Pro-Tools: It Ruins A Band

An informative article about Pro Tools and it's use in today's music. Linkin Park sucks for using pro tools? With 3 multi-platinum records, they've got 10 million reasons and worldwide tours that disagree.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
0

Pro Tools... it seems to be one of those things everyone in the music industry loves to hate. Some of the world's biggest bands are famous for it. Coincidentally (or is it?), some of the "worst" bands use it too. The consensus seems to be that using it destroys a bands reputation, giving them an image of sub-par talent; you use this program, it's because you can't use a guitar properly. It's quite a shame for everyone to jump to this conclusion, but nonetheless, it happens.

Pro Tools is a music sampling, editing and mixing computer program created by DigiDesign. It started out as a small program, like Cool Edit, but was popularized through it's use by big-name bands such as Linkin Park. Few people are actually aware of it's use in today's music; most just assume the sound they hear is completely done by the band's instruments, or are just oblivious to the digital sound anyway.

The program was designed as a cheap home studio. The company designed mixing boards and control surfaces for use with the program with the idea that any artist (with the right budget) could have their own personal recording studio. Popular bands caught onto the idea of doing their own mixing, and some began creating entire songs through this program.

This seems to be why everyone hates bands such as Linkin Park. Top 2 reasons for hating Linkin Park are:

01. "Those stupid sh*tty nu-metal bands only use power chords" 02. "The band can't play anything so they use pro tools to cover it up".

Now, maybe from a guitarists point of view, playing power chords lowers your talent level. But from a fan point of view no one cares. It sounds good to most people, or they wouldn't be one of the #1 bands at the moment.

But where is all that extra sound coming from?? Let's choose "Faint" as an example. Start the song, hear all that crap at the start? Sounds like an orchestra playing, cool!! Oh, no wait, those drums aren't real. That would be Pro Tools you're hearing. Seen the band live before? The start of that song is done by the DJ hitting a button and waiting. Better example: the Grammy-nominated track "Session". No vocals, no guitar, no drums. Done entirely by sampling notes, beats and the DJ scratching the stuff.

Everyone claims that the band sucks and they have no talent. Perhaps what these ignorant guitarists aren't seeing is a different type of music being made. Guys, I hate to tell you this, but in mainstream music, the old days of 10-minute solos and melodic acoustic intros are gone. The Darkness may have instilled hope in your hearts, but they are not the start of the revolution. What's being made now? Hard drop-D riffs, screaming digital singers and pro tools sampling. Sorry, get used to it.

Why am I defending Linkin Park and Pro Tools against people who are out to kill them? Not as an opinion piece, but to explain that the music isn't going away. Yes, it's still music. It's just a little different than "Face-melting Hendrix solos" or "Master Of Puppets". Linkin Park sucks for using pro tools? With 3 multi-platinum records, they've got 10 million reasons and worldwide tours that disagree.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ninjai
    This seems to be why everyone hates bands such as Linkin Park. Top 2 reasons for hating Linkin Park are: not everyone hates linkin park stupid, if everyone hated them then they wouldn't be where they are. Damn your stupid so I gave you a one but if I could I would give you a 0 for stating an opinion as it were a fact.
    strangled
    jaeger its very obvious that you are new you CANT right an article with out regestering unregistered IS his name UG got rid of UG Strangers because they were posting stupidity. most people seem to have missed the point it was that the use of pro tools is being used by people who are crap musician trying to mask the fact that they suck
    4stringshredder
    I hate Linkin Park as much as (if not more than) anyone else on this site. But, think of this from a business standpoint: If you could use computer programs to make most of your simple, crappy, music, and it sells that well and that fast, wouldn't you do it too? I agree, they are a bunch of shitty musicians, but I'd say they're pretty smart businessmen. They're just taking advantage of a large population of listeners who are stupid and ignorant for the most part. We shouldn't be making fun of Linkin Park because they sell crap, we should be making fun of the people that are BUYING the crap.
    chris1415
    if i had pro tools, i would probably use it to make the album as good as it could be. However, i am poor, all i have is a guitar a pedal and an amp, so i go for a more lowfi sound. music is not always about showing off how good you are. Its about making a connection with all the people who listen to it.
    panther62
    so because a band sells a lot of records they are good? ummm i don't know about that one. nsync sold a lot of records too, and i can give you 10 million reasons why they suck
    Lead4Tardigrade
    A Perfect Circle uses Pro-Tools and they're one of the most artistic, talented, and beautiful bands ever. Don't generalize something because one shitty band uses it.
    spoonman017
    Pro Tools as in DJ's and crap like that? One word: Incubus. Incubus is a very talented and unique band, and to say that they suck because they have a DJ, is just ignorant. Mike Einziger is a really good guitar player, who barely used power chords on their new record, and Dirk Lance/Ben Kenny are/were great bass players. They are great onstage also. Get your shit right man.
    Until_it_sleeps
    HAHAHA the drums aren't really? You f*cking gaylord!! He has special digital drums mounted on the side that make digital sounds. God get a clue
    damn-right!
    have you used sequencers? its not a case of just sticking a few samples together you know.
    damn-right!
    whats wrong with pro-tools? its a ***ing good recording programm, its industry standard so a hell of a lot of the bands you listen to will have used it. Not all bands that record using pro-tools use it to enhance. Ive done a good few studio recordings using pro-tools and its the best ive used, the majority of bands dont need enhancing and when they do it isnt much. You have way more freedom to enhance sound using that program. Whats wrong with enhancing sound? nothing. I use pro-tools all the time, and you are way less limited as to what you can do compared to other programs.
    Tijmen
    There's lots of attempts to forge rock music with digital effects. Even though the process might be a huge pain for music lovers, the result sounds good and can be very catchy.
    CrAzYmOfO2424
    In refrence to everything posted previously: Linkin Park is revolutionizing the world of music. Whether you call it rock, or something else, it sets the bar that much higher for any band to overpass. Linkin Park will be around for a long time because of it. Everyone on this site for the most part is a musician so they see the songs differently then the general public. The musician sees the guitarist as sucking because of his major power chord usage. The general public sees the band as, hey that sounds cool. Honestly, the public doesnt care. The past will show, simple based song structure turns out to be the best bands. And who says there are rules to making music? I like Linkin Park not because of their music because of their music sounding different. Reguardless of whether or not their music is complex or simple, it still kicks ass. In reference to Pro Tools. It has ups and downs. It can enhance music to sound better, or worse. As many have said, if overused it can be hell for a band. With the right moderation, I think by all means, it is a great way to add something to a song. Who says other bands don't do that shit in the studio anyways? You know they do, you just don't notice. All in all, music is changing and most of us will be rocking out to our favorite bands while we tell our future kids to "turn off that crap because its not real music." Kinda like your parents do to you now...
    Until_it_sleeps
    I've been thinking and have come to a solution. Yes, pro Tools enhances the music you have recorded, but it doesn't make the song. There's little difference between pro tools and studio recording. Pro tools can be used anywhere, and studios are limited to there location. Watch any show about recording and you'll see the people talking about how the music crew is so great. When I was watching I saw an interesting show on recording in studio, and it showed how singers voices can be completely changed, or if the singer didn't like one part, they could just record him doing that change, and edit it into the sentence perfectly without the singer having to do thr sentence again. If thats okay but recording from a program isn't, then you people really are speds. If the guitarist really sucks so bad, then pro tools won't save their ass. You can't just tell it to insert a chorus for you. You have to do all the base yourself. If any band, Linkin Park included can put on a live show and still use those exact effects perfectly, then it's not them covering up shitty talent, it's them adding a new layer to their song. And whatever dumbass wrote the article should go read a book and get some intelligence into their hollow skull, because Linkin Park only used pro tools to create a few parts of songs, not the whole album. The beginning to Somewhere I belong is the only guitar part they recorded using pro tools that made it to album, the rest was studio. And ***ing faint was recorded with 15 violinists, you idiot.
    Triple_Tremolo
    I can agree, linkin park isn't bad, I just don't see it as rock. I mean, you see rappers occasionally use basses or guitars, but you don't slam them for ruining rock, do you?
    PychoArtRocker
    by the way all of u bashing LP in this article being retared. THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT PRO TOOLS NOT LINKIN PARK
    R3id
    It's all about the MUSIC. NOT about how they play it. I like LP and i like their music. You don't like them? It's ur problem.
    Einzigerfan03
    Either you like Linkn Park or hate them but when it all comes down to it they're good at what they do with or without pro-tools. Just listen to the hybrid theory E.P. or there Xero demo's the music still sounds the same.And as far power chords go i personally think that alot of songs are suppose to be so complexed and have solo's everywhere look at Nirvana Kurt kept it simple. So if it works better with simple power chords then why change it. As for the article as a whole it's too bias Because the only band you've really named is linkin park and the only point you've got across is how much you hate them
    LiTeNinbOy
    sum u kids reeli distin metallica dun you? jus gotta respect tho cusz pretty evry band with crazy teenagers init was inspired by metallica =p...pplus the ygot sum kik sass music...maybe not der new st.anger CD but evr listen there ...and justice for all CD? it owns and its got great riffs and sum of da best stuff...listen to track 8 aite later...
    Purem8
    A band that uses professional editting tools alone to produce music is incapable of putting on a good live show. I have seen LP live, and they put on a fine show. Many of their songs sound better live than after much studio editting. LP is not a "terrific" band, and certainly nothing original, but their music will always be popular. This is simply because they produce good quality music, regardless of what you think.
    Let's watch everyone jump on the "diss LP" band wagon.
    Ripping LP for using power chords has got to be the fukig funniest sht I've heard in a while. This shows me right from the start that you don't even play or understand guitar. Power chords are nothing more than an easier way to play 5th chords. Many power chords are just barre chord variations of normal chords. (Just so you know, 90% of the bands that are around now, play power chords for most of their songs.) I tried to give this column a 0, but it wouldn't let me. Dear God... "unregistered" could you please never write a column again? K thnx. -Ryan-
    5stringassassin
    Okay, two pieces of my mind. 1)Linkin Park isn't the greatest band ever but I give them credit for some of their songs. They just need to make their shit more complex instead of always resorting to Pro Tools. 2.)Whoever says Pro Tools is ruining music, should tkae their head outta their a**! I agree with Until_it_sleeps. Pro Tools doesn't do all the work for you. You still have to produce all the raw material yourself. This means you still have to be able to play half-assed. And not all bands who use Pro Tools suck. Blink 182 is the example. Just listen to them live. Peace.
    gregmccormick
    but metallica kicks ass and linkin park doesnt metallica actually has talented members in the band and they make a perfect sound without the use of pro-tools but keep in mind when they play live they use sound clips in fight fire with fire, one, and some other songs and it works for me.
    undecided_gtr
    about 99% of all Metallica rhythm riffs are power chords. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is nothing but two-string power chords; it doesn't even have a true solo. You don't dis them for that, do you?
    just some guy
    umm...sorry but Linkin Park doesn't protools to make their sampling. they just change it. like the weird fuzzy-reverse-sounding-th ing at the begining of "Somewhere I Belong" is actually Chester playing an acoustic guitar, but they effected it to a point where it sounds...nothing like an acoustic guitar. and i know that someone already said this but when they do "Faint" in concert, Rob uses these little electronic drums on the left side of his kit.
    joseac
    OK,what the hell???? no guitar gods there? first off Kurt Cobain was a pretty damn good guitar player! he could take totally abstract music (come as you are) and sing with it perfictally. second,pearl jam. just cause they dont say a curse word every fifth line dosen't mean that they cant play guitar. and REALLY LISTEN (i'm shure your not used to that) to the chords in most of Pearl Jam's songs, they are awsome! oh yeah, and before I am done killing this loser the artice was OK at most.....www.justicefork You seemed to have missed the point. I think both Stone Gossard and Mike McReady are two of the best, most original sounding guitarist out there, and i have a deep respect for Kurt, but none of those guitarist ever flaunt their skill. Music is not about how much you manage to show off during a song, it's about how the song comes together and how people respond to it. With or without pro tools, LP seem to be doing a good job, so let's not put them down until we can do better. By the way, I can probably play more of PJ's songs than you've ever even heard, so don't insult people at random.
    SOAtwaD
    i dont know how many of you use pro tools, but just know that not everyone who does uses it to enhance sound... i've got pro tools with an Mbox, and my band simply uses it to record digitally, and then burn to disc.... pro tools is actually a fantastic bit of software
    undead_bunny
    joseac: I don't understand how people can say LP sucks. YOu must think Pearl Jam, Nirvana, STP and all those other bands suck too, because I can teach a blind five year old to play "smells like teen spirit" in a matter of minutes. No guitar gods there. Ultimately, the millions of people buying the records and going to the shows decide what sucks and what doesn't, not close minded guitarists without the ability to recognize change when they see it. thank god for that. OK,what the hell???? no guitar gods there? first off Kurt Cobain was a pretty damn good guitar player! he could take totally abstract music (come as you are) and sing with it perfictally. second,pearl jam. just cause they dont say a curse word every fifth line dosen't mean that they cant play guitar. and REALLY LISTEN (i'm shure your not used to that) to the chords in most of Pearl Jam's songs, they are awsome! oh yeah, and before I am done killing this loser the artice was OK at most.....www.justicefork urt.com
    5stringassassin
    Ohh just to make things clear. Blink 182 is sh*t live!They just live off of pop_mainstream image! Once again, Peace.
    Punki7600
    Look at blink 182! they make toms voice sound ok on the records but it sounds like he has never sang a note when he gets on stage. And he screws up his guitar parts soooo much on stage. Linkin Park doesnt suck that much maybe they need pro tools to get the sound they want.
    Until_it_sleeps
    speaking of pro tools this isn't pro but you shure are tools! lay off on dissing linkin park they still kick your ass ya hobo.
    bulldog75
    How dare you mention linkin park on this web site. they SUCK THEY SUCK THEY SUCK i dont like them because of their shallow taste in music. I dont like them because of how they are but what they are is why i hate them.
    Monkey1000
    I went the the Radiohead MTV 2$ concert, and after three hours, i came out a fan, totally blown away, and sure they use computers and stuff... but they dont just play a record and wait for the intro to finish, they use insanely complicated mixing boards with plugs and and switches and dials and whathaveyou... but they also play some of the craziest shit iv'e ever seen on guitar piano drums ect. while doing it, just because you use computers doesn't mean your bad... it doesn't mean your not bad ither... its just how you use it, if lincoln park just played "who let the dogs out", with scratching and computer sounds... its a safe bet that they wouldn't have a fan base like they do. and if they have millions of fans then who cares how they do it! i personally dont like lincoln park because well, I hate the way the write, and they just dont do anything for me, but the arguement isn't about lincoln park, its about Pro tools, and hey, if you can use it in a way that people like and be successful with it then go for it, remember most of the later Beatles stuff was all done in the studio, and the didn't ever have to play it live. But that doesn't mean it's not some of the greatest music ever written. So listen to what you like. However it's made.....can anyone say long-winded?
    Strat_Monkey
    bulldog75: How dare you mention linkin park on this web site
    I don't see why people can't mention guitar bands on a website called Ultimate Guitar. There are Busted and Britney Spears tabs on here, y'know, go get over-excited about that.
    joseac
    I don't understand how people can say LP sucks. YOu must think Pearl Jam, Nirvana, STP and all those other bands suck too, because I can teach a blind five year old to play "smells like teen spirit" in a matter of minutes. No guitar gods there. Ultimately, the millions of people buying the records and going to the shows decide what sucks and what doesn't, not close minded guitarists without the ability to recognize change when they see it. thank god for that.
    acecchetto
    bulldog75:they SUCK THEY SUCK THEY SUCK
    Easy with the 7 year old tantrum there bud!
    starbomb13
    whatever, you like LP or you hate them,you think they suck or rock,doesn't matter.what matters is that whatever they're doing is right because their music is going somewhere, no matter what you think.
    PeruvianGuitar
    i always see people argue about which bands are good or not....and its patheic. People have differnt tastes in music and some of us like different stuff. We just gotto stop critizng other artists for their music. We can have opinioins but dont go around insultings someonelses favorite band.
    FlyingFuc!<
    protools fixes up a band's sound. Every band who uses any type of recording fixes up the sound. The only way to only use instruments is to put a mic on it and send it to disk. it'll sound like shit. Retard.
    Encore_God
    Just because it has a guitar in it doesn't make it rock. Which Linkin Park aren't. They're Linkin Park. They do things their way. Go them. They like it, their fans like it, I don't. It's a free world. Pro Tools can sterilise a record if over-used, but it's great for producing demos or for new bands to make a quick, easy and good-sounding EP. Nuff said.
    Klown
    blah-- just let people listen to what they like, if they havent discovered how great rock is, too bad... for them
    Jaeger
    first off, guitar is central to LP's music. take the guitar out of Faint, for example, and the song is nothing. as for the article itself, i don't think i've seen a more ignorant, biased, and insufficiently validated article on this site. you MIGHT have a point if linkin park didn't nail every song they play, including Faint, live. and, just for the record, some of the best songs in history were simple. ever heard of "Like a Rolling Stone"? bob dylan, man. acoustic guitar, strumming open chords. one of the most influential songs in the history of rock. don't get me wrong, i like solos. there's a place for them in certain songs. but some songs wouldn't work with a solo. it's about writing songs, not wanking your penis extension (since apparently that's what a guitar is). it doesn't really surprise me that the author of this submitted it anonymously. i wouldn't want to be associated with fecal matter of this magnitude, either.