I am just demoing this now.
Let me say, I compose electronic music, and I like good sound quality.
About the DAW:
Coming from Studio One
I actually find this surprisingly comfortable so far, I've not read the manual or watched the tutorials much, finding my way round quite easily so far. It has some nice features, like moving an insert up or down the chain just by dragging it. This by the way coming from someone who reeled when he opened Cubase 6.5.
I really want object based editing, it makes life so much easier and helps creativity. Afaik its not in S1.
Trying out the suite plug-ins right now just out of curiosity. Afaik they are developed by Sascha who's recently teamed up with u-he.
Well I am floored by Ammunition and Amtrack. Seriously floored.
I've demoed the brainworx Alpha, Mpressor and Vertigo. I own Arts Acoustic CL Series, I've demoed some waves compressors too and many others besides. Just so you know where I am coming from.
Ammunition is an opto comp, I love opto style compression as it is, but this thing is silly good, you can slam it with hardly any distortion and almost no pumping at all. I've actually not heard anything like it before. It's stunning.
Amtrack is really good at imparting warmth. I am so floored right now and that is rare for me. And I've never been impressed with included processors before.
Not all that impressed with the pro reverb though.
I recently bought Pro-L. So far I think it's a better limiter than the included smax11 limiter, but its close. I feel Pro-L preserves the kick and bass better.
Before buying Pro-L I felt I was missing an important tool, after demoing it I felt it filled that void very well, better than anything else I'd tried. I don't actually need a limiter to get a loud mix, but It's handy to have one this good around.
Now I am demoing these plug-ins on a mixed stereo song, the one in my sig actually but a version before I put Pro-L on the end, just testing out their transparency and my conclusion is you can get some serious volume with combinations of these plug-ins if you want it. The multi-band dynamics is very good as is the advanced dynamics processor. It's all very good and If I did buy the suite I'd probably be quite alright selling Pro-L, unless by tweaking I couldn't replicate that 10% difference where Pro-L just preserves the transients and kick better.
I am not easily impressed imo but this is is simply stunning.
I am surprised the analog modeling plug-ins are not mentioned often as they are for sale separately for a good price, the draw back though Ammunition is not part of the package (yet) but they say on the site it will be soon. Without Ammunition though its not the same.
Very seriously considering this as I am not happy with how basic S1 is sometimes.
Edit - Just been doing some midi editing. This thing is totally straight forward, I've watched no tutorials and read no manuals. I find this easier than Cubase and for somethings it's actually easier than S1. It has MPC grooves in the qauntize options, and I can automate panning on a VSTI just as thought it were on an audio lane. I found the undo history in a couple of clicks. Everything is really where I expect it to be so far. I can tell as soon as I get into customization of the layout and key commends I will be moving very fast on this DAW. Faster than S1 for sure.
I also just plopped an audio file onto a midi track and there were no problems there either. Playing with object editing. Gotta love this. But it seems you have to freeze the track first.
Edit - Sorry, just one more thing before I call it a night. I was looking at the mixer:
1) Long faders: YES! Now I don't have to load up Sonalksis Free-G everytime I want better control and wonder why all Daw mixers aren't made this way in the fist place
2) Volumr level markings on faders: Yes! same as point 1.
3) Was playing with the EQ, thinking "hey, right clicking seems to do cool stuff in this daw, Oh it brings up a nice littler editor for the EQ, nice"
4) Tried the same for Pan. Wow, lots of pan laws to choose from, invert the phase on just one channel, increase stereo width or make it mono, all from this one little window!
5) Clicked the little 2 channel surround button. Again, wow. Got this nice and large screen which allows me to place the pan on an x-y axis, was thinking to myself, wouldn't it be neat if I could actually control the automation from here instead of drawling little lines in the track lane. Well I can! And you can even move the position around and record it in real time (!) this is so useful and fast. This is so conducive to creativity it's great. I feel like I have found a really special tool here.
I am really thinking about the full suite, even though its expensive and I'll say one more thing, full suites have never interested me before with any DAW, I always go for the cut down versions. But the plug-ins here are really good.
Anyway, signing off.