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

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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jancivil
KVRAF
18255 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Post Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:34 am

Workflow can be seriously widely different.

One thing I remembered I hate is that this Drum Map setup is upside down, and can't be changed.
No wait! There is this button 'Drum Visibility Agents' (funny name) where this is possible. That's new to me.
It's that orange lit up button in the Drum Editor picture.

dellboy
KVRian
863 posts since 28 Mar, 2007

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

Post Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:01 am

chk071 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:00 am


Whenever i read something like this, i keep wondering what stuff like "instrument definitions" actually are, or whether i'd ever miss those, if i don't even know what they're doing.

Here's the Cakewalk blurb about them.............

"Instrument definitions are a powerful feature of SONAR that makes it easier for you to find the banks, patches, and controllers of your MIDI instruments. ... Instrument definitions for many popular MIDI instruments are included with SONAR or are available on the Cakewalk web site (www.cakewalk.com)."

husker37
KVRist
99 posts since 24 Dec, 2016

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

Post Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:24 pm

jancivil wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:12 am
I think it must be part of the setup for external instruments. I've never seen the term and I've used Cubase for 15 yrs.
I'm blissfully ignorant of so much. :D

Sonar calls them "instrument definitions." Cubase calls them "patch scripts."

If you don't use external hardware, you don't need to worry about them. If you do, they are very handy.
Roland FA-08 - Moog Slim Phatty - Nord A1R - Integra 7 - Prophet Rev2 16 Desktop - AudioThingies MicroMonsta
Cubase Pro on Homebuilt PC / Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / Motu Midi Express XT USB

zzz00m
KVRAF
1829 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

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

Post Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:41 am

husker37 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:24 pm
jancivil wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:12 am
I think it must be part of the setup for external instruments. I've never seen the term and I've used Cubase for 15 yrs.
I'm blissfully ignorant of so much. :D

Sonar calls them "instrument definitions." Cubase calls them "patch scripts."

If you don't use external hardware, you don't need to worry about them. If you do, they are very handy.
The biggie here, and it's a bit more than a convenience, is when you configure an external instrument to use a MIDI port your DAW by default doesn't have any idea about what patch banks and patches are on the other end of that MIDI cable.

Unless you can define the banks and patch names available for the instrument using that port in the DAW (i.e. instrument definition), it can be difficult to know what bank and patch change message to send to the synth get the desired sound. Using only bank and patch numbers can be messy and error prone. The definition provides a translation or look-up for these numbers to actual patch names in the loaded instrument banks.

Once you have set each MIDI port to use the defined instrument, you should see the respective patch names appear in the track inspector as you select them from the DAW. Then when you save the project, you can clearly see what patches were used on each instrument track.

It's not quite as simple as saving a DAW project that uses only virtual instruments, where each current instrument state and patch setting is saved with the project.

So like it was mentioned, if you don't use hardware, no worries! But if you do, your choices may be limited.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

husker37
KVRist
99 posts since 24 Dec, 2016

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

Post Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:32 am

zzz00m wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:41 am
The biggie here, and it's a bit more than a convenience, is when you configure an external instrument to use a MIDI port your DAW by default doesn't have any idea about what patch banks and patches are on the other end of that MIDI cable.

Unless you can define the banks and patch names available for the instrument using that port in the DAW (i.e. instrument definition), it can be difficult to know what bank and patch change message to send to the synth get the desired sound. Using only bank and patch numbers can be messy and error prone. The definition provides a translation or look-up for these numbers to actual patch names in the loaded instrument banks.
Zzz00m - that is a great explanation about these patch scripts/definitions. Far better than what I could have tried to explain.

I also like the way that Cubase allows you to set external hardware as an "external instrument," and use it almost like a VST. No need to route audio/midi tracks (though you can still do so if you wish).
Roland FA-08 - Moog Slim Phatty - Nord A1R - Integra 7 - Prophet Rev2 16 Desktop - AudioThingies MicroMonsta
Cubase Pro on Homebuilt PC / Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen / Motu Midi Express XT USB

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JoseC.
KVRist
431 posts since 14 Nov, 2005 from León, Spain

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

Post Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:17 pm

Instrument definitions are very useful, especially if you are using some kind of rompler. I have a fully expanded Emu MP7 that has over two thousand presets. With its definition I can search, browse and audition them directly from CbB. Definitions also include all the CC number assignments for that particular synth, so they show by name in the Controllers pane of the Piano Roll.

For synths that have a memory that can be fully overwritten I handle all setup, including the patches, from the Sysex View, and I just use their Instrument definition for the CC numbers. I program the synths in their front panel, and instead of saving the patch in their internal memory, I save it as sysex within Cakewalk. You can program all the dump request commands for the synth in CbB and request all the setup into the Sysex View, so everything gets stored within the project. CbB sends all the setup to all the synths as the project is opened, so you can have total recall of all the hardware synths in the project without worrying about their internal memory slots.

This is basic for my workflow. I had a look at Studio One some time ago and its lack of real tools for automating and managing hardware made me discard it at once. I believe that Cubase has something similar, but besides it, as of today I do not really think that there is other Windows DAW that handles all this as efficiently as Cakewalk.
Cakewalk by Bandlab with all Sonar Platinum plugins and Melodyne Essential, Live 9, Komplete 12, a handful of hardware and software synths and some guitars. Currently obsessed by VCV Rack.

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laidbackmusic
KVRer
6 posts since 14 Oct, 2008

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

Post Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:53 pm

The best would be Studio One , you wont be lost but you ll have better workflow for sure :)

zzz00m
KVRAF
1829 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

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

Post Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:55 pm

Studio One is awesome if you only use VSTi instruments for MIDI. If you use external MIDI hardware, it can present some additional challenges.
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

3ptguitarist
KVRist
266 posts since 14 Oct, 2006

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:02 pm

laidbackmusic wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:53 pm
The best would be Studio One , you wont be lost but you ll have better workflow for sure :)
I demo'd so4 pro and I wasn't too impressed. I was frustrated with setting up a midi keyboard, but that could just be me being impatient. I still haven't been able to fully setup the midi keyboard. I'm hoping cubase pro 10 makes it easier or has more options for it. I'll be demoing cubase pro 10 soon.

zzz00m
KVRAF
1829 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:43 pm

Setting up a MIDI keyboard controller should be a snap in Studio One. The user guide page 16 explains it all.
Set Up Your MIDI Devices
All MIDI-capable hardware devices are collectively referred to as External Devices in Studio One. There are three types of External Devices: Keyboards, Instruments, and Control Surfaces. While each device type functions in a slightly different way, there is one menu to add and configure any External Device. The menu can be found by navigating to Studio One/Options/External Devices/Add Device (Mac OS X: Preferences/External Devices/Add Device).
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

SoundPorn
KVRian
769 posts since 24 Jul, 2018

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:00 pm

So when is Digital Performer gonna start entering these conversations? That looks cooler then Cubase to me for that price point. Tho both of them are out of what Im willing to pay for a DAW considering I bought both Reaper and Waveform for $100 together and Cakewalk is free.

DAWS are starting to come down to the field you work like Ableton and FL Studio have the EDM/Hip hop scene on lock. Pro Tools has studios on lock. Reaper is seemingly starting to take over the sound designer/video game music scene. Cubase seems to be a European popular thing while Logic is Mac.

I like Studio One alot tho and its becoming the happy medium between the other DAWS.

zzz00m
KVRAF
1829 posts since 17 Sep, 2016

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:08 pm

The Studio One development team included some former Cubase developers. Sort of like Bitwig took some of the Ableton developers.

Creative minds allowed to start over with a clean slate. That's how things evolve! :tu:
Windows 10; with instruments from AAS, Ableton, AIR, Ample Sound, Cakewalk, IK Multimedia, iZotope, KV331, NI, PreSonus, Seaweed Audio, SONiVOX, TAL, Tracktion, u-he, UVI, Vember Audio, Waves, Way Out Ware, XLN, others...

goldenanalog
KVRAF
1876 posts since 7 Dec, 2005 from somewhere between analog and digital

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:42 pm

3ptguitarist wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:16 pm
I currently have Cakewalk and ableton live lite 10. I'm a little interested in switching DAWs to something that has more of a userbase and is updated regularly such as Cubase 10 pro.

I'm into metal, electronic, hiphop beats, and piano all through software except guitar. I'm not a serious musician. I'm just doing this for fun right now.

I've used cakewalk for a long time and I wonder if I should just stick with cakewalk for my musical needs. But I feel like the userbase and interest with cakewalk has gone downhill. Seems like pro audio manufacturers don't support cakewalk anymore when they tall about daw support. For example, arturia's keylab mk2. So this kinda makes me want to get a new daw.

What do you guys think?
Hmmmm...you've already got some excellent advice; but Cakewalk's future may actually be in *FAR* better hands and shape then it's been in years. You see: word that came to me from inside (I forget where :hihi: and this was years ago) is that Cakewalk had become one of the most bloated companies in the industry - way too high of a payroll/fat expenditure sheet for what it actually was. So it's demise was in the cards - that it's ip is now owned by a small group of people who seem to care is a miracle - bigger companies/harder falls don't always fare so well. Anyway: Cakewalk has a chance. Looking at it from the perspective of Joe average Cakewalk user: I still seem to have access to virtually everything that I've bought over the years in my migrated Bandlab account - I just tested it. Amazon S3 servers feed the downloads, too! Anyway: if you've made the jump to something else, great! But just looking at Bandlab's site; their recent NAMM visit:

https://www.bandlab.com/cakewalk_team

3ptguitarist
KVRist
266 posts since 14 Oct, 2006

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:11 pm

Delete

3ptguitarist
KVRist
266 posts since 14 Oct, 2006

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

Post Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:13 pm

zzz00m wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:43 pm
Setting up a MIDI keyboard controller should be a snap in Studio One. The user guide page 16 explains it all.
Set Up Your MIDI Devices
All MIDI-capable hardware devices are collectively referred to as External Devices in Studio One. There are three types of External Devices: Keyboards, Instruments, and Control Surfaces. While each device type functions in a slightly different way, there is one menu to add and configure any External Device. The menu can be found by navigating to Studio One/Options/External Devices/Add Device (Mac OS X: Preferences/External Devices/Add Device).
I got it work in some ways, but I'm unable to get the pads or buttons to switch patches. But that seems to be an issue with vst's in general and maybe theres a deeper method I need to follow beyond the options with studio one 4 to get that to work

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