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Topic: What do you like about your DAW?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb What do you like about your DAW?

    Here's a topic I'd like to hear about from many of you. What is it about the DAW you use that you like? What made you decide one DAW over another? Are there certain features you liked? Are there certains features you wished you had? What's everyone's thoughts?

    Gary A.
    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: What do you like about your DAW?

    I've been with Cakewalk (now using SONAR) since I switched from Passport Designs Mastertracks Pro in the 80's. What I like about it is that it stays out of my way, is intuitive, does the job and rarely crashes. It's also in constant development.

    I think I've been with it since Windows 3.1. Finale as well.

    I went with PCs because I could not afford MACs when I started. I ran Mastertracks Pro on an Apple IIe, however. I loved my Apple but couldn't get the money together for a MAC so I've been a lifelong PC user.

    A long road and a happy one with Cakewalk (SONAR).
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  3. #3

    Re: What do you like about your DAW?

    I can see it would have been nice to have got into DAWs in the early days and learn as they evolved.

    But as a newcomer to this game, the well established top end programs seemed too diffcult to get to grips with to start off.

    I've cut my teeth on the free MULAB software, and bought a full licence once I got stuck with the 8 track limit and could see be able to get into it enough to justify the cost.

    Having upgraded my PC, I find that MULAB doesn't recognice multiprocessors, so I'm having to look at the fully functional demo of Cuckos' Reaper, which does seem a little more complicated to start off with, and I don't think I'd have done at all well with it without the understanding that MULAB's "simpler" interface and routing concepts ... but then it is showing itself to have a lot better editing facilities at least than MULAB, more comprehensive documentation and wider user base (giving it a more helpful forum). Seems affordable enough to see me through a next level of learning, though many rate it as highly as the Logic.

    I'm a heavy PC user in the daytime, so didn't want to have to cope with earning about MACs as well, though if ever funds allow and I already know what I'm doing software wise, that would seem to be an ideal platform.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dominick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Chicago North side

    Re: What do you like about your DAW?

    Since I got Reaper a few months ago, I've been playing with it rewired to Reason and GPO. Sonar and Cubase always seemed cluttered to me, while Reaper's interface seems more elegant. Although Reaper takes some time to learn, it has excellent forum member support to help you figure things out. I especially like its variety of customizing features and its sequencer. For only $60, you get a great value and it is constantly upgrading, to expand and improve in functionality. It also takes up little space and doesn't seem to need much CPU for itself. I doubt I will ever use more than a small fraction of its features.
    Wider is better.

  5. #5

    Re: What do you like about your DAW?

    I agree that REAPER is great. The main DAWs I've used and own are Sonar and Pro Tools. I have the most experience with Pro Tools, and while I love the workflow in Pro-Tools, there are enough bugs and performance issues (they are using an old code base) that I'm looking to switch my primary DAW to Cakewalk or Cubase.

    I like Pro Tools because I can blast through the editing of a complex session... until it crashes. I also like the knowledge that I use a tool called "ProTools" (somewhat misleading for the LE and Mpowered versions) because it makes me feel like a pro.

    I like Sonar for the 64 bit audio support, and because I like the friendly and interesting sound of the words "Cakewalk Sonar". I imagine a creature with a crecent-moon shaped head trying to emit sonar signals while walking on the moon (his Sonar is not working) so instead he walks into a large chocolate cake and then sinks deep enough into the cake such that he has a medium for his sonar to work in... and then he emits sonar signals to navigate the moist extraterrestrial cake (that somehow is not frozen).

    I like Cubase (which I don't have) because the workflow transfers to Nuendo (which I can't afford).

    I would probably really like Logic if I tried it, but intuitively I don't like Logic because I prefer intuition and rationalization to logic. There is only a small subset of problems that logic can solve. Logic is tedious and boring when stacked next to intuition and quantum mechanics.

    I like Pyramix because big fancy studios use it. I did get to use it once for a mastering project in one of my courses, and it was very neat and powerful. I also like the word "Pyramix".

    I like REAPER because I am a creature of the night who suffers from complexophia, and the grim name adds a lovely touch to my creative intentions (actually, I've yet to do a proper project in REAPER). I also like it because there many different options for formant correct pitch shifting, and the settings/options go very deep (complexophiles love to complicate things even when not necessary--a prime example is this post).
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." – Henry Thoreau

  6. #6

    Re: What do you like about your DAW?

    Well my 'grown up' DAW is Cubase, but I don't know that there's anything I like about it, more than I would like Logic or Sonar.

    On the other hand I absolutely love FLStudio. I got in when it was FruityLoops 1, had just 4 tracks, and was nothing more than a toy for creating 4 beat percussion loops. Now it has some very cool toys and features, but the best thing is how immediate it is. As a teacher I can get a beginner student to create a decent dance loop in about 3 minutes. With Cubase 3 minutes is where I'm just showing them how to create a new project.

  7. #7

    Re: What do you like about your DAW?

    things that make you think!

    I use Sonar (v8.5.3), Finale (v2010), and Sound Forge (v9) as my main tools.

    It isn't perfect, but it's pretty close for my way of working, which is tied very tightly to old fashioned tape deck work flow and philosophies.

    There are things about DP that I really like, and one of these days I will add a Mac to the studio to gain access to DP and M. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with my tools.

    Why? Mostly, I suspect, because I've been using them now for almost 15 years, and I am comfortable with them. Don't discount familiarity as a valuable factor. The combination of tools lets me compose, track, and mix pretty much as I always have, another issue of familiarity perhaps?

    I do very little editing of audio data, nothing I would not have attempted with a razor blade 20 years ago. Which should not suggest that I won't use time and pitch correction for creative effect, or even every once in a while to salvage an otherwise stellar take (though more often than not I'll do a punch in for that<G>!)

    MIDI is another story, and truthfully nothing I've seen can compare to Bars&Pipes Professional - but it was a MIDI only environment, and that provided some freedom to do MIDI 'right' I suspect.

    How I got here - might be material...

    Started with a C64 and the SCI plug-in cartridge, moved up to the Amiga fairly early on (Amiga 1000 was my first). Stuck with Amiga for a very long time, probably too long, until about 1996 I think, the company had disappeared before that.

    At that time Apple was in a bit of trouble, and having orphaned one computer environment I went with Windows because I was reasonably certain it wasn't going away anytime soon<G>! I also had a number of friends who were already deep into the Windows marketplace, which didn't hurt.

    At this point I have quite a bit of time, learning, and of course money tied up in my DAW. It would take something quite remarkable to get me to budge - either my tools no longer met my requirements or someone came up with something dramatically different, and better<G>!
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise

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