Favorite DAW software? Logic, Protools, etc?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by TheBear, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. TheBear

    TheBear TDPRI Member

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    Would anyone here be willing to share their experiences with their favorite DAW software? I've lightly used Garageband but it's time to get serious about recording my material, and I'd like to take a more professional approach to it.

    What are your favorites? Anything that someone new to recording should know about one program over another?
     
  2. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I'm in Logic 9 now and would be in Logic X if my hardware allowed. After starting out in GarageBand, I went to Pro Tools for a couple of years, then jumped into Logic for good. I'm glad I learned PT, because it yanked me into the reality of engineering, but as a songwriter mostly producing my own stuff, I found Logic friendlier to a creative workflow. If you're angling toward the recording industry, you should learn PT even it's not your go-to DAW. If you're looking mainly at personal projects, check out some demos and see if there's something that's more in your comfort zone than what you've got.

    Garageband — that's a great place to start. Don't sell it short — our TDPRI pal Martin R produced his band's album with it. I'd ride that horse for a while and learn the trails. With other DAWs, it's the same trails, just other ways to get on 'em. Once you get solid with your fundamental skills, it's a relatively easy transition from GB into Logic.
     
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you're new to it, you're going to hate them all equally in the beginning. They all have a learning curve up front, and most people (hobbyists) tend to stick to whichever one they started with, so that's likely to be reflected in the responses you get. As far as features, they're all pretty much the same these days. Logic would be the easiest to transition from Garage Band, and as a plus all of your GB projects can be opened in Logic.
     
  4. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    Each one does things very similarly but very differently, and each one has its own specialty that sets it apart from the others in what it does. But most folks will very rarely do much outside of what all of them do well, so it's really up to your own preference for layout and workflow.

    I started on Cubase SX a long time ago and have moved up through the versions to 5 where I am holding until I NEED to upgrade to 7 (or wherever it is by the time I loosen my wallet). I have Logic Pro as well, and Frodebro is absolutely correct in that one being the easiest workflow and layout transition from GB.

    And just as Woodman said, don't sell GB short. It's a mighty powerful DAW. Also check out Reaper and Audacity if you want a cheap/free entry into a more "pro" level DAW.
     
  5. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    I hear you can do a lot with Garageband; at least one band has recorded an entire album on it. (I don't know if they mastered it themselves too though.)

    Here's my way underinformed opinion:
    On the one hand, I think many DAWs are somewhat interchangeable if you're someone like me who is still learning. Reaper, GB, Reason, Logic, Ableton, ACID (yikes! is ACID still around?) it doesn't matter as much when we're still basically mixing, panning, EQ-ing, compressing etc. But on the other hand, if I was really good at any of those things I would probably notice the differences in UI, processing speed, and performance (much of which is dependant on hardware too of course!)

    Since I'm still such a beginner though, I try to focus on learning non-DAW-specific things about mixing, miking, and EQ-ing.

    I would definitely try Reaper out if I were you though, if only because it is cheap and lots of people use it, and it is easy for a complete amateur like me to figure out.
     
  6. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    None of them are favourites - although if I had the time I'd like to get to know Logic better. Having been thrown in the deep end with Performer and Pro Tools in the early 90's ,then not doing any for years and coming back to it in the last few years, I defaulted to PT because I could find my way around it more easily. Its a relief to all that we no longer have to deal exclusively with Digidesign(or Avid) hardware, but for newbies coming in I'd compare the price and utility of each of the packages...there are definitely cheaper(and probably better) options than PT. Depending on the complexity and level you want to work at , Logic Express and Reaper are definitely worth a look too , but thats just in my experience. Good luck!
     
  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Logic Express is no longer in production, but the full version of Logic X is only $199, so it's still a screaming deal for what you get.
     
  8. blind illusion

    blind illusion Tele-Meister

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    I like pro tools and studio one alot, I think studio one is easier to work with, but pro tools is what everyone uses if you want to work with professionals.
     
  9. slowpinky

    slowpinky Tele-Afflicted

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    There you go. Thats amazing value -I think when Logic Express was available it wasnt much cheaper than that...
     
  10. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I only record on an iPad for now so I don't consider myself to be in the 'real DAW' crowd yet. But even on an iPad, if I knew what I know now I would have used some criteria like this:
    1. Where are my drums gonna come from?A program or live.
    2. Do I plan to use keyboards extensively?
    3. Am gonna mic my guitar? Or use amp sims mostly?
    4. Are my effect gonna be out boards or plugs?
    5. How many channels will I use at once ( will I record a band live or a drum set)?
    6. Do I plan to collaborate extensively with others via DAW files?

    Q's 1&2 = get one with good MIDI editing features for the most flexibility. I didn't address this with my first choice and now use 2 or 3 Daws.
    Q's 3-4 =get one with good sims and effects like Amplitube etc...or one with good plugs..ie one that has an agreement for good discounted in app plug-ins...
    Q's 5-6 = do you need to consider compatibility with someone else's daw? Your drummers perhaps?

    I got bit by each of these a little. As result I use:
    Cubase for MIDI files ( drum programming and keys)
    Amplitube for good amp models and scratch pad stuff.
    Auria for mix down from the other 2. It has great in-app plug deals ie Saturn for $30, pro-Q & C for $24 etc.... It has great waveform editing features.

    Like I said, I don't hang in the big leagues but when I go in I will consider these things....
     
  11. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    the only major advantage to protools is that you can ship protools formats to most studios for mixing/mastering. some of the other formats aren't as widely supported.

    i like cubase a lot... but thats because it came with an interface i bought years ago. that's pretty much the deciding factor... where can you get it for free? most major DAW companies have free trials with interface packages. so whatever interface you buy, go ahead and use that DAW :D
     
  12. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I'm on Logic just because when I started getting back into recording again, I'd moved to Macs and had GB. I can't say that it's the "best" - they all have their relative strengths and weaknesses - but it is deep. There's still corners of it that I'm pretty clueless about.

    I also have the Harrison one, but haven't really used it. It is supposed to sound "better" (or more analog) than other DAWs. But the workflow is completely foreign to me coming from Logic. So, remains to be seen how much/ if I'll use it.

    If I were making the jump today I'd take a good look at Reaper.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  13. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    I've recently moved from Pro Tools to Reaper and I'm really happy in that environment. Whatever you use there is a learning curve but once you've learned one the next DAW is easier to pick up.
     
  14. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    For better or worse we recorded the Americana Motel album with GarageBand and did almost all the mixing in Logic Express. (The mastering was sent to Chicago.)

    However, one song, "Little Blue House", had issues with Logic so it was mixed in GB. I really can't tell a difference in that mix and some of the others.

    The virtual instruments are crap, but we don't need any. And some of the effects don't give many choices, i.e. reverb. But if you'd been working with GarageBand in 1986 you'd have a line at the door.

    The most important thing is to start with a clean recording. From there you can do anything.
     
  15. Coach56

    Coach56 One of the Boys

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    I've heard good things about both Garage Band and Reaper.

    I started with an early Cakewalk program and have just stayed with them over the years. I am finally getting used to Sonar well enough that the new one seems pretty comfortable now.
     
  16. Tritone

    Tritone TDPRI Member

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    I gotta say I ran into lots of bugs with Logic Studio when I used it about 3-5 years ago. But besides that I liked it a lot.
     
  17. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Over the years I have dabbled with Cubase, Logic, Sonar and now Amplitude.

    I found Sonar the easiest and Logic the hardest (by miles).

    I have ended up being with Samplutide because it works my Mackie controller the best (of sonar and Amplitude)...I am thinking of trying out Pro tools but am concerned with the interface requirements.
     
  18. InstituteOfNoise

    InstituteOfNoise Tele-Holic

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    Pro Tools… currently on PT10HD. 1) because it's the industry standard and 2) it's really king when you need to edit; efficiently and quickly. I've not encountered any roadblocks in doing anything in regards to interfaces, plugins, MIDI and sample libs.
     
  19. TheBear

    TheBear TDPRI Member

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    Thank you all so much for your insights thus far! I feel that I'm getting a good education and am becoming away of option outside of ProTools/Logix that I didn't know existed.

    Have any of you been influenced with what software to buy due to external hardware that you already have? I ask because I own a Presonus Eureka and Firestudio that I had used successfully in GarageBand, and would like to be able to use them in my next DAW/software setup. I don't mind buying other equipment later but a new computer AND software is at the top of my budget and I'm currently selling off pedals, guitars and amps on Craigslist to try to get enough cash together to upgrade when/where necessary.

    Oh, and the most I anticipate recording at one time is a full drum kit; I'll likely track everything myself, so I don't have a need for full band recording capability yet.
     
  20. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

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    You can do a lot more with GB than looks obvious, you just have to dig into it. If you troll Amazon's back corners, you can turn up LE9 and others pretty cheap.
     
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