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SAWStudio vs. Nuendo

Member for

21 years
Is anyone familiar with SAWStudio? I keep hearing great things about how it is more stable and somehow sounds better than any other software package. One thing is for sure: it's really, really expensive.

Apparently the entire program is written in a low-level language, which would explain why it is so stable. When you install it, it makes zero entries in the Windows registry. That's pretty impressive in itself.

But has anyone used or witnessed SAWStudio in use?

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Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 01/17/2006 - 23:51
SAW

I'm a SAW user and have been through the majors the last 10+ years. Yes, SAW is that good in all respects. Bob is not a rich man, I don't think. I knew his reputation before I became a SAW user. How many copies you think he sell's? It is worth 10 times what it cost's, but how would someone know that unless they paid $1250 for SAW Studio Lite which to me is the entry level. There is Basic, but it is missing features that I require. The only way you need the $2500 version is if you are doing heavy video work or your using it as a "live" show controler. You may say "What's that?". Well you could run a whole Vegas show off of SAW with lights, background music et-al pre-programed with it. I could go on but IMHO SAW is well worth the investment...........JDW

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 12/15/2004 - 06:08
I've messed with SAW a few times over the years...I think it is pretty good, if what you are mainly looking for is something for recording live tracks.

I believe it is written in machine code, so I would think that should make it quite snappy.

But Cubase and Nuendo are more feature-rich applications...especially in the MIDI department.

Bob Lentini (SAW's developer) has just recently started to address SAW's lack of MIDI features with an add-in software module he calls "SAW Studio MIDI Workshop", but it's capabilities are still in their infancy, compared to the Steinberg stuff.

SAW Studio is absurdly expensive...2500 Americanoz.

:roll:

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 12/12/2004 - 02:46
I have conducted painstakingly repetitive A/B comparisons of SAW against Cubase SX2, which I believe uses the same audio engine as Nuendo. SAW sounds better, and it is not a subtle difference...anyone would be able to pick it. Now, I'm talking about being able to hear the difference on a simple mono track, with no processing whatsoever. Just record and playback the same thing...say a simple vocal and acoustic guitar with a single condenser mic, and listen. SX2 sounds like half the room ambience disappears as well as sounding completely closed in and lifeless, like the sound is buried in the speaker box. SAW sounds vibrant and alive...out of the speakers. I have spent weeks looking at the set up of both SX2 and SAW to explain the difference...going through every single menu setting in detail looking for why SX2 sounds so crappy compared to SAW on such a simple test...I am now convinced...SAW is just better.
For what it's worth, Samplitude sits between SX2 and SAW for sonic quality.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 01/02/2005 - 02:19
Doublehelix wrote: I appreciate that you like the sound of SAW and Samp compared to SX, but when comparing a *single* track, you are not comparing the summing engine, which is a more realistic comparision, unless of course you plan on recording an album of one tracks! ;)

I'd be interested to hear your comparisons of *real* songs (multiple tracks, mixed down to stereo).

If SX2 is already inferior to SAW when recording and playing back a single mono track, why would one feel inclined to go further? SAW plays back very close to what goes in...SX2 absolutely does not, and there is nothing you can do to get it back if you lose it at stage one: the recording stage. The fact that SX2 does so terribly on such a simple test indicates to me that something is fundamentally wrong with it. The fact that SAW sounds much more correct on a simple mono test indicates that its mix engine might be worth a listen. Most people wouldn't believe that a single mono track record/playback test would show up such differences for precisely the reason you mention...because there is no summing or mix engine processing, so they don't bother to test it. On the other hand, I happen to approach all these computer-based DAW systems with skepticism, and go to whatever lengths are necessary to evaluate their sonic quality...and I always start with the most simple test and move on from there only if the simple test doesn't reveal much...but it often does...

Regards,
H.

Member for

19 years 11 months

Doublehelix Sun, 12/12/2004 - 21:20
I appreciate that you like the sound of SAW and Samp compared to SX, but when comparing a *single* track, you are not comparing the summing engine, which is a more realistic comparision, unless of course you plan on recording an album of one tracks! ;)

I'd be interested to hear your comparisons of *real* songs (multiple tracks, mixed down to stereo).

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 01/04/2005 - 12:40
Please don't point me to the Steven Lee group Album cut (the one that is hyped on the SAW Studio website...the re-mix of the old Tower of Power tune)...I already downloaded that a while back...the recording sounded good to me...good...but not outstanding....and certainly not 5 times better than what can be acheived with more reasonably-priced DAW software.

It does sound good, doesn't it? The remarkable thing about it, to me, is that it was recorded in his living room with a cheap Mackie mixer, budget chinese mics and mixed in Sony headphones. I guess it's just another example of, "it's not in the gear it's in the ear".

From that standpoint, does anyone need a $2000, or $900 piece of software, when they could get the job done with something for $65, or $250?

Probably not.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 12/13/2004 - 13:24
DH I can't compare SX2 to SAW but can compare a Roland VS2480 VS SAW . I recorded 14 tracks on the 2480 ( live drums gtr/bass/muti vox etc. ) mixed them in the Roland then exported the tracks as wav's ( 24 bit 44.1khz )

Remixed in Saw and the difference was dramatic IMO ( not because od gear/software lust real listening !!!)

The top end was much clearer and defined as well as the low end ( much more spatial wider well defined ) the mix's just sounded way better ( I could continue to use all kinds of definitions but you get the point )

I feel as though I have gained 5 yrs in the studio just by changing platforms ( this may well have happened using PT as well ???? )

There are several things in SAW that really help
1. The compressors are VERY good
2. The mix bus is VERY good ( 64 bit )
3. The Eq is like a good console EQ
4. The softedge feature

Also very low CPU usage with lots of tracks (written in assembly lasnguage )


later
Buzz

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 12/21/2004 - 22:40
I suppose PT is fairly priced? We may not think so, yet people still shell out the cash for it.

BTW, there are light versions of SAWStudio available, starting at only $300 americanoz. That get's you 90% functionality of the full version.

As far as MidiWorkShop, it is a full featured midi editor with rock solid sync to the audio. To quote another MWS user (and if he doesn't like it he can take me court),(how's that for friendly :P )

"Your "drift stress" has just been relieved and there were no pills with nasty sideFx's involved. Better living through SawStudio technology!"

This is worth alot more to me than extra doodads. MWS is a solid pro level tool.

The main problem with SAW, or MWS is that you can't get a good feel for it by skimming it. The user really needs to dig in and RTFM to get a realistic view of the capabilities. Unfortunately for SAW and RML Labs, that's not what most people do. They do the equivalent of driving a formula one car around the course at 25mph. Ya' gotta open 'er up, man! Let 'er show ya' what she's got!


As you can tell, I like the software I use. I would love to see it become a standard, as it is worthy of the status. But, then again, I appreciate the small, friendly community of SS users. So, as long as it isn't misrepresented, the world can take it or leave it. I'll still use it and so will alot of other folks.

BTW, kidding T, man don't take me to court :wink:

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 12/22/2004 - 00:13
Hard to compare Protools to anything, since it is only marketed to be used with Digidesign hardware, but, you can get a copy of Protools LE AND a Digi 002 Firewire rack, both, for less than 1200 dollars.

I was thinking more along the lines of Steinberg Cubase or Cakewalk Sonar, which currently sell for 600 bucks....there are stripped down versions of these available for a hundred bucks, or less.

600 dollars vs 2500 dollars.

Time for a little word-problem:

If the stripped version of SAW at 300 bucks has 90% functionality, and the other 10% functionality is 2200 bucks more, what is it in that remaining 10% functionality that makes it worth over 7 times more than the whole other 90%?

As far as SAW MIDI Workshop goes, I don't think it really stands up to what Cubase or Sonar offer, MIDI-wise, overall.

If you've used Cubase for any length of time Saw MIDI Workshop appears very sparse, by comparison.

Steinberg pretty much invented midi triggered virtual instruments, and I think that definately gives them the edge in that area of MIDI functionality.

SAW seems to have some catching up to do, there.

The real rub is that Lentini considers SAW Studio MIDI Workshop to be an add-in feature, and charges you an extra 300 bucks just for it....you pay 2500 dollars for a program and then have to still pay another 300 dollars for so-callled full MIDI functionality?

I've never experienced any midi sync drift in Cubase...maybe this because I've never really taxed Cube's midi sync capabilities?

Lentini has been hawking his SAW program for many years...he is very good at making it sound exciting and awesome..and maybe it actually is, in a pro studio environment...in fact you can even talk to him personally on the SAW forums...I believe he still answers about all messages.

Now that may be one BIG reason to consider SAW...real one-on-one access to the actual software developer?

:o

Member for

21 years

Member Tue, 01/04/2005 - 15:33
According to Bob Lentini that recording was done on location, in a Vegas nightclub...but yah...it could just as well have been done in one of the 18 bathrooms of his multi-million-dollar house in the Vegas hills...the house he paid for with cash from all of those 2500 dollar SAW contributions...:lol:

Heh..so you think Yamaha (Steinberg's latest owner) is going to be stupid enough to double the asking price of a Steinberg product so soon after buying the company?

:roll:

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 01/26/2005 - 15:16
And why shouldn't he enjoy what is has rightfully earned!? reward v risk. He took the risk to develop the product, he gets the reward.

Coming across this post made took me back 10+ years ago when I was using saw+ on a pc and StudioVision on a Mac II. I can't believe that it is still around!

I had a look at the website and if nothing else all the so called big boys should learn from this site how to put together a showreel site that will generate sales just from watching the product in action. Very informative.

And this is from a guy who uses Logic Pro 6.4.3 and soon Nuendo 3.

beya

Member for

21 years

Member Wed, 01/26/2005 - 16:32
Heh..so you think Yamaha (Steinberg's latest owner) is going to be stupid enough to double the asking price of a Steinberg product so soon after buying the company?

Looks like the street price is $2k. I wouldn't consider it stupid, but they're makin' ya buy a dongle for it, too, which is probably stupid. Time will tell, though.

NAMM: Steinberg Copy Protection Mandatory
New USB dongle guards crown jewels 24-Jan-05

Steinberg announced that their USB-based hardware copy protection device as a separate product.
Accompanying the product launch is the announcement that customers who purchase Steinberg VSTi products released for the first time after 1st January 2005 and who do not already own a Steinberg USB key copy protection device as part of their Steinberg product will be required to buy a Steinberg Key as a required component to be able to run the VSTi software. However, existing Steinberg Cubase SX/SL, HALion, Hypersonic and Nuendo customers already in possession of a USB Key will no longer have to obtain a USB Key that they do not need, and will be able to buy future Steinberg VST instruments at a reduced price as a result.

The current standard of copy protection employed with its latest generation DAW and VSTi products is among the most successful in the industry today. Supplier of this successful technology is the German copy protection specialist, Syncrosoft GmbH.

"This system offers many benefits for Steinberg customers," explains Claus Menke, Steinberg's Head of Product Management. "The introduction of the Steinberg Key will extend the highly successful current generation of the Syncrosoft copy protection system to all new Steinberg VSTi products, helping to protect not only our investments, but also that of our customers and dealers," Menke continues.

Pricing and availability
Steinberg Key will be available for €19.90* from February 2005.
*SRP includes 16% German VAT. Prices subject to regional variations.

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/shownews.cfm?newsid=1965

According to Bob Lentini that recording was done on location, in a Vegas nightclub

Sorry. I was referring to the album on the Steven Lee Group website, not the live recording.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 02/06/2005 - 15:38
And talk about risk...what about the consumer that pays thousands of dollars for software that just doesn't get the job done because it doesn't function as advertised?

Once bitten, twice shy!

Apple Logic 7 is suffering at the moment due to stability issues and a terrible suport structure.

I spent the better part of a month trawling various forums to get a feel for various products, how the users felt about the products, and how they felt they were supported by the developers of the product before I decided to commit my money to steinberg. As a result I decided to move to Nuendo, only because it has the working features I require in a DAW right now plus a fairly good support forum.

beya

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 01/02/2005 - 20:49
moonz wrote: Hard to compare Protools to anything, since it is only marketed to be used with Digidesign hardware, but, you can get a copy of Protools LE AND a Digi 002 Firewire rack, both, for less than 1200 dollars.

I was thinking more along the lines of Steinberg Cubase or Cakewalk Sonar, which currently sell for 600 bucks....there are stripped down versions of these available for a hundred bucks, or less.

600 dollars vs 2500 dollars.

Time for a little word-problem:

If the stripped version of SAW at 300 bucks has 90% functionality, and the other 10% functionality is 2200 bucks more, what is it in that remaining 10% functionality that makes it worth over 7 times more than the whole other 90%?

As far as SAW MIDI Workshop goes, I don't think it really stands up to what Cubase or Sonar offer, MIDI-wise, overall.

If you've used Cubase for any length of time Saw MIDI Workshop appears very sparse, by comparison.

Steinberg pretty much invented midi triggered virtual instruments, and I think that definately gives them the edge in that area of MIDI functionality.

SAW seems to have some catching up to do, there.

The real rub is that Lentini considers SAW Studio MIDI Workshop to be an add-in feature, and charges you an extra 300 bucks just for it....you pay 2500 dollars for a program and then have to still pay another 300 dollars for so-callled full MIDI functionality?

I've never experienced any midi sync drift in Cubase...maybe this because I've never really taxed Cube's midi sync capabilities?

Lentini has been hawking his SAW program for many years...he is very good at making it sound exciting and awesome..and maybe it actually is, in a pro studio environment...in fact you can even talk to him personally on the SAW forums...I believe he still answers about all messages.

Now that may be one BIG reason to consider SAW...real one-on-one access to the actual software developer?

:o


Regarding the money difference of SawStudio and other DAWs, with SS your paying for:

A Very Good (being modest) Audio Engine.
Good User Support, fanatical user base (you get questions answered and solved quickly).
More efficiently coded audio application so older hardware can run just as smooth as your latest P4 or AMD, etc.
The Editing tools are awesome and the price you pay can be well worth all the time you save on all the little features that add up to big features this program has to offer.

I'm not an expert at Saw so I can't really go into detail about all of the features I've seen used and came across but to be honest with you I'm sure Mr Lentini didn't just pull the price tag $2500 out of his $@!%. The program has been around for a long time and all those years of perfecting all the little things I think justifies the price tag. I don't hear anyone complaining about Pro Tools and you still don't get all the features you get with Saw. If SawStudio was used in 90 percent of the studios across the country you wouldn't be complaining about the price tag, but I think because it's not as popular people have doubts.

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