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easiest DAW for multi track midi sequencing? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
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easiest DAW for multi track midi sequencing?

I am basically new to DAW's as a whole. I've messed around a little with FL studio and found the step sequencer and loading samples was easy but i couldn't really get the hang multi track midi sequencing. I'm looking for something that i can have multiple midi tracks with easily visable and editable piano rolls. I want to send them out to my multitimbral synth so i can edit and listen to all the parts at once and learn about mixing levels and composing as a whole. I'm told Cakewalk Sonar is a nice and easy entry level DAW but i really need some guidance before i buy.

I've gotton some good programming experiance and my goal now is to mess around with some layers and beats and see what happens. Thanks for any input guys.
Old 31st December 2010
  #2
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atma's Avatar
cubase is really intuitive and easy to use in general. it'd take you 5 minutes to figure it out.
Old 31st December 2010
  #3
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Hi there Estin,

I use Logic Pro. I don't actually use it for sequencing midi parts to a synth. I do use it to record and playback midi cc data. (both in and out) I think its pretty easy to use. I only started using it at the beginning of this year. After a 5 year break. My perspective may be a little skewed tho as I have 10+ years experience with synths and midi.

It seems to me to be a very comprehensive program. Plus you get some plugins with it like ES2, Ultrabeat and ESX24 and some other goodies too. The manual is 1000+ pages but its pretty user friendly and there is a great Logic Pro Help :: Logic Pro Forums with lots of tips and tricks. It seems the posters are pretty helpful there too.

I think you will find it pretty straight forward and easy to use. There is also a ton of depth that can be explored. Hope that helps a little.
Best of luck
d.
Old 31st December 2010
  #4
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"Dubtek71" Isn't logic on Mac only? I'm on M$
Old 31st December 2010
  #5
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Logic indeed is Mac-only. I know SONAR's MIDI pages show multiple tracks and such on one roll, not sure about Cubase. If you have a a syncrosoft dongle handy you can always try the Cubase demo. Studio One definitely does not act like this at this time, and I can't say about REAPER, either. LOL I'm so helpful aren't I...
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

i dont think you can beat fruity loop's for just clicking in some crazy stuff and seeing what you get out of it. Wish it was on mac :(
Old 31st December 2010
  #7
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mike vee's Avatar
Cubase for sure
Old 31st December 2010
  #8
Gear Head
 

Do you have a specific budget?

You can certainly try Reaper for free from http://reaper.fm, and it is a fully functional trial version. After 30 days you can buy a license for $40. It does have piano roll view.

However, some users find that MIDI editing is not the most intuitive in Reaper.

I have experience with Cubase; it is a very powerful DAW with powerful MIDI editing options, but it does cost more.

On a Mac, I would use Logic, but if your budget is small, Reaper is also compatible with Mac. It is certainly a good learning DAW to start learning about computer-based music production, and you can always expand it to a very powerful production suite with plugins later down the road.
Old 31st December 2010
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
"Dubtek71" Isn't logic on Mac only? I'm on M$
Oops, sorry I didn't consider that. You had mentioned Sonar & FL Studio which would indicate you are using a PC.
Old 31st December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubtek71 View Post
I think you will find it pretty straight forward and easy to use. There is also a ton of depth that can be explored..
Interesting you should mention that. I just read an interview with D Ramirez in Computer Music, in which he mentions that Logic is so complex [NOT difficult, though], he still has not mastered it fully, but that is why he loves it; he can keep discovering it more.

The amount of tools Logic Studio comes with out of the box is one of the main reasons I recommend it for Mac users.

However, I guess Estin will have to do with one of the other DAWs on a PC.
Old 31st December 2010
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Always have and always will be a Cubase user, but recently downloaded and demo'd Presonus' Studio One just for ****s and giggles and was genuinely surprised at how intuitive and easy it was to use.

Give it a shot, it's a good stepping stone to the more established DAWs out there like Cubase and Logic.
Old 31st December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elteto View Post
Interesting you should mention that. I just read an interview with D Ramirez in Computer Music, in which he mentions that Logic is so complex [NOT difficult, though], he still has not mastered it fully, but that is why he loves it; he can keep discovering it more.

The amount of tools Logic Studio comes with out of the box is one of the main reasons I recommend it for Mac users.

However, I guess Estin will have to do with one of the other DAWs on a PC.
One reason I mentioned it that way, is I have started to dig into Cmd 4 (the transform window.)

It acts as a midi event processor of sorts. For example: You could have it remapping notes for you based on velocity or whatever parameters you set. Thus notes below a certain velocity will act one way and those above will act another. Or tie the mod wheel to sample start time. Sounds simple enough... but once I got hands dirty was a moment where I went...Whoa...this offers some different possibilities because there is waayyy more to it than just what I described. The depth and complexity of what is possible actually possible is something I don't have my head wrapped around completely. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this feature...but its awesome. I may start a thread about it. Time to research, experiment and create. heh

I wonder if cubase has the same type of feature set. It been a few years since I last used it.

Sorry to stray off topic.
Old 31st December 2010
  #13
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UpNSmoke's Avatar
 

MOTU DP7 has the friendliest and most powerful set of MIDI features of any DAW I've worked with. The latest version is stable as a rock!
Old 31st December 2010
  #14
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Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Quote:
Or tie the mod wheel to sample start time. Sounds simple enough... but once I got hands dirty was a moment where I went...Whoa
you can actually do the same thing in transformer environment objects. they are almost identical to the transform window. the main difference is that these operate in real time. so moving the modwheel could alter the sample start in realtime.

for the OP maybe one of the free apps might suffice. like reaper.
Old 31st December 2010
  #15
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Digital Performer is also Mac-only Though there is nothing to stop them from switching to Mac if they really, really think they'd stick with Logic or DP.

I also had another look at REAPER, and indeed it does show multiple MIDI tracks on one editing window:



Quote:
Originally Posted by tekara View Post
Always have and always will be a Cubase user, but recently downloaded and demo'd Presonus' Studio One just for ****s and giggles and was genuinely surprised at how intuitive and easy it was to use.

Give it a shot, it's a good stepping stone to the more established DAWs out there like Cubase and Logic.
As much as I love Studio One and would love to plug it for the OP, it doesn't do what the OP is asking. It might in an update before v 2.0 but who knows. Pretty sure it's a popular FR, and MIDI has gotten attention in quite a few 1.x releases so who knows.

**edit** unless I'm mis-reading something and they don't actually need to see multiple MIDI tracks at once on the piano roll. S1 Pro definitely does everything else they want.
Old 31st December 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpNSmoke View Post
MOTU DP7 has the friendliest and most powerful set of MIDI features of any DAW I've worked with. The latest version is stable as a rock!
mac only though right?

i found some screenshots of sonar showing multiple midi channels at once with stacked piano rolls so i'm thinking this might be a good choice. Now i'm going to try to find a demo and give it a go.
Old 1st January 2011
  #17
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blinky909's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisM View Post
As much as I love Studio One
i have been using a demo version of Studio One Pro and it has one major flaw... no external MIDI sync. i can not sync it to my MPC and that is a huge deal breaker for me. maybe 2.x will have external MIDI sync???

Studio One is very straight forward and it's very easy to sort out. i'm back to using Cubase for my recording. the MPC does all the sequencing.
Old 1st January 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estin View Post
i found some screenshots of sonar showing multiple midi channels at once with stacked piano rolls so i'm thinking this might be a good choice. Now i'm going to try to find a demo and give it a go.
It does indeed do that, but there is no demo. I hate that the major players all have no f'ing demo (cubase might as well not have one, it requires a syncrosoft dongle ), it's so damned asinine of them and it makes me think they are paranoid, greedy, or both. Pirates will crack your precious software whether you have demos or not. As much as I love Cakewalk's customer service, not being able to transfer licenses means you better be DAMNED sure you want SONAR when you buy it. You might want to look at a feature comparison between the versions and consider buying X1 Essential until you're sure you want to use SONAR, or be prepared to learn to use it anyway if you don't like it LOL.

of the DAWs I can think of on Windows that do what you want, and have demos, REAPER has a completely functioning, non-expiring demo and then it's $40 for a non-commercial license. I don't care much for REAPER, personally, but a lot of people like it. The 64-bit version has an awesome bit-bridge so you can use 32-bit and 64-bit plugins with it.

that said, SONAR X1 looks an awful lot like Studio One, and I love that interface :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
i have been using a demo version of Studio One Pro and it has one major flaw... no external MIDI sync. i can not sync it to my MPC and that is a huge deal breaker for me. maybe 2.x will have external MIDI sync???
Old 1st January 2011
  #19
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Fordy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
cubase is really intuitive and easy to use in general. it'd take you 5 minutes to figure it out.
I'll second that
Old 1st January 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 
Hypagen's Avatar
 

I've been really happy with Ableton Live for all my MIDI sequencing.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #21
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blinky909's Avatar
KrisM - Studio One does not sync to an external MIDI clock source, ie: it will not sync to my MPC, i can only sync my MPC to it - well discussed in their forums. do you have some knowledge on the subject you care to share?
Old 2nd January 2011
  #22
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Altitude909's Avatar
 

Seq24 Screen Shots is worth checking out (freeware)

Crazy that now that Roland bought cakewalk, no more demo :(
Old 2nd January 2011
  #23
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yeah no demo is freaking lame. How the hell do you expect people to like your software if they can't try it?
Old 2nd January 2011
  #24
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You realize, of course, that with any question about DAW's, people are going to recommend what they like and use, right?

Cubase.



(For either mac or pc).
Old 2nd January 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
You realize, of course, that with any question about DAW's, people are going to recommend what they like and use, right?

Cubase.



(For either mac or pc).
Its either that or we want somebody to share our pain too!heh
Old 2nd January 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinky909 View Post
KrisM - Studio One does not sync to an external MIDI clock source, ie: it will not sync to my MPC, i can only sync my MPC to it - well discussed in their forums. do you have some knowledge on the subject you care to share?
sorry, lol, was for PreSonus not you heh
Old 2nd January 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
You realize, of course, that with any question about DAW's, people are going to recommend what they like and use, right?

Cubase.



(For either mac or pc).
yeah thats why i gave a few details of what i was looking for. Tried to avoid the blanket question "whats the best DAW" as well as i could. heh
Old 4th January 2011
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by felis View Post
You realize, of course, that with any question about DAW's, people are going to recommend what they like and use, right?

Cubase.

(For either mac or pc).
Well, there IS a reason for that... Maybe they have tried a few different ones, and they have decided on a specific DAW because it meets their needs. People do come to the forums because they want to hear some opinions, and see if someone has encountered their situation. Otherwise what the OP would need is a dry, statistical, objective, comparison chart/spreadsheet.

In my case, I use Reaper and Reason, but I do recommend Cubase for the OP, based on his needs. I am certain that I am not alone. Many of us on here have tried a few different DAWs before settling on one, but we still may recognize specific features in those other DAWs that may be the solution to a forum member's problem.
Old 9th January 2011
  #29
Here for the gear
DP 7 Ease of Use

I started with Logic about 7 years ago right before they went to MAC exclusively. To make a long story short I am now using MOTU DP7. My bandmates are using Cakewalk. I've seen Logic and Cakewalk up close and would NEVER switch to either. Are all DAWS created equal? Maybe. Probably not. MOTU has a solid program - it's truly great and easy to use - but not at first. Some of it is intuitive - a few things require reading the manual and I even got the instructional video which is worth the money. Put it this way ... you still need to invest in a decent preamp and AD Converter ... neither of which are cheap. DP has okay plug-in preamps for project work but in the end - none of these programs can replace real electrons so be prepared for that reality check.

Logic 6 (when I was using it) was a decent program. It probably still is so many people swear by it. I think the bottom line is this - if you have a friend using Logic and he/she really knows what they are doing and are available to you - buy Logic. MOTU has excellent customer service - easy to on the phone and they will not give you the bum's rush. They have saved my ass on several occasions. I really like their interfacing on all counts (except for punching in and out) - they would do well to enlarge the start and end numbers).

Not much help, I know. But MOTU's Digital Performer is world class and easy to use. It's awesome. thumbsup
Old 9th January 2011
  #30
Here for the gear
DP7 and MIDI

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpNSmoke View Post
MOTU DP7 has the friendliest and most powerful set of MIDI features of any DAW I've worked with. The latest version is stable as a rock!
I could not agree with you more but my drummer hit a wall and gave up trying to figure out how to switch drum sounds from his digital kit. He got Cakewalk and while everything seemed to patch up automatically and "much easier" than DP7 - he still cannot change kits or sounds - even though his drum brain has them. If I knew how to make that happen he might actually walk away from Cakewalk and embrace MOTU. So we have a lot of issues. For me using guitars and synths, it could not be easier. Long live MOTU and DP7.
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