nsmadsen

15 Good DAWs

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I hear more and more game companies using Reaper for all SFX-related. They write their own scripts to make it even more efficient. PT or similar is still used by them for some linear media stuff like cut-scenes but far less than before.

 

I've used Reaper now for a few years and I just love the audio editing easiness in it and apparently it's been a wise decision as it might be needed in future. I've also used Cubase and Pro Tools but not anymore.

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I hear more and more game companies using Reaper for all SFX-related. They write their own scripts to make it even more efficient. PT or similar is still used by them for some linear media stuff like cut-scenes but far less than before.

 

I've used Reaper now for a few years and I just love the audio editing easiness in it and apparently it's been a wise decision as it might be needed in future. I've also used Cubase and Pro Tools but not anymore.

In my time last year I had a rough time figuring out Reaper. I just couldn't figure out how to do composing with it. I had to REALLY dig to find where the midi CC options were hiding, and when I found them they wouldn't respond with the VST plugin I was using.

 

I did my most serious work with Cubase which seemed to have options galore. It took some doing to figure it out (as my first DAW for complex work) but didn't feel impossible like when I was trying to figure out Reaper.

 

 


 

Each DAW has it own strengths and weaknesses.

 

Yeah, I'm struggling to get specifics on what they are. ;) I got pretty used to Cubase Pro but I also feel new enough to wonder "what am I missing" or what I don't know. It sounds like people have various experiences and found their personal favorite spot.

 

I suppose my ears should only really perk up when someone declares that one DAW can clearly do something that another can't. Or, alternatively, could there be some benefit to using what's popular (or at least being familiar with it) for the sake of communicating with other people in the business?

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I'd say if you're using a Mac just use Logic Pro. Of course you can use whatever you want, but you won't find better quality software than that.

I don't use a Mac and I bought Reaper. It's great and can do (nearly?) everything Logic can, but it has a pretty steep learning curve for a beginner. But if you're in this for the long run I'd say just go for it.

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I myself use Acid Music Studio 10.0. Now admittedly it's not exactly the most stable DAW out there (it crashes frequently), and it's U.I. looks like something straight outta Windows 98. But it's cheap ($60 USD or so), and easy to use.

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I am surprised at the lack of support for FL Studio. I have the producer edition(about $200 at the time I believe), and it has proven itself to me over my time of ownership. At first I kind of had a trivial curiosity about music production(not music itself!), but as I took more interest in and and actually invested some time into it, Fruity loops has proven more than capable.

 

Its not just for techno or beats!(even though it is a bit geared for that...)

 

Oh and VST support is phenomenal. I have actually purchased(expensive =() a couple of professional VST suites with no issues at all using them in FL studio.

Edited by ExErvus

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I love working on Propellerheads Reason. It has improved and evolved over the years...the workflow is very smooth and it makes me focus more on creating music and tweaking my own patches. I spend more time arranging and sequencing (which is what we all should be doing) and not spending too much time with choosing which VSTs and plugins to use for a specific track like with other DAWs...it uses Rack Extensions instead of VST, AU, or RTAS. I'm not much into Rack Extensions. The default sound library and patches is enough for me to find sounds, loops, samples, and instruments that I need.

 

Lately, I discovered Maschine MK2 from Native Instruments. The hardware-software integration is seamless, you can use it standalone or as a plug-in on your favourite DAW.

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To be honest, when it comes to making music, I've just stuck to Ableton. I learned the ins-and-outs at university, so I've grown fairly attached to it, and it allows me to make music fairly quickly and intuitively. I've definitely wanted to use other DAW's, I'll probably monitor this thread so when I've got some spare time after my current project I can use some others. (: 

 

Oh, I almost forgot, I have had a fair bit of experience with Pro Tools. I think that's another one that is useful for anyone to learn as it's industry standard.

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When it comes to music, I'm a Sony fan. I'm currently interested in Sound Forge Pro 11, though I know that it will set me back a little bit. But the suite is loaded with features and tools. Acid Pro 7 is also a good option and a little cheaper. Both offer a 30-day free trial, but I'm not really sure if that is long enough to really test out the software. Thoughts? Is anyone using either software? 

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I don't know anyone who uses Sound Forge these days - it was the go-to editing tool a decade or so back, if I remember correctly, but for musical purposes I would have thought one of the more mainstream choices would be better. But 30 days is long enough, providing you can make the time to use it. It's hard to make an assessment without comparing it to something else, though. For years I was a Cakewalk/Sonar guy, and I was very productive with it, while learning to work around its weaknesses. But recently I felt the weaknesses were too much, changed DAWs, and have been amazed at the increase in my productivity.

 

Example 1: editing drum performances in Sonar. They posted an official blog entry (or 3) about it that showed how laborious the task is - yet forum readers loved it because previously they thought it was basically impossible! Compare that to Reaper, where you download one set of input macros and then the whole task can be summed up in 2 lines of text - because it's literally that simple.

 

Example 2: cutting/pasting/moving data in Sonar. Sonar is, these days, aimed at the recording engineer. They expect a user to record a musician playing a take through an entire track, then they tweak it, and the work is finished. The actual process of songwriting has been largely sidelined, which means that anyone who tries to use Sonar as a scratch pad, writing pieces and then shuffling them around in the track view, runs into a ton of problems - unwanted crossfades, superfluous take lanes created, the lasso not always picking up all the bits you want to move, etc. They know the situation is bad so they promised ripple editing back in June as a way of being able to move things about reliably. 5 monthly updates later, still no sign of ripple editing or any fixes to the editing situation. Meanwhile, I moved over to Studio One 3 (not the catchiest name) where the Arranger Track lets me move things so easily I am literally 10x more efficient at trying out new arrangements than I was with Sonar. Even when they add ripple editing, it won't compare to that. But if I'd never tried Studio One, I could have been grateful for the fix, without realising how much better things could be.

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You're right, a trial is only really as helpful as being able to compare the software or product with something else. So you would recommend checking out Studio One then? 

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The best answer will depend on what kind of tasks you want to perform - i.e. what sort of music you'll write, which instruments you'll use, whether you'll record live performances, work in staff or tablature view, automate synths and effects, whether you write in the DAW or outside of it, etc. If you have an idea of your answer to those questions then the link in the first post in this thread should help you at least narrow down the decision.

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I'm all about Logic! For me it's a perfect blend of being able to compose, and mix in the same daw. 
The workflow in midi is absolutely fantastic! Automation is as easy as it can be.

One thing I must note though, is that Studio One 3, and especially after the new 3.5 update, is becoming my main thing for mixing, and mastering. That daw is simply just fantastic for that purpose! They are gonna replace Pro Tools for audio editing no doubt.

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On 17/08/2012 at 11:39 PM, nsmadsen said:

I'm not going to get into which is the "best" but this is a good starting list for anyone new to music/audio production and wants to know what options are out there. Most (if not all) of these programs feature some kind of trial or demo mode and I HIGHLY recommend taking a few out for a spin to see which jives with you the best.

[url="http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/the-15-best-daw-software-apps-in-the-world-today-238905/1"]http://www.musicrada...-today-238905/1[/url]

And remember: the only thing that really matters in the end is the music. So if you can create the best work fastest on a $50 DAW, then go for it.

I've always been a user of lower end editors. Personally I use Logic Pro for multi-tracking, and Wavelab or two track editing. I've also used Adobe Audition on and off but I find Wavelab nice and easy

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Something neat to mention about Reaper is that its piano roll isn't restricted to twelve keys per octave, so you can make really wild microtonal music with it. It's not something most people would necessarily do, but it's fun.

Something that is NOT neat to mention about Reaper is that it doesn't have a native clip view like what Ableton has. Without it, you'll have more luck writing things down in a notation program like Sibelius and importing it to Reaper, but that's a huge pain (and Sibelius is pricey). However, you can download Playtime for Reaper and then get a clip view.

The general rule, from what I understand, is that Ableton has a good workflow and a powerful sampler (and Max for Live is fun), FL has a bad workflow but extremely powerful synths (Harmor and Sytrus are incredibly versatile), Reason is a trip and barely even counts as a DAW in the traditional sense because everything is native to Reason and it doesn't play nice with other VSTs (but it's a powerful music making program), Renoise is great if you're a masochist who likes making music via trackers (like programmers in the 80s), and personally, I would use Reaper for microtonal music and absolutely nothing else (A lot of my stuff is pretty experimental).

I haven't tried Logic/Cubase/Pro Tools/etc, so I can't comment on them, but I do understand that they're a lot better for mixing tracks than Ableton is, so if you have the inclination to do this, you should create your tracks in one DAW and then mix them in another.

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Hi guys.

Some of you have any experience with a DAW running at Linux?

I've been using Linux for many years and currently I'm writing a article about music recording/production using Linux and  your experience will be very useful.

Best regards.

Edited by furansa

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