Jump to content

in your opinion: Which DAW?


Recommended Posts

Well english is not my native lenguage so i'll try to make this question right xD...

I know there's a lot of DAW, and each one has different features than the others.. Personally i've always been using Cubase, i think it's really powerful, stable and reliable when mixing,for mastering work, etc... As a sound engineering student, they make me work mainly with protools, but my goals are heading for musicalization and MIDI.

I know there's a lot of people here who use FL Studio to create their remixes for OCremix, others uses Ableton. I don't have much experience using other DAWs, i've only used Cubase and Protools but for recording, mixing and mastering works.

So my question(s) is this:

Which DAW do you think is "more friendly" for those who are starting to work with MIDI? Do you think they are all the same? (i mean if you know how to use one, you can use anyone?).

I know that is a personal choice in the End, but i'd like to know your opinion, and some recomendations for those who are in the beginning of the videogames remixes.

i hope i made myself clear... it took a lot to write this xD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The three main DAWs that are worth your focus are:

Avid ProTools

Steinberg Cubase (or Cubendo)

Apple Logic Pro

The reason being is that you're going to have the most stable experience using plug-ins with those DAWs over other DAWs.

ProTools supports AAX (formerly RTAS) and it's their technology.

Logic supports AU (and it's Apple's technology)

Steinberg supports VST and they invented VST.

For me:

I can not compare editing in ProTools with editing in Cubase--ProTools is my go to DAW if I want to edit a shit ton of audio, process it, and batch export it. But ProTools is totally ass backward on MIDI--it blows so bad I can not even express it properly (my foul language vocabulary is insufficient). To me, Logic is also stupid with MIDI, or more specifically, it handles Multitimbral instruments VERY POORLY. Also, I'm a PC user, so it's not even a serious consideration for me. Cubase, Cubase is a beast when it comes to the kind of stuff I do. Of course, there are features from other DAWs that I wish it had, but for the most part, it does what it does very well and its VST support is second to no one! More importantly, VSTs are the go to plug-in format for just about everything. Cubase also has features that are important to me as a game composer that no other DAW has. Sonar and Live come close, but not really.

Stick with Cubase, since you have it, just learn how to use it better. Make sure you're really good at using ProTools, since you're learning that anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you say cubase is powerful, stable, and reliable, why look for another DAW?
what's wrong with cubase?

but I would say fl has slightly better midi import capabilities than live. its also much cheaper for the full version . I think its 199 ?

Ok... there's nothing wrong with cubase xD, i love it. I never said i'd change my DAW. I know how to use it well xD.

My question only was, which one do you think is more friendly, easy to use, fast and reliable for starters who wants to work with MIDI.

Cubase is a little advanced for those who have just started, so my question was pointing that way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look, there is no friendly way to teach MIDI except to do it with a smile. It's technology and at some point the students are going to need to understand that technology.

I just got finished teaching the history of MIDI and the hardware considerations with MIDI (learning how to hook up hardware, and how the messages work, etc, controller data, etc) as the first few classes of the first MIDI course the students are going to have. They have to understand what's happening under the hood, at least to some degree the seeds of that need to be planted, before they can appreciate and effectively use it inside the box.

We teach them MIDI in Cubase because we want them to be amazing at using Cubase 8 months from now. Don't pick a DAW because it's easy, pick a DAW because you can grow with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People have said Cubase and ProTools work well with MIDI. I would say FL also works pretty well with MIDI. Interesting benefits:

- Ghost channels help you to see notes from piano rolls belonging to other instruments as you write. Enable with Alt+V. Great for textural harmonies.

- Horizontally stretch/compress a selection of notes proportionally (right Shift). Useful if you want to clone a pattern and adjust to a different time signature or tempo or something.

- Can easily do meticulous MIDI event edits and sequencing because of window resize and keyboard shortcuts (Alt+Click drag for smooth event edits, and Alt+Shift+Click drag for non-quantized notes).

Edited by timaeus222
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People have said Cubase and ProTools work well with MIDI. I would say FL also works pretty well with MIDI. Interesting benefits:

- Ghost channels help you to see notes from piano rolls belonging to other instruments as you write. Enable with Alt+V. Great for textural harmonies.

In Cubase just select multiple clips at once, click on ghosted notes to switch clip/track.

- Horizontally stretch/compress a selection of notes proportionally (right Shift). Useful if you want to clone a pattern and adjust to a different time signature or tempo or something.

In Cubase, you can do this on the clip level with the Time Stretch pointer.

- Can easily do meticulous MIDI event edits and sequencing because of window resize and keyboard shortcuts (Alt+Click drag for smooth event edits, and Alt+Shift+Click drag for non-quantized notes).

Resize your Cubase window as you please, float it in another monitor? Create your own shortcuts and macros to do whatever you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the question isn't phrased right. It's either "what is a good starter DAW?" or "what is the best midi sequencer?" Those are two very different questions.

For starter DAWs, I tend to point to GarageBand on Mac (Logic can import those files when it's time to upgrade), and Mixcraft on Windows. They're not particularly advanced, and because of their lack of advanced features they can focus on the basics.

Once you know how sequencers work and how to mix stuff, you can move on to a proper DAW. More advanced features, more specialized. FL is well suited to electronic music because of its flexibility in routing stuff all over the place. Live is well suited for - not surprisingly - live performance. Pro Tools is well suited for working with recordings. Most other DAWs fall somewhere in between. They can all do midi, recording, mixing, a bit of everything.

Of course, it always takes time and practice to get used to a new tool, so it's not always best to start with an entry-level DAW. Maybe you'd sooner master the proper DAWs if you started with one of those instead. On the other hand, they can easily overwhelm you with all their options and ca be needlessly complicated sometimes.

As for working with raw midi, I can't actually answer that. I've heard good things about various notation software, but I have a feeling they're focused on notation rather than cc messages and other, increasingly advanced midi stuff.

Edited by Rozovian
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example?

The internal controllers. From what I've seen, pretty much anything can be connected to anything. I use Logic, which doesn't do automation particularly well. I have no idea how to control a random knob in Logic the way I could make it work in FL - and I can't remember when I last used FL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for working with raw midi, I can't actually answer that. I've heard good things about various notation software, but I have a feeling they're focused on notation rather than cc messages and other, increasingly advanced midi stuff.

Yeah, notation software is really terrible for working with pure MIDI data. Finale/Sibelius do the visual aspect extremely well, but the MIDI/audio features are only just good enough to get by for temps and mockups, and I'd never try to use either of them to create a commercial-release-quality audio file.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The internal controllers. From what I've seen, pretty much anything can be connected to anything. I use Logic, which doesn't do automation particularly well. I have no idea how to control a random knob in Logic the way I could make it work in FL - and I can't remember when I last used FL.

Studio One is quicker than FL to set-up automation of any knob. FL's controller paradigm is cool but takes way too many clicks to accomplish anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cubase has the most powerful midi editing of any program I've ever used.

- very easy to set up multiple controller lanes

- easy to set up input chain groups for multiple source inputs

- no issues with multiple soundcard MIDI routing (I have the MIDI of 3 different soundcards and MIDI clocks running at once into Cubase with 0 issues)

- the MIDI inserts are fantastic and merging (applying) them to MIDI events is quick and easy

- the quantize/transpose panels within the piano roll are extremely helpful and make editing even faster

- the logical editor is still the most powerful tool anyone can ask for when working with MIDI

Everything I do is done within Cubase. Logic and Pro Tools are things I have to work with from time to time for other reasons, but Cubase does everything and does it quickly in the most powerful and bug-free workflow I can hope for.

Edited by SnappleMan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another chime in for Cubase here. It is a composer's DAW, not to say that there are not others, but things like expression maps, note expression, and sane handling of VSTs make it great for composition. It can also do a fine job of the final mix and mastering. If you are not heavily into midi, Pro Tools is great for audio. If you are more likely to do your composing with audio clips (or loops) ableton is a great choice. That doesn't mean that other DAWs are a poor choice, they all have their strengths, but if you have Cubase, and are doing heavy midi work, I don't know that it's worth investing in anything else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Sonar and wish I used Cubase.

EDIT: To elaborate, I have stability problems with Sonar and it's missing some MIDI CC editing features that would make my life easier. And its video file compatibility sucks.

Edited by Moseph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lack of love for Sonar in this thread is staggering. Once you figure out Sonar, you can probably figure out anything. :lol:

Which makes it the best.

Actually, I used Sonar, pretty much since the beginning of time (92 with Cakewalk for DOS). I still have X2 Producer installed. I have always had good experiences with it. I tried out Cubase because I got into more orchestral work and liked the idea of expression maps. I did the 30 day trial, and eventually bought it. In the end, I do think Cubase is stronger for midi if you are doing orchestral work. Not much of a difference for the typical EDM or rock band DAW. If you are not doing heavy orchestral, and starting from scratch, I would say pick Sonar or Cubase, both are good, but if you already have Cubase, I can't think of any reason to switch to Sonar. If you already have Sonar, I am not sure Cubase is worth the purchase unless you are dealing with lots of sample libraries with different keyswitching, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, I used Sonar, pretty much since the beginning of time (92 with Cakewalk for DOS). I still have X2 Producer installed. I have always had good experiences with it. I tried out Cubase because I got into more orchestral work and liked the idea of expression maps. I did the 30 day trial, and eventually bought it. In the end, I do think Cubase is stronger for midi if you are doing orchestral work. Not much of a difference for the typical EDM or rock band DAW. If you are not doing heavy orchestral, and starting from scratch, I would say pick Sonar or Cubase, both are good, but if you already have Cubase, I can't think of any reason to switch to Sonar. If you already have Sonar, I am not sure Cubase is worth the purchase unless you are dealing with lots of sample libraries with different keyswitching, etc.

Yeah, the expression maps are something about Cubase that definitely interests me. Though you can achieve something similar in Sonar by using drum maps to label and route keyswitches (and honestly, if this couldn't be done, I'd probably have switched to Cubase back when they first introduced the expression maps).

Actually, one of the reasons I initially got Sonar rather than Cubase was because Sonar didn't use dongle-based copy protection (which is still true of it); I was opposed to USB keys at the time, and though my views on that have now softened somewhat, I still find keys to be a nuisance.

Edited by Moseph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Sonar and wish I used Cubase.

EDIT: To elaborate, I have stability problems with Sonar and it's missing some MIDI CC editing features that would make my life easier. And its video file compatibility sucks.

I have really tried to figure out continuous controllers and the only thing I have found out is that nothing seems to work. If it's not related to the modwheel, I have no idea.

Sonar gives you a lot of stuff to play with though. I might go to X2 once I get my pc updated but otherwise I am seriously looking at protools. and mayyyyyyyybe Cubase.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Sonar for a decade (Cakewalk Pro Studio 9 all the way to Sonar X1) until I switched to Cubase.

There are only two (actually 3 things) things I miss from Sonar that Cubase should have, but they are not deal breakers:

1) Sonar does not distinguish between its rack and instrument tracks, so when I add an instrument track, it automatically becomes the audio output of a rack VST and I don't have issues if I want to change my mind and make it multitimbral.

Whereas Cubase's Instrument Tracks are still legacy hold-overs from previous versions and haven't been fully implemented properly. You put an instrument track in and you're stuck with that as an instrument track forever. You have to rebuild if you want to load it as a multitimbral rack later.

2) Sonar was able to save track presets very elegantly, enabling me to add custom presets of instruments with audio routing built in from a right click context menu.

Cubase can sort of do this, but it's not nearly as elegant and it doesn't save your routing.

3) Sonar lets you take any audio clip and pull it out to an external audio editing program to edit and then save back into your DAW session.

Cubase does not support this--I heard it did once, but it no longer does.

My two fixes when working in Cubase? VST rack presets and no more instrument tracks.

Neither of these are deal breakers and Cubase's Arranger Track absolutely KILLS any other DAW's non-linear playback matrix (both Live and Sonar has one) and is, in my opinion, the best tool on any DAW for writing non-linear game music.

The only bitch with Cubase is that it's audio editing workflow is not as efficient as Pro Tools--but all the audio manipulation stuff, like time stretching and pitch control are all superior to Pro Tools' stuff.

In my opinion, if you have Cubase and Pro Tools, you have two cross platform DAWs that will cover everything you could imagine doing with audio.

The only good thing that Logic is for is converting Garageband files if you're working with an artist who uses Garageband.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...