Audacity vs. Avid Pro Tools

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Audacity
Score 8.5 out of 10
N/A
Audacity is a free and open source audio recording and editing software.N/A
Pro Tools
Score 7.8 out of 10
N/A
Avid offers Pro Tools, the company's flagship music and audio editing and recording suite.
$29.99
Per User / Per Month
Pricing
AudacityAvid Pro Tools
Editions & Modules
No answers on this topic
Pro Tools
$29.99
Per User / Per Month
Pro Tools - Ultimate
$79.99
Per User / Per Month
Pro Tools - First
Free
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
AudacityPro Tools
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
AudacityAvid Pro Tools
Considered Both Products
Audacity
Chose Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Pro Tools
Chose Avid Pro Tools
Originally a PC user, my first music program was "Personal Composer" in 1988. I moved to Cakewalk in the late 90s, which became Sonar. Sonar was a very good DAW and I was happy with its performance and functionality. It was, essentially, as close to Pro Tools for PC as you …
Chose Avid Pro Tools
As discussed above, these other products are likely better suited for home audio production, especially based on their integration of software instruments and their surface-level interface and tools. Pro Tools excels as a tool for professionals, who need to move audio along …
Chose Avid Pro Tools
In my opinion, ProTools is the best audio editing tool currently on the market. It's very user-friendly, incredibly intuitive and has so many different functionalities that would take weeks to learn how to use them all and well if you needed them. It is far better suited than …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
AudacityAvid Pro Tools
Small Businesses
Descript
Descript
Score 8.8 out of 10
Descript
Descript
Score 8.8 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Enterprises
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
Audition
Audition
Score 8.9 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
AudacityAvid Pro Tools
Likelihood to Recommend
8.4
(25 ratings)
9.0
(7 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Usability
9.0
(1 ratings)
7.0
(1 ratings)
Availability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Performance
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Support Rating
5.0
(11 ratings)
9.1
(4 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Configurability
7.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
AudacityAvid Pro Tools
Likelihood to Recommend
Audacity
For just a quick down and dirty audio recording from computer source, Audacity is a no-frills solution that any user can get up and running with quickly without the intimidating functions seen in most standard DAWs. This would be a great tool to start with to record church services, or basic live performances where someone wouldn't want to use a full DAW like Ableton Live or Studio One.
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Avid Technology
Pro Tools is great for recording multiple different tracks of audio at the same time with live inserts that you can later remove/edit if they do not suit the track. It always makes a backup of any file you copy in which is essential when working with original copies of files for clients, and you can rest easy knowing that any changes made can be reverted without having to start over or having any work be lost. You can compile many different tracks for larger-scale projects and group or bus them together with ease. The software is very user-friendly for beginners and is a great tool overall for anyone looking to edit audio. The only instance it is less suited it would be if you're only making small audio edits with any adobe video software. Also if your business is not heavy on audio editing or recording it may be a costly investment.
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Pros
Audacity
  • Audacity has a wide variety of controls and capabilities for editing, making it a very robust tool for audio editing.
  • Even though it's a robust tool, it is very easy to use to get many basic things done in audio editing. The learning curve is small.
  • Love that audacity is free! What else could you ask for? There really is no reason not to use it.
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Avid Technology
  • Highly-customizable, application and UI (performance, function and appearance).
  • Wide audio format compatibility; Ease of integrating audio of different formats, sample rates; equal ease of exporting.
  • Broadest hardware compatibility. The ability to tweak performance parameters extends hardware's useful life.
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Cons
Audacity
  • Although the UI is very simple, it's not great to look at. Making the program more exciting visually would be a great plus.
  • The functionality has never been lacking for what it is, but has also not seen major additions in a long time.
  • The support base of the community is truly impressive, but is also very intimidating to wade through. Having better standardized help avenues would be a benefit to new users.
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Avid Technology
  • Loop-Based Production - Pro Tools is still in the old world of audio recording where you're expected to record a track from live sources. It has less features aimed at production of loop-based music like electronic music and hiphop.
  • Sample-Based Production - While you can sequence samples, you are expected to use MIDI to trigger the samples, for the most part. Of course, you can sequence them out without using MIDI to trigger a sampler plugin, but that's not the use case Pro Tools was designed for.
  • Creative Ideation - Pro Tools expects you to figure out what you want to record first, and does not have tools for helping you produce or create the music.
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Likelihood to Renew
Audacity
With no subscription fees unlike other products on the market, I am very confident I will continue using Audacity for my simple audio editing needs. I'm not an expert in audio editing, I'm sure what works for me as a more general user in a public institution would not suit someone more experienced, but I'm very happy with the quality of work I'm able to produce.
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Avid Technology
No answers on this topic
Usability
Audacity
Audacity is decently user friendly, while any questions generally have to be answered by externally searching for tutorials or other users encountering the same issue, it is still straightforward, simple, and easily resolved. It's installable on any type of computer, compact, and easy to install. Beginners may have a harder time, but once you know what you're doing, it's very easy to use.
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Avid Technology
This is a hard question - I'd give it a 10 for having so many options but a 5 for being user friendly - as it has so many options.
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Reliability and Availability
Audacity
Audacity is great for this, it doesn't require a network connection once downloaded, and previous versions of the software are still functional in my experience. I have never experienced the program crashing, lost work, corrupted files, anything of the sort.
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Avid Technology
No answers on this topic
Performance
Audacity
I have never had issues with speed in Audacity, I don't integrate it with other software but the program runs smoothly even with larger jobs. I haven't measured the CPU while using Audacity, but I imagine it's not high compared to other, more professional or specialized programs in the same category.
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Avid Technology
No answers on this topic
Support Rating
Audacity
We have not used direct support for Audacity, other than using the information available on their website, which resolved the issues we were experiencing so we had a good experience in that regard. As this is Open Source FREE software, I don't believe there is direct support available. In saying that, it has the following great support options:
  • Online documentation and FAQ
  • Online tutorials covering all functions
  • Online user forums where questions are asked and answered by other users
  • Online wiki with more information
With these options most issues should be able to be resolved to get full use from Audacity.
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Avid Technology
The times I've had problems with Avid, they've responded within about 48 hours, and most of the time with a reasonable solution. More often than not, however, I've had to resort to forums to get answers, because when I'm having a problem with the software, I can't afford to wait 48 hours for a solution
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Implementation Rating
Audacity
Again I found it helpful to write up a step-by-step tutorial for coworkers based on our institution's standard practices. This combined with support from coworkers to answer questions is very effective for simple everyday use of Audacity. The support in-program is minimal but troubleshooting in the internet age is straightforward.
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Avid Technology
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Audacity
All of the DAW's listed above are great for scoring to picture, which is something Audacity doesn't do. But it's an excellent standalone audio editor, which is a vital tool in any studio. It's very easy to transfer the clip, make the changes, and import it back into your session.
Read full review
Avid Technology
As discussed above, these other products are likely better suited for home audio production, especially based on their integration of software instruments and their surface-level interface and tools. Pro Tools excels as a tool for professionals, who need to move audio along efficiently towards a polished form, especially in the context of vocal production
Read full review
Scalability
Audacity
I feel that Audacity is useful, simple, and suited both to casual users and more advanced use cases. There are options for expanding functionality in complex situations, but the option to not mess with it as a beginner is perfectly fine and suited to most everyday uses in my institution.
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Avid Technology
No answers on this topic
Return on Investment
Audacity
  • Audacity is completely free, so it has helped us to eliminate the expense of paying for recording software.
  • It is fast and efficient, which helps us save time and generate a great workflow.
  • Even though we have what we need there are some features that cannot be found on Audacity, this affects the quality of our audio in a way.
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Avid Technology
  • I actually finish projects, because once I set up templates it's basically plug-and-play.
  • My customers enjoy my videos more now that the audio is better.
  • I might spend too much money on plug-ins, haha.
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ScreenShots