Picking a DAW is hard…

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OS Platform (Linux, BSD, OSX, Windows, Atari, etc.) is one factor to consider. The other may be what music style you want to produce, like Acid Pro is good for loop based stuff, Ableton is good for live performance, perhaps, Music Maker for beginners and beat oriented stuff, Pyramix for classical. An Apple User I know swears by Logic. If you want to work in film and TV, then it is Avid Pro Tools, whether you like it or not. Presonus has some good add ons for musicians. A lot of electronic music producers use Reason. Video game sound designers use Reaper. Bitwig looks like a good option for electronic music. A musician I like uses SuperCollider, but that is not a DAW really. Depending on what you are trying to do, a lot DAW's have some little edge or add-ons to facilitate a certain style of music or workflow. You can totally record classical on Acid Pro or Music Maker, why not? Maybe if you want to add a bit of loops and flare to it. A really fun DAW to dry is ReNoise, a tracker, and makes music a little differently. If you are starting out or a veteran, it is good to try different tools. Heck, one of my favourite musicians still hands his label a cassette off his eight track mixer.

I started with Audacity. Indeed, one of my favourite Ambient music duos who release on a lot of different labels used Audacity (not really a DAW, more of a multitrack audio editor) or their earlier stuff. When I went to school for multimedia, they beat Adobe CC into us, so Audition it was. Then I got into Ardour because it was what I could afford (near free if not outright free). Harrison Mixbus had a sale, so I got it cheap and used that plus the plugins. I now do audio for video post-production so Sound Forge Pro comes with Spectra Layers Pro, a good cost-effective solution for audio repair, but not really a DAW. When you compare the pricing with iZotope, it's no contest. Samplitude/Sequioa also have great noise reduction options and are pretty good DAW's. A really good audio engineer I know uses Vegas, of all things. While Ardour and it's proprietary cousin are good DAW's, good luck with documentation.

Mix and match by all means, but you get what I mean. I like the posts here where I am shown DAWs I never knew existed, that's pretty cool. But for audio repair and noise reduction, Acon Digital Acoustica, Sound Forge Pro, Spectra Layers Pro, Samplitude / Sequioa and iZotope seem best, but I am open to other options. School me! Tell me I'm wrong and it's THIS DAW and ONLY THIS DAW OR ELSE!!! Bring it on!!
Last edited by fathomstory on Sun Feb 18, 2024 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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fathomstory wrote: Sat Feb 17, 2024 10:57 pm
I started with Audacity. Indeed, one of my favourite Ambient music duos who release
on a lot of different labels used Audacity (not really a DAW, more of a multitrack audio
editor) or their earlier stuff.

When I went to school for multimedia, they beat Adobe CC into us, so Audition it was.

Then I got into Ardour because it was what I could afford (near free if not outright free).

A really fun DAW to dry is ReNoise, a tracker, and makes music a little differently. If you
are starting out or a veteran, it is good to try different tools. Heck, one of my favourite
musicians still hands his label a cassette off his eight track mixer. ...
It's really interesting to see how you started with one audio recording tool and
then used different audio software depending on your needs. :)
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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It's really interesting to see how you started with one audio recording tool and
then used different audio software depending on your needs. :)
@enroe A lot of my workflow was on Linux and audio repair/restoration compelled me to return to Windows. When you do audio-for-video-post, NLE's don't always work out as well as a good DAW or audio editor. A lot of tool jumping is based on following flash sales. Some of the tools I mention are expensive, but if you know when to buy and have the right timing, you can get them for a great price. I may not be able to afford DMG audio plugins (like Equilibrium), but DDMF ( iieqpro) can give them a good run for their money and is among the best I have. Though I heard the Samplitude Stock EQ can rival DMG's, that DAW is also expensive, unless you know where to catch the deals. It is a combination of need and budget, but would love to stay on Linux.

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choosing a synth is similar to chosing a wife and chosing a daw is very similar to chosing condoms. You can´t know before you have tried them and you don´t really have the time to test them all.

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@HAL76, writer, Sven Birkerts, wrote that using a word processor is like using a typewriter with a condom over it. I guess a DAW is something like that. One of my favorite artists records onto a cassette tape 8 track mixer. He won't change. Still others make magic from computers.

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I think in few years Nuendo will be standard. They develop verry fast. (But for now I'm protools user)

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I use Reaper for many years for different genres, lots of "real" instruments, though.
My first daw was ProTools.
Reaper never ever crashed, it's stable, customizable, I like some stock plugins and all third party plugins always worked.
The only daw with a (analog) "sound" is said to be Harrison Mixbus32c afaik.
I tested the eqs on mixbus and master once and I remember saturation on masterbus, it was indeed special, but I am too much used to Reaper and don't want to switch or add another daw.
Their single plugins (sometimes parts of daw) are different, though
For audio repair (I rarely use it), Waves has some plugins, too
Today I think every daw is good.
Just buy and use what you like.
And if money matters, take a look at Reaper, it's not that expensive and 2 upgrades are for free each time.

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If it is personal choice, then I am partial to Ardour / Harrison Mixbus. I like how the DAW spans two monitors if you want and it looks slick. Yes, sure, documentation is sorely lacking and it has bugs like good luck trying to import video. But I know a lot of keyboard shortcuts and it feels quite comfortable relative to other DAW's. It works best on Linux, using it on Windows is generally bad news in my experience. The DAW also looks quite nice. The user interface could always be improved, there are a lot of features that I did not know existed until I really had to look out of necessity. I have a few DAW's that I use, based on need, like Reaper, Samplitude, Acid Pro, ReNoise, etc., but Ardour / Mixbus always feels like home. You can get Ardour for free or almost free and Mixbus you can get as low as $25.00 on a sale. Mixbus 32C, a bit costlier, but worth it if it suits your needs. When I had no money, Ardour was a great place to go.

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kapirus wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 11:15 pm I’m trying to get back into music production after a few years away from it and I’m feeling overwhelmed.

I feel like I’ve trialed every DAW, but none of them is for me. Off the top of my head I’ve tried Ableton, Bitwig, Cubase, FL Studio, Logic, Reaper, Renoise and Studio One

I have found stuff that annoys or hinders me on every single one of these DAWs. Some of them would be FL Studio’s mixer organization and “pattern based” workflow, Logic’s file browser, Bitwig’s UI (for some reason), Reaper’s need for customization beforehand, etc.

I’ll admit I haven’t given some of these a proper shot. I’ve only started the Studio One trial a few days ago and I didn’t really try to use Cubase (it doesn’t do full screen on a Mac, apparently)

If any of you have a recommendation for me regarding this, I’d appreciate it. Whether it is a magical fix for my (possibly petty) issues or another DAW for me to trial (gotta try ’em all)
Problem is all DAWS are great at some things and not so great at others.

For composing I like Ableton the best.

For audio recording/mixing, it is decent and gets the job done. No show stoppers there.

For audio editing such as pitch correction, it falls behind so that I think is its biggest weakness. Other than that, it is a pretty solid DAW.


For Recording/mixing other projects, Reaper/Studio One.

Reaper is more customizable. It has a higher learning curve though, and doesn't feel as polished. For composing though, it's midi seems convoluted (although I hear it is improved). Studio One feels better for composing although for some reasons it doesn't seem to inspiring as Ableton (although it does many things well). Reaper gets the edge though mainly because of cost. if you just want to record audio and mix, and don't have a big budget, I would take the time with that. Both of these programs are great audio editors, although Reaper stuff seems more hidden than studio one. Both mixing environments are superb. Studio One feels more polished but Reaper feels more flexible so hard to decide.

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kapirus wrote: Thu Nov 16, 2023 11:15 pm I’m trying to get back into music production after a few years away from it and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Like you, I've recently got back into music production in the last year after a long break. Used to use Cubase, Reason, Ableton back in the day, but it's been bloody ages since I've used any of them, so about a year ago I thought I'd start fresh, with Logic, and then became curious about Ableton Live.

I switched between the two for months and got nowhere with either because I was shifting focus and not concentrating on learning one, so now I have an unused copy of Live and I'm using Logic.

Moral of the story, don't try to run before you learn to walk again. Learn what you need to learn from one DAW and then those production principles can easily be transferred to another DAW when the time comes to learn a second tool.

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roman.i wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2023 1:27 am
elassi wrote: Fri Nov 17, 2023 1:09 am Allow me to chime in and edit a bit of your truly well-thought comment:

Logic, Studio One, Cubase, Reaper - "standard" general purpose daws.
Harrison Mixbus for mixing / mastering.
I'm not sure about that Reaper is a general purpose daw.
Cubase was initially developed as a composer DAW, and Logic as a producer DAW.
Both of these have many Producer and Composer tools built-in.
They also have good enough tools for mixing.

From my head, I'm not aware of any features in Reaper for Composers or Producers.
Reaper is a competitor to Pro tools these days in mixers circles.
What are some of the composer tools in Cubase? I've only ever used reaper basically, but am interested in learning what I might be missing out on.

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With the rumoured cancellation of all legacy VST2 developer licenses from this point on, choosing a DAW has gotten a little easier.

DAWs with poorly implemented VST3 hosting should be avoided. That appears to include:
Ableton Live, Bitwig.

DAWs with solid VST3 implementation should be sought. That includes (but is not limited to):
Studio One, Cubase.

DAWs that don’t support VST3, but host other widely supported formats (AU, AAX), so are unaffected:
Logic, Pro Tools, LUNA

Maybe users of other DAWs not mentioned could chime in with their experiences with VST3 plugins in their respective DAWs.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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