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Topic: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

  1. #1

    Cool DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    I have some extra cash and it’s time to upgrade my sequencing program. For years I’ve used Voyetra’s Record Producer Deluxe. It’s done everything I’ve needed when it has come to editing and recording. However, with the upgrade to Kontakt 2, I can no longer record with it (RPD does not accept plug-ins), so it’s time to buy a new program. I’ve checked through the forum for information and specifically looked through the replies given on the poll Gary started a long time ago of what people use for sequencers/DAWs. The majority use Cakewalk Sonar/Home Studio with Cubasis SX/Nuendo taking second. Now, I’m not sure if that’s Sonar 7, the Home Studio edition or the XL version of Home Studio. XL is more in my price range, though as a church choir director I could get a discount on the studio edition on the new Sonar 8. In any case, I need a program that is not going to take a long time to learn. I have too many projects I’m working on to put a lot of time into learning a new DAW. I do use Finale for most of my writing, but I’d like a decent sequencing program to get a final recording. I have a HP dual-core machine running XP with 4 gigs of ram and 4 hard drives (lots of storage space). Whatever help you all could send my way I would really appreciate it.

    Serenity Musician (Gary A.)

    HP Pavilion Elite, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 12 gig ram, 1 terabyte hd., E-MU 0404, Korg K61, Finale 2012, Sonar X2 Producer

  2. #2

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    www.reaper.fm . Reaper is shareware, so you can test it unlimited and it's actually getting better every day! Download is a tiny 3 MB or so, and it's quite strong actually and, for the price given, it can compete with any pro sequencer out there. It handls midi and audio as well.

    The other idea, would be to get Sonar trial version and see what you think for yourself. For a safer choice that is.

    Cubase does not have a trial version, and although it is what I use, I don't know what to tell you. I love it, but this is what I've goten used to.

    If you use Finale, why not keep using it, now that Finale has full VST support (and for quite some years now that is), and various plug-ins, including K2, work simmesly on it? GPO is also a part of Finale, so you coudln't go wrong. Of course it can't handle audio files, yet, but it still is one powerful tool and you already know how to use it.

  3. #3

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    Hi Gary,

    It sounds like you're leaning towards Cakewalk products-- a fine choice. Both the HS and Sonar lines will probably do all you need, if you're planning to work solely with KP2 and midi. If you're planning to work with a lot of audio or use other plug-ins with KP2 (expandability), you might consider getting S8 for the tidied-up audio engine. The workflow for each is similar-- HS might be a little quicker from the ground up just by its interface design. I'm not sure what the price difference would be for you, but you should be good either way.

    Also, don't knock Steinberg out of the race yet (unless you don't like dongles).

    Hope that helps a bit,

  4. #4

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    Greetings Lily,
    Well, if you get 10 responses expect 10 different answers!

    nikolas has made some great suggestions. I will add this. As a Cubase user I can wholly recommend it for all sorts of reasons, but their MIDI implementation is the best I've used on Windows. Just edit in place brings Cubase above the rest. There are so many tools and methods for massaging MIDI data it is almost ridiculous.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  5. #5

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    Hello Gary,

    I'm a Finale and Sonar Producer user and find Sonar to be excellent. The later versions of Sonar (versions 7 or 8) have just about every MIDI editing facility.

    Although I did trial Cubase, I will have nothing to do with any application that uses the dongle. This is just my personal preference of course.

    The best advice is to try to get hold of trial versions to see which works for you. Another suggestion is to spend some time in the forums as this often speaks volumes about the product, the company and user experiences.

    Obviously there will be a learning curve whichever way you go. When I first installed Sonar, the Finale/Sonar users in our forums were so helpful as were the Sonar forums.

    I'm sure you'll land the one that works for you. Good luck
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  6. #6

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    For pc I'd say cubase for sure. Its midi editing is the best available (in my opinion). If you go mac then id say logic (what i use).

    Reaper is good, but a bit 'odd' in its functioning. It works tho...

    Just my opinion.

  7. #7

    Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    Hello, Gary

    Since your current sequencer "doesn't accept plugins"--(really!?--whew)--then it's definitely time you get a current VST-capable program.

    I've worked up some rather complex projects with Sonar Home Studio 4XL and now 6XL. The "XL" by the way gives you several nice soft synth plugins, so it's well worth the extra $50 from the basic version.

    I feel that many people over-buy when they get into Sonar. So often I see people jumping right into the expensive flagship versions like Producer before they're at all ready for all the extra bells and whistles.

    While those bigger Sonar programs do bring you more goodies, I don't feel hampered in the least sticking with HS6XL - It's my hearty recommendation to you.

    Randy B.

  8. #8

    Talking Re: DAW/Sequencer Suggestions

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. What an interesting list, almost evenly divided between Sonar and Cubasis. I do not necessarily have a preference either way. I am more concerned with having to jump through several hoops to figure out what I'm doing. Ease of editing is crucial to me. That's what I loved about Music Producer Deluxe. Editing notes or any midi functions was a breeze. The only way I can use MPD now is to use virtual midi cables. I still hear the tune and do editing as I had previously done, but I can't record tracks anymore. I end up having to record the entire piece at one time into an audio recorder and hope for the best (which is generally not too good). Randy, no one was more disappointed than I was that I couldn't use plug-ins with MPD. I wrote Voyetra twice begging and pleading with them to come up with an updated version, but they seem content with what they offer.

    By the way, I would love to see new updated tutorials on the main Garritan Website for all of the programs (Hint...hint!!!). Nikolas, I will continue to use Finale and hope to upgrade to Finale 2009 before too long. I'm really anxious to experience Aria. I do hope they did something about the Midi editing on '09. It's awful on the older versions.

    Kevin and Ben, I have worked with the version of Cubasis that came with GPO so I suppose it would be in my best interest to give it another try (that's where I wish the tutorials were updated for Kontakt 2).

    I have tried the trial versions of the different Sonar products so if I go that way I will probably go with Sonar Home Studio XL Version 7. The price is very reasonable at Sweetwater (even better on Ebay). Now, if someone would just come up with a tutorial that would be great!Michael, if I go that route I will definitely look into the Sonar forums. I know the forums here have helped me immensely with getting around Kontakt 2.

    Jon, I don't know that I need anything as sophisticated as Sonar 7, though I can get it at a great price ($199) from Ebay as I am a director of music at my church and can get the academic discount, so it's very tempting. Even Sonar 6 is selling for under $100. If I had a Mac (I may someday), I honestly would go with Digital Performer. I cut my teeth with sequencers using Performer back in my Hal Leonard days and I loved how easy it was to use. I wish they'd come out with a PC version.

    Again, thanks, everyone, all for your help. I'll report back what I've decided on. Take care.

    Serenity Musician (Gary A.)

    HP Pavilion Elite, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, 12 gig ram, 1 terabyte hd., E-MU 0404, Korg K61, Finale 2012, Sonar X2 Producer

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