DAW Reccomendations

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Djchaos, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #1
    Ive been fooling around with garageband for almost a year now and im starting to feel very constricted as far as creativity goes. I like to improvise and just record stuff real quick to get some ideas for a song on guitar and piano(via midi) but after that, thats about all i can do in garageband now. So since this is my first mac(unibody macbook) and i dont know many DAWs for it, i was hoping to get some reccomendations. something with an easy to intermediate learning curve hopefully. Ive tried logic and i dont really like it at all and it has alot to do with the UI.

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #2
    best bet is to try the major ones: ProTools, Digital Performer, Cubase, Ableton Live, and see which one suits you.

    i get along great w/ PT, it suits my workflow well. DP frustrated me and i couldn't get any work done at all in Logic.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #3
    I'd say learning curve on any DAW is quite steep but with a bit of effort and the powers of the internet, you'll be fine.

    I've used PT for around 5 years and Logic for the last 6 months, but I was trained in that by someone who's used it for years, so I know it pretty well.

    I am now a complete Logic user. I use it to write songs and do a lot of MIDI editing. Logic's MIDI stuff is FAR superior to PT or Live, and it definitely makes a difference for songwriting (which is mainly what I do). I think PT is better for general recording and audio editing (I still hate editing audio in Logic).

    But as said above, try n get ahold of each one and give it a run through, see what you think. I'd definitely give a vote for Logic.

    JC
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #4
    Logic appears to have become the accepted standard these days. GarageBand is of course, at least partly based on Logic. So Logic (or Logic Express) could be the sensible path to take.
    I also find myself having to give Reaper a mention. I've been trying it out recently, and although its still a beta, I am amazed how good and feature full it is. Plus its very cheap at around $60 for a license. But it doesn't behave like bargain basement software, all things considered.

    One more odd ball suggestion.. Propellerheads 'Record' It's not out quite yet. But you can beta test it for free. I've been testing it (lightly) for the past 2 or 3 weeks and it really is looking extremely good so far. If you don't need midi output from your DAW, then i'd strongly urge you to keep an eye on this..
    The workflow is completely different to any other DAW software i've seen. Yet it's quite intuitive with it. No VST or AU support either. But this isn't as bad as it sounds.. The included effects don't leave you wanting. Plus keeping it all in house does wonders for stability, as any Reason user will tell you.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    ??????
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    RE: DAW Reccomendations

    RE:
    "something with an easy to intermediate learning curve hopefully. Ive tried logic and i dont really like it at all and it has alot to do with the UI."

    I've only tinkered with Logic and didn't care for the user interface, either.

    ProTools has a pretty steep learning curve, so I hear.

    My suggestion: Cubase.

    You didn't say which interface you're using - some come with Cubase LE bundled right in for free.

    Cubase Studio is a bit more expensive, but there is an "intermediate choice" called "Cubase Essentials" which is $100. It's a "midway version" between "LE" and the "full, Studio" Cubase, offering a mix of both power and ease-of-use.

    I've not seen ANY other DAW software that is as easy to use as is Cubase for simple editing tasks, such as changing audio levels within clips, and cutting/pasting/moving clips of audio around.

    I think it's worth investigating.

    - John
     
  7. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #7
    fwiw, i was able to use it immediately. the stuff i needed to learn later was pretty easy to figure out, i thought.

    but, i come from a tape and desk background, so maybe there's something about the way PT was designed to make that transition easier.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Luap

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    #8
    Very descriptive comment..

    Logic has become somewhat of a standard amongst Mac users. Like it or not. That doesn't mean im saying its the best though (because thats subjective). But for someone that is used to GarageBand, Logic is an obvious candidate to put at the top of the list of apps to check out.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    my anecdotal experience is that PT use dominates Logic use. do you have some kind of numbers to show marketshare?
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    pkoch1

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    He was commenting on how Logic is not the standard now. In the USA it is more common than Cubase or DP for audio recording, but is still far from the standard. You can walk into 99.9% of studios nowadays and expect a Pro Tools rig, but I'd imagine that in many cases there would be some strange configuring to do if you requested Logic.

    That said, Logic is a perfectly acceptable suggestion for someone who is moving up from GarageBand ;)
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #11
    hmm. is there anyway of testing pro tools without buying any of the hardware? I saw some videos on it and it looks similar to fruity loops which i am very familiar with from my windows days. i would consider it if i could atleast try it out.
     
  12. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    One of the advantages of going with Logic is that it is a little bit like Garage Band and you already know that. Also Logic will open GB projects directly so you can continue to use your old work. I doubt you will find anything with a faster learning curve.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #13
    what happened to Pro Tools?:confused:
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    RE: DAW Recommenations

    RE:
    "is there anyway of testing pro tools without buying any of the hardware? I saw some videos on it and it looks similar to fruity loops which i am very familiar with from my windows days. i would consider it if i could atleast try it out."

    ProTools _requires_ DigiDesign hardware, and won't run without it.

    The only exception I know of is the "M-Powered" version of ProTools which is designed to work with certain M-Audio interfaces.

    So - if you want to use ProTools, you'll have to buy either a DigiDesign interface, or M-Audio interface....

    - John
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #15
    To say that logic is the new standard daw is nothing short of absurd. Pro tools has been and will be the industry standard for a long time. That said, logic is a very capable program. I use it for all of my home recordings and find it very intuitive. And as someone noted, you can import your GarageBand projects straight into logic, which could be handy for you. I know you said you didn't like the ui of logic when you tried it but my advice is that any daw is going to seem confusing and intimidating at first. You might as well just bear down and learn it.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #16
    This polls may interest you:

    What Plugin Format You Using? - let's get the numbers
    The one plug-in format that got the most votes is VST (on PC).
    Among the Mac users, which are relevant to this forum, the dominating plug-in format is AudioUnits, with 25% (of the total voters). VST got only circa 4% of the Mac votes. TDM/Mac got circa 16% (of the total votes), and RTAS/Mac got circa 12% (of the total votes).

    This means that AU is the leading plug-in format on the Mac platform, but that Digidesigns two plug-in formats combined got cirka 3% more votes than Apple/Logic's AU format. So at the moment, Pro Tools is a tad stronger than Logic.


    "Native" is the future. The numbers above tell a lot about what native format that is dominating the Mac platform. According to that survey, there are already more than twice as many AudioUnit users as there are RTAS users. (AU is Apple/Logic's plug-in format, RTAS is Pro Tools' native plug-in format). These numbers bode well for the AU format (which isn't even supported by Pro Tools), especially considering that RTAS has been around for ages while the AU format was introduced some 7 years ago only.

    According to The ultimate Logic / native / Pro Tools, circa 25% are happy with the Pro Tools software and will probably never move over to Logic, but 38% voted that they're happy with the Logic software and will probably never move over to Pro Tools.

    7% voted that they already had switched from Logic software to PT software, but more than three times as many, 24%, said that they had already switched from PT software to Logic software.

    Only 4% voted that they were frustrated over native latency/DSP issues in Logic, and need TDM hardware, but almost 35% (almost none times as many) stated they use Logic and will get a faster Mac if I need more DSP/lower latency/have done that. This suggests that the future for Digidesign DSP card based model isn't really bright.





    PS - there's an interesting PT/Logic discussion here:
    PT to Logic
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #17
    I saw the title of the thread and though "FLAME ON".

    Singe your going from Garageband, try logic express.

    Are you a college student? Logic Studio for $150 at the bookstores.

    Also I noticed your screen name, do you DJ? Maybe try out Ableton Live 8.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #18
    thanks for the links. i'd seen the first GS thread, but not the 2nd.

    the thing that i took away from the first (plugins) poll is that, at least for GS users, PT (all formats and machines) and VST (all machines) is basically neck and neck.

    what's interesting there is that only PT uses TDM and RTAS, whereas a number of DAWs (Cubase, Nuendo, Samplitude, Sequoia, Logic) use VST. so i think the slant here is towards PT.

    i don't think there's much dispute there. what the industry is waiting to see is how digi, errr..., Avid is going to respond. But i think there will always be a niche for other options (Radar, for example).

    i'll assert that, currently, PT dominates in the for-hire studio world. in the home studio world, i think it's not as clear, though it seems PT still does have the most marketshare.

    in no way shape or form do i think it's accurate to proclaim that, today, Logic is the "accepted standard." not only does Logic not have the marketshare, but there's serious concern that Apple either isn't dedicating the resources it needs to keep competitive, or that Apple may ditch the product entirely.

    i have similar concerns about how Avid is going to handle PT in the coming years. who knows what the audio scene will look like in 5 years?
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #19
    Hi,
    Logic doesn't use VST (and AFAIK, Cubase/Nuendo don't use AU, but I'm not sure about this one...).


    In my experience, the 'accepted standard' in high-end rental studios has been PT (TDM) for some years. After Apple started to give away Logic and all those plug-ins, sounds and extra apps for free, all these studios seem to have Logic installed as well (if only to be compatible with their clients).

    What I've seen lately is that more and more high end users keep their PT rig but start to work natively in parallel with using TDM, normally with Logic.

    Well.... marketshare and marketshare are two different things. In the Mac world, PT (the TDM version) represents a very small part of the total market, simply because of it's price (also because it currently is dramatically overpriced), and because all other systems cost only a fraction of a HD rig (which still is more or less priced according to the value of a PT HD rig anno last century).

    If we're talking about total marketshare (all installed DAWs on Apple computers), Logic's marketshare is rather massive, for various reasons - one being that all Macs come with GarageBand (= Logic Extra Light) preinstalled.

    No way... the only reason they IMO possibly would ditch Logic would be if they launched a new DAW, competing with Logic - just like Emagic ditched Notator for Logic. If they'll do that, I'm sure there will an upgrade path, and a certain level of backwards compatibility.

    I've owned every Pro Tools rig from PT four voice up to (and including) PT HD, but being fluent in Logic was a requirement for getting the last major projects I've worked on. Artists and composers know that they don't need PT HD to make and record good music anymore, and the LE version of Pro Tools is partially crippled, partially inefficient. After the release of Logic 8, Apple put a lot of effort into increasing performance (track/plug-in count), both with the two sub-releases of Logic and the sub-releases of Leopard.

    In a way it's kind of unfair... but one can't really beat a company that both owns the hardware, the OS and the DAW.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #20
    albeit these posts are helpful, is there any known way for me to maybe try PT without any of the hardware? Because dont you need some type of digi design hardware to even get it to run? or is it something else?

    edit: oh, and btw no i dont dj, but i do like to fool around with club/dance music. if that makes any difference lol.
     
  21. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #21
    no, you'll have to go to a store or find a friend.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #22
    damn ok. Well i noticed that it was compatible with M-audio hardware. if i buy a fast track usb for guitar input, would i be able to use any version of pro tools? or just the m-audio designed one? also would i be able to use a regular midi controller even though its not a digi design one once i have the fast track?
     
  23. macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    chicago
    #23
    PT-M is the version of PT that works w/ M-Audio. the digi site lists the differences between the versions.
     

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