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Strantrickt

Cakewalk and Reaper which one and Why?

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I will say there are some nice things in Reaper and the videos going over the features are nicely done.  But I agree it is not the most user friendly software. But Reaper is a darn efficient program. So if you want the most efficient DAW on the market Reaper is for you :)   But for me and my needs I still prefer CbB :D

Also if I was going to switch DAW's it probably would be Studio One 5 now that they have integrated the notation into the product as I'm one of the few that seems to still use notation/staff view regularly.

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Get both. Cakewalk is free, REAPER is free for 60 days. You have nothing to lose by trying them both and making a decision about the one you like best in 2 months time.

Both programs are capable of anything you want to use them for, but have very different workflows. Most people here would say Cakewalk is the best for that (me included) but if you ask on the REAPER forum, they'll tell you the opposite.

There's no right answer - get both and find out which one is the right fit for you.

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Both Reaper and Cakewalk is excellent daws.

I found Reaper to be pretty easy to learn. Made my own toolbar with own icons for multitrack midisongs in the firsta week. It used actionscripts and an installed gm synth. Reaper don't have its own gm synth so it have problems to play midisongs you dl from the web. There are lot of ready made scripts. You only have to find those that suits your purpose.

That aside, i've already invested a lot of time to learn and understand Cakewalk so i'll stick to it as long as it works for me. I also like this forum much better. Plus it took me longer time to understand Reapers routing than Cakewalks. Personally i think Cakewalks routing is more logical than Reaper.

 

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11 hours ago, abacab said:

I cannot stand the Reaper UI and the user experience.

It has some great tech under the hood that I like, but I'm not interesting in building a DAW (i.e. the endless customization that can be performed to the UI to hack into something pleasant to work with).

abacab puts it in a nutshell. I'm sure that I could do everything in REAPER that I now do in Cakewalk, but it would take me a long time to figure out how, and I'd be staring at an ugly UI for all or most of it.

So CbB for me, and here's why:

Cakewalk has a very attractive (to me, de gustibus) UI, including and especially the best looking (and sounding) mixing console I've seen anywhere. When I first downloaded it, I understood the paradigm right away. Two types of tracks you can record into, audio and MIDI. Arm an audio or MIDI track for recording, hit record, and you're recording. The results come out in clips that sit in lanes underneath the main track. You can edit the clips in several different ways using tools and keystrokes that are familiar to people who use mainstream DAW's. Boom.

If you want to really fly at comping, there are a couple of different workflows, one of them, Speed Comping, really rips. When your comps and edits are done, you can leave your clips in their own lanes or flatten everything into one clip.

At first I hit some snags in the workflow (it favored the expert mode, IMO), but the developers listened and smoothed them out.

There's just about the right amount of customization available (Track colors, Workspaces, Track Control, Console module and strip menus, then theme editing if you want to get really into it) and it's just that: available, not necessary like it is with Reaper.

It's a cliche, but truly, as a musician/songwriter, it's crucial that "when inspiration hits" I can be ready to record in minutes without having to do a right brain/left brain mode shift to get the recorder working.

On a farther reaching level, as it says in my KVR review, I think the free subscription licensing model allows the developers freedom that is not available to other developers who are dependent on new licenses in order for their business to survive. The freebieness also translates into a mellower user base that don't mind helping their fellow users out when necessary, because at least in my case, I know they are a smaller team than Cakewalk Inc. had, and I'm grateful to BandLab for backing the project. I put in some of my time helping other users and reporting bugs, and that's my way of "tipping." BandLab do Cakewalk because it's good for the music community, which eventually makes its way back to them in the form of more sales of their for-profit products. I'm happy to help forward that effort, and I think that spirit is reflected by other people in this forum.

Having said all that, from many reports, Reaper is also great software, it's just great in different ways from Cakewalk. Really, at this point, all the big names are great, and it's a buffet feast for users to choose which one(s) best serve their needs. I have a good friend who loves Reaper and has detested Cakewalk ever since SONAR went from 8.5 to the "new" UI. Why? He can't rearrange the mixer strips the way he used to. The same feature that's my favorite is the one he can't stand.

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12 hours ago, Strantrickt said:

Can I mix mastering with Cakewalk?

It's actually the best I've tried for that use. Even as downloaded, the included effects can take you to a well-mixed, well-mastered track. Add some freeware plug-ins and it gets even better. I think it's the perfect companion for Ableton Live!, which I find really lame for audio editing and so-so as far as the mixing console. For EDM performance and composition, Live! is awesome at what it does.

No program does the work for you; learning how to mix and master well take years of learning and experience. It's like Photoshop or GIMP or Paint.NET, yes, you can get professional results with them, but you also have to start with good raw material and then learn how to use the tools they have.

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13 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

It's actually the best I've tried for that use. Even as downloaded, the included effects can take you to a well-mixed, well-mastered track. Add some freeware plug-ins and it gets even better. I think it's the perfect companion for Ableton Live!, which I find really lame for audio editing and so-so as far as the mixing console. For EDM performance and composition, Live! is awesome at what it does.

No program does the work for you; learning how to mix and master well take years of learning and experience. It's like Photoshop or GIMP or Paint.NET, yes, you can get professional results with them, but you also have to start with good raw material and then learn how to use the tools they have.

I use only Cakewalk plug-ins for my mixing and mastering. Of course, as a Sonar owner I have access to some very good ones that are not in the current Cakewalk DAW. I use the LP64EQ, Tube Leveler, Sonitus Compressor, and for final touch, the Vintage Channel. I find the "Gentle MS Mastering" preset gives my classical-oriented music just the right sheen.  Cakewalk still has the Sonitus suite I believe, and maybe the Tube Leveler, but the LP64 and VC you would probably need to find something else. But the freebies threads on this forum have a ton of great stuff. Just ask and the various ascended masters in this place will be glad to direct you to some good options. You will have the TTS-1, which gives you a general midi set. (Hopefully it works for you; for some mysterious reason it won't for me).

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I'm an older fella - near 60. I've been involved with music production since before my adult hood. I came from a tape background and early home studio and  pro studio work, I certainly pre-date MIDI and was a very early adopter. I operate Cakewalk like a full fledged tape studio with near unlimited tracks  ( though I generally keep it close to a 24 track for band work ), unlimited racks of very high end processing, near unlimited racks of synths and drum machines / samplers. I write songs in nearly every genre and I product other musicians. I have tried all the other major DAWS - to me nothing comes close to Cakewalk to fully integrate VST instrumentation into linear style recording.  I don't do "BEATS " and I don't do fake music - I emulate full band and or orchestral  productions. I can imagine there might be other DAWS  that fullfill other types of recording better - such as audio / Video sync  integration  or voice over and effects kinds of productions. Me  - I just do band style music, nothing comes close. I've been using Cakewalk since before there was Audio harddisk recording.  I can open projects I created since the mid 80's because of long standing backwards compatibility. I was majorly concerned when Gibson screwed the pooch with cakewalk - and thank you over and over again to the Noel and the Bakers and certainly BandLab for keeping this program hanging tough.

Edited by RBH
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10 hours ago, RBH said:

I'm an older fella - near 60. I've been involved with music production since before my adult hood. I came from a tape background and early home studio and  pro studio work, I certainly pre-date MIDI and was a very early adopter. I operate Cakewalk like a full fledged tape studio with near unlimited tracks  ( though I generally keep it close to a 24 track for band work ), unlimited racks of very high end processing, near unlimited racks of synths and drum machines / samplers. I write songs in nearly every genre and I product other musicians. I have tried all the other major DAWS - to me nothing comes close to Cakewalk to fully integrate VST instrumentation into linear style recording.  I don't do "BEATS " and I don't do fake music - I emulate full band and or orchestral  productions. I can imagine there might be other DAWS  that fullfill other types of recording better - such as audio / Video sync  integration  or voice over and effects kinds of productions. Me  - I just do band style music, nothing comes close. I've been using Cakewalk since before there was Audio harddisk recording.  I can open projects I created since the mid 80's because of long standing backwards compatibility. I was majorly concerned when Gibson screwed the pooch with cakewalk - and thank you over and over again to the Noel and the Bakers and certainly BandLab for keeping this program hanging tough.

So Cakewalk is right choose? Right?

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1 hour ago, Strantrickt said:

So Cakewalk is right choose? Right?

Yes, Cakewalk is right choose. 👍

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But if you go to KVR forum, the choice will be Reaper or Cubase or Studio One 😆    Do not use Cakewalk at all cost as it is a bad program :(

Choose what works for you and go make some music.  :D

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4 hours ago, InstrEd said:

But if you go to KVR forum, the choice will be Reaper or Cubase or Studio One 😆    Do not use Cakewalk at all cost as it is a bad program :(

Choose what works for you and go make some music.  :D

Really, are people down on Cakewalk in the KVR forums? I've poked around there from time to time and it seemed like CbB (as opposed to SONAR, which had a negative rep for being crash-y) had kind of dropped off the radar (so to speak). Fortunately "at all cost" is zero cost for CbB. 😆

And yes, choosing what works best and going with it is really the best thing to do. Both Reaper and Cakewalk may be tried in full functionality at no cost. And the fun thing when trying CbB is that if you like anything about it, say just the editing, or the recording, or the fabulous mixing, you can use it alongside another DAW.

For people using Windows and doing EDM, I think the combination of Ableton Live! for composing and Cakewalk for editing and mixing is unBEATable (sorry). Althoough I must say, this 59-year-old who does make beats as well as using the tape studio workflow, makes his beats in Cakewalk using the piano roll and plug-ins like Break Tweaker.

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28 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

For people using Windows and doing EDM, I think the combination of Ableton Live! for composing and Cakewalk for editing and mixing is unBEATable (sorry). Althoough I must say, this 59-year-old who does make beats as well as using the tape studio workflow, makes his beats in Cakewalk using the piano roll and plug-ins like Break Tweaker.

https://www.udemy.com/course/songwriting-in-ableton-live-or-any-audio-application/
 

Quote

Welcome to Songwriting in Ableton Live (Or Any Audio Application!)

This course is "5-Star Certified" by the International Association of Online Music Educators and Institutions (IAOMEI). This course has been independently reviewed by a panel of experts and has received a stellar 5-star rating.

In this class, we are going to write a song together. We will start with just messing around on the keyboard until we find an idea, then we will work on the song structure, form, sound design, and end with mixing it and a discussion about mastering the track. Beginning to end - step by step!

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Dr. Allen is a university music professor and is a top-rated Udemy instructor - with nearly 100 courses and over 200,000 students.

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Instructor

Jason Allen

Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer

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Jason Allen (better known as J. Anthony Allen) has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers. 

J. Anthony Allen teaches at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, where he runs the Music, Media, and Management program. He is also an Ableton Live Certified Trainer,  co-founder, owner and CEO of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis, the CTO of Ion Concert Media, and sole owner and producer of music education courses under the umbrella of Punkademic Courses. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music. 

J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way. 

If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)

 

Edited by abacab

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One other thing I'll throw out in this discussion. But let me preface this first by saying I love Cakewalk, have been using it close to 20 years, was one of those who originally paid cold hard cash for the program. I think its very good and use it almost everyday. However, Cakewalk (like most other Windows based software) is moving more and more to Windows 10 and compatibility with Windows 7 and 8 is no longer guaranteed. I understand the reasons and advantages of doing this. However, for me I will not be moving to Windows 10. I have too many issues with Windows 10.

Instead I currently use Linux Mint for most everything I do on the computer (except audio).  Have been using Linux for nearly 10 years now. Why do I bring this up? One thing that REAPER has that Cakewalk does not have is a Linux version. Cakewalk is very much a Windows product. REAPER can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux. If I create a template in Windows it transfers just fine to the Linux version, and vice-versa.

One thing to be aware of is that REAPER for Linux is still considered experimental. But they do have versions for i686, x86-64, AARCH64 and ARM v71.

Just something else to think about.

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13 minutes ago, Mandolin Picker said:

One other thing I'll throw out in this discussion. But let me preface this first by saying I love Cakewalk, have been using it close to 20 years, was one of those who originally paid cold hard cash for the program. I think its very good and use it almost everyday. However, Cakewalk (like most other Windows based software) is moving more and more to Windows 10 and compatibility with Windows 7 and 8 is no longer guaranteed. I understand the reasons and advantages of doing this. However, for me I will not be moving to Windows 10. I have too many issues with Windows 10.

Instead I currently use Linux Mint for most everything I do on the computer (except audio).  Have been using Linux for nearly 10 years now. Why do I bring this up? One thing that REAPER has that Cakewalk does not have is a Linux version. Cakewalk is very much a Windows product. REAPER can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux. If I create a template in Windows it transfers just fine to the Linux version, and vice-versa.

One thing to be aware of is that REAPER for Linux is still considered experimental. But they do have versions for i686, x86-64, AARCH64 and ARM v71.

Just something else to think about.

I hear ya. I started using Linux about 20 years ago. It is the most stable computer OS that I have ever touched!

But I have also been using Windows for at least the same amount of time for MIDI & audio, which actually started because I couldn't afford a Mac in the late 90's. 😢

 I still would consider the whole desktop experience on Linux as experimental. But Linux has dominated the server world, and even Microsoft has finally caved and uses Linux in the Azure cloud.

But for the desktop, and especially music production, my opinion is that life is too short to use an experimental platform for music, if all you really want to do is make music! But if you wish to be a computer engineer, carry on!

Cheers! 😉

Edited by abacab

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