What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
User avatar
WatchTheGuitar
KVRian
643 posts since 30 Apr, 2019

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:57 am

I run different DAWs because I haven't found one that does it all and it's also nice to change things up now and again.

For me within the DAWs I own the main standouts are

Studio One - the most seamless ARA track editing experience in Melodyne. Way easier to use than in Reaper.

Reaper - they trust us with a MIDI event editor and Reaper has the best scripting capabilities in a DAW straight out of the box. I no longer use Cakewalk as the Reaper scripting went beyond CAL. I'm a coder in my day job so find this more important than others might. Reaper has crazily useful levels of tweakability. The track routing flexibility is also excellent.

Ableton Live - best all-rounder in terms of the tools you get with Suite out of the box, there's really enough for making pretty much anything you want. It's also a one of a slim number of DAWs that virtually every plugin creator supports so if you can replicate an issue in Ableton you will probably be heard when you log it with the plugin company. I was also going to mention Racks, but you can do most of that in Bitwig with Chain presets too.

Bitwig - the combo of arrangement and launcher views and the rules you can apply to clips is great, but as simple a thing as it is, the preset browser is top of my list - instantly search literally everything (plugins, samples, midi clips, presets) with the filter and be able to click straight on the item you want. Ableton does this, but forces you to look inside structures to get to the items. Bitwig uses icons against the items to let you know the item type.

I'm not going to count Reason as a DAW as I only use it as a plugin these days. The DAW GUI is unique I guess, but it frustrates the hell out of me. I hope every DAW and plugin firm eventually offers non skewmorphic views for all their products.

User avatar
Unaspected
KVRian
1192 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:42 am

BONES wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 am
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:18 pm
BONES wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:44 pm
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 pm
Ok, but it still looks ugly, no skin will help and you need to go through a deep-diving course to use its labirynthine menus & settings ;)
Which one are you talking about, Bitwig or Reaper? I found Bitwig almost impenetrable and it's UI was no oil painting.
Reaper, obviously :P
Maybe obvious to you but not to me. After my initial excitement, I found Bitwig very disagreeable. It never felt like it was going to do what I wanted to do and everything was such a chore. After around 4 months using it as my only host/sequencer, I went back to Orion with nothing at all to show for my time and effort.
tooneba wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:25 pm
I don't know much about those genre but you know what, one of the most popular daw ableton has built in visual programing tool.
Yes, I'm sure sales went through the roof when that was added.
Max for Live is pretty awesome. Essentially it's the commercial big brother of Pure Data, both designed by Miller Puckette. If you're interested in DSP, it is very useful. If you just want to get down and make music then it's equally useful because of the user library. Not dissimilar to Reaktor in function but completely different in use.

This might well be arsing around though.

BONES wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:55 pm
For example, if you want to use your kick as sidechain input and have it operate with a different depth or even different logic conditions for each sound and have it modulate various parameters in various plugins, you don't need to do anything more than create new links and quickly type in different formulas.
As I said, shoot me if my process ever devolves to that level. Seriously, why the f**k would I want to do anything like that? I have songs to finish, I don't have time to do shit like that.
So it saves CPU and time.
I can save you even more time - stop fart-arsing about with arcane stupidity and make some music.
Hehe. Maybe that was a bad example for your uses - I don't know how often you employ side-chains or use other forms of modulation. Though I'm more interested in mixing other people's music than making my own.

BONES wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:41 am
Another example might be to use a single automation clip to switch on several parameters whilst switching several others off - or to cross fade between parameters using just one clip.
Why? Is there a limit to the number of automation lanes/clips you can have? I see this sort of thing all the time at work - people make simple tasks so bloody complicated that it's almost impossible to work out what they have done. I can often reduce them to less than half the number of layers (tracks) without affecting the output at all.
I think you've missed the point there. Just an example of what can be done: Using any single modulation source (doesn't have to be an automation clip) in different ways on multiple plugins and parameters at the same time.

Basically: macros with as much nonlinearity as you want.

If you want.

Which you probably don't. But that's cool.

Trancit wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:57 am
Unaspected wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:51 am
You could do that using Formula Controller and an XYZ set up to influence variables in your formula. This could also be done using Patcher but with the expense of one variable, which has to be used in place of "Input" - also the current work around for using mapping formulas inside Patcher.
Of course, but
1. I would like to have the XYZ curves directly in the "Link to controller" window
2. Using Patcher kills the the track independency... Controller used in Patcher are not available for destinations outside this Patcher instance
Yeah. Patcher still has a number of things that need adding. I see what you mean now though - like the curve editor for velocity and release - similar in design to Waveshaper. I don't know why they haven't done that yet. It seems like an obvious feature to add.

Maybe if requests are added to Looptalk it might be developed for a future update.


All that said. I'd like to see a keyframe feature, like with video editors. It's a really fast way to create automation. Being able to right click a control and select "insert keyframe" or hover over a parameter and press a key to create an event node would be great.

xbitz
KVRAF
2682 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:26 am

Unaspected wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:55 pm
BONES wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:44 pm
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 pm
Ok, but it still looks ugly, no skin will help and you need to go through a deep-diving course to use its labirynthine menus & settings ;)
Which one are you talking about, Bitwig or Reaper? I found Bitwig almost impenetrable and it's UI was no oil painting.
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:01 pm
Where FL Studio differs is the mapping formulas. Being able to take any modulation source and apply it anywhere as many times as you like whilst being able to mathematically change how it operates at each different destination without having to load a new modulation plugin is a feature that I haven't found in any other DAW.
Gee, I wonder why that might be? I can't imagine why most of us would prefer not to have to invoke mathematical formulae in order to make music.
A few other DAWs offer envelope followers but without the combination of mapping formulas or transfer functions, you are limited to adjusting how the control signal behaves via plugins. Also noting that smoothing can be applied uniquely for each link. So the entire response can be reshaped without loading more plugins - and without any setup because it's part of the DAW.
Someone please promise to shoot me in the head if my music making process ever devolves to this level.

Anyway, there are so many things about Orion that no other host software can manage that it's far too depressing to list them all so here are a few highlights:

Wasp;
A proper mixer that shows you everything all at once, in one place;
Drumrack's ability to load a loop and have it stretch to match the song tempo;
Stability, Cubase constantly wrecks projects;
Wasp (yes, I miss it at least twice as much as anything else);
The simple ability to assign my own colours to tracks, not half-a-dozen shit ones some other idiot chose;
Closing an instrument window to delete it; and
Simplicity. No other host software is anywhere near as quick and easy and looking at some of the absurd features listed in this thread, I understand why.
Hehe. It is absurd.

It certainly won't be for everyone. Maybe it could depend on how quick your mental arithmetic is - Some people might shy away from it for that reason. But for me, it's seamless and much quicker than loading another plugin then adjusting parameters.

For example, if you want to use your kick as sidechain input and have it operate with a different depth or even different logic conditions for each sound and have it modulate various parameters in various plugins, you don't need to do anything more than create new links and quickly type in different formulas.

So it saves CPU and time.

Another example might be to use a single automation clip to switch on several parameters whilst switching several others off - or to cross fade between parameters using just one clip.

You definitely will not appreciate this: https://unaspectedstudios.wordpress.com ... -formulas/

It's powerful stuff.
u can build a quite huge range of modulators in AL too with Modulat (and with different m4l devices) so it's not a problem in AL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewqjdf0iQLE
(no sound)

https://maxforlive.com/library/device/2 ... p-observer works between tracks too without direct mapping, quite comfy (it works with Live10)
Last edited by xbitz on Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

xbitz
KVRAF
2682 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:34 am

"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

User avatar
WatchTheGuitar
KVRian
643 posts since 30 Apr, 2019

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:57 am

xbitz wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:34 am
^^^ https://isotonikstudios.com/product/modulat/
Paying money for a third party product to provide features already built into another DAW is a cheat code solution IMO as an answer to the OP.

User avatar
Unaspected
KVRian
1192 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:19 am

xbitz wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:26 am
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:55 pm
BONES wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:44 pm
antic604 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:59 pm
Ok, but it still looks ugly, no skin will help and you need to go through a deep-diving course to use its labirynthine menus & settings ;)
Which one are you talking about, Bitwig or Reaper? I found Bitwig almost impenetrable and it's UI was no oil painting.
Unaspected wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:01 pm
Where FL Studio differs is the mapping formulas. Being able to take any modulation source and apply it anywhere as many times as you like whilst being able to mathematically change how it operates at each different destination without having to load a new modulation plugin is a feature that I haven't found in any other DAW.
Gee, I wonder why that might be? I can't imagine why most of us would prefer not to have to invoke mathematical formulae in order to make music.
A few other DAWs offer envelope followers but without the combination of mapping formulas or transfer functions, you are limited to adjusting how the control signal behaves via plugins. Also noting that smoothing can be applied uniquely for each link. So the entire response can be reshaped without loading more plugins - and without any setup because it's part of the DAW.
Someone please promise to shoot me in the head if my music making process ever devolves to this level.

Anyway, there are so many things about Orion that no other host software can manage that it's far too depressing to list them all so here are a few highlights:

Wasp;
A proper mixer that shows you everything all at once, in one place;
Drumrack's ability to load a loop and have it stretch to match the song tempo;
Stability, Cubase constantly wrecks projects;
Wasp (yes, I miss it at least twice as much as anything else);
The simple ability to assign my own colours to tracks, not half-a-dozen shit ones some other idiot chose;
Closing an instrument window to delete it; and
Simplicity. No other host software is anywhere near as quick and easy and looking at some of the absurd features listed in this thread, I understand why.
Hehe. It is absurd.

It certainly won't be for everyone. Maybe it could depend on how quick your mental arithmetic is - Some people might shy away from it for that reason. But for me, it's seamless and much quicker than loading another plugin then adjusting parameters.

For example, if you want to use your kick as sidechain input and have it operate with a different depth or even different logic conditions for each sound and have it modulate various parameters in various plugins, you don't need to do anything more than create new links and quickly type in different formulas.

So it saves CPU and time.

Another example might be to use a single automation clip to switch on several parameters whilst switching several others off - or to cross fade between parameters using just one clip.

You definitely will not appreciate this: https://unaspectedstudios.wordpress.com ... -formulas/

It's powerful stuff.
u can build a quite huge range of modulators in AL too with Modulat (and with different m4l devices) so it's not a problem in AL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewqjdf0iQLE
(no sound)

https://maxforlive.com/library/device/2 ... p-observer works between tracks to without direct mapping, quite comfy (it works with Live10)
Though I'm not sure whether you can change their behaviour in every output link without editing the Max plugin. That process also looks very slow as you're having to set up modules. Not that you couldn't make a Max project that is close to the functionality that I'm talking about. You could use [expr ] or [expr~ ] (I only know PD) but the number of links would be finite and also require extra steps of then linking to parameters. Whereas, all of that is already in all the parameter links in FL Studio - but with text based input and visual feedback.

It doesn't have to be used - default is obviously a linear transfer function - but it's right there without any additional steps required if needed. Just right click a parameter in a native or VST3 plugin and select the "link to" option. VST2 requires an extra step of either tweaking the parameter and selecting "last tweaked" or browsing the parameters and then right clicking there.

I'm sure Reaper has a script for this or if not, someone will be working on something like it right now.

Modulat does look cool though. Lots of potential for sonic variation there. :)

WatchTheGuitar wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:57 am
xbitz wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:34 am
^^^ https://isotonikstudios.com/product/modulat/
Paying money for a third party product to provide features already built into another DAW is a cheat code solution IMO as an answer to the OP.
Also, setting things up in Max is conceptually no different to using Flowstone in FL Studio: Visual object based DSP environment in a DAW. I didn't gel with Flowstone though.

jonljacobi
KVRian
1427 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Re: What's the one feature your DAW has, found in no other, that you wouldn't want to live without?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:12 am

At this point, the thread has kind of gone off the rails. Feel free to continue this in another thread. Locked.

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