Comparing different DAW features! Fun Fun Fun

What do you love/hate about different DAW platforms? Since we all use our software differently and throw our cards on the table and speak out about what we love/hate about different recording software platforms.

I should first state that I don’t use Mixcraft, and know very little about it. Need help here.

Digital Performer

Unbeatable pricing - $60 for a full license
Fastest evolving and improving DAW on the market - and upgrades are free through 2 full versions.
Offers more flexibility with screen layouts, object positioning and key commands
Open source

Cheap enough for me to keep a copy on hand to transfer sessions to Pro Tools. Doing so can guarantee the the transfer process goes smooth.

Studio One
$400 retail. Why do we like this one? Let us know.

-Competitive alternative to Pro Tools HD 12
-Has some of the most powerful, accurate, and detailed editing features money can buy. Some of the features in this don’t even exist in other DAWs.
-Competent MIDI sequencer, but lacks the enormous device routing functionality that Ableton and Logic have. Thats ok for 2 reasons a) That’s not what Sequoia was designed for, and b) every other competing DAW lacks those features too. But I don’t know of any ways the Midi editor, commands, or workflows features are lacking any fundamental necessities.

Nuendo has enormous advantages over Sequoia in gaming, with and some minor advantages in ADR, and dialogue post. Neck and neck for SFX. Though Nuendo wins in the gaming department, Sequoia in broadcast - which says a lot because Nuendo is an exceptional broadcasting DAW. Nuendo’s video engine is currently undergoing a huge overhaul due to Apple dropping quicktime support. Other noteworthy features seperating it from other DAWs are the timecode and sync options. It’s all here. Everything that is supposed to be, and gosh damnit, this shit works!

-Two more high-end user features that make Sequoia a force to be reckoned with. First, its Blackmagic friendly. Secondly, its FULLY EUCONIZED. In major production houses a DAW is only as good as the mixer its paired with. Major film studios rely on two consoles. Harrison and Avid. Most of them have avid. This means the biggest post production houses in the world could literally toggle between a PC running Sequoia, and a Mac running PTHD with great ease, and zero changeover time. So long as said production houses are not dependent on Avids overpriced server storage solutions, there is no longer much to stop a post house from leaving Avid, as long as are employees that actually know how to use Sequoia.

-The downside: “Magix does not offer phone support at this time”. What’s worse? Getting charged $50 pr phone call by avid or not having support at all?


-Finally, another DAW fully atmos equipped.
-Mastering grade metering
-64 output channels on a single master fader with a single button click!!! Unbelievable. You can pan the guitars around 64 different speakers in the room without the assistance of any 3rd party hardware.

Logic Pro X
-The slowest DAW i’ve ever seen. Go ahead. Take a 50 minute long stereo wave file, drop it in Logic Pro X, and watch how long it takes to figure out where the transients are.
-The time stretching and warping engines, which once its cutting edge advantage don’t work worth a shit, and the onboard autotuner is useless! Logic crashes left and right, which is appalling given that its running on the operating system built by the same people that built it.
-Lousy score editor too.

-I have always loved the way this thing manages mono/stereo/interleaved/multi-mono formats. You can hot-swap mono/stereo processors without having to create a whole new channel.

  • Busses are easier to move around than PT and Nuendo, and I love the multi-take swipe-comp system in Logic is the best one out there.
    -The key commands are customizable, and track folders that double as processable, automation enabled busses are really really cool.
    -Though upgrades are slow in the workflow function department, it is certainly seeing its share of upgrades in the plugin space. It has some nice sounding VST’s, particularly in the keyboards and synths. Its drums aren’t terrible, and the amp sims are an honorable mention. Well…maybe not honorable, but they’re there if you need them.

-When working on a single monitor, you can dock the mixer right onto the workspace.
-Unlimited plugin insert slots. Nuendo cuts you off at 8, and protools stops you at 10. I don’t duplicate channel strips to test different chains. I do it right on the mixer. To a/b/c three compressors its handy to have those extra slots.

Cubase 9/Nuendo 7

Additional Notes:
I don’t know how to explain what control room is because I’ve never used it. Vari audio is Yamaha’s vocabulary for time and rhythm correction, and autotune. And the Cubase/Nuendo vari-audio is AMAZINGLY good. And they’re not all the same. The one in Logic is worthless. The arranger track is unique to Cubase and Digital Performer. It allows you to chunk out multiple sections of a recording and build them into a song without having to copy, cut and paste stuff all over.

-Steinberg has integrated Wwise middleware into version 7. Nuendo can now see the entire hierarchy of sound effects inside of a video game, and drag/drop/process the changes as the game is being played. To be able to play a game on a PC, then edit the sound effects from your Mac in realtime is groundbreaking.
-Its also the first DAW to have ADR dialogue cues built into the native system. And it can use them with no third party hardware or software.
-The Nuage controllers and Nuage converters don’t quite match up to Avids, but nor do they cost $250 to a half-million dollars. With each modular console frame retailing under $10k pr module, and an impressive array of features, they’re an appealing alternative.

-Dante protocol is also a strategic advantage vs the higher priced madi options on the avid side. It takes $1000 to outfit a mac pro with 128 channels over Dante, where as it will cost you $8000 for the same 128 channels of Madi. Quality? They’re the same. Once its digital, its digital. End of story there.

-Imo Yamaha outshines everyone on the market in the customer service department, with Motu coming in a close second.

-I find the mixer in Nuendo annoying - full of workflow annoyances that can irk your nerves until you pull your hair out.
-You can’t move the mixer with your mouse scroll wheel. It won’t scroll. And I’ve had the hardest time adjusting to that.
-You have to continuously fold and unfold different portions of it to move around it, since you can never really see the whole thing at once.
-I also wish there was a way to dock your plugins (with all parameters visible) in your tracking window like you can in PT. Also, the offline bouncing is painfully slow.

-I’m also not a fan of the way you’re forced to configure busses, groups, and VCA’s inside of a device manager. And the VCA automation actually overrides the channel automation, which makes the VCA’s damn near useless. I’m finding myself start to automate from the mixer instead of the DAW. That was frustrating.

Pro Tools HD 12
A few years ago, avid reigned supreme as the undisputed kings of big ass systems. There was no one in the world that offered epic scale audio, video, and server storage solutions to newscasting stations, sports arenas, theaters, and film companies like avid did. They owned a monopoly in the high end pro market. Its not the DAW that has kept avid alive. Its the fact that everything else sporting an avid logo could attach to the DAW that made it unique. No other DAWs talked to so many different parts of the media universe like Pro Tools. SAN Servers, high speed ISDN streams, video software, remote broadcasting, field recorders…all that stuff locks up to Pro Tools in ways that it didn’t with other stuff. Avid seems to have unraveled itself with a series of head scratchers and just plain stupid decisions which we don’t need to get into. They’re still firmly dominating the pro audio industry, but how much longer they can hold onto their lead is debatable.The DAW itself is solid, but far from perfect. Industry standard? Maybe. But only because the industry continues to play along.

-The multi-take comping is still atrocious.
-Still no mix snapshots, and you can’t open more than one project at a time.
-Still not channel strip saves, you literally have to import your channel strips from another session.
-Its plugins are usable, but nothing to write home about. I wish it had a native autotuner.
-I’ve also found that few developers are taking up the AAX DSP format. I was hoping to see a bunch of companies, Waves in particular, make a go for it, but they’re not
-It has Atmos. Other unique advantage to PT HD it that is way ahead of Nuendo and DP on Atmos integration. Not sure where Sequoia is with this. I’ve had conversations with developers at Motu, and they’re having some trouble justifying the work it will take to get it into Digital Performer. They’re currently stalled at 9.1 surround.

I use StudioOne 3, only because it is what I know. Just recently upgraded from version2 and I am still trying to get a handle on some of the workflow features. Granted I do not do this for a living, so I am not really interested learning new DAW’s to meet clients expectations or work with others on the same platform.

@Jonathan your feature list is heavily based on 1/ the fact that you are doing it for a living, apparently a lot in gaming/video industry, 2/ what you’re used to in terms of workflow (I guess coming from Pro Tools).

Meaning that it’s probably meaningless for a lot of home recording users, whom, TBH, rarely use more than one DAW but get used to it in a deeper way and model their workflow around it.

Using Cubase, I can cite what I really like about it and couldn’t live without: the control room, vari-audio integrated right in the audio editor, extended midi capabilities (including midi sends/plugins), the arranger track, the chord track, track versions/comp tracks.

But mostly I don’t think I’d like to switch DAW at any point in time because it would take me a lot of wasted time to get comfortable the way I am in Cubase…
I think, most of all for us hobbyists, it comes down to that more than anything else…


In defense to @Jonathan , this could be the place for a beginner to look through and find what daw will work best for what they are after. They could be redirected here. Though , I wonder how most people stumble upon their daw choice?

I don’t know why but i have always connected best with Cakewalk Sonar. Workflow wise i think the only other one that has peaked my interest is Studio One. Actually Logic probably would to but you will never find me on a Mac so that is out.

Ugh. Just realized that. Um…lets see if we can fix that.

@cptfiasco …you know those threads on whatever…where one guy asks which daw he should use, and 100 other guys jump on him with 100 different ways of saying ‘they all do the same thing’? But his real question is ‘why’, more so than ‘what’ to begin with, and no one has really answered the question.

Patrick is right too. Anyone looking at their first DAW isn’t going to be using it for cinematic sound, and anyone working in film and post is not going to be purchasing their first DAW off of recommendations from Recording Re(cough cough) Indie Recording Depot. haha

LMMS which is a free alternative to FL Studio and Ableton Lite. They do the job fine for me.

@Arber87 cool…what is it?

You mean LMMS? It stands for Linux Multi Media Studio, which is still a wishful name. It is a relatively new freeware daw which has design and workflow similar to that of FL Studio. It is aimed mainly at electronic music. It is still a baby daw, but you can make instrumentals alright with it. And i use Ableton Lite for recording and mixing two-tracks.


There we go…maybe if I work some more ‘down to earth’ comments in there it could be meaningful?

1 Like

Well, I suppose the only thing we can do is talk about what feature we like in such an such DAW anyway.
I think you got your own point from a professional POV, there just needs to be some more comments from home users, and hopefully that can help people…

Its OK. without some enthusiasm this job/passion would be just like any job. In sales it’s called to pump buying temperature. Features are just a way of competing between DAWs, since the sound quality differences were proven wrong several ways ago. But it takes away from the soul of music. Important is to find a balance between making good music and presenting it right. These last years has been almost everything about advertising.

The simple truth is they are all the same for the poor retarded hobbyist. For some guy just making basic mixes for his own pleasure with sims and samples and a 2 channel interface, the DAW matters very little. Some EDM guys may have their own specific criteria. But by and large, they are all the same. It just depends on personal preference. I like Reaper. I don’t care how “pro” it is or isn’t. I’ve never had any instance that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do with Reaper. I’ve tried others, I just like Reaper and have been on it for over 10 years now. Others feel the same about their DAW of choice. For the 99%, it does not fucking matter.

The professional mechanic will have a large toolbox full of Snap-On wrenches. Their superior fit, durability, balance, and hand-feel make them the choice of professionals for every day use. The weekend garage mechanic will be just fine with Craftsman.

Isn’t this the indie recording place or am i lost?


Yes, we have all walks of life here and feel we all can get a better understanding of our specific needs, by being able to see all of the options.


I don’t know man, I used the auto tune from Logic a few times and it always worked for me, I think it’s a great feature. I built harmonies by duplicating the main vox and changing the pitch to third, fifth, and it sounded fine, also used it just to tune vocals a little bit, etc. If you have a really bad take, there’s no auto tune in the world that will fix, that’s a different story

Well there is a misunderstanding. Sorry, i like LMMS for its loop philosophy. I started messing around with a demo copy of FL 6 when i was a kid. And i got used to thinking of music in terms of patterns and loops. LMMS is both free and provides that kind of messing-flow. Only if i got into Reaper more maybe i would have bought it.

I saw the title of this thread and thought…

“How to start a web battle in 10 seconds or less”… And so it begins! hahaha

I DO like it was more carefully phrased though. This really isn’t about which one is best. It’s just a cool way for everyone to share what FEATURES they like best in the one they are using. Good stuff!

Interesting JK.
But most folks here wd probably find something better to spend £2,200 on that a copy of Sequoia.

And you don’t even mention Samplitude which, at £800, most users round here would probably find excessive even though Prox 3 version carries most of the audio recording features that Sequoia does.

That’s not a hit at you, my friend, just an observation about whether you want/need a Rolls Royce when a usded Chevy will do the same job that you need doing.