My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by awjoe »

This thread's been an eye-opener for me. I assumed, like I do with most things, that most people are way better at DAWs than I am. But it seems that most people don't know a lot about any DAW other than the one they've used since they were born. Maybe another question to add to the survey is 'how many DAWs are you more or less familiar with?'

'Cause if you only know one DAW, you're not in a great position to know what your top features and functions are.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by CS70 »

awjoe wrote:This thread's been an eye-opener for me. I assumed, like I do with most things, that most people are way better at DAWS than I am. But it seems that most people don't know a lot about any DAW other than the one they've used since they were born.

That's because, as this thread shows, the differences are minimal, and mostly cosmetic.

I may have missed something, but the only stuff that's a little bit DAW-specific are Cubases' automatic harmony and chord tools and my mention of ProChannel (which however is nothing more than a pre-loaded set of plugins). And it's just a little specific... there's plugins for automatic harmony and chord tools.

Harrison is a bit off because its audio engine has built-in distortion and crosstalk. I have it but it wasn't enough of a thing for me to shift.

So, so long it works, a DAW is a DAW, just like a drill is a drill. You pick a top shelf one and that's about all the attention it needs.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by John Egan »

REASON

awjoe wrote: 'Cause if you only know one DAW, you're not in a great position to know what your top features and functions are.

I'm not sure that it matters whether you have the best DAW with the top features (whatever that is). The music matters. I think it's worth asking if there is anything that your current DAW will not support sensibly that a different DAW would enable.
I have in the past used Sonar as my DAW, but was put off by a change in appearance and style and so moved to Reason. At that time I also tried Live, Tracktion and Cubase, but they didn't grab me at all. There was also Project 5 from Cakewalk, which I found interesting, but it was discontinued. Once Reason enabled recording, I was able to move to it completely, having already started to use its MIDI instruments alongside Sonar, using Rewire. I have seen no reason to change since.

Regards, John
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by ore_terra »

CS70 wrote:
Harrison is a bit off because its audio engine has built-in distortion and crosstalk. I have it but it wasn't enough of a thing for me to shift.

I tried it and liked it initially. but lack of stability was a big issue for me.

I sometimes export stereo mixes from Cubase and do the master bus processing in Harrison Mixbus, but that's all I'm using it for these days.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by Matt Houghton »

CS70 wrote: as this thread shows, the differences are minimal, and mostly cosmetic.

Perhaps I didn't phrase my post about Reaper very well, then. While I agree to an extent when it comes to most DAWs — they've all largely converged on the same basic model, with a few different frills around the edges, and GUI differences — some of Reaper's functionality and approach is very different from that of other DAWs.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by Arpangel »

The play slider in Reaper is my favourite function.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by ConcertinaChap »

Mike Stranks wrote:Hello! Mr Party-Pooper here! :wave:


Bob Bickerton wrote:STOP THINKING - MAKE MUSIC!


awjoe wrote:'Cause if you only know one DAW, you're not in a great position to know what your top features and functions are.

Welcome, my friends, to the People's Party Pooper Party. Your membership cards are in the post.

CC
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by James Perrett »

awjoe wrote: 'Cause if you only know one DAW, you're not in a great position to know what your top features and functions are.

I would guess that quite a few users of the newer DAW's like Studio One, Reaper and Mixbus have moved from something else.

When I bought my first computer based recording system I spent quite a bit of time looking at the alternatives and nearly went for a Sadie or Soundscape system but the cheapskate in me won out and I ended up with a Turtle Beach Multisound card and its associated Wave software which wasn't really up to the job. Fortunately the hardware was supported by the Software Audio Workshop which gave me 4 tracks of stereo audio on a 486 computer.

On the MIDI side I went through Sequencer Plus, Cubase and Cakewalk before ending up with Voyetra's Digital Orchestrator Plus which was the first software I used that could combine audio and MIDI. However, the audio side wasn't particularly sophisticated so I later moved on to Cool Edit Pro which was bought by Adobe and renamed Audition, before finally moving to Reaper around 10 years ago.

Along the way I also bought Sound Forge which entitled me to use simplified versions of Vegas and Acid and I also kept an eye on what Cakewalk were doing and tried a few of their demos. I also demo'd Samplitude for a while.

I don't know how many other people have kept an eye on alternatives in the way that I did but I thought it was a fairly common thing to do.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by Forum Admin »

awjoe wrote: 'Cause if you only know one DAW, you're not in a great position to know what your top features and functions are.

This topic isn't really about comparing DAWs. Even if you only have experience of using one DAW, there is huge merit in everyone stating their Top 5 features/functions of the DAW they do use.

Thanks for the continued input/feedback.
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Reaper: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by The Bunk »

Well first up, Reaper here.

This has been interesting; as an enthusiastic but strictly amateur spare bedroom producer, my initial thoughts were that really what matters to me would be way down on the lists of those who are more experienced and better than me and, in a number of cases, professionals. But it's been reassuring to see features that I share with many others. And the point about most of us using a small percentage of our DAW's capabilities was also reassuring. I've often felt I'm missing out on what Reaper can do. For what I use it for, that appears not to be the case.

Anyway, to answer the question...You may notice some of my technical terminology is a tad "slack".

I'll start by referring readers back to my first line if I may:

1) Cost OK maybe not a "feature" as such and definitely not a function, but there's no point in someone like me spending £x00s on a DAW.
2) Importing etc Referred to a number of times above but the ease of drag/drop when eg using samples is a major benefit to me.
3) Editing, moving stuff around I've shown a couple of mates how to do this and their view is "wow that looks complicated". In reality it's very similar to the way they would edit a word document, and that's not at all complicated when you know how.
4) Real-time / live "tweaking / monitoring" I'm not sure I've explained that at all well but I have used a DAW which would not allow you to hear adjustments to things like EQ / Reverb etc etc as you made them. You'd have to do the tweak, stop playback and then re-start. I'm sure Reaper's not alone in that but not being able to do it that way was a considerable PITA.
5) Updates To be honest every time one of these pops up, I look at the relevant details and it's all mumbo-jumbo to me. But the process of updating is dead easy, and it also shows they're responding to comments / suggestions.

HTH!
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by Forum Admin »

James Perrett wrote:I don't know how many other people have kept an eye on alternatives in the way that I did but I thought it was a fairly common thing to do.

That's a bit worrying for us at SOS, since we created the DAW monthly workshop articles to both (a) give those users of Reason, Cubase, Live et al something to read each month, and (b) since our reader surveys told us there was DAW crossover/multiple usage, having a range of the core DAWs each issue allowed folks to peruse how things are done in a different DAW.

Well, we've got a 2019 Reader Survey coming up later this year, so we'll get an up-to-date picture on DAW usage/owenership then.
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Re: My Top 5 DAW Features & Functions

Post by MOF »

we created the DAW monthly workshop articles to both (a) give those users of Reason, Cubase, Live et al something to read each month

I use Logic and ages ago bought Protools for some of the AIR plugins but never really got around to using it properly, since then I’ve gone down the UAD route to get those plugins.
I occasionally read the Protools articles but mostly the Logic ones. Maybe it’s just me but I find getting updates from the Avid site is impossible and it puts me off using it.
In answer to the main question I love the multiple un-do and re-do facility, the ability to colour patterns so that I know which patterns are the same but triggering a different (stacked) synth or where I’ve repeated elsewhere in a song, the ability to copy sections and try out different arrangements without damaging the original one and in a similar vein being able to add longer intros and outros which were almost impossible in the days of tape, especially when it got to the use of timecode striping to synchronise the computer.
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