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

Postby macrae11 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:53 pm

We've actually retired the old powerbook, and we've moved up to a Macbook Pro running 2 x 2.4 GHz processors with 4 gigs of RAM. Pretty big upgrade and it runs like a charm now.

For the HD rig we have an G5 that's about 5 or 6 years old. dual 2.3 GHz processors with 8 gigs of RAM. If we weren't running at 88.2 or 96 kHz, I probably wouldn't care at all about upgrading, but as it is now, I get bogged down a bit in bigger sessions. Once I get 3 or 4 convolution verbs going the CPU starts redlining a bit. If it wasn't an HD rig it couldn't handle it at all, but a lot of the heavy lifting is handled by the cards, so 96 tracks at 88.2 with a good amount of effects(not reverb's) runs no problem. The verbs I'm using are RTAS and as such are host based which is why the cards don't help for them.

The only problem I've been having of late is there's a delay when I hit record. Not a big deal for small overdub sessions, but it's like a 5 second delay when doing 15-20 tracks at once, which is a pretty big pain. Don't know if it's OS, ProTools, or some hardware thing. I need a couple of days of downtime to sort it out, but that doesn't look like it's going to be happening in the near future.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Tue May 18, 2010 11:40 am

I wanted to revive this topic to see if the number of ProTools users have increased. Soon I will be primarily working off ProTools and I hope to someday be as quick on it as I am in Cubase.

Since this topic was started a while back, I wanted to get an update and see if anyone has switched up since then or anything. Also we may have some new members so...
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Postby macrae11 » Tue May 18, 2010 12:26 pm

Obviously I'm still on PT, but I've been spending a bit of time trying to learn logic lately.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Tue May 18, 2010 12:39 pm

macrae11 wrote:Obviously I'm still on PT, but I've been spending a bit of time trying to learn logic lately.

I'm not building you a Logic rig, forget it.

What got you into Logic anyways?
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Postby macrae11 » Tue May 18, 2010 12:56 pm

Academic copy through the school. I needed to learn Waveburner for a course I'm teaching which is part of the Logic package. Figured I might as well pick up a few Logic chops while I'm at. Definitely not changing over though!
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 20, 2010 12:51 am

I have to admit, I find the trends in preferences of DAWs interesting.

Logic is certainly grabbing a lot of attention these days with some high profile users spouting their love of the system.

I would be surprised to see ProTools expanding it's share of users in our market. In fact I believe you'll see greater diversity in pro settings everywhere as people dabble in other rigs early on more so than "the industry standard".
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu May 20, 2010 1:11 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:I would be surprised to see ProTools expanding it's share of users in our market. In fact I believe you'll see greater diversity in pro settings everywhere as people dabble in other rigs early on more so than "the industry standard".


Are we talking about legit users or people that don't pay for software? Because the latter will never use PT since they can't steal it. Our market is filled with the latter actually. Which brings about a good point, how many people in our market do this for a living and can justify the budget of going all in on a full on ProTools HD rig fully loaded. I think economics plays at least some part in any trend that one might observe.

If money was not an issue and you dealt in post-production or major label music production you may do fine with a Nueudo rig, but you'd be cooking with a ProTools HD rig loaded, with an Icon console.

I'm still going to continue to use Cubase for composition, but for recording I'm going to cut my teeth on ProTools and start learning that inside and out.

We're undergoing some major changes in the way that we look at recording at FAG. Some changes will be coming and ProTools will likely be at the heart of it all.
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 20, 2010 1:32 am

Drumwaiter wrote:... Which brings about a good point, how many people in our market do this for a living and can justify the budget of going all in on a full on ProTools HD rig fully loaded. I think economics plays at least some part in any trend that one might observe.
By extension, in every market regardless of how many folks are making a living recording, I think more and more people are starting out on DAWs that aren't ProTools more than say 15 years ago which I think will swing the next generation of recordists into a more diverse choice of DAW in practice.

I truly think that the dominance of ProTools as "the standard" will slowly decline over the next decade in spite of what many would like you to buy into. It's strictly a case of a new generation of folks having options early on in their careers. This is just a trend like all others.

I really draw a parallel with SSL consoles in the '80s. You had to have an SSL room to be considered serious for quite a while there. As much as SSL still has it's place, a lot of rooms ripped out their SSLs in the last 10-20 years to go with something of a different flavour for many reasons, but mostly because of the shift in trends. They're just not the be all and end all anymore. I remember recording schools bragging about training folks on the "industry standard" SSL automation which is hilarious because many consider other automation systems far superior. It was just the brand of the day.
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Postby macrae11 » Thu May 20, 2010 8:17 am

Yeah Ultimation apparently had it's quirks. Once someone develops an actual transfer program like OMF, but that works, things will become more open.
That being said, it's going to take a long while for PT to not become the standard, simply because it's become so entrenched. 99% of all major studios have a PT rig, and have for the last 15 years. So they have 15 years+ of old PT sessions that they need to be able to draw from. Usually they won't want to invest in another fully operational system on top of their regular rig, and if they're PT system cacks, they need to get another one anyways.

Pro Tools is still also taught as the main software for every educational system that I'm aware of. Sure there are other options commonly available, most recently logic, but PT is the main platform.

Just like 2 inch machines which became "obsolete" in the late 80's/early 90's, it took nearly 15 years for them to die out from regular use as a recording format.

The next 5 years are certainly going to be interesting, particularly in the post world. Avid still has a strangle hold there for anyone with a budget, and they're purchase of Euphonix looks to cement that. I've heard rumours of Fairlight making a comeback so we'll see how that goes. Apple just doesn't have anything to compete with what Avid is capable of, and at least in software land, they're the next closest competitor. You could make an argument for Nuendo on the audio side, but the lack of hardware and video software really takes it out of the race.

All that being said in the consumer to mid level market things will continue to spread out and people will simply use whatever they're most comfortable with. Generally they're not tracking 80 person symphonies and syncing multiple rigs to video, where the power of HD or a similar system is required, so they can operate essentially as an island, and can run whatever they please.
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Postby Mathieu Benoit » Thu May 20, 2010 8:44 am

macrae11 wrote:All that being said in the consumer to mid level market things will continue to spread out and people will simply use whatever they're most comfortable with. Generally they're not tracking 80 person symphonies and syncing multiple rigs to video, where the power of HD or a similar system is required, so they can operate essentially as an island, and can run whatever they please.


I'm pretty sure this was my point. It's a matter of economics and those ecomomics are also tied into the type of work you do. Chances are if you are recording 80 person symphonies and syncing multiple rigs to video, you can afford and are expected to be running PT HD.

Which is why Alain and I have stopped fighting Andrew on this.
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Postby Malcolm Boyce » Thu May 20, 2010 12:38 pm

It's ProTools' hardware based capability that allows it to do things no other DAW can do... still at this point.

As I haven't used DP or Audio Desk I can't say from experience but it must be MOTU's software that has kept it from flourishing in the market. I've seen several ProTools heavy operators say that the MOTU hardware was/is the closest thing to being able to get high numbers of I/O with few problems like an HD rig.
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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Postby macrae11 » Thu May 20, 2010 1:00 pm

Apogee's symphony system also seems like an interesting experiment, but I don't think the high hopes for it have been born out yet.

Despite what many of the hopeful like to claim, and have been claiming for nearly a decade, native has not quite arrived yet.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby gamblor » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:24 pm

Just bought Sonar Studio 8. Based on ease of use and learning curve, I love it! Other than using a basic reverb plugin through my vocal monitoring chain, I haven't gotten too deep into the advanced features of the software. We'll see how it holds up to Steinberg in a month or 2 when I really start using it to its full potential.

This version also came with a free upgrade to Sonar X1. Looking forward to giving that a spin.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby dennisthemenace » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:12 pm

Hi folks.
Some of you know me some may not, so Hi, I'm Dennis and I'm a wannabe.
I'm a Logic 9 user.

I'm pretty new to the recording process.
I first started with Audacity on Windows
Then Cool Edit / Adobe Audition on Windows

After switching to Mac and getting back to toying with recording,
I went back to Audacity. From there went to GarageBand it was ok.

Read up a lot about DAWS and since GarageBand was pretty familiar and simple I bought
Logic 9 after getting a copy from a friend. I liked it that much. There are things that I'm
learning of course in the application itself, but being that it had plugins and a user
interface I'm comfortable with I'm pretty happy with it and it's sounds.

At some point I'd like to learn a bit about each of the major DAWS just for reference or perhaps to find a new preferred tool.

I know that each of you have been mixing, recording or producing far longer than I have,
so as the new guy, glad to be in a forum with the folks that know.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:23 pm

Welcome aboard, Dennis! You didn't say it, but, don't feel intimidated; in amongst the friendly and learned old-timers are chronic n00bz like me ;)
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby macrae11 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:38 pm

And then there's also the cranky old bastards who just want you to get off my lawn like me! :twisted:

Seriously though welcome. I actually have Logic 8 installed on my mac and I've been meaning to learn it for years but I just haven't gotten around to it. If you have any Pro Tools questions there's even a thread for that. It says it's Matt's thread, but he's French so I'm sure you'd have much more interesting questions than he does so feel free to jump in.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby dennisthemenace » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:07 pm

Thanks for the welcome folks. I've played bass with Sammy P, Matt and with Malcolm as well (sometimes badly)
and really I'm having a blast learning what I have from folks like Sammy P and Tim Davidson and other
folks that I glean tips from.

My signature has a link to some of the pieces I've written or covered on my spot on the web. Some are bad, some are better and I'm
seeing progress and improvement as I go.

I'll post in the appropriate categories or threads for issues such as compression and mastering methods.
Its a whole new world of science. I hated science but I love music so I'll choke that pill down. :)

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

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:10 pm

Hey Dennis. Welcome... glad you found your way here...

...and I guess it's official now Christian. You're not the new guy anymore. :-)
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It just fills Forum pages..." --compasspnt

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

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:39 am

Malcolm Boyce wrote:...and I guess it's official now Christian. You're not the new guy anymore. :-)

What's that quote about the bloom fading from the rose?..I just feel old now.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby sean.boyer » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:12 pm

I may as well chime in here and start a bit of controversy. I've been exclusively using (for about 3 years now) Reaper as my DAW of choice, both on Mac and Windows.
Typically I'll track into Reaper on a Mac, then seamlessly move that project over to my Windows machine, which is what I do my mixing on (better plugins).

Reaper is easily the most flexible and least confusing DAW I've ever used (and I've used most of them, to some capacity or another). Well, actually, at first glance I completely disregarded Reaper because it didn't appear to have busses or auxs! Then I realised that the default channel type is amazingly flexible. Add a channel, and make it whatever you want: audio, midi, buss, return, or combinations (ie. an audio track that is also the buss master for a guitar track with 3 sources) . It has a 100% customizable routing matrix, and unlimited and easy to work with patching options, both in the software sense and to/from hardware.

The plugin support is multi-threaded and really reliable, the UI (at least with the v3 skin) is very clean and easy to look at; easy to find what you need to do.

One of my favourite things about it is that the whole program is UNDER 10 MB (!!!!!!!!!!!) to download, and bugfixes come out a few times a month (unlike Sonar or Cubase who release bugfix patches... never).

I could go on and on and on. It's a free trial, which stays fully featured even after the time trial expires (you get a nag screen for 10 seconds on startup after trial expires). If you like it, for $60, you cannot go wrong. I challenge you to.

Let the litany of "PT/Sonar is better because..." comments begin, and I'll try to defend myself one point at a time.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Malcolm Boyce » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:31 pm

sean.boyer wrote:I may as well chime in here and start a bit of controversy.
.........
.........
Let the litany of "PT/Sonar is better because..." comments begin, and I'll try to defend myself one point at a time.
Not around here you won't. Reaper is such a contender right now that some huge name players are trying it out to decent reviews.

I love Sonar, and it continues to satisfy my needs, and I have little interest in learning a whole new platform. That being said, if I were going to try something else right now, it'd probably be Reaper.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Christian LeBlanc » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:52 pm

I believe that Reaper is also the DAW used for programming songs for Rock Band, so I'd say that says a lot about it. Good things. I used to play it a lot.
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:48 pm

sean.boyer wrote:...and bugfixes come out a few times a month (unlike Sonar or Cubase who release bugfix patches... never).

Cubase doesn't fix bugs they simply come out with a new version that you have to pay for that adds NEW bugs.

sean.boyer wrote:Let the litany of "PT/Sonar is better because..." comments begin, and I'll try to defend myself one point at a time.


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

Postby sean.boyer » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:43 am

I actually left Sonar behind in the dust when I started using Reaper. I'd used Sonar for probably about 3 years (work bought me a copy), and while I found it big and clunky, kind of buggy (crashes weren't infrequent) and to take up a LOT of screen room (it's a really uncomfortable experience if you don't have two big monitors), it was the most comfortable platform to operate in. I liked the way that the "inserts" and envelopes worked, and I liked how easy it was to set up sends and busses, etc.

Then I tried Reaper and found that doing those things was now WAY quicker and easier, and more flexible/customizable.

The program itself is so small, so fast, and so cheap, that it was an absolute no-brainer for me. It continues to satisfy every one of my needs. The only time Reaper hasn't done what I've needed it to do has been opening projects from other DAWS, and really, who can fault them for that? It does open Vegas projects that have been saved as EDL (I think?) It ends up being a .txt file, and Reaper can import those.

Another cool thing I like about it, is that it saves it's projects in an XML format, so it's really easy to merge project files. So say you have a main project that you're using to mix on Windows with all your windows plugins, but need to record some more tracks on your Macbook. Just copy the project to the Mac, fire it up, accept that the plugins won't load (which Reaper handles gracefully), record your tracks, then back on the Windows machine, copy/paste the new nodes in the XML file into your main one. Voila! All your fader/IO/FX/Automation/etc settings are intact. This has worked aces for me doing "collaborative tracking" where sometimes I'm doing bed tracks and such while the vocalist records at home and the guitar player records at the practise space. They just send me their tracks and project files, and I can merge them up in about 3 minutes, without losing any of the work I've done on their mix so far.

There have been a few times where I've come close to writing a program to merge project files for me. Maybe I'll actually start it one day...
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Re: And for our 100th topic.... DAWs of Choice...

Postby Mathieu Benoit » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:57 am

If I was just working away on my own I may have gone that route. For composition I found Cubase very easy to use and I was once very resistant to changing that, but when I started recording other people I found Cubase borderline useless. Cubase did well for me working solo but Pro Tools is incredibly efficient at running a session with multiple people on the clock. This is important since when you count all the session musicians you could be looking at an easy 200-300 dollars an hour.

I switched to Pro tools since we are trying to build a commercial facility and the vast majority of of the commercial facilities in the world use Pro Tools. What I realized after that is that there are a lot of reasons for that kind of popularity. Reaper might very well be awesome, unfortunately I just don't have the time to learn two DAWs and Pro Tools does everything I want, exactly how I want it.

I also have the world's best Pro Tools tech support system. :mrgreen:
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