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Old February 6th, 2013, 06:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Best DAW for 15" rMBP?

I'm an old tape guy. My first session was in '65 in Studio City, CA. I know tape, but reentering 30 years later in the digital age is daunting, especially with respect to DAW choice.

My thoughtful wife gave me a 15" Macbook Pro Retina Display for Christmas.
The obvious choice might be Logic or even Garageband, however, after much research, I'm not sure. Logic Pro has been around for 3 years and Garageband just doesn't have the depth I'd like (to learn).

I have a recently purchased, unopened box of Cubase 7 on my desk, that I wanted to learn, but I am leary of opening it because it is not optimized to retina display (then again, neither is Logic, Apple's own DAW!).

My specific question is, for recording and mastering demo CD's of my work, including other musicans from time to time, which DAW would you recommend for use on my 15" rMBP? Should I just learn Logic, stay with Cubase and hope it works on my laptop, or try something else?

One thing is sure, I don't mind taking the time to learn a DAW, but I want to be a creative musician, not just an engineer. Thanks

rMBP 15", 2.6 i7 quad core/512SSD/16gb
Apogee Quartet Audio Interface
Yamaha HS-50m studio monitors
Cubase 7 with controller
Sennhesier HD-380 headphones

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Last edited by Pickalittle; February 6th, 2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Honestly, all DAWs function in basically the same way and do the same basic things, they just go about things slightly differently.

There have been rumors for a long time that Logic X is coming, but who knows when. I've had Logic Pro for three years and I STILL haven't figured out everything there is to know about all of its features. In fact, I probably won't be upgrading even when the new version is released, since the current version is more than capable of doing everything that I need it to do.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 07:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've been considering Cubase 7 and Digital Performer 8. I just don't want to take the time to learn Logic Pro 9 and then have a totally changed (and much evidently needed) version come out in 6 months after I've put all the learning into LP 9.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 07:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My needs are fairly simple...
Lay down drum tracks (onboard or Addictive or Superior Drums)
Lay down bass track
Rhythm guitar
Lead guitar
Orchestral accompaniment to taste (I love strings).

Track guitar/midi keyboard>Edit>Master>Cutting CD's for distribution.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My needs are fairly simple...
Lay down drum tracks (onboard or Addictive or Superior Drums)
Lay down bass track
Rhythm guitar
Lead guitar
Orchestral accompaniment to taste (I love strings).

Track guitar/midi keyboard>Edit>Master>Cutting CD's for distribution.
This is pretty similar to what I do, and the current version of Logic works just fine for my needs. I did outgrow my old MacBook Pro, though, as it just didn't have the horsepower to keep up with everything I was doing once I started adding second-party plug-ins.

If you're planning on doing MIDI drum and keyboard tracks, this will have a slight influence of which DAW you choose as this is an area where they're not all the same, and it's why I chose Logic for myself (I actually chose the software first, then bought the computer afterward).
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Old February 6th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The problem with DAW's and starting simple, or thinking all you need is simple is this..one day you'll want to do something beyond simple.

Suck it up..get the proper DAW right now..keep in mind...complex is subjective...if a package has an advanced feature set that doesn't mean you have to use it..I run Pro Tools 8, probably in the most basic form...very simplistic....the fact of the matter is it can do anything any enginner desires..but thats not what I do..

Advanced feature set doesn't mean hard to use..it means advanced feature set...
Adding plug in's midi..etc..this is big stuff..

get a package you can grow into..not grow past...

recently I was thinking of getting a MAC with Garage Band, I have always heard good things about GB..after reading and research it was clear that although GB is a nice package, it's not the same as a full featured package...so for now I'm not making any changes.

Last week I did a session at my home..a producer / engineer came to me..he ran the session on my PRO TOOLS 8 ..he was totally in control and at ease...obviously way more knowledgable with PT's than me. I played..he ran the session....This opens up new doors....doors I never thought of...I do sessions for 2 or 3 different studio's now and then, they are all PRO TOOLS savvy...as well as other packages....they can now come to me...I can offer them a better rate to come to me !

good luck

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Old February 6th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In fact, I probably won't be upgrading even when the new version is released, since the current version is more than capable of doing everything that I need it to do.
I'm with you on this. My needs are modest and I'm completely happy with Logic.

For the OP, I don't really understand the part about the unopened Cubase. Are you able to return it for a refund if you don't open it? Logic Pro is $200, looks like Cubase retails for around $400-$500. I think it would be hard to get more "bang for the buck" than Logic offers.

OTOH, GarageBand is free. Maybe you should spend some time with it and see if it does what you need? It is deceptively powerful. And any projects you create in GarageBand will open directly in Logic if you later decide to upgrade.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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FWIW, GB is a good stepping stone into Logic far from identical, but similar enough that you can get your feet wet at no cost in GB, then move on to Logic fairly painlessly if things go well and you need deeper features.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Apple make the path from GB to Logic as easy as it can get. You need a good reason NOT to use those. Logic will open GB files made on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, so GB makes a great sketchpad for more ambitious Logic projects. All I have on my MBPr is Gb, Logic, and Ableton Live. You should download the Live demo and try it, it's so simple a child could use it, but it goes very deep and creative when you want to. If you have Logic and Live you can do anything!
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Old February 6th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What Woodrow said. GB is pretty damn cool, and the gateway drug to Logic.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have the GB app on my iPad, and it sure makes it easy to throw down an idea really quickly without having to power up everything in the other room.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 04:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Boyd,
I bought the Cubase 7 just days ago, fully returnable within 14 days if I don't break the seals. I bought it after much research and looking at the tutorials of 4-5 DAWS. It seemed to make sense to me. I liked that Steinberg listens to their customers, incorporates suggestions, is used as one of the "big 3" DAWS in major studios, has a separate controller for workflow, is new with a fresh design, and does audio and midi well, as I understand it (not much!).
I am able to return it within the next 9 days if I don't come up with a better idea.
The main issue is that no DAW is optimized for retina display at this time. I am fascinated with the look and power of my new laptop, truly a powerhouse laptop, or computer for that matter, but without optimization (perhaps first with Logic 10 when it comes next decade ;) ), it's like the proverbial analogy of buying a Porsche mostly for errands around
town. It is overkill, but it sure is an enjoyable to use!

I'm very open to any suggestions, whether it be to just go with the aging Logic or a fresh
Daw. Does anyone have experience with Digital Performer 8 on a rMBP?
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm a big Cubase fan so I say keep the Cubase 7 and start trackin' some tunes.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You've got a powerhouse computer and you're worried about pixels? If you were doing graphics I'd understand, but this is digital audio. Quit worrying about "optimized for retina display".

You don't need Cubase and its controller. The Apogee Quartet, and Garageband is the place to start. GB is a memory hog, but you got more than enough horsepower to run it. This tune was done completely in GB: Hayseed Transplants Theme
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Old February 6th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I've been considering Cubase 7 and Digital Performer 8. I just don't want to take the time to learn Logic Pro 9 and then have a totally changed (and much evidently needed) version come out in 6 months after I've put all the learning into LP 9.
The Garage Band is perfect for your needs. It gives you enough for your current needs.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 03:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insights all, and the reality check Fezz Parka and vjf1968. Yeah, I tend to research things to death, when all the while I'm not recording a darned thing. I'll start with GB and learn all I can and then see if I even need anything more for my recording.
Thanks for all of the comments guys. If any others want to chime in, feel free.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 04:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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FWIW...Most of our last album was recorded with GarageBand and mixed with Logic. But there were a couple of screw ups that forced me to mix a couple of songs in GB.

I think Little Blue House came out just fine.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I guess I'm just old and cranky, but I don't "get" the whole retina MacBook Pro thing. I have a 2008 15" MacBook Pro that I don't use much and a 2011 13" MacBook Air that is my main machine. I have never felt the need for more pixels on either of these machines - at my normal viewing difference I don't think I could really tell the difference.

90% of the time my Air is connected to an old Apple 23" Cinema Display (1920x1200) and this is great for Logic as well as my CAD, video editing and graphics software. I would not be happy with a 15" screen for these programs, no matter how many pixels it had.

Getting back to the original question though, it sounds like you did your research and picked the software that you wanted. Now perhaps you just need to have faith in your decision and dive into Cubase.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 05:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I guess I'm just old and cranky, but I don't "get" the whole retina MacBook Pro thing. I have a 2008 15" MacBook Pro that I don't use much and a 2011 13" MacBook Air that is my main machine. I have never felt the need for more pixels on either of these machines - at my normal viewing difference I don't think I could really tell the difference.

90% of the time my Air is connected to an old Apple 23" Cinema Display (1920x1200) and this is great for Logic as well as my CAD, video editing and graphics software. I would not be happy with a 15" screen for these programs, no matter how many pixels it had.

Getting back to the original question though, it sounds like you did your research and picked the software that you wanted. Now perhaps you just need to have faith in your decision and dive into Cubase.
The retina display is geared more towards photos and movies and not recording.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insights all, and the reality check Fezz Parka and vjf1968. Yeah, I tend to research things to death, when all the while I'm not recording a darned thing. I'll start with GB and learn all I can and then see if I even need anything more for my recording.
Thanks for all of the comments guys. If any others want to chime in, feel free.
This approach sure won't cause any harm. Is GB optimized for your Retina display? Just curious. I also join the chorus on not putting much, or any, weight on the fact that a particular DAW is not optimized for your screen. I do all my recording off my 13" MB pro. While I certainly would like to have more screen space, I would give most of my attention to the features of the DAW.

BTW, sounds like an awesome MBP you have there. I drank the cool-aid long ago. There's 4 MBP's floating around this house (but none with Retina - drats!). Best.
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