I'm sick of the Pro Tools hype. Why isn't Reaper getting as much love?
themixtape
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2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
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I'm sick of the Pro Tools hype. Why isn't Reaper getting as much love?

Allow me to explain...

I started working in Pro Tools back in 1999 (one of the first "HD" versions-- where it was all in the hardware, and expensive as hell). I did radio broadcast imaging (music and sound FX behind radio station call letters, commercials, etc). I thought Pro Tools was a pain in the butt to work in back then... and it crashed ALL the time.

Fast forward a few years. I got into recording/songwriting and recorded in various programs, including Cakewalk (even the DOS version at one time)... then Sonar Home Studio/Sonar... then Ableton..... Cubase here and there... Reason, FL Studio, Garageband, and Ableton..... blah blah blah... and then, in 2008, I discovered Reaper. I'll get to that in a little bit.

During most of this time, I found Sonar to be the most stable and easy to use, and I still like it. It just works. There isn't a lot to set up with it. You do your tweaks, you set up your templates for song ideas/styles you like... and you're good to go. I get occasional crashes but it's never from Sonar, it's from one of my midi controllers... always causing problems, but that's another story. I will eventually replace that midi controller.

So, within this time, I messed with Pro Tools 7.4... then 8, then recently, I bought Pro Tools MP9. It was a decent value, I mean... $150 for the Mobile Pre interface, plus an ilok (the newly designed, cool version, not that ugly-ass green one from a few years ago), PLUS the software. Pretty good deal, right? Cool.

I hate Pro Tools, though. I hate the 8,000 folders it creates for every song... fade files, blah blah blah... I hate the mixer view and how you have to be specific about what you want to see in the mixer view, such as sends or instruments, etc...

I hate how LONG it takes to load... I mean, come on. It takes at least 45 full seconds on a system with 16GB of ram... and even longer on my Windows XP system with 3GB ram. That sucks, especially if you have an idea you want to lay down so you don't forget it.

I hate how when I first press play when creating a song using the templates, such as "Songwriter Guitarist"... the "now" indicator (the vertical line that moves through the song... I forget what it's called right now)... well, in Pro Tools, it is jumpy and slow until it finally kicks in, about 3 measures into playback from the beginning...

I hate how when I first installed it, it would get hung up on the splash screen, on various plug-ins that came WITH MP9.... I still don't know why they got hung up, but deleting a cache or temp folder seemed to help, but ultimately, reinstalling did the trick.. (really? Needing to reinstall before I ever got the chance to use it once?)

When I google any Pro Tools issues or any issues with any interface, what comes up more than anything... questions and problems on Avid's forums... most of which go unanswered (way to go, Avid support).... I mean, it's always SOMETHING with Pro Tools, you know? Always some problem.

It took me forever to get my Tascam FW-1082 to work in HUI mode for Pro Tools... it just would not recognize it. Then it finally did... after an hour or so of headaches.

And the delay compensation thing... really? It took them NINE VERSIONS to figure that out? Come on.

Oh, and RTAS plug-ins. Fine. I want flexibility, though. If I want to use a VST in Sonar, and then say I'm in a Cubase mood... I want to be able to use that exact VST in Cubase... or Ableton, or anything else.

Here's a positive-- I like how you can install it to any systems you own, so long as the iLok is installed/inserted into your USB port... makes it easy to move from computer to computer (if you record with a friend and then mix at home)... etc. That's nice... well, ever since 9, anyway... because you couldn't do that, before..... (you were tied to Digidesign's hardware).

I just hate the hype, and how it's "industry standard." Why, though? The original version of Pro Tools when it was fully hardware-dependent (and the software side was front-end, and used hardly any RAM even on SUPER old systems, with like... half a gig of ram max...), that was why it became the standard (because it didn't bog down your system because of those crazy huge cards)... but all affordable versions of Pro Tools since (consumer/regular people-wise-- including Pro Tools MP9, Pro Tools 9, and Pro Tools 10) are fully software/hard drive-dependent, thus basically being exactly like every other DAW out there.... except for one: Reaper.

I am constantly impressed with Reaper, and its capabilities. And it's a friggin' TINY program. It's like 6 megs compressed, and a few more when you expand it. It opens in literally 3 seconds. Three seconds, on an XP system with 2 or 3 gigs of RAM. It is easy to route anything you want, control anything you want, midi-wise, and go nuts with loop-based songwriting or midi tweaks. The time-stretching algorithms are fantastic, too... I'm really impressed with the quality.

I like Reaper's look. I like how you can set the colors of each track any way you want.. I mean... really... you can tweak ANYTHING to your heart's content with Reaper. You might be able to with Pro Tools, but I haven't spent enough time with it yet.... and I probably won't.

I'm really tired as I am typing this, and I have to be up for work in a few hours... but I just wanted to vent. The past few days, I've been messing around with Pro Tools and I've either experienced severe system lag, or crashes, or weird errors or sometimes the ilok needs to be removed and re-inserted... and then like a solid minute to load up, and then having to pick a template/folder for the new song idea..... totally counter-intuitive. And definitely not worth $600, just to have an infinite track count and other small improvements. Pro Tools MP9 should really be enough for most home studio people... but if you really want flexibility, speed, and at a fraction of the cost... it's Reaper all the way.

I'm sure this thread will get a lot of flames and trolls and whatnot... I'm not trying to be a Pro Tools-basher... I'm just trying to point out why it's a pain in my butt, and why Reaper is such a better choice, overall. Worth every penny (especially for the cheaper license)... it's come such a long way, and now, it is as good as all the other DAWs out there, if not better than them.

Still, I'm kind of a Sonar guy... been using Home Studio 6 and 7 for the past few years... just love it. But the more time I spend in Reaper.... the more I'm like "this DAW is ridiculously awesome."

I just wish it was as well-known as Pro Tools... people might go the other way, the same way all the Final Cut users migrated to Premiere CS 5.5 after FCP X (aka glorified iMovie) came out... even the pros.

I wonder what would happen if some of the pros just abandoned the pain in the butt of using Pro Tools, and kicked it full Reaper-style.... the whole recording industry would freak the hell out, like when the music industry freaked out when Napster was the thing.

I'm open and curious.... not looking for war. I need sleep, but look forward to your replies....

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2nd April 2012
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The first question that pops into my mind is: Have you actually finished any projects?

Seriously. You said: "Sonar Home Studio/Sonar... then Ableton..... Cubase here and there... Reason, FL Studio, Garageband, and Ableton..... blah blah blah... and then, in 2008, I discovered Reaper". And with Pro Tools added to that list that's 8 DAW's.

And after reading this: "I just wish it was as well-known as Pro Tools... people might go the other way, the same way all the Final Cut users migrated to Premiere CS 5.5 after FCP X (aka glorified iMovie) came out... even the pros."

More questions: Why do you care so much what anyone else uses or thinks? Who cares?

You clearly don't like PT and from the looks of your post like to exaggerate a lot so why not just use Reaper and actually get some music done?
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2nd April 2012
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I have finished more than 9 albums, FYI, of different styles of music in the last 6 years. The reason I got so interested in checking out other DAWs is because I have a thirst for knowledge and I like to be experienced with all of them, because people like to come to me and say "how do I.... in so-and-so program".... I'm a computer geek, so I like to mess with these programs and learn them.

I'm just trying to point out that in my experience, I find Pro Tools to be one of the most annoying programs to work in. I feel the exact same about Logic. And I wonder if anyone feels the same about PT, and Reaper.

I asked for no flames and no war, so let's keep this cool and friendly. Thanks!
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2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
I have finished more than 9 albums, FYI, of different styles of music in the last 6 years. The reason I got so interested in checking out other DAWs is because I have a thirst for knowledge and I like to be experienced with all of them, because people like to come to me and say "how do I.... in so-and-so program".... I'm a computer geek, so I like to mess with these programs and learn them.

I'm just trying to point out that in my experience, I find Pro Tools to be one of the most annoying programs to work in. I feel the exact same about Logic and Mackie's Tracktion. And I wonder if anyone feels the same, about PT, and Reaper.

I asked for no flames and no war, so let's keep this cool and friendly. Thanks!
I'm not flaming. But when you say things like "I hate the 8,000 folders it creates for every song... fade files, blah blah blah"... It's kinda hard to take you seriously.

And yes, plenty of people hate Pro Tools. And if you do a GS search you'll find plenty of threads already where people express their hate. You're definitely not alone if that makes you feel better.

One thing I will say after working in the music industry as well as worked for 3 different plugin companies...it seems from my observation that most people with serious pro tools issues are on PC's. So my assumption is that Avid is still having a hard time with the PC market and their ever-moving target of custom configurations.
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2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
I started working in Pro Tools back in 1999 (one of the first "HD" versions-- where it was all in the hardware, and expensive as hell).
Bummer. I remember those prices. I started with saw plus on a 386 in 1996. It was pretty cool for its time. Couldn't afford the Pro Tools route, so it's a program I don't know at all. I moved from Saw directly over to Cubase/Nuendo and never looked back.

As far as the "industry standard" thing you mention, that's a pretty old slogan from about ten years ago... about when the industry died. Not very applicable in today's world, so no need to ask why it's a standard... it's not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
I like Reaper's look.
I don't like Reaper's look. It looks funny. It feels funny. Doesn't feel like "home" when I've tried it. Adding all the various "skins" still makes it look funny... only in different colors. My college age son uses Reaper and really likes it. That's cool.

I'll stick with Cubase and Nuendo. Those feel like home for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
I'm just trying to point out why Reaper is such a better choice, overall.
I don't like Reaper much but Justin has created a pretty nifty program and marketing angle. It's cool you like it.

I'll never switch to it.
#6
2nd April 2012
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I bet I'd make a fortune selling piss on (DAW logo here) stickers...

8 DAW, you've been through 8... your money could have been spent better. Unless you got it for free... if you can get to the point in 2 paragraphs people will read your post.

Reaper is OK, tools are tools use whatever works. I've released 7 albums, all in pro tools in 4 years. All I have ever used is Pro Tools and an AT2020 mic. If you heard my releases in order you'd swear I dropped cash a lot because it gets better and better. Its because I know how to use what I have.

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2nd April 2012
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I'm trying not to fire back in your non-existent war... but... I think you might have been having some computer issues over the last couple of years as I don't think most people experience the same lag you have unless their system is either under-powered or, frankly, they've set their buffers and such too high (also, being 32 bit still, your 16GB of RAM will do nothing as far as performance).

I will say, to each his own, but I really dislike the look of Reaper and the idea of re-skinning any application (DAW or otherwise) has always seemed like the most colossal waste of time and effort. I have a DeWalt drill... it's yellow and it drills.. I think it looks awful but, it's a tool, I'm not going to customize it with tribal graphics or whatever, I just pick it up and screw sh*t in (and up!) with it.

The other point I'll make is this (and again, not reaper nor sonor, nor even this thread specific) the reason something is popular or the "industry standard" sometimes is because it IS (ie no actual reason) sometimes it's because it's better, or it was first, and, more importantly, it will remain the industry standard until it is not. Pro Tools has been the standard since it was released, it is the standard today and the idea that the thousands of pros around the world, using it everyday, making a living producing ALL sorts of audio and video are somehow "wrong" strikes me as slightly arrogant.
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2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
I'm not flaming. But when you say things like "I hate the 8,000 folders it creates for every song... fade files, blah blah blah"... It's kinda hard to take you seriously.
Also, they've gotten rid of that pesky FADE FILES folder so it's a much more manageable 7,999 folders now!
#9
2nd April 2012
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reaper just doesnt have the same polished feel to me as pro tools.

Reaper does have some really nifty features. I enjoy the way it handles automation...

I think I choose to use and pay into the PT game because I get the best results with it and I like the workflow.

I'm also of the techie variety (i'd assume most of us here are) but I just don't have the time to learn a huge variety of workflows that major studios are not using.

It's just so easy to open up a PT session and know exactly what's going on.

Every DAW I've used has issues. Infact almost every piece of software/os I've used has things I would like to tweak. I've used linux... but what it comes down to is that I know PT will allow me to get the job done. It will run the plugins I need. It will easily transfer to other studios.

I have reaper installed on my laptop and I love it's resource lite operation but when it comes down to it I just prefer PT.

I feel like reaper has some great features that PT could benefit from incorporating but the picture I've attached I feel perfectly demonstrates why I prefer PT. I know this is a gui thing but feel is a big part of something that you use everyday. For me this window feels like... windows 95.

This is not meant to be harsh. It (reaper/most othe DAWs) is definitely functional but it just doesn't have that same magical feel to me as PT.
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#10
2nd April 2012
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My now most have tried reaper. Seems like they just don't like it. What can you do?

I started messing with it a few weeks ago. After the first time I right clicked, I turned the program off. Too much crap popped up at once. You can customize it I think but, I don't want to right now. You can program all types of crap in reaper. I don't wanna right now.

The OP is a self proclaimed computer geek. To me reaper seems to be oriented more toward that crowd than other DAWs.

At the moment I'm demoing the latest from Studio One, Samplitude, and Reaper. Reaper is in last place. I have a week left to decide.

Modern conveniences have value too. The look doesnt bother me as I used Acid Pro for many years. While PT may not be your idea of a standard, reaper so far is not my idea of one either. Cool program though. I like the price.
#11
2nd April 2012
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people think reaper is a mess, that´s why.

You only get one opportunity to do a first impression etc..
#12
2nd April 2012
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Pro Tools is big enough and charges enough that they spend on marketing (some of which shows up here). Additionally those who have invested thousands in Avid hardware have an interest in promoting it. Since Reaper doesn't charge enough to cover any marketing and has a free uncrippled download for anyone to try out you should at least do that, just to check it out and see if it fits you. Seems like the biggest complaint I've seen with Reaper is too many options and no love for the default skin. Well at least you can use other skins with it and once you set things up the way you want to see them and how you like to work it's done. If that is too much work then Presonus Studio One (the new DAW kid on the block) seems to be more orientated to musicans self recording and just wanting it simple for that. I'm partial to Cubase and especially VST plugs (if there are any standards it should be VST for plug format). Instead of just adapting VST this time around Avid invented the new AAX and AAX DSP plug formats with their new hardware. I guess they can't ween themself off of plug licencing fees.
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2nd April 2012
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If Reaper got any more love around here, it would have to get checked for STDs.

The truth is that what makes any program work for you or me is workflow. The more programs you've used, the more you know about workflow. The more different types of projects you do, the more workflow begins to matter to you.

DAW programs are pretty much similar in broad strokes, but they all seem to be different in detail. What is easy and fast in one will require multiple keystrokes in another. So which one works for you may not be the same one that works for me, because we each work differently.

I didn't find either PT or Reaper to be to my liking. But each changes, and that may not be true some years from today. However, why would I leave the program that I use now, which suits my workflow so well? There would have to be a compelling reason. Some people need to always have new stuff, and their passion is not for making music, it is for acquiring new stuff and being able to say that they have new stuff. Other people have a passion for music. They get what they need to make music, and proceed along the path of doing so. I could probably use the current version of my DAW of choice for the next 10 years and be happy. Each time they upgrade, so far they appear to be making it better. If they ever make it suck, would I buy a new product or just down-grade to an older version of what I already have and know how to use, which would not cost me a dime?
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2nd April 2012
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Something is wrong with your Pro Tools installation - I don't have any of those issues. Maybe you should try Pro Tools 10 - it makes a grand total of 4 folders and has real-time fades (no files). Logic 9 makes 5 folders.
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2nd April 2012
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I haven't used PT much, but I've used Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and SONAR extensively over the years. I sold Logic because it seemed to be written by an alien... I don't mind learning how to use a couple of features, but with Logic, I found myself having WTF moments *at every turn*. Reaper seemed to be written by someone who thought the way I do.

That they have kept such a small executable and have been incredibly responsive to requests suggests to me that they've got a pretty well thought-out software architecture that was designed correctly from the start. Amazingly, it hasn't turned into the dogpile that most software projects seem to become after years of feature additions and hacks.
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2nd April 2012
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They are all clunky until you take the time to learn them and set them up to your liking. I've had Sonar X1 Essentials since it came out but only used it rarely. This weekend I took the time to watch all the various videoes I could find about it and learned a ton of information on how to use it properly.

Right now I am completely impressed with Sonar X1 Essentials, because I know what it can do, and it didn't cost an arm and a leg either.
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2nd April 2012
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Good points, everyone. Great points, really.

To answer the one poster's question - I didn't buy all the DAWs (but I didn't steal them, either). I have a lot of recording musician friends and often, I'd mess around on their systems and get a feel for the programs, or I'd download demos.

I don't think anything was wrong with my Pro Tools installation, but one thing I did find is that the Pro Tools MP9 update to 9.0.5 or something was a bug-ridden mess, according to what I read, so I kept it at 9.0.0.

Yeah, I can agree that Reaper's a bit "too customizable" or a bit ugly, as it were. If they left the default skin to have the nice track colors (different for each track) instead of the monochrome ugliness that the default is, it would definitely attract more people, I think.

Haven't tried the Presonus DAW, but since I'm a nerd, I'll definitely give it a whirl if there's a demo.

I fully agree with the one person who said Logic's code seems to have been written by an alien. "Logic" is the funniest pun I've heard for a DAW title in years. What a mess that program is.

So... the slow loading time for PT doesn't bug you guys? And needing to "wrap" your VSTs (such as with the FXPansion VST-to-RTAS wrapper) so they can be used in PT?

Have any freeware or third-party VSTs crashed your Pro Tools or made it completely unstable?

And lastly, what DAW is everyone using on a regular basis, and what DAWs do you not own or use, but like a lot?

Thanks again... I'll mess around with PT some more.... oh, and the 32-bit only thing is annoying... I wish more DAWs jumped into the 64-bit world, as it is so nice to have all available RAM actually used by my DAW.
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2nd April 2012
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Re: Sonar X1 Essentials-- I got that free upgrade from Cakewalk since I've owned Home Studio 6 and 7 for years... I haven't messed with X1 Essentials yet, but it seems pretty decent. Being able to use REX loops natively is a HUGE plus... you can drag and drop them just like a wav file.... very, very cool.
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2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
The first question that pops into my mind is: Have you actually finished any projects?

Seriously. You said: "Sonar Home Studio/Sonar... then Ableton..... Cubase here and there... Reason, FL Studio, Garageband, and Ableton..... blah blah blah... and then, in 2008, I discovered Reaper". And with Pro Tools added to that list that's 8 DAW's.

And after reading this: "I just wish it was as well-known as Pro Tools... people might go the other way, the same way all the Final Cut users migrated to Premiere CS 5.5 after FCP X (aka glorified iMovie) came out... even the pros."

More questions: Why do you care so much what anyone else uses or thinks? Who cares?

You clearly don't like PT and from the looks of your post like to exaggerate a lot so why not just use Reaper and actually get some music done?
Its important if you wish to exchange project files throughout the production pipeline. Which works better and has a lot of advantages over just exchanging rendered wav's.

To answer the op's question; same problem though:
Pro tools got 'all the hype' because it was the first at successfully marketting itself for professional use and thus it has placed itself as the major tool many production houses use in their pipeline. So thats what they use and have designed their entire production pipeline arround over the years, its not something that you easily change by just 'switching to another program'.
#20
2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
Re: Sonar X1 Essentials-- I got that free upgrade from Cakewalk since I've owned Home Studio 6 and 7 for years... I haven't messed with X1 Essentials yet, but it seems pretty decent. Being able to use REX loops natively is a HUGE plus... you can drag and drop them just like a wav file.... very, very cool.
Yep, Sonar X1 Essentials is great, the only thing that bugs me is that I wish I could change the color of the GUI. I was on it all week-end with no crashes. It ran like a top. Solid as a rock.

I have a copy of Pro Tools SE coming in the mail today, I'm going to give it a whirl and see if it can stand up against Sonar X1 Essentials. May the best program win !!
#21
2nd April 2012
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I use Samplitude/Sequoia, after many years with SAW/SAWPro/SAWStudio and Sound Forge/Vegas/Acid.

I was involved with Cakewalk back before they handled audio, then when they were making the transition I was on their beta team. Never was really 'my' program but my buddy, who is a coder by trade got involved and he really rocked it. He has that level of attention to detail that I could never muster up for software, and I loved working with him because though we might not always agree on everything, his point of view always helped me. As far as I know he is still using Sonar. To me it always felt like a program for a keyboard player, and I'm a guitar player.
#22
2nd April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .ACiD View Post
Its important if you wish to exchange project files throughout the production pipeline. Which works better and has a lot of advantages over just exchanging rendered wav's.
AATranslator has come a long way. PT is no longer necessary, depending on the production pipeline. For most tracking / mixing situations, the translation is enough..

To the OP.
Historically Samplitude had been my weapon of choice. Recently I decided that I had gone too long without upgrading, and wasnt sure I wanted to pay the piper. So, I started evaluating other programs. I may dive back into the Samp world. Reaper does almost everything I want it to do. I just dont like having to program/set it up to do so. I never had any "setup" in Samp. In fact I dont even know how to customize it lol. It just worked the way I wanted it to, from day one.

S1 is very cool. It doesn't do one really big thing with object based effects, that I would like. A shame really. I think they made it TOO simple.

On one end of the spectrum is S1 super simple. On the other end is reaper: Super complicated until you set it up, and learn all the custom shortcuts.

Samp still falls in the middle for me. I may check out Cubase. but I have never vibed with that program. I already have history with Cakewalk. Not bad at all. Not quite great.

PT is no longer a need or want at this point. It has its strengths though.

If reaper ever gets the refinement and ease of use OTB that other packages seem to have, I will switch in a heartbeat. (along with a few features that it does not seem to do or do well) I may switch anyway.. I still havw a week left to play with it. My verdict is preliminary at this point.
#23
2nd April 2012
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I got my ProTools SE up and running today. It's got a very nice clean looking GUI, but very few options on things. I haven't figured out how to use my soft synth programs with it yet. It does come with many of it's own sounds to work with, which is nice. One thing it did do was force me to use my M-Audio Fast Track as a go between from my computer to my studio amp. It acts sort of like a USB sound card. I like the Fast Track because now I can plug in a condensor mic or guitar directly into my computer, and it'll route the signal directly to my studio amp resulting in zero latency.

All in all Pro Tools SE seems to be a very basic program. Easy to learn, easy to work with. Sonar X1 Essentials is much more complex, but it gives you many necessary options that you many need to refine things.
#24
2nd April 2012
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Reaper is well loved though and that is why you don't hear about it

It enables my creativity and works flawlessly and is the single best purchase I've ever made

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#25
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
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Well I tried to use the effects in PT SE and the whole program has gone haywire and is playing distortion on and off at it's own discretion. I tried doing a whole system restart and still no joy. As it is now PT SE is unusable on my computer. Sonar X1 Essentials is working just fine.
themixtape
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#26
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #26
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Joined: Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne View Post
Yep, Sonar X1 Essentials is great, the only thing that bugs me is that I wish I could change the color of the GUI. I was on it all week-end with no crashes. It ran like a top. Solid as a rock.

I have a copy of Pro Tools SE coming in the mail today, I'm going to give it a whirl and see if it can stand up against Sonar X1 Essentials. May the best program win !!
Which version? I just grabbed the updates a b c and d... are you running the X1d update? Thx!
#27
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #27
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While Pro Tools (and maybe Logic being a close second) seem to be the go to DAWs for music production, the fact is that the market has multiplied into a pretty diverse variety of niche tools based on personal preference.

I'd say Pro Tools and Logic are the main tools for producing finished albums (Cubase too). Then for music creation you have Ableton Live and Reason (my personal favorite). I know Reaper has a devout fanbase. I tried it and like some others on this thread it didn't do it for me.

And that's the whole point. In order for all these products to continue being relevant they will need to meet a standard and further their ability to integrate with each other as time passes.

So long as you can easily export out your audio stems for upload into another system you should feel free to work in whatever environment makes you the most productive.
themixtape
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#28
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #28
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Well-stated, Ramin.
#29
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themixtape View Post
Which version? I just grabbed the updates a b c and d... are you running the X1d update? Thx!
Yes, I'm running X1d.
#30
2nd April 2012
Old 2nd April 2012
  #30
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Joined: May 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2,654

So I turned off my computer for a while and came back and now Pro Tools SE is working...go figure. I did get an error while trying to load an audio track but it went away. Now it's working....
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