nsmadsen

15 Good DAWs

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Reaper has been getting so much good press and praise that I'm tempted to at least download the demo and give it a try. I've talked to a few people who have started using it for game audio due to the ReaScript feature (an option that allows users to run python scripting within the DAW). Sounds interesting for sound designers who can also code and are looking for alternative ways to do implementation.

 

Personally, I use Logic Studio (for music composition and sound effects) and Pro Tools (for recording, editing, mixing and mastering).

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I personally have had the best experience with Cubase. Excellent advanced MIDI capabilities, and it works really well for scoring to picture.

I heard that Reason is lacking when it comes to scoring to picture? Or maybe that was Reaper.... i always get those two mixed up.

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I've used a lot of DAW and I chose Reason but I'm not sure how well it will work with video games. My bro and business partner loves Ableton Lives and says its very easy to use and mix in.

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I use Reaper mostly and it works quite well. Ableton is also very nice if you want to test your interactive audio and be able to change the instruments or melodies on the fly. 

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We are working mainly with sound design for both video games and movies. And we love using Logic Pro 9 for this kind of work. Yes, it has it flaws on some points but in the end it has worked perfectly with no problem everytime!

 

Have also worked in: Cubase, Pro Tools, Ableton, Audition, Reaper and more. But never liked the feeling when working in them.

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my 5 cents on the topic:

 

these are the DAWs i'd personally suggest, should anyone ask me what to use for (or atleast get started with) music production.

there are plenty more worthy candidates, but these are the ones i'd narrow it down to.

 

old (as in mature), bit expensive but tried and true industry go-to's with a more traditional workflow:

- Logic

- Cubase

- Pro-Tools

 

less mature, less pricey, more or less traditional workflow:

- Reaper

- Studio One

 

less mature, less pricey, different take on the workflow, emphasis on ease of use, quick prototyping, jamming and live perfomances:

(although FL Studio is a bit messy at first glance, luckily there's tons of tutorials on youtube for it)

- Ableton Live

- FL Studio

- Bitwig

 

1. the more traditional DAWs usually take a bit longer time to get comfortable in.

2. less traditional DAWs, due to their workflow design being geared towards ease of use, usually take shorter amount of time to get comfortable in.

3. cheaper (in DAW universe atleast) doesn't necessarily mean a major difference in quality, although amount of / quality of plugins and added material vary with price tag.

4. mastering how to use one particular DAW adds way more to your production quality than the actual choice of DAW does.

5. mastering different aspects of several DAWs is a good idea, as they excel in different areas.

    Ableton Live has a great workflow, but not so good mixing, Logic on the other hand is great for mixing and mastering.

6. best choice of DAW is _always_ the one that makes you most happy working in, no matter which features the competition has that your DAW lacks  :)

 

good luck, and happy sequencing!

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Sonar is my love ;) And nothing else matters. Though, Reaper is very good, too.

Edited by IK-Sound

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I highly recommend Logic Pro X for people getting started with composition. It includes very high quality instruments which make it possible to compose entire orchestral pieces without having to buy extra instrument packs. I also swear by it's stock plugins. I am an audio engineer and I have used many top-of-the-line plugins, and often times I have found myself gravitating towards some of the stock plugins in Logic for certain applications. For the low price of $200, you can't beat it.

 

I will say that for straight audio recording, especially in high pressure sessions, I often prefer Protools because I find it to be more stable. I have had occasional frustrating glitches in Logic that can get in the way of workflow. Logic X is still fairly new though so I'm sure these issues are being dealt with. Overall, Logic is my favorite DAW.

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If you have the money, Pro Tools is the way to go. There's a good reason a nice Pro Tools system will cost you about $5,000 more than the next most expensive setup on this list. Don't get me wrong I've tried PreSonus and Reaper and they're great programs, but it's like comparing MS Paint to Adobe Photoshop. If you're a great musician you're going to make great music even if you're using garage band, but you'll always be able to do it better with Pro Tools.

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I use about 2 year Logic Pro X by Apple and want to say that is really full of options DAW. And it has a lot of helpful stuff for creating music for video games, trailer and so on. Earlier of it i used Pro Tools and it's high quality product, but the Logic gives you more flexibility. imho

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I've avoided the ProTools hype and disappointment myself, and have been a happy Nuendo user. We've either had Nuendo or Reaper in-house. 

 

Quite a versatile tool I use it for post, sound design and composition.

 

I didn't even know you could compose in ProTools - last time I used it - the midi support was horrible :)

Edited by GroovyOne

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Had experience with most DAWs and found Ableton Live to be the most conducive to the creative process.  Add to this the huge array of possibilities with Max for Live and Live has become quite a powerful tool over the years.

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I've been wondering how one particularly compares one DAW to another. I started with MixCraft 6 which was really easy to get into. I tried Reaper a bit but couldn't figure out how to get at the piano roll and/or the midi cc options for the longest time, and then when I did, I couldn't figure out how to get them to work.

 

I ended up working with Cubase 8.5 Pro and I sure don't know what that left to be desired. Expression maps, tempo tracks . . . well it seemed to do everything I needed with high-quality VST software (EW Hollywood and PLAY software).

 

I never used it for audio recording/editing though, so I don't know about that.

 

I just used it at my job, so I wonder if (in the future) I might be interested in a different one, though, if there's some sort of potential for improvement. I mean, I know some DAWs are more than twice the cost of Cubase and it all just makes me wonder what I don't know about how to pick a good DAW.

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I equate different DAWs to different car makes and models. Some of different features, some label things different but, at their core, they all do the same thing. And it largely comes down to the user's preferences and personal needs.

It's never a bad thing to get to know several DAWs. Myself, I work with:

  • Pro Tools 12 Native (when doing a lot of audio editing mainly),
  • Logic Pro X (this is my main DAW that I do composition, sound design and mixing in),
  • Reason 6.5 (I sometimes write in Reason or use Rewire to bring in sounds I love from Reason into Logic).

 

Each DAW has it own strengths and weaknesses.

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Pro Tools had made leaps and bounds of progress when it comes to MIDI support. But it's still VERY far behind the curve of other major DAWs. Where Pro Tools really excels at is audio editing. It's just so stream lined and effective. Better than any other DAW I've used and I've used a lot of them. Having said that, Avid's business model and the way they nickel and dime you is ridiculous.

 

I hear about more and more top list composers leaving Pro Tools for their actual work and using Cubase or Logic Pro. Then they'll use a Pro Tools rig to lay back the stems so the music editor(s) can work with a PT session on the sound stage.

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