i've been using SONAR on a daily basis for about a year now and i feel like i've only scratched the surface. my co-producer swears by Cubase though (and, he's been heavily into it for a decade and is still learning stuff). we collaborate through MIDI and Wav files and do most of the post-production on his system. to a certain extent, i feel it's more or less what you get used to, especially when you try to maximize what you have, giving it adequate time. the latest versions of Cubase and SONAR really seem quite comparable, and, perhaps, this goes for the other DAWs as well. that being said, i do plan to dig into Live this fall for its improvisational aspect and can't wait to see what all the hype is about!!
Currently Listening To:construction in the parking lot
I haven't tried ableton yet but I think one day I will give it a go, I heard it was really good.
I felt in love with project5 because if you know how to use a synth perfectly then you can come up with something very good very fast.
The down point with Project5 is the Audio editing,voice editing, you need sonar for that, but I have to admit Sonar is quiet complex(the producer edition) and soemtime I get annoyed...
I've been through a few sequencers in the years i've been writing electronic music. I started out with Notator on the Atari ST, moving onto Cubase 5 barely working on a crappy PC. Then got into Cubase SX and never thought i would need another sequencer as it was so useable (except for the crashing!!).
Nowadays, i use Logic Pro 9 and Ableton Live 8 on a macbook pro and wont be looking back! For me the most important thing is the stability...i've had Logic crash only a handful of times and am far more productive because of it. Also, the quality of the in built stuff in Logic (the effects and synths) is quite amazing. I absolutely love the compressors!!!
Some people might say I'm a decade behind on this, but I still find that Fast Tracker 2 is my favourite. Sure it has limitations, but it's bang on solid and those limitations help focus me on making my music better and not just fiddling with a thousand and one VSTs that I have.
On the other hand, Renoise keeps the same tracker spirit while giving support for modern music standards but I just find it harder to write good stuff with it.
Even at gunpoint I wouldn't be able to choose between Logic and Live. I just wish they merged into one!
Logic is far superior in terms of feature list. It's a bottomless well. The Bounce in Place alone is worth the purchase, not to mention the quality of the factory plug-ins, but I absolutely hate the bussing mess and the way it clings to the hardware analogy in general, making it feel a bit rigid to me.
Live is a lot more modern in approach, in that it feels like you're using software, not an 80's recording studio squeezed inside your screen, like many DAWs do. Its drag and drop flexibility is just awesome, and the way it handles audio samples is much more appropriate for electronic music than Logic is. But as an all-purpose DAW I think it has many serious shortcomings, specially in the midi editing front, and also the arrange view looks and feels a bit like a toy to me.
I voted Logic though. Now shoot.