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Cakewalk and Reaper which one and Why?

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9 minutes ago, Mandolin Picker said:

I love Cakewalk, have been using it close to 20 years, was one of those who originally paid cold hard cash for the program.

BTW, I've said it before and I'll say it again, although I am a rah-rah for BandLab and the free license, I am also aware of and grateful to everyone (which included me 20 years ago), who made the creation and development of Cakewalk/SONAR possible when it was funded by license fees. While it's true we wouldn't have this happening  DAW without BandLab, it would never have existed if we hadn't paid our license fees.

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5 hours ago, abacab said:

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! ūüėČ

I totally agree with you that life is too short ... And yes, for the older Windows versions it was true that they are not so experimental, but for Windows 10 with its update forcing this is not valid anymore IMHO!

5 hours ago, Mandolin Picker said:

I have too many issues with Windows 10.

Although I have Windows 10 on 2 of my PCs this is also my experience! I agree!

But on my main music computer with Windows 10 I have a bit less problems than on the laptop, because it is mostly offline!

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I've been using Cakewalk for longer than I care to remember and despite having access to the likes of Pro Tools, Reaper and Studio One through a local studio I've yet to find a reason to switch to an alternative. During the dark period when Cakewalk almost vanished into obscurity, I spent a lot of time frantically scouring the internet to find a replacement, but I failed to find anything to tick the right boxes.

It is of course a matter of personal preference, but one factor that shouldn't be overlooked is the 'hands on' involvement offered by the bakers. Reading through this topic shows just how effectively the inevitable bugs are managed.

Bandlab Cakewalk is constantly evolving in response to user feedback. What's not to like ?.

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I have Samplitude - Mix Buss - Reaper. I haven't launched any of them in 2 years. Cake is still taking the Cake.

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11 minutes ago, RBH said:

I have Samplitude - Mix Buss - Reaper. I haven't launched any of them in 2 years. Cake is still taking the Cake.

You prefer Cakewalk right? 

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4 days and over 30 replies later, do you not have enough information? Nobody can choose for you, you must try them both and make your own decision.

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8 hours ago, Strantrickt said:
8 hours ago, RBH said:

I have Samplitude - Mix Buss - Reaper. I haven't launched any of them in 2 years. Cake is still taking the Cake.

You prefer Cakewalk right? 

I am not sure the intent of RBH's wordplay on "Cake" is clear. Sometimes the idiom "to take the cake" means something is bad.** However, in this case it means something good.  RBH prefers it over Samplitude, Mix Buss, and Reaper.

**See for example this. 

 

 

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On 10/30/2020 at 1:08 PM, Strantrickt said:

Can I mix mastering with Cakewalk? So I'll choose Cakewalk

 

Yes.  But you really want a DAW with good metering and visualizers for mastering, or you'll have to supplement with the plugins needed.  You also are going to want to get better dynamics plugins than what Cakewalk ships with.

I would bias to Samplitude Pro X Suite over both Cakewalk and REAPER for Mastering, and it's more flexible than Cakewalk when it comes to Mixing.  That DAW was designed with Mastering in mind.  Cakewalk was really designed for composition and production.

Honestly, you haven't given enough information to inform people of what would be more practical for you.

My suggestion is to use Cakewalk because it costs you nothing, and move on if you feel you need more and other DAWs offer what is needed.

Honestly, that's the obvious choice.

Going from Cakewalk to REAPER isn't like going from Cakewalk to something like Ableton or FL Studio.  It's not that huge a bridge to cross.

Edited by Maestro

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On 10/30/2020 at 12:08 PM, Strantrickt said:

Can I mix mastering with Cakewalk? So I'll choose Cakewalk

I've used both Sonar and Studio One since version 1.0. The reason why was mastering in Studio One, multitrack in Sonar.

Over the years I realized I could do most of the work in Sonar, then export what I had done as tracks that I could then import into Studio One. So, I could take advantage of Studio One's Song page/Mastering page synergy . As I mastered, if I needed to make tweaks, I didn't have to go back into Sonar, do another mix, export the mix, etc. I could make the tweaks on the Sonar-generated tracks in Studio One, and bounce over to Studio One's mastering page.

This was an incredibly efficient workflow that took advantage of what both programs had to offer. In those days, Sonar was IMHO a better mixing environment than Studio One and handled MIDI better, but Studio One had better mastering, analytics, and export functions (like DDP for CD duplication houses).

I did the same thing with Ableton Live. Do live sets in Live, record them, then import into Studio One for mastering.

 

The point is there are many ways to approach solutions. To think that "one DAW rules them all" can prevent you from seeing the solution that's going to work best for you. Admittedly, I've been doing this a long time, so it's clear to me what I need to do, and which tools are best to do what's needed for me. At the moment, most of my work is in Studio One because it has particular features that I find essential - but those same features might be irrelevant to other people.

As to Cakewalk vs. Reaper, either one will let you make music. The limiting factor will always be the musician's talent, not the program. That said, because I want to know how to pilot a session with any DAW for professional reasons, I've tried Reaper several times. It never quite did it for me, it always seemed to be missing some crucial feature - eventually it would get that feature, but then other programs would have also progressed and leapfrogged ahead of it. I certainly found Cakewalk a far more comfortable, and useful, environment than Reaper. And now, Cakewalk's free. I don't see it as a difficult choice.

 

 

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21 hours ago, User 905133 said:

I am not sure the intent of RBH's wordplay on "Cake" is clear. Sometimes the idiom "to take the cake" means something is bad.** However, in this case it means something good.  RBH prefers it over Samplitude, Mix Buss, and Reaper.

**See for example this. 

 

 

And this is why I'm an instrumentalist - and not a lyricist  :)

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On 11/3/2020 at 10:27 AM, Craig Anderton said:

I've used both Sonar and Studio One since version 1.0. The reason why was mastering in Studio One, multitrack in Sonar.

Over the years I realized I could do most of the work in Sonar, then export what I had done as tracks that I could then import into Studio One. So, I could take advantage of Studio One's Song page/Mastering page synergy . As I mastered, if I needed to make tweaks, I didn't have to go back into Sonar, do another mix, export the mix, etc. I could make the tweaks on the Sonar-generated tracks in Studio One, and bounce over to Studio One's mastering page.

This was an incredibly efficient workflow that took advantage of what both programs had to offer. In those days, Sonar was IMHO a better mixing environment than Studio One and handled MIDI better, but Studio One had better mastering, analytics, and export functions (like DDP for CD duplication houses).

I did the same thing with Ableton Live. Do live sets in Live, record them, then import into Studio One for mastering.

 

The point is there are many ways to approach solutions. To think that "one DAW rules them all" can prevent you from seeing the solution that's going to work best for you. Admittedly, I've been doing this a long time, so it's clear to me what I need to do, and which tools are best to do what's needed for me. At the moment, most of my work is in Studio One because it has particular features that I find essential - but those same features might be irrelevant to other people.

As to Cakewalk vs. Reaper, either one will let you make music. The limiting factor will always be the musician's talent, not the program. That said, because I want to know how to pilot a session with any DAW for professional reasons, I've tried Reaper several times. It never quite did it for me, it always seemed to be missing some crucial feature - eventually it would get that feature, but then other programs would have also progressed and leapfrogged ahead of it. I certainly found Cakewalk a far more comfortable, and useful, environment than Reaper. And now, Cakewalk's free. I don't see it as a difficult choice.

 

 

Thx, I delete Reaper and prefer Cakewalk. 

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On 11/3/2020 at 9:27 AM, Craig Anderton said:

I've used both Sonar and Studio One since version 1.0. The reason why was mastering in Studio One, multitrack in Sonar.

Over the years I realized I could do most of the work in Sonar, then export what I had done as tracks that I could then import into Studio One. So, I could take advantage of Studio One's Song page/Mastering page synergy . As I mastered, if I needed to make tweaks, I didn't have to go back into Sonar, do another mix, export the mix, etc. I could make the tweaks on the Sonar-generated tracks in Studio One, and bounce over to Studio One's mastering page.

This was an incredibly efficient workflow that took advantage of what both programs had to offer. In those days, Sonar was IMHO a better mixing environment than Studio One and handled MIDI better, but Studio One had better mastering, analytics, and export functions (like DDP for CD duplication houses).

I did the same thing with Ableton Live. Do live sets in Live, record them, then import into Studio One for mastering.

 

The point is there are many ways to approach solutions. To think that "one DAW rules them all" can prevent you from seeing the solution that's going to work best for you. Admittedly, I've been doing this a long time, so it's clear to me what I need to do, and which tools are best to do what's needed for me. At the moment, most of my work is in Studio One because it has particular features that I find essential - but those same features might be irrelevant to other people.

As to Cakewalk vs. Reaper, either one will let you make music. The limiting factor will always be the musician's talent, not the program. That said, because I want to know how to pilot a session with any DAW for professional reasons, I've tried Reaper several times. It never quite did it for me, it always seemed to be missing some crucial feature - eventually it would get that feature, but then other programs would have also progressed and leapfrogged ahead of it. I certainly found Cakewalk a far more comfortable, and useful, environment than Reaper. And now, Cakewalk's free. I don't see it as a difficult choice.

 

 

This is true. 

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I've been using reaper almost a month now with it's free license and I'm thinking of investing in it. Before I do, I need confirmation on something. 

I've been using Cakewalk close to 12 years. Huge fan of it - it's my go to DAW. 

Question:

Am I mistakenly to find that Reaper projects the sound differently than Cakewalk? My plugins sounds way fuller in Reaper. I really don't know how to explain it - but have anyone experience something like this? I hear compression better, the plugins are more sensitive there as what it is in CbB. The same with a Reverb - it sounds more true and natural than what it does in CbB. This is the same for every plugin. 

I use the same plugins in both and in CbB and there's a highly noticeable difference.

Plugs I use everyday: MFreeFXBundle from MeldaProduction. 

If this is true . . . We need Cakewalk up there. 

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Do a null test with straight audio, and the pan laws set the same. If it sounds different, then one of the DAWs is broken. Algorithmic or evolving effects won't cancel entirely, but it'll be close enough to tell it's nulling out.

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1 hour ago, Will_Kaydo said:

I've been using reaper almost a month now with it's free license and I'm thinking of investing in it. Before I do, I need confirmation on something. 

I've been using Cakewalk close to 12 years. Huge fan of it - it's my go to DAW. 

Question:

Am I mistakenly to find that Reaper projects the sound differently than Cakewalk? My plugins sounds way fuller in Reaper. I really don't know how to explain it - but have anyone experience something like this? I hear compression better, the plugins are more sensitive there as what it is in CbB. The same with a Reverb - it sounds more true and natural than what it does in CbB. This is the same for every plugin. 

I use the same plugins in both and in CbB and there's a highly noticeable difference.

Plugs I use everyday: MFreeFXBundle from MeldaProduction. 

If this is true . . . We need Cakewalk up there. 

Yes, something is going on there. I too experienced a different sound, and when I recently exported a project from Reaper to CbB, I had to reduce the volume on my mix bus to -8 or more. I usually keep it at zero as much as possible. I can't figure out how this happened, and have had to work on this project differently than I usually do in Cakewalk. 

I have always heard that all DAWS do everything the same, and there can be no difference in sound between them. then how to account for what I experienced? I imported only midi, and removed any effects and controller events other than 7 and 11. So how did this happen? No one on this forum has been able to explain it (I had a thread going on it). Something is going on here, and we don't know what it is. And neither does Bob Dylan (sorry, couldn't resist). 

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1 hour ago, mdiemer said:

Yes, something is going on there. I too experienced a different sound, and when I recently exported a project from Reaper to CbB, I had to reduce the volume on my mix bus to -8 or more. I usually keep it at zero as much as possible. I can't figure out how this happened, and have had to work on this project differently than I usually do in Cakewalk. 

I have always heard that all DAWS do everything the same, and there can be no difference in sound between them. then how to account for what I experienced? I imported only midi, and removed any effects and controller events other than 7 and 11. So how did this happen? No one on this forum has been able to explain it (I had a thread going on it). Something is going on here, and we don't know what it is. And neither does Bob Dylan (sorry, couldn't resist). 

DAWs sound the same, down to (theoretically) perceptible level. But the comparison should be done right, f.e. default settings in REAPER differ from default settings in Cakewalk. No, the output is not digitally equivalent. F.e. in Cakewalk audio is ALWAYS aligned to project samples, in REAPER it CAN BE aligned, but it is not by default and the procedure is rather tricky (taking into account the project, the clip and the audio interface can have different sample rate, that make no much sense there).

Good start for comparison is just open Cakewalk project in REAPER, with ReaCWP. Many settings which can be converted are converted, so the sound should more closely match to the original then by simple "copy paste" audio/midi. BTW in ReaCWP documentation I explain many technical/internal differences between both DAWs (only from Cakewalk->REAPER perspective, not touching reverse direction).

--------

For the thread: I have recognized many advantages of Cakewalk after switching to REAPER, they was so "obvious" that I have not noticed them before... So:

  • my colleague ask me really often: "I again can't find how to..." and my answer is "wait a moment... I have to remember...",¬† realizing in Cakewalk the same is simple and doesn't need¬† "memorizing". REAPER is way more "flexible", but that has its price. Some highlights (the list is really long, so just few):
    • for simple MIDI based work, especially when (multi-track) MIDI files are the origin and/or outcome, REAPER is in "hard to use" up to "that doesn't work..." range.
    • step sequencer, matrix, etc. Good in Cakewalk.
    • channel and other "must have" controls (f.e. "where can I select my MIDI keyboard for the track?") are good placed in Cakewalk
  • for "safety" - REAPER all the way.
    • Multi-platform, all versions (including the first one...) available for download and take no time (13MB) do download and install. Simultaneous versions completely independent (portable install), offline authorization, not restricted demo.
    • So you know your can start the DAW anywhere and you will be able to start it anywhere in far future, independent from the company nor license existence.
    • This DAW was made to do anything without stopping the transport (Cakewalk is better then Sonar in that respect, but still some operations have to be done with silence).
    • deep troubleshooting is build-in into REAPER, with all timings, CPU consumption and delays (per plug-in). Plus 2 way plug-in isolation.
    • anticipative engine is way more forgiving, when it comes to "play along"/mixing/mastering. It also void Plug-in Delay Compensation problem during recording. Note that "all in real time" is somehow better work in Cakewalk, especially when some plug-ins in monitoring chain have tiny delays (REAPER make them longer...) or the system power is on limit (in rather special conditions I could make a chain of plug-ins work without glitches in Cakewalk, while that couldn't be achieved in REAPER without rising the buffer).
  • for experiments:
    • fancy routing (including MIDI) and modulations - REAPER
    • control surfaces - Cakewalk (AZ Controller... not many understand that, but some do...)

In reality, it is good to have both ūüėČ

 

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5 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

Do a null test with straight audio, and the pan laws set the same. If it sounds different, then one of the DAWs is broken. Algorithmic or evolving effects won't cancel entirely, but it'll be close enough to tell it's nulling out.

Did everything. Cakewalk is broken ūüėāūüėā¬†

Jokes aside - Compression are more sensitive. I immediately hear the attack, release and threshold work, as soon as I touch it them in reaper. In Cakewalk with the same piano and chords - it's a bit higher up.

Reverb sounds fuller in Reaper and more thinner, but kind of "Shimmering" in CbB.

Same bars and plugin setting, after exporting the test - and I find myself enjoying the sound reaper gives - though it took¬†me 100 times longer. Routing things are weird in reaper. ūüėē

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3 hours ago, mdiemer said:

I have always heard that all DAWS do everything the same, and there can be no difference in sound between them. then how to account for what I experienced? 

Yeah. Was taught this in class 12 years ago.

Seems like cakewalk still project a digital signal based sound. 

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4 hours ago, azslow3 said:
  • for experiments:
    • fancy routing (including MIDI) and modulations - REAPER

I have found that sometimes Reaper is good to have around for checking and comparing routing scenarios in Cakewalk, due to the track design being completely different for each. In Cakewalk you have specific audio, MIDI, and instrument tracks, where each track type has specifically defined rules about how they can interact with other objects in the DAW. In Reaper, a track is a track, where it seems that almost anything can route to anything. For example, it is much easier to route audio to an instrument in Reaper, as in the case of a sampler VSTi that needs an audio input in order to live sample.

And Reaper seems to be much more intelligent on opening GM MIDI files (type 1/type2), where it will ask if you want to split out a track per MIDI channel if it detects that. Some DAWs don't export multi-track MIDI correctly, and I have used Reaper as a middle man to import/export MIDI multi-track to be used elsewhere. It seems they got that part right!

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