Thinking about new DAW software

Discussion in 'Computing' started by BobRogers, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Well it looks like my Digi002R went south on me last night. Haven't tracked down the exact problem yet, but I've been thinking about moving on from PT Le for a while and this is a little motivation. (I definitely won't be making any decision until I cool down, but I might as well collect information while I'm pissed off.)

    I mostly record folk, jazz, Contemporary Christian. I record a wide variety of acoustic instruments, but also electric guitar, bass, and keys. I dabble in recording classical. Don't do much midi or any video as yet, but I suppose that could come in down the line. At this time, I'm a project studio - recording my own stuff and that of friends. I'm not looking to attract or impress clients, and compatibility with other people's work isn't an issue.

    Frankly, I haven't had any real problems with the PT interface. I found it pretty easy to learn - I used a couple of tutorial books and got up to speed pretty quickly. However, I like what I see in several other pieces of software, and there are clearly some advantages over PT. Samplitude/Sequoia gets a lot of play over in the acoustic music forum and I like a lot of the features (many of which seem to apply well to the things I do). But I'm not sure how to compare to platforms like Vegas or Audition. I've been following threads on the various platforms and doing some searches for a while, but I've never seen a good thread or article that spelled out the pros and cons in a way that applied to me.

    I'd appreciate any comparisons of the various software or just advice on how to approach the decision.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    Hey Bob -

    Here are some thoughts (you know my bias will be on the Magix family of products):

    I used Cubase SX2 extensively and SX3 a little (right before my upgrade to Sequoia) as well as Cool Edit Pro 2 and Audition (again, before moving to Sequoia).

    My thought on the Magix line of products is that, if you're familiar with analog routing and mixing, the setup and learning curve will be minimal. If you're not planning on using MIDI, or not much of it and only minimal integration with video (as mentioned) then it's a good fit. I use MIDI actually quite a bit in Sequoia, but anytime that I take 2 months off from using it, I have to get reacquainted with it again. I also use Rewire and plug into Reason with it from time to time (I just recorded an ensemble where there was NO bass drum player and they were playing a major piece requiring some serious bass drum hits - concert bass drum that is - I loaded my own sampled bass drums into Reason, assigned it to a key on my controller and voila...instant bass drum).

    Anyway -
    My take on Cubase was - it's a very powerful DAW with great MIDI capabilities but the routing always seemed a bit odd to me. Meaning, the labels that they use (such as the funky icons on the channel strips) and the assignment of inputs and outputs, always felt a bit clunky. I used it for 2 years and still, every once in a while scratched my head thinking "why can't I do this...?"

    It's affordable though and the MIDI implementation is great.

    Audition -
    A GREAT 2 track editor. CEP or Audition were really designed from that standpoint adding the multi-track functionality later on. The multi-track stuff still baffles me. Have they actually implemented a mixer into the controls yet? The effects available in Audition were always unique - not their compressors, NR, EQ, but their multi-band split (splitting a single track into as many tracks as you'd like based on ranges of frequencies...VERY cool), the abilities to reverse sounds, silly things like that.

    I suppose if I were in the market for a DAW right now and I couldn't choose Samplitude or Sequoia, I would probably opt for Sonar or Cubase since they're both pretty similar in layout and function and effects implementation.

    Not sure if this helps, but worth a shot.
  3. mobilelab

    mobilelab Active Member

    Apr 18, 2006
    I agree with Cucco regarding the strange workflow/graphic interface of cubase. To much emphasis on aesthetics. I disagree however with a comparison between sonar and cubase. I've been using cakewalk since cakewalk 7, and have upgraded through various versions of sonar. I feel the interface and workflow are very intuitive, and the mixer view is where i spend much of my time. I have also used a digi oo2 and PT LE and feel the transition between PT and Sonar would be pretty swift. If you need knobs, there are numerous budget friendly control surfaces, and the best part about any other program than PT, you can use almost any hardware you like.
  4. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Audition 3 is a BIG step up in the multitrack/mixing department - can't talk much detail here, as Samplitude Pro is my main Multitrack application.

    I was a hard-core Audition user a few years back, but got tired of waiting for a proper multitrack mixer and started looking around. My cash flow is small, so blowing a load on good software was not an easy thing to manage.

    One of the the things that pushed me over the edge with Samplitude was their Sam for Rent program. I pay $30/month (competitive upgrade rate) for Samp Pro. No additional ugrade or support costs. Considering the cost of major upgrades on software, this deal is pretty easy to manage.

    I don't do a lot of MIDI, so I can't speak to that. I am very happy with Samp and the native effects.
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