You are here

advice on purchase of new software recording package

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Richard223 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:06 pm

Hello there,

As a newcomer to music recording, I was wondering if you could give me some advice: I am considering purchasing a new music production/recording software package. At present I am using Cakewalk Sonar 4 for audio (guitar/bass/mic) recording, with Reason 2.5 for midi recording. However, life is not simple at present as I find that these two packages are not that compatible with each other, and in any case, Cakewalk is not particularly user-friendly. (I can create music on Reason but am having problems with rewire to import into Cakewalk - and to allocate Reason tracks one by one into Cakewalk).

I have done some reading on the web and narrowed down my choice of potential purchase to: either M-Audio’s Pro Tools M-Powered 8 ( I already have an M-Audio 1010 LT soundcard) or Cubase 5. Basically, I want to keep things as simple and professionally sounding as possible (I used to love the ease of 4-track cassette recording!). I am looking to continue to use Reason and to import Reason files into my next music production software application. From my research, I am led to believe that Pro Tools is very user-friendly. Having said that, Cubase 5 sounds very easy to use too. Given that (1) I am hoping to continue to use Reason, (2) I already have an M-Audio sound card, and (3) am hoping my next software purchase will last me for years, do you believe it makes sense for me to go with Pro Tools? I notice that both applications are on the market for around the same price.

I thank you in advance for any advice you can offer me.

Many thanks,

Richard
Richard223
Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby The Elf » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:51 pm

Welcome! :D

This question is coming up a lot recently. Try a search and you will find them.

Short answer? I wouldn’t touch Pro Tools LE with a bargepole – and I own it!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13033
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Richard223 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:49 pm

Thanks Elf. Perhaps I'll take a gamble on Cubase. I hope this offers me what I'm after - ease of use and high performance. Do you know of any websites that offer independent/comparative reviews of such software applications?
Thanks again for your guidance,
Richard
Richard223
Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Chevytraveller » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:40 pm

If you are used to using Reason, then you really ought to check out the new Record Software which incorporates Reason..
There is a review in this month's SOS and I was lucky enough to try out the Beta version before release. If you like the simplicity of tracking, then I would heartily recommend it.. certainly check it out :bouncy:
User avatar
Chevytraveller
Frequent Poster
Posts: 936
Joined: Sat May 13, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Hastings
Soft: MBP 15", X-Station, LogicX, Mainstage 3, Korg legacy, Diva, Alchemy, FabFilter.
Hard: Mostly now all for sale.. but Akai MPC Live, Tasty Chips Gr-1, Roland Promars, AS Telemark,  Eurocrack disease

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby adrian_k » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:02 pm

FWIW I switched from Cubase to Sonar becuase I didn't find the Cubase user interface very friendly. Mind you that was back in about 2000, things are different now. I guess it's all very personal.

But I would definitely avoid PTLE as it still doesn't have delay compensation - making it a bit of a challenge to use in my view.
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Gloucestershire
getting better all the time..

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby The Elf » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:33 pm

Richard223 wrote:Do you know of any websites that offer independent/comparative reviews of such software applications?
Be nice, wouldn't it, but no. SOS is as close as you'll get. You're not going to get get a definitive "A is better than B, because..." comparison, any more than you could say "pair of trousers A is better than trousers B, because...".

It rather depends on whether you want to climb mountains or play snooker - and there will always be one bright spark in a forum thread who will argue that mountaineer's trouser are better for snooker playing because...

A less costly risk would be Cockos Reaper. I have used it a few times and continue to nibble at it from time to time to see what's new - very good software indeed, but Cubase does it all for me at the moment.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13033
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby jayzed » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:23 pm

I would not say that you'll get anyone who is objective to say that PT8 is easier to use than Cubase for music production, they can both cause a bit of head scratching until their way of working has been sussed. For me, PT seems to handle audio editing more easliy whereas Cubase allows MIDI stuff that PT is some way from, even now.

The consensus amongst people who use multiple applications tends to be that whichever one suits the way you work, the work you are doing and your way of thinking is the easiest one to use - of the major selling packages at least.

There are alternatives that emphasise ease of use, however. I have recommended Garageband several times if a Mac is anywhere on the horizon.
I had a look at the previous version of Steinbergs' Sequel and didn't really like it but I believe the new version fixes many of the things that I didn't like and it's Steinbergs' answer to Garageband - and, of course, it works on a PC.
Traktion is raved about by it's users and I found it easy to get along with in my brief time with it. Although it does 'think' differently to other apps it wouldn't really take much more to switch to or from than any other package, in my opinion.

As previously suggested, if you like the way Reason works then Propellerheads new Record would seem like the answer to your search. The recent review in SOS was very positive, I think. I haven't used it myself but the props do know how to do intuitive. Then, of course, there's Live. Brilliant for loops as well as pretty good for standard recording. I don't get along with it but that's a personal preference - I like doing my editing at the audio level rather than pattern so I quite like the tape machine paradigm, probably showing my age. Not that Live can't do that and do it well but I've just never really gone the Live way.


I've only used Sonar once and although it was impressive it did seem a little fiddly to me, once again a personal preference.

Then there's the Magix ones, Sequoia and Samplitube. No idea but once again, their users rave about them.

And, of course, the musicians fave, Reaper which I've never even touched although I do plan to have a look one day.

Last on my list (but certainly not the only others) there's Logic and Digital Performer on the Mac. Personally, I really dislike Logic but I seem to be alone in this. DP I've only had a quick play with and it seemed fine.

Now for sound quality. You are not going to get significantly different sound quality with any of these packages (I'm guessing with Record but I'd be surprised if it was any different) as all of the ones I know about use either 32 bit floating point or 48 bit fixed point calculations.

Your sound quality will come from your mics, pre-amps and converters or the quality of your virtual sound sources. Then on the way out on the quality of your converters and monitoring. What you do between these can pretty much be done on any of these programmes and is mostly down to your skill, with a little bit of assistance from your plugins which you can get for just about any programme except Record, I think. Record has it's own great stuff though and if you have Reason it would seem that you can use Reasons pretty good effects inside Record.

Maybe now you can see why it's so hard to get anything definitive? They're all pretty good these days and people I speak to seem to use whichever one they came across first and didn't hate or whichever one their friends or work colleages use.

FYI, I use Cubase and PT at home on PC. PT and Logic at work (with some visibility of DP) on Macs.
User avatar
jayzed
Frequent Poster
Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:00 am
Location: North London

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Richard223 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:04 am

Thanks guys for all of this useful feedback. Lots of food for thought. Would I be right in saying that by using Reason alongside Pro Tools, you're then getting the equivalent midi functionality that Cubase offers? (Basically I'm wondering whether for me it's a case of Pro Tools + Reason versus Cubase) or am I missing the point? One quick, final question if I may - I've picked up on the issue of Pro Tools lacking latency compensation on the LE version. Is this true of the M-Powered 8 too? From what I can see, Cubase is the application of choice for most of you so it sounds like this app will meet all of my needs.
Thanks again guys and apologies for my naive questions!
Richard
Richard223
Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby The Elf » Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:23 am

Richard223 wrote:Would I be right in saying that by using Reason alongside Pro Tools, you're then getting the equivalent midi functionality that Cubase offers?

No.

Richard223 wrote:I've picked up on the issue of Pro Tools lacking latency compensation on the LE version. Is this true of the M-Powered 8 too?

Yes.

Richard223 wrote:From what I can see, Cubase is the application of choice for most of you so it sounds like this app will meet all of my needs.

If I was choosing today it would be between Cockos Reaper (economy choice), Cubase (bank for bucks) and Pro Tools HD (money no object).
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13033
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Richard223 » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:47 pm

Wonderful. Thanks once again Elf for your support. I think I've seen the light!
All the best,
Richard
Richard223
Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Mel David » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:25 pm


Post deleted.

No adverts please.

Mods.
User avatar
Mel David
New here
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 01, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Sydney

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby IvanSC » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:27 pm

There again, I currently use a cocktail of Sonar, Reaper and Something Else not generally available.
have used PT proper a lot and like it but hated PT LE.

Logic I found illogical, at least the user interface.
My initial forays into the world of Cub Base were the same as with Logic - could not get used to the user interface at all.
I actually got given various versions of Sound Diver that were "guaranteed to make life easier" with whatever bit of hardware they got bundled with.
Without exception a total PITA and for me unusable.
As always your mileage may vary, but the real answer is to downl,oad demos and ignore anyone that does not offer one.
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3025
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Let me share my recipe for Wabbit stew with you!

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby John Willett » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:40 am

Personally I used Samplitude for many years and then upgraded to Sequoia (Samplitude's top version).

I have found it superb for everything I do - include CD mastering and burning.

There are lots of different versions from Samplitude SE for about £50 all the way up to Sequoia at over £2,000.

You can download a free trial of Samplitude Pro from the link above if you want to try it out before buying.
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6502
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby IvanSC » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:49 pm

every time you recommend samplitude I fully intend to go check out the demo and for whatever reason I dont.
This time I will persevere, John.

well i did persevere, have registered with them, got my email and logged on and..... no sign of a demo, even on the addons and demos link.

now where is the scratching head smiley....? :?
User avatar
IvanSC
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3025
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 1:00 am
Location: UK France & USA depending on the time of year.
Let me share my recipe for Wabbit stew with you!

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby John Willett » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:20 pm

IvanSC wrote:every time you recommend samplitude I fully intend to go check out the demo and for whatever reason I dont.
This time I will persevere, John.

well i did persevere, have registered with them, got my email and logged on and..... no sign of a demo, even on the addons and demos link.

now where is the scratching head smiley....? :?

Oh dear - I'll post your comments on the Samplitude forum to see if someone can help you.

Did you try ringing Samplitude support?
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6502
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby John Willett » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:46 pm

John Willett wrote:
IvanSC wrote:every time you recommend samplitude I fully intend to go check out the demo and for whatever reason I dont.
This time I will persevere, John.

well i did persevere, have registered with them, got my email and logged on and..... no sign of a demo, even on the addons and demos link.

now where is the scratching head smiley....? :?


Oh dear - I'll post your comments on the Samplitude forum to see if someone can help you.



Well - I posted on the Samplitude forum and got an immediate answer. :D

The link you need to the download page is HERE.

I hope this works for you.
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6502
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Africola » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:14 pm

Samplitude. Super program, 11 is fantastic! Just got the Sequoia version.
Love the Vandal Amp and Vita. 8-)

http://dl02.magix.net/eversion/download?cookietest=1&file=2008%2Fsamplitude10%2Fint%2Fsamplitude10dlv_eng.exe&lang=US
Africola
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby Richard223 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:16 pm

I finally took the plunge and purchased Cubase 5. It arrived today. So far so good. In fact I'm very pleased with what I've worked out so far. (Thanks Elf for your guidance a while back!). One question if I may - do you think this purchase has effectively made my copy of Reason 2.5 redundant? Or is there still a place for Reason 2.5 to operate alongside Cubase 5 via Rewire? I am sure time will tell however just looking to hear some initial feedback.
Thanks as always guys.
Richard223
Richard223
Poster
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 am

Re: advice on purchase of new software recording package

Postby John Willett » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:16 pm

Africola wrote:Samplitude. Super program, 11 is fantastic! Just got the Sequoia version.

Yup - Ordered my Sequoia 11 upgrade on Friday, expecting it any day now. :D
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6502
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: MOF, Sam Spoons