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Tom C
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#1
16th June 2010
Old 16th June 2010
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New DAW Recommendations?

I've been recording with Cubase for a number of years (currently Cubase 4 on a Macbook Pro, MOTU Traveler audio interface), and I'm hoping to get some opinions about the newer DAW software out there.

I like the idea of a platform that's more intuitive to use. I'm a songwriter / musician, mainly recording myself, using a combination of midi, virtual instrument tracks, and of course audio. I've done fine with Cubase, but the program is pretty deep, and involves a lot of left brain activity to get the job done.

I'm interested in Propellerhead's Record, and Presonus's Studio One (or ..?). Both claim to be designed more for musicians than engineers, with simple and intuitive user interfaces.

Record claims its digital mixer is modeled after an SSL. Studio One talks about its state-of-the-art audio engine. I always assumed that the sound of DAW recordings was determined more by the audio interface, with its mic pre's and converters making the biggest difference. Once the signal is in the DAW, it's all one's and zero's - right?

Does anyone have any experience with these two DAW's (or any others with the above considerations), and compared their "sound" to Cubase?
#2
16th June 2010
Old 16th June 2010
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are you unhappy with cubase?

don't get sucked into other daws marketing hype. UNLESS you are very unhappy with your current daw, the grass is not greener on the other side. Save your money!

That being said if you are unhappy with cubase, then record and studio one are very different products. Record won't load 3rd party plugins like VST or AUs, but it is rock solid and easy to use. If you get reason with record you have lots of instrument and fx options. I don't know much about studio one, but it seems like it can pretty much do anything that every other daw can out there can do.

The plus side is both have demos available for you to try out and see. Don't listen to hype or anyone elses opinion on this board (including me) about their DAW opinions. It's all based on what you like and how you like to work.

DAWs - they all can get you where you want to go, they just take different routes.
#3
16th June 2010
Old 16th June 2010
  #3
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+1 on n8tron's story. If cubase works for you, record and presonus one will just drag you into another way of working/learning etc etc ....

However....Why not look into reason for the midi part of your cubase set up. I guess that rewire works in cubase. Reason is very easy when working with midi/loops etc and you can still do your audio in cubase.
#4
16th June 2010
Old 16th June 2010
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In the end, I think they're all more or less the same. "Intuitive" means basically "easy to understand from a particular viewpoint".

If you need to do a million things inside a program, there has to be a menu for those. If you just want to record some songs, I think they all can "handle" it -- patch in your mics, press record -> bounce.
#5
17th June 2010
Old 17th June 2010
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Studio One is a breath of fresh air, the only time I use Logic at this point is for comping vocals because I prefer their approach. Supposedly Studio One will have improved vocal comping in the next version.

It feels like a DAW where the whole company started from scratch and decided to do everything right.
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#6
17th June 2010
Old 17th June 2010
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Thanks for the insights, everyone.

For example, I didn't know that Record won't load 3rd party plug-ins, and I have a number of 3rd party VST plug-ins which I use with Cubase.

The second part of my question: in your experience, is there any truth to the rumor that different DAW's sound different? Has anyone noticed this when switching between two programs? Or is this where the hype comes in? As long as you're using the same audio interface, mic's, preamp's, etc., I thought that once the signal is inside the DAW, it shouldn't matter. Then again, different plug-in's sound different, so perhaps Record's SSL modeled mixer does sound different than Cubase's mixer? Or is this only a factor when you use the mixer's EQ, compressors, etc.
#7
17th June 2010
Old 17th June 2010
  #7
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Theres always Reaper. Hasnt anyone mentioned that yet?

Its getting to the point that theyre all good and come with stock plugs that are fully useable. Such is the case with Reaper and Studio One.

I personally think that Reaper is much more in touch with their user base. Id be willing to bet money on it in fact. Reaper releases updates that actually matter about every month and the updates are free.

At the end of the day, it really doesnt matter what DAW you use, just pick the one that suits your needs the best.

As a die-hard Propellerhead fan and user, suggeting Record is a hard sell right now. Value wise, its great. Im just on the fence about it. I really dont need it. Now, if it had VST support and gave me a reason NOT to ever use Audition 3 or Reaper (my two main DAWS), then I might consider it. I dont think the benefit of SSL in Record negates this need for me yet.

But use what you need. I export tracks from Reason into Audi3 or Reaper. I dont do any sequencing in any DAW, just in Reason. Then I stack live audio like guitars and vocals on top of those tracks from Reason. Im also of the Prop's user base that thinks ReWire is a lie, haha, so dont buy a product based on the claim it supports ReWire. For every guy that likes ReWire, I think theres 3 who hate it.

But if in fact you are a music producer and not someone who buys music programs to get a warm fuzzy feeling of ownership or a sense of professionalism due to your proximity to the programs box, it should be a relatively easy choice.

So, what kind of music do you do?
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#8
17th June 2010
Old 17th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
Thanks for the insights, everyone.

For example, I didn't know that Record won't load 3rd party plug-ins, and I have a number of 3rd party VST plug-ins which I use with Cubase.

The second part of my question: in your experience, is there any truth to the rumor that different DAW's sound different? Has anyone noticed this when switching between two programs? Or is this where the hype comes in? As long as you're using the same audio interface, mic's, preamp's, etc., I thought that once the signal is inside the DAW, it shouldn't matter. Then again, different plug-in's sound different, so perhaps Record's SSL modeled mixer does sound different than Cubase's mixer? Or is this only a factor when you use the mixer's EQ, compressors, etc.
Nope. Record does NOT support VST's which is one of the reasons I say hold off on it. Records SSL emulation may sound good but.....I doubt you can do everything you need to do within Record. Therefore, whats the point of exporting a main mix or tracks with SSL emulation on it? Sounds like more tedium than its worth. If it made coffee for me and rolled my spliffs, Id consider it.

No. DAWs do not sound different. They all null. Its not a mystery, its a fact. Meaning, if you play a tune thru one DAW with no effects or any changes, if the pan laws are the same from DAW to DAW, each DAW will spit out a copy of the song that reads in binary something like 1101000100. And the next DAW will spit out the same audio, coded the same way. Nothing different. Now when ya use efx like the SSL bizness your talking about, then youll see changes.
#9
17th June 2010
Old 17th June 2010
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If your a Cubase guy, go for Studio One, its what Cubase SHOULD be right now.
Youll love the drag and drop on EVERYTHING!!!!! Download the demo and check it out
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Tom C
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#10
18th June 2010
Old 18th June 2010
  #10
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Thanks for your thoughts.

Checking out the Studio One demo; initial setup was fast, recognizing my external interfaces. Impressive. The drag & drop features are cool, and a real time saver.

As near as I can tell, the demo only came loaded with one soft synth - no sample based drums, pianos, etc. Is that right? Does the actual program come loaded with more virtual instruments?

Along those lines, after having used HALionOne in Cubase 4, can you recommend a similar virtual instrument package, with a wide variety of sounds? Always interested in more / better sounds, as well as bang-for-buck.

I use these sample-based type sounds more often than the software synths. I'm doing alternative folk/rock and acoustic type songs.

Thanks again.
#11
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #11
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Give reaper a try too.
#12
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #12
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+1 gajillion for reaper.
#13
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
As near as I can tell, the demo only came loaded with one soft synth - no sample based drums, pianos, etc. Is that right? Does the actual program come loaded with more virtual instruments?

Along those lines, after having used HALionOne in Cubase 4, can you recommend a similar virtual instrument package, with a wide variety of sounds? Always interested in more / better sounds, as well as bang-for-buck.
Thanks again.
Some options:

1. SampleTank 2
IK Multimedia

2. NATIVE INSTRUMENTS : HOME | HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR MUSICIANS, PRODUCERS, DJS, GUITAR AND BASS PLAYERS
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS : HOME | HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR MUSICIANS, PRODUCERS, DJS, GUITAR AND BASS PLAYERS

3. Spectrasonics - Omnisphere - Features
#14
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
Thanks for your thoughts.

Checking out the Studio One demo; initial setup was fast, recognizing my external interfaces. Impressive. The drag & drop features are cool, and a real time saver.

As near as I can tell, the demo only came loaded with one soft synth - no sample based drums, pianos, etc. Is that right? Does the actual program come loaded with more virtual instruments?

Along those lines, after having used HALionOne in Cubase 4, can you recommend a similar virtual instrument package, with a wide variety of sounds? Always interested in more / better sounds, as well as bang-for-buck.

I use these sample-based type sounds more often than the software synths. I'm doing alternative folk/rock and acoustic type songs.

Thanks again.
I copied this from the presonus sight and am unsure whether these are all included with S1 artist . I have S1 pro . I've not really put the S1 plugs to use as i bought pro for the project page (still tracking and mixing in PT 8.03 at the moment . Will learn S1 when i have the time ) . I will say that the Native Instruments plugs it comes with are quite nice and they open in my PT sessions which is dope . I like them so much i upgraded to the full versions . NI is having a 50% off upgrade special this month . I was using Nigel (UAD plug in) and Sans Amp/ Eleven LE and i never quite got the guitar tones i was searching for . I got it within seconds with the guitar rig LE version that comes included with S1 and Kore comes with a fair amount of content and is quite good to . The S1 VI's look pretty workable in youtube user made tutorials i've watched.

Ampire - Amplifier-Modeling Plug-in
Analog Delay - Tape-Delay Emulation Plug-in
Auto Filter - Envelope Filter Plug-in
Beat Delay - Tempo-Synchronized Delay
Binaural Pan - Stereo Panning Effect Plug-in
Channel Strip - Dynamics Processing and Equalizer Plug-in
Chorus - Mono/Stereo Chorus Plug-in
Compressor - Mono/Stereo Variable Compressor Plug-in
Expander - Mono/Stereo Expander Plug-in
Flanger - Stereo/Mono Flanger Plug-in
Gate - Noise Gate Plug-in
Groove Delay - Multi-Tap and Tempo Synchronized Delay Plug-in
Limiter - Mono/Stereo Limiter Plug-in
Mixtool - Phase and MS Utility Plug-in
MixVerb - Mono/Stereo Reverb Plug-in
Multiband Dynamics - Mono/Stereo Multiband Compressor/Expander Plug-in
NI Guitar Rig LE - Amp-Modeling Plug-in
Phase Meter - Phase Correlation Analysis Plug-in
Phaser - Mono/Stereo Phaser Plug-in
Pipeline - Hardware Insert Plug-in
Pro EQ - Seven-Band Parametric EQ
Red Light Distortion - Distortion Plug-in
Room Reverb - Stereo/Mono Room Reverb Plug-in
Spectrum Meter - Frequency Analysis Plug-in
Tricomp - Three-band Compressor Plug-in
Tuner - Instrument Tuning Plug-in
X-Trem - Mono/Stereo Tremolo Plug-in
EZdrummer Lite - Virtual Drum Machine
Impact - Sample Trigger Virtual Instrument
Mojito - Analog-Modeling Subtractive Synthesizer
NI Kore Player - Virtual Instrument with Library
Presence - Sample Player Virtual Instrument
SampleOne - Sampler Virtual Instrument
#15
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #15
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Studio ONE
Tom C
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#16
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #16
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Shanabit,

I was curious: Cubase 4 came preloaded with HALion One. It's limited in how you can edit the sounds, etc.; what you think of Halion Sonic? Just wondering how it compares to the other recommendations you mentioned.

Thanks for the insights.
#17
19th June 2010
Old 19th June 2010
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
I've been recording with Cubase for a number of years (currently Cubase 4 on a Macbook Pro, MOTU Traveler audio interface), and I'm hoping to get some opinions about the newer DAW software out there.

I like the idea of a platform that's more intuitive to use. I'm a songwriter / musician, mainly recording myself, using a combination of midi, virtual instrument tracks, and of course audio. I've done fine with Cubase, but the program is pretty deep, and involves a lot of left brain activity to get the job done.
I think you'd do yourself a big favor with sticking to Cubase. The transition is not worth the effort, unless you'd go PT for commercial/compatibility reasons.

That is the only reason I would switch, and I dfegad on Steinberg.

Better the devil you know et all, and Cubase is actually a really great piece of software.
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#18
20th June 2010
Old 20th June 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
Shanabit,

I was curious: Cubase 4 came preloaded with HALion One. It's limited in how you can edit the sounds, etc.; what you think of Halion Sonic? Just wondering how it compares to the other recommendations you mentioned.

Thanks for the insights.
I think the sounds the Steiny puts in be it Halion or anything else are just plain Jane to me. I dont use them much here, hardware synths pretty much
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