Now don’t get me wrong the industry standard is Pro Tools, but to me it doesn’t matter what audio program you are using. It is all up to the engineer to produced the good sound quality. Here are the stats on both software:

Pro Tools

Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 for Mac OS X 10.4, Windows Vista, and Windows XP has the following system requirements:
Installation Requirements

  • DVD drive required for Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 installation DVD
  • Not required for Download-only Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 Upgrade installation

Pro Tools M-Powered Audio Interface Required
Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 supports the following M-Audio devices:

  • Audiophile 192
  • Audiophile 2496
  • Audiophile USB
  • Delta 1010
  • Delta 1010LT
  • Delta 44
  • Delta 66
  • Fast Track Pro
  • Fast Track Ultra (M-Powered 7.4cs3 or higher required)
  • Fast Track USB
  • FireWire 1814
  • FireWire 410
  • FireWire Audiophile
  • FireWire Solo
  • JamLab
  • M-Audio Black Box
  • M-Audio Ozone
  • MobilePre USB
  • NRV10
  • Ozonic
  • ProFire 2626 (M-Powered 7.4cs3 or higher required)
  • ProFire Lightbridge
  • ProjectMix I/O
  • Torq Conectiv
  • Transit

Please download the latest drivers for your M-Audio interface from the support section at

FireWire Series Installation Instructions for Windows Vista (32 bit) for devices such as Project Mix I/O, NRV10, and FireWire Solo:

About Pro Tools M-Powered Software

  • Pro Tools M-Powered software requires one of the above M-Audio hardware devices, which must be connected to your computer to run Pro Tools M-Powered software
  • Pro Tools M-Powered supports the use of any single supported M-Audio peripheral. Simultaneous use of multiple M-Audio peripherals is not supported.
  • Other audio interfaces from M-Audio have not been qualified with M-Powered
  • Audio interfaces by Digidesign or any manufacturer other than M-Audio will not work with Pro Tools M-Powered software
  • Pro Tools M-Powered and Pro Tools LE software allows a maximum of 18 audio inputs and outputs, depending on your audio interface I/O capability


  • A pre-authorized cross-platform (Mac/Win) red iLok USB hardware key is included with all Pro Tools M-Powered software purchases.
  • Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 requires a new iLok authorization (previous licenses for Pro Tools M-Powered 6.8-7.3 will not authorize 7.4). Upgrade information is available from the Pro Tools 7.4 Announcement in the News section.

System Software — Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)

  • Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 is officially supported on Mac OS X 10.4.9
  • Although Mac OS X 10.4.10 and 10.4.11 have not been tested or qualified by Digidesign, the only known issue at this time has to do with Pro Tools failure to launch in some cases due to improper prebinding.
  • Please see the following for important information:
    • Mac OS X Compatibility Information
    • If you have installed Mac OS X 10.4.9, 10.4.10, or 10.4.11, or if your computer came with Mac OS X 10.4.9 or 10.4.10 preinstalled, please download the Mac OS X Prebinding Script from that page if you experience failure of Pro Tools or other applications to launch.
  • Pro Tools 7.x will not run on Mac OS X 10.3.9 and earlier

Pro Tools 7.4.2 Required for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 for Mac OS X 10.4 is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.5. Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4.2 for Mac OS X 10.5 is a free update for Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 owners that adds compatibility with Leopard. For more information and links to downloads, please see the following:

System Software — Windows XP & Vista

  • Windows Vista Business or Ultimate Edition
    • 32-bit OS Installation Only
  • Windows XP Professional or Home Edition
    • With Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3
  • Not Supported:
    • Windows Vista 64-bit (any version)
    • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
    • Windows XP Media Center Edition
    • Windows 98, Me, 2000, NT, 95, 3.1, DOS
  • Not Tested:
    • Windows Vista Home and Home Premium Edition
    • Although Windows Vista Home and Home Premium Edition have not been tested or qualified by Digidesign, there are currently no known issues with Vista Home and Home Premium 32-bit operating systems and Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 compared to the supported Windows Vista Business or Ultimate Edition operating systems.

      Windows Vista SP1 — Not Qualified
      Please note that Pro Tools LE and M-Powered are currently not qualified with Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. Digidesign will announce Vista Service Pack 1 qualification with Pro Tools as soon as all testing is complete.
      Please do not install Windows Vista SP1 on any Pro Tools system until it has been officially qualified by Digidesign.
      Total System RAM

      • 1GB minimum required for Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 – More Recommended
      • More RAM increases overall system and Pro Tools performance
      • Refer to motherboard manufacturer for supported RAM version

      More RAM highly recommended for sessions with:

      • Large amounts of audio
      • High edit density
      • Large DigiBase databases
      • A large number of installed plug-ins
      • Options like DigiTranslator
      • Elastic Time enabled on multiple tracks
      • Simultaneous use with other applications

      Note that maximum track count may vary depending on CPU, OS, number of edits, drives, or other factors. See additional requirements for Music Production Toolkit option at the bottom of this page.
      Audio Record/Playback Drive Requirements

      Additional Requirements

      Monitor & Graphics

      Performance Guidelines

      • Recording to the system startup drive is not recommended or supported
      • Although limited recording and playback of audio tracks may be possible using the startup drive, one or more separate dedicated audio hard drive(s) is required for maximum performance and track count (7200 rpm or faster)
      • Dual processor machines may need to have network cards disabled for best performance

      Known Issues

      • Pro Tools does not support RAID technology. Please do not activate this feature on any Pro Tools recording drives.
      • Laptops users may need to disable integrated wireless networking
      • Computers with motherboards containing SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems) chipsets are not supported
      • Computers with Intel Pentium III and older Intel processors are not supported
      • Computers with AMD Turion, AMD Sempron, or Intel Celeron processors are not supported
      • USB drives are not recommended or supported for recording
      • ATI Radeon™ Xpress 200 Series chipsets are not recommended for use with either AMD or Intel processors
      • Pro Tools Does Not Support Sleep Mode
        • In the Mac OS X Apple Menu or Applications folder, open System Preferences. Launch Energy Saver, click the Sleep tab, and disable all Sleep features. Set "Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive" to Never. Do not manually put your computer to sleep when running Pro Tools.
      Music Production Toolkit
      Maximum Track Count Information
      The purchase of the Music Production Toolkit option expands a Pro Tools M-Powered system from 32 total voiceable tracks to up to 48 mono or 48 stereo tracks. Note that maximum track count may vary depending on CPU, OS, number of edits, drives, or other factors. To help achieve maximum track count, Digidesign recommends the following:
      • 2.5GB total system RAM
      • 2 or more qualified hard drives dedicated for audio record and playback
    • Sonar

      System Requirement

      Operating System*
      Windows XP
      Windows XP/Vista (32 and 64-bit), can be run  on Mac OS X with Boot Camp

      Processor Speed
      Intel® Pentium® 4 1.3 GHz  or AMD  Athlon™ XP 1500+ or higher
      Intel® Pentium® 4 2.8 GHz [EM64T]
      AMD Athlon™ 64 2800+ or higher

      256 MB
      1 GB or higher

      Graphics (resolution, color depth)
      1024×768, 16-bit color
      1280×960, 24-bit color or higher

      Hard Disk Space
      100 MB for full program installation
      6 GB

      Hard Disk Type
      EIDE/Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA

      MIDI Interface**


      Audio Interface***
      WDM- or ASIO-compatible****

      Media Drive*****

      DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD+/- RW Drive

      * SONAR does not officially support Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP x64
      ** Required to connect external MIDI devices
      ***Required for audio playback
      **** See for a complete list of recommended audio devices
      ***** SONAR is presented on DVD media. DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD+/- RW Drive required for installation.

      The reason to at least have Pro Tools is compatibility.  We can make a recording today in Philly using Pro Tools, and you can go to many countries in the world, and their studios will probably also have Pro Tools.  But, even if you don’t use Pro Tools, you can simply export the individual WAV files of the session and still use them in ANY program.

      At the end of the day it comes down to what the engineer is comfortable with. Good Recordings Are Not Determined By The Software Used.  Today’s Audio Engineers Must Focus More On The Craft, Art & Science of Audio Engineering, And Less On What Everyone Says You MUST Use To Be Good.  This And This Alone Will Lead To Better Recordings And Greater Respect For The Craft. So tell me what do you think?

      3 thoughts on “Which is better Pro Tools or Sonar

      1. well Sonar was voted this years best production software (or somthn along those lines) by a popular music production magazine, so that must mean something. Obviously the experts are looking past the hoo-ha of advertisement as well. I use Pro tools at my studies however, and, of course, it\’s really good – so much options – but it\’s so damn pricey, and for every single molecule digidesign make, we have to pay for it. Honestly, it\’s all in the creativity of the artist, nothing more. I reached radio (triple J) chosen by Silverchair, back in the day when I only had (then) Sonic Foundry Acid, and Fruityloops, so I\’m proof of that. Anyway, I do like Protools, and surprisingly, the recording studio I joined recently use Sonar. I find both good in their own ways.

      2. I thank you for that comment for most of my new clients think that I use protools, which I don\’t. Not to knock it or anything but its just that I feel more confortable using Sonar.

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