Which DAW to choose?
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Old 22-11-2017, 04:23 PM   #1
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Which DAW to choose?

Read this and decide:

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Old 22-11-2017, 06:44 PM   #2
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

This link has some interesting comparisons too - there is a space where he explains what all the categories mean as well. It's a little more in depth as the previous one, but not version current for all DAWs and hey we all have biases.

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Old 22-11-2017, 08:03 PM   #3
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

It's really hard to be unemotional when it comes to DAWs, but I think both articles were quite good.

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Old 22-11-2017, 10:45 PM   #4
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

"Notably not called Ableton Compose, because trying to write actual music with this tool is like keyhole surgery, one little box at a time... If you want to surprise yourself with a tantalising melody you will not."
As a composition writer who spends well over 90% of their time working within the midi writing components of any DAW, I completely disagree here.

THE reason that I use Ableton is because I tried demo after demo of other DAWs and HATED them as someone who writes music.
Nothing about their writing interface for midi was intuitive or fluid.

Reason about made me want to throw my computer out of the door, in this regard, and FL was alright, but clunky.

In Ableton I can express almost any musical notation expression that I can write on paper...and more.
The ONLY thing I would say needs improvement on the writing section within Ableton is the pitch bend automation. It's almost garbage. Ideally, you should be able to select a reference note for the end of the pitch bending for where you want the bending to land once completed....because that's how you write that in music. You write the note that starts, you indicate the bending action, and cap the end with the note you land at.
In Ableton, it's more that you indicate the note to start and then do a bunch of guess work to land it where you want it and hope you get it close enough, or spend a considerable amount of time dialing it closer and closer in.
I've even, at times, whipped out a tuning app to tell whether it's landing on the note that I want.
That's ridiculous.


HOWEVER, that is the only thing that I find clunky in Ableton for writing in midi.

I also would give MUCH higher scores than that other review gave to Ableton for workflow.
It's VERY easy to move around, and quite naturally intuitive.

These are the two reasons I went with Ableton: I can EASILY write music in it, and it's EASY to move around in the DAW without feeling like I'm working in software (I'm not thinking about the software to move around and get to what I want).


The crippling part of Ableton is the mixing board.
God it sucks!
I don't even bother using it. I do all of my balancing in Arrangement view because in there I can actually dial in levels by looking at readings that actually SHOW YOU THE level number, unlike the Session View (their "mixer") which just shows you pretty bars representing sound levels with no fucking numbers of what levels are being hit anywhere. Useless!
Their "Mixer" - Session View
Note the complete lack of numerical readings for anything in the mixer....
Arrangement View...which has pretty much everything the Session View has and more:
Note the very specific level reading of -13.9

So I would completely grade Ableton differently than these did.
As a midi writer, it's hard to beat this thing!
I can express VERY complicated melodic structures from scratch rather easily.

As a final mixer...fuck...kill me!

Cheers!
TheStumps

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Old 22-11-2017, 11:13 PM   #5
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Sonar all the way.
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Old 22-11-2017, 11:43 PM   #6
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStumps View Post
The crippling part of Ableton is the mixing board.
God it sucks!
I don't even bother using it. I do all of my balancing in Arrangement view because in there I can actually dial in levels by looking at readings that actually SHOW YOU THE level number, unlike the Session View (their "mixer") which just shows you pretty bars representing sound levels with no fucking numbers of what levels are being hit anywhere. Useless!
Their "Mixer" - Session View
Note the complete lack of numerical readings for anything in the mixer....
In session view you can "drag the fader longer and/or wider" (by grabbing the edges of the square fader area with the cursor and pulling).

Doing this will reveal a scale next to the fader, a peak-metre and a number that tells you the current setting of the fader.

All three are visible in this screen-shot:

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Old 23-11-2017, 12:07 AM   #7
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iyashi Sound View Post
In session view you can "drag the fader longer and/or wider" (by grabbing the edges of the square fader area with the cursor and pulling).

Doing this will reveal a scale next to the fader, a peak-metre and a number that tells you the current setting of the fader.

All three are visible in this screen-shot:

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Good to know.
I still find their mixer very clumsy, and that it's FAR easier to just dial in everything right from the Arrangement view.
You have everything that you need right there in Arrangement view - provided you're not a big session sample trigger user...which I'm not.
Session view looks mostly useful to triggering samples and that's mostly about it.

I don't really work that way. I work more "old school". Write the song > mix it > master it.
It's very linear, so I don't find myself looking at the Session view much at all.

I've been increasingly wanting to see about a straight mixing software to export everything to, but I haven't started seriously moving that way...but I think that time is coming closer as I get more interested in the engineering aspects that I've mostly neglected in previous years.

Ideally I'd prefer a mixing board application that I can bridge Ableton's tracks into so that if I want to go back and edit some aspect of the Arrangement, I can do so without having to re-export that individual track back out and reload it back into the mixing board application.
I've not even checked if this is a thing or not.

Thanks for the tip on the Session view though.
TheStumps

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 23-11-2017, 12:09 AM   #8
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStumps View Post
"Notably not called Ableton Compose, because trying to write actual music with this tool is like keyhole surgery, one little box at a time... If you want to surprise yourself with a tantalising melody you will not."
As a composition writer who spends well over 90% of their time working within the midi writing components of any DAW, I completely disagree here.

THE reason that I use Ableton is because I tried demo after demo of other DAWs and HATED them as someone who writes music.
Nothing about their writing interface for midi was intuitive or fluid.

Reason about made me want to throw my computer out of the door, in this regard, and FL was alright, but clunky.

In Ableton I can express almost any musical notation expression that I can write on paper...and more.
The ONLY thing I would say needs improvement on the writing section within Ableton is the pitch bend automation. It's almost garbage. Ideally, you should be able to select a reference note for the end of the pitch bending for where you want the bending to land once completed....because that's how you write that in music. You write the note that starts, you indicate the bending action, and cap the end with the note you land at.
In Ableton, it's more that you indicate the note to start and then do a bunch of guess work to land it where you want it and hope you get it close enough, or spend a considerable amount of time dialing it closer and closer in.
I've even, at times, whipped out a tuning app to tell whether it's landing on the note that I want.
That's ridiculous.


HOWEVER, that is the only thing that I find clunky in Ableton for writing in midi.

I also would give MUCH higher scores than that other review gave to Ableton for workflow.
It's VERY easy to move around, and quite naturally intuitive.

These are the two reasons I went with Ableton: I can EASILY write music in it, and it's EASY to move around in the DAW without feeling like I'm working in software (I'm not thinking about the software to move around and get to what I want).


The crippling part of Ableton is the mixing board.
God it sucks!
I don't even bother using it. I do all of my balancing in Arrangement view because in there I can actually dial in levels by looking at readings that actually SHOW YOU THE level number, unlike the Session View (their "mixer") which just shows you pretty bars representing sound levels with no fucking numbers of what levels are being hit anywhere. Useless!
Their "Mixer" - Session View
Note the complete lack of numerical readings for anything in the mixer....
Arrangement View...which has pretty much everything the Session View has and more:
Note the very specific level reading of -13.9

So I would completely grade Ableton differently than these did.
As a midi writer, it's hard to beat this thing!
I can express VERY complicated melodic structures from scratch rather easily.

As a final mixer...fuck...kill me!

Cheers!
TheStumps
try fl 12.5 yoiull love it now they have all the best bits of ableton but with out the hassle.
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Old 23-11-2017, 12:43 AM   #9
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joem View Post
try fl 12.5 yoiull love it now they have all the best bits of ableton but with out the hassle.
I have a very large amount of dislike for FL.
I will definitely agree with the review that was given in the blog regarding FL from my experiences...I know that folks who use it love it, but good lord man...it's just not how I think of music, or how I move.

I truly never think twice about what I want to do in Ableton except in regards to the mixing section....
whiiiiich...hmmm...

I think I might just take a swing at [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I just spotted because it looks and feels like what I want...we'll see how it performs.
It's on Black-Friday discount down to 30 bucks [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

I'm not really optimistic that it will be a full solution, but I might just take it for a spin (would be nice if they had a demo...maybe they do buried somewhere).

*edit: Found the demo. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

It puts low level noise in the mix periodically as a demo, but otherwise is full featured.

Last edited by TheStumps; 23-11-2017 at 01:44 AM..

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 23-11-2017, 01:08 AM   #10
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

If you do a meta-analysis of all the DAW comparisons ever created, there is a message that quickly rises to the top. ALL of the DAWs are shitty. There is no good choice and you are stupid for liking anything.

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Old 23-11-2017, 01:10 AM   #11
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oatbag View Post
If you do a meta-analysis of all the DAW comparisons ever created, there is a message that quickly rises to the top. ALL of the DAWs are shitty. There is no good choice and you are stupid for liking anything.
I feel like that is true about all things music related...ever. lol

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 23-11-2017, 01:25 AM   #12
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oatbag View Post
If you do a meta-analysis of all the DAW comparisons ever created, there is a message that quickly rises to the top. ALL of the DAWs are shitty. There is no good choice and you are stupid for liking anything.
From the other end, they're all pretty amazing. Especially if you've ever had to splice tape or bounce tracks. Even the worst of them are incredible tools, the choice of which really just comes down to workflow and added value. The glass is half full, damn it.

I was a little bummed that Studio One didn't make the list. I think it occupies a nice space between the familiarity/functionality of PT and the feature richness of Cubase, while being more intuitive for me than either. It's my go-to for mixing when I need more than Ableton can offer or need to record more than one track of audio.

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Old 23-11-2017, 01:33 AM   #13
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStumps View Post
I have a very large amount of dislike for FL.
I will definitely agree with the review that was given in the blog regarding FL from my experiences...I know that folks who use it love it, but good lord man...it's just not how I think of music, or how I move.

I truly never think twice about what I want to do in Ableton except in regards to the mixing section....
whiiiiich...hmmm...

I think I might just take a swing at [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I just spotted because it looks and feels like what I want...we'll see how it performs.
It's on Black-Friday discount down to 30 bucks [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

I'm not really optimistic that it will be a full solution, but I might just take it for a spin (would be nice if they had a demo...maybe they do buried somewhere).

*edit: Found the demo. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

It puts low level noise in the mix periodically as a demo, but otherwise is full featured.

That demo link you included just opens this thread up again in a new window.

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Old 23-11-2017, 01:45 AM   #14
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.M View Post
That demo link you included just opens this thread up again in a new window.
Fixed!

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Old 11-12-2017, 09:46 PM   #15
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

I think we've come to an age where all the major DAWs are great in their own way. If you know what you're doing, you can make a song sound great in each one. It just matters now the work flow preference that you have. IDK if the type of music you make matter anymore.

I think FruityLoops, Bitwig, Reason and Ableton are geared more towards Electronic, Pop and Hip-Hop. More of a sample loop and MIDI based type of production and mixing.
Sure you can record into each of these DAWs, but I think the companies know their client base. These aren't the types of DAWs that ppl look to first if they have a band they want to record. Just the way the software is made, I think they make it that way, easier to handle samples, loops and MIDI info.

However, Cubase, Pro Tools, Logic, Sonar & Studio 1 (and similar DAWs) are more geared towards studio producers and engineers. It's great to use in the home studio, but easily transferable to take with you to a studio with a console and stuff. But also great at handling samples, loops and MIDI on top of great recording capabilities.

So the day of daws being weaker on one spectrum and others, more studio engineers daws stronger, are kind of over. Today they can all do great things I think. You just have to be honest and know what type of production you're going to be doing. If it's sample and loop based, it's just a matter of preference and work flow likeability. But if someone's going to record a few MICs at once, I'd suggest they look into something like cubase or pro tools.

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Old 11-12-2017, 11:14 PM   #16
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStumps View Post
Good to know.
I still find their mixer very clumsy, and that it's FAR easier to just dial in everything right from the Arrangement view.
You have everything that you need right there in Arrangement view - provided you're not a big session sample trigger user...which I'm not.
Session view looks mostly useful to triggering samples and that's mostly about it.

I don't really work that way. I work more "old school". Write the song > mix it > master it.
It's very linear, so I don't find myself looking at the Session view much at all.

I've been increasingly wanting to see about a straight mixing software to export everything to, but I haven't started seriously moving that way...but I think that time is coming closer as I get more interested in the engineering aspects that I've mostly neglected in previous years.

Ideally I'd prefer a mixing board application that I can bridge Ableton's tracks into so that if I want to go back and edit some aspect of the Arrangement, I can do so without having to re-export that individual track back out and reload it back into the mixing board application.
I've not even checked if this is a thing or not.

Thanks for the tip on the Session view though.
TheStumps
Look into Harrison mixbus maybe?

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Old 11-12-2017, 11:28 PM   #17
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbvdb493 View Post
Look into Harrison mixbus maybe?
You'll see a few posts down, I did just that.

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Old Yesterday, 12:32 AM   #18
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

do it like the pros, in sound forge

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Old Yesterday, 02:14 AM   #19
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStumps View Post
You'll see a few posts down, I did just that.
Ah, cool
Let us know how you like it.

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Old Yesterday, 02:42 AM   #20
TheStumps
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Re: Which DAW to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbvdb493 View Post
Ah, cool
Let us know how you like it.
So far, I like the feel and flow quite well.
It does make me want a much wider monitor (I have a 27 inch monitor, but mixbus makes me want easily at least half again that size and preferably twice that width to avoid scrolling left and right so much).

One thing that kind of sucks isn't mixbus' fault really, but to get the right track quality prepping from Ableton, you have to export each track separately one-by-one because if you choose the rapid "all tracks" export, a lot of filters and etc... that you did to the track at the mixing stage in Ableton won't apply...so if you have a song with lots of tracks, this is pretty annoying.

However, once you get everything over to mixbus, it's just so nice.
Granted, if you're not from ye olde days before huds and guis to give you graphical representations of things like EQs, Pan, Compression, etc... then you'll have a pretty large reorientation period of having to learn how to visualize that in your own head and use just dials and values alone because it's a literal emulation of a classic Harrison board.

The sound quality is brilliant though, and it's just wonderful to have default tools on each instrument/take track, and I'm a huge fan of the mix bus having limits of less than your total tracks because it forces you to make sound design decisions and to be aware of elbow room problems - something Ableton just doesn't help folks do at all since the amount of tracks you can have in there is endless and there's no difference between a track and a mix track - they're 1:1 in Ableton.

That has advantages in some respects, but I think it's really nice to be forced to pile your drums together into one track, for example, after firstly adjusting each drum on its own track before sending to the mix track for the drums.

I think doing this forces you to get a better quality mix, as well as a refined master.
It also cuts out the "infinity track" issue where some songs in the digital age can really go crazy with the cheesewiz and end up with hundreds of tracks, zero space, and yet almost no intelligible difference to the common ear to support the reason to overload the song with that many tracks (I'm looking at you Deadmau5 and fans ).

I haven't paid for the software yet, so I still have the periodic low frequency white noise pop, but I definitely do plan on buying this eventually and flipping entirely to using it (it's going to take a while to adjust to the new work-flow though, and I want to do that before I lay down the funds).

Cheers!
TheStumps

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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