only use it for transfers these days. There are better ways of doing it then being tied to that system.

          2. One other thing …. Avids financial troubles are most certainly because their own user base have not been purchasing new systems from them …. why do you think that might be? Could it be possible that there are other choices that give better results. You might want to look into that.

            1. As I understand it (I could be wrong) the division that makes protools is profitable, but the company as a whole is making losses and has a serious cash flow problem. Plus it appears there was shady accounting going on. Most of the studios I work at have upgraded recently to hdx systems, having just been waiting for key plugins to go AAX (waves, in particular), if they hadn’t already. A few were waiting for new mac pros and thunderbolt PCI chassis systems to be qualified, but that’s happening as we speak.

              Like I said, no one I know whose living depends on recording and mixing audio and is a current protools user is switching.

              But, I’m also keen to hear about your alternatives.

          3. Just throwing in my 2 cents here: Avid is the industry standard… but NOT because it is the best.

            Avid is first and foremost a hardware company. ProTools was not originally envisioned as a music production tool. Avid got their foothold in the industry through audio for video, post, etc. work. Since they had proprietary hardware, it makes sense that studios would try to make their very expensive investment last years, if not decades.

            Avid’s MIDI sequencing (we should care about this… it’s Synthtopia) was sup-par up until a few years ago… and even now just an “duct taped on” attempt to stay current.

            Avid’s Plugin formats are proprietary and have no obvious advantages over, for example VST3 or AU.

            Pro-tools hardware is notorious for NOT playing well with Apple’s system audio, iTunes, other external sound cards on PC. In fact, Avid (up until recently) didn’t play well with others… and for no good reason. Their consumer hardware (001-003) was build from cheap components considering the price. There was again, no true advantage to joining that ecosystem… except that you could tell your friends, “I use pro tools… like a pro.”

            Regarding the phase cancelation/bouncing nonsense…. completely inaccurate. In fact some guys on Gearslutz did a very thorough analysis a few years back… Nuendo and Cubase had the best “in the box” summing. If atomic timing issues really bother you, BUY a clock. If you want excellent summing, buy a Dbox or comparable outboard summing mixer.
            Problem solved.

            That said, I use Pro Tools at my studio, but ONLY to track and edit vocals. Everything else is done on Sonar, Cubase, Logic, Live, Reaper, or Maschine, etc.. I use em all. All have strengths and weaknesses… You would be surprised to find how many quality recordings were made with Live or even Garage band alone. Unless someone is doing video work, I can’t imagine using pro-tools for Music production or Post as their first choice. It’s all bandwagon elitist marketing and ignorance.

            1. Regarding summing, I was careful to state that Cubase does accurately sum, as does protools. But it’s not nonsense in the case of logic. The summing is not even close to accurate. Don’t know about ableton or reaper.

              My avid hardware plays just fine with internal audio when I want it to, and I think you miss my point about clocking. It’s not some nerdy obsession with “atomic” timing, it’s about accurate sample resolution / reducing aliasing. Buying a clock for a host-based system will not resolve this issue.

              I totally agree that thing like the 002 / 003 were lame.

              Vst and au are also proprietary, and Digidesign, let’s not forget , had no host based plugs early on, so it wouldn’t have been a simple matter to have them adopt vst just like that. Plus, that is how businesses work.

              As for explanation of its widespread adoption by professionals as “elitist marketing and ignorance”, you think all the studios and post houses and engineers have just failed to see the light? Is it, just maybe, conceivable that they know something you don’t?

            2. Goku’s last paragraph really says it all for me. ProTools at one time was perceived as the only game in town when it came to digital pro audio production. That was then, this is now: Apple & PC hardware improvements and the proliferation of alternative DAWs now gives the pro audio community options beyond just ProTools itself; studios are incorporating these new DAW systems in with their existing ProTools setups. This has encroached on Avid’s apparent monoploy, and they should have seen the writing on the wall but they just more or less rested on their laurels. Forays outside of their core market were clumsy and ineffective. Combined with bad financial management, now they are paying the price.

              1. So they pissed everyone off by introducing totally redesigned hardware and software and also rested on their laurels.

                Which studios have alternate daws? I can’t think of a significant room in London (by significant I mean a neve / ssl / api level of board and some decent mics) or a single post house that doesn’t have protools HD / HDX as it’s main system. No wait, I know one post place with nuendo. Most I know have recently upgraded (at significant cost in the tens of thousands of pounds) to new HDX hardware.

                Like I say, you all must know something they don’t about how to run a commercial recording studio, and what their engineers want / expect.

              2. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I see what you are saying regarding aliasing. Still isn’t much of an issue nowadays though, especially when using a high quality interface that supports 24/96k or higher. That said, even Avid’s high end hardware is bypassed on many high end studios in favor of better sounding conversion. They avid hardware kind of just sits there and looks pretty, while Apogee, Lavry, Benchmark, Prism, etc. Do all the grunt work.

                Since you are talking about “high end”, the discussion of internal multitrack summing shouldn’t really be discussed. I can’t name one big studio that sums stems internally. As for stereo mix down, the same is true. Use a 1 bit super audio recorder through a high end DAC and the problem goes away.

                In the software realm of things, PT has no obvious advantage in Post work, save the cross compatibility and archival goodies. It’s would be unfair to compare PT to DAWs designed for composition… Except that Avid likes to market it that way. In truth, if you were to compare PT’s post abilities to actual POST applications (even wave lab, sequoia, etc…) you would find that PTs is comparatively inept. Most mastering houses with huge budgets do not use protools for that reason (unless they are doing video).

                As far as AVID’s finances go, this isn’t the first or even second time they have had financial issues From what I remember (poorly I admit), they were accused of bad bookkeeping methods; possibly unethical.

                I wouldn’t invest in or use Protools as my desert island production or mixing DAW. With all the exciting stuff coming out, I think the king of DAWs is finally being dethroned.

                1. Completely agree about interfacing. The old 888s were appalling (I shudder thinking about the original 16 bit model), 192s were passable, and the new avid io are fine for most purposes. Again, a decent clock goes a long way to improving the quality of adc, but they still lag behind the others you mention.

                  Not sure I agree about internal summing. I think there’s a lot of snake oil being sold there. Sure it sounds different, but the whole better / worse thing, I dunno. I’ve seen a load of blind test results showing people can’t hear the difference. Same with emulated plugins vs hardware. That said I did a mix recently and did a comparison in the box vs routing subgroups up an old ssl 4000e and it was like night and day. Neither one was better per se, but I was stunned how different they sounded.

                  High sample rates – also not sure- there’s evidence it sounds worse – not just because it compounds problems with accurate adc (I know a few hardware developers who say there’s currently no such thing as an accurate 96k converter) but also because monitoring and amplification aren’t up to the task.

                  I had some great experiences with dsd/sacd and the like, but they never caught on. I know multi tracking and editing was a huge headache (it was 1 bit but at several megahertz sampling rate I think, and non PCM, so things like cross fades were mathematically much harder) The system I used from sony for remastering maxed out at 8 tracks, same as with genex optical recorders.

                  And I totally agree protools is not a desert island daw. I mostly write in logic and ableton and am toying with a switch to Cubase, but for tracking, editing and mixing, still protools.

                  And finally, yep, you’re totally right the company management has been shocking in the past. It seems like it’s getting its act together, and actually all this current stuff is a sign they’re putting their house in order.

                  Can’t see protools disappearing any time soon, but the more choice the better.

                  1. Lots of really great ideas there Swarmboy. I’m not so sure I agree about higher sample rates sounding worse though. I can hear an obvious change in quality for the better (to me at least) when I combine 24/96 with proper dithering during post.

                    I think many of the bad mixes being done at high sample rates are due to poor mixing being revealed when the quality of the recording goes up. Same with monitoring. When I upgraded from my NS10ms monitors to a Genelec triple play system, I was humbled. Also the increased headroom etc of better interfaces can drastically alter how an engineer percieves the mix. It’s something that needs to be adapted to. Like when I bought my first DAW (pro tools, lol). I was used to overdriving analog mixers, setting the master fader at unity, etc… None of that applies the same way when mixing in a DAW (going into the red in digital is almost never a good thing).

                    So much of this stuff is technical, and honestly very few engineers (even great ones) can give you a proof positive technical explanation as to why one DAW/converter/monitor is better than another. The truth is, we may be engineers… but not that type of engineer. 😛

                    I guess it’s up to the discretion of the guy behind the desk. Let the best ears win?

                    1. You’re exactly right. A huge chunk of it is pure perception and as you say, discretion.

                      I’ve had enough beautifully played instruments recorded with a carefully chosen mic and preamp recorded at 16/44 and enough crappy musicians playing out of tune instruments at 32/192 to know there’s more to it than the numbers.

                      And, as I’ve said here before, I’ll work with what’s given to me if I don’t have a choice. I’ve done great mixes on mackies and, uh, mixes I’m not so proud of (I.e crappy) on ssl 9000s.

          4. People see and hear what they want to hear and AVID is taking huge advantage of that part of human nature. I’ve worked with various DAWs throughout the decades and they all have some kind of problems. The quality of sound only depends on the plugins you use and your abilities, not the DAW itself. Taking everything in account, why would PT be worth so much more money than other DAWs? It’s not worth it.

      3. Latency depends on hardware, i use a xite-1 hardware from the german company sonic core and it is capable of real time processing with near zero latency and it has the advantage of allowing the user to interface with any asio compatible DAW.I switched to reaper as DAW, it’s stable, constantly improved and customizable to fit the user needs.
        I know protools is considered a standard for recording studios, but this slogan is based on massive marketing made by avid and every user with a little bit of knowledge can build a recording studio without it.

        1. No, latency depends on hardware and software if you’re monitoring through the software.

          Yes, of course you can build an amazing studio without protools. You can build an amazing studio without computers of any kind (see Steve Albini)

          No, protools being the industry standard is not marketing or a “slogan”. It is a fact which you can easily verify by going to studios post houses and dubbing theatres, where they will be using protools, because it is the industry standard.

      4. YOU obviously don’t get out much anymore, because most studios are switching over. THey still have Pro Tools because their clients use it, but Post Houses & Mastering Studios prefer Sequoia. Production, mixing, tracking, etc. are all branching out and Logic is getting used a lot more often.
        “Appalling” audio editing tools in Logic? No way, you obviously haven’t used it much. It has the smoothest workflow of them all, definitely more logical than PT’s ridiculous setup.

        I know them all in and out, am certified in most DAWs, and I prefer PT LAST over any other DAW… Although, I do appreciate HD when in a full tracking situation on a large format console. BUT, those ways of working are dying more and more daily. So, I wouldn’t be so sure that Avid’s audio dept. will survive. Video, possibly, unless someone makes a smart move and buys them out – say, Apple? Remember E-Magic? Final Cut could really benefit from destroying Avid.

        1. I only get out there every day of my working life.

          My preference for the audio editing in protools is because I’ve used both protools and logic for about 17 or 18 years and I prefer protools. It’s a personal preference, not one I can prove or disprove.

          Never seen sequoia in action. Every mastering room I’ve used has had Sadie

          You may be right about all this, but you said yourself the studios have protools because that’s what their clients want.

          Personally, as I thought if been pretty clear about, I don’t care. Whatever works for you. But denying it’s the industry standard or claiming it’s reached that position by hype alone is self-evidently nonsense.

      5. It’s clear that swarmboy, here is some sort of troll, but at least he’s entertaining;) Dude, I’m not sure where your ‘professional producer’ friends are actually employed, but FoolTools has been on its way out for years – if anything, the trend in the pro world has been AWAY from Avid and ProTools and well in favor of Apple’s Logic and Final Cut (unless you’re a hobbyist who posts to blogs for a living, or incapable of coping with change – in which case you’re still crying about the switch to FCPX). Apple makes the hardware AND software, Avid makes clients and amateurs cry. Your remarks ring of ignorance and insecurity, like someone who’s trying to defend your favorite product by insulting ones you don’t like or use and citing the ‘professional opinions’ of imaginary friends. Next time you start a pissing contest? try having a full bladder…

      6. “you’re also forgetting that Avid is by far the dominant video editing platform in both film and television.”

        by far? Are you familiar with Final Cut?

        “fact is, Avid is not going anywhere. it’ll be bought by private equity and continue.”

        Uh, most likely they’ll be bought by Apple and completely liquidated.

  2. fun fact : avide (in french) = greedy 🙂
    human are mortal even billionaires , civilization are mortal even empire and corporations are also mortal even monopolistic trusts and cartel of banks , heavy industries , zaibaitsu , chaebol … Avid dont except to this rule , hardware audio/video company cant last indefinetely at internet era !
    such manificent Amberson fall in obivion , thats social darwinism ! thats capitalism !
    we, the 85 mega-giga-tera-kilo-richs will spit on your grave !!!

  3. If they would reduced the prices they would have the sale but with this Ridiculous Prices for all avid products – software and hardware well..

    1. You can’t make a lot of money anymore by slashing your prices and aiming for the low end. Look at what’s happening with pc and android phone makers

      1. that’s hardware. software is a much different space. i’d love to see a figure on what kind of returns people have made, for example the $7 AC7 control surface app, vs the $100 ProRemote control surface app.

        arturia is making way more money since they dropped their softsynths to $100 a pop instead of the $250 each they used to be. i’d love to see how many units they moved over christmas with their $200 v-collection sale.

  4. Avid could be profitable, but they need to have good management and to focus on their bread and butter. They were trying to do everything for a long time, and clearly had irresponsible management for years.

    Sibelius’ latest update is very good though, and Pro Tools is still the tool for pros.

  5. The key going forward will be for avid products to be inclusive and widely accessible. The elite and separate approach is no longer sustainable. When the low end becomes good enough to produce results that to the end user are indistinguishable from the high end, that high end no longer has meaning or value to leverage.

  6. I gotta say, this serves them right and I draw some pleasure from this news. They’re the ones who made the once free and excellent M-Audio support something you need to pay for! No other company I know has ever made such a bold move. And unfortunately, M-Audio kept this up even after Avid released them, making M-Audio products a no-go for me.

  7. Arguments about who has the best software are irrelevant. It’s business protocols was a common format for pro studios to replace tape. Now with production done in the home studio and the closure of many major studios, they have no marketplace.
    Their business practices were always suspect… They would inform major studio of major upgrades many months before publicly announcing them. Letting consumers waste money on legacy systems whie the major studios waited to buy the new hardware. A really good way to piss people off.theystill have a market in post audio, but they’ll have to increase prices considerably to make that small market profitablr

  8. Without pointing a finger in any particular direction…
    I would like to see one hot thread on Synthtopia that does not turn to condescension and sarcasm. Seriously.

    Think of this place as someone’s (James in this case) living room. He’s invited us to a party. Behave like adults.

    It is a simple matter of manners. Use some.

    1. * When you tell someone to grow up because they’re acting like a toddler, they usually pee in the punchbowl to show you who is boss. Its trashy, but that’s the Net and a lot of America for you. Flush thrice, its a long way to the NSA.

      *People who start arguing about clock rates are in the same league as those who argue bitterly over sound quality in synths. We’re not dolphins, so even at their youthful peak, no one can hear beyond 20KHz. Come down to Earth a bit more and don’t feel so frenzied over it. If you’re going to become “as good as Zimmer,” it requires its own unique blend of talent, sweat and location. Not everyone can manage that nor would everyone want the baggage that comes with it. (I got to meet Todd Rundgren once and I asked him what the biggest hassle of touring was. He said “Equipment breakdowns and having to sign 20 insurance riders for every show.” There you go.) Until then, that highest-end minutiae often only MATTERS at the highest end, as for actual soundtrack production aimed at 5:1 theater sound mere mortals never encounter anywhere else. I’m all for precision, but I make things sync up by PLAYING PRECISELY. You may have heard of it. Woodshed a little more and feel the synth luv rise. Its not rocket surgery, as the t-shirt says.

      *My view is only one among many, but having used a moderately wide range of hardware and 3 DAWs, I trimmed my setup for redundancy and familiarity’s sake. As a result, I am now more fluid at what I do and its more fun because its half-instinctive. Its liberating to save meat-CPU cycles by NOT trying to master 30 things when 8 will do. Less really is more in some meaningful ways.

      *My personal experience has been that Pro Tools’ lacks & flaws led it to being outclassed some time ago. Having the largest footprint simply because you were the first to basically stabilize in the field doesn’t make it permanent, as we are seeing. To newbies, I suggest that you get both a starter DAW and an actual full-sized-keys keyboard. You’ll need what both angles o approach will teach you. The options are so huge as to be a simple matter of picking one now and if you commit to it until certain lights begin coming on through use over time, the rest will fall into place as well.

      *If I ever encountered ONE product that didn’t have some flaw that made me personally squawk, I’d probably grow real feathers in shock. Sometimes the key things it got right let you paint over the one buck tooth.

      *Give me liberty or a bran muffin.

  9. Avid has clearly had problems competing with Apple’s pricing on Logic Pro.

    Apple cut the price on Logic Pro to $500 around 2007-2008, which was extremely competitive at the time, and Avid started fudging the numbers shortly thereafter. Apple’s dropped the price further to $200, which has driven pricing down further for DAWs.

    It’s pretty clear that this has been making thing challenging for Avid, Ableton and a lot of the other DAW makers. DAW prices used to start at $1000 and those days are long gone.

  10. Didn’t see that coming, but then again, I wasn’t looking.

    What little experience I’ve had with ProTools was painful to say the least – I will quite happily admit to finding it very tricky to use.

    I’m definitely not a professional, I want to have fun and enjoy myself when making music, and any of the DAW’s mentioned are better than ProTools in this regard in my personal opinion, although Cubase and Nuendo were ditched a long time ago because they kept crashing and spoiling my fun.

    Personally I use Ableton, Auria and Cubasis on a regular basis, I find them a lot of fun, for the most part enjoy using them and the results ain’t bad at all 🙂

    The ‘tools for professionals’ thing is quite amusing and while I really can’t comment on the audio quality, midi timing or whatever of ProTools because I don’t use it, what I do know is that there are an awful lot of musicians out there who also don’t use ProTools and yet are engaged in music production on some level as their main _paid_ occupation rather than as an amateur – if they don’t use ProTools are they not proper professionals even though they make their living from doing their thing?

    I’m going to really stick my neck out here and post a track I did in a couple of hours using just Korg Gadget and Auria on an iPad – no PC/Mac DAW in sight. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone post music they have done in these comments, but I would LOVE to hear what some of you guys are doing and if you would spend a little time explaining how and why you think it’s better or whatever, then I’d be really impressed… so, caution, nervousness, fear and dread to the wind… here goes:

    1. Let me try to explain the whole “Tools for Professional” comment, because it is often misunderstood (here too).

      First of all: We can make music, GOOD music, that sounds professional with any “tools” we want (Protools, Cubase, Logic, Sonar, Ableton Live, Reaper, MPC, Maschine, TR-808, iPad, Android, whatever…).

      So when people is commenting about using “Tools of Pros” or “Tools for Pros”, this has nothing to do with the music quality, both in terms of sound quality or creativity. Therefor, a musician can use whatever he likes the most and most comfortable with to create his music.

      Secondly: We we do talk about “Pros”, or “Professional”, it has also nothing to do to the talent of the person and his creativity. The Professional term is referring to the profession (job) of the user, which means the Music IS his day job. So, in theory, he shouldn’t be bad at it, because this is something he does all day long, something 15 or 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. But there’s a lot of Pros that just do shitty music while some amateurs do really good things.

      When we talk about “Tools for Pros”, we do refer to the tools made and use by those Pros that surely have criteria a non-Pro doesn’t have: time, money, exchange with other studios, other sound engineers, other labels, having to work on very very large project (400 or 500 tracks) and record a large 100 pieces symphonic orchestra on top of it with some effects and no latency… This is something absolutely no other DAW can do today. But this is also something only very few people do in the world… it’s some of the very elite top Pro structures that work for hollywood.

      Protools was the first and only to propose this combinaison of Hardware, Software and plugins that run on DSP… So Pros did use it and they spend a lot of time to craft their Art around Protools, knowing blindly all features, shortcuts, etc… making them very very pro-efficient with this Tools. But also, it allows them to exchange easily session between studios, sound engineers, labels… to the point it becomes THE standard for the Pro users and Pro Structures in the Industry. And to this date, no other DAW did remove Protools from this leader seat and I don’t think this will ever change because the big hollywood studios that makes hundreds millions dollars movie, just don’t care if the new version is 200 bucks more expensive than Logic, or if it doesn’t have this or this features that the other DAW do have.

      All Protools users care is what Protools can do for them… they don’t care about other DAW (this is what people need to understand). Therefor they don’t care if the feature X was already for several years on another DAW that could be cheaper or even free. All they care is to know that now, their tools they use all day long, has a new version that does include this feature that will help them in their work… That’s it.

      And anyone can ignore this fact, sure… but you can simply walk in the World Top 100 Recording Studios in the world and check what they use… or check what the World Top 100 Sound Engineer do use to record or mix. I’m sure it will be Protools…

      Even Apple that do own and make Logic, did use Protools to record the music for the last 30 years video they made (you can spot the Protools Windows on the “Behind the Scene” video: (around 1:02). I found it quite sad and amusing in the same time 🙂

      1. That’s quite insightful and interesting, thanks for taking the time to write so clearly P.

        Having thought about it, I can relate on some level tools I use for my job, I’ve had exactly the same thought about competitors offerings and realised that actually I don’t care if it’s cheaper or has a particular feature, I know what I know and it would be more effort to change.

        1. No problem man.

          You know, I’m for all debate, as long as we try to understand each other instead to just fall in the eternal deaf debate about “mine is bigger and better”.

          As said, this has nothing to do about the result you can get. It was perhaps 20 years ago where DSP solution was providing things we couldn’t get done with native system… But it’s not the case anymore. Any DAW is 64 bits, with 32 floating bit files, etc… so, they have more than enough quality (sound wise). This is not an argument anymore.

          Just like the fact to have new interesting features… Because Protools is often the last one to integrate and offer them in comparison to some of the other 40+ DAW available on the market. Due to my work, I had to test most of them, and I can clearly say there’s some good ideas on any of them (including)… no contest.

          Protools is very strong for the tracking and mixing part (due to its workflow and good automation). And if we look at Cubase 7 and Logic Pro X, they now use some similar features from Protools (darker skin in the mixer, some track browser, insert layout, etc…). That’s maybe because it wasn’t bad at all and that was the thing Protools users like.

          So I’m glad Steinberg and Apple did use something similar… just like I’d be glad for Avid to use something similar from Logic or Reaper for the Track folders… or something similar to Studio One for the Melodyne integration… or something similar to Digital Performer for the multiple skins, etc… I do believe there’s good ideas to get inspired from any one.

          And if you’re a composer, musician, working in a small or medium structure, not necessary dealing with other labels, studios, sound engineers, etc… Any other DAW will be more than capable for most of your work (unless you’re doing symphonic orchestra recording for the next Avatar movie, you should be fine). So, in that case, just use whatever DAW you like the most and that fit your needs and preferences.

          However, you will have to work with other studios, labels, sound engineers, exchange session, etc… Then you might need to consider to use Protools, because it was the Standard so far, and it still is in place.

          And honestly, I don’t think it would ever change for those guys. However, what is changing is the whole Music Industry which isn’t necessary recorded, arranged, mixed and mastered in the big studios in L.A., New York, London, Berlin, etc… Due to the progress for the computer power, we can now do a lot of things with native system DAW (Avid knows it and that’s why they did the Protools HD Native system). So if you’re using less than 32 I/O in the same time (which is pretty much a lot to cover all current music and bands), you can easily do it on a smaller studio, local studio, or even studio at home…

          All you might need is to buy a Protools Native system to convert your project before to send it over the internet to the mix engineer… And in this case, Avid might keep their dominancy in the Pro Elite market (the 1%er), but they will loose the following market (the Top 20% that are still using the same tools so far but could shift to something else).

          And for the rest of the market, the mass market, this is already split between the 40+ DAW and probably even more in the near future with all Apps on Tablets and Smartphones that become more than enough to record at home. So yeah, the whole industry is changing and _that_ might have an impact for Avid because they’re still targeting the Pro Market only. It’s their moto: “Designed for Professionals” (which translate to the 1% people that live and work in L.A. on the big budget movies and albums where studios don’t care much to spend few grands on a new system because it’s just change money for them).

          1. Yay for actual discussion, that’s what we’re all about, doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, we all have one thing in common, a passion for this stuff!

            “if you’re a composer, musician, working in a small or medium structure, not necessary dealing with other labels, studios, sound engineers, etc… Any other DAW will be more than capable for most of your work… just use whatever DAW you like the most and that fit your needs and preferences.”

            That’s the key there, I honestly don’t care one little bit what everyone else uses other than if it’s something new I’d like to try it and have a bit of fun exploring it. But reality is, if I am working on something I come back to the tools I know, most of the time – iPad has changed this a lot, I’ve learned more new synths, DAWs, Drum Machines in the last couple of years because of that. Great fun!

            1. You’re 100%… It’s up to anyone to figure out what is pertinent or not.

              It’s better to spend time to make music than fighting with someone because he/she doesn’t use the same tools than you. Because, in the end, what does really matter is what you do with your tools… not really how you do it.

              However, if you want to work in some pro networks in the Music Industry, you have to accept that you should better learn to use Protools, because sooner or later, you will have to know it and use it.

              But if you aren’t concerned by this case, just use whatever you want and make some good music… and of course, have some fun 😉


              1. Yes have fun – that’s the one 🙂

                Looks like someone been through and down voted every post again… hehe!!

                All quite hilarious because not ONE person has the balls to post a track they have done, yet two people have voted mine down 😀

                It’s a good thing I am fairly thick skinned but as for those two people who down voted, you have absolutely no right until you grow some and share your work!

                But then, that’s not going to happen is it, because these people are just anonymous cowards and probably haven’t got anything worth sharing!

                I must admit I am pretty disappointed, from the comments here I thought there must be some top class musicians here… do we even have one? Just one person who is willing to share their music? Or is everyone here just all mouth and no action?

                Sorry, I’m baiting I know, no personal offence intended, but come on… share your stuff folks – prove me wrong!! I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong and compliment you 😀

              2. One HUGE thing to remember though: A current gen maxed out Mac Mini, coupled with a current gen firewire interface OUTPERFORMS a small PT TDM system from 10 years ago, in both track count (not simul) and number of plugin instances available.

                That said, Avid has a long ways to go in re-establishing their proprietary consoles and outboard DSPs to the mid-level pro user. I understand why someone would need an HD system for film work or a session where there are 100+ tracks being recorded at once.

                The truth is, that 99% of recording engineers are working with less tracks, mostly in popular music, dubbing, commercial, etc. work.

                A ProTools system doesn’t make sense for the guy recording bands or electronic stuff. Nowadays, UAD systems (or Apollo), Virus TI, modern computers… they do the same thing… sometimes better. The theory of recording and science of sound hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years… It’s not like modern music requires a much higher track count or anything.

  11. For the ones that really know and follow Avid’s last activities, this is not a huge surprise and is only the result of the whole purchase and resell they did the last years (Sibelius, M-Audio, Euphonix, etc…). They bought companies, took IP, products and engineers they needed, and resell everything and/or fire everyone they didn’t need.

    Now everything is under the “Avid” colors and name, they did rebuild the whole system (new HDX, new AAX plugins, new 64 bits engine, new EUCON control surfaces, etc…), so they are ready for the coming years without huge R&D cost… They can only do small incremental updates now.

    There’s still some customers that didn’t upgrade to PT11 yet because of the whole hardware upgrade (to HDX, HD Native from the old TDM stations, and because it took some times for all developers to catch up on the AAX program), but it will happen sooner or later. So I’m not really for them in that domain. And Protools division seems to be quite OK in comparison of the whole group.

    Having talked about that for a while now with a tons of sound engineers and professional Protools users… They all agree. Even if Protools development would stop now, they would simply use the last stable version. (in few words: they would better stick with Protools than change for another DAW and when we look why, we can easily understand this is nothing to do with the technical details, features, etc… it’s all about workflow, time spent with this system and of course compatibility between professional structures that all use Protools as standard). Some of the Pros are still using PT8 if it tells anything…

    So if you’re a hobbist, semi-pro working in a small structure, not working with others from the Industry, you can definitely use whatever DAW you like (Personally I like Maschine and Logic). But, for now Protools was, is and will still stay the “DAW Standard” in the Industry on a Pro level. It’s just a fact folks… And Avid knows it well and this is why they can practice very horrible price policy sometimes on updates or upgrades… but so far, they do have the monopole and they’re no other DAW that did remove them from their seat… not Cubase/Nuendo, not Logic, not other DAW, regardless how good, or even better they are.

  12. I was a mixing/mastering engineer for large and small studios in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and later co-owned a studio in Vegas. A total of 30+ years. In that time I’ve been intimately involved with the evolution of recording software. It’s true that every studio had ProTools, but it is also true that I’ve done a lot of side by side comparisons with other software. Every year blurred the line between ProTools and other software in terms of quality, stability, feature set, workflow, etc. At one time, there was no other way to go. Now, though, the list of comercially successful music that was NOT produced with ProTools continues to grow, because there is much less expensive software that can achieve the same results, and more and more A list and B list artists are creating hits in their own private studios. If Avid isn’t careful, they will be toppled as the king and will be replaced, by several others. Although I am semi retired now, I am used to the workflow of ProTools and I would hate to see it wither and die.

  13. Hi, consider this:
    What is the type of car a professional driver dreams to drive?
    A formula 1
    Do I have one?
    Nope, I just have an Audi. For what I do is perfect.
    If I had a formula 1 I would face a lot of problems, despite the fact that is a remarkable piece of enginiering.
    ProTools is outdated. It is used in the best studios just because if fits with their hardware. Do we have that hardware?

  14. I’m willing to grant that many (maybe most?) giant recording studios are Protools based. I think most of that is due to inertia, but the reasons really don’t matter. The problem (for Avid) is that studios like that are going out of business every day, something that started with the introduction of ADAT and has been accelerating rapidly since then. There simply aren’t enough Hit Factory-type studios being opened and making new gear purchases, and the number of studios with existing installations are just as likely to either stay pat or look at less-expensive alternatives. Avid’s problems are certainly compounded by bad management, but I think the root cause is simply a decline in big recording studios.

  15. Don’t forget Avid also competes with Apple not only on Logic but also FCPX. Despite the best efforts of Avid viral markets to make it sound like the whole industry was switched to Avid after FCPX came out the destitution of Avid says otherwise. Not to say FCPX is so perfect but most of the stuff people whined about has been fixed and it costs … 300 bucks! what does Avid’s cost? $1300 or something? Hell, even if you can’t stand FCPX you can rent Premier Pro from Adobe for $20 a month!

    If Avid were smart they would start releasing a ton of super expensive pure analog crapola and telling people it’s so much better than digital. Everyone who says protools is obsolete are the same people who will rush out to buy remakes of old analog stuff from the 80s. Seriously, could it be more obvious this is the way for Avid to reach fat profits once again? Right now no one is allowed to question the superiority of analog. If protools makes full analog mixing gear all the protools haters will fall in line and buy some.

  16. Delisting and restatement of financials back to 2012 means the long term viability of the business is suspect.
    Avid/PT have superior workflow for very complex, high-end post and music studios but that market appears to be shrinking. Below that most people favor low price and ease of use over complexity and superior tech. Avid seems to be losing that market share to Premiere, Final Cut, Logic, FL etc. I think a PE buyout and re-org (by film studios) may be the most likely (and I started on SD ll and PT/osc v1.)

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