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ALT DAWs: How do you feel about Digital Performer or Cubase?

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  • #16
    I use Live and Cubase. I upgraded Live at the last payed upgrade cycle but not Cubase. I just did not see anything new in Cubase that was of immediate interest.

    Live is far more than a loop player/arranger. I find it pretty easy to use. I can use Cubase to record and host VSTs, edit midi, and whatnot, but I find the interface a bit annoying and less intuitive than Live. Also the version that I own uses a dongle (I am not sure about the latest upgrade) which you might find to be a PITA or not care.
    Gribs

    ...Music can be used to stimulate mass emotion, while mathematics cannot; and musical incapacity is recognized (no doubt rightly) as mildly discreditable, whereas most people are so frightened of the name of mathematics that they are ready, quite unaffectedly, to exaggerate their own mathematical stupidity.

    G.H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).

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    • #17
      Been a DP user since 2.7, and although I took a small detour with Logic 8, I'm back in DP full time. Never used Cubase, so can't comment. For me DP is simply the most intuitive and simple (yet extremely deep) DAW of choice. IMO, if you're coming from PT, DP is the DAW of choice. I have a friend who has PT and working within it is very similar.

      The DP plugins are excellent, and getting better with every release or update. The VI's aren't top notch but very useable. I have all outboard keys anyway with the exception of Trilian, Stylus RMX and VB3. I have other VI plugins but they remain unused for the most part.

      Another nice thing about DP is the existence of a community that is very helpful over at http://www.motunation.com/forum/index.php

      HTH,

      aL
      www.Six30Jam.com

      http://www.youtube.com/six30jam

      ____________________

      Nord Stage
      Nord Piano 88
      Kurzweil PC361
      Numa Organ
      Yamaha An1x

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      • #18
        Cubase is huge in Europe. Alot of press given in their tech mags to it, such as in Music Tech, Computer Music, Future music, etc. DP has a strong following in the film world in the usa. I know it is an awesome program, just don't hear much about it. It is a crowed field.

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        • #19
          Oh, another feature I sorely missed in Logic was the ability to create and save multiple mixes of the same tune. That's just very handy when you want to experiment with another mix and want to A/B two or more mixes or if you want to save your mixes to work on them later when you've regained some objectivity. I've mixed some tunes where I had 23 separate and distinct mixes and I could go back to any of them within the same project file to see/hear the changes and compare and contrast.

          I know Logic is not an issue here, but, it's my best point of reference having used it for a while.

          Where DP also shines is in midi. For example, in DP you can line up a midi track and an audio track to line up your midi with audio. It's a simple and elegant solution.

          Also, using multiple keyboard as sound sources and controllers in DP is a breeze. Simply select the input keyboard and its channel, the output board (or VI) and its channel and you're set to go!!! It's that simple.

          aL
          www.Six30Jam.com

          http://www.youtube.com/six30jam

          ____________________

          Nord Stage
          Nord Piano 88
          Kurzweil PC361
          Numa Organ
          Yamaha An1x

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          • #20
            I use Live and Cubase. I upgraded Live at the last payed upgrade cycle but not Cubase. I just did not see anything new in Cubase that was of immediate interest.

            Live is far more than a loop player/arranger. I find it pretty easy to use. I can use Cubase to record and host VSTs, edit midi, and whatnot, but I find the interface a bit annoying and less intuitive than Live. Also the version that I own uses a dongle (I am not sure about the latest upgrade) which you might find to be a PITA or not care.


            +1

            While Ableton's "Session View" functions more like a looped Groovebox sequencer, switching it over to "Arrangement View" lays everything out horizontally to function like a more traditional multitrack DAW. I used to record on Adobe Audition and it took me awhile to adjust to the Session View, but it was worth the effort to learn. It functions a lot like my MC-505 and really easy to work out ideas on the fly before laying them down to solid tracks.

            My only complaint with it is that it doesn't export multi-channel MIDI files. Surprised they haven't updated that yet.
            Hard: JP-8000, MC-505, R3, microSTATION, Moog Theremin, miniKP, Ineko, Bitrman
            Soft: Ableton Live 8, Korg Legacy Collection, FM8, D16 Classic Boxes/SilverLine Collection

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            • #21
              DP has always been my sequencer of choice even before it was called Digital Performer. All of my experience is Mac-based.

              It started as a program called Performer which was a MIDI only sequencer with notation. Since then, they obviously added audio and have been at the cutting edge ever since. If you are familiar with Pro Tools then DP is probably the most similar sequencing program. We used to use DP as a front end for my partner's Pro Tools system when tracking because it had so many more features and the audio editing and manipulation is fantastic. The only reason we would use PT for mixing was when we wanted to automate the TDM effects. We have been using Digital Performer to do surround recording and mixing for over 10 years and it has always worked like a champ despite throwing a ton of tracks at it and mixing across 7 speakers.

              MOTU has continued to add tons of new features including great plug-ins and soft synths, so it's a very complete, mature and stable system. I won't repeat what others have written about the ability to make it exactly what you need it to be, but I will verify that it is so deep that I would expect you will never use half of what it is capable of. MOTU also developed Volta, which if you have modular gear, is an amazingly cool tool that uses your MOTU interface to integrate your modular synths into the DP environment.

              Digital Performer is very much an American software program and it is not common overseas where Cubase rules. I tried Cubase many years ago but it didn't impress me enough to want to switch. I'm sure it's a lot better than it used to be... The only thing that used to give me pause about switching was the VST compatibility of Cubase. MOTU is not very VST compatible, and used to require a VST wrapper which was very kludgy. AU is the new Mac standard for plug ins which MOTU had a big hand in developing, so now it works fantastic and offers a lot of sophisticated options including full Rewire support. They also sell Unisyn which is one of the few remaining synth patch editing software out there, so you can catalog and edit most of your keyboard presets and select the patches by name in DP . They sell all the interfaces too - MIDI and audio - so it ends up being a very complete and tight system (and they are great products too!).

              I would expect that DP is most popular with composers and film scorers since it has all of the key features that would be required in an orchestral or film environment such as excellent notation and tight and easy integration of video synched to the audio for doing film cues and SFX hits.
              Access Virus KC; Akai MPC1000; Alesis D5, Masterlink; Elektron Monomachine SFX60II, Emu Emax SE HD Rack, Audity 2000; Ensoniq VFX-SD; Future Retro Revolution; Jomox XBase 09; Korg CX-3 with H&K Rotosphere, KP3 Kaoss Pad, DW8000; Kurzweil K2000 Sampler; Midair 25 & 37 wireless keyboards; Moog Source, Voyager XL; Oberheim OB8; Federation BPM; Roland V-Synth w/ D50 and Vocal Designer, JD-800, SH-101, RD200, RD350s, TR606; Sequential Circuits Pro-1; Waldorf Q Keyboard; Yamaha TX-81Z, G2 Grand Piano

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              • #22
                My only real DAW experience is with Logic Express 8, Reaper and Cubase 6 Elements. I have a enough plug-ins and virtual instruments/effects that the other bells and whistles of the others aren't needed for me. I use a lot of Midi, and for me Cubase is the best. It does that part really, really well.
                http://soundcloud.com/donchesson

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                • #23
                  i use Digital Performer, it's extremely robust and reliable. as far as i know, it predates every single commercially available software sequencer for any platform currently on the market so i wouldn't call it alternative. i also use MaxMSP, i've been a user since the pre-MSP Opcode days.

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                  • #24
                    I've been using Cubase since version 2 for Atari ST! Really like it although I have switched to Nuendo now, which is very similar. I have no experience with DP but I don't particularly like Logic or Live...
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