Do I need more (a question about other DAWs and plugins)?

If you are new here check this forum first, your question may have been answered.
KVRer
10 posts since 23 May, 2021

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:28 am

Hi,

I am using Ardour to compose and record (on Windows). I play the guitar myself with amp sims and use MODO plugins for bass and drums.

I am not releasing anything (not even on social media), this is just for my own enjoyment and relaxation after stressful work hours.

What I don't know is if I am missing something. I have only used Pro Tools (10 years or so ago) and I am using Ardour now. Would I have an easier time with other DAWs, am I using a bad tool to write midi for drums and bass? I tried Reaper, but it looked so complex I just returned to Ardour. Maybe I should have tried to remain there?

I don't use any of the included plugins of Ardour, I am mostly using IK Mixbox plugins for anything other than ampsims. Will I have an easier time if just upgrade to Harrison Mixbus and use its channel strip and busses? Maybe I should buy T-Racks instead with the IK group buy, but I am not really sure if I need them.

I am using MODO plugins but I have nothing else, no samples or anything. But I am also happy with them for now.

So, I am asking for direction. I feel okay, but the problem is I don't know if I could get an easier and better time by moving on. I don't know if I need more since I don't have more.

Thanks for your help.

User avatar
KVRAF
10730 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:08 am

Do you feel in any way limited with your creativity, quality and volume of output (I mean number of songs you're "releasing") using Ardour? If not, then don't change it.

I've 5+ DAWs and honestly it's a hinderance. Neither of them is perfect, each of them has their own strengths, weknesses and missing features. So even if I'm working with one - let's call it 'z'; then I still have that thought in the back of my head like "oh, I could do this in DAW 'x' faster" or "DAW 'y' has this nice feature that I'd love to use right now", but the problem is I chose the 'z' also because it has things 'x' or 'y' do not have. So it's a constant struggle. In a way NOT knowing what else is there is freeing and liberating, just like limiting yourself to a set of few tools that you know well, rather than having a huge library and not knowing how to use it. Or even worse - not being able to decide which to use :dog:

If Ardour works for you, then stick to it.

If you really want to explore your options, then perhaps something like Studio One would suit the workflow and style you're describing: they have 30 day demo of the full thing, an Artist version which is limited to features tailored for "artists" (as opposed to "producers" or "engineers" I imagine) and even a free version. Even the pro version can be chaply had 2nd hand, i.e. around $200:

https://www.presonus.com/products/studio-one/
Stuff for sale: iZotope Music Prod. Suite 3, incl. N3 Adv, O9 Adv, Tonal Bal. Ctrl 2, RX7 Std, Vocal Synth 2, Nectar 3, R4+Nimbus. PM me :)



Music tech enthusiast
DAW, VST & hardware hoarder
My "music": https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
KVRAF
2491 posts since 31 Jan, 2003 from Ghent, Belgium

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:10 am

Here's an idea:
Make a list of the currently available DAWs (all, or just the ones that you're interested in)
Look them all up on Youtube - overview videos, specific tasks, etc...
--- Make sure that you're watching videos of the latest version --- It doesn't always matter, but you won't know whether it does or not.
The big ones; Cubase, Ableton, Studio One, FL Studio, Bitwig, ... all come with a big collection of quality effects/instruments.

Asking other people's experience/opinions on a forum won't tell you which one fits YOU best. ;-)

User avatar
KVRian
1215 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:49 pm

I use MODO DRUM and MODO BASS because I think samples are too limiting.

Eventually, MODO BASS gets replaced with real bass, but I am able to program it to play every nuance of the bass EXACTLY how I want it played, which lays down a really good marker to work from.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

KVRian
523 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:26 pm

No. Definitely.

There are so many tools (DAWs, plugins) now so you run risks to try new ones and watch tutorials endlessly. Installing, reinstalling, updating, searching for "the rightest and bestest" tool from heaps of plugin and instruments... Do you really want to waste your time for this?

If all works why bother?
Last edited by lobanov on Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KVRAF
3793 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:39 pm

Have you heard the acronym FOMO?
buying happiness

User avatar
Rad Grandad
34912 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:47 pm

Fred owes me one too
Words are a barrier to help-seeking and a motivator for making discrimination acceptable.
Mad Pride
If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

KVRAF
6561 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:19 pm

Mixbus has a warning on their website that their DAW is "not for beginners" which from your post I gather you're not anyway. The general consensus I read here is that it's better for mastering than nuts and bolts producing. I use it myself and like it, however I do find the editor view to be small and not as detailed as others.
So if there's a suggestion here, it is to maybe download the other free DAWs and see if you find anything you can use from them and/or if have any compliments to Ardour for you or your needs.
Tracktion, like Ardour runs on all three OSs and looks like it has more features, (although I don't have any personal experience with it.) There's Bandlab also, which I stopped using prior to finding Ardour. But there's two free things to give a try and see where to go from there.

User avatar
KVRAF
11376 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Fri Oct 15, 2021 9:25 pm

I don’t know that DAW, but I suspect that you’d do yourself a favor digging deeper into it than getting something new. I don’t know if it has a good manual or video tutorials, but I find those two things crucial.

Or not. I use Bitwig and there’s a ton in it that I don’t use. I’m sure if I was stumped I’d see if it had a built in solution, but for how I work, it basically does what I need it to do so I’m happy.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

User avatar
KVRAF
3793 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Post Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:34 am

Hink wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:47 pm
Fred owes me one too
Everyone has someone who owes them a DAW.
buying happiness

Banned
393 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:32 am

Just buy FL Studio and never look back.

KVRAF
29981 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:37 am

hoxclab wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:32 am
Just buy FL Studio and never look back.
You done shilling and hating now?
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

Banned
393 posts since 13 Jul, 2021

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:39 am

chk071 wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:37 am
hoxclab wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:32 am
Just buy FL Studio and never look back.
You done shilling and hating now?
Just giving direction to OP. No hating nor shilling here friend.

User avatar
Rad Grandad
34912 posts since 6 Sep, 2003 from Downeast Maine

Post Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:34 pm

Michael L wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:34 am
Hink wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:47 pm
Fred owes me one too
Everyone has someone who owes them a DAW.
EOMO?
Words are a barrier to help-seeking and a motivator for making discrimination acceptable.
Mad Pride
If there is a direction to mankind, it ought to be a coming together Brian May

KVRist
421 posts since 24 Nov, 2008

Post Sun Oct 24, 2021 9:31 am

msimsek wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:28 am

What I don't know is if I am missing something. I have only used Pro Tools (10 years or so ago) and I am using Ardour now. Would I have an easier time with other DAWs, am I using a bad tool to write midi for drums and bass? I tried Reaper, but it looked so complex I just returned to Ardour. Maybe I should have tried to remain there?
Whats your approach to writing midi? Are you open to exploring whatever?

Maybe dont use a direct approach at first for example, like exploring slicing, dice, chop, stretch sections or time intervals, flips, shifts, speed up and filter, combine and delete methods, excetera. Anyway, I often enjoy using midi tools like these, and always end up with something I can use. A big release for ChordwarePA is soon btw.

Return to “Getting Started (AKA What is the best...?)”