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Posted By: bill5 DAWs - 04/12/15 07:26 PM
For those who didn't see my other thread, I'm looking at buying a DP but my budget is relatively modest, which of course means I'm limited in what abilities I can get with it, which I've been struggling with...

Then I learned of the wide world of DAWs which appear to be able to negate most of those limitations. I'm still reading/learning about them, but appreciate any general info or advice, and just thought it would be good to have a general thread for discussion about them (didn't see one anyway, pardon if I missed).

I know Audacity is a popular free one. I actually have that already, though I wasn't using it in that way...plan to start tinkering a bit with some music files I already have.

Again general info or thoughts to get familiar with them and/or links appreciated (I've browsed some and will continue but someone might know a good one).
Posted By: Dan Clark Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 07:53 PM
Bill,

This a bit open-ended. How do you define "DAW"? What do you expect to get out of a DAW? What will you be using it for?

I have...

- Three virtual piano software packages and one virtual orchestra software package. (But I don't define them as DAWs.)

- A computer hooked to my MP11 which could be considered a DAW system that uses the piano and orchestral software.

- A separate DAW system with composition (Sibelius) and DAW software that I use for editing scores. I'm considering adding a MIDI controller keyboard to this system.

Some folks might define each of these as a "DAW" or maybe none of them. I don't think there is any right or wrong answer - it's just what suits your needs.

Regards,

Dan.

p.s. I'm still very much a newbie with all of this, but the learning process is fun and satisfying.

p.p.s. [edit] For DAW software, I use Reaper (mostly for MIDI editing) and am learning FL Studio. Each has pluses and minutes. To start, consider Reaper - it's good software and very inexpensive ($60). Reaper site: http://www.reaper.fm/index.php . You can evaluate Reaper for 60 days for free. The eval version is full function with no limitations. Download site: http://www.reaper.fm/download.php .
Posted By: toddy Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 07:56 PM
This is a very big subject, and it's a good idea to have a thread about it. In the first place, Audacity, which is an excellent piece of sound recording freeware, is not really a DAW as it does not deal with MIDI, nor does it have full mixing and routing facilities. Basically Audacity is a digital recorder capable of multi-tracking as many tracks as you want. It has a few effects and facilities which are very useful. Had something like it been available as an analogue machine pre-digital, it would have cost the price of a house. Now it's totally free.

However, DAWs go much further and cost between about 50 dollars and $1000. They are full recording studio facilities, which started off, in the 80's as digital MIDI sequencers. So MIDI recording (along with straight audio or sampling) is still a basic with DAWs - it allows much greater flexibility in the recording process than recording straight away 'to tape' as it were.

The most famous are probably:

Steinberg Cubase (who invented the rolling graphic matrix system, still used today).

Ableton Live - one of the most innovative.

Logic, which is the system exclusive to Apple Mac computers (Garage Band is their beginner's freeby)

Reaper - a relatively new system. Extremely flexible working patterns, open ended. V cheap.

Pro-Tools - the industry standard (though I don't know why it is, actually).

Inside these programs, you will run other programs - VST players, which are platforms for virtual instruments (Native Instruments Kontakt is a popular one, used by third parties a lot)

The instruments themselves are called VSTi (virtual studio technology instruments). The best pianos include Pianoteq 5, a highly sophisticated mathematical modelling system, which runs on its own platform, Ivory II, Galaxy Steinway Vintage D, Garritan CFX and VI Ravenscroft. All of these are way better in various respects than the relatively primative piano engines on most digital pianos.





Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 08:46 PM
Thx for the replies.

Originally Posted by Dan Clark
How do you define "DAW"?
The software. My impression is that when most people talk DAWs today, that's what they mean, though I get your broader meaning.


Quote
p.p.s. [edit] For DAW software, I use Reaper (mostly for MIDI editing) and am learning FL Studio. Each has pluses and minutes. To start, consider Reaper - it's good software and very inexpensive ($60).
Yes saw that today. smile Definitely keeping in mind.


Originally Posted by toddy
Audacity, which is an excellent piece of sound recording freeware, is not really a DAW as it does not deal with MIDI, nor does it have full mixing and routing facilities.
Technically that's not true, it is a DAW, albeit a limited one, but sounds like a common definition of "DAW" in the music/recording world is more as you say-? Be interested in hearing from others.

Quote
However, DAWs go much further and cost between about 50 dollars and $1000.
Side note, Studio One has a free version. Also limited (no VST plugin capability), but could be more than enough depending on one's needs.

Quote
The most famous are probably:

Steinberg Cubase (who invented the rolling graphic matrix system, still used today).

Ableton Live - one of the most innovative.

Logic, which is the system exclusive to Apple Mac computers (Garage Band is their beginner's freeby)

Reaper - a relatively new system. Extremely flexible working patterns, open ended. V cheap.

Pro-Tools - the industry standard (though I don't know why it is, actually).

Thanks! Any thoughts on the full-up Studio One?

Appreciate the replies, this is good stuff smile
+
Posted By: Frédéric L Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 08:47 PM
I have also tried PreSonus StudioOne and Anvil Studio.

Anvil Studio is free for basic functions, but you should pay if you want more advanced functions (more than 30s of audio. More than one VST). But it is quite lightweight and nice to have.

PreSonus StudioOne is free (again... You pay for advanced function... But the base system is more advanced than Anvil Studio). I have found that StudioOne needs some time to be launched. EDIT: when I have tried it, it was just as a MIDI sequencer... But now I also need VST support. I do had some trouble with the MIDI input which stopped working until I launched the software again.

Anyway I have opted for Reaper which could be tested freely for a period of time. There is no copy protection, just a license file to import which tag your software with your identity. (A good point... I don't like activation process where I could worry what should I do if my PC is broken)
Posted By: ElmerJFudd Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 09:21 PM
You specifically want a fully featured DAW that functions both as a MIDI and Audio sequencer. The established DAWs do this and also have extensive tools for editing both MIDI and Audio as well as the functionality of a hardware mixer and FX rack in virtual form.

The most well established DAWs include Cubase, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Logic Pro (Mac Only), Reason, Ableton Live, FL Studio. Newer to the party you have Presonus Studio One, Cockos Reaper, Tracktion, Mix Craft, etc.

In general they all do the same thing but with different user interfaces and a few features here and there that make one or another stand out. The more established DAWs also come with large virtual instrument sets, sample libraries, and fx which are also unique to each that make them stand out from the rest
.

As a general statement, I would recommend if you are on a Mac to learn Logic or Pro Tools. On the PC I would suggest Cubase or Pro Tools. Both Cubase and Pro Tools today come in free our lite versions for you to begin learning how they work. Cubase AI comes free with most Yamaha and or Steinberg hardware and Pro Tools Free with Avid Hardware.
Posted By: lolatu Re: DAWs - 04/12/15 11:22 PM
Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by toddy
Audacity, which is an excellent piece of sound recording freeware, is not really a DAW as it does not deal with MIDI, nor does it have full mixing and routing facilities.
Technically that's not true, it is a DAW, albeit a limited one, but sounds like a common definition of "DAW" in the music/recording world is more as you say-? Be interested in hearing from others.

Instead of "not really a DAW" he should have said "not a DAW at all". wink

Audacity is a wave editor. DAWs began as MIDI sequencers that added support for virtual instruments and effects, then audio tracks and recording.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 12:29 AM
Originally Posted by lolatu
Audacity is a wave editor.


Sorry for drifting off-topic, but I would argue otherwise.

While Audacity does certainly allow wave files to be edited, I believe - and please do correct me if I am wrong on this - that the software does not work directly on the waveform itself. Rather, you load wave files into a multi-track project, perform adjustments (typically in 32bit), then export the project (which remixes and resamples the data) out as a stereo waveform.

Contrast this with a 'traditional' wave editor that works directly on the file (i.e. no remixing/resampling) such as Sound Forge, Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit), GoldWave, or Audio Master IV (one for all the kids out there...), etc.

Kind regards,
James
x
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 01:19 AM
Originally Posted by lolatu

Instead of "not really a DAW" he should have said "not a DAW at all". wink

Audacity is a wave editor. DAWs began as MIDI sequencers that added support for virtual instruments and effects, then audio tracks and recording.
Even I know that's not true. smile Look up the definition of a DAW and if you check out audacity, you'll see it easily qualifies. But again that may differ from the commonly understood definition of the term, and certainly it's limited regardless.

Moving on.......

For those who have and have used others (esp if you've used more than one so can compare), what did/didn't you like about them?
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 01:52 AM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by lolatu
Audacity is a wave editor.


Sorry for drifting off-topic, but I would argue otherwise.

While Audacity does certainly allow wave files to be edited, I believe - and please do correct me if I am wrong on this - that the software does not work directly on the waveform itself. Rather, you load wave files into a multi-track project, perform adjustments (typically in 32bit), then export the project (which remixes and resamples the data) out as a stereo waveform.

Contrast this with a 'traditional' wave editor that works directly on the file (i.e. no remixing/resampling) such as Sound Forge, Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit), GoldWave, or Audio Master IV (one for all the kids out there...), etc.

Kind regards,
James
x



that's funny.

A wave editor is destructive.
Posted By: PianoManChuck Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 04:04 AM
Interesting that so far no one spelled out the fact that DAW is an acronym for "Digital Audio Workstation". Older "workstations" such as the Korg Trinity, Korg Triton, etc (Roland and Yamaha had a couple too) - and newer ones such as the Korg Kronos are where the term "workstation" was generally applied. They had internal sequencers, editing capabilities of individual tracks, mixing capabilities, etc. Software versions running on computers came to be known as "digital audio workstation" (or DAW)- Protools, Cakewalk, Sonar are examples of DAW's. Modern day DAW's can record and edit tracks in both MIDI and AUDIO formats, as well as mix all tracks down to the final stereo (or 5.1 surround) tracks. The above is just a very general simple intro to what a DAW is.
Posted By: lolatu Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 05:39 AM
Originally Posted by Kawai James
While Audacity does certainly allow wave files to be edited, I believe - and please do correct me if I am wrong on this - that the software does not work directly on the waveform itself. Rather, you load wave files into a multi-track project, perform adjustments (typically in 32bit), then export the project (which remixes and resamples the data) out as a stereo waveform.

Contrast this with a 'traditional' wave editor that works directly on the file (i.e. no remixing/resampling) such as Sound Forge, Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit), GoldWave, or Audio Master IV (one for all the kids out there...), etc.

Originally Posted by emenelton
A wave editor is destructive.

Audacity asks you when you load a wave file whether you want to use the original or a copy. I don't think the option to make a copy before editing is a substansive difference. Why do you think it is? You could just make a copy of the file then destructively edit that. It's the same thing.

It's true that Audacity does let you mix samples together on different tracks, and save your setup as a project. So it is more advanced than a simple wave editor. I think "audio editor" is a more correct term. But it's not a DAW. Nobody calls it a DAW. DAWs are what people called "sequencers" before they gained all their audio capabilities: Cubase, Logic etc.

Originally Posted by bill5
Originally Posted by lolatu
Instead of "not really a DAW" he should have said "not a DAW at all". wink

Audacity is a wave editor. DAWs began as MIDI sequencers that added support for virtual instruments and effects, then audio tracks and recording.

Even I know that's not true. smile Look up the definition of a DAW and if you check out audacity, you'll see it easily qualifies. But again that may differ from the commonly understood definition of the term, and certainly it's limited regardless.

Listen, punk... forget what you think you know. One of us knows what he's talking about, and it's not you. wink

Google "is Audacity a DAW" if you don't believe me.
Posted By: Kawai James Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 06:02 AM
Originally Posted by lolatu
Originally Posted by Kawai James
While Audacity does certainly allow wave files to be edited, I believe - and please do correct me if I am wrong on this - that the software does not work directly on the waveform itself. Rather, you load wave files into a multi-track project, perform adjustments (typically in 32bit), then export the project (which remixes and resamples the data) out as a stereo waveform.

Contrast this with a 'traditional' wave editor that works directly on the file (i.e. no remixing/resampling) such as Sound Forge, Adobe Audition (formerly Cool Edit), GoldWave, or Audio Master IV (one for all the kids out there...), etc.

Originally Posted by emenelton
A wave editor is destructive.

Audacity asks you when you load a wave file whether you want to use the original or a copy.


I believe that's to ensure the original wave data (i.e. a dependency) is still available when the project is exported.

Originally Posted by lolatu
I don't think the option to make a copy before editing is a substansive difference. Why do you think it is? You could just make a copy of the file then destructively edit that. It's the same thing.


No, I don't believe it is.

There is no 'destructive editing' in Audacity, that's the point.
You import waveforms into a project, adjust those waveforms within the project, and then export the project back out as a waveform.

To use a photographic analogy, it's a little like sticking a photo (your waveform) onto a piece of paper (your project), cropping the photo+paper with some scissors, then taking another photo of the cropped photo+paper and calling this the edited photo. As opposed to using scissors directly on the original photo.

Cheers,
James
x
Posted By: toddy Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 07:08 AM
lol
Posted By: Thomas B Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 07:34 AM
Originally Posted by bill5

For those who have and have used others (esp if you've used more than one so can compare), what did/didn't you like about them?


Hi Bill,

You're on the "safe" side following the advice from Elmer: Logic on Mac, Cubase/ProTools on Windows (though I would not spend the money Avid wants for ProTools...).

I have used Cubase, Tracktion & Reaper on Windows and GarageBand and Logic on Mac. They are all okay :-)

I really like Logic because it comes with a huge sound and effects library for a really low price. Cubase is very similar on Windows, but a little more expensive. Reaper is nice too. However, you have to look elsewhere for all the sounds/efxs.

Just start using one of them and see if you like it. You could download Reaper and the Cubase Elements trial and compare for yourself. If you want to broaden the search look if there are trials for e.g. Presonus Studio One, Cakewalk Sonar and Motu Digital Perfomer.

Thomas

P.S. No matter whether Audacity is a DAW or not, IMHO you will not want to use it for music composition/production...
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 04:57 PM
Thx Thomas. Yeah when I get to that point, I will probably try an eval copy or two. I don't need much if anything in the way of sound effects; Pink Floyd I aint (plus only commies use Macs). smile Really I was looking more for general info about them vs info about specific ones, but that info is also appreciated as I'll get to that point eventually. (I think! I guess I better buy a DP first lol)


Originally Posted by lolatu

Listen, punk... forget what you think you know. One of us knows what he's talking about, and it's not you. wink

Google "is Audacity a DAW" if you don't believe me.
lol

Believe that if it makes you happy. (PS: Google "DAW definition")

OK that's more than enough on that, some audacity you have (sorry but that bad joke was inevitable, let's get it out of the way as well)!
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 05:26 PM
bill5,

You do seem to be trying to get the big picture.
I have read your two threads.
I personally would choose Reaper because it works and it is kind of free.
You tend to have to define all your in-outs which is tedious but teaches you at the same time.
It is totally 'mutable' which is it's strength and weakness. You have to set it up.
The most important thing is it works well after you spend time learning it.

Cubase Elements, is a lite version. The experience I've had with the lite versions of Cubase is not good. They are a little tempermental. They can be a total time soak and not work that well.
Some people may have had a good experience with it, my bad one was with CUBASE A1 that I received with my Steinberg interface. It really did not work.

If you wanted to purchase a DAW that is a standard for MIDI and AUDIO production I would suggest CUBASE Artist 8. The benefit is you learn it and then use it.

Cubase Artist 8 $179
Reaper $60

These are the 2 I suggest

Posted By: pNoob Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 09:00 PM
If you are using Mac or Linux, you should definately take a look at Ardour, which is an open source DAW that is way more powerful than Audacity. It includes features like MIDI editing, MIDI control surface support and VST support and has more or less any editing capability you'll need.

The learning curve is quite a bit steeper than Audacity though, as Ardour is optimised for professional use.

It's really a great piece of software, and even more so if you are on a budget. However, there is no Windows version, and I recall seing a blog post or FAQ entry stating there will never be one. Windows is just far too different from OSX and Linux.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 09:36 PM
Originally Posted by pNoob
If you are using Mac or Linux, you should definately take a look at Ardour, which is an open source DAW that is way more powerful than Audacity. It includes features like MIDI editing, MIDI control surface support and VST support and has more or less any editing capability you'll need.

The learning curve is quite a bit steeper than Audacity though, as Ardour is optimised for professional use.

It's really a great piece of software, and even more so if you are on a budget. However, there is no Windows version, and I recall seing a blog post or FAQ entry stating there will never be one. Windows is just far too different from OSX and Linux.


The OP said that only commies use macs.
Posted By: toddy Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 09:47 PM
Originally Posted by bill5
only commies use Macs


This, to me, is an astonishing socio-economic observation. I thought it was almost the opposite: that only petty bourgeois use macs. It is a fatishised object, exactly the sort of thing that was supposedly obliterated from the minds of the lumpen proletariat by the soviet party line.

Of course, the truth runs a good deal deeper than that, but even so, this is jaw-dropping news.
Posted By: ElmerJFudd Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 09:56 PM
Quote
The OP said that only commies use macs.


<yawn>

Anyway, if you're on a Windows PC and decide to get into Cubase, it's very widely used, as I mentioned the Steinberg.net forum is very active, and there is no shortage of videos, books, and other educational material available. You can say the same for Pro Tools (YouTube is packed with how to videos). Pro Tools and Cubase are cross platform as well. So are a few others... Reaper, Digital Performer, etc.

If the FX included aren't exciting enough for you... The instruments and sample libraries should peak your interest. One of the reasons why Logic is so popular on Mac OSX. But Cubase and Pro Tools come with some nice stuff for composers as well.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by toddy
Originally Posted by bill5
only commies use Macs




What is even more interesting is that pnoob signed up for a forum just to suggest ardour as a daw.
Posted By: ElmerJFudd Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:00 PM
LOL

You have to hand it to the open software crowd, they get very excited at these opportunities.
Posted By: pNoob Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:03 PM
Quote
What is even more interesting is that pnoob signed up for a forum just to suggest ardour as a daw.


*sigh*

I've been reading the forums for quite some time, but didn't really bother registering a user before i had something to say. And now I start to wonder why I even bothered.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by pNoob
Quote
What is even more interesting is that pnoob signed up for a forum just to suggest ardour as a daw.


*sigh*

I've been reading the forums for quite some time, but didn't really bother registering a user before i had something to say. And now I start to wonder why I even bothered.


Don't let it bring you down.
At least you're still positive.
What's ardour like?
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:29 PM
Setting aside any proper definition of what is or is not a DAW ...
Setting aside any findings about the Communist predilection of Mac users ...

I find it odd that there are so many solutions proposed whilst the OP hasn't yet specified what he intends to do with the DAW. For some purposes he might need a sophisticated one. For other uses a "mini" DAW might do. For yet other purposes he might not need a DAW at all!

So what say ye, Mister Bill5 ?
Posted By: pNoob Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by emenelton

Don't let it bring you down.
At least you're still positive.
What's ardour like?


Not that different from any other DAW, really. Except it's hard to beat the price, and the OP indicated he didn't have that much to spend.

I'm not a very advanced user and mostly use it for recording/editing that is probably on the trivial side for people who are into composing.

I missed the part about only commies using OSX, though. (Actually, my own experience is the exact opposite.)
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by pNoob
Originally Posted by emenelton

Don't let it bring you down.
At least you're still positive.
What's ardour like?


Not that different from any other DAW, really. Except it's hard to beat the price, and the OP indicated he didn't have that much to spend.

I'm not a very advanced user and mostly use it for recording/editing that is probably on the trivial side for people who are into composing.

I missed the part about only commies using OSX, though. (Actually, my own experience is the exact opposite.)


Do you use it on Linux?
The thing about OSX vs Win is the Core Audio built in to the OS doesn't suffer the latency issue Win Audio does.
Posted By: Dan Clark Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 10:56 PM
Hmm... I use Macs and PCs. I guess that makes me a petty bourgeois commie. smile

Dan.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by Dan Clark
Hmm... I use Macs and PCs. I guess that makes me a petty bourgeois commie. smile

Dan.


Or a ......................................
deleted for lack of funny
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: DAWs - 04/13/15 11:36 PM
Hmmm ...
My name is Mac.
My nym is MacMacMac.
And I use a PC.
What does that make me?
Posted By: lolatu Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 12:00 AM
Fourth generation Scottish?
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 12:00 AM
Originally Posted by emenelton
bill5,

You do seem to be trying to get the big picture.
I have read your two threads.
I personally would choose Reaper because it works and it is kind of free.
You tend to have to define all your in-outs which is tedious but teaches you at the same time.
It is totally 'mutable' which is it's strength and weakness. You have to set it up.
The most important thing is it works well after you spend time learning it.

Cubase Elements, is a lite version. The experience I've had with the lite versions of Cubase is not good. They are a little tempermental. They can be a total time soak and not work that well.
Some people may have had a good experience with it, my bad one was with CUBASE A1 that I received with my Steinberg interface. It really did not work.

If you wanted to purchase a DAW that is a standard for MIDI and AUDIO production I would suggest CUBASE Artist 8. The benefit is you learn it and then use it.

Cubase Artist 8 $179
Reaper $60

These are the 2 I suggest

Great, thx, appreciate the info!


Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
if you're on a Windows PC and decide to get into Cubase, it's very widely used, as I mentioned the Steinberg.net forum is very active, and there is no shortage of videos, books, and other educational material available. You can say the same for Pro Tools (YouTube is packed with how to videos). Pro Tools and Cubase are cross platform as well. So are a few others... Reaper, Digital Performer, etc.

If the FX included aren't exciting enough for you... The instruments and sample libraries should peak your interest. One of the reasons why Logic is so popular on Mac OSX. But Cubase and Pro Tools come with some nice stuff for composers as well.

Got it, thx as well. I have talked to a few musicians who have Pro Tools and think it's "the" DAW to have, but they're not hard-core about it.


Originally Posted by MacMacMac

I find it odd that there are so many solutions proposed whilst the OP hasn't yet specified what he intends to do with the DAW. For some purposes he might need a sophisticated one. For other uses a "mini" DAW might do. For yet other purposes he might not need a DAW at all!

So what say ye, Mister Bill5 ?
I say please stop talking like Thor. wink

I thought it was pretty clear in my OP, if a bit vague...it would allow me to not concern myself with many of the limitations of the DPs I'm looking at (sound not quite as good as a pricier model, lower polyphonies, voices, etc).

Posted By: siros Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 12:47 AM
Am I missing something?

If you need better piano sound, better polyphony, and additional sounds, I think you need virtual instruments, not DAW.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 01:00 AM
If you're serious, want to learn one DAW and really want to commit, ProTools will make you compatible with other pro's.
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 01:29 AM
Originally Posted by siros
Am I missing something?

If you need better piano sound, better polyphony, and additional sounds, I think you need virtual instruments, not DAW.
Yes, I think you are, but it could be I am.


Originally Posted by emenelton
If you're serious, want to learn one DAW and really want to commit, ProTools will make you compatible with other pro's.
I'm not interested in becoming a legit "pro" but thx. smile One day I may get it anyway, but I think simplicity and user-friendliness are more important than a lot of extra g-whiz stuff.
Posted By: ElmerJFudd Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 01:51 AM
A DAW like Cubase or Reaper will host virtual instruments in the VST format.
Since he is interested in composing and layering. In other words, you will be able to have multiple tracks of VST instruments all running simultaneously...

I'll use Cubase as example

Track 1 - Pianoteq Piano (purchased as Windows VST - hosted by Cubase)
Track 2 - Sampled Bass Guitar (included in Halion One sample player that comes with Cubase)
Track 3 - Synth Lead (Prologue Subtractive Synth comes with Cubase)
Track 4 - Sampled Snare Drum (Halion One)
Track 5 - Sampled Hi Hat (Halion One)
etc.

Cubase is a DAW (digital audio workstation) but it started its life as a MIDI sequencer and has some of the most powerful MIDI editing and manipulation features of any of the popular DAWs).

In the early days, around '78 - 84 or so, there were actual hardware DAWs. They were very digital audio focused, replacement machines for analog audio tape. You could do edits with data, without having to physically cut analog tape and splice it back together again. MIDI sequencers were really a separate thing - there were also hardware MIDI sequencers early on. The two came together once affordable computing processing power was available and it became possible to sync MIDI and Audio on one computer in one piece of software. That was quite revolutionary and the birth of the modern DAW as we know it today.

Hope that helps.

Best.

EJF

Posted By: Dan Clark Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 02:41 AM
Originally Posted by emenelton
Originally Posted by Dan Clark
Hmm... I use Macs and PCs. I guess that makes me a petty bourgeois commie. smile

Dan.


Or a ......................................
deleted for lack of funny

Perhaps, but my post is at least as funny as most of the posts in this thread.
Posted By: emenelton Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 02:48 AM
yes it is.

'.............. ......... .......' didn't seem quite as humorous of a description
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/14/15 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
A DAW like Cubase or Reaper will host virtual instruments in the VST format.
Since he is interested in composing and layering. In other words, you will be able to have multiple tracks of VST instruments all running simultaneously...

Exactly.......I'll be playing the ivories (OK simulated ivories) and in some cases singing, everything else is a "virtual" instrument. In most cases I don't expect this to be a ton, in fact in some cases piano and voice only...but I would like the option to explore more complex layering, as well as experimenting with diff effects etc.
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/15/15 02:29 AM
PS: side note: do you call it "daw" or "dee-ay-double-u?" smile
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/16/15 02:01 AM
Some experts.

wink

Anyway here's a really nice recap of DAWs:

http://www.thedawstudio.com/Gear/DAW-Comparison-Chart.html

PS: notice that Audacity is there. smile
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: DAWs - 04/16/15 05:13 AM
Seeing the direction this thread is taking, something like a Yamaha MX49 (previously suggested) might be a good bet as a combination workstation / controller. It's more expensive than a Casio WK-7600, but I haven't heard anyone call it a "toy".

Check the blurb here:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/yamaha-mx49-49-key-music-synthesizer-controller

and the review here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct13/articles/yamaha-mx49.htm

It comes with a "low-end" version of Cubase, and it's apparently designed around having what you need to integrate nicely with Cubase.

Since I understand only about half the words in the Sound On Sound review, I will now bow out of the discussion.

. Charles
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: DAWs - 04/16/15 05:21 AM
Seeing the direction this thread is taking, something like a Yamaha MX49 (previously suggested) might be a good bet as a combination workstation / controller. It's more expensive than a Casio WK-7600, but I haven't heard anyone call it a "toy".

Check the blurb here:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/yamaha-mx49-49-key-music-synthesizer-controller

and the review here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct13/articles/yamaha-mx49.htm

It comes with a "low-end" version of Cubase, and it's apparently designed around having what you need to integrate nicely with Cubase.

Since I understand only about half the words in the Sound On Sound review, I will now bow out of the discussion.

. Charles

PS -- the MX49, used, is around $350 at GuitarCenter. I've bought used gear from them, and they're pretty good about reporting condition. They have reasonably-priced shipping, store-to-store or store-to-home. But don't let me shorten the decision time . . .
Posted By: ando Re: DAWs - 04/16/15 07:18 AM
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen

It comes with a "low-end" version of Cubase, and it's apparently designed around having what you need to integrate nicely with Cubase.




Bit of a shame they overlooked transport control buttons. That is a bare minimum for a DAW controller.
Posted By: Charles Cohen Re: DAWs - 04/16/15 10:41 PM
Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen

It comes with a "low-end" version of Cubase, and it's apparently designed around having what you need to integrate nicely with Cubase.




Bit of a shame they overlooked transport control buttons. That is a bare minimum for a DAW controller.


From a review in Keyboard magazine,

http://www.keyboardmag.com/combo---do-all/1191/yamaha-mx61-studio-and-performance-synthesizer/29192

Quote
DAW Control

With one button press, the MX turns into a surprisingly capable DAW control surface. Yamaha offers templates for Cubase, Logic, Sonar, and Digital Performer. (The MX comes with Steinberg Cubase AI.) Dedicated functions are shown right on the panel below the category buttons, and you can also retask six buttons to your liking. Everything works much like on the Motif XS or XF; the only real limitation you feel is that the MX has fewer physical controls. I tried laying down some tunes in Cubase, and it was easy for me to record while away from the computer, controlling the transport and other vital functions right from the MX.


There may be some trickery involved, but that _sounds like_ there's transport control from the MXnn. I'm sorry if I got it wrong.

. Charles
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 12:01 AM
Most of these are more than I care to spend. I was all set to zoom in on Reaper, but they say there's a steeper learning curve, which is precisely what I don't want...FL Studio for that same reason is the leader. But that's getting ahead of myself, DP first......
Posted By: soundsquire Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 02:32 AM
Bill,
I think someone else mentioned Mixcraft in a post? I will second that recommendation for a "DAW".

I am going to recommend the Pro version as it comes with Pianissimo VSTi. Uses high quality Steinwayâ„¢ Model D piano samples with advanced physical modeling. I think the trial version includes Pianissimo? I have used Mixcraft for several years now and love it.

Mixcraft is easy to learn with a much more friendly GUI and less of a learning curve.

On a MIDI controller...I had a M-Audio Keystation 88ES. Notice the past tense? It was an OK keyboard but the action was just semi-weighted spring action and nothing like a piano. If I wanted to play I had to open up Mixcraft launch a new project, load a VSTi and then I would have some sound. If you don't care about the key action this keyboard is not the worst choice with a full 88 keys and mod wheels.

I sold it and got a Yamaha P-105. Very nice set of keys! Very authentic graded hammer action, built in sounds/speakers. Turn it on and play! It also has a USB to host connection so I can use it as a MIDI controller so no loss.

Do you have a retail spot nearby where you try out some keyboards? Note that most all DAWs have a trial you can download. Test drive of sorts. I tried about 6-7 keyboards/DP's before landing on the Yamaha. I also have probably tried most DAWs at least once.
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 02:58 AM
Thanks very much for the reply. Mixcraft is relatively inexpensive as DAWs go too ($90ish).

Has anyone else used this?
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 03:06 AM
PS and WTF? FL Studio basic edition does not include audio recording capabilities. Isn't that kind of like buying a car but the windshield costs extra?
Posted By: soundsquire Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 03:12 AM
Not if you are into EDM. No need to record much just MIDI and plugins...lol. Oh and some side chaining...
Posted By: bill5 Re: DAWs - 04/17/15 03:23 AM
English please. EDM? Side chaining?

It looks like you can't record at all w/that basic version.
Posted By: soundsquire Re: DAWs - 04/18/15 04:33 AM
My apologies.

Electronic Dance Music or EDM in some cases is produced primarily "in the box". This means entire albums are produced using just MIDI programmed tracks driving virtual instruments and/or loops on the computer.

Side chaining is a volume reduction effect commonly used in EDM. The kick drum signal is used to reduce the volume of other tracks to produce that pumping effect you hear in dance music.

I agree about FL studio. Not a fan. No recording capabilities on the fruity edition.

Posted By: Dan Clark Re: DAWs - 04/18/15 04:40 PM
Originally Posted by bill5
Most of these are more than I care to spend. I was all set to zoom in on Reaper, but they say there's a steeper learning curve, which is precisely what I don't want...FL Studio for that same reason is the leader. But that's getting ahead of myself, DP first......

Bill5,

Generally speaking, ALL DAWs have a steep learning curve. Different DAWs have different strengths, which is "best" depends on what you're trying to do. For example, I find that I'm liking FLStudio better now because it seems to fit my evolving interests. (FYI, FLS V12 is much nicer than V11.x.)

Regarding Mixcraft, I tried a demo version but ultimately decided not to change from Reaper (which I still use). It seemed easier to use than Reaper, but I found some limitations (which I can't remember now). YMMV.

Regarding a "DP", the choices are huge. However, given my understanding of your needs, a better choice MIGHT be a MIDI keyboard controller. Some DPs like the Kawai MP11 (with a very good keyboard) have some MIDI controls and audio out that could work with DAW software. That said, true MIDI keyboard controllers have lots of controls for mixing and controlling a DAW. However, most of them have a mediocre, unweighted or semi-weighted keyboard.

For example, a highly rated controller is the Akai MPK 249 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MPK249). I thought it might meet my needs. That is, until I had a chance to play it. The semi-weighted white keys were OK. The black keys were very poor.

If you want a DP with good key action for playing, you might want to start with that and go from there. But with the understanding that it may not be your final DAW workstation keyboard.

Good luck with your decision.

Regards,

Dan.
Posted By: ElmerJFudd Re: DAWs - 04/18/15 06:48 PM
Ya. Wrong thread.
Posted By: Alexander Borro Re: DAWs - 04/18/15 07:16 PM
ElmerJFudd, Was that reply somehow meant for the other thread CUBASE thread. ?

Anyway what I do know very little, Cubase will not go further than the launch screen if not activated once you have gone beyond the grace period, when you encounter that situation it tells you to register and buy at that point, it will not open at all, at least that is what I discovered when using LE and was able to use elements as well during the grace period, to which I have upgraded since.

While within the grace period everything is fully functional with or without activation, that is 30 days IIRC. After that it is register or nada, no pay, no play laugh
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