Which DAW for composing?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by OldCorpse, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #1
    Which DAW do YOU use for composing? Specifically, I mean the kind of composing that comes out of playing around, doodling, experimenting, searching for inspiration, quick n' dirty...

    I've heard folks say they find Live best for that particular use, where Logic is too complicated and they use Logic for refining, mixing and production. Others say they use Logic for composing. Others Cubase. Etc.

    How about you? What's YOUR choice?
     
  2. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    #2
    I use a mixture of Reason and Garageband to sketch out ideas. Both are easy to use and quick to setup and so are ideal for this. With Reason I can muck about with different sounds and effects, whereas I use Garageband to lay out the basic structures of songs on guitar.

    The advantage of Garageband is that once I have the ideas and structure worked out, I can import the project directly into Logic Pro, and as you say, polish it up in there.

    Having said that, one of my colleagues is evangelical about Live, and I get a copy bundled with the new audio interface I'm picking up this afternoon, so I'll give that a trial run to see if that works for me.
     
  3. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

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    #3
    Nothing beats Ableton Live for playing around, doodling, and experimenting. You can download a free trial from the website.
     
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    +1

    This is especially true if you are in any way into using loops. Even if you aren't, Live offers a very nice way of experimenting with arrangements quickly and easily. Awesome, awesome tool!
     
  5. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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  6. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Of course, you'll need a dedicated PC for Gigastudio.
     
  7. 3rdpath macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #7
    yep, i really hated to court the dark side but there wasn't a suitable alternative. i just turn it on and load the sounds...i wouldn't know where to start if i wanted to run another pc program. but then again, the less programs on your rig, the better.

    I like DP for writing, recording and mixing. Pro tools is certainly the standard for post audio but I never was that happy with its midi implementation.

    bottom line though...you can't blame the program if the music isn't working... thats why I was pretty harsh to the guy ranting on reason. it's lame to blame the tools.
     
  8. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #8
    Logic.

    I don't find it hard to use at all - it's certainly a lot more intuitive than Cubase...I mean what is it with loading a Virtual Instrument in that thing? I tried it for a day and gave up.

    Either way, I think you have to use what's comfortable. As somebody else said, it's the idea of literally loading it up and being ready to go. Lovin it!
     
  9. e-clipse macrumors 6502

    e-clipse

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    #9
    I don't disagree with you but, Reason's samples are mediocre. But, you can make some amazing pieces. All my latest tracks have been created mostly in Reason, except school projects.
     
  10. e-clipse macrumors 6502

    e-clipse

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    #10
    I hate Cubase's gui, it has a sharp learing curve. I could get the VST plugins(virtual instruments) to load, but it still seemed more awkward than any of the other recording software I have experimented with.

    My audio engineering professors all totally dig Steinberg Cubase, but when asked what they use in their studio, they all reply Pro-Tools. Pro-Tools is what is mainly taught in school as well. I wonder if colleges get fringe benefits from Digidesign.:p (same goes for the rediculous number of Yamaha NS10'S everywhere)

    I, myself want to go the route of Logic, in the next couple of years. I really like the user interface. It is like the more experienced father of Garageband.
    I will also keep up with the times of Pro-Tools , as any engineer working in the biz has to keep up with.
     
  11. slb macrumors 6502

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    #11
    You know, I used to scour the Internet looking for a definitive answer to what was the best DAW, and I was always annoyed when people said it mattered what was best for you and what you're trying to do. Having tried many DAWs since, I now know it's true. There is no best one. You just have to try them and see if you like them. I use Logic.
     
  12. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #12
    Certainly right.

    I think for some people, myself included, they were brought up using a particular DAW - I was forced into logic when composing at school (As was I with sibelius, which I still use every day now) and it's stuck ever since. I think that has a big effect on people's choice too - people like what they're used to no?
     
  13. mus0r macrumors regular

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    #13
    MOTU here. DP 4.6 and an 828 mkII plus a rack full of synths and whatnot.

    I think if I ever upgrade my hardware I'll go Apogee, just for the sake of quality.

    I still don't understand everyone's fixation with PT. I understand that back in the day computers didn't have the power to do what they can now, and the DSP cards PT offered were a godsend, but I see no reason to buy a PT rig anymore. You can get comparable quality converters from Apogee and others, you can get *better* software from MOTU or Apple, and buying two (or 3) G5s is still less than 50% of the cost of an HD core.
     
  14. howesey macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    DAW? A DAW is hardware.

    You mean a sequencer.


    I use Logic, along with Cubase if I want to do some very good MIDI work. I do not want to go the Protools route as I will have to fork out in Protools hardware. Why bother, when you can get just as good or even better hardware for the same money, and you can use it on other sequences. Logic IMHO is as good as Protools, and it can do MIDI very well. I also use a bit of Audition some days.
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    huh?

    i'm quite certain the ProTools on my screen is software.
     
  16. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    #16
    I've heard DAW being used to mean exclusively hardware, exclusively software and a combination of the two. I think it's just one of those terms that gets used flexibly.

    Personally I would use DAW to mean a combination of the hardware and software.
     
  17. daviddamonkey macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Yeah, to be honest (and to continue to drag this thread OT, sorry) I first heard DAW as meaning a physical interface that you used to control the sequencer (ie: Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase) software; basically a big mouse shaped like a mixing console.

    I have, however, heard the software end referred to as DAW as well more recently.
     
  18. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #18
    to me, it's the software, assuming it's running on a computer (laptop or desktop, i mean).
     
  19. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #19
    Digital Audio Workstation implies neither hardware or software.

    The term is used amongst the media world to mean the whole "processing audio toolkit"
     
  20. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

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    #20
    Obviously it depends on preference blah blah blah...

    But in my personal experience certain programs are better suited to certain situations. Lots of people love Reason and Live for ambient, dance and general loopy instrumental stuff. Logic is generally considered The King for, well, songy songs (!) if you see what I mean :) ... it's got a tough learning curve, though. Be prepared to spend a year swearing at it before you learn to love it.

    I'm sure Cubase et al are good to, but I they don't get used so much in the industry due to their incompatibility with Pro Tools hardware, so I don't have much experience with them. Logic is so massively flexible and feature-rich (some would say bloated) that, once you're used to it you can do pretty much anything... except really cool audio editing. Pro Tools rocks for that (that, the hardware and its ease-of-use explain its ubiquity in the Studio world).

    Hope that helps :eek:
     
  21. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #21
    Cubase just feels like a windows app. I use it only because it came with my Alesis mixer.
    I am saving up for:
    Apogee Ensemble
    Apogee Big Ben
    Logic Pro 7
    PowerMac G5 quad with 16 gigs o' RAM
    Reason
    Mackie C4 controller+mackie universal controller+macke conroler extender
    CME UF8 88-key MIDI controller
     
  22. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #22
    that would be a nice setup. but you gotta get some mics to go with that ensemble!
     
  23. acoosticzoo macrumors newbie

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    #23
    +1 yes that was in 2006. how about now? 2009. Most commercial studios seems to be using protools especially colleges, universities, but there is growing number of Logic Studio 9 users too. It's hard to see the industry changing from a proven DAW that delivers 24/7. The recent plague of bugs in Logic 9 and Logic 8 haven't been resolved yet and it such a shame, cos many people including me would love to see a real decent alternative to Pro tools HD systems. One that can do everything, composing mixing producing etc. with Serious Raw Processing Power.

    I predict that protools will be 50- 60% cheaper in the next few years, in order to stay competitive with the growing CPU speeds and other DAW's having fairly similar features and quality.

    Apple Mac Pro's now cos around 3.3k USD for an 8 core nehalem 2.26 ghz. It's speed in my estimation would be close to a HD3 system and definately more than a HD2 system.

    Many studios with Protools HD systems are switching to PC to host HD cos Mac Pro's are quite expensive atm. So for logic users, it's a real hurdle to interface with commercial studios that use PC's and Protools HD.

    I predict a real significant shake up in the industry in 3-5 years from now when studios will be considering mandatory upgrades for Pro tools HD. You can't be the market leader selling the same old technology that's over 5 years old. imo, Mac Pro's with DP, Logic, Cubase or Nuendo will be a serious contenders by 2011.

    The best DAW to stay current and get working with Top Industry Professionals in commerical recording studios is still Pro Tools 8. However, its expensive to purchase Pro Tools HD's, And the cheaper entry level LE systems are deliberately limited with no Plugin Delay Compensation.

    Josef Horhay
    Mixing Engineer
    www.acoosticzoo.com
    acoostic zoo recording studio
     
  24. StephenDaniel macrumors newbie

    StephenDaniel

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    #24
    Fact.

    Aside from Ableton I'm pretty keen with Cubase SX3 and Pro tools 8. Digidesign really upped the anti with PT8 as far as music composition goes and they FINALLY have calibrated meters. I like it.:D
     
  25. Dirty Harry macrumors member

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    #25
    Is Pro Tools hardware indispensable to learn PT?

    I would like to know how much is the dedicated hardware indispensable to use Pro Tools.

    -Can I use a regular midi to usb cable to conect it to a Keyboard?
    -Can I use the internal audio output/input on a Mac to record basic audio?

    This is straightforward in Garageband or Logic, I believe.

    I only need to do basic stuff, still I'd like to learn the industry standard, specially now it comes with Sibelius integrated score editor.

    Thank you!
     

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