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Russ.15

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  1. I voted for one, but I'd really like to vote for "All of the above." When Gibson orphaned Cakewalk, I picked up Presonus Studio One, but I never really clicked with the UI and workflow. Then I tried Bitwig Studio... and that has become my main DAW. Why? Rock solid performance. For a while, Cakewalk was crashing almost every time I used it, where it has never been an issue with Bitwig. I don't have many tracks, so I'm not sure why I have these issues. Incredibly frustrating, though! Advanced modulation and automation. Bitwig comes with a ton of modulators that can be assigned to any parameter in a VST. LFO, ASDR, random, and a whole host of other, more advanced modulation options. Cakewalk's automation isn't the worst, but being able to Shift-Drag to change the curve of an automation line in Bitwig is so intuitive. A sampler. A really fun, advanced sampler that rocks for sound design. This should really come standard with Cakewalk. A drum rack. Cakewalk has the Cyclone DXi, but it's seriously overdue for an update. (Looks like it came out in 2002?) And I think the Matrix was a step towards something really powerful, but it feels incomplete, and I think that piece of Cakewalk was just kind of abondoned. The drum rack in Bitwig allows you to bring audio clips into each pad, but you can also add other instruments on each pad (e.g., a sampler), with whatever FX or modulation you care to add. Ctrl-D to duplicate a clip or selected region on one or multiple tracks. Just so easy... Does anyone know a way to implement this in Cakewalk? Audio clip editing. I always felt like this was a pain to do in Cakewalk. In Bitwig, I can double-click an audio clip to open the editor. For example, if it's a drum loop, I can then select one hit, raise or lower the pitch or the volume, stretch it, or even reverse it, all within the clip, and all without digging through several layers of menus. I can adjust the timing of individual hits just by dragging transient markers, or I can quantize the clip. This is all possible in Cakewalk, but it's just much easier and more intuitive in Bitwig. (Oh, and I can even add pitch automation within the clip to create a tape slowdown effect. Necessary? No. Fun? Yes.) An intuitive and robust FX routing scheme. Too complex to explain without a video, but in one track you can have multiple layers and routings for FX. (BTW, this is the one thing that I really liked about Studio One. Being able to split a signal by stereo channel, mid-side channel, or frequency and then treat the splits separately? Nice.) ProChannel in Cakewalk was a cool addition, but I still have to use multiple sends and buses to achieve what I can easily do on one track in Bitwig or Studio One. All that being said, there are at least a couple things that Cakewalk does really well: The ProChannel's EQ and Compressor are just really good (esp. the EQ), and having a standard FX chain already added to every new track is a big time saver. Take lanes for recording and comping are great, too. Not perfect, but Bitwig has nothing comparable, so I keep coming back to Cakewalk when I'm recording audio. Screensets and keyboard shortcuts for changing the view. And really, the UI looks really good to me. I like the track colors, and being able to choose custom colors. (That's why I didn't go with Ableton Live: Life is too short to spend looking flat controls and all that gray.) The console view is also really good (IMO), especially with how the ProChannel is integrated. Crud. I just spent too much time on this when I should have been making music, but it's something that I care about. I really want Cakewalk to continue to grow and evolve.
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