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Best replacement for Cakewalk


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So, I went into my archives and installed a much older version of Cakewalk.    It recognizes my soft-synth like every other MIDI program in Windows...unlike the newest Cakewalk.

TTS-1 still kept getting inserted as a track so I unregistered it which fixed that problem.  In an admin command shell:

regsvr32 /u C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared DXi\TTS-1\TTS-1.dll

Next, I'll spend hours trying get the Edge crapware off my system that Cakewalk decided to infest me with.  Thanks for nothing!

A pox on whomever did that.   And, since I'm part gypsy, that person is going to need Calamine lotion soon!




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1 hour ago, HOOK said:

Nope.  $1,500 gets it done for anyone - Ultimate.

$600 for Studio.




maybe Artist or Studio (didn't compare 'm yet) for Christmas.

need to check on the hiddyus iLok 

for once I'll be wise & try the demo first ?

Edited by Sheens
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On 9/24/2023 at 11:53 PM, mettelus said:

I have never used Cubase, but it has the reputation for being the best for MIDI.

Same and this is what I hear too. Audio editing workflow seems to be great too. I know a few radio and podcast editors who swear by Cubase. Bitwig is the modulation king and (Ableton) Live is great for...well, live. I use the latter and wouldn't want anything else. The choice between a linear horizontal workflow or a grid based vertical workflow is great.

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On 9/24/2023 at 2:53 AM, RobertWS said:

Let's say, theoretically, someone was fed up with the recent changes to Cakewalk because it completely disabled their setup.

What would be the best replacement?

In my case, Cakewalk was the one and only reason I was sticking to Windows. Mostly because I have a Mackie C4 and they work really nicely together (although I am considering selling the Mackie Control/XT/C4 bundle and get a Softube Console 1 combo and an Avid Artist Control, which would require a lot less space).

I also tried Reaper, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Tracktion Waveform, Harrison Mixbus 32c, Cubase, Mixcraft, Samplitude... but none came close to Cakewalk in terms of comfort and workflow (personal taste).

I do prefer Digital Performer's way of handling multi track recording, ProTool's way of editing audio (especially for quantizing multi track drums), and Waveform's sleek single window interface, but neither convinced me to do a full switch.

This year I decided to switch to Mac, so now my main DAW is Logic Pro X, which also integrates very nicely with the Mackie C4, and I am very happy with it so far. I still have to do something serious in multi track recording and editing (like recording a full drum kit).



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I have all of the most popular DAWS, and I guess it depends on what your doing. "Midi" editing can be simple or it can be very complex.

I  tend to make music and I just want to get it done well without a lot of hassle. Ableton Live is now my go to.

When you realize it isn't a looper specifically, when you realize it is really the arranger of all arrangers IMO, when you realize it just works, I think you ( or others reading this) will use it.

Music isn't generally created by lone composers in long segments. Take a rock tune for instance. It amounts to many simple elements generally speaking. This is where Ableton shines. I can plug into my interface, drop in a guitar part to a tempo and it's there to be easily arranged. Same with any other part. I think Ableton is by far the best so far as ease of making the elements fit. Example- You record a guitar part with just a smidgen too much length. Solution- Go into the clip you created and drag the measure marker to fit. Now you have a tight part.

The best way is to use two screens or one large screen you can divide. Ableton has two views that can be displayed simultaneously. I keep the arranger section on my left screen and the linear section on the right screen. Once I get an arrangement I like , I can then "commit" to a printed mix in linear view. If you don't like it, hit CTRL-Z and do another take of all tracks. 

MIDI? It's a breeze in Ableton. Probably fine for everything but the most demanding midi editing. I have never come against anything it didn't do for me. 

Ableton is uber stable as a DAW on PC. Although if you use win 11 with a 12 core intel cpu, you may need to use core parking. At least this was the comment online from one user. I am still using my old 6 core and it works fine on win 10.

I'm actually going to be deleting a few of the DAWs I never use. I won't tell you which ones. I'll keep cubase and Studio One for sure just in case. I am iffy about Cakewalk in these last itinerations. I haven't decided that one yet.



Edited by Tim Smith
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On 9/26/2023 at 2:10 PM, RobertWS said:

TTS-1 still kept getting inserted as a track so I unregistered it which fixed that problem.

From what I've read here, if you have no MIDI output device selected in Preferences, it will automatically insert TTS-1.

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2 hours ago, Tim Smith said:

Go into the clip you created and drag the measure marker to fit. Now you have a tight part.

FWIW, this works really well in Studio 1 too. But I don't think it works that way by default and it sounds like Ableton is set up to do this more easily.

Iirc you can do it after the fact in clip properties or set the entire project up to be able to do that. I've used it a few times but not a lot.

What I have done a lot is transfer 8 track tapes from a machine with only 4 outputs. The timing floats because it's a cassette based machine.

I transfer the first batch of 4 tracks including drums and group them. Do the second batch and include the drums again and group that batch of tracks.

Grouping makes it so if you edit timing on a single track in the group, all the other tracks in that group follow the edit.

Detect transients on the drums in both groups, quantize to transients, and done. All tracks line up in both groups to the detected drum transients.

Sometimes I'll have to do a 3rd group for the 8th track and again include the drums due to the distinct transients. It would have been so much easier if my machine had 8 outs instead of 4. Hah.

I mention that process because it uses the same algorithm to do that as it does per clip and it's flawless.

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