What DAWs are people using anyway?

I watched Olafur Arnalds video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y3Mtv0XmqI last week and he said something very interesting.

He felt he had to defend himself against criticism for using Pro Tools!
To me, this implies there is some snobbery in the sampling world about DAWs.

Clearly they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Olafur’s point was: he is used to working in his DAW because of his background.
I am interested to hear about why there is an issue, and what the various strengths and weaknesses are, and will I be unable to be taken seriously if I am using one that is supposedly inferior.
: )

I am not qualified to make a list of pros and cons, but do think the bias stems from the many years Pro-Tools did not offer a robust midi editing environment. It has always been a preferred tool for live recoding and is used extensively in the industry. Although I use logic as my main DAW, I have learned how to use Pro-Tools and can say that, in my opinion, Pro-Tools is now top shelf for both midi and live recording, so any bias should be a thing of the past.

I think it is all about what you are used to and happy with, it don’t matter a toss what other people think about what DAW you use.

Just use what you know best, they all do the same thing and that is help you create music :slight_smile:

When I started using DAWS in the early 90’s I used to use Cakewalk then I went on to Cakewalk Pro Audio but then I found Cubase and have used that ever since.

Hi! I’m new here. This may be my first post :blush:

I use a DAW as a sort of necessary evil. I have the luxury of not having a profession where I need to share DAW files with colleagues so I can get away with using Ardour. It’s full featured and open source. I pay a annual subscription fee for the software distribution even though I know I could build it myself if I put my mind to it, though the build system is very large and complicated.

I’d recommend Ardour to anyone who wants a professional DAW without the high barrier to entry. I would not recommend it to anyone who expects to share sessions with colleagues they do not know, since most established studios and composers may not know of Ardour. Granted, anyone can install and run the software for free, which isn’t too much to ask in my opinion but I know my opinion is unrealistic.

NOTE: Everything I’m about to say has one huge caveat (more on that later)

Pro Tools has garnered a reputation as being unstable in recent years. IMO largely because peoples setups are bad. I use it and rarely have any issues. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Pro Tools bashing on various forum that start with someone complaining that they’ve had it with Pro Tools, then you look at their rig and it’s a 2004 macbook with a single hdd and 2gb of ram. AVID also has a list of system tweaks that you should do but most don’t.

Anyway, enough of that.

DAW choice really should come down to work flow and what best suits your needs. If you are thinking of changing DAWs or are just starting out and looking for a DAW, I would make a list of the things you really want most, for example, I’m guessing if you’re on this forum you probably want a good MIDI editor, and start with that. There’s a lot of DAW that you can trial and see what you like.

Now for the caveat. If you want to work in the film or television industry you will most likely have to deliver your cues in Pro Tools format. This doesn’t mean you have to work in Pro Tools, there are lots of composers working in other DAWs, but it does mean that you will probably need to own a copy in some form and know how to use it well enough to get the job done. There is a free version of Pro Tools which I haven’t used which seems like it would be fine to deliver cues as long as you didn’t have a lot of stems.

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It’s sort of like sports teams, every DAW has its ups and downs and people are unnecessarily diehard towards one or another.

I’m on Logic and I’ve been having a blast, I’m sure whatever you settle into you’ll think very highly of!

Thanks everyone. I’m still interested in more opinions and I hope other people are also.
Interesting information about the caveat @abt I do have a passing understanding of ProTools, so could probably get the job done, if I needed to. But I won’t worry about it until I need to.
I first learned about DAWs using Audacity! Completely isolated, I thought I was cheating when I started editing my recorded tracks. Terms I now know as: punching in and comping.
Editing in any DAW is so much easier than that.

What about ease of assembly for creating music from samples, electronic instruments vs. analog recordings? Working with midi vs. wav (or other) files?
: )

I started using Reaper just over a year ago and I’m very happy with it. Before that, I used Cubase as my main DAW for about 15 years, used Studio One for a couple of years and I’ve used Ableton on and off for five or six years. I have done a couple of things in Pro Tools and whilst I accept that it is an industry standard and is good to have some working knowledge of it for that reason, I really don’t like it as a DAW for a lot of the reasons that a lot of people don’t like it. The simplest reason I like Reaper is because I can more or less set up my workflow as I like it and more or less build the DAW around how I like to do things which is what I wanted for a long time. How and ever, that does mean a steep learning curve and a lot of time on customisation but I like that.

Great to see Ardour mentioned. Me too!
It added midi some years back, and has windows and linux builds available.
Price is important for part-timers… :sunglasses:

:slight_smile: I know that there is some snobbyness out there and I think it originated a bit in mac vs pc. I started in the 90’s using fast tracker, then cakewalk and cakewalk pro. Never got the hang of cubase or another tool when trying it on pc but back then, cubase / protools was just not meant for pc.

Now I’m using fruity loops and absolutely loving it. :slight_smile:

FL Studio on Windows over here. It’s a really flexible and affordable platform. (Also extremely MIDI friendly) Image-Line is really solid to their customers and you only have to buy the DAW once. If I had the money I’d be on Logic Pro X on Mac though, because Windows has a lot of problems when it comes to recording music (aka no built-in capability to send MIDI from one application to another and no way to use multiple ASIO devices). I often use Adobe Audition too for smaller tasks.