Hello all, what are your favorite DAW's and why? What are the specific advantages to each? Currently I am running Ableton 9 and I am very comfortable with it. I would also like to look at other DAWs to possibly help my workflow or for any other particular uses that one would excel in. Thanks!
I directly went into Live and I stick with it for now so I can't really compare with other DAW's. I like the session mode even if I don't do live performances, it allows me to doodle around pretty easily and then with the arrangement view I can compose, go from one another.
I'm pretty interested by Renoise and Reason tho, but they seem complicated as fuck, like running the matrix or somethin. will stick with live until I'm a bit more experienced.
On the sideway, I loved garageband. Yea, go on, laugh if you want but it's actually a big software for beginners. Very intuitive, I learned the basics of DAW thanks to garageband and nice things can still be done with it. I agree it's quite limited and noobish but there is enough for a beginner to learn a lot
Live is absolutely perfect for me. It would take a wall of text to describe why but in general, the clip mode > layout mode work flow, massive integration options, audio editing and warping tools, and it has an amazing tenacity to kill it for live jams and performances. I get so many cool ideas by mapping a bunch of ridiculous parameters to my controllers and just going bananas with it.
I started out with Reason a long time ago and slowly started making the switch over to Live. It started by rewiring Reason and using Reason as more of an instrument. Slowly I started using more VSTs than Reason to the point now where I hardly use Reason anymore. Reason is great, but its easier to get the sounds I'm looking for with VST and Live.
FL Studio 9. Because it's the only one I can find my way around in.
The later versions are IMO too different and messy, I could never get used to em.
I like that you can have ghost channels so won't have to rely on just your ears.
I like that the vsts have their own window that you can move around rather than them being fixated in one place.
Note properties and channel controls are easy accessible within the "Piano-roll" which is great especially if you are making breakcore.
It is simple to name/rename and even color-code your channels.
Also the interface-color matches IDMf
I like Live: being able to save 'just a clip' frees me (mentally) to experiment, keep the good bits and re-assemble them later much more easy than with other DAWs I've tried. I've found with Orion and FL that I would find myself thinking in terms of a 'track' purely because the file structure encouraged that. With live I can make lots of 'bits' and worry about what to do with them later.
This also facilitates re-use and iterative use of things like drones, drumlines and so on.
I also like instrument racks. I have a couple of drum rack presets with instances of operator in them for drums, hooked up to beat repeat and controlled via macro controls, so there's a lot of flexibility with workflow and creating your own 'kit', even before you start mucking about with Max4Live...
Sorry, did I say I 'like' Live? I think I somewhat understated the case there. I just want to take it home and do bad things with it all day.
I'm beginning to think that FL Studio is one of the most well thought out DAWs. Unfortunately I'm not yet used to the workflow and don't know many keyboard shortcuts though, so I don't use much of it except for the step editor. Also, I don't have the full version yet so I can't freeze tracks unless I export them to WAV. So for now I use MultitrackStudio Pro Plus, which I've been using with a lot of comfort for several years due to the ease of use.
Something that I really like about FL Studio is the auto-play (audition) feature in the WAV file browser. Since I have hundreds of WAV samples I can't really be bothered with opening each one at a time just to know what's in it. With the auto-play I just click on it or move the arrowkeys down the list and hear each one. It saves TONS of time! I wish ALL DAWs had this. Poise VSTi Sampler has this function too, by the way.
I still like MultitrackStudio Pro Plus, but development seems to have slowed down a bit recently because the developer I think is focussing more on iOS features. But I don't have an iPad and won't get one so I'm kind of bummed. But if I did have an iPad I'd think that the iOS version of MultitrackStudio was awesome probably, because he packed in a lot of features for an app. Before the app days, MultitrackStudio was advancing rapidly. They author is a really good guy, so I hope he has success either way though.
^I think most modern DAW's have the sample preview feature in the applications file browser.
MultitrackStudio doesn't. Reaper doesn't! ...except in it's special explorer window. For example if you press insert to drop in a WAV file, there's no preview function. But if you use the special explorer window (I forget what it's called, it's there with a bunch of features such as looping or whatnot). I don't like the specialised window because it's huge and takes up a lot of space and I don't want to look at it all of the time. Windows Explorer integration like in FL Studio makes the most sense. Also I like FL Studio's folder bookmark feature. That also saves a lot of time.
Live, just because I know it and it makes sense to me. Although I just got an sp 404, so that should take over some, but I'm sure I'll use it in conjunction with live. I've tried using FL, Reason, and Reaper. None of them made sense to me the way live does, it's all subjective though.
I began with Logic, used Pro-Tools for audio recording bands when I did and needed, then started using Ableton for mucking around with Live stuff... Once I made a track in Ableton I got stuck to it. I taught kids using Logic and do still like it's workflow, but as mentioned before the abilities to compose in clip view and then move it over quickly to arrange view is great, and now that they're finally supporting dual screen it's become even better...
I also like looking at the FX chain in ableton. Having it all open for the track you've selected is great. I wish that more third party plugins would have a mini GUI built for ableton to see them all working together down there.
I use reaper for live band recording and mastering now. Wouldn't have a clue where I was if I tried using pro-tools again.
I settled on Live after starting in Reason, then Logic, I had demoed Live while I was primarily using reason (lite version came with my keyboard) but didn't give it enough time to click the first go-around, when I went back to it, had the Aha! moment and couldn't go back to anything else. Love the open-ended structure and split modes!