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  • How Many of You Have Switched from One Main DAW to Another?

    I'm not including learning additional DAWs, but actually changing your main squeeze DAW.

    I ask because there's a lot of drama surrounding Cakewalk closing its doors, and I'm wondering a) how common it is for people to switch, and b) if any of you have helpful tips about making this kind of transition.

    Ironically I switched to Sonar back in 2000 from using a combination of Cubase for hard disk recording/MIDI, and Acid for loops. The transition was relatively pain-free because both Acid and Cubase were able to load older projects, so I could finish things off at my leisure and start new projects in Sonar.

    It does seem that quite a few people left Pro Tools for Logic. I'm also seeing people ditching other programs for Studio One and Reaper. How about y'all?
    Last edited by Anderton; 12-03-2017, 03:47 PM.
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  • #2
    I haven't switched DAW's so to speak, just added to the collection. Sonar 8.5 and Project 5.2 are my creative workplace DAW's and Studio One is my mastering soluton(ver. 2.6.5). Ableton Live lite is my experimental DAW and Cubase is my "Reminder" DAW(to remind me of why I never use it when I get that feeling that I should give it a shot again). Traktion was free so I just setup some templates and filter racks to give it a try...... someday.

    With all those choices I don't need to switch just use what I need when I need it. I don't need a new DAW because with what I got I can do everything and more.I think I'm set for a while for any requirement I come across.

    The situation at Cakewalk is a bit dire for some worried about being updated(by Windows) out of Platinum. It may be prudent to wait and see in my opinion but panic may get the better in that desperate circumstance. Also the DAW war is starting with some early "Other DAW" adopters. Everyone wants to believe they make sensible choices even when in reality they don't.

    My hope is things work out and if one really wants to switch that they thoroughly demo their choices BEFORE they open their wallet's.
    Last edited by CTStump; 12-03-2017, 11:06 PM. Reason: Spelling errors due to FAT fingers, small phone

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    • #3
      I routinely don't use a DAW, but when I need one - usually for an experiment or a product review - I go to Reaper. I have a Version 4 license. When I reviewed Modo Bass, I "upgraded" to Reaper 5 because version 4 didn't support VST3, which Modo Bass is. But I have Version 5 installed on only one computer and use it in the "annoyware" mode, when I need to use that computer or a VST3 plug-in. I have MixBus 3 and 4 licenses and like what they're doing, but I haven't really spent enough time with it yet to make it my go-to DAW, even when messing around.

      For routine editing, I use Sound Forge 10. I've been with that program probably longer than any other digital audio software. Just last week I tried to find the "lite" version that they used to have and found two new less expensive versions, both of which totally lost the ease of editing a stereo file that the original has, so it's not likely that I'll be upgrading to the current Sound Forge Pro. Version 10 runs fine under Windows 7, both 32- and 64-bit versions, which is probably as far as I'm going as far as OSs

      For multitrack recording and within-track editing and comping, I'm still using my Mackie HDR2496. I don't know where I'll go when that eventually fails, but with four of them here, I can probalby keep one going for as long as I can still hear and see. For mixing, I use an analog console.

      I would like to replace the console, but modern digital consoles, while having plenty of channels, don't have enough I/O (ports) to use with an external multitrack recorder. And while they'll capture multiple tracks, I'd have to move to a different platform for editing. I'm not beyond importing files captured from a console into the Mackie recorder for editing, but then I'd have to transfer then to something that the console can read in order to mix them. Too much monkey business!

      Sadly, an adequate analog console today is priced out of my (no) business model.
      Last edited by MikeRivers; 12-04-2017, 06:32 AM.
      --
      "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
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      • #4
        The last time I did a major DAW switch was when Apple acquired Emagic and they decided to ditch Logic support on PCs.

        I went to Pro Tools and never looked back.

        **********

        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
        - George Carlin

        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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        • #5
          I`ve been using DP since 2000, Reason since 2008? However, I`m a bit frustrated with DP. The endless window diving and mini-menus is really a distraction to my workflow so I`ve been crawling evermore to Ableton Live... I`m finishing up a major project now so no sense in jumping ship just yet but I can see a pretty clear jump in January when the project is over...

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          • #6
            Have both Cubase VST and the later Cubase SX
            However for non midi work and assembling ideas I increasingly find myself going to Audacity (laugh ye not) particularly because it doesn't mess with my midi thru chains the way Cubase does even when just using audio .
            .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ernest Buckley View Post
              I`ve been using DP since 2000, Reason since 2008? However, I`m a bit frustrated with DP. The endless window diving and mini-menus is really a distraction to my workflow so I`ve been crawling evermore to Ableton Live... I`m finishing up a major project now so no sense in jumping ship just yet but I can see a pretty clear jump in January when the project is over...
              I recall you really being into Reason, I would think that now with plug-ins and more developed audio, you would have stuck with that. What exactly is it about Ableton Live (a great program, by the way!) that's seducing you?

              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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              • #8
                I was on Cakewalk early on, then switched to Logic just in time for Apple to pull the rug out from under PC installations of Logic. I ran Logic as my main DAW for about a year on a borrowed Mac with insufficient horsepower. So back to Cakewalk/Sonar 'till now.

                Me'n'the buddies are all looking at the various packages. Reaper has such an advantage with that low, low entry level price. I'll probably load up Reaper on the laptop I use for tracking. But I'll continue to use Sonar on a desktop that holds my UAD cards and such, for mixing/mastering. At least for a few years, hopefully.

                Theoretically, I'm looking forward to using a new DAW with a different point of view - might help me adjust the way I work to some advantage.

                Practically, I get a very tired feeling right off the bat perusing the manuals for the various DAWs on offer, thinking, "jeez, I was just getting Sonar customized and memorized and optimized...now all these dinky details to unlearn and relearn to just recapture square one..."

                nat

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                • #9
                  I am still using Pro Tools, and have been since 2000, switching from SAW+.

                  I attempted to switch earlier in the year from Pro Tools to Reaper. I'm generally a reasonably smart guy, but I felt stupid trying to learn the program. And part of the reason was because I just don't have the time to devote to learning things, and so learning something and writing copious notes only to not be able to touch it again for two weeks is not a great way to learn something. I need the reps. I need the muscle memory. The whole bit.

                  When I switched from SAW+ to PT, I had a lot more time, and could devote weeks to tinkering around with the incredibly more complex PT. It took me about a month to become reasonably fluent on it, I think, although obviously, I kept getting better.

                  So even though PT is some respects is not always an ideal DAW, 17 years of building a rapport with it is important to me, and I've decided to continue using it even if Reaper might be superior in some ways.
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                  • #10
                    I don't know how relevant my experience is to this discussion—because most of my switching occurred back when sequencing programs were adding audio and Pro Tools was adding MIDI—but I'll share my experience just in case it's helpful.

                    I started out with Performer (before DP) for MIDI and found it easy to learn. I also used Sound Tools (Pro Tools' predecessor) for audio and also found it easy to learn. I then bought Pro Tools Project with its associated hardware, but the first version of Digital Performer didn't support Pro Tools hardware, so I moved to Logic Audio 1.0, which did.

                    Logic Audio was a powerful sequencer, but it wasn't easy to learn. Its object oriented approach offered both extra features—like separate playback quantize settings for each object—and extra obstacles, such as not being able to copy a portion of an object without first cutting it at the point(s) where the copy begins and/or ends. Once DP began supporting Pro Tools hardware, I gave up Logic Audio and moved back to DP for most of my work.

                    As the era of virtual instruments faded in, I began to get frustrated with MOTU's approach to instantiating VIs: they required two tracks for each VI—one for MIDI and another for audio. Around this time, Pro Tools MIDI features became far more robust; and they hosted each VI with a single MIDI/Audio track. At that point, I started using Pro Tools as a full fledged DAW—rather than solely as an audio program—and stopped using DP.

                    I kept upgrading DP and Logic Pro nonetheless—both for backward compatibility and to use the occasional Logic instrument—but I'm currently one version behind in both programs. I wonder if the things that bothered me about both have since been fixed.

                    I also owned copies of Studio Vision and Cubase in the early days, and I have recent copies of Studio One, Live, and Reason; but I never spent much time using them. My experience tells me that the ease or difficulty of migrating depends on how you work and what features you need, so it's a good idea to try before you buy or at least do some research.

                    Best,

                    Geoff
                    Enthusiasm powers the world.

                    Craig Anderton's Archiving Article

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                    • #11
                      I am relearning what little I knew of Cubase. I have basically run 3 DAWs interlaced with my Roland VS880 and 1880 I had for a number of years. Cakewalk and Steinberg DAWs having been what I cut my teeth on collectively through the late 1980s and into the 90s. Late 90s was the VS Rolands, then back into a DAW. I actually spent the massive $990.00 on Logic 7 and a G5 Mac Pro back in 2002. Logic was NOT logical back then, and I returned to Cakewalk for a while. In 2010 I think... Logic 9 came out, I had a 27inch iMac and I went back to Logic with a sideserving of Cubase because I got AI with my Yamaha XF8 and paid a decent price to upgrade to Cubase Pro.

                      Biggest thing that attracted me initially to the idea of Cubase was the Chord track. As a non theory musician, some of what that does, is very appealing. I did however more or less stick between Cakewalk and Logic, MOSTLY Logic, because I gave up on relying on the crappy API Windows gives by comparison to Core Audio on the Mac. And I built very stable PCs compared to most store bought ones. I just have a hate/hate relationship to microsoft fostered during my DR DOS and Quemm and OS2 days .

                      Anyway, long story short, I am switching to Cubase over time now, and so far, other than noobie mistakes, mostly due to my being used to my X-Touch working as designed with Logic, but not with Cubase. I am taking the attitude of, new projects on Cubase, or REALLY old ones, I just haven't fixed yet from way back.

                      Sorry if that's long winded.

                      Tony.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                        I recall you really being into Reason, I would think that now with plug-ins and more developed audio, you would have stuck with that. What exactly is it about Ableton Live (a great program, by the way!) that's seducing you?
                        I have not updated Reason in a while so I have not taken advantage of it`s new capabilities. Even so, I will continue to use Reason as I have always done which is mostly for pre-production and for their synths/drum machines. I use Reason more as a sound palette than its DAW features. Opening it up to 3rd party developers is interesting but its not a game changer for me. I always loved the endless sonic abyss it offers. And it has never crashed... not once.

                        As for DP, its been slowly me down. I`m tired of constantly switching between windows and menus. I`ve been using it for a long time and I know it well but again, I`m constantly fiddling and adjusting windows... very frustrating. What really lures me about LIVE is it`s drag and drop features, the simplicity of two windows, and of course, the clips window opens up a whole new world of improvisation. The program was built with everything you need right there in front of you, its almost as if the program knows what you need before you do.

                        E
                        Last edited by Ernest Buckley; 12-05-2017, 05:50 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Geoff Grace View Post
                          As the era of virtual instruments faded in, I began to get frustrated with MOTU's approach to instantiating VIs: they required two tracks for each VI—one for MIDI and another for audio.
                          Another instance of DP slowing down the process. I often have 4-5 VIs which means 8-10 tracks... why MOTU cannot simplify and reroute everything internally is beyond me but it would make sense.
                          Last edited by Ernest Buckley; 12-05-2017, 05:48 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ernest Buckley View Post

                            Another instance of DP slowing down the process. I often have 4-5 VIs which means 8-10 tracks... why MOTU cannot simplify and reroute everything internally is beyond me but it would make sense.
                            You would think that adding a type of track that could handle both the audio streaming as well as the MIDI data wouldn't be that difficult from a programming standpoint - don't most DAWs have this feature now?

                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                            • #15
                              No switches recently.
                              In the past:
                              Started on CoolEdit
                              Switched to Cakewalk
                              Switched to Sonar - Released one or two albums with it
                              Switched to Tracktion
                              Tried Acid, released 1 song with it
                              Switched to Reaper (around 2009) - I've stuck with it ever since. I've released 5 or 6 albums with it.

                              I still use CoolEdit for its noise, hiss & crackle reduction when digitizing old analog music.
                              I can do everything else within Reaper, or at least, I haven't found anything else Reaper can't do better...
                              Last edited by philboking; 12-05-2017, 12:22 PM.

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