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Recommend me a DAW...

Postby BigAl » Thu May 09, 2013 12:42 pm

I never thought I'd see the day I'd be posting on the SOS forum in the Mac Music section or any computer section for that matter (unless offering general PC advice), but that day has come.
I now own a MacBook Pro and a Focusrite Forte, but now need DAW software.
Any suggestions?
Logic Pro & Digital Performer look pleasing to my eyes.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby caveman82 » Thu May 09, 2013 1:12 pm

Do you use more Midi than Audio? If so then Logic, Ableton are worth looking in to.

Do you use more Audio than Midi? Then Reaper, Digital Performer are worth looking at.

Which are in no way absolute rules in anyway. here are other DAW's though. The new version of Reason looks very nice indeed. Aside from Logic they all have demos, so it's worth trying before buying.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu May 09, 2013 1:42 pm

Bear in mind what DAWS people you may want to collaborate with use, I chose logic on that basis and have not been disappointed
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby BigAl » Thu May 09, 2013 2:42 pm

Cheers guys.

No collaboration.
Mostly audio recording.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby paul tha other » Thu May 09, 2013 2:56 pm

logic is pretty good...i use it mainly for audio and it was a bit of a learning curve(im a long time cubase user since the st days) but i got over that..its good..i like it...dont know if you can still get a hard copy or is an app store kinda vibe..try to get a hard copy..there is loads of loops and things that i have found handy for sound effect that come with the hard copy otherwise it would be a big download ..i could be wrong but im sure someone said to me that the hard copies are hard to get and you dont get all the loops with the download but i could be speaking rubbish there..
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby DAGGILARR » Thu May 09, 2013 3:33 pm

As far as I am aware the download is a complete copy of Logic Studio and at £149 is great value
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby turbodave » Thu May 09, 2013 3:38 pm

DAGGILARR wrote:As far as I am aware the download is a complete copy of Logic Studio and at £149 is great value

I think its PRO 9, not studio! and it's great! Dave
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby desmond » Thu May 09, 2013 4:48 pm

paul tha other wrote:i could be wrong but im sure someone said to me that the hard copies are hard to get and you dont get all the loops with the download but i could be speaking rubbish there..
paul

You get all the content that came with Logic Studio *except* the SoundTrack Pro content (as Soundtrack Pro is no longer a bundled app and is discontinued). The Soundtrack Pro content was mostly video/soundtrack/foley type stuff in the main.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby G-Doubleyou » Thu May 09, 2013 5:21 pm

Logic is a good place to start, it has enough instruments and effects for any production.

I used it for years before adding 3rd party plugs.

Also take a look at GarageBand, should already be installed on your machine.
The effects and instruments are simplified versions of the ones in Logic Pro.

I use GB as a sketch pad, then I open the sessions in Logic for adding details and mixing.

Check your current 3rd party plugs, most will have an OSX installer.

To get up to speed I suggest the video tutorials at Mac pro Video, or Groove3.

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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu May 09, 2013 7:35 pm

Long time Logic user here and it's now remarkable value.

Expect a learning period, as you would with any new DAW.

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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Gone To Lunch » Thu May 09, 2013 8:54 pm

I am very happy with Digital Performer, tho' it does have something of a collaboration problem, in that there are nowhere near as many DP users as there seem to be Logic and Cubase, apparently...

There is also gossip it is pretty good for doing sound to picture, but I personally have never done this sort of work....
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby daedalus » Thu May 09, 2013 9:56 pm

Gone To Lunch wrote:I am very happy with Digital Performer, tho' it does have something of a collaboration problem, in that there are nowhere near as many DP users as there seem to be Logic and Cubase, apparently...

There is also gossip it is pretty good for doing sound to picture, but I personally have never done this sort of work....

Can confirm this. Excellent for it. If not needed though, I'd go with Logic or Reaper, both for value and collaboration.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby fatbenelton » Fri May 10, 2013 12:05 am

There is now a 30 day demo of Digital Performer so you can try it out..........
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby caveman82 » Fri May 10, 2013 7:27 am

Logic too can be tried before buying, but it's a bit more of a awkward process well now anyway.

I first used it with a feature limited version which came free with a M-Audio soundcard I bought. If you still have a PC I imagine that disc could be found.

Also, I'm surprised no one's mentioned Pro Tools. Which is supposed to be the benchmark for audio.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby BigAl » Fri May 10, 2013 12:31 pm

I have the demo of DP which I will try over the next few days.
Logic is a bit of a bargain at 150 quid.

As an IT & practical person, I'll get my head around any of them probably.

Thanks for all the input.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby The_BPP » Fri May 10, 2013 12:45 pm

I know the answer to this one...

I recently purchased a piece of string - It is 7cm in length.

Hope this clears things up.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby paul tha other » Fri May 10, 2013 3:00 pm

[quote="The_Big_Piano_Player"]I know the answer to this one...

I recently purchased a piece of string - It is 7cm in length.

what if he want to do 12 inch remixes do you get a 12 inch piece of string to with it
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby shufflebeat » Fri May 10, 2013 3:10 pm

BigAl wrote:Cheers guys.

No collaboration.
Mostly audio recording.

...for now.

The worst criticism I've heard of Reaper is that it doesn't hold your hand. As an IT bod I think you'd appreciate the "set it how you like" approach and it's free to try the full featured programme. Eventually a little window will pop up to make you feel *really* mean for not paying the 12p asking price.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Wease » Fri May 10, 2013 4:43 pm

Logic is good cause (apart fro. Reaper) it's 'cheap' at £149
You do,have to download from the App Store, and you can choose how much of the sample gumpf you download....there is quite a lot, inclu. Apple loops etc etc....and probably not that useful too you. (I only have them for teaching work...not that inspiring or inspirational to be honest.

It works well as a 'tape recorder' with some reasonably tired but functional soft synths and plugin effects...has a relatively average flex time solution, but works very reliably and easy on a mac.......and runs very well with everything else in the apple world, which can be quite useful.

I like its mixer architecture ......think it's the best of the common daws
Cubase is better at midi IMHO (infact midi manipulation is poor in logic compared to every other daw)
Stock plugins and soft synths are not as good as good plugins and something like Komplete IMHO....from any DAW.
Apart from reaper....logic is cheap.....and that's really the crux. It's as good as anything else in its league for what you want to do

I miss Cubase sometimes, but not nearly enough to drop £300 on it....I didn't like the feel of reaper, and am far too damn lazy to learn another DAW...I can barely use logic properly.......so am quite happy
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Bazza » Fri May 10, 2013 4:56 pm

Logic, at the current price, is a no brainier in my opinion.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby jonesy » Fri May 10, 2013 7:24 pm

Yep - Logic at £139 is great value. I purchased it a couple of weeks back. I was trialling Reason 6.5, which I really liked, but couldn't justify the extra 200 quid.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby arkieboy » Fri May 10, 2013 8:24 pm

Ex cakewalk, cubase user, now logic. Works well for me. I only envy the cross fade tools in ProTools.

I do have minor problems in collaboration as most of my friends use ProTools but Logic makes it real easy to bounce out stems so all the problems are at the protools end. Serves them right! ;-)

Personally I don't agree that the soft instruments are tired. ES2 is a great synth - I have both MonoPoly and the Arturia mini moog soft synths and I don't often feel the need to choose either. ESX is as much a sampler as I need and its dead easy to create new presets from raw wavs. I would say that I found the EXS kits lacklustre so I use kitcore and the synth presets haven't been changed since Logic 8 so if you don't fiddle with your synths then you might be disappointed.

Otherwise it's difficult to compare because they're so deep - you just have to choose one and get used to it

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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Scope » Fri May 10, 2013 9:25 pm

For simplicity and cost. £139 on the App Store - Logic Pro 9
But 10 is about to be released so watch you don't have to spend your cash twice.
Apple are good at that.

For originality Digital Performer (8) it's a great app but pricey at. £350

For sound quality - Protools. Crap for midi work, but the depth of sound from the air instruments leaves the rest behind.
It's expensive for what you get, but it is very good. ( you do get hardware too)
And you will need an ilok.

I write in Logic
I mix in Protools

I'm not upgrading to dp8, not for £350.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby stratquebec » Sat May 11, 2013 2:02 am

Scope wrote:
But 10 is about to be released so watch you don't have to spend your cash twice.

Scope has a scoop or what?
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby FrankRaz » Sat May 11, 2013 3:25 pm

Logic is a no brainer at the price.

DP is probably better at audio but is it worth twice the price?
DP makes good use of space on a small screen.

Stay well clear of Cubase. Nothing against the program although I haven't tried the latest version. If you lose the Cubase dongle Steinberg make you pay full price for the program again. No excuses, no exceptions, quite a few unhappy people on the Steinberg forum.

Presonus Studio One is worth a look. Verrrry easy to use. Not as many "features" as the others but you'll be up and running before you've finished the Getting Started manual in anything else. There is a 30 day demo and a basic free version which is worth having in any case. http://studioone.presonus.com/free/
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby P-90Stu » Sun May 12, 2013 6:45 am

I highly recommend PreSonus Studio One (2.5) above anything else!

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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Paul Nagle » Sun May 12, 2013 8:47 am

I use Logic but pine for Cubase...
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby MonkeySpank » Sun May 12, 2013 2:32 pm

Wease wrote:infact midi manipulation is poor in logic compared to every other daw
Blimey Wease, I reckon Logic's MIDI abilities leave every other DAW for dust!

The OP is more interested in audio but Logic has to be the go-to sequencer if advanced MIDI is your game.
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby Wease » Sun May 12, 2013 3:08 pm

MonkeySpank wrote:
Wease wrote:infact midi manipulation is poor in logic compared to every other daw

Blimey Wease, I reckon Logic's MIDI abilities leave every other DAW for dust!

The OP is more interested in audio but Logic has to be the go-to sequencer if advanced MIDI is your game.


It has the 16 channel bottleneck...where all midi is bottled into 16 channels...so
You can't easily select alternative midi ports for individual instruments...like you can on Cubase...which are running on the same midi channel but on different physical midi inputs
You have to adjust each of your midi input devices to send on different channels...logic doesn't like receiving 2 inputs on one channel and separating them without messing about...
The piano roll system is clunky....quite difficult to adjust accurately velocity etc settings...and looks very dated
The environment.....what a completely off putting user experience....I'm not a computer programmer, I'm a musician....
You have to check demix by midi channel whilst recording....and select the midi instrument channels record for you to be able to play 2 different instruments with 2 different controllers...and start recording...which is not what I often want to do.

Logics midi is not condusive to multi-input midi live playing IMHO...and this is an issue for me....and the implementation of midi functions are quite difficult to achieve...in comparison to let's say cubases midi devices (like the arp) in plugin format...

However....it is cheap....the mixer is great....recording is good...and there are workarounds for the midi issues....but not very simple or elegant ones I'm afraid...


I suppose because one can set the environment to how you want it...you can create quite an advanced midi set-up....but it requires weird programming which is much more IT than Music....and seems too inaccessible in this day and age of drag n drop...would it cheapen logic to make it more user friendly? I don't know....

Completely without prejudice to your views and experiences monkey.....it's a very personal thing is midi implementation....and it's my only rant about logic....probably because I'm too damn lazy (and find it excruciatingly boring) to read manuals and computer programme when I want to make phat beats and sick tunes.....
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Re: Recommend me a DAW...

Postby desmond » Sun May 12, 2013 3:39 pm

Wease wrote:It has the 16 channel bottleneck...where all midi is bottled into 16 channels...so


Sure, but this is not really anything to do with "MIDI manipulation" as such, which I read as editing recorded data and doing things with it. But yes...

Wease wrote:You can't easily select alternative midi ports for individual instruments...like you can on Cubase...which are running on the same midi channel but on different physical midi inputs
You have to adjust each of your midi input devices to send on different channels...logic doesn't like receiving 2 inputs on one channel and separating them without messing about...


If you are using multiple MIDI instruments at once and what them all sending to the DAW, requiring more than 16 MIDI channels worth of data, the bottleneck issue is indeed a difficult one, other DAWs handle this better, including Cubase.

However, this affects a small potential user group, I would think the vast majority of people these days are using one or two controllers and any external MIDI gear is usually receiving from the DAW, rather than sending to it. These days it seems few people barely know what MIDI is, they just plug in their USB controller and go...

Wease wrote:The piano roll system is clunky....quite difficult to adjust accurately velocity etc settings...and looks very dated


The thing is, few people actually know and use the tools they have available to them. A strength of Logic is that you can use all the tools available to edit MIDI data at once - so, you can have a piano roll window open, showing notes and controllers, plus an event list or event float window, plus other windows, and this actually provides a far faster and more flexible environment to do complex MIDI edits than many other daws. The tools are there, just that many people barely scratch the surface... MIDI editing in Logic is very powerful and quick, if you watch a ninja at work.

And yes, some parts of Logic are old, outdated and clumsy, with origins from Notator Logic 1.x - we'll see what the next major version of Logic brings to the table, it's been a while, so they must have been doing something big - I hope it's modernising much of this stuff (including the environment).

Wease wrote:The environment.....what a completely off putting user experience....I'm not a computer programmer, I'm a musician....


Sorry, but it is not nearly as complex as people make out, just that many people assume it's complicated and don't even try to understand it. Most people anyway don't really need any of that stuff, but for the ones that do, it's a godsend - and again, you can't do much of that stuff in other DAWs. If you have no need to use it, no ones forcing you - but to say Logic isn't good at manipulating MIDI data when you can be bothered to learn just how good it is is a bit of a stretch!

(And no, the environment is not perfect by any stretch - but it does offer users tools to solve complicated bespoke problems that other DAWs simply cannot do - that alone is a spectacular feature.)

Wease wrote:You have to check demix by midi channel whilst recording....and select the midi instrument channels record for you to be able to play 2 different instruments with 2 different controllers...and start recording...which is not what I often want to do.


Sure, but if this is how you like to work, you set up your default templates and preferences *once* and you never have to worry about it again. Changing the MIDI channel on tracks is related to the bottleneck feature above, which we've already agreed is an issue if you want to work with multiple controllers - however it's not exactly a workflow impacting issue. There are plenty of similar workflow issues I have with Cubase (in fact, I find Cubase far slower and more window heavy that Logic in many ways, altjhough it has improved a lot in recent years.)

Wease wrote:I suppose because one can set the environment to how you want it...you can create quite an advanced midi set-up....but it requires weird programming which is much more IT than Music....and seems too inaccessible in this day and age of drag n drop...would it cheapen logic to make it more user friendly? I don't know....


There is no real "programming" as such, it is in fact drag and drop, with visual objects. In fact, for power users this is a bit of a weakness because if Logic *did* actually have programming objects like variables it would make complicated things *easier* and less obtuse to set up, if you need them. But of course, it's not for everybody - it's not intended to be, which is why it's in a window that doesn't need to even be opened for regular use of Logic.

Wease wrote:Completely without prejudice to your views and experiences monkey.....it's a very personal thing is midi implementation....and it's my only rant about logic....probably because I'm too damn lazy (and find it excruciatingly boring) to read manuals and computer programme when I want to make phat beats and sick tunes.....


Now if you want to discuss poor MIDI handling in DAWs, then look at Ableton Live, which has very poor MIDI handling (in terms of recording and editing, at least...)

Logic and Cubase are probably the gold standard of DAWs which still do *good* MIDI handling - everything else (not that sure about DP) is really less interested in MIDI and has it bolted on in a relatively rudimentary state, imo...

Just my tuppence-worth, fwiw...
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