Switching DAWs

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Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 12:49

Ok, so I've been using Reason for the past year and a half or so. I like it, I like the workflow and the synths and all that, but recently I started wanting to try out something different. Who knows, maybe I'll work 5x as well if I have access to VSTs? Plus, if I do switch DAWs, there's always ReWire :3

First thing's first: I'm not looking to bankrupt my poor, 15-year-old self. Anything under 500 dollars is affordable at the moment (or will be soon, actually).

So the DAW I was looking towards buying is Cubase (no, not because deadmau5 uses it). But I took a look at KVR while I had some down time at school, and I found a whole host of pretty bad problems with Cubase 7 (which wouldn't be a problem if they still sold 6.5, but I don't think they do). Plus, it's uncomfortably close to my price limit. Also, I've heard that Cubase is more geared towards orchestral music, and I make house, not orchestral, so that might (probably won't) be a problem.

Another option for me would be Ableton Live 9. I haven't really looked into that one, but it seems quality and would probably be my choice if I decide I don't want Cubase. Is it just as good for producing as it is for live stuff?

One of the DAWs I am absolutely not going to get is FL Studio. I've tried it out and I really don't like the workflow or the GUI, very cluttered compared to how organized Reason is.

I don't want this to be a DAW war thread. I want objective opinions, not "Reason suxx fl is best daww" shit. If it goes that way I'll have a mod clean it up or lock the thread if it gets too bad. So please, what do you think?
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby bartekko » 10 Apr 2013 13:00

I personally think you should get the demo versions of ableton, cubase and flstudio and check them all out yourself, thoroughly checking out all the features of every daw because I am not you and there is no way i can objectively say which DAW is better for you. I use Ableton live 9 because i'm very comfortable with it's uncluttered, if spartan look and feel. also deadmau5 used ableton to produce all his professionally released albums until 2011
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 13:04

Yeah, I looked into it a little more and it seems like Ableton would be the best choice for me, but I will check out the Cubase demo as well. I'm not checking out FL because I already have tried it and I severely hate it.

How do Cubase and Ableton fare in the CPU department?
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Lavender_Harmony » 10 Apr 2013 13:53

It all depends on what you want. I'm absolutely in love with Ableton Live right now, and will be buying it at the next opportunity. It has a great workflow for making EDM, is very fluid and very kind to the CPU overall. Cubase is a bit of a hog, but is a fantastic DAW in and of itself, but definitely gears itself towards linear composing, which suits styles such as orchestral, rock, pop and so forth.

Live 9 is a huge update from 8, Live 7 felt like it wasn't sure what it wanted to be, 8 felt like an unfinished but competent DAW, and 9 is the finished thing, so from here on out we can only expect more great features. If you're honestly not sure, try the Ableton 9 demo, it lasts 30 days and is totally functional.

Also deadmau5 uses FL Studio for composition, Live for making his projects performable. http://www.image-line.com/documents/pow ... 1287669909
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 14:00

Actually, that's outdated information - deadmau5 used FL for like 10 years, then switched to Ableton from about 2008-2011, and currently produces in Cubase. I watch his streams, he actually talked about it in a recent one (well, complained about something in Cubase then talked about how annoying it is to learn a whole new DAW).

But thanks though :3
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Lavender_Harmony » 10 Apr 2013 14:15

Honestly? Just get the demo. Lite is extremely limiting and won't give you a good impression. Do register the license though, you get a great discount!
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 14:17

Oh, I didn't realize there'd really be a difference between Lite and the demo.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Raddons » 10 Apr 2013 14:19

While we are talking about making switches, does anyone here use trackers like OpenMPT to produce their tunes? I've gotten used to Famitracker and really like tracking in it, but it's obvious as to why that's limiting. I'd like to start tracking in OpenMPT, but I want to hear some opinions on it.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Venny_ » 10 Apr 2013 14:42

Ab-le-ton
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby hackd » 10 Apr 2013 14:48

Which version of Reason are you using? 5.0?

I'm really looking to upgrading to 7.0 this summer since it has plug-in support and audio tracks (and everything else you would expect it to have >_> )

Also, I would expect most DAWs to be more akin to FL Studios in set up. Reason is pretty unique in it's organization since it's based around hardware emulation.

But if you've got the money- from what I've heard- Ableton will be your best bet.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 15:07

Yeah, using 5 at the moment. Yes, I pirated it, don't cry about it. I'm actually going to buy my DAW soon though, Ableton if I decide to switch, Reason 6.5 if I don't.

I don't think 7 has plugin support though... at least, I haven't heard anything about it. Honestly I'm not liking the direction Propellerhead is taking with the software (ie milking money out of people for both basic DAW functions that should've been there in the first place, like raw audio editing, as well as milking money from the Rack Extension things, basically meaning there'll be very few devices added in updates. Hell, Kong was the only instrument in like 6 years or something...).

But this isn't the place for this discussion, I'm just throwing my opinions out there. I just downloaded the Ableton trial, so I'll check that out and report back soon/later. But first I gotta go back to Reason really quick, just came up with a kickass arp :3
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby HMage » 10 Apr 2013 15:12

Nothing else to add to what already has been said.

Demo all the DAW's.

Try to write something you've already written.

Find a collection of good VST's. You'll be spending on them too.

At some point DAW's don't matter anymore except that file A wont work in program B, which is annoying me like hell now.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby froggy » 10 Apr 2013 15:48

Used Logic for a year, switched to Live 8 (and free update to Live 9) and never really looked back. Live is probably the closest thing to Reason in terms of sheer routing flexibility (not sure about FL but you don't want it anyway), the racks are incredibly versatile and are by far my favorite feature of the whole program. The workflow is super fast as well, especially with the way that it integrates plugins into the device bar at the bottom. I also quite like the piano roll, while people have complained about it my only other experience is with Logic's, which was cumbersome as all hell. The one real downside of Live is that it's minimalist compared to Cubase from what I've heard (certainly minimalist compared to Logic), but what it does it does better than anything else IMO. Another downside is the fact that it doesn't compensate for plugin lag with automation, so if you chain up a bunch of effects on a single channel your automation can go out of time slightly. It's a pain in the ass, but I certainly wouldn't switch because of it. On the whole I imagine that Reason re-wired into Live would be a killer combination, give the trial a run and see if it works for you.

If you're willing to wait a bit you may also want to take a look at Bitwig Studio, which has been in beta for a long-ass time and is expected to come out sometime this summer. It's a new DAW by some old members of the Ableton team and it shows, it looks like Live on steroids. It's got some features planned that aren't in any other DAWs at the moment, shit's insane

edit:

Oh also, I just realized that you're probably going to want to buy some plugins if you end up going with Live. Live Suite is pretty expensive and the only two instruments that I ever use from it are Sampler and Operator, which are nice but probably won't suit all of your needs. I suppose you could re-wire Reason in for everything, but then you may as well just stick with Reason.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 15:55

Yeah, I know I'll need VSTs. Sylenth is probably the first I'll get. I've also been looking at Alchemy, but I don't know the cost of that one.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby froggy » 10 Apr 2013 16:04

Alchemy's $250, or $125 with the student discount. Worth it if you want a super versatile sample mangling tool with insane automation capabilities. What'd you be using it for?

Sylenth is a fantastic first choice btw, it was the last VA synth I bought and I feel like I would've spent a lot less on other plugins had I gotten it earlier (also 30% student discount if you contact Lennard)
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 16:05

I have no idea. Sampling, I guess?

I make house music, if that helps.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Lavender_Harmony » 10 Apr 2013 16:13

Honestly, Live handles that better than any VST could ever dream of. Sylenth is a great VST, and as long as you have a quality selection of samples, along with what you get in Live, you'll never need anything else :P Well... until the gear lust sets in.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby froggy » 10 Apr 2013 16:19

Alchemy can do basic VA/sampling work but it really shines at making atmospheric sounds and FX. I think Sylenth sounds much better as a VA, but Alchemy can't be beat when it comes to modulation and sheer versatility (except maybe by Zebra). There's a 4 week demo on Camel's website so give that a go I'd say, you may or may not find a use for it. Also I assume you've seen the tutorial series on Camel's YouTube page, definitely check those out if you haven't because it really demonstrates what Alchemy is good at.

I agree with Lav in that Live has great tools for sample manipulation (Live's Sampler is worth a purchase if you don't get the suite) but it doesn't do the insane Additive/Granular/Spectral shit that Alchemy excels at. Also Alchemy comes with a 6gb library of samples to work with and some of the expansions are really good for new sample material (Viral Outbreak in particular for EDM stuff). You could probably do without, but gear lust can be pretty strong (especially with student discounts and sales, my sig is proof of that).
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 16:56

How do I ableton

Seriously I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. But it's fun :3
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 17:10

Ok, I looked at the introductory thing and now have a basic idea of what I'm doing. Kinda.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Lavender_Harmony » 10 Apr 2013 17:20

Took me a couple of hours to get familiar, but it all starts to make sense after a while. The piano roll is pretty similar to Reasons, you just have a few key combinations to learn before you get into the groove of things.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby itroitnyah » 10 Apr 2013 17:45

Good thing you're skipping FL Studio. While FL is good, it fails miserably at some parts. Like, for example, if I put just a preset reverb in a mixer track that I want to use so that I can just route a track through the reverb, therefore making it so that if I want to apply reverb to multiple synths at the same time, I don't need to have 3 reverb units running at the same time. The catch is that when you route a track through another track, it sounds like you're highpassing the synth or drum, so if you route with a kick, it'll get really clicky and have next to no low end at all. That's the biggest problem with FL (although they do have "Insert" mixer tracks that I guess you could use, not quite sure whether they're the same for all synths or if they change based on what you put on them when you have a channel selected or something)

So yeah, Ableton or Cubase. I originally had Cubase in mind when I first started making music, but I failed at getting it, so I found LMMs, etc. Alex S. uses Cubase, last time I checked. Both are really good for everything, but just get Ableton, imo, because it has a few extra capabilities that will allow you to do more stuff when the time arrives, easier. Like doing live performances or whatever.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby the4thImpulse » 10 Apr 2013 17:58

Nine Volt wrote:Ok, I looked at the introductory thing and now have a basic idea of what I'm doing. Kinda.

I know my way around Ableton, I use it for both live performance and production work. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby froggy » 10 Apr 2013 18:12

itroitnyah wrote:Alex S. uses Cubase, last time I checked.


He switched to Ableton a while back
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Re: Switching DAWs

Postby Nine Volt » 10 Apr 2013 18:25

the4thImpulse wrote:
Nine Volt wrote:Ok, I looked at the introductory thing and now have a basic idea of what I'm doing. Kinda.

I know my way around Ableton, I use it for both live performance and production work. If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.

I will, thanks!
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