What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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Zombie Queen
KVRAF
4529 posts since 1 Aug, 2005 from Warszawa, Poland

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:20 pm

Yes, the lack of confidence may be the best answer. In fact this is what drives me for looking for another DAW. I realized I had all those doubts, concerning unknown company, download manager, etc. The "assistant" widget was really putting off. I was lucky to miss most of the drama, using an old Sonar for a long time, which was very solid for me, updated some two years ago to "Artist" version for peanuts on a sale. I didn't quite like this Artist version, but I had no stability problems with it. Didn't care to update to Platinum Super lifetime whatever, which turned out to be a good choice.
In short, current Bandlab version seems worth a check, actually it feels much better than the upgraded version I was using. The Assistant seems not so invasive as I remember from initial release, at least you don't need to actively stop it from auto-starting. It's no more annoying than "command center" was, or similar stuff, like Native Access is. For offline use it may be a drag as you need to launch it twice a year to keep authorization up. Best thing is, I don't need to learn new workflow and it opens all of my all projects. I guess I will still try to get along with Reaper, or maybe get along with protection drivers and test Cubase. Apologies for hijack.

lingyai
KVRAF
2153 posts since 27 Jan, 2011

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:47 pm

I used CW stuff off and on from ''99 to last year. I tried Mixcraft and am quite happy with it. Having said that, 99% of the instruments and FX I use are 3rd party.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tDj_Van ... uNbgY-4qFK

I'm not the Messiah. I'm not the Messiah!

Unfocused
KVRist
306 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:00 pm

Zombie Queen wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:10 pm
I took time testing Bitwig, Reaper and Studio One. Then in a desperate move I went to Bandlab and installed their current iteration of Sonar. Hell, that still a kick-ass DAW. Being free, it's a deal of the century. Looks, like I ain't switching.
.
.
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The real problem, which is probably something most people do not consider is that the future outlook is blurry. We don't know if Bandlab has means and plans to develop it further. Or will just stick with what it is and then dissolve it again. However, I have the feeling that it is going with Sonar for years, switching between very old and current Sonar, it looks like the core hasn't been touched for years, like there's maybe no one who knows what is in there anymore. Makes me wonder, have they lost the source code or something...
You, sir, are right! "Sonar" (CbB) is still one hell of a DAW. I installed it on my new PC at the beginning of 2018, even though at that point it looked pretty much dead. I tried a bunch of other DAWs because of that and ended up with Cubase.

Since you plan to continue testing other DAWs too, which I think is a good idea (you are very right, "the future outlook is blurry"), I'd definitely recommend Cubase. In many ways it is much more powerful (for what I'm interested in) than Sonar, but really back-assward in others. I still like the workflow in Sonar better, but I find myself using Cubase more now (especially with the v.10 update).

Anyway, I agree. You could probably use Sonar for many years to come--it's still great. ...but it doesn't hurt to look around. Happy hunting!

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

Unfocused
KVRist
306 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:12 pm

Zombie Queen wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:20 pm
Yes, the lack of confidence may be the best answer. In fact this is what drives me for looking for another DAW. I realized I had all those doubts, concerning unknown company, download manager, etc. The "assistant" widget was really putting off. I was lucky to miss most of the drama...
Yes. I was really devastated (over f-ing software! :nutter: ) when Gibson pulled the plug.

BUT, I tried all the free DAW demos I could (S1, Mixcraft, Samplitude, DP, Cubase, Reaper). You know what? I could make music in any of them. It's just a matter of personal preference. In a way it was liberating. I had been using CW/Sonar exclusively for 16+ years. I was also a huge Alchemy fan/programmer. Them both "closing shop" taught me not to put all my eggs in one basket, or get too attached to any product/company. Good lesson for me.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

User avatar
Zombie Queen
KVRAF
4529 posts since 1 Aug, 2005 from Warszawa, Poland

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:43 pm

Unfocused wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:12 pm
Yes. I was really devastated (over f-ing software! :nutter: )
It's not really about software. It's like you have a library of your works on say 'cassette tapes'. And then you find out that they stop making cassette players and you are fine just until your player breaks.
Unfocused wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:12 pm
Them both "closing shop" taught me not to put all my eggs in one basket, or get too attached to any product/company.
Yeah, I got Alchemy too... (won at mighty KVR contest, so it also has a sentimental value). However Alchemy still works and unlike Sonar it doesn't require online re-ignition, so as long as you have a backup copy of the installer, you are good.

Thanks for Cubase tip, I'm reluctant to try it, because of the e-licenser thing... But it's the last big one I haven't tried yet, I will schedule that. Maybe in some more convenient moment, considering such moment will come. It seems such a waste of time to settle with a new environment.

funky lime
KVRian
1235 posts since 17 Sep, 2002

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:04 pm

Izak Synthiemental wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:57 pm

Still, producers / composers often use linear composition tools like Logic and Cubase to create music in these styles. So, it's not necessarily only pattern-based DAWs like Ableton, FL Studio or Reason that outperform Reaper in that regard, but also most linear sequences, that simply handle MIDI and plugin instruments.

I'm aware that Reaper does do MIDI, but it just doesn't do it in an effiient manner. See, with most DAWs (regardless of pattern or linear sequencing style) you can feel that the creators did take into consideration how your typical composer / musician would like to work. In Reaper it can all be done, but often takes 10x times the amount of clicks and settings to get it done. Or you memorize a whole range of very unusual shortcuts, but even then it will still take more mouse / keyboard actions then in other DAWs. Reaper is very capable, but also very poorly designed!
I see stuff like this a lot, and I can't help but wonder about it. It's like, someone said "Reaper is bad at MIDI" and then a bunch of people just started repeating that without actually elaborating or verifying.

You say all this other stuff outperforms Reaper? What does that mean, outperforms?

If you didn't take the time to learn it, of course everything else is going to seem to outperform it. Reaper has a steep learning curve, but I dare say it is one of the most flexible programs out there in terms of MIDI, if anything due to a number of really incredible user-made scripts and extensions (Reaticulate, for example, is awesome if you work with e.g. orchestral libraries with several articulations). But you do have to put some time into that whole side of it. If you want instant gratification (which is totally understandable), yeah, it's probably not for you. But that doesn't mean it's bad; it means that it doesn't match your expectations.

It's one thing to say you don't like it. But to vaguely state that all those other programs "outperform" it (and not actually expressing why or how) is not very meaningful or helpful, and is potentially misleading. The bulk of the criticism you've raised here (stuff taking 10x the clicks you're used to) can be countered by actually taking the time to learn the software and adapting it to your preferred workflow.

Or not, whatever. It's your world. :)

Anyway, sorry for ranting. Would I recommend switching to Reaper? No. The midi is bad. :hihi:

SoundPorn
KVRist
481 posts since 24 Jul, 2018

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:59 pm

Reapers imo got the best design because it doesn't pigeon hole you into a certain workflow. It opens up the entire DAW and allows you to create your own workflow. This is best for producers whove been around the DAWs and always find themselves wishing a DAW would do a certain thing a certain way, in Reaper you can make it happen.
The custom actions in Reaper are just ridiculous and once you set them up it makes you so much for efficient. Like to do delay throws in Cakewalk you have to route to a bus and... In Reaper I select the 1 word I want a delay on and press alt D and and in one stroke it takes that one word, brings up clip effects, brings up readelay, and applies my preset, then turns off the plugin, and boom in one keystroke I have a delay throw. And don't even get me started with the free form positioning or channel routing matrix.
But the best thing about Reaper is how CPU efficient and stable it is.

dellboy
KVRian
777 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:30 am

chk071 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:35 pm
So, what about stability? That always was Cakewalk's achilles heel. Last time i tried Sonar (X1), the plugin scanner already crashed the DAW... :D
I have been using it for 6 months or so and at first it was unstable. They have had monthly updates since then and now it is stable on my machine. I think they could work on the audio engine though as it does drop out if I push it hard.

Give it a go.

dellboy
KVRian
777 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:38 am

Zombie Queen wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:10 pm


The real problem, which is probably something most people do not consider is that the future outlook is blurry. We don't know if Bandlab has means and plans to develop it further.
Bandlab is at Namm 2019, and maybe they will announce what direction they are going with Sonar there.

They have just got a new forum for Sonar up and running as well.

As for money, it depends how much money Mings billionaire relative is prepared to extend to him.

lingyai
KVRAF
2153 posts since 27 Jan, 2011

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:49 am

dellboy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:38 am
Zombie Queen wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:10 pm


The real problem, which is probably something most people do not consider is that the future outlook is blurry. We don't know if Bandlab has means and plans to develop it further.
Bandlab is at Namm 2019, and maybe they will announce what direction they are going with Sonar there.

They have just got a new forum for Sonar up and running as well.

As for money, it depends how much money Mings billionaire relative is prepared to extend to him.
Perhaps not a bad idea to render one's Sonar tracks to audio stems, just in case one day the product vanishes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tDj_Van ... uNbgY-4qFK

I'm not the Messiah. I'm not the Messiah!

dellboy
KVRian
777 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:33 am

lingyai wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:49 am


Perhaps not a bad idea to render one's Sonar tracks to audio stems, just in case one day the product vanishes
If they did vanish I see no reason that the program will not keep working unless they throw a kill switch via the internet.

It is more likely that it will be sold along with its database of users, who are probably in the millions by now if you count in Bandlab. The valuable commodity that Ming is building is the database of email addresses. It has been suggested that someone like Microsoft may one day buy it, and integrate it into Windows as did Apple with Logic.

chk071
KVRAF
18540 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:55 am

A software product of that scale doesn't suddenly "vanish" anyway... even if Bandlab chooses to scrub Cakewalk, there'll be an announcement, and a half year before "end" notification. And, as dellboy said, it may even still work in the last version. I've had this with several products, and internet services now. A cloud file hosting services won't suddenly go offline either. There'll be a notification at least half a year, if not a year before they close down the service. I don't know where this myth of "suddenly someone pulls the switch" hails from. It's nonsense.

User avatar
Zombie Queen
KVRAF
4529 posts since 1 Aug, 2005 from Warszawa, Poland

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:39 am

chk071 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:55 am
I don't know where this myth of "suddenly someone pulls the switch" hails from. It's nonsense.
Adobe CS2. Here, you have a product of even bigger scale. Activation servers disappeared beyond recovery, took Adobe almost a month before they made a version that didn't require activation. If you happened to be reinstalling during the period you would be fried. (Well, lucky me. Add Adobe CS2 to Cakewalk and Alchemy.) Kjaerhus, Key2Sound... Don't be too confident.

chk071
KVRAF
18540 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:50 am

I don't know how that contradicts my point. Adobe CS2 IS accessible, isn't it? Actually, it's a perfect example which proves my point, because, it is still available for the people who bought it, and, we're talking about a 13 year old product here (which doesn't run too well on modern OS's, by the way, so, i'd figure there's hardly anyone still using it seriously).

Of course, the smaller the company, the more likely they go out of business, or don't have a plan for existing customers (Kjaerhus, no idea who Key2Sound is).

Izak Synthiemental
KVRist
456 posts since 4 Aug, 2010

Re: What's a good DAW to switch to from Cakewalk?

Post Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:29 am

funky lime wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:04 pm

I see stuff like this a lot, and I can't help but wonder about it. It's like, someone said "Reaper is bad at MIDI" and then a bunch of people just started repeating that without actually elaborating or verifying.

You say all this other stuff outperforms Reaper? What does that mean, outperforms?

If you didn't take the time to learn it, of course everything else is going to seem to outperform it. Reaper has a steep learning curve, but I dare say it is one of the most flexible programs out there in terms of MIDI, if anything due to a number of really incredible user-made scripts and extensions ...

...
Anyway, sorry for ranting. ...
It's funny how you confuse bad user interface design, an inefficient implementation and accesssibility of basic functions with a "steep learning curve", as if Logic, Cubase and Ableton do not have a steep learning curve of their own. How come people who actually make music (professionally or semi-professionally) avoid Reaper like the plague?

Yes, we already know (and I mentioned it myself) that Reaper can be hacked, extended and customized in a million of different ways. That's exactly why it's the most inconsistent, unusable and bloated DAW on the market.

I suggest you study the subject of user interface design a bit before making additional incompetent remarks. The following video deals with the music notations software Sibelius, but it offers some great insights into common principles of UX design, that were neglected and disregarded - much of it also holds truth for Reaper.
http://soundcloud.com/samaritageto

Proper Education Always Corrects Errors

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