The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Which DAW software is right for me?? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 16th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Smile Which DAW software is right for me??

Ive been using sonar home studio xl 7 for the half a year that ive been recording and for as simple as it is i enjoy it. However im about to get a new job and shortly after will get a new computer and software, producer level. I havent had the luxury of messing with anything other than sonar FL or cubase, and want to know which software is best for me. I realize they all have their pros and cons but i figure if i tell you guys what im looking for maybe you can tell me out of experience who offers what im looking for?
All i really want is lots of simplicity and lots of plugins and soft synths. I used to record audio the most but its become a real pain trying to line up slices and attacks correctly, not to mention that sonars tempo is in real time so that can be a pain in the ass for noobs. I hear Cubase has good ss's but its just so confusing to learn to use. pro tools i havent heard much about and Logic i havent heard much about either, but was considering the switch to mac so any info on those too and any other software out there would be appreciated too.
So:
-best soft synths
-easiest to learn
-great editing options
whos the best for that and why?
Also this might sound lke a dumb question to some but can i get additional plug ins or soft synths from somewhere else? thanks
Old 16th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 

There are dozens of this vs. that threads here. Do a search and you'll find hundreds of arguments comparing software.

The bottom line is that they will all do what you want.

My personal recommendation is to stay with Sonar because you already know it.

If you want to be industry standard, and some day work in a real studio you must know Pro tools.

~Jay
Old 16th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
All i really want is lots of simplicity and lots of plugins and soft synths.

So:
-best soft synths
-easiest to learn
-great editing options
whos the best for that and why?
Also this might sound lke a dumb question to some but can i get additional plug ins or soft synths from somewhere else?
- Simple with lots of plugins and soft-synths: Logic
- Best soft synths: very subjective - Logic has lots, Ableton+Max4Live lets you build your own heh

I know nothing about Cubase or Sonar so I can't comment.

Steer clear of Pro Tools is my advice. Not because it's bad, on the contrary it's a great DAW. But it still has annoying limitations that might get in your way as a composer. Imvho it has it's place mainly in commercial circles where cross-compatibility is essential.

Check out Reaper. It's simple if you want it to be, but will let you do more in terms of signal routing than you can achieve in any other DAW (as far as I know). Things like cross-channel feedback routing (mental), side-chaining of *any* plugin parameter via an LFO or envelope follower from any audio stream in you project..........it's called "parameter modulation" and is very powerful. Pondering these features is only important if you think you'll actually use them, though hopefully that goes without saying.

It includes good plugins, but not synths.......however it's so cheap that you could buy it plus a few 3rd party soft-synths of your choice for a similar price as any of the other DAW choices as far as I'm aware. I know from 2nd hand experience that Native Instruments Massive is a great synth to look at . But really, those recommendations are only valid if we know what kind of synths you're looking for.

I don't enjoy editing in Logic (I'm slow with its mouse-tool approach), so I use PT or Reaper for that with great results. However, overall Logic is more user friendly than both in my opinion so take that how you will.

Fwiw, I use Logic and Reaper a lot and Pro Tools when I have to. I don't use soft-synths, but they're all solid DAWs. I don't want to try and say which might be the best choice for you, because I don't know your workflow or what you want to achieve. There are huge amounts of soft-synths and plugins you can find via a websearch, ranging all the way from completely free to way overpriced. Most of them are worth checking out at least.

(+ what Jay M posted is good advice overall)
Old 17th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay M View Post
There are dozens of this vs. that threads here. Do a search and you'll find hundreds of arguments comparing software.

The bottom line is that they will all do what you want.

My personal recommendation is to stay with Sonar because you already know it.

If you want to be industry standard, and some day work in a real studio you must know Pro tools.

~Jay
Excuse me Jay, but how much money does a studio need to make to be considered a "REAL STUDIO ??"

I'm making music and selling it on iTunes and making money with my studio and I'm using Sonar X1 Essentials now. I was using Sonar Home Studio 6 and 7XL over the years. Who says you gotta have Pro Tools to make money ??


.
Old 17th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 

He means a "commercial studio", ie one which exists as a business, hired by a label or band and used by in-house, freelance and label engineers alike. In these situations, having Pro Tools as a primary DAW means that it's a pretty safe bet that anyone likely to be engineering will not have to **** around learning features/workflow during a session.

If you brought in an outside engineer to run a session in your studio, it would help if they were familiar with the software already. Simply because of the history of the digital recording industry, Pro Tools is still the most widely familiar DAW.

It's not a sleight on people who make money composing/engineering outside of that type of scenario. It also in no way means that PT is an essential, or pre-requisite for a professional studio. I think that oddball sentiment is quickly disappearing, if not gone already
Old 17th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 
mattjew24's Avatar
 

I love Pro Tools personally, but prior to having learned how to use it from classes, I hated the fact that it is so controlled. Big Brother style.

Yes yes I have heard Reaper is great.

I own logic too, and it is very very easy to use and sounds good.
Old 17th December 2010
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timlloyd View Post
He means a "commercial studio", ie one which exists as a business, hired by a label or band and used by in-house, freelance and label engineers alike. In these situations, having Pro Tools as a primary DAW means that it's a pretty safe bet that anyone likely to be engineering will not have to **** around learning features/workflow during a session.

If you brought in an outside engineer to run a session in your studio, it would help if they were familiar with the software already. Simply because of the history of the digital recording industry, Pro Tools is still the most widely familiar DAW.

It's not a sleight on people who make money composing/engineering outside of that type of scenario. It also in no way means that PT is an essential, or pre-requisite for a professional studio. I think that oddball sentiment is quickly disappearing, if not gone already
That's pretty much exactly what I meant.

I work full time in a studio and we don't use Pro Tools. We also don't have clients, we just do in house projects. We require flexibility, not compatibility. We use Wavelab, Nuendo, and Vegas for all our audio needs. PT9 is still years behind what we would need it to be for what we do.

We are the exception, the rule is Pro Tools.

~Jay
Old 17th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 

My rule is never pay $599 dollars for something when you can get a similar thing for $99. Especially software.
Old 17th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
doug hazelrigg's Avatar
All the DAW's are good products; do some research about feature sets to find out which one bests suits you. I've been using Cubase since 1998, I LOVE it. On the contrary, it does not have a steep learning curve, it's quite intuitive and user-friendly.

I've also used Reaper a bit; it's cool. However, I did have a few hiccups when recording/playback with Reaper.

I have many friends who use Logic, Nuendo, and pro Tools, so I think I can comment a bit on them:

Logic has noteworthy for it's great synths. But it's also Mac only I believe. I was under the impression you were looking for a PC app.

Pro Tools has improved immensely over the last few years. But it's does not have PDC (Plug In Delay Compensation) which the other DAW's have had for quite some time now. I've also been told by people who own both that the MIDI features in PT are not as robust as either Cubase or Logic.

Good luck
Old 17th December 2010
  #10
Easiest to learn = Reason / Record.
Old 17th December 2010
  #11
If you are happy with your current app, but hit its limitations, you might want to consider just upgrading to a bigger version. Sonar X1 in various sizes is out now. They don't offer demo versions, but if you have a nice local reseller you might want to ask them if you can sit at a demo workstation and spend an hour or 2 with the app to see if it offers what you want.
Old 17th December 2010
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Smile

First of all thanks for all the responses. What no less than 9 out of every 10 people i hear from tell me is that if you want to work with other people you MUST have pro tools, so of course thats something ill definitely look into in my future.
What im most curious about right now are Logic and this Reaper you speak of, ive never seen Reaper in stores, but ive heard great things about it at every recording forum ive ever visited. Also im severely contemplating the switch to Macs due to the technical difficulties ive dealt with when using pc's. Ive never been so frustrated as i was when dealing with driver issues. Id swapped 3 interfaces before i ever recorded a single note in audio. Also though i can finally record audio, i cant get through half an hour of work before my laptop crashes. My midi controller has a huge latency issue, and i dont think the problem is sonar. Its just too much of a hassle, i know macs arent made for just music but i hear theyre ready to go straight out of the box, just install your software, hook up your interface/midi controller, and its crunch time. Is this true? Also can someone tell me where i can find Reaper?
Last thing i want to ask is about Sonar 8 producer, which is what's giving me the biggest woody right now. How does that compare to other industry level software? Can it be used with other DAWs? If i buy Sonar 8 and later i decide ive had enough with pc's, will it do good with Macs? Thanks in advance!
Old 17th December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

"must have Pro Tools " ??

No one I've ever worked with has ever asked for Pro Tools. Not one.

You must be brainwashed into thinking that Pro Tools is a must have.
Old 17th December 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
First of all thanks for all the responses. What no less than 9 out of every 10 people i hear from tell me is that if you want to work with other people you MUST have pro tools, so of course thats something ill definitely look into in my future.
What im most curious about right now are Logic and this Reaper you speak of, ive never seen Reaper in stores, but ive heard great things about it at every recording forum ive ever visited. Also im severely contemplating the switch to Macs due to the technical difficulties ive dealt with when using pc's. Ive never been so frustrated as i was when dealing with driver issues. Id swapped 3 interfaces before i ever recorded a single note in audio. Also though i can finally record audio, i cant get through half an hour of work before my laptop crashes. My midi controller has a huge latency issue, and i dont think the problem is sonar. Its just too much of a hassle, i know macs arent made for just music but i hear theyre ready to go straight out of the box, just install your software, hook up your interface/midi controller, and its crunch time. Is this true? Also can someone tell me where i can find Reaper?
Last thing i want to ask is about Sonar 8 producer, which is what's giving me the biggest woody right now. How does that compare to other industry level software? Can it be used with other DAWs? If i buy Sonar 8 and later i decide ive had enough with pc's, will it do good with Macs? Thanks in advance!
Macs have about as much issues as PC's can have. The issue is that the choice of components for a PC is huge, and might lead to incompatibilities. Windows 7 is as easy to use as OSX. You can compare a Mac to a well built PC by a media specialist PC builder.
Mac users are pretty loyal, that is the reason you get this image.
I have used both platforms since 1999 and really can't say one is clearly better than the other.

If you decide to go for Sonar, but also seriously consider a Mac, note that Sonar doesn't run on OSX, and probably never will.

PT is not the first choice for composing. It is a great DAW, but many great features are in the $2000 Complete Production Toolkit. Many professional studios have cients that insist on Pro Tools, usually HD. If you don't have people who need to work on your system, or have clients running in your studio, there is no need to consider that argument.

It sounds like your laptop just doesn't run well, it can be crappy hardware or a software mess which tends to pile up over the years. I've always kept my DAW clean and only got crahses/bluescreens created by a bad component (RAID card), a bad driver (audio interface, iLok) or application instability (audio software hosts).
ATM I have our slowest test machine (i7 860 with p55 chipset) running with a test partition loaded with a few dozen hosts, a zillion plugins and 8 different audio interfaces installed over time. I only found a few issues, always caused by an interface driver or a sequencer or a plugin.
Windows 7 is perfectly capable of running great without hickups.
Old 17th December 2010
  #15
Lives for gear
 

"PT is not the first choice for composing. It is a great DAW, but many great features are in the $2000 Complete Production Toolkit"

Ahhhh now I understand, the good stuff is in the $2000 complete production kit...



.
Old 17th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
filipv's Avatar
My advice for you is to stick to Sonar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
-best soft synths
Same soft synths can be used in many DAWs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
-easiest to learn
In your case, Sonar is by far the easiest to learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
-great editing options
I'm sure Sonar has great editing options, on pair with any other modern DAW.
Old 17th December 2010
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne View Post
"PT is not the first choice for composing. It is a great DAW, but many great features are in the $2000 Complete Production Toolkit"

Ahhhh now I understand, the good stuff is in the $2000 complete production kit...



.
I think your sarcasm missed my point...
Old 17th December 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
I think your sarcasm missed my point...
Let's see now....$599 for the basic program plus $2,000 for the good stuff, so for only $2,599 you too can be a professional recording engineer.. Toot Toot !!




.
Old 17th December 2010
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne View Post
Let's see now....$599 for the basic program plus $2,000 for the good stuff, so for only $2,599 you too can be a professional recording engineer.. Toot Toot !!
Those are your words, certainly not mine.
Old 17th December 2010
  #20
why change just upgrade

just my 0.02$:
I have used them all and I still have msot sequencer installed. Logic on my macbook pro (great complete software but I'm starting to recognize soem sounds in other ppl prods and that bugs me)
Cubase: another great one but i never liked the workflow (but that's my problem)
Ableton: it thinks diff then other ones and that s fun but cakewalk took some of the best features and included it in sonar (check out the matrix view it is ableton live!)
protools: this is my fav to record and mix but the last one on my list when it comes to compose music. their softsynths are horrendous and its expensive (I have an hd3 rig) like previous posts mentionned you dont NEED it. none of my clients ever asked for it, they just wnat the work done, everything else is hype
SONAR: love it, the new version is awesome and get the producer edition its worht it, greatr synth and fx. The upgrade pricing will be reasonable and the learning curve will be quasi non existent and you can do pro work with it. Sonar is still my fav software to write and arrange music with.
hope this helps
Old 17th December 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 

One of my most productive sessions was with Adobe Audition, the artist was amazed and very pleased with the results. I use it for mixing and mastering, and I now use Sonar X1 Essentials for midi recording.

The combination of the two programs gives me all the tools I need.
Old 17th December 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
thedigitalgod's Avatar
 

of 3 studios in town, one running PTHD, one running nuendo, and me running REAPER -- i do 10x the work of the other 2. if its the software that makes one "professional", then the term is being used improperly.
Old 17th December 2010
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedigitalgod View Post
of 3 studios in town, one running PTHD, one running nuendo, and me running REAPER -- i do 10x the work of the other 2. if its the software that makes one "professional", then the term is being used improperly.
It IS being used improperly, usually by people who don't use DAWs at all or who only know one product and hype it to justify their investment.
Old 17th December 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
First of all thanks for all the responses. What no less than 9 out of every 10 people i hear from tell me is that if you want to work with other people you MUST have pro tools, so of course thats something ill definitely look into in my future.
There are lots of reasons to buy a particular software. If what you wrote was true it would be an important thing to consider. But it is total and complete BS. I've been doing this as long as it has been possible to do this. I've used lots of different DAW software. I've never ever had any trouble exchanging files with any other professional facility, no matter which DAW software I was using at the time. The Engineers and Producers Wing of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the GRAMMY people) and the Audio Engineering Society created a format which, if followed, yields perfect results. It is no big deal, and it is what we were all doing before they put it down on paper as an agreed to standard.
Old 17th December 2010
  #25
Gear Addict
 
ZFire's Avatar
 

At this point I would not buy any DAW for the bundled synths + effects. I made the mistake of thinking that Sonar Producer 6 with all its stuff would give me everything I needed. How Naive. The bundled effects + synths/drums were all compromised or "light" versions of what I really needed. What a waste.

Get the DAW you like for its DAW-features (Editing, workflow, etc.). And separately invest in the synths etc. that you REALLY need, such as Kontakt or Superior Drummer or whatever.

If Sonar has a non-producer version, that might be a great starting point for you. Reaper is also solid, and Pro-Tools has that industry standard thing going on (though as a 32-bit only app it might be limiting if you want to use really large sample libraries with a VSTi). Studio One Pro is also worth a look (but not the cut-down version since it does not support 3rd party VSTs).
Old 17th December 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 
thedigitalgod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZFire View Post
At this point I would not buy any DAW for the bundled synths + effects. How Naive. The bundled effects + synths/drums were all compromised or "light" versions of what I really needed. What a waste.

Get the DAW you like for its DAW-features (Editing, workflow, etc.). And separately invest in the synths etc. that you REALLY need, such as Kontakt or Superior Drummer or whatever.
couldnt agree more
Old 17th December 2010
  #27
Lives for gear
 
doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I use Cubase but a number of my friends who I collab with use various other DAW's -- including Pro Tools -- and it's fairly easy to transfer files/projects between them

Reaper can be found here:

REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits

One nice thing about reaper is it's relatively inexpensive yet fairly robust, AND it is constantly being debugged and updated. Wait, I guess that's actually FOUR nice things
Old 17th December 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedigitalgod View Post
couldnt agree more
I decided to get Ivory II for top quality piano samples, and East West's Gold program for top quality orchestral samples.

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of sounds that came with Sonar X1 Essentials. They are much better than I thought they would be.
Old 17th December 2010
  #29
Gear Addict
 
mmarra's Avatar
I'm really liking Samplitude as the workflow seems really effective for me. You can even demo it for free as I did before I got it.

Samplitude 11 Free Trial > Shop > Samplitude
Old 18th December 2010
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Smile

yeah to be honest the more i think about it it really does sound like theres more of a problem with my computer than my equipment. From what im hearing ill definitely be going with sonar, but im a little curious about this X1? Can someone give me a good comparison between that and 8.5 producer? Also im deadset on the idea of recording off a laptop rather than desktop, can someone who uses a laptop tell me what i need to look for in a laptop when i go buy a new one?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
sonnylarsen / Music Computers
45
MONGER / Music Computers
8
cabby / Music Computers
24
hollywood_steve / Music Computers
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump