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My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

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Pro Tools: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:51 pm

Despite it being one of the most widely used DAWs, hardly anyone has posted their favourite Pro Tools features and functions, so I'll bite.

(1) It's NOT customisable.

The more I use it, the more I think this is a strength rather than a weakness. Pro Tools has an amazingly deep, consistent and well thought-out system of key commands that you can't change. And I don't want to. They have been set up by people who know the program far better than I ever could. I will become a more effective user by learning those shortcuts than by trying to devise my own.

(2) Audio editing.

This has already been alluded to. Pro Tools just got it right first time and although vaguely similar features have been added in other DAWs, like the Range Selection tools in Cubase, they don't have the same beautiful simplicity.

(3) Mix and Edit groups.

See above.

(4) AudioSuite plug-ins.

Yes, it is still really useful to be able to apply audio effects off-line in a really simple way. No it's not the same as bouncing or rendering a real-time effect. And there are processes you can apply using AudioSuite that aren't possible in real time.

(5) Mono / stereo / surround handling.

A variant on (1) really. I actually dislike DAWs where a single track type can be a container for mono, stereo, MIDI, surround or whatever. It's just confusing and you never quite know what you have on any given track. Pro Tools just has mono tracks that scale up through stereo and mullti-channel, and it's really clear what the track contains and what any plug-ins are doing to increase or decrease that channel count.

One related tiny feature that PT gets right and nothing else does... want to split a stereo clip to two mono ones or vice versa? Simple, just drag it onto a pair of mono tracks!

(6) The Import Session Data... option.

Makes it super easy to import exactly what you want from an existing project into the one you're working on.
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Re: Reaper: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions.. BUT...

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:58 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:Don't get me started ...

I don't think we need to :)

I think there's the makings of a great Reaper Techniques article there.

CC
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Matt Houghton » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:16 pm

blinddrew wrote:They do say that Reaper is a journey from Aaargh! To Aah!

Yep. That's spot on. I've always maintained that moving to Reaper from another DAW requires a significant upfront investment of your time, and some non-urgent non-critical material to use while you figure out your workflow. Then the many pennies start to drop and you wonder how you lived without it...
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby CS70 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:24 pm

Terrible.dee wrote:AUDIO EDITING IN PROTOOLS

Yep, only ONE DAW has acceptably implemented the editing of digital audio....ONLY ONE!!

Whatever it is that you smoked, must have been pretty good! :D
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:39 pm

Matt Houghton wrote:I've always maintained that moving to Reaper from another DAW requires a significant upfront investment of your time, and some non-urgent non-critical material to use while you figure out your workflow.

(My emphasis)

Yep, that one I can attest to, as I learned it the hard way last night. That was 100% my fault of course :D
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:44 pm

Thus are the best lessons learnt.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:52 pm

It was emotional! :lol:
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:55 am

Was there much grinding of teeth involved? :D
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Zukan » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:00 am

You Targ you!

I can't find 5 good reasons to use one DAW over another.

Dim I be, clever I be not.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:27 am

Rich Hanson wrote:Was there much grinding of teeth involved? :D

The lower lip protruded, toys were thrown :lol:

However, I'm starting to go from "argh" to "ahhh" now... the more I use it the more it's making sense. Track count is going up, workflow is going faster :thumbup:
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Re: Reason: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby C.LYDE » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:42 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
C.LYDE wrote:Passing thought ... most of us have more than 1 guitar, synth, mic etc - why not more than 1 DAW... ? :thumbup:


Brainpower undersupply, quite simply. :(

CC

:smirk: quite possibly ... having gotten my head around Roland W30s, Korg M1, fantoms, VS880s, AW4416s and all manner of hardware sequencing... no piece of software is daunting :lol: ... in fact I find it quite inspirational having to do things differently :ugeek:
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:18 pm

Good point. Or in the very least the different DAWs point out how you don’t want to work in spite of most of them being overly flexible.
For example - I have to deliver final mixes in ProTools. I have a great appreciation for the way it works even though I haven’t gone too deep into it.
It’s just not my style. Same on the iPad which I am now using professionally. Auria is very similar to ProTools but I also tried Cubasis. My brain likes Cubasis.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby DC-Choppah » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:09 am

Protools

1) Beat Detective
2) Tempo maps from live performances / Automatic conform to tempo map
3) Multi-Track comping
4) Key shortcuts for everything / macro automation
5) Audio editor / Elastic audio / Automatic cross-fade generation
6) Import/Export of anything from one session into another
7) Punch-in record mode / bus recording / printing all MIDI changes to audio instantly
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby awjoe » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:12 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Protools

1) Beat Detective

It finds the BPM? How is that useful?
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:18 pm

awjoe wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Protools

1) Beat Detective

It finds the BPM? How is that useful?

Hmmmm, I guess some don't know what beat detective does.


Beat detective frees your music from a rigid click track but still allows the audio to be quantized to the groove/feel. The quantized groove track can be derived from one of the performers with the best feel and the other audio locked on to that groove. Beat detective handles all the operations.

Basically beat detective has many steps to it that you can use in a sequence of operations to align real time audio to a human generated groove.

- Identification of the beats that establish the groove from a performance.
- Generation of a groove (tempo map) for the whole session.
- Conforming of a track to the groove by splitting it into zillions of micro-clips
- Aligning each micro-clip with varying amount of swing, etc.
- Automatically filling in of clips after aligning.
- Automate cross-fading and editing of the audio to put it back into a single audio clip.
- Aligning of both MIDI and audio to the same groove.


I suppose if Beat detective was added to a DAW now they would call it 'AI'. Back in the day it was just Beat Detective and shaped music history.

Beat Detective keeps the music human and with groove and feeling while allowing a grid-like editing process to line everything up.

The computer conforms to the human rather than the other way around.
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