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DAW Wars: The Fanboy Strikes Back

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Hey folks!

What about a topic to discuss our experiences with CBB and other DAWs? I am sure that we have tested some since the GIBSON announcement.

I will start first:

- CBB: instantly familiar for SONAR users and a no brainer for PC users since it is a free full-fledged DAW with VST support. I really like the UI, the Prochannel system and its analogic/traditional studio workflow. Its main drawbacks, in my opinion, are some included tools that are lagging behind the competition (the staff editor or the stock plugins for example) and some bugs and compatibility issues with third-party plugs.

- REAPER: fast, lightweight, stable, affordable and highly customizable. But... that is it main drawback for me, the defaults are weird and you must customize even basic things (the stock metronome is synthy generated for example). Non intuitive for newcomers.

- Studio One: very intuitive, comfortable workflow and a less bloated "Skylight" like UI. Although, no staff editor, no surround, no polyphonic midi aftertouch... And it cost 400 $.

That is all I have tested for the moment, What are your thoughts on this?

Edit: I forgot to mention that CBB it is not cross-platform and I imagine that it is a headache for the MAC guys. Even Digital Performer and FL Studio are now cross-platform.

Edited by Alex H.
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To mention, I did fully switch over to Studio One. I tried ableton and looked into reaper but after 1 night was hooked. On the polyphonic midi aftertouch issue from what I researched the issue is primarily on electronic drums but supposedly works on keyboards. I have not tested using a keyboard but can verify on drums it does suck having to write the cymbal chokes in manually. However the ease of use with Studio One made it possible for me to be up and running within 1 night. 

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It's funny Alex because in a way I'm glad of what happened to Cakewalk with Gibson. I'm not going to get into a DAW war here about the different DAW's.

It is just for me with the sale prices that were offered to Sonar users and some other deals on DAW's I brought several others to try out. I didn't want to settle on just one in case the same thing happened to the one 

I'm glad I did because they all have the pluses and minuses to them. Cakewalk doesn't have what Presonus or Samplitude does in Mastering and CD burning from the DAW as one example. But since I'm use to the workflow of Cakewalk I feel more at home with it.

I brought a couple other DAW's and I like them for various reasons especially one for use with my teenager and videos :)

Peace

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1 hour ago, Michael Kothe said:

To mention, I did fully switch over to Studio One. I tried ableton and looked into reaper but after 1 night was hooked. On the polyphonic midi aftertouch issue from what I researched the issue is primarily on electronic drums but supposedly works on keyboards. I have not tested using a keyboard but can verify on drums it does suck having to write the cymbal chokes in manually. However the ease of use with Studio One made it possible for me to be up and running within 1 night. 

Yeah... Studio One is probably the most intuitive DAW out there. Maybe this could explain its fast expansion.

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I have S1 Pro 3 but never use it because I  don't like looking at it.

Tried Reaper, Samplitude X3 and Mixcraft.  None of them made me want to change.  The menus in Reaper are too are messy, Mixcraft  just seemed like a kids toy version -of a DAW to me.  I was hoping Samplitude 4 would bring an updated UI and then I might have been tempted, but that didn't happen.

Had a version of Cubase years ago and the customer service was dreadful, so I wouldn't go there again.

Bitwig/Ableton/FL have no appeal to me.

If Logic was available to PC users I think that might be tempting.

For the "industry standard" Pro Tools seems to be quite some way behind the curve at times and seeing as I'm never likely to be in the industry not having it is not a hindrance to me.

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7 minutes ago, Phil Balliet said:

Anyone ever try the Harrison Mixbus 32c? I know there's a trial, never tried it but I think it looks really cool.

I have tried that DAW a little bit and while it is very good for mixing "in the box" I didn't find it useful for composing music. I don't know it is implemented yet but during my testing it lacks a proper PRV. The audio and MIDI editing were basic at most.

Edited by Alex H.

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34 minutes ago, Alex H. said:

I have tried that DAW a little bit and while it is very good for mixing "in the box" I didn't find it useful for composing music. I don't know it is implemented yet but during my testing it lacks a proper PRV. The audio and MIDI editing were basic at most.

Ah, good to know thank you. I'm just a cakewalk kinda guy I think. Reaper is good too. Other than that, F* protools. lol

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Continuing to use Cakewalk after SONAR was pulled. Looked at REAPER, and while it is not intuitive it is rather powerful. For me, the fact that they now have a Linux version is a huge plus. I really only use Windows for music any more, having switched over to Linux for most everything else. At some point Windows 7 and 8.1 will no longer be of use (and I really do not like Windows 10) and so I will be switching over to Linux for everything at that point.

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5 minutes ago, Mandolin Picker said:

Continuing to use Cakewalk after SONAR was pulled. Looked at REAPER, and while it is not intuitive it is rather powerful. For me, the fact that they now have a Linux version is a huge plus. I really only use Windows for music any more, having switched over to Linux for most everything else. At some point Windows 7 and 8.1 will no longer be of use (and I really do not like Windows 10) and so I will be switching over to Linux for everything at that point.

I would like to switch to Linux also but it is not possible since I rely on ton of third party VST.

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I like Cake as it is. Nuff said.

Ok, recording directly in Matrix cells would be great, like in Bitwig or Live. But after all, Cake feels great. And works even better.

BTW, Bitwig is Linux, too. But you can't really compare Bitwig with Cake. 

I own S1 too, but I don't need it. And don't really like it.

When I had to change, I think Cubase is the competitor. Another Option is  Ableton Live. 

Edited by mkerl

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2 hours ago, Alex H. said:

I have tried that DAW a little bit and while it is very good for mixing "in the box" I didn't find it useful for composing music. 

Exactly the way I use Mixbus 32C.

During the dark days I bought Sampitude X3 suite and Micraft 8. Meh to those two. I had already owned Studio One 3 Pro and Reaper 5 (as well as Mixbus, but again I don't call it a DAW i call it a console).

Alexy (azslow3) did a bang up job on his .cwp converter. If I had been forced to use Reaper I'd simply translate all my Cake projects using that utility. I like Reaper once you get to undertsand how you can change the menus and skins to meet your needs.

I had some high hopes that Samplitude X4 would be a huge jump. Niet. They won't be getting my money. I'll not look at Mixcraft ever again. 

I upgraded to Studio One 4 Pro and I am very pleased with it's workflow for composing and arranging. The Arranger and Chord tracks are worth their weight in gold (for me). I'm not a big MIDI guy (drums from MIDI packs and the edited to taste, and some simple keyboard lines) and so it's no big deal to me how any of the DAWs handle MIDI (including CbB). I do own Notion so I have that if it ever becomes necessary.

Do I still use CbB? Yes, for my collaborations as it makes it easy to provide a "mix" to track to in the form of a .wav and a  .cwp with markers for sections and the chords. But once I get the collaborators parts they go into SO4P. With the Chord track I can try out alternate chords and affect all non-percussive tracks at once. Super Cool. And Arranging the section is a breeze.

So it's SO4P->CbB->SO4P->Mixbus 32c workflow for me. YMMV

 

 

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I went a little nutso (and I don't think I was the only one) and bought Cubase, Studio One and Reaper last year. And Samplitude just to get SpectraLayers and Sound Forge.

Cubase - never warmed up to it so I sold it after a month.
Reaper - I just can't get my head around midi editing in Reaper. Except for that I really like it.
Studio One -  SO is becoming my main DAW. I find the chord track and Notion very useful. I just started learning about using LUFS in the Project section and that's been very useful too.
CbB - I still use it but not as much. I find myself starting new songs in Studio One more and more.

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I'm split between CbB and Studio One.  For projects that I'll be in front of the screen for extended periods of time I go with CbB because my vision is garbage and the SO dark "theme" is outright painful after a while.  

I really like Studio Ones mastering section

I'd throw a +1 for Reaper as well if the above two fail.

Just my .02

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Right after the Cake fell last year I tried Studio 1, Cubase, Tracktion and one or two others I can't remember the names of.  Each has their pros and cons, but In all cases the price killed me.  My income is tiny, and without subscription pricing as Gibson's CW had, I'm out of the game.  Finally tried Reaper, and not only was the price right I actually like how they do things both in the software and community support.  So far, for my purposes Reaper hasn't let me down.

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I did what everyone else did - tested every DAW I could find (including taking a harder look at the ones I already owned, like Reaper and Samplitude). None of them really measured up until I tried Cubase and its midi implementation. I'm pretty much 100% midi -- I honestly cannot remember the last time I pulled one of my mics out of the cabinet and fired them up to record something. And Cubase's midi implementation impressed me, and seemed both really intuitive and a cut above any other DAW.  I switched all my midi work over to Cubase 9.5 Pro and have been pretty happy with it. But for my key projects and my really successful compositions I always export the audio tracks, and then edit and do my final mixes in Cakewalk. Sounds very inefficient, but I adore Cakewalk's intuitive workflow for editing and mixing, and I can't live without ProChannel and its modules - the concrete limiter, console emulator, tape emulator, tube saturation modules, the style dials. Also, the recent changes and updates made by BandLab are great. It seems like a minor detail in the grand scheme of the DAW world, but I love being able to export a mix directly to my BandLab page - it's easy and fast, and because of this I will henceforth be using BandLab as my main location for showcasing and streaming my music. Which is pretty much why they added that functionality, I suppose.

So while I do a lot of work in Cubase, I still consider myself a genuine Cakewalk user and hardly a day goes by that I don't fire it up and do something significant with it. And BandLab is definitely doing the right things in terms of development and support (both of the product and the community) to keep Cakewalk as part of my overall workflow. 

Edited by Amicus717
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9 hours ago, mkerl said:

I like Cake as it is. Nuff said.

Ok, recording directly in Matrix cells would be great, like in Bitwig or Live. But after all, Cake feels great. And works even better.

BTW, Bitwig is Linux, too. But you can't really compare Bitwig with Cake. 

I own S1 too, but I don't need it. And don't really like it.

When I had to change, I think Cubase is the competitor. Another Option is  Ableton Live. 

Great idea on the Matrix view! You should post it on the feature request section.

Why don't you like S1? Now it is pretty similar to CBB. Cubase is a beast, no doubts, but I don't want to pay for updates every year. Ableton Live it is not for me I guess.

Edited by Alex H.

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2 minutes ago, Alex H. said:

Great idea on the Matrix view! You should post it on the feature request section.

Why don't you like S1? Now it is pretty similar to CBB. Cubase is a beast, no doubts, but I don't want to pay for updates every year. Ableton Live it is not for me I guest.

I like the workflow better in Cake. Pro Channel, Inspector, Mix Scenes, Lenses, Multidock . . . S1 is a bit fiddly to me at the left Side (Inspector). What I like best in S1 is the Scratchpad. I never liked the transport bar at the bottom and I miss Punch Markers . . . and so on. It's the amount of such things, you know. And the UI - you have to like it - I prefer the look and feel of Cake.

Feature Request: The Matrix thing has been mentioned in the old forum before, but yes, I'll do it.

Happy Holidays to all

Have good time

Cheers 😋

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I'm hoping with Jesse back he is given time to update the Matrix.  For those that don't know Jesse was one of the Programmers for Project5.

 

 

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My experiences  in the studio with Cakewalk have been largely good ones. It has been my main studio workhorse for years.  I have a few others. Always went to Cakewalk for creation purposes. 

The other DAWs I have are Traction, Studio One 4 Pro, Ableton Live 10, Mixcraft Pro 8. I like them enough to probably keep at least bi yearly updates on all aside from CbB which updates free. The others all have some use depending on what you want to do.  I don't think the average user has the time to jump between a bunch of daws and get anything done.

DAWS I might buy. Acid Pro 8. I have Acid 7 and might upgrade it simply because I like working looped material in it better than anything else.

DAWS I tried and never ended up using. Reaper, Cubase.  Not bad programs. I simply don't have the time to invest in learning another DAW. I was never attracted to Mixbus. What appears to be a console emulation with DAW function. I downloaded it and played a bit with it. Decided it wasn't for me. Have tons of emulation plugins already.

I am beginning to write notation for groups. I needed a program to use for that. As someone who prefers creating in a DAW in real time, the idea that I could export to Notion from Studio One appealed to me. I DON'T like writing notes in one at a time in any program be it midi or notation. CbB has some notation ability which maybe I should investigate more. I believe it is very rudimentary though. Would get the job done on a simple project. 

For those looking at notation option there's also a decent marriage between Sibleus and Pro Tools. Maybe better in some ways than Studio One/Notion. Never used that setup personally. You don't need rewire with Studio One though it has the option. You can use another built in protocol that makes transfer easier to do. 

 

 

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