I have been Focusrite for years and recently upgraded to the 2nd Gen models. As far a hardware goes there isn't a huge difference in quality other than the mic being much more clear and responsive. I have been using Cubase as my go-to for a while as that is what originally came with my hardware. I decided to give pro tools a try and I think it's much easier to learn. I don't know as much with it yet but I doubt it will take long to get used to it.