What is the best DAW for schools? Continued…

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post saying why I think Presonus Studio One Free is the best DAW (recording software) for high school teachers and students to use.

Well… such is the ever-changing nature of technology that I’m having to possibly change my mind.

In the last few hours at NAMM Avid has announced a new piece of software as part of their Pro Tools range, Pro Tools First.

Pro Tools is the industry standard DAW – everyone uses it.  But I advised against using it in schools as it was always too expensive, even the ‘student’ version.  What is different about Pro Tools First though is that it is FREE!  It will have limitations (such as only being able to have 16 audio tracks and can only record up to four at once, which may make it difficult recording drums in some circumstances) but it will do pretty much everything students will need of it.

It has software instruments for using MIDI, plugins such as EQ, Compression, Reverb, Delay, etc and many of the same recording, editing and mixing features as the pro version of Pro Tools.

It has not been released yet but as soon as it has I’ll do a full review of it and how useful it will be to high school teachers and students.

For my New Zealand customers it is likely I’ll produce new tutorial videos and documents for my MUSTEC 27656 and 27658 Unit Standard resources based on this new software (these will be available as a free update).

If you’re a teacher who has been using Studio One Free don’t feel you have to change to anything else.  If it works for you and it helps your students to learn how to record and mix keep using it.  Just because a new piece of software has been released doesn’t mean Studio One has become any less capable.

Probably the main reason I’m excited about this is that it brings back memories of using PT Free back in the early 2000’s on a class set of Windows 98 computers.  That was a great solution for teaching but as Digidesign never updated it for Windows XP or OSX I’ve always been looking for other solutions.

So… I’ll keep you posted on this potentially exciting development for teaching recording and mixing in schools.

Duncan

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