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The Great Shutdown - What have we learned?

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I have tried Reaper too and while it is the most CPU efficient DAW I couldn't mesh with it. I still think it is worth the nominal cost and trusting license policy.
 

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What I've learned after over a year is that Cakewalk is still a damn good DAW and probably has the best workflow right out of the box. Does it have quirks? Yes, but all programs do. The menus on Samplitude were a mess, they also took out the ability to organize your vsts with Pro X3. I need DirectX support for 3rd party editors like Adobe Audition which we rely on heavily in the broadcast world for meta data. Neither Cubase nor Studio One or even Pro Tools had that. Cakewalk does (as does Reaper and Samplitude). The list can go on. So while no one DAW will ever be everything to everybody, Cakewalk comes pretty close. I have moved on in a lot of ways but will always come back. At work we have 18 years of projects from SONAR 1 all the way up. As long as the program runs and I don;t get fired, I'll use it.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, emwhy said:

I need DirectX support for 3rd party editors like Adobe Audition which we rely on heavily in the broadcast world for meta data.

curious about this - you're using dx fx or something?

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So I also looked around. got demos of SOP3 and MIxbus. I already owned reaper and have for a while now.

Today I use Splat and CbB...period. Works for me but I am not making $$$ doing this, just a home studio.

I will most likely keep reaper updated, just because.

 

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I was expecting a lot of people to say things like "overall I find myself coming back to CW but I really like the way these guys do that thing".

For example, I like how the instrument and effect chain presets in Bitwig allow for tagged browsing.

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The shutdown offered an opportunity you usually don't see in the DAW market.  Normally people pick their tools and stick with them until they reach pain points.  The shutdown forced a lot of people to examine alternatives due to not trusting Gibson to maintain the registration servers.  There are a lot of people who have opinions on the alternatives that they didn't have a year and a half ago. 

If I were involved in deciding the direction of a DAW, I probably would try to cull information from the relevant threads on the old boards and maybe go to some competitors' sites or beyondmydaw.com to assess what made people stay with one daw vs the other.

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10 hours ago, emwhy said:

I need DirectX support for 3rd party editors like Adobe Audition which we rely on heavily in the broadcast world for meta data. Neither Cubase nor Studio One or even Pro Tools had that.

FYI - if a program supports VST2, it can support DX plug-ins through a wrapper. I use the Sonitus plug-ins all the time with Studio One.

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Although it was a rocky start I jumped on the Samplitude Pro x3 suite deal and worked with it for awhile. I always had MixCraft... Mixbus just never worked on my rig.  CbB is still my favorite and main go-to Daw but I have to say Reaper is quite impressive. There are some really great features in Reaper. How I wish developers could take the best of the best in each one of these programs and make one KILLER DAW. That would be something to really write home about!!

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7 minutes ago, Geo524 said:

How I wish developers could take the best of the best in each one of these programs and make one KILLER DAW.

Problem is who gets to decide which features are the best ones...

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As far as learning anything by way of switching to another DAW  is concerned, most of us, (willingly or otherwise) would have to acknowledge that one DAW does not 'do it all' I now use Studio One as my 'go to' sequencer but also use Cakewalk by Bandlab, Reaper and Samplitude for certain tasks/music styles*. In  the aftermath of Cakewalk's demise I also tried demo versions of Tracktion/Waveform, Bitwig, Cubase, Ableton Live and Fruity Loops but just didn't like the workflows and GUIs offered by these programs. 

* For me, there is now a clear demarcation in the DAW marketplace between EDM oriented programs and the rest e.g. you don't need the ability to modulate every software parameter by another one when performing and recording more traditional non-electronic musical forms

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Since the big panic as someone called it, I’ve continued to be a multi DAW user just as before. I used the crazy offers made at the time to  add  Cubase Pro to my collection.

Despite having all the major DAWs I still gravitate to CbB. 

The major change for me is that nowadays I only read this forum occasionally and comment even less. 

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Include them All!  Haha.

Seriously, all software companies should always look at what others are doing.  What makes them good/great.  What does their user-base think?

There are so many features that Studio One has that Cakewalk is missing and that Cakewalk has that Studio One is missing.  It's a shame that each isn't all over what the other offers.  It's especially short-sighted for a company like Presonus (or the others) to not capitalize on what Sonar users wanted in Studio One that they had in Sonar.  And for Cakewalk to not look at what their departed users decided were great things about their alternatives would be just foolish, especially when they have an interest in not getting just new people and retaining the old, but surely attracting the others back.

Here's an example for me: I always used to use the Sound on Sound recording mode in Sonar and it is sorely missed in Studio One.  However, I now use the "pre-roll" feature of Studio One and when I think about Sonar, I wonder why it isn't there.  Each can learn from the other here.

Another: Automatic crossfades does exist in Studio One.  In Sonar it was always a no-brainer as long as you had the option turned on.  Why wouldn't Studio One have that?  It's REALLY annoying to get a pop because you did a punch or whatever led to two clips overlapping each other.  Sure, you can press X after dragging them over each other.  But why not offer an option to do this automatically - toggle-able.

Another one where Studio One has something to learn: Separate loop points and punch points.  I really don't get how Presonus hasn't put this in place.  Especailly for those of us who need to record when we are alone.  When I record a Guitar Solo, I have to do  a lot of takes.  I like to have a little bit of the lead in playing (same for a vocal or whatever), so I might loop over that section.  In Cakewalk - no problem, set the loop points outside of the punch points and loop record away.  In Studio One, there is a loop point and there is a Punch point and they are both determined by the same markers = Stupid.  So the loop goes around and you have to be ready to record right at the loop start.  So back it up?  Well, there's no "sound on sound" recording, so when recording engages, you can't hear the audio that was there on that track before that.  Sure you can allow the overlap to record and not replace, but you can only hear the new material!  Poor, Presonus.

Ripple Edit: Cakewalk wins. Sonar is just at the track level, not across multiple tracks.  How in the world is that useful, I wonder...

Other direction: Macros kill the antiquated CAL scripting, period.  Resizable sections of the console = Studio One win.  Assignment of automatable parameters is far easier and faster in S1.  

Cakewalk: Gain knob is on every channel. Studio One has a plugin for it.  But in Cakewalk that gain know that I don't really always need takes up a huge amount of real estate and when it is turned off, it just blanks out that panel - not a useful space still and now without the gain.  In Studio One, I get to keep the real estate where it is needed.

And no matter what they say, the two DAWs sound the same (don't get me started), so it is the usability that is the deciding factor (and the locked plugins, if that's your thing)

And these are just picky things off the top of my head.  I could find 100s of them given time, I'm sure.  None of wants to do that - and that is the crux of the issue, isn't it? these picky little differences makes big impacts on work flow for either DAW.  So, developers, Observe.  This is the key to winning the hearts of users.

 

 

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That is a shame Mike. I miss your comments. I always thought you had a way of explaining things that people could understand. 

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I initially went to Studio One 3, but found it lacking in working with MIDI.  I then turned to Cubase 9.5.  I'm really impressed with Cubase and would love to work with it more.  But when Cakewalk was resuscitated by Bandlab...I gleefully hopped back on the Cakewalk train.   Both Studio One and Cubase have their own strengths and weaknesses.  I still use Studio One for certain things.   The project mode is excellent for mastering.  Cubase has a fantastic score editor, and is packed with great features.  At the end of the day, though, I'm simply more comfortable with my trusty old Cakewalk.  It doesn't hurt that I have a VS-700 console, and that Cakewalk natively supports multi-touch on my Raven.  So for me, nothing else really comes close.  

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 I remember at the turn of the century buying Music Creator that came with mid i cables that were suppose to work in a serial port at Best Buy for $40.  Then Cakewalk gave an offer to upgrade to Home Studio.  That was their downfall for me since it came with an entry level FL Studio. Then I moved up to Sonar 2 XL.  After Sonar 5 I started to dislike the cluttered GUI and the forum.  That's when I started to look at that small version of FL.  I liked their support despite not being a fan of pattern based DAWs.   Cakewalk was getting like Finale with the yearly upgrade.  Usually I'd get suckered into upgrades with nice 3rd party apps.  They only license of Sonar I do not have is 6. 

 I'll never forget the shock of Cakewalk shutting down.  Other developers were giving condolences as if someone died.   I doubt there were celebrations for one less competitor. There was probably some fear that a DAW existing for 30 years ended it could happen to them. 

 I never doubted that someone would pick this software back up.

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One year has passed.

I've tried Reaper, Studio One. I really like Composer things that came with Studio One 4 (pattern sequncer, new samplers). It's a great thing to start track in computer, compose it on the go. I can't say it about Reaper. It has stablitiy that I can't get from another DAW. But it lacks many musical features to start track and finish composing it.

Sonar was a tool for a composer. Nowadays it lacks some plugins to do real composing. We rely on third-party plugins. But I hope we need just some time.

 

Few days ago I was rehearsing with a bandmate and decided to record his keyboard. Cakewalk crashed 4 times, computer needed to be rebooted because of zombie-process "Cakewalk.exe" in system tray.

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On 2/3/2019 at 1:39 PM, John said:

That is a shame Mike. I miss your comments. I always thought you had a way of explaining things that people could understand. 

I used to enjoy the Sonar forum and put in a lot of time generally as well as setting up the Software Resources and  Utilities thread. While I’m not skilled to be able to create applications like alexsey and scook and others the least I could do was to curate their work and try to make it more accessible by promoting it and trying to encourage others to contribute their works.

I don’t know how many PMs I sent to Meng and Noel asking what might become of it all. I even joined in threads where Meng and Noel were involved in exchanges with the forum members on similar what’s going to happen threads. And you know what. I was ignored out of existence. You know the expression, “just ignore it till it goes away”; well I finally got the hint and I have. Gone that is for the most part. 

I had plans for the future (in cooperation with management of course) to do things like Anderton had done with his Friday tips etc. I had discussed that and more with Craig when Gibson still held the reins. We discussed taking user contributions out of the Friday tips and giving them a managed home over in the Software thread. I had hoped in the future we could do far more than just another forum. 

I wish I could say “never mind” but I’m really bitter about it. Meng and Noel seem like real nice guys but not even a PM to say “no that doesn’t fit in with our plans”. Nothing; and I think it’s dead ignorant. 

So now I’ve done publicly what I wasn’t going to do but don’t really care what the ramifications are. Maybe I’ll get banned for daring to speak my mind. I’ll use CbB while it’s free but they’ll not get another cent or any kind of contribution from me. 

You know in all the time since I setup that Software thread, not once did anyone from Cakewalk by Gibson ever say that the efforts of Elffin and myself were appreciated. It was only Craig’s support of the whole idea and the fact that Karen just opened a sticky thread for me that it happened at all. 

Anyway that’s why I’m now only an occasional viewer and even less a contributor to this forum. 

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On 2/4/2019 at 3:28 AM, kitekrazy said:

I remember at the turn of the century buying Music Creator that came with mid i cables that were suppose to work in a serial port at Best Buy for $40.

This remindes me of my beginnings to the pc computer world in early 90's. I had a bursting i386 laptop with 2MB of RAM, 40MB HD and monochrome monitor, I think the proudly maker was called Silverscreen haha, and win 3.1 on it. There was no such thing as touchpad or trackball on it, the mouse had to be connected to the serial port, I mean the old RS-232 serial port. I bought Yamaha MU-50 module at this time and the only way to connect it to this particular laptop was through the same serial port with a proprietary cable, so either mouse or module (there was only one RS port on this machine). Boy, this made me learn all about how to operate windows and it's apps only from the keyboard. I wonder if people realize that you can do nearly everything in windows just by using keyboard. Same goes with cakewalk, except purely grafical fields like in the PRV or plugins GUI, BUT... you can learn how to make all the same things in the Event List instead! :D Humans are subject to some really sketchy figures sometimes when hard-pressed.

Edited by chris.r

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8 hours ago, MUDGEL said:

I used to enjoy the Sonar forum and put in a lot of time generally as well as setting up the Software Resources and  Utilities thread. While I’m not skilled to be able to create applications like alexsey and scook and others the least I could do was to curate their work and try to make it more accessible by promoting it and trying to encourage others to contribute their works.

I don’t know how many PMs I sent to Meng and Noel asking what might become of it all. I even joined in threads where Meng and Noel were involved in exchanges with the forum members on similar what’s going to happen threads. And you know what. I was ignored out of existence. You know the expression, “just ignore it till it goes away”; well I finally got the hint and I have. Gone that is for the most part. 

I had plans for the future (in cooperation with management of course) to do things like Anderton had done with his Friday tips etc. I had discussed that and more with Craig when Gibson still held the reins. We discussed taking user contributions out of the Friday tips and giving them a managed home over in the Software thread. I had hoped in the future we could do far more than just another forum. 

I wish I could say “never mind” but I’m really bitter about it. Meng and Noel seem like real nice guys but not even a PM to say “no that doesn’t fit in with our plans”. Nothing; and I think it’s dead ignorant. 

So now I’ve done publicly what I wasn’t going to do but don’t really care what the ramifications are. Maybe I’ll get banned for daring to speak my mind. I’ll use CbB while it’s free but they’ll not get another cent or any kind of contribution from me. 

You know in all the time since I setup that Software thread, not once did anyone from Cakewalk by Gibson ever say that the efforts of Elffin and myself were appreciated. It was only Craig’s support of the whole idea and the fact that Karen just opened a sticky thread for me that it happened at all. 

Anyway that’s why I’m now only an occasional viewer and even less a contributor to this forum. 

Well, I wrote a book of CbB tips, and thought BandLab would welcome the opportunity to make people aware of all the cool things you can do with Cakewalk when you wander off the beaten path, but there was never any interest on their part in making people aware of it. Ultimately Reverb.com thought it was great, and carried the book (where it has done well). I did think it was kind of odd when Noel started a thread about "the first book about CbB" when mine had been out for a year IIRC. However, I assume they didn't get behind it because there's no Cakewalk store or in-app purchases, although I never did get a response as to why there was no interest.

I assume they didn't answer you because they don't have a clue where they would park what you did, and didn't want to promise you something they couldn't deliver in the short term (which does seem to be the way that BandLab rolls, and in general, that's a good thing). However, I agree that at least a "We're drowning right now, please be patient" note to you would have been appropriate. You did a lot for the community, in many different ways. If I were BandLab, I'd do anything possible to keep you in the fold.

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