Three Top DAW's

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horacejesse
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Three Top DAW's

Post by horacejesse » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:11 pm

Soon I may be upgrading to the modern world. I have to start investigating this DAW business. I know nothing about it. I am truly ignorant. I would be embarrassed to ask the questions I will have to know the answers to. Some of the things I do not know, which are a piece of cake to you, would stagger you. Yes, what I do not know, is staggering. My ignorance is a rare champion.So in order not to ask thise really bad questions right now, I just want to ask all you folks in the know this:What are the three top DAW's in your opinion and why? If I am to buy only one, which should it be?

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by mazz » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:01 pm

What platform, Mac or PC?Logic and Digital Performer only run on Mac.Pro-Tools is on either. Sonar is PC only.If you're going to buy a new computer then it's a different scenario than if you are going to run it on one you already have.Let's start there,Mazz
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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by aubreyz » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:18 pm

Quote:Soon I may be upgrading to the modern world. I have to start investigating this DAW business. I know nothing about it. I am truly ignorant. I would be embarrassed to ask the questions I will have to know the answers to. Some of the things I do not know, which are a piece of cake to you, would stagger you. Yes, what I do not know, is staggering. My ignorance is a rare champion.So in order not to ask thise really bad questions right now, I just want to ask all you folks in the know this:What are the three top DAW's in your opinion and why? If I am to buy only one, which should it be?IMHO1. Pro Tools - The industry standard.. in every major studio in the world. 'nuff said.2. Logic - The only real market share contender with PT-- largely due to Apple's acquisition, great marketing, and a phenomenal price point for the features. Midi guru's love it. Steep learning curve but very versatile.3--- I would actually call a tie between Cakewalk Sonar and Steinberg Nuendo. Cakewalk has more of a market share and is easier to use IMHO, but they are about equal in functionality and quality. It's hard for me to be completely objective about how easy software might be to learn, because I've been doing this for so long, but Cakewalk seems to be pretty easy.Some would probably rank Digital Performer higher, but I think it's losing market share. No real facts to support that except that I hardly hear about it anymore.If I were a novice, needing to learn, and wanted to get the most bang for the buck -- on Windows I would start with the entry level cakewalk and build up.On Mac (which would be my choice) - I would start with Garage Band to get my feet wet, move to Logic Express, and then Logic Studio.If I wanted to get the best, no matter what, I would go Pro Tools. Period.Aub

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by horacejesse » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:36 pm

I will answer both replies in one.I will be running on a PC. I don't want the extra burden of having to learn Macs too.Aub, I don't know about starting with entry level and building up from there. What is the advantage of that? I guess it is the easy way but also the slow way.I need the best I can get straightaway when I am ready. If protools is really still it then I must go with protools, methinks. The learning curve is difficult whichever way one steps, I suspect. Get it done all at once, is what I want to doWhich is the easier of the three?I will have many more questions as the time approaches. I don't want to tug on too may shirt sleeves right now. I might forget what was said before I could use it.Thanks for the replies, gentlemen.

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by slideboardouts » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:49 pm

If you are on a mac and you are looking for your first DAW, there really is no reason to get anything other than logic. What you get for the money is absolutely unbeatable. And really, once you learn one DAW, you'll find it pretty easy to navigate around the others as they are all fairly similar in the way they are set up. If you are on a PC or a mac/pc combo situation, its more of a toss up IMHO. I have some beef with Pro Tools. First, last I checked (it may have changed) PT was bundled with the interface. It will only work with whatever hardware was made for it. So basically, you are stuck with the m-box or digi whatever. The other DAWs will work with pretty much any audio interface. Second, though again this may have changed too, I really don't think you get enough bang for your buck with PT. I've used PT and I like it, to the point of actually buying it if I had money to burn, but as a musician on a budgit there are better values out there IMO. I've had friends buy PT just because thats what's in every studio and they think that recording in PT puts some sort of magical incantation on audio that will turn crap music into gold. As if. So, they spend this money on PT that would have been better spent on another DAW (like logic ;-) ) and they end up not being able to produce much.Ok my PT rant is over lol.-Steve

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by hummingbird » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:05 pm

The ones you read about are Logic, Pro Tools, CuBase, Sonar, Cakewalk & Garageband.However, I urge those with no recording experience to consider MacKie's Tracktion3 (Mac or PC). It's very user friendly and if you buy the complete version (not the demo) it comes with a slew of plug-ins, including Garritan orchestra. A friend of mine who just joined Taxi tried demos of Pro-Tools & CuBase & Tracktion and settled on Tracktion because it seemed more accessible & he was already working with the demo the same day he downloaded it. http://www.mackie.com/products/tracktion3/You can also download demos of other software & try it out. Just google "softwarename+demo"HTHHummin'bird
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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by gatorjj » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:18 pm

I'm probably the only other Tracktion user on here but I fully agree with the Hummin'bird and will post right after her to make it look like we are a force It turned out to be the best program for me...and the fact it was $99 had no bearing on that!I'm a former Cubase user...fine program but I always got lost in the pop-up windows, especially when trying to finish a mix. But tons of powerful features.ProTools is your best bet if you want to do some work in a big studio, and some at home. Every time I go to a ProTools presentation they seem to be getting a new feature that's been available elsewhere for some time though. I don't think there's anything magical about it other than the portability.Bottom line we all work differently and have different needs...download every demo you can get your hands on (including Mackie Tracktion!) and see what fits you best horacejesse!Cheers,J.J.
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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by aubreyz » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:21 pm

Quote:Aub, I don't know about starting with entry level and building up from there. What is the advantage of that? I guess it is the easy way but also the slow way.I need the best I can get straightaway when I am ready. If protools is really still it then I must go with protools, methinks. The learning curve is difficult whichever way one steps, I suspect. Get it done all at once, is what I want to doWhich is the easier of the three?Well... the advantage to starting with an entry level is that there are some core principles to learn that might be easier without all the bells and whistles. Those core principles are the same no matter what DAW you use, it's just that the features and layout will be different. Also, not everyone is cut out for this. Some are more technically adept than others. It might make sense to toy around with an inexpensive program first.The thing that you have to consider with Pro Tools is that even though IMHO it's the best, it will cost you more to get there -- and unless you get into the higher end TDM systems(thousands), track count is limited to a max of 48 audio tracks. That shouldn't really be an issue in most cases, but I often exceed that now (though there are ways around the limit-- like printing stacks).Here's one big advantage to PT, especially on Windows-- the dedicated hardware. With most other DAW's you are using third party hardware with their own Windows drivers. PT is the studio industry standard for more of a reason than just quality. It's stable. It does what it does. Any bugs are well documented by a strong community of users and Digidesign does a great job of making sure their software is rock solid. Because they use dedicated hardware, there are fewer possibilities for driver conflicts, etc.Another great thing about PT is that there is a ton of learning info out there.Easier of the three? Hard for me to say. People think in different ways. Pro Tools makes more sense to me. The signal flow is familiar if you've used an analog console. I have a harder time getting round in any of the others that I've used, but I pretty much jumped into Pro Tools without cracking the manual--- though I did go back to it, and learned a lot about better ways to do things.Not to be contradictory, but just some food for thought, you don't HAVE to have PT to have a killer system, and you can get there for less money with the other choices. Each will have a learning curve. The other thing I would look at, is what is your budget? Compare what kind of system you can get for the same bucks. For me, I'm going to say PT is worth it (especially on a PC) because that's what I know.Aub

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by stick » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:51 pm

Yeah. Listen to Aub.

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Re: Three Top DAW's

Post by matto » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:03 pm

On the PC, the top three are Cubase, Protools and (Cakewalk) Sonar.If you're mostly going to be working on acoustic recording with a possible smattering of midi embellishments (and are new to computer recording), I would probably recommend Protools.If you're mostly going to be working with midi/virtual instruments with a smattering of acoustic recording, I'd go with Cubase or Sonar (personally I'd go with Cubase but that's because it's what I'm used to ).All of these have inexpensive or even free entry level versions, so you can get started with a very minor cash layout. Then, if you need extra bells and whistles, you can move on up...matto

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