I’ve always used Sonar but now that they are done I guess it’s time to start thinking about other DAWs. I’m not in a huge hurry or anything, I still have Sonar, but I figure it will be easier to switch now at my leisure than later on. So what are some good DAWs? What do you guys use?
I’m a pro tools guy, but I like reaper too. It’s pretty widely used among this group of folks also. Definitely worth checking out for the price!
Reaper is definitely at the top my list of potential DAWs, I used it once like 7 or 8 years ago on one song and I liked it. The only reason I stuck with Sonar was because of all the cool extra plugins and stuff it came with. I need to do a test and see what all plugins I’ve gotten used to with Sonar work in Reaper. I especially liked Reapers ability to route tracks into other tracks.
Pro tools if you want to be using what everyone else is for the sake of collaboration, and you don’t mind paying for it. Reaper if you’re on a shoestring budget. Digital Performer or Logic if you need to run it on multiple machine licenses are important. I’m not sure if Cubase has any real distinct advantages anymore. Other than the stock autotune outshines everything else.
Studio One and Mixcraft are also popular.
If you can afford Pro Tools, or if you can figure out how to get an academic license for $9/mo, do it.
Yes…that IS useful…All of them can do that.
Hmm. Reaper is weak in this area. I feel PT has the best set of stock plugins. IMO, Pro Tools and Cubase tie for the most usable VI’s. I’m disappointed with the Logic/Mainstage VI’s, apart from the Alchemy library.
Another vote for Reaper. It’s cheap, efficient, and doesn’t use up that much memory. Very intuitive and they’ve got a ton of great videos about working the DAW and mixing. Since they’re a semi-small company they actually listen to consumer feedback and make improvements when they update the damn thing.
Gotta put in a plug for Mixcraft here. Only a little more than Reaper and from what I have seen a whole lot easier to use. The Pro Studio version comes with integrated Melodyne built right in, which by itself sets it apart from the rest. I agree with many that if one is comfortable with whatever DAW one has become proficient at there is no reason to switch, and I wouldn’t advocate that. But if you have to switch anyway, I think you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Whichever way you go, best of luck!
I’ve never really considered Pro Tools, maybe unfairly, maybe not. I’ve been kinda biased against it because 10 years ago I visited a guys studio he built in his basement and he was all excited about his new Pro Tools system he spent thousands of dollars on. He was going on and on about how it was on a “whole different level” than what I was using because it was Pro Tools… but he could only have like 16 tracks… I remember thinking he was right, it was definitely not on the same level as Sonar with those kind of limitations lol. That was a long time ago though so I’m sure it’s better now. Still, I hardly ever hear about anyone being happy with Pro Tools, just people complaining about it and switching to something else.
I never took a deep enough dive into Reaper to have a fully informed opinion on how it compares to PT. I do believe PT has Cubase and Logic outclassed in its editing features. But it takes a LOT of time and practice to really exploit them, and the fixed key commands have been a bit of a problem for me.
PT has also come a long way since the home studio market has forced avid to drop its price and up its features. But yeah, it does still get is fair share of complaints!
Cool, I’ll look at PT as well! So much has changed since the last time I looked at DAWs, I hadn’t even heard of Mixcraft. Good suggestions guys thanks.
I first learned on Pro Tools in college, and got an inexpensive version with an academic license, but once I upgraded my interface it didn’t work anymore and I looked into alternatives. First I tried FL Studio, because I already had it. It’s cool! Depending on what sort of music you make. Since I do mostly recorded stuff with some MIDI and almost no loops, it wasn’t ideal for me.
Now I use REAPER. I love it! It’s cheap and I find the workflow to be easy enough. I watched a series of video tutorials by “Kenny G” which were fantastic for giving me an overview. I’ve been too lazy to completely customize it to my liking, but at least I know I have the option, haha.
I use cubase and after I’d invested so much time and money into buying/learning it, am not in any hurry to change but… if I were starting again, I would absolutely choose Reaper.
I just now pulled up a childrens music project (target age 2-4 yrs old) that came in tonight from a New York based puppet company. As I started working on it, I just remembered that Cubase has arrangement features that Logic and PT don’t. There is a feature in Cubase that allows you to punch in chords in real time, and the DAW analyzes them and notates the chord progression in real time. I was just sitting here (in Logic) wishing I had this to work with. There’s also a think where you can cue different chunks of the song in succession. I retract the statement about Cubase having virtually no advantage over ProTools.
I worked with Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools. Now I prefer Reaper for mixing.
+1 for Reaper as well!
Workflow for editing, mixing, producing… is very efficient and is more or less brainless since it was designed with that in mind.
Lot of updates and new features very often, widely open on various formats (DDP export for instance).
Very flexible about your computer (Mac, PC, Linux, 32/64 bit, VST 2/3, AU, price, many updates, software protection…)
On the other side, menus (and sub-menus and sub-sub…) are longer then life, plugins UI are ugly, no synth or sampler, integrated reverb is a joke, no real integrated autotune-like tool, lot of options on the right-click menu, preference window is even longer than menus…
When working with loops or doing live performance, Live and FL Studio (Bitwig?) are better.
When writing songs with powerful synths, nice romplers, full pianos and so on, Cubase, Logic, PT… are better.
So here is my $0.02
How is your progress so far on the contest?
I think some of the Magix DAWs have Melodyne too. Have to check.
It so happens that Mixcraft Pro Studio 8 (the latest version with all bells and whistles) is on Black Friday blowout for $99 at the moment. That is a pretty amazing price for all this baby does…
I came from mainly a cubase background so it was easy moving to Studio One (created by ex cubase employee’s). I did that because X2 and cubase 7.5 were too unstable.
Never looked back.
Kind of overview
Reaper. It’s cost effective, extremely versatile, leaves a tiny fingerprint on your CPU, everything works with it easily, and it’s damn near open-source. They are constantly on top of upgrades and new features. And if you’re so cheap that you just can’t spring for the 60 dollar license, then the trial version is fully functional and never expires. Reaper is the best DAW going.
Pro Tools is good for two specific reasons:
- Dumb potential clients see “Pro Tools” and think it means pro results.
- It’s very good if you just want to be able to say “I use Pro Tools”.
No rush though, it’s not like it’s going to stop working or anything, if it does everything you need you could be good until it won’t run because of OS changes.