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Is Cakewalk the best free DAW on the market

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7 hours ago, Bapu said:

Wait, CbB is free?

No one told me.ūüėü

 

Even if we did tell you BAPU,¬† you wouldn't¬† listens to us anyway ūüėÜ

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I think it's one of the best out there free or not, the only thing now is that when any manufacturer of hardware creates something they never consider cakewalk, it's like it doesn't exist anymore for them.

 

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Cakewalk is one of the best paid or unpaid. It's not perfect, but no DAW is. The only real glaring weakness with Cakewalk is the timestretching. It's just plain bad compared to other DAWs in it's class, especially Ableton Live.  This is mainly because AudioSnap is pretty much broken and Cakewalk tends to crash when stretching too many audio claps, that or the audio engine craps out and has problems.  Outside of AudioSnap (which is broken), there isn't an automatic stretch-to-tempo outside of Groove Clip which is like, 15 years out of date.

Edited by Craig Reeves

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It all comes down to one thing everyone is saying ~ "comfortability." Where do you feel most comfortable -- at home right? If you don't feel comfortable with the DAW you're using, it will never become "The Best" DAW. The rest will be second nature. 

Like Mr @Craig Anderton said, it's like a car.  If you over-rev your car, you will damage the piston and valvetrain, and if you don't know how to read your gas/petrol gauge, you will stuck on that freeway, (Being "limited" in your DAW of choice) and telling yourself the product you're using lacks certain qualities.

So just like your brand new car, once you've become accustomed to it's features and abilities, certain qualities you haven't noticed upon it's purchased, starts to make their appearances and become enjoyable - even with that slight over steer it possesses, which can easily be controlled and handled, once you get use to it. 

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20 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

DAWs are like cars. All cars have engines, wheels, a body, brakes, and doors,  and can accelerate or decelerate. But you can choose from sports cars, vans, 2-door sedans, 4-door sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, luxury cars, etc.  You choose a car based on what you need to do with it, and (hopefully) you choose a DAW the same way.

I also feel that just as some people have more than one car, it often makes sense to have more than one DAW to handle different needs.

And yet not one DAW has ever given us a hovercraft. Sad.

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2 hours ago, Bapu said:

And yet not one DAW has ever given us a hovercraft. Sad.

Reaper users tell me it not only has a hovercraft, but a talent plug-in and language support for Klingon.

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2 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

Reaper users tell me it not only has a hovercraft, but a talent plug-in and language support for Klingon.

Just because Vulcans life hundreds of earth years,¬† The "Reaper"¬† decides it won't support the languageūüėŹ

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11 hours ago, Craig Reeves said:

Cakewalk is one of the best paid or unpaid. It's not perfect, but no DAW is. The only real glaring weakness with Cakewalk is the timestretching. It's just plain bad compared to other DAWs in it's class, especially Ableton Live.  This is mainly because AudioSnap is pretty much broken and Cakewalk tends to crash when stretching too many audio claps, that or the audio engine craps out and has problems.  Outside of AudioSnap (which is broken), there isn't an automatic stretch-to-tempo outside of Groove Clip which is like, 15 years out of date.

Your opinion, of course. I don’t need audio snap so can’t comment, but why don’t more people complain about it ???

i find Ableton clumsy and it doesn’t suit my needs. Y MMV but hey, this is the internetwotnot no ?

Best,

J

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I use my various DAWs one day at a time in sequential rotation.

It's the main reason I never get anything done.

Monday = CbB

Tuesday = Studio One 5 Pro

Wednesday = Reaper v6

Thursday = Mixbus 32C v6

Friday = Cubase 10.5

Saturday = Pro Tools 2020

Sunday = Digital Performer 10

 

On Holidays I override to Reason 11, Logic X, Samplitude X5, MIxcraft 9 and Acid Pro 9.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jeremy Oakes said:

Your opinion, of course. I don’t need audio snap so can’t comment, but why don’t more people complain about it ???

I'd say for 2 reasons: people aren't using it much, either because they don't need it, or they've found that it's too confusing or "broken" and given up trying, or what they use it for does the job well enough.

For me, it works well enough to get what I need to do in it done. I've used it across large multi-mic kits very successfully, tightened guitar parts, etc. It's not broken (for most things you do on it) but it absolutely needs some stuff added to save a lot of the grunt work required to get to the powerful tool that it is at its heart.

I've seen some people mention that it falls over when using meter changes and Elastique as the stretch algorithm, which has been reported to the Devs, and I certainly have put my hat into the ring with stuff I'd like to see done on it, so hopefully we get a revamp soon.

But for the most part, I definitely wouldn't call it broken.

 

 

Edited by Lord Tim

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Well, when you need audiosnap you really need it and you just have to hope that you can set things up right to get it to work. Aligning everything to the start of a measure properly is a big deal, as is getting the BPM in the audiosnap window close to the actual BPM.  Even then it's even odds that when you click "Clips aligns to project" you will get different time stretches on every clip, some faster, some slower. But when it does work, it works a treat.

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On 10/11/2020 at 11:11 AM, Bapu said:

chocolate = CbB

<snip>

FL Studio = Skittles

Ableton Live! = Electric Kool-Aid

On 10/11/2020 at 2:41 PM, Brian Walton said:

A new DAW is going to be limited and lack maturity.

Serious, not smarty or rhetorical question, Brian: how new is "new?" If Cakewalk is the benchmark, then I think we're left with Cubase, Digital Performer, and Pro Tools.

My experience with multiple DAW's is limited, and some of it comes from half a dozen years ago, but I would go as far as to say that the less time a DAW has been around, the more closely I'd want to examine whether it hadn't yet implemented  or developed features I hold dear. Comping in Ableton Live, mixing in Reason, these ideas bring a shudder. But then I look on Wikipedia and see that they've been around for 20 years. Fruity Loops started 23 years ago, and became a "studio" 17 years ago. Yikes.

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2 hours ago, Kevin Walsh said:

Well, when you need audiosnap you really need it and you just have to hope that you can set things up right to get it to work. Aligning everything to the start of a measure properly is a big deal, as is getting the BPM in the audiosnap window close to the actual BPM.  Even then it's even odds that when you click "Clips aligns to project" you will get different time stretches on every clip, some faster, some slower. But when it does work, it works a treat.

Ah you're talking about stretching to project kind of stuff, which I agree is very fiddly. I personally never use it that way, rather I'm usually quantizing/moving transient markers around and aligning tracks that way. That's also pretty fiddly, to be fair, but you can get some pretty consistently good results if you do the prep right.

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6 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

Ah you're talking about stretching to project kind of stuff, which I agree is very fiddly. I personally never use it that way, rather I'm usually quantizing/moving transient markers around and aligning tracks that way. That's also pretty fiddly, to be fair, but you can get some pretty consistently good results if you do the prep right.

Yes I am. I had one project that I really thought had some good performances but really needed a couple of extra BPM's. I ended up using Reaper to do that. 

I love Cakewalk though. I've had Reaper since it came out and I almost never use it any more.  

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Well the problem is that in order to follow project tempo using Elastique Efficient/Pro, the only way by which to do that is through AudioSnap, which AudioSnap doesn't do this very well.

If Cakewalk had a way to automatically slip-stretch audio clips as you increase or decrease tempo, there would not be any need to go through AudioSnap to follow project tempo using Elastique.

I would think such a feature would be pretty easy for Cakewalk to implement.

 

Edited by Craig Reeves

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15 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

FL Studio = Skittles

Ableton Live! = Electric Kool-Aid

Serious, not smarty or rhetorical question, Brian: how new is "new?" If Cakewalk is the benchmark, then I think we're left with Cubase, Digital Performer, and Pro Tools.

My experience with multiple DAW's is limited, and some of it comes from half a dozen years ago, but I would go as far as to say that the less time a DAW has been around, the more closely I'd want to examine whether it hadn't yet implemented  or developed features I hold dear. Comping in Ableton Live, mixing in Reason, these ideas bring a shudder. But then I look on Wikipedia and see that they've been around for 20 years. Fruity Loops started 23 years ago, and became a "studio" 17 years ago. Yikes.

It is a good question, from my perspective it is a combo of time and maturity.    

There are quite a few products (such as those you mentioend that are mature in a featureset).

However, we also have a number of up and commers that have limited development teams and also limted time on the market.     Many of these even experenced people haven't heard of.   https://www.slant.co/topics/1835/~best-daws

 

For me, I would think that anything under 8 years of development is going to have a hole somewhere.   Studio One has been around for 11 years, but they also had devlopers of Cubase and the VST spec on board.  

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1 hour ago, Brian Walton said:

For me, I would think that anything under 8 years of development is going to have a hole somewhere.   Studio One has been around for 11 years, but they also had devlopers of Cubase and the VST spec on board.

I was going to ask you what you thought of Studio One, I tried the free version when I was DAW shopping back in 2013 and something about the UI put me off, can't quite remember what. Same with Cubase. I went with Mixcraft because of the friendly price, the contentment expressed on their user forum, and the no BS UI.

I have a usability benchmark with DAW's, kind of like a first date, where you learn whether you're compatible at all. I open the main UI, plug in a mic and then see how long it takes (in time and frustration) to record a "test, test, one two three" clip (or region or whatever), then select a section of the clip and delete it. With Mixcraft, it took only a little bit longer than it took me to type the steps. With Reaper, I think it was 45 minutes, including poring over the (at the time) inadequate and poorly organized documentation. That thing where Reaper requires (required? Maybe they fixed it) you to create a clip before you record was my speedbump, and I don't like speedbumps when I'm trying to get ideas down. Reaper's great in other ways, I'm sure.

The list you linked to seems as if it's influenced by certain....enthusiastic user communities that whipped up interest amongst the user base. I mean, LMMS beating out Pro Tools, Cubase, Digital Performer, Ableton Live? No way, the thing isn't even set up to deal with full audio tracks. I think these polls really amount to "which DAW's user community can get the word out that there's a DAW poll that they should vote in?" As many have noted, the "best DAW" is the one with the mix of features and UI design that best suits one's way of working. The "best DAW" for someone seeking a career in pro studios is still Pro Tools. Whatever floats one's boat, and we are lucky to have so many amazing ones to choose from, even if we restrict the choice to free licensing.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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Yeah, Erik is spot-on there.

In isolation (with a few gaps already acknowledged in this thread) I don't reckon there's a better choice than CbB overall, free or paid. You get a flagship product with a mature toolset, decent bread and butter effects that you can go from recording to final master with, active development, a hands-on dev team, and this amazing forum where even seasoned users learn a lot of stuff just by lurking here (I certainly do - you guys are awesome!)  Absolutely nobody has heard any of my releases and has gone "oh... yeah, that sounds like a free Windows DAW" - the end product makes the tools to get to that point entirely irrelevant. If it sounds good and is what the client (or yourself) is after, well done. You could have recorded this on a toaster for all the listener cares.

But if you do plan to work in commercial studios, having a great understanding of ProTools and being familiar with Mac is probably the smartest choice. This also goes for if you're collaborating with other people too. If 10 of your friends are using Logic and you're using REAPER, it's probably a good idea to think about running a copy of Logic too, just for importing and exporting projects, even if you might export to your DAW of choice to do the actual work.

You might get somewhere the fastest by driving your Ferrari, but sometimes you need a minivan to haul all of the kids to soccer practice. Different tools for different goals.

Edited by Lord Tim
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