Best DAW user manual?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:31 am

Yes, I know it might be surprising to many of you that DAWs have manuals, but they do and some of them are awesome - pleasure to read, easy to find stuff, often containing lots of helpful tips & tricks.

Here are my picks and some thoughts about them. What are yours?

Great

Reason 11 [on-line] <- it's beautiful, very exhaustive, full of in-text links to useful places and pictures illustrating the topic; almost any chapter has tips & trick section

Live 10 [on-line] <- equally good, very informative and well laid-out

Ok

Studio One [on-line] <- seems hurried, but it's good enough to quickly find stuff in it

Bitwig [.pdf file] <- has some good moments, but lots of stuff it outdated (especially screenshots) + there's barely any info about devices, Grid modules, etc. (although to be fair, just press F1 in Bitwig to see their description)

Bad

MPC Software
[.pdf file] <- has awkward structure, but the most annoying thing is that core of the document is for version v2.0 and if anything was added or especially changed in v2.1 - v2.8 then it's only found in the annexes

Cubase Pro 10.5 [on-line] <- it's an annoying excercise for your patience, because finding anything in labyrinth of links is infuriating, with each page having only few sentences and avoiding using of screenshots for as long as possible
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

xbitz
KVRAF
2828 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:45 am

I like the FL Studio one, it contains links to third-party books like this free one for Harmor http://support.image-line.com/redirect/ ... sis_Manual

always up2date, contains youtube links, many clickable pictures etc.
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

mabian
KVRAF
1814 posts since 10 Jan, 2005

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:05 am

Have you tried REAPER?

- Mario

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:19 am

xbitz wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:45 am
I like the FL Studio one, it contains links to third-party books like this free one for Harmor http://support.image-line.com/redirect/ ... sis_Manual

always up2date, contains youtube links, many clickable pictures etc.
Good call! But even the best manual won't convince me to FL ;) :D
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:23 am

mabian wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:05 am
Have you tried REAPER?

- Mario
Surely you meant:
"Have"
"You tried"
"Reaper"
"?"

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... lft4nVki39

:P
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
middle_color
KVRist
48 posts since 8 Apr, 2019

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:45 am

antic604 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:31 am
Cubase Pro 10.5 [on-line] <- it's an annoying excercise for your patience, because finding anything in labyrinth of links is infuriating, with each page having only few sentences and avoiding using of screenshots for as long as possible
Cubase has PDF which in my opinion easier to read.
https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro/v10.5 ... ual_en.pdf

I agree they could put more illustrations.

As of original question "Best DAW user manual?" i cannot respond to it, i don't read manuals from the beginning, but rather look into it when interested in particular topic to get specific details.

SLiC
KVRAF
5412 posts since 2 Dec, 2004 from North Wales

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:59 am

Also not a big manual reader (I have the all copied on my iPad and kindle for long flights or times without WifI etc and still never read them!). I also have lots of books on my bookcase like 'Live 9 Power tools' that I have also never read!

I do use 'press F1' in Bitwig to see description/animation/ use etc - this is fast and easy when in the 'grid' where there is potentially real complexity.

Mainly like many I assume I learn 'by doing' and watching a few YT videos- for me the 'ideal' learning aid is built in help with built in examples and walk though in the software (example projects etc)- Live does this pretty well with its right hand 'getting started' column. I don't like leaving the software to see 'on line' manuals.
Win 10 PC+ Surface with an X32 Desk, BWS, Live and Studio One, Hardware Synths + Eurorack, TD27 V Drums, Guitars, Basses and Amps

Passing Bye
KVRAF
1752 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:10 am

Logic

chk071
KVRAF
25420 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:13 am

Reason's PDF manual is good, but, massively long and comprehensive.

Actually, I don't find Cubase's user manual half bad. If you're looking for something, try the PDF manual, and search in the PDF viewer. There's never been anything I haven't found.

Mediocre: Studio One's manual. It's not bad, it's not good either.

Does Reaper even come with a manual? :o
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:26 am

SLiC wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:59 am
Mainly like many I assume I learn 'by doing' and watching a few YT videos
Yeah, nowadays I do it too, because I can figure stuff out from experiene. But in 2017 when I purchased my 1st DAW (Live 9.7 Suite) it so happened that my son hurt his ankle at school and I had to spend several hours in hospital (nothing serious in the end), so I've read almost all of its manual on a tablet and I LOVED it! :D
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:27 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:13 am
Reason's PDF manual is good, but, massively long and comprehensive.
How is that a "but"??! 8)
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

chk071
KVRAF
25420 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:28 am

Because it makes finding a specific thing you were looking for, and try to learn quickly tedious. ;)

You can write a good manual, and keep it simple and small. Reason's manual always has been more of a lecture for students who learn music production (I already read them, only partly of course, when I used version 2.5).
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

xbitz
KVRAF
2828 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:35 am

antic604 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:19 am
xbitz wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:45 am
I like the FL Studio one, it contains links to third-party books like this free one for Harmor http://support.image-line.com/redirect/ ... sis_Manual

always up2date, contains youtube links, many clickable pictures etc.
Good call! But even the best manual won't convince me to FL ;) :D
have the same feelings :D
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:44 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:28 am
Because it makes finding a specific thing you were looking for, and try to learn quickly tedious. ;)
That's likely because a manual has to be useful to both novices and experienced users, therefore it has to assume basic level of knowledge for the former and be easily searchable & hyper-linked for the latter. Which, in my experience, Reason's does very well.

The biggest problem I always have is different terms used for the same thing by different DAWs, or using the same term of different things :dog:
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

mabian
KVRAF
1814 posts since 10 Jan, 2005

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:46 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:13 am
Does Reaper even come with a manual? :o
http://reaper.fm/userguide.php

- Mario

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