Last month at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade show several people came up to macProVideo.com's booth to ask me which Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) I think is best: Logic Pro 9 or Pro Tools 8. I get asked this question a lot ... in some ways it's a tough question because at the end of the day both Logic Studio and Pro Tools do exactly the same thing ... they let you make music. And they both do it well.
While both programs, for the most part, do exactly the same thing, there are a few major differences between the two that you should understand to make an informed decision. First, Logic 9 is 64-bit optimized, which means you get blinding performance compared to the 32-Bit architecture of Pro Tools (as I write this). That means more plugins per track, and more tracks per project ... all recorded at a higher bit-depth for better sound quality. Logic Pro 9 excels here.
Additionally, Logic has a special editing area called "The Environment" that is unique in the audio world. The Environment uses object-oriented patching to connect things like arpeggiators and Chord memorizers to audio instruments and other objects in much the same way a vintage synthesizer uses patch cords to connect oscillators to filters and etc.
It's all about signal flow inside Logic Pro. While this may be a bit confusing to the neophyte, once you get used to Logic's Environment, you can produce wild and creative sounds that would be difficult to emulate in a more straight-ahead DAW like Pro Tools.
But on the flip side, Logic can't hold a candle to Pro Tools when it comes to features like video editing (and it doesn't even try). If you're workflow will entail a lot of post production in the video world, then Pro Tools is the DAW for you.
Additionally, Pro Tools still enjoys it's status as the de facto DAW in most high end production studios (though Logic Studio is making some serious inroads here). So, if you intend to work in a pro recording environment, you'll probably need to up your chops on Pro Tools in order to get those high-paying recording gigs.
It is generally accepted that Logic Studio is better for the creative side of making music, while Pro Tools is better for the tracking music (recording and editing). Before Pro Tools 8 was released, Logic certainly had better MIDI recording and editing features than Pro Tools. Combine this with the dozens of software instruments and DSP effects that ship with Logic, and you've got one of the most powerful "studio in a box" applications out there.
With the introduction of Pro Tools 8, Avid did a lot to improve the creative side of their software. The MIDI features were improved. More software instruments were introduced, and in general some attention was paid to making Pro Tools a better all-in-one music production platform. Is it at Logic's level? Well, IMHO no ... there's still a ways to go. But if you're recording your band and not working much with MIDI, you'll enjoy the more streamlined recording and editing processes native to Pro Tools.
When you are considering Logic Vs. Pro Tools, there is one final important consideration - cost.
Logic Studio runs native on any Intel Mac. You can connect any audio interface (for example, the amazing Apogee Duet or Ensemble), and you're ready to record high quality digital audio. With Pro Tools, you must buy hardware designed by Avid ... there's no support for 3rd party audio interfaces. Additionally, to get high quality sound you're going to be paying high-end prices - Pro Tools interfaces can run into the 10s of thousands of dollars.
Logic Vs. Pro Tools. What to do, what to do ... there is one final consideration you should think of when choosing the platform for you: What software do your friends use? If your friends use Logic Pro, then you should too. Ditto if they use Pro Tools. And the reason is simple: You'll be sharing song files, support issues, software plugins, and other things with these people. If you're on Logic while they are on pro Tools, sharing those files is going to be difficult. It's always best to use the software that your community uses ... and that goes for ALL software, not just Logic or Pro Tools.
Read a complete comparison between Logic 9 vs Pro Tools 9 featuring David "Logic" Earl and Keith "Pro Tools" Crusher here.