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15 Good DAWs

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#21 Jaan Doe   Members   

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 10:37 PM

Cockos Reaper for me



#22 JoshCzoski   Members   

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 04:23 PM

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.



#23 nsmadsen   Moderators   

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 01:16 PM

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.


Nathan Madsen
Nate (AT) MadsenStudios (DOT) Com
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

Cedar Falls, IA

#24 CompositionalComplexities   Members   

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:48 AM

I simply, and essentially need to add that Reason has become a more sophisticated software compared to previous versions. 


D.J. Hill - www.djhillmusic.com


#25 nsmadsen   Moderators   

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 08:32 PM

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.


Nathan Madsen
Nate (AT) MadsenStudios (DOT) Com
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

Cedar Falls, IA

#26 Kasu-_-   Members   

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:00 AM

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.



#27 JoshCzoski   Members   

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 01:29 PM

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?



#28 MES Records   Members   

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Posted 02 June 2016 - 05:03 PM

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.



#29 Sanpee   Members   

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:36 PM

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.



#30 ExErvus   Members   

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 03:32 PM

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, 20 June 2016 - 03:34 PM.


#31 cardinalzen   Members   

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 03:53 AM

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.



#32 Harrishun   Members   

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 08:35 PM

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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#33 DigitalNomad   Members   

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 02:26 AM

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? 



#34 Kylotan   Moderators   

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 04:12 AM

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.



#35 DigitalNomad   Members   

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 04:23 AM

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? 



#36 Kylotan   Moderators   

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 04:17 AM

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.