What DAW are you using

Discussion in 'Computing' started by Kurt Foster, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    For all you DAW users out there, the question is, "Which recording software program do you use and why do you use it? Do you like it? What software would you use if you could have anything you want? Please restrict this to existing programs on the market. What program do you think would be the best "Universal Program" if it were the only one available? No stand alone recorders or digital mixers please, for the purpose of this question I want replies from people who are mixing "In The Box" ....... Fats
  2. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Hey Fats - Might as well get this ball at least rolling, if not bouncing :=)

    I've been using Samplitude for about 5-6 years now, synced to Cakewalk for MIDI. Samp doesn't do MIDI except for being able to sync to it, until the last version or two, and even those versions aren't powerful enough in MIDI to be taken seriously. Maybe version 7... (due out right about now)

    For digital audio, I've yet to find anything that can even stay in the same room with Samp without hanging its head in shame - tried a demo of cubase about a year ago, what a POS. Unfriendly as hell, can't do half the stuff even WITH the manual in front of you - gave up and wiped it. Tried Minnetonka, liked the "build yer own mixer " idea, but saw nothing to cause me to jump ship. Cake up to V9 still hadn't found out how to do audio (too klunky, can't tell what you're doing, record levels kinda hit or miss) Sound Forge (I have 4.5) is great, but not multitrack and no MIDI. They make you pay extra for NR, which works pretty good.

    Samp has had a super sounding summing algorithm since I've been using it - even with 20 bit hardware, it just sounds like what went in, even with 20 stereo tracks. I've always used 32 float/44.1 - Samp has had that for several years, even saves projects to disk that way, and the only time you deviate is when you burn a CD or monitor. Then, hardware limitations kick in.

    Samp is pretty intuitive, I've RARELY had to hit the help files in order to figure out how to do something. Usually, you just click on a menu item and follow the dialog boxes. Lotsa quick 1-key macros standard, and you can make your own for oft-used operations. One of the standard macro's is M (brings up the virtual mixer - pretty hard to remember, huh? Another is O - brings up the Open Project dialog - duh... R for Record, space bar toggles play, etc -

    Also, a lot of what the other guys make you pay for, is included in Samp, like noise reduction, multi-band compression, FFT analysis, etc.

    I might have tried ProTools had I been born rich, but since I don't work for Geffen or Skywalker, I found I couldn't justify the cost for what you got. Turns out I may have been lucky in a way, heard a lotta crap about Alsihad that I've NEVER felt about Samplitude. In all fairness, I've not actually HEARD Alsihad except in final products...

    Samp responds to as many as 16 different MIDI controllers PER TRACK, and has a "LEARN" mode, so works pretty well with just about any control surface. So far, it's a little light on MMC, as are most proggies to date.

    One thing I really like is the project notes file that can be set to pop up every time you open a project - Basically just a word processor that you can blab as much info into as you like. Great for all the notes you thought you knew where the file folder was...

    Probably missed a ton of other reasons, just woke up after 6 12-hour graveyard shifts so probably won't be even semi-cognizant til tomorrow.

    Soooo, Samplitude's my drug of choice, you won't be able to pry it from my cold, dead fingers; you'll hafta bring a bone saw... Steve
  3. jajjguy

    jajjguy Guest

    I use Digital Performer. I chose it because (a) i didn't want ProTools because they don't allow third-party interfaces and I have a problem with that, especially since the reviews of their hardware are mixed and (b) because it seeme to be the cheapest full-service program available and (c) MOTU seemed to be a good company and (d) DP got good reviews from otehr users of the interface I'd decided on, the Metric Halo 2882.

    So far I'm pleased with it. I really have no arguments with it whatsoever, besides wanting betterplug-ins (So far I'm only using the ones that were included with purchase.) I find the program very easy to learn and use.

    As far as summing quality goes, I wouldn't really know what I was talking about so I won't start... But I will say that I'm still learning to mix. Before DP, my mixes were 4-track only, and it's much easier to mix 4 tracks than 16 or whatnot. Automation helps a lot.

    Thanks for the questions. Fats, do you use a DAW?
  4. JBlake

    JBlake Guest

    What: I use Digital Performer.

    Why: I used to work for MOTU so I got the software for free. I know it well and I can't afford to switch to another package right now.

    Do I like it: For the most part, yes. I've used it in many different capacities and it's done quite well: from simple stereo editing to SFX and music for animation. I wish they would tone down on the GUI. It would speed things up a bit. Of course I haven't tried 3.0 yet...

    Nuendo is looking mighty fine to me. I love the fact that you can customize just about everything. Plus you've got readily availableplug-insand System link. Team that up with a MOTU interface and you're smokin'.
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Yes I am using a DAW... I'm running Cubase VST 5.1 at 24 bits, 18 ins and 18 outs simultaneously.... real cheap and it sounds pretty good. The eq and compressors are all right and the wunderverb sounds reasonable. The program was easy to learn and very Windows like, that is if you know Windows reasonably well you won't have a problem poking and hoping your way around. The only problem I have with Cubase is how the documentation is spread between an owners manual and a PDF. If I try to run the PDF and Cubase at the same time the computer crashes. Opus says I need to remove acrobat to stop the crashes but then how do I read the PDF? But that is the only complaint I have. ........ Fats
  6. tmix

    tmix Guest

    I'll second the vote for Samplitude!
    I have Samplitude Pro ver 6.04 and have really enjoyed it. I mainly record audio only mixes and had been using Cakewalk from version 6 through Sonar and was tired of the hangs and file corrupts . Samplitude is set up where you can record, edit and create a Red Book CD all from the same program (and same project for that matter) so you don't have to learn the ins and outs of many different applications.
    Samplitude runs so incredibly well on my modest 700 p3 i can get 30+ tracks with several instances of autotune and compressors and a reverb or two.
    I must be honest and say I did find it difficult at first to make the mental switch to the mind set behind how things work and terminologies, but now that I've mixed a few albums and radio spots on it since February this year I'll not change back to anything else. It seems like I'm constantly finding new things the program does,and does well.
    The native reverb stinks. The native dehiss / denoise is fantastic.

  7. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I use Cubase SX (or used to use Cubase SX until I updated over a week ago...). I love the program for the most part, although I really hate the Steinberg support (or lack thereof). The good news there is that there are lots of people using Steinberg products, so it is easy to find support on forums such as this. The program has really been rock solid up to version 1.05, which I upgraded to over a week ago, and just can't get it to run on my system.

    The included plugs are great, although I have a ton of 3rd party plugs to go with them (UAD-1, Waves, etc.). One other thing I really like about having a Steinberg product like this is that they set the standard for VST and VSTi instruments. You know that you are going to have a huge list of compatible plugs and instruments for a long time to come. Logic (Emagic/Apple) is now turning their back on VST, and this is *after* turning their back on PCs...

    The SX interface is sleek, easy to understand (much easier than 5.1 Fats ol' boy), and sounds just incredible! They have completely redone the automation capabilities (it used to be one of my biggest gripes with Cubase) so that it is now as good or better than anything else I have seen...

    I sure am tired however of hearing good things about Samplitude! ;) They now have version 7 on its way from what I hear, and it sounds pretty good on paper...I might need to swing by their web site and take a peek...
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Hey DH!,
    I'm considering the step up to SX from VST. Steinberg offers the upgrade for a reasonable cost but I am waiting to hear how your problems are resolved. So far, so good, huh? I am very happy with the performance of VST and I am of the mindset "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Re; your situation, I have heard Opus mention that Windows 2000 is problematic... perhaps an upgrade to XP Pro would solve your problems? ........ Fats
  9. Baiano

    Baiano Guest

    Alo amigos and amigas.

    I use Cubase 5.1 and instead of upgrading to SX I would rather go to NUENDO...I do record almost everything at home but I mix ,master and track voices at somebody`s else ProTools studio(I do not have those 5.000 bucks pre-amps and mics,nor yet the skill...).
    I control Cubase(Mac) with Tascam`s US-428,I love this machine,I dont care about Logic(see what they did to the PC users...),Cakewalk or Digital Performer,they are all at Cubase`s level anyway...once you get used to the sequencer...Cubase`s Midi rocks and Halion is GREEEEEAT!!!!
    I`d love to switch to Mac OS X but I am not in a hurry,all I need for now is to buy a couple of decent near field monitors...
    Greetings from Lisbon.

  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Alo Baiano,
    Are you transfering your files to and from Cubase and Pro Tools? The ability to do this is one of the reasons I decided on using Cubase VST 5.1. .......... Fats
  11. Baiano

    Baiano Guest

    Yes. I just did it.

    I record all midi parts at home,Halion,Guitars,vocal track guide etc...or sometimes the ProTools based studios also have Cubase is a spare computer than I`d bring a Song(if they have Cubase Mac,I would not mess with ProTool`s midi though)and a Midi arrangement (if they use Logic,DP,etc...) and record the sounds from my keyboard in the Studio,they usually have better A/D converters...(but I am not crazy about their converters,sometimes I record my bass (through my Fender 300 bass amp)and guitar at home and if they sound good enough ,and specially if they are in the correct "mood" for the song I just keep them...)
    At home I record using fictional Cubase`s "32 bit",then using "solo" I do a "32 bit float point " mixdown of each edited track,so they all start and end at the same point (THAT`S VERY IMPORTANT),it`s also a good time to see if they sound good without any distortion,,leaving home I burn my 24 bits aif. files + midi files in a CD or two.

    Last time I did it the engineer had a G4 running ProTools LE and a Power Book running Cubase in sync.It works it rocks...
    If I had to transfer my stuff to a PC studio all I had to to is to save files in midi and wav. format I guess...
    So for me it depends on how you save your stuff.

    Lisbon is cold but sunny now.
  12. Baiano

    Baiano Guest

    Yes Cubase`s/Nuendo Forums Rocks!!!!
    Also Tascam`s US 428 Forums are great.

    Motu,DP,Emagic Forums sucks...

    Even Digidesign`s Forums sucks...

    You learn/share a lot in the Forums it`s the best thing you can do after reading the ******** manual...
    Nowdays, I care about those Forums before buying any new software/gear.
  13. sserendipity

    sserendipity Active Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    I've spent considerable time on every package and platform other than Digital Performer, and I'm using Cubase ever since I got 'booted' from Logic by Apple. In a way, it was a fortunate event - since I made the switch, I found it to have, by far and away, the most sensibly set up UI of _any_ DAW software I've used.

    HOWEVER, it is a crashy, buggy P.O.S - more than Logic or Cakewalk. Almost as bad as Protools for windows (I won't start complaining about Doobiedesign here, or I'll never stop).

    So, now I have a license and dongle for Sonar, Logic and Cubase, and I'm pretty much sticking with Cubase, despite the bugs. The better UI more than makes up for the problems, as large as the are. It get's my vote for 'universal' program.


  14. Hard2Hear

    Hard2Hear Guest

    I like Sonar on the PC. I use a PC for song creation, writing... and Sonar has the MIDI sequencer, multitrack recording, and loop programs all built in that I need all the time. Comparitively, I get very good sound with it, also. Packed together with the Waves bundle, there's not alot I can't get done on my PC. It seems to be effecient compared with other programs I have used also, as I can get 32 tracks easily on my lowly P3 733.

  15. Joe Brimmer

    Joe Brimmer Guest

    I'm also a Sampletude head!!! I've been using it for about 3-4 years now and am afraid to venture off on a blind journey throught the forest with any other DAW mainly because when i started i was an absolute dope-head and samplitude was so easy for me at that time. As time went along my partner and i noticed how our mixes on samplitude sounded at times much better then someone who mixed on other systems like pro tools, cubase, nuendo, and digital performer. We attribute this to the amount of time we spent perfecting every niche of samplitude from the effect to understanding it's midi. It was really laid out so we could understand it. I'm wondering though how come i don't hear so much about samplitude in other forums and in industry magazines. Why does everybody always focus on the pro tools, sonar, cubase, logic audio, digital performer? What's the difference between these and samplitude that i am unaware of? I'm curious, but until someone steps forward and sits me down and explain the differences i'm stuck with Samplitude. Our mixes have come out well. I appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks
  16. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Joe, I think the main reason you don't hear more about Samplitude is that its developers are more interested in perfection than commercial endeavors. Samp started out as a college project in Dresden, Germany - my German is about as fluent as my Klingon, but SEK'D is a German acronym for Society(?) for Klangerbangen (?) (means sound in German I think) Dresden.

    OK, maybe my Klingon is a LITTLE better...

    Anyway, Volker and crew, when it became obvious that the Emagic/Apple core had MANY worms in it, simply excercised the option they so wisely kept open, and told the worm-meisters to take a flying **** - Samplitude is now being distributed in the US by X-Vision audio, who are also the rep for RME among others - I'm hoping this is a marriage made in heaven, since both products are German origin there should be one less translation problem. RME stuff has always worked well with PC's and Samp, from what I read.

    In my case, I've used a 20 bit Layla and a 20 bit Yamaha DSP Factory with Samp, and in both cases there doesn't seem to be anything there but what went in. Hard to complain about that.

    A few years ago I called tech support to find out how to move a track down to a different location, since I couldn't find a menu item for that function. Felt really embarrassed when I was told "just drag it where you want it" - Sometimes Samp is almost TOO simple to use - yet, when you want the depth you just dig in.

    V7.0, due in days now, reportedly will be a MAJOR upgrade, to the point of nearly being a different program. There are rumors of full MMC support both ways, I'm hoping they're true. I bought a Tascam DM-24 last year, mostly for the control surface and a place to plug in MIDI modules ($2300 as opposed to $8500 for a Mix24) and I'm hoping to get full control of Samp including track arming, record, play, rewind, etc - Guess I'll have to wait and see for a few more days...

    Even if MIDI is still weak on V7.0, I'll be fine since I intend to build TWO new 'puters, one for Samp and one just for Sonar/soft synths - probably wait til Serial ATA is a little more real with more MOBO choices, but hopefully in the next 6 months.

    One thing about DAW's, generally upgrades aren't as expensive as all new hardware - even with the eventual coming of age of DSD, it shouldn't be more than a few thou to move up.

    Sorry about the ramble, happens when you're in love :=) Steve
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Knightfly said
    You are correct Sir! Dedicated hardware is history except in studios where they have to upgrade every 12 or 16 months for tax reasons... Speaking for myself, I didn't consider Sampletude initially because of the name. It made me think it was primarily a sampling and looping program. (BARF) Something I defiantly didn't want...nope, not gonna go there...But the way that you keep slugging away at this (Knightfly) has peaked my interest. I choose Cubase because of its compatibility with other DAW studios ( a large amount of them use it) VST effects and it's ability to xfer files to and from Pro Tools. The ability for all our machines to speak to each other is something that needs to be addressed IMO. Perhaps Sampletude isn't as popular as others because they don't offer a free limited version for hardware mfrs to bundle with their products like Cool Edit Pro does....It has to be shown to me however that there is any real difference in sound quality from one software to the other, except for PT's 24 bit vs. others 32 floating point, most of it seems to be pretty much the same. It's all in what the operator does with it. I do take issue with this statement;....
    You must have never had the chance to actually do an A/B comparison of this...even with a 96 kHz conversion there is a definite loss of stereo image and depth and a perceivable loss of highs converting to digital. If your statement held true, no one would be striving to perfect digital any further. ................ Fats
  18. Marty Gilman

    Marty Gilman Guest

    Logic Platinum with 2 MOTU 896's into MAC G$. Can't beat it in my opinion.

  19. Baiano

    Baiano Guest


    Today I was talking to a friend about how great is Halion and that I`d like to get my hands and learn a bit about Reason too (I saw somebody using Reason+ Cubase Vst and was also thinking of Reason as one alternative to Halion in Loop-sequencing...).My friend who owns a Digi001 said he had Reason before but now he cannot use it with ProTools LE...Digi hardware would not accept it...Is that completelly true???
    I am Mac-oriented and I kind of like ProTools `cause I got used to take my Cubase+Nuendo files to LE and TDM studios,since they almost always have a Mac there...I kinda fell at home...I love ProToolsplug-ins..But I think a hardware based application can be a bad thing if you end up with fewer choices when all you want is to do your job...ProTools migrating for Mac OS X is great but all this Digi 002 eye candy thing is no music in my ears...I want to be able to handle ProTools a bit but I am not using it at home I favor Nuendo,I falled in love with Nuendo one of these days...I went as a session musician (guitar player,yes we are a plague...) to do a job in a PC-oriented studio and loved their set up: Two Pc`s online(VST Link????),one running Cubase VST only for midi and the other running Nuendo on audio only...This was the first Pc Studio I in fact did love the work went fine...I also love WaveLab a lot and regret the fact they did not make it to the Mac yet...I guess...
    "The weather is moody here in Lisbon".
    Happy Xmas.Ramadam and Hanuka.

  20. Baiano

    Baiano Guest

    Another Thing...

    Concerning Cubase+Halion,after almost a couple of years learning those programs ,optimazing,thanks to Tascam`s US 428 Forum,and putting the Mac in shape(40+40+80Gb-audio only- 7200rpmHard Disks + 1.12Gb RAM...)I am having a bad time trying to remember when was the last time my 733 G4 crashed on Cubase,it also NEVER crashed when I am messing around with Halion+all those tracks in real time...It would crash twice a month though when using stuff like Outlook Express or Microsoft Entourage...
    So my system is rock solid for now ,way change??? I`d better keep expanding and learning more and more...
    I do need to buy decent near field monitors and if there is something that attracts me now in the DAW world are those Pulsar XTC,UAD-1 and Powercore..I`d love to grab some of those...Is anybody experienced??? Are they really compatible with most DAW`s ????Are they a good answer to those great ProTools plugs???Why is not Lexicon into this???

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