DAW Wars! - Change my mind

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markismusic
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DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by markismusic » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:43 pm

Don't let the title fool you. :D
All for the sake of friendly conversation and really just a chance for me to learn something about other DAWs.

I've been under the impression that all DAWs are created equal, meaning you can't get a better sound by using ProTools over Cubase (or vice versa).
Each program can do HD recording of live instruments as well as MIDI, so it all comes down to the operation of the program.

I used Logic and ProTools while acquiring my audio engineering degree but ended up going with PT regularly.
Nothing against any other DAWs, ProTools just made the most sense to me at the time.
Never really had a chance to use Cubase...

I've heard Cubase is better for MIDI and ProTools is better for live instruments, but if I can essentially do the same things in each program (pitch changes, automation, same plugins, etc.), what makes Cubase better with MIDI? Is it just faster to perform the same task in general? E.G. in a Taxi TV episode, I think it was Stephen Baird said he likes Cubase for MIDI since he didn't have to bring up a plugin for something small like a pitch bend.

To be 100% fair, I like most people come with a bias. I don't think I can give a truly fair assessment, since I would have to learn all DAWs and see which one works best for me, my style/genres, and my workflow. I see it like your favourite flavour of ice cream ... lol, how can you tell which one is best for you unless I've tried them all? Bad metaphor but gets the point across.

Just looking for some insider opinions.
Thanks in advance!

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by ttully » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:38 pm

Hey Mark,

I have been using ProTools for over 20 years....it's all I have ever used....besides analogue mixers.
I also do 95% midi stuff....


My 2 cents worth!


Tim

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by Len911 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:47 pm

It's like asking which automobile. Function and price are probably the two biggest variables. There are "full" featured type daws that have nearly everything but the kitchen sink, the advantages are that if you do both midi, audio and sampling, mastering, etc, they might be cheaper on the whole, however if you are likely to buy mostly 3rd party vsts, maybe not so much. There might be people who mainly use samples, and they might find acid more appealing, or people who only do audio
and they might think Harrison mixbuss might be. If you have a mac, Logic. Some people might use 2 different daws, some might only need a notation program and a vst or other sound source. I can't change your mind if I don't know what's on your mind :lol:
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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by cosmicdolphin » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:15 am

The best DAW is the one you know inside out. I have used Cakewalk/Sonar since the 90s so I know where everything is and many keyboard shortcuts. When Gibson shut it down I tried a project or two in a bunch of different DAWs and didn't really take to any of them. Studio One came closest.

So I was happy when Bandlab bought the Sonar IP and employed the head Dev. Then shocked when they announced that it was free to use with no strings and continued updates. Still can't get my head around that one.

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by markismusic » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:29 am

ttully wrote:Hey Mark,

I have been using ProTools for over 20 years....it's all I have ever used....besides analogue mixers.
I also do 95% midi stuff....


My 2 cents worth!


Tim
Thanks Tim! Good to know you do mostly midi.
I have a feeling i'll be a lifelong ProTools user. Been with them since before AVID bought them out!
Last edited by markismusic on Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by markismusic » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:44 am

Len911 wrote:It's like asking which automobile. Function and price are probably the two biggest variables. There are "full" featured type daws that have nearly everything but the kitchen sink, the advantages are that if you do both midi, audio and sampling, mastering, etc, they might be cheaper on the whole, however if you are likely to buy mostly 3rd party vsts, maybe not so much. There might be people who mainly use samples, and they might find acid more appealing, or people who only do audio
and they might think Harrison mixbuss might be. If you have a mac, Logic. Some people might use 2 different daws, some might only need a notation program and a vst or other sound source. I can't change your mind if I don't know what's on your mind :lol:

I'm definitely a ProTools man! haha I do a healthy mix of live instruments and MIDI.
I was more referring to the full feature, high-end DAWs like ProTools, Cubase, Logic, Ableton Live, ..heck even FL Studio lol

I've used ACID and I found it to be like MS paint compared to adobe photoshop, really a night and day difference if you want to go deep into production.
I know lots of people with Macs that prefer PT over Logic as well, whatever works for the individual I guess!
Last edited by markismusic on Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by markismusic » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:24 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:The best DAW is the one you know inside out. I have used Cakewalk/Sonar since the 90s so I know where everything is and many keyboard shortcuts. When Gibson shut it down I tried a project or two in a bunch of different DAWs and didn't really take to any of them. Studio One came closest.

So I was happy when Bandlab bought the Sonar IP and employed the head Dev. Then shocked when they announced that it was free to use with no strings and continued updates. Still can't get my head around that one.

Presonus Studio One? I don't think i've seen anyone (up north) using that one! I've heard good things online.
Last edited by markismusic on Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by Len911 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:54 pm

I've heard Cubase is better for MIDI and ProTools is better for live instruments, but if I can essentially do the same things in each program (pitch changes, automation, same plugins, etc.), what makes Cubase better with MIDI?


the numerous editors, there are numerous midi plugins, the logical editor is perhaps the best example https://youtu.be/zYg6CbyXfYw
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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by MBantle » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:35 pm

I think it is a bit like "the best camera is the one you have with you" / "the best diet is the one you'll stick with' :D
Cheers,
Matt (still on a Logic diet)

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Re: DAW Wars! - Change my mind

Post by waveheavy » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:41 pm

I use a PC, so I started out on SONAR 6, which had a somewhat difficult setup for MIDI instruments, but good MIDI tools. Still some of my best mixes are on SONAR. One of the things I didn't like was no warning with CPU overloads. The program would do stuff like drop out voices in samples to save CPU and RAM power.

Next I learned Pro Tools. Their proprietary audio format and lack of support for a lot of VST's I used in SONAR bothered me. Pro Tools required more work setting up a session with assigning I/O, and you have to figure out some kind of short naming convention for tracks. It's still got some areas for improvement on those things. But it's one of the most reliable DAW's I've used, less crashes, and it's error handling programming is probably the best of all DAW's out there. I'd say that's why it's still the standard in the audio industry. I didn't have a problem doing MIDI with it. I still prefer to mix in Pro Tools.

Cubase I tried, reminded me too much of SONAR, has a similar I/O setup for MIDI like SONAR. I didn't like the idea of having to setup more than one track for a MIDI instrument when even Pro Tools created an Instrument track that allowed you to do more.

I've been using Studio One for a while now. It's intuitive. To start an instrument track you just drag an instrument or player (Kontakt, PLAY, etc.) right into the main DAW editor screen and its I/O is automatically setup for you. You can go into the I/O section and do it like Pro Tools if you want. Studio One has an arranger editor where you can create a copy of all the tracks into a right-hand display with one button, and then re-arrange the music or MIDI, allowing you to try different arrangements, or create alternate arrangements within the same session. It now also has a chord harmony editor where you can select a section of your song and change the chord type or harmony, on the fly. You can set it up to imitate the work flow of the other major DAW's. Latest version tries to spotlight its drum editor, but actually Cakewalk had that feature even before SONAR; but a lot Hip Hop artists like it for that reason. It has a mastering project setup where you transfer your files to it and begin a separate mastering session, similar to Sony's CD Architect environment. Studio One causes the least amount of technical work to get her done. That's probably it's main strength.

I tried MOTU's Digital Performer 9 for PC. Stay away from it. It's still too buggy, as it's mainly been a DAW for Mac quite a while, and they haven't supported it on PC as well. It's too buggy. But what attracted me was its ability for doing more than one cue within the same project, like you'd do on a film project. It may run good on a Mac, but on a PC even little mistakes like hitting the wrong button on a track in certain modes will make the whole thing crash.

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