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  • #16
    Craig,
    I have used Acid for years. How does it compare to LIVE and will I like Live more if I spend the $ for it and take time to actually learn the program?

    Gary
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes
    Suicide by Overdrive

    I play high gain, head banging , Wookie music.

    I am not in a band. I am in a cultski.
    I have no gear.


    Jesus IS LORD

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    • #17
      I have used Acid for years. How does it compare to LIVE and will I like Live more if I spend the $ for it and take time to actually learn the program?


      Wow, that's an essay question to say the least. The programs are really quite different, each has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as very different workflow.

      The Big Live Goodies: It fits live performance like a glove: It's crazy responsive, and you can tie parameters to controllers and the QWERTY keyboard with ease. The audio engine is unstoppable, and the included effects are excellent. The Arrangement page gives you most of what any good DAW gives you, and you can record your performance moves. Oh, and the "elastic audio" feature, where you can warp just about anything to a rhythmic framework, is a genius feature. The MIDI implementation is done in true Live fashion: Fast, intuitive, and inspiring.

      The Big Acid Goodies: I still find Acid the absolute quickest way to put audio loops together and make music. The folder tracks introduced in v5 help a lot in overcoming Acid's one-loop-per-track paradigm, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The "acidization" process has been greatly enhanced over the years, with the ability to warp beats, and the fidelity took a big jump forward in v5...looping can be very close to seamless when done right.

      Live Issues: I've mentioned the solo button thing, but hey, that's big to me but may not be big to you. Metering is primitive (but I LOVE the new feature where the whole turns red to alert you of distortion). The stretching algorithm is a mixed bag; it's effortless to use, but with sustained material, needs tweaking to sound natural, and sometimes you end up with a faint pulsing no matter what you do. I'll be getting into this more later. I don't want to give the impression there's a problem with the audio - any stretching-based program has material that works well, and material that doesn't. If you learn how to use Live, you can usually optimize the stretching so the audio sounds very good.

      Acid Issues: Acid's stretching has the potential to be better than Live's, but some "acidized" sample CDs feature such bad acidization that Acid's full potential is often not realized, and you end up having to tweak anyway. And if you don't know how to tweak, it can be quite time-consuming. The MIDI implemenation is less elegant than Live and feels "tacked on," rather than integrated into the program. Also, you can't tie faders and such to hardware controllers - a major oversight, and something that Live handles superbly. And of course, Acid offers one style of working; it's an efficient style, but there's nothing like Live's outstanding session view.

      Both programs have downloadable demos, so it's well worth playing with them both and seeing which suits your style of working better.

      I know I'm forgetting some things, but it's late at night, I only got five hours sleep, and I'm in a questionable hotel so I'm not operating at peak functionality just now...more to come...
      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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      • #18
        I took part in the beta testing of Live 5. While I enjoyed some of the new features i wasn't impressed enough to update. I feel the same as the fellow who you mentioned in your opening thread. I figure I can get 6 or 7 for the price of one upgrade. They just don't make it a good deal to upgrade to the latest version.

        It ought to work like this:
        From 1-5 $200
        From 2-5 $150
        from 3-5 $100
        from 4-5 $50.

        Makes a lot more sense and reduces the hit on loyal customers to remain up to date.
        The argument that I've had Live the whole time is kind of a odd thing to say, and really just voids the notion that as of "now" one person has $1000 invested with ableton while another has $500.

        A lot of folks on the ableton forum are expressing some dismay at what I also found to be an accelerated finalization of the product with many bugs left in along with unnerving performance & crash issues on live sets that worked fine with version 4.

        Things missing from Live 5

        Included multi voice high quality samplers (Reason includes several sound modules and handles loops (not the same obviously) and effects. Operator and a Multi-voice/velocity layered synth need to be included.

        MP3/MP4 functionality that doesn't simply convert mp3's to wav files within a cache folder. But rather steams the mp3 file in real time (using an analysis file).

        A drum sampler with more than 5 voices and assignable midi channels.

        Multiband Compression
        Mastering FX

        A notation editor would also be nice along with the ability to have multiple windows open on one screen.

        Live is a great program, but I'll be sticking with version 4 until they add a few more perks to the overly expensive upgrade scheme. As it stands I feel I have 95% of what ableton has to offer with Version 4.


        Sorry to jump the gun on your Craig, but cut to the chase. I have your book form way back with the quadrafuzz project (and others in it), so I have great respect for you, though this is seeming like a catalog "review". Bust some balls and get them going in the direction we want, not what marketing shmoos decree!
        Visit my site ModGuitar.com

        "While my plywood guitar, gently weeps."

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        • #19
          <<The argument that I've had Live the whole time is kind of a odd thing to say, and really just voids the notion that as of "now" one person has $1000 invested with ableton while another has $500.>>

          If you've been using Live for the past four years and you've done all the upgrades, then it's basically cost what, $200-$250 per year? That's really not an unreasonable price to pay for software that has undergone major improvements, like the elastic audio and MIDI recording/editing.

          <<A lot of folks on the ableton forum are expressing some dismay at what I also found to be an accelerated finalization of the product with many bugs left in along with unnerving performance & crash issues on live sets that worked fine with version 4.>>

          I have not encountered that yet, but I downloaded v5.0.1 immediately and never actually used v5.0.0. And I'm still finding out things about the program, so stay tuned. If it crashes I'll let you know.

          <<Things missing from Live 5: Included multi voice high quality samplers (Reason includes several sound modules and handles loops (not the same obviously) and effects. Operator and a Multi-voice/velocity layered synth need to be included.>>

          I don't think Live is intended to be an all-in-one studio like Reason (which of course, doesn't record digital audio, doesn't have an audio-related arrangement page, and doesn't have anything like the session view...yet prices are comparable). I think they are programs that went into different directions, Reason into synths, and Live into audio. If you want elements of both, then pay more and get Sonar, Cubase, Logic, etc.

          <<MP3/MP4 functionality that doesn't simply convert mp3's to wav files within a cache folder. But rather steams the mp3 file in real time (using an analysis file).>>

          But wouldn't it slow down the audio engine to have to do all that real time conversion and streaming in a different format? And what difference does it make to the operational usefulness? Maybe I'm not "getting" what you're saying here.

          <<A drum sampler with more than 5 voices and assignable midi channels. Multiband Compression. Mastering FX>>

          But the point of a plug-in architecture is to let YOU decide what plug-ins you want to use. Yes, Reason added mastering effects, but they HAD to because you can't plug in your own. Someone from Ableton may correct me on this, but I think adding pro-level effects and instruments would add a lot to the cost. I'd rather pay less, and use effects that I like and am familiar with. Or what if someone has invested in WAVES plug-ins? Why buy more with Live that you may not use? However, I do appreciate that many of Live's effects are different from the average. I'd rather see Ableton spend their time developing new, weird plugs than produce yet ANOTHER multiband compressor.

          <<A notation editor would also be nice along with the ability to have multiple windows open on one screen.>>

          Notation?!? It sounds to me that what you really want is a traditional DAW...to me, Live takes a different approach to creating music, it's not just another DAW. As I recall it was the first program with that sort of "unified" interface. I don't want to open other windows...I want something simple, fast, and inspiring for live performances that I can also use in the studio. I think that's the core of what Live is about, not being a DAW.

          <<Live is a great program, but I'll be sticking with version 4 until they add a few more perks to the overly expensive upgrade scheme. As it stands I feel I have 95% of what ableton has to offer with Version 4.>>

          Then don't upgrade! I can't definitively agree or disagree until I've worked with the program more.

          <<Sorry to jump the gun on your Craig, but cut to the chase.>>

          Your opinions are both welcome and encouraged, but I can't "cut to the chase" because I do not feel I am an expert in the program yet. I am documenting what I find as I work with Live, that's the whole point of this format...not just to sit on it for weeks and then make some grand pronouncement at the end, but to share some of the process or discovering what something does and does not do, and encourage others to comment, ask questions, give their own opinions, etc.

          <<I have your book form way back with the quadrafuzz project (and others in it), so I have great respect for you, though this is seeming like a catalog "review". Bust some balls and get them going in the direction we want, not what marketing shmoos decree!>>

          Uh...does the Live catalog really compare Live and Acid? Talk about the solo button limitation? Explain why it's necessary to use a mix of hard disk and RAM loops? Explain what happens when you load the instruments that take the longest to load to see if the audio engine would hiccup? I don't think so...

          But the more important point is that the direction YOU want Live to go in is most definitely NOT the direction I want it to go in. When I first started using Live, I was seduced by its fun factor and ergonomics. Every time they've announced an update, I've gotten nervous that they'll "break" what made it cool by making it too complex. When they said they were adding MIDI, I was afraid Live would become a victim of "creeping featuritis." Yet I think they implemented MIDI in an elegant way that fits the "spirit of Live."

          Point is, if I want a balls-to-the-wall DAW, I have Sonar. If I want a studio-in-a-box, Reason rocks. But if I want to do a live performance, I wouldn't use either of those (and I've tried to use them in the past): Live does it for me. I don't want notation, I don't want what they think is a cool complement of instruments that adds hundreds of dollars to the price, I don't want to see the workflow trashed.

          What I want to see is whether Live 5 has helped make Live into being the best "Live" it can be, not whether it's made Live more like other programs. Make sense?

          And that's why I like this format...you get to ask questions that allow me to explain more fully the particular biases I have that shape the way I approach a product. And this also proves my point that having a single "reviewer" simply can't provide all the viewpoints that would allow readers to make a truly informed decision about whether something is "right" for them or not.
          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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          • #20
            Sorry to keep you up late

            I guess for me I see the potential for live to do a lot more than trigger loops for dj's - which is the "live" direction of Live. Which sadly reason has also adopted. I'm sure you'll want to point out users like yourself who do different live things with Live, however I'm talking about the majority - as exemplified by the Ableton user forums. Seems to be dj's and studio guys mostly.

            I use it more like a DAW, exactly.

            Ever spend an afternoon programing an old jazz standard in via the piano roll, wishing a simple notation window (done the simple, elegant Live way), could make it a lot smoother?

            There is a wealth of information out there a "staff" away, be it drums or melodic content.

            I'm on a budget and can't afford to buy content, upgrades and gear on a regular basis. Compare the Apple/Logic upgrade scheme, around $100 for a thousand dollar program. Or Reason, Major upgrades for $150, along with periodic Major enhancements - and giveaways. Yeah, I expect more for my money.

            There's no reason not to ad functionality, be it included or Add-on pacs. Add on a better sampler, a notation editor, a tab editor, a drum sampler.
            Let the end user configure for their needs.

            If they've painted themselves into a corner with limited code - nows to time to rebuild for the future - we don't want another PT fiasco do we?

            My main set up has live rewired along with reason into PT for complete functionality. But lately, I've been using Live alone a lot more, along with reason for instruments. Don't limit the program or suggest that it should be limited due to your own way of using it.

            Live is being compared to Logic in some circles (perhaps not your publishers) as the next big DAW.

            That's what the community wants, a Great DAW, not a DJ toolset. My Opinion, and I'm sticking to it!

            One other thing lacking in Live which carried over into Live 5 - exported midi clips appear in the browser as separate folders you have to manually open to access. UGh!

            And where is the Live branded Loop utility program? Someone get those folks a Proper Budget!

            I make suggestions, they get panned. years later they are "features", the checks never come in the mail. I jest.


            I'll add that I understand the love for Live's simplicity, but lots of other things could be hidden below the surface for power users without hurting that cornerstone or turning off the users that rely on that aspect of the app. An application like photoshop comes to mind.
            Visit my site ModGuitar.com

            "While my plywood guitar, gently weeps."

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            • #21
              A "bug fix beta," 5.0.2, was just made available for public testing last Friday.
              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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              • #22
                That's been out for a while, Only available to 5 owners. FYI.
                Visit my site ModGuitar.com

                "While my plywood guitar, gently weeps."

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                • #23
                  <<I use it more like a DAW, exactly.>>

                  Okay, I see where you're coming from. But why not just use a DAW?

                  <<There is a wealth of information out there a "staff" away, be it drums or melodic content.>>

                  If you just want it to see what's happening, fine. I suspect that doing a print-quality notation program is waaaay beyond where Live wants to go.

                  <<Compare the Apple/Logic upgrade scheme, around $100 for a thousand dollar program...Or Reason, Major upgrades for $150, along with periodic Major enhancements - and giveaways. Yeah, I expect more for my money.>>

                  Yeah, props to Propellerheads. They really do deliver value to their customers.

                  <<There's no reason not to ad functionality, be it included or Add-on pacs. Add on a better sampler, a notation editor, a tab editor, a drum sampler.
                  Let the end user configure for their needs.>>

                  Exactly. Buy plug-in instruments, don't ask Ableton to re-invent the wheel and charge more for the process. BTW the Yamaha OPT thing makes the concept of MIDI plug-in functionality possible, but it's use in Acid hasn't really set the world on fire...I don't know how easy it would be to make "MIDI function plug-ins" for Live that integrate into the code. Maybe someone from Ableton could comment.

                  <<Don't limit the program or suggest that it should be limited due to your own way of using it.>>

                  Well, I'm not suggesting it be "limited." As I said, I'm just concerned about "creeping featuritis" destroying what makes Live so cool. It's like the Thunderbird was a cool little sports car, then they decided to make it into a four-seater, and it lost that whole Thunderbird thing. It HAS been embraced primarily by DJs and grovoe musicians, and I think it makes the most sense to add features that cater to that crowd -- their base of support -- rather than trying to compete with Logic, Cubase, etc. I see Live turning into a DAW as being redundant.

                  <<That's what the community wants, a Great DAW, not a DJ toolset. My Opinion, and I'm sticking to it! >>

                  If you want a great DAW, there are LOTS of great DAWs! And if you're concerned about bucks, what's wrong with Logic Express? Does a ton of stuff for, I believe, less than the cost of the Live upgrade.

                  <<And where is the Live branded Loop utility program? Someone get those folks a Proper Budget!>>

                  What do you mean "loop utility program"? To do what, exactly?

                  <<I'll add that I understand the love for Live's simplicity, but lots of other things could be hidden below the surface for power users without hurting that cornerstone or turning off the users that rely on that aspect of the app. An application like photoshop comes to mind.>>

                  I think that's what they've done in many ways, particularly with MIDI. I understand you want Live to turn into more of a DAW, but I really hope Ableton resists that temptation and continues to work on making it the ultimate DJ/groove/warping program. Just my opinion, of course, but I suspect most Live users would agree.

                  So...what do you think, Live users? Do you wish it had more DAW-like features?
                  Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                  • #24
                    Okay, I see where you're coming from. But why not just use a DAW???
                    <<Live is a DAW the arrange window is great for laying out tracks using loops, midi, & direct recordings. It may not have an as easy to use interfac for linear material like Pro Tools but it's adequate>>
                    If you just want it to see what's happening, fine. I suspect that doing a print-quality notation program is waaaay beyond where Live wants to go.
                    <<I want to learn, I haven't written off the past 5 decades or so just yet, and besides did you think there was really anything new going on?>>
                    Exactly. Buy plug-in instruments, don't ask Ableton to re-invent the wheel and charge more for the process. BTW the Yamaha OPT thing makes the concept of MIDI plug-in functionality possible, but it's use in Acid hasn't really set the world on fire...I don't know how easy it would be to make "MIDI function plug-ins" for Live that integrate into the code. Maybe someone from Ableton could comment.
                    <<I bought Live, and it along with the system AU plug-ins does 99% of what I need them (plug-ins) too do, but they're encouraged (from my little corner) to improve any of them as they can. The plug-in market is grossly overpriced in general, so lets no even go there. The kind of functionality I mentioned would require some kind of open source library or framework to be published by Ableton - I don't expect that to happen, but hey - that might solve the problem.>>
                    Well, I'm not suggesting it be "limited." As I said, I'm just concerned about "creeping featuritis" destroying what makes Live so cool. It's like the Thunderbird was a cool little sports car, then they decided to make it into a four-seater, and it lost that whole Thunderbird thing. It HAS been embraced primarily by DJs and grovoe musicians, and I think it makes the most sense to add features that cater to that crowd -- their base of support -- rather than trying to compete with Logic, Cubase, etc. I see Live turning into a DAW as being redundant.
                    <<Well, they could also take features away and release a Dj version and leave it at that>>
                    If you want a great DAW, there are LOTS of great DAWs! And if you're concerned about bucks, what's wrong with Logic Express? Does a ton of stuff for, I believe, less than the cost of the Live upgrade.
                    <<Logic Express is nice I'm sure, but simply doesn't compare to the full blown beast in terms of features. I've already gone the Final Cut Express/Final cut route and discovered that the line between pro and consumer is expertly manipulated by Apple. I mentioned that I use Pro Tools & Reason also, combined with Live that makes a fairly complete toolset.>>??What do you mean "loop utility program"? To do what, exactly?
                    << Ever sift thru 80 gigs of loops? >>
                    I think that's what they've done in many ways, particularly with MIDI. I understand you want Live to turn into more of a DAW, but I really hope Ableton resists that temptation and continues to work on making it the ultimate DJ/groove/warping program. Just my opinion, of course, but I suspect most Live users would agree.
                    << Please God, No! >>
                    So...what do you think, Live users? Do you wish it had more DAW-like features?

                    Let me add one other little argument for more DAW features... Some music. Before you groan, give a listen, All tracks made with Live. Nothing for sale, but a different way to work with live.

                    Romeo Money, From Garage Band
                    Visit my site ModGuitar.com

                    "While my plywood guitar, gently weeps."

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Anderton
                      If you've been using Live for the past four years and you've done all the upgrades, then it's basically cost what, $200-$250 per year? That's really not an unreasonable price to pay for software that has undergone major improvements, like the elastic audio and MIDI recording/editing.


                      $200-250 a year is not bad if that is your main instrument. I'm hit with upgrades for Sonar, Project5, Live, Acid, Reason, etc... At that point I have to pick and choose. Other than playing live, Ableton Live is nice for quickly hashing out songs. But I quickly hit a wall and have to move to a real DAW for true linear editing. Acid gives me the the control over individual loops that I want by allowing me to cut and rearrange them in ways that I cannot do with Live. On the down side for ACid the one loop per track format drives me crazy. Sonar allows me to stick various loops in a single track, which I love, but it is not as easy to minuplate those loops. And for me, Reason will continue to loose value until they develop a polyphonic pattern sequencer. Because of that I use Orion Pro much more than Reason. And buy the way, Orion Pro is another program that released an update this year. Luckily the upgrade from 4 to 5 is free.

                      So until I find that one perfect app, which will probably never exist, I will continue to use multiple programs. And if the music I made last year did not suddenly turn bad because some of my tools released an upgrade, I guess I can use those same tools one more year.

                      Robert
                      My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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                      • #26
                        I'm a long time Logic user and have watched Live since about version 1.5. I just jumped in at version 5. I still use Logic as my workhourse because I know it. I'm learning Live and liking it more everyday.

                        What I have found that I don't need from Logic is notation or mixing beyound what you would get from a nice keyboard workstation. To me Live is like an instrument which can be taken to a gig and played live, you can create on an instrument or take it to the studio and record it. You can arrange on an instrument and use an instrument to help you produce. To me, this is what I want Live to stay focused on just as is says on their box, create, produce, perform.

                        I'll let the mix engineers work their magic with pro tools or whatever they use. Being a groove writer/producer, I think Live is on the right track. I don't need alot of plugins added because I have enough of them already. I would like to see them implement a better sample player that could read pre-existing libraries like Logics EXS24 or some Akai's.

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                        • #27
                          And if the music I made last year did not suddenly turn bad because some of my tools released an upgrade, I guess I can use those same tools one more year


                          This gets my award for quote of the month!

                          Given the diversity of opinions already expressed, one can't help but feel a bit of sympathy for the manufacturers getting a bunch of diverse requests on where to go next...

                          BTW quick Acid comment...the folder tracks in Acid Pro 5 go a long way toward making the "one loop per track" thing much more friendly.
                          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Probably a lot of users will not agree with me, but I think a lot of the confusion is caused by adding new features which changes the concept of the program too much.

                            Take the now dead ReBirth for example. Reason is not ReBirth 4, but other companies would have done it like that. By adding features you create a whole new program when you change the workflow. This happened to Live when adding VSTi. The same would have happened when Reason would get an audio input and midi output. Although a lot of users would be happy, would this be a logical decision? Wouldn't it be better to create a new name for such a program? Or add a new program and let it sync perfectly using Rewire?

                            Logic, Cubase and Sonar they have video added. Wouldn't it be simply better if these program focus on MIDI and Audio DAW. And please let some company create a simple rewire2-based video player. QuickTime support, mpeg2 etc. Simple, it should simply slave to the host. Probably within a couple of years you will be able to EDIT video in these DAWs. But would that make sense?

                            So, yeah probably the next step for Ableton would be to add video too. But I do believe that some people, like myself, who consider Live as a quick way to record audio, feel that this concept is changing too much. Take a look at the way Live works, how you can set a play pointer in the arranger window, it has all been changed a few times over the years. So some basic operations have been changed in Live 5 which created a different feel when using the app. I don't feel this is perfect.

                            Take a look at Reason. They added the Malstrom, NNXT, new effects. But nothing, ever did change the workflow. Propellerhead will probably focus on a new application because Reason is an application with a specific goal. I do believe this is a very smart way of creating great software with a strong userbase. People really believe in these programs, because it's not about lot of features, it's about useful features which are easy accessible.

                            Don't get me wrong, I love Live. But I personally am not wanting more features. Live 5 is a great program and I can imagine using it for years and years without any more upgrades

                            Regards,

                            Marco Raaphorst
                            http://melodiefabriek.nl

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              [i
                              I’m determined to find a workaround, but so far haven’t been successful. Basically, I think there are two options. One is to record the set’s audio in real time (using Minidisc or whatever) so I have an audio record of where the solo button was pressed, then go back into Live and edit the tracks in the Arrangement view to reflect this. The other option that just occurred to me is to program a preset in the PC1600x where hitting a solo button doesn’t tie to a track’s solo button, but instead sends out a string with multiple commands to mute all other tracks, as Mutes are recorded. I’m pretty sure the PC1600x can send out strings that are long enough, we’ll see.


                              I think your workaround is the crossfader button, which can be much more flexible and "groupable" than just using solo buttons. With the crossfader slammed hard left or right, you could use any track's crossfade buttons as you would the solos, and it can be recorded. More than that, you can have the crossfader in the middle, choose a handful of tracks you want to mix out, select their crossfade buttons appropriately (I have all of mine key-mapped), then slam your crossfader to cut the tracks out. Once you get used to it, the crossfader is way more flexible than just using solos to mix tracks in and out--it has two sides, can fade, the data can be recorded, and you can choose more tracks than you have fingers to cut out all at once, since you can set up crossfade buttons with the crossfader centered and not mess up audio, then slam the crossfader at the appropriate time. Whereas with solos you have to perfectly hit all of the solo buttons you want at the same time, in perfect time with the music to get the sound you want, and are limited to however many buttons you can press at once. The crossfader is crucial for live use of Live.

                              Ryan

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Marco Raaphorst
                                Probably a lot of users will not agree with me, but I think a lot of the confusion is caused by adding new features which changes the concept of the program too much.

                                ...


                                I agree with you. Look at what has happened to FruityLoops over the past two years. It evolved from being a nice rhythm machine to a DAW. The problem for me is I don't need another DAW and FL will never compete with Sonar. Same with Acid. When vs. 4 came out with MIDI and VSTi support it almost killed the product. I never heard so many complaints about a bad implimentation of a new feature. Maybe they got it right with 5 but I am almost afraid to look.

                                I wish all these great little mini-studios would stop trying to be full fledged DAW's that support every format and every way of making music.

                                Robert
                                My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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