Which is your current Favorite DAW as a Composer?

Which is your Favorite DAW to compose music in? :slight_smile:
(I have used 5 of them myself over the years)

I’ve used: Cubase, Reason, Reaper, Studio One (trial) and Logic Pro. Reason for 14 years, Cubase for 8 years, but when I found Logic Pro in 2014 I was so happy I went all in to master it. :stuck_out_tongue:

What I love about Logic Pro: I especially love the clean GUI (I hate clutter) and workflow of Logic, and that you can do so much advanced back-end features. I especially love and could not live without: Custom Screensets, Custom MIDI Transform macros, Varispeed, Step Input Recording, Record Repeat, The amazing range of selection commands, The extensive key command customizability etc.

Which DAWs have you used, which is your current go-to DAW, and why? :slight_smile:

Sincerely,
Mike

1 Like

I have been very interested in Logic many years ago, but then it was taken over by Apple and I decided to stay with Cubase. I can’t imagine using another DAW, it has everything I need from audio to midi and especially the Expression Maps which are a great tool for composer. I am using an very old PC from 2011, but I can still use a huge template with more than 500 tracks because I am using the “disable-track”-function. This allows me to load one instance of Play or Kontakt per articulation (or even a KS patch) and still save RAM and power, because you can disable tracks which are unloaded, but keep everything from inserts to routing. That’s a great tool. Is there anything similar in Logic?
Btw, imo Logic looks a little bit more professional und focused than Cubase.

3 Likes

I have my new iMac pro and I’m switching from ProTools to Cubase. Today was day 1. It’s gonna be a learning curve. So far I don’t see that they’re all that different.

I miss my Pro Tools smart tool, but I’m sure I’ll discover cool Cubase tools.

I’ll let you all know how it’s going!

2 Likes

I used Cubase for 8 years, and after 1 month in Logic I knew this was the DAW for me, so I switched. But Cubase is amazing with features for composers. We all have our own favorites. =)

Yes Logic can finally disable tracks and unload from RAM. There are some aspects of Logic that I love that are not available in other DAWs. But Cubase has for example expression maps and the chord track, which I think looks amazing.

There is no best DAW, only favorites. And it’s ok to switch, I have, several times as I said :stuck_out_tongue:

Sincerely,
Mike

Ah, yes every DAW is its special features and workflow that is unique. You will always miss some things when you switch :wink:

Since i have only 8 GB of Ram and cannot upgrade it cuz my Imac doesn’t let me lol. So i use now two Daws: Logic and Pro Tools.
Logic for composing, and pro Tools for mixing. I cannot compose and mix everything i want to in Logic cuz music libraries are huge and they affect a lot of pressure on CPU. So i found my own way what to do if you have only 8 GB of Ram and how to speed up your workflow. I compose a cue (any of cues) in logic, use purge function of libraries in Kontakt, and use multi-outputs of Kontakt to reduce a pressure on CPU. I compose everything in “RAW” , of course if we talk about orchestral music yes i use: modulation and expression wheels to create some dynamics, and of course work with velocities. But no eq, no compression, no effects. Then i export all files (dry) as a multitrack. But the idea is like tracking real instruments, so it means all of your instruments should sound good, even with no any audio processing on it (them). And then i import all multitrack to Pro Tools to mix. Cuz i found Pro tools much more effective (only in my own way), for mixing. Yes it takes some time but not like when you have 8 GB of Ram and try to do everything in one project. I really used to such method. So this is the only way for me to work on my music. Until i get rich and buy much more powerful Mac with much more ram :slight_smile:

1 Like

Oh I know what you mean, I have 32GB RAM maxed out my iMac and I am struggling! So I can not understand how you can make it work with 8GB :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s an interesting workflow you have though, more like composing and sending of the stems to a producer/mixer, which is yourself :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

I’ve used Logic for 10+ Years and loved it, but I recently had to switch to Nuendo when I went from Mac to PC. It’s a great cross-platform DAW but coming from Logic, it did take me about 2 weeks to adapt, but it was worth it. My productivity increased because of features i didn’t have in Logic such as:

  • Unlimited folders within folders structure
  • Search by track name to quickly navigate around big templates
  • Filtering options to Hide/Show specific tracks (for example: show only the strings, etc.)
  • Hide unused tracks
  • VariAudio (Unlike Flex in Logic that introduces a lot of glitches and has fewer controllers)
  • Control Room feature to send multiple mixes to musicians when recording them
  • Arranger track to test different composition structures (crucial when writing randomized sections for interactive video games for example)
  • Game Audio Connect that connects with WWISE immediately when writing music for games to speed up time working on different assets.
  • Media Bay that makes finding sounds so much easier without the need to buy BaseHead or SoundMiner
  • Great audio editing and comping tools
  • Group tracks, extremely useful for easy stemming
  • Zones (Ability to Pin tracks on one side to always see them)
  • Divider track (Ability to see specific tracks all the time in the arranger view even when you scroll)
  • Ability to easily export tracks or groups by ticking boxes and applying specific processing such as normalizing to a certain LUFS loudness or naming scheme
  • Super easy macros for repeated multi-actions
  • Multiple Marker tracks that could be set to follow either timecode or measures (extremely useful for taking notes)

If you do post production too, there are great features such as

  • ADR
  • VR Support
  • Conforming (for working with EDL files when picture changes happen)

There are upcoming features in the next update I’m super excited about such as CueSheet exporting and Video Export :smiley:

The only thing I really miss about Logic is the smart music notation, I used to easily prepare my music sheets in logic, then export them into music XML and into my notation software to work on the layout and other details.

2 Likes

I originally started with cakewalk for dos by 12 tone systems back in the early days …eventually I ran Cakewalk Sonar Platinum…When Cakwalk was put up for sale by Gibson, the future was bleak …The nearest competitor was Studio One …I jumped on the studio one bandwagon…My daughter wanted to produce club/house music and she was eligible for an educational version of Ableton live … I got it all up and running for her and played with live myself …I was really impressed with sessionview as it allowed for arranging and made a great scratchpad …I purchased suite for myself … Somewhere in the mix of all the daws , I purchased samplitude and Sequoia. Sequoia has an amazing summing engine… I know it’s all 1s and 0s but their summing engine is quite different …and the upper end air and transparency is very noticable. Everything is well defined and razor sharp. Anyhow , even though I’m retired, I’m doing a lot of projects outside of music right now . Ableton has a pretty quick workflow and seems to be the daw that I can progress on fairly quickly when I have limited time …

I use Pro tools mainly…with reason hanging off it if needed…I bought Cubase in the recent sale but I just want to load up Pro tools whenever I start it…

I have been a Ableton Live user since 2004, currently I have a love hate relationship with it mainly because of crashing issues and I have refused to upgrade to Ableton 10, because I have been planning on moving to Cubase but have avoided doing so because I am worried about the learning curve involved. But I will be making the jump with the next 30 days after pc build is completed with new installs of OS and all VST’s .

I am new to DAWs. I started with Garageband probably about 3 years ago, but at that time I was not interested in composing with a DAW. (Pen & Paper at that time) Now, I have moved on to Logic Pro X and I feel a little intemidated to get started with it.

I really love Logic Pro, but I can use Cubase (not like a PRO) and a little bit of Pro Tools.

However I think logic need some improvements but it’s the first DAW that I used and now I can say I’m pretty good at it, but I love cubase too (not the interface sorry :smile: ), so when I’m in a quite week or days I’m trying to learn Cubase

1 Like

hello
well i use CUBASE since i have discovered the MAO with the atari ST
i have now the cubase 10.
i use also REAPER because it is so easy to manipulate audio object, very good for spatialisation of the sound, compliant with all plugin available on the market, not expansive about 65$

So…I have gone back to Pro Tools.

Cubase just didn’t work for the way I compose.

In Cubase midi editing apparently always happens in the edit window, but I absolutely need to be able to edit midi where it sits in the “upper” window—what Cubase calls its “project window.” I can’t be forced to go to a special edit window elsewhere in order to move, copy, and paste notes. Maybe you can do this in Cubase, but I just didn’t see it?

The reason I need this is that I write on piano first, then I “pull the notes down” from the piano foundation into the orchestra, muting them in the piano foundation as I go. I need to be able to see, next and parallel to each other, the piano track that’s the source, and the, say, string tracks that are the destination, and see what notes have been orchestrated so far, what notes I have left to go, and what notes have been muted in the piano foundation. Cubase made that procedure so cumbersome it was essentially impossible.

Also, there’s a minor difference that was a dealbreaker. In both PT and Cubase you can mute midi notes, which as stated above is part of my orchestration workflow. But in Cubase, once you mute a note, if you click on it it makes no sound. In PT, a muted note will still sound if you click on it.

This is idiotic for Cubase to do this. Yes, the note is muted, but if you click on a note, you obviously want to hear it. Silence doesn’t help the composer in that circumstance.

As I orchestrate, I often need to remind myself what notes have been transported to the orchestra so far. I need to be able to click on a muted note in the piano track, hear it, and then go find where in the orchestra I put it. Like “ok, I put that note in the violas, so I’ll put the next one in V2.” Cubase forced me to unmute midi notes in order to hear them. When I realized that, I had PT installed on my new rig 15 minutes later, and I was working again.

I’ll add that I think PT, in every way, seems to fit an “old school” style of working. I can see how Cubase might fit more modern “play-it-straight-into-the-orchestra” styles of creation.

But PT fits me. I’m also a longtime recording engineer—one of the last of the razor blade-using tape-cutters. I love to print audio. Even now that I have 256 gigs and VEP, I still print audio as I go. It’s so easy to undo, and there are some edits that ultimately are way easier to do to audio than with midi data.

Once I’m done with an orchestration and it’s time to mix, I want to be DONE with midi. And nothing is more annoying than trying to mix midi instruments that are keyswitching. You go to some soft, pretty point in the song and your 2nd violins are keyswitched to halftone trills. UGH. Print that shit so it always sounds right! And yeah, you could print in Cubase, but it was more cumbersome.

Also, for all you non-PT people, HOW DO YOU LIVE WITHOUT AUDIOSUITE??? I couldn’t believe it when I found out it doesn’t even exist in Cubase!

Maybe that’s my old school mind, but you gotta be comfortable.

Ok, bloody long post… Maybe?

Having started in the days of Pro24, and seeing the evolution of hardware and software, and for a long time sold and supported systems from bedrooms to film post, Ive always believed most software starts with its foundation… Its in the DNA …

Ive always said Cubase (post Pro 24) and Logic (Post Creator/Notator) where founded on midi and sequencing, Eventually adding Audio.
Just as Protools (Post Soundtools) eventually added Midi.
To implement either, all companies are constrained to a workflow…
Im sure no developer wants to Alienate their users with a new GUI…

A great example that comes to mind is Apple and Final Cut 7……
Here in Australia, our National broadcaster the ABC dropped AVID and their Unity Systems due to the fact, FC7 could do everything they needed to at an enormous cost saving…
FC7/Studio was going gang busters everywhere…
Then, FCPX happened, The backlash was , well, EPIC.
Apples reasons where the FCP7 engine….It was based on code from the G3 days… Understandable, but, workflow change dramatically…
Id like to think Apple learnt a lot from this, and believe they did, Because every logic user waiting for Logic X where sweating bullets….
New Logic, new engine (64bit ect) ….

Luckily, they delivered… Because after the FCX debacle , they integrated the new with the old…

No DAW will ever be perfect.

Every DAW has features you wish it had that others do , but in use, a workflow no other does.

So.
Ive used many a platform and many a DAW
Once a Cubase User, all thew way from 1 to 5 VST, , and thats when logic hit its stride, logic 5 which also supported VST’s.…. I Dabbled between cubase and Logic….
Then OSX was upon us. Both Logic 6 and Cubase SX OSX only.
As for the reasons mentioned , I felt id be learning a new program with SX

As for logic, the inbuilt plugs fx & Inst, so much easier to create a track with a VI and hit record…and the polarisingThe environment page (Made a great JP8 editor as mine was fitted with a groove electronics mod) , Every other program felt convoluted…

For composing, Logic is my goto. , the included Plugs are fking amazing… They aren’t just thrown in…. Though EXS def needs updating (but at least Alchemy loads the libraries)…

Forget comparisons, because I swear, if they were available as multiplatform… well , you get my point.

Still , its a double edge sword… Available only on one OS, Available only on one Program.

Is the ecosystem worth it? Yeh. for me.

But, for post, thats a different story…… Protools ( I so hope DaVinci’s fairlight smacks avid around a bit though)

1 Like

I’ve started with Fruty Loops 4… Was introduced to it by a high school friend. Prior to that I was only playing instruments and never really knew that you could record music in a computer… Only used computers for video games, lol.

After my year long boggle with FL, I’ve tried Cubase 5, cause that was what I saw in most recording studios around here. Used it for quite a long time and was happy with it!

Until a friend told me about Pro Tools! It was hype and quite interesting cause it would not run without the proprietary hardware. Also they told me it’s the industry standard, so I jumped on the PT train.

A few years later another friend mentioned Logic. By that time I tried Ableton and Reason. But Logic was so interesting to me! It was Mac only and it was then that I got my 1st Mac. As a PC user, was so amazed by the optimization and the system feats, that I never looked back to another DAW as a main DAW.

Currently I’m using Logic and Pro Tools most of the time.

2 Likes