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Ælleden

Thoughts about Cakewalk compared to other DAW?

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53 minutes ago, Colin Nicholls said:

20 English Shillings say this poster will not return!

I have started with Sonar X1... "this program crash every time I try to do what I want" was true for me that time... But I have payed for it, so I am still (at least partially) there 😏

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1 hour ago, Colin Nicholls said:

20 English Shillings say this poster will not return!

40 more say that a year from now (give or take) another one-post-wonder will raise this thread from the dead with the same baseless trolling.

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They say echoes are better than delays? Is this true? 🧐 which one is better to use? 

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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Troll or not @azslow3's answer to the original post brought up an interesting point.  The strength of most DAWs depends on the original purpose each DAW was created.  All DAWs can reasonably do everything audio.  But if you want a DAW mostly for live performance, to create electronic based music, emulate a recording studio, use scripts to customize the interface and so on,  there will be one DAW that excels in each respect.  As an analogy you can write a a book using Notepad or Writer Document from LibeOffice but the latter is better suited for that use.

Most posts like this one never state the reason the original poster wants to use a DAW.   Knowing the reason helps everyone else provide a response.

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I’ve been where you are with other software. And just like you, I am heavily into video editing using AE, Premiere Pro, Vegas, etc and figured them all out on my own with the elf of some YT videos.  But for some reason, I really wanted to move to Avid Media Composer a y years backs because everyone I knew in the business said that is what what’s used cutting most tv shows.  I tried.i just couldn’t do it.  So unintuitive. My posts sounded like yours, of course I usually wrote those posts at 1 am after striking out all night and ready to blow my house up to bits.  I just decided not to use Avid.

 

that said, stick with CW. I used it in the 99s when it was on a floppy disk. Luckily, it is free these days but is still the same stable software it always has been.  There are many helpful people here.  You just need to take a breath and rewrite your post. Give us exact step by step actions that you did. Take screen shots. Someone will help you through.  I find it quite intuitive, unlike Avid Media Composer.  Start a new empty project.  Keep it simple.  Insert a new audio track and just record your voice counting for 10 seconds.  Insert an instrument track.  Choose your vst instrument and record a few notes. If you are using real midi equipment, then you will need to insert a midi track so that it will play back your instrument.  All you need is the above to start.  Everything else that is more complex is built on the above.  Good luck. 

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12 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

20 English Shillings say this poster will not return!

Honestly, I wouldn't either. This was a pretty bad first impression by a community, and that's a determining factor in how much people will get out of a piece of software.

 

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That was a pretty bad way to introduce himself.

You don't generally show up to a party insulting the host, peacocking about how much smarter you are than all the guests and expect a warm reception.

He showed up looking for a fight and that's what he got.

Edited by bdickens
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I get frustrated very easily with buggy software, and I don't have much patience for software with a steep learning curve.
With that being said, when it looked like Cakewalk was going to not be supported anymore, I tried about 6 or 7 of the most popular DAWs.
They all are good, but have different features and obviously different interfaces.
After trying these DAWs for several weeks, I finally decided to go back to Cakewalk and just use the unsupported software until it didn't work anymore.
Fortunately Bandlab came to the rescue and saved Cakewalk and I've been using it ever since.

For the uninitiated, when you first open up Cakewalk (or any DAW software) it's going to look a little intimidating.  But you DON'T have to learn everything about it all at once.  Hell, I still don't know how to use a few features, and I probably never will because I just don't need to use them.   But Cakewalk is no less or more difficult than any of the other main DAWs, in fact it's easier than some.
I find it hard to believe that someone who works with complicated software, can't get the hang of Cakewalk, especially after watching so many tutorials, as you claimed.

And as for it being buggy?   That has not been my experience.   If something doesn't work the way you expect it, it's a good bet that you're just not using it right, rather than it being a "bug".
My suggestion (as others have already said)  come back to this forum, change your attitude, and simply ask questions about things you don't understand, or are not working the way you want them to work.   But don't take on the entire program all at once.     There are some older "Sonar Power" books written by Scott Garrigus from previous versions, that are still quite useful.  I suggest getting the most recent version of that book.  Looking through my old copy of Sonar X3 Power, the vast majority of it is still relevant and can be a great guide.   I like having a book in front of me, as opposed to watching video tutorials.  Because I can refer to the book as I'm working in Cakewalk.

Edited by Lee Shapiro
corrected typo
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On 2/13/2022 at 5:08 AM, Ælleden said:

 Hello, I'm a complete newbie in the music production, I started 2 weeks ago with Cakewalk because it was free.

Go for a Tascam Porta Studio 4 Channel tape recorder.

Edited by Pragi
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On 2/12/2022 at 5:50 PM, Ælleden said:

Hello, I'm a complete newbie in the music production, I started 2 weeks ago with Cakewalk because it was free.

I just want your honest opinion about it compared to the other DAWs you tried.


If i'm being honest i'm actually really mad and tilted about this software.
I work in the Visual Effects industry, which is full of very complex and advanced software with scripting, code, nodal stuff etc. so I'm no stranger to  pieces of software that are hard to master and yet Cakewalk, which should be a simple music making software, is extremelly unreliable and not intuitive at all in my opinion.
Plenty of features actually don't work as intented, audio bugs, Cakewalk splitting your work into pieces that you have to merge back together but it doesn't work 2 times out of 3. multiple crashes etc.

Is it the same with other DAWs? I was mega hyped when the thought of making some of my own tracks came up and now I'm mega tilted and on the verge of ditching everything.

What's your take on that.
I'm probably gonna receive a very biased opinion since a non-cakewalk user wouldn't read the Cakewalk forum lol but please don't flame me.

Thank you

Ælleden
 

I started using Cakewalk in 1991.  I've also worked extensively in Digital Performer and have spent time learning Pro Tools, Reaper and Cubase.  

Yes,  I am biased.  My bias is that I want to focus on music composition and production and have the software perform reliably and have it allow me to work the way I work without too many unnecessary keystrokes.  I also put some emphasis on aesthetics, and for my eye nothing beats Cakewalk in terms of how it looks on the screen and the incredible flexibility in arranging it to look how you want.

I've produced 15 albums with CW, soon to release #16.   I've composed many songs, short pieces, 11 symphonies and 4 concertos with CW.   The only trouble I had was when it went through an extensive re-vamp some 10 or more years ago.  It became unstable and had a lot of bugs so I worked in Digital Performer for about a year and a half.  When Gibson dumped CW and Bandlab picked up the pieces everything started to get better again--bugs were getting fixed promptly, new features were being added and so I switched back to CW.

Here's what I think is really excellent about this DAW:

1.  The event list is color coded.  I spend a lot of time using the event list and it really makes it easier on the eyes to be able to choose the color for specific types of events.   The font is a reasonable size too, some event lists are too tiny on other DAWS.

2.  The instrument section lets you define in detail your instruments, articulations, cc numbers and other functions.  When working with large sound libraries this is really useful.

3.  The staff view finally got the snap functions corrected and is good for composing in SMN (standard music notation) if you know how.   It's weakness is that it doesn't display tied or dotted triplets correctly and never has, but it's no big deal for me because I do all my scores in Sibelius and it's easy to correct them at that point.  Because the staff view is laid out more like an arranger's pad than a 8.5x11 sheet of paper, it's much better for larger orchestrated works.    Another weakness of the notation editor is it's not possible to export using .xml if you have more than a certain number of tracks.    I get better results exporting with .mid (type 1).

4.  CW handles VSTs extremely well, I have no problem with playback or recording.  For the past couple of years I've had no crashes due to VSTs.

5.  Recording and editing audio is where CW really shines in my experience.   Recording is simple yet powerful, editing audio, particularly volume envelopes is very easy and precise, very powerful feature made easy to use. 

6.  Workspaces are fast, there's no delays caused by graphics issues when changing workspaces.  I won't name names, but this is not true for other DAWS I've tried.

Learning any DAW takes time.  You have to really want to learn it well, and spend the time at the computer and reading the manual to get the most out of a DAW.  This is true regardless of which one you choose.   As far as value is concerned, you can spend many hundreds of dollars for the other DAWs if that's what you want to do, or you can get a DAW that is equal or better for free.   Even if Bandlab started charging $500 for CW, to me it's still the best value.

Here's one more of my biases:  I am a trained classical composer and songwriter.  I am not a sound effects person, and my mixing and mastering skills are honed specifically for my music and my music only.   Everyone uses their DAW a bit differently depending upon what they are trying to accomplish and what they are best at.  So choose carefully, because it does take a lot of time to learn another software program as complex as a DAW.

Jerry

p.s.  After reading more carefully the OPs post, I realize I just wasted time on a guy who has come across as utterly insincere, who has already made up his mind and is looking to vent his frustrations.   I thought I was being a "good guy" by helping a beginner!   In any event, if someone reads my post and learns something about CW all the better, I doubt it will be the OP who is playing little mind games with us...

 

 

Edited by jsg
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I believe he got EXACTLY what he (gave) asked for-A fight. I get frustrated myself with CW, have for 3 decades. But it's ME, it's not the software. 

Edited by Pathfinder
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Started with Sonar 2, and continued through each version of Sonar until "the end".
Then began trying different DAW's out will Cakewalk went into limbo.
Came back to Cakewalk, but don't use it as much nowadays.

Use ProTools for a while, but it requires more RAM and CPU than anything else so gave up with it.
Ableton Live was very good and stable, but just wasn't for me.
I still use Adobe Audition for pure audio and some mastering.
Reaper is my main DAW at the moment.

Edited by Paul H

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It took the OP three posts to actually ask a question about how to accomplish something in CbB. The next day, @David Baay gave an explanation of why CbB acts the way it does, and three ways to "fix" the issue. I suspect the OP has gone off now to make music with Cakewalk to add to his videos (made with super-complex video software), and doesn't need this forum any more.

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FWIW, I use a ton of different DAWs. My experience:

  • There is no such thing as an intuitive DAW, any more than there is an intuitive electric guitar.
  • Any DAW that can do complex musical operations will be complex.
  • All software is not as buggy as people think it is, because often the definition of a bug is "something that happened the way I didn't expect it to happen," rather than an inherent program flaw.
  • Reading a DAW's manual will keep you from ever using that DAW :)...just dive in, and when you run into a problem, do a search on the manual. Learn what you need, and keep going. Extra credit: when you have some spare time, read random sections of the manual to find out the cool things you're missing.
  • Just because you use complex software doesn't mean all complex software is the same. All DAWs have certain common operations you can trace back to Cubase and Notator, and not straying too far from the paradigm makes life easier for users. But a DAW isn't going to have the same paradigm as, say, Photoshop.
  • Some DAWs have unique features that will make a user gravitate toward a particular DAW.
  • The limiting factor on the music made in most DAWs is the musician :)

 

 

 

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Q) Can you make really, really powerful software that is really, really simple to use?

A) No.

Edited by RobertWS

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Wow so I just read all of the comments.
I honestly read the first answers I got right after I posted, I kinda expected this behaviour cause I knew the way my tilted message would feel for some people.
Then seeing how aggressive everyone was I just left the forum.

I accidentally came back on the forum from searching something on google and noticed I had a DM, from a guy apologizing and asking if I found the answer to my question.
After that I came back to read what you guys all wrote.

I will answer in only one message for everybody cause that will be way simpler to do.

1/ I'm not a troll, I was just super tilted that day after losing my work, having to rewrite the notes several times for many reasons. Some of you apparently felt for me from what I read so thank you for understanding how I felt that day. For the others, I envy you for never beeing tilted by a software.

2/ Thank you for explaning why separate midi clips were created when writing notes manually (which is what I was doing) in several tutorials I watched from 2 different guys on Youtube they both said they didn't know why Cakewalk was creating separate midi clips, so I just assumed it was an unwanted feature / bug.

3/ I haven't watched your tutorials yet Jean Vere

4/  Bouncing Midi clips to merge them back together DID not work that specific day even after restarting Cakewalk and rebooting my PC, the only fix was to create a new file and redo everything (which tilted me the day I did that)

5/ Software constantly crashes when selecting several midi notes in the piano roll and using the SHIFT + NumPad8 shortcut which moves the selection by an octave or SHIFT + NumPad2 which moves down by an octave. (moving manually doesn't make the software crash, just using the shortcut) Using this shortcut for a single note doesn't make it crash. This is a regular occurence that happens everytime for me no matter the project I started.

6/ My specs are:
# CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3 GHz 6-Core Processor
# CPU Cooling: Corsair H100i PRO 75 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
# Mobo: Asus X99-A/USB 3.1 ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard

# GPU: Asus GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB STRIX GAMING Advanced Video Card

# RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-2666 CL15 Memory = 64GB

# Power Supply: Corsair HX Platinum 850 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply

# SSD1: (Windows 10 Pro): Crucial M4 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
# SSD2: (Linux CentOS) Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive

# HDD1: Seagate Barracuda Compute 8 TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive

# HDD2: Hitachi Deskstar NAS 6 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

# Output Audio Device: Bose QC35 II Gaming Headset
I don't know how much of these are relevant for a DAW but that's pretty much it. Cakewalk is installed on HDD not on SSD because I don't have much space anymore on it and for obvious compatibility reasons I installed it on Windows.

7/ Thank you to all the people that actually answered my question about Cakewalk compared to other DAWs.
To expand on that for those of you asking, I mainly will write midi notes myself and using samples for the rest, I won't record anything as I don't have a single proper device to do that, instruments or Midi Keyboards, I'm not a musician, I'm not a composer song writer or anything, I just love music so much that I figured I could try making my own.

8/ jsg, I read all of your comment, thank you for posting such a massive answer full of knowledge.

9/ Yeah my first impression about the community wasn't fantastic I must say, maybe I deserved it is what some believe, maybe I did is what I believe aswell. In the end I came back after a very nice message from one of you so I guess all good then.

10/ I don't use Sony Vegas or After Effects for my job, I use SideFX Houdini and The Foundry Nuke mostly is what I meant by complex software. They both are known in the industry to be quite complex because they have so many advanced features and different workflows. Nuke is a nodal version of After Effects in a way, and Houdini is nodal and scripting way of crearting the 3D assets like Blender / Maya or other CG software would, it's just more advanced and mostly targetting FX (explosion water sand snow dust smoke magic etc.)

And finally I think I answered more of less everyone so I guess we can close this thread. Unless you can help me debug the SHIFT+Numpad 8 command cause that would be very helpful.

Cheers

 

Ælleden

 

Edited by Ælleden
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On 2/13/2022 at 10:09 AM, Colin Nicholls said:

20 English Shillings say this poster will not return!

Should of taken that bet!

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12 hours ago, Ælleden said:

Unless you can help me debug the SHIFT+Numpad 8 command cause that would be very helpful.

I took a look at this with fresh eyes, since I've recently "upgraded" from a 12 year old legacy version of this program and am relearning the modern "lay of the land"...

I didn't know about this shortcut (in fact, all my old keybindings have changed!) but at the very least make sure: 1) The "Piano Roll" view has your mouse click focus, 2) The Num Lock key is actually engaged (yeah, mine wasn't by default), and 3) the key command is actually Ctrl-Numpad8 or -Numpad2 (don't know if you just mistyped that from memory).

So that worked for me, once I figured out those three things: octaves were shifted as expected, no crash. This is from my testing in Version 2021.12 (Build 102, 64 bit).  Mind, Bandlab will execute different functionality if the Piano Roll doesn't have focus or Num Lock isn't on, etc. But sure, that will be confusing in the moment, but no combination of keys should outright crash an application!

What I wasn't able to test for is which synth/instrument your MIDI track is sending data to, so I can't reproduce your conditions 100% to create a crash. If you could maybe post a stripped down project file that others could load and test, that would be most helpful. After all, the developers are releasing updates every two months or so, and are always looking to fix any crash condition possible.

- m

 

Edited by Markleford
typo

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