And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Tech talk about audio recording and live stage production.
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What DAW are you using?

Poll ended at Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:40 am

ProTools
3
20%
Cakewalk/Sonar
5
33%
Cubase
2
13%
Nuendo
0
No votes
Digital Performer
0
No votes
Audio Desk
0
No votes
Logic
1
7%
Vegas
1
7%
Sequoia
0
No votes
Something else... Please specify in a post.
3
20%
 
Total votes : 15

Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:17 am

I'm basically in the same boat as Matt. I actually really dig Reaper, but it's not going to be the defacto standard at my day job for at least the next 10 years so I won't be digging heavily into it any time soon. I do love it's cleaness and small size and the fact that it can be loaded on a thumb drive. One thing that's a deal breaker for me with Reaper was the lack of MIDI support. Have they fixed that in the last 18 months or so since I've tried it?

As to the combining sessions like you describe, Pro Tools is absolutely stunning at that. You don't edit anything in the actual file, instead it's directly in the main session but it's incredibly flexible and allows you to import or not import whatever you want. It would be much more difficult for me to do my job without this feature.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:27 am

macrae11 wrote:As to the combining sessions like you describe, Pro Tools is absolutely stunning at that. You don't edit anything in the actual file, instead it's directly in the main session but it's incredibly flexible and allows you to import or not import whatever you want. It would be much more difficult for me to do my job without this feature.


It's back to the cost of time thing. I can load up and set up the next song in a bed tracking session with all the previous song's settings/cue mixes intact, make the minor tweaks that I need for that particular song and be up and running within 2 minutes. In Cubase, I'd have slit my own throat already.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby sean.boyer » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:49 am

Reaper has excellent MIDI support from what I've heard. I never use it myself, but I know it's in there. I'm not sure if it has a "roll editor" like Cakewalk or whatever, but there's something. Sorry, I don't pay much attention to MIDI myself.

And I totally accept that Pro Tools is what works for you guys. I'm not trying to say everyone (or even anyone) should switch necessarily, just that I really like it, and I've heard many people poo-poo it based on hearsay and the fact that you can get a license for $60. Since it's so inexpensive, it must be garbage, right?

Since I do almost all my work solo, in my own environment(s), and/or the folks I collaborate with also use Reaper, and/or I have most of the other DAWS, so I can open and export projects into Reaper, it's just fine for me.

I think I could get comfortable using ProTools again, after a quick refresher. I haven't used it in years, and I'm sure there have been some excellent changes since I last visited it.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:03 am

That's good to hear. MIDI was the last big thing that could prevent Reaper from being considered a "professional" DAW. Even if not everyone uses it, it's really an essential.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:57 am

macrae11 wrote:That's good to hear. MIDI was the last big thing that could prevent Reaper from being considered a "professional" DAW. Even if not everyone uses it, it's really an essential.
This.
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:08 pm

I do still believe that ProTools' days as the "defacto standard" are numbered. Not in the immediate future necessarily, but there are too many up and comers who are embracing other platforms and sticking with them, as well as huge name guys while being "Pro Toolers" are dabbling in other platforms looking to see what the options are. So many heard saying "You'll pry my ProTools out of my cold, dead hand" have also been heard in the same post saying how they've used one version or the other since their first copy of "Sound Tools". This just won't be the case for a huge number of the next generation of recordists. The more the industry resists the "ProTools is the only option" the sooner you'll see Logic and Reaper and other DAWs take their place in studios all over.

I really do draw a parallel between SSL consoles in the 80s and ProTools today. Everybody had to have an SSL then, not because they needed it, but because the industry told them they needed it. Times changed.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:23 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I do still believe that ProTools' days as the "defacto standard" are numbered.


Seriously, I don't think we're anywhere near that yet. PT is far too entreched to be uprooted. Not just for music production but for post-production work as well.

Speaking from someone who has been on both sides of the fence, I'll say this: I used to feel the way you did about Pro Tools, until I used Pro Tools. Ask Nick if he's ever going back to Cubase for anything ever again. I barely know how to open Cubase up anymore. Pro Tools dramamtically improved my workflow by at least a factor of 10. I used to think I was pretty quick with Cubase then I got decent with Pro Tools and it's night and day. Then I watch Andrew use Pro Tools and it shows me that I can get 5 times faster still.

I'd have to watch you use Sonar to track/mix a song to see how well it works, since you already know the software. Then I could determine how fast my PT workflow is in comparison. Personally the little bit of work I did in Sonor reminded me of Cubase in a lot of ways, but I'd love to see someone who's comfortable with that platform record a whole bed track session from scratch to see how it stacks up.

Anyone wanna volunteer to set this up? :-P
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:38 pm

It really is all about work flow, as Matt says. Once upon a time, the Digi option was the only real contender. That is why they became what they are.

The only real reason why they will continue to hold the market is if people continue to buy the "you have to have protools" mentality.

When people like Terry Manning are dabbling with setting up a Reaper rig, change is coming.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby sean.boyer » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:16 pm

Just out of curiosity, what types of applications are you guys relying on MIDI for?
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:23 pm

sean.boyer wrote:Just out of curiosity, what types of applications are you guys relying on MIDI for?


Keyboard/synth stuff, string arrangements, drum programming. It's not a huge part of my workflow these days since I haven't done much work for TV or Film since 2010 but I still do use it sometimes for music production, especially for demos.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:27 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I do still believe that ProTools' days as the "defacto standard" are numbered. Not in the immediate future necessarily, but there are too many up and comers who are embracing other platforms and sticking with them, as well as huge name guys while being "Pro Toolers" are dabbling in other platforms looking to see what the options are. So many heard saying "You'll pry my ProTools out of my cold, dead hand" have also been heard in the same post saying how they've used one version or the other since their first copy of "Sound Tools". This just won't be the case for a huge number of the next generation of recordists. The more the industry resists the "ProTools is the only option" the sooner you'll see Logic and Reaper and other DAWs take their place in studios all over.

I really do draw a parallel between SSL consoles in the 80s and ProTools today. Everybody had to have an SSL then, not because they needed it, but because the industry told them they needed it. Times changed.


The SSL analogy really doesn't work because SSL never had the kind of hold that Pro Tools has, particularly in mid level studios. Also buying another console still hooked up to your 2" machine the exact same way as your SSL did. And even when SSL was the big king, there were still tons of Neve's, API's, Harrisons, Trident's etc. They never had even close to the percentage of WORKING STUDIOS with PAYING CLIENTS that Pro Tools has now. In regards to the post realm, Avid actually has a much stronger hold on that market than they did 5 years ago. With companies like Fairlight going nowhere, their purchase of Euphonix and their vastly superior control technology they're not going anywhere soon.

You're absolutely right that there will be other platforms in use, particularly in small one man shops. But as a standard, PT not only has to lose a lot of ground, but also has to have a competitor that's not "just as good as" but significantly better than Pro Tools to make a massive switch. I get calls specifically for Pro Tools sessions on average probably every other month. Guess how many calls I've had for every other platform combined since I started working here.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:34 pm

macrae11 wrote:The SSL analogy really doesn't work because SSL never had the kind of hold that Pro Tools has, particularly in mid level studios. Also buying another console still hooked up to your 2" machine the exact same way as your SSL did. And even when SSL was the big king, there were still tons of Neve's, API's, Harrisons, Trident's etc. They never had even close to the percentage of WORKING STUDIOS with PAYING CLIENTS that Pro Tools has now. In regards to the post realm, Avid actually has a much stronger hold on that market than they did 5 years ago. With companies like Fairlight going nowhere, their purchase of Euphonix and their vastly superior control technology they're not going anywhere soon.

You're absolutely right that there will be other platforms in use, particularly in small one man shops. But as a standard, PT not only has to lose a lot of ground, but also has to have a competitor that's not "just as good as" but significantly better than Pro Tools to make a massive switch. I get calls specifically for Pro Tools sessions on average probably every other month. Guess how many calls I've had for every other platform combined since I started working here.

I'm not saying the SSL analogy covers all aspects of what we're talking about. Just the, "you have to have it" mentality.

It doesn't surprise me about getting request for ProTools specifically and none of the others. I will also submit that to a great percentage of musical clients, ProTools is "Kleenex" and wouldn't know of the existence of options if it ran them over. I've had clients in my space say... "So you record everything straight to ProTools?" and then the inevitable explanation of it not actually being ProTools but more or less the same thing...
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:41 pm

99% of the Pro Tools requests do not come from musicians. Actually I can't think of any musicians asking me that sort of thing off the top of my head at all. All requests come from other techs. Whether it's from studios in Halifax, Cape Breton, Toronto, Nashville, or post projects from CBC, LA, anywhere basically. When handling big projects with a variety of techs in different studios, it's just one less thing to worry about. And if they have to worry about it, they'll find someone else that they won't have to worry about it with.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:50 pm

macrae11 wrote:99% of the Pro Tools requests do not come from musicians. Actually I can't think of any musicians asking me that sort of thing off the top of my head at all. All requests come from other techs. Whether it's from studios in Halifax, Cape Breton, Toronto, Nashville, or post projects from CBC, LA, anywhere basically. When handling big projects with a variety of techs in different studios, it's just one less thing to worry about. And if they have to worry about it, they'll find someone else that they won't have to worry about it with.


+100

That session for Jessica Rhaye that we did a few weeks back is a good example of that. I sent Jamie Foulds the session as I had left it and he took it from there. Couldn't have been easier. If he or Ed wanted to go back and check through the playlists for alternate takes it's just as easy as flipping through the playlists. I can't imagine the work that would have been involved to export and organize all the individual takes, punch ins and so forth... we'd have been there all friggin day packaging that up. No thanks.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:03 pm

macrae11 wrote:99% of the Pro Tools requests do not come from musicians. Actually I can't think of any musicians asking me that sort of thing off the top of my head at all. All requests come from other techs. Whether it's from studios in Halifax, Cape Breton, Toronto, Nashville, or post projects from CBC, LA, anywhere basically. When handling big projects with a variety of techs in different studios, it's just one less thing to worry about. And if they have to worry about it, they'll find someone else that they won't have to worry about it with.

I know the current market is dictating that direction, but I suggest it won't always be the case. Considerable people, with considerable experience are already trying and favouring other options. The hard part will be people having to learn how to be cross compatible platform wise, but that's always been an issue with sessions traveling.

I have no doubt in my mind that if I were preparing tracks for Andrew to mix or OD to, or if he were doing the same, with a maximum of two e-mails back and forth we'd be up and running with no issues. I dare say many wouldn't have the same confidence or ability to provide that degree of understanding and competency.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:54 pm

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I know the current market is dictating that direction, but I suggest it won't always be the case.


Oh I'm not saying PT will be king forever, just that it's not going to lose it's position anytime soon. If Avid just vaporized into thing air I would guess that it would still take 3-4 years for it to stop being the standard.

Consider a medium sized shop like us. anywhere from 5-10 employee's, 2 audio suites 2 videos suites. I would hazard a guess a total lifelong investment of $30k-$40k in Avid/Digidesign audio hardware and software and 15 plus years of Avid archives. We will need some type of Pro Tools system for eternity just to access these archives. In order for us to switch there will have to be another product that will save us money. Either by time saved so we can have more clients, or equal or better performance for less cost. Preferably it has to be used by a large segment of the population to give us the largest client base. It also has to have enough of a benefit to outway the minimum of 6 months it will take to retrain staff up to a similar capability that was attained on Pro Tools. I've been working on my PT chops for over a decade, and on a daily basis 40 hours a week for almost 6 years. My boss for even longer although not nearly as much on a day to day basis. He started on Cakewalk over 20 years ago as a MIDI sequencer.
Is there anything on the market that even comes close to meeting these requirements? I don't know of anything.

Now consider the real big boys like Skywalker Sound. They have over 50 suites, just for audio. Instead of 10s of thousands of dollars, they have 10s of millions of dollars invested. They can afford anything they want, and believe me if it would save them money they would switch without thinking twice. Things like the ability to cut ADR with the edit that was just finished 5 minutes ago over the fibre network directly from the Avid project are priceless timesavers. No one else is even in the same postal code, let alone ballpark.

The small one man shop doesn't have these kinds of worries, and can make just about anything work. But until some kind of sea change starts from the top down Pro Tools will be the dog to chase. And it's cheaper to be in the game a high level than ever before.

Malcolm Boyce wrote:Considerable people, with considerable experience are already trying and favouring other options.

There are far more considerable people with considerable experience who are trying other options but still working on Pro Tools. Even if they prefer the other options, they still use PT. What does that say?


Malcolm Boyce wrote:The hard part will be people having to learn how to be cross compatible platform wise, but that's always been an issue with sessions traveling.

Exactly. It will always be an issue be compatible cross platform. Which another good reason to have your entire team working on the same platform. All I need to know to transfer a Pro Tools session is what version they're on.

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I have no doubt in my mind that if I were preparing tracks for Andrew to mix or OD to, or if he were doing the same, with a maximum of two e-mails back and forth we'd be up and running with no issues. I dare say many wouldn't have the same confidence or ability to provide that degree of understanding and competency.
Indeed you're absolutely right and continue to make my point. Same platform transfers are close to idiot proof, with 5 minutes of training. If I'm sending a track to be mixed or something by someone else, I'll do most of the things I would normally do to send a session to another platform. Consolidate regions, triple check every edit point, print any essential effects, etc. However what if a project is part way to completion. Here's a real world example that I was discussing last week with a colleague:

Not a large session, track wise, but many takes. Like 70. Every take is on it's own individual playlist, with markers and notation about which parts of which takes are to be used. Someone other than the tracking engineer will be doing the editing and mixing. How long would it take you to prepare that for work on another platform? I can't imagine doing it in less than 2, 8 hour days, at least not without being very confident that nothing was missed. Transfer time on the same platform? Zero. Open it in the edit suite and start working. I'm not saying the platform has to be PT, but it does have to be the same, and at this point the standard is Pro Tools. Not using PT is no different than 20 years ago moving around between studios trying to use 1" 16 track instead of 2" 16 or 24 track. Sure it can be done. Not recommended though.

I don't say this very often to you, or anyone else Malcolm, but you're flat out wrong. People have been saying the exact same things you're saying for as long as I've been on the internet, and they've yet to come true. Now of course if something catastrophic like Avid going belly up could change things, but barring the usual course of events Pro Tools is still a long ways away from being unseated as the DAW that all other DAW's are measured against.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:21 pm

sean.boyer wrote:Just out of curiosity, what types of applications are you guys relying on MIDI for?
Mostly soft synths and sequencing. Some external synchronization either sending or receiving MTC/MMC as well as triggering external MIDI sound sources... Old school...

Even after 3 decades, it shows how well thought out a format it was by the fact that it's still around. If only other aspects of our setups were as compatible. How things changed co-operation wise with manufacturers in the DAW era.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby pcronin » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:23 pm

I started with Garageband on my first iBook. Eventually I picked up ProTools M-Powered, mostly for the whole "industry standard" sales pitch.

After the project I'm working on now, I'm looking at building a new rig, and at least try out Ardour ( http://www.ardour.org ) via Ubuntu Studio ( http://www.ubuntustudio.org ).

As for the PT phasing out, it is a hard call. Avid is trying to appeal to the end user musicians with the "record at home or on the road, give it to the studio" aspect. I personally would like to see more interoperability between DAWs. And the "big boy" studios that do have the millions in hardware will need a compelling reason to start moving to a different system. In fact, I only have 2 interfaces (Mobile Pre USB and ProFire 2626), and that is enough for me to really consider if upgrading to PT 10 from 8 is more cost effective than getting more hardware that will be fully supported under other OSes/DAWs.

Of course if Avid would start supporting Linux, it would be basically a no brainer ;)
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby fred » Wed May 08, 2013 12:22 am

i use reason for most things and some ableton and some acid pro and even audacity for sampling

then i export all my tracks to protools to create a proper session.
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