Other DAW choices outside of pro tools…..

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    I will add my vote for Cubase!

    I switched from Digital Performer in the late 90’s. I use a ton of VSTi’s, and it has never let me down.

    There was a time when I would print the files and mix the audio in ensoniq PARIS (man, I’m old!), but now the sound is so good I do it all in the box in Cubase.


    In regards to Cubase versus Studio One, I wont say which is better or worse because I have not used S1. It is great there is a free S1 3 Prime but the Studio One Artist is not cheaper than Cubase 8 Elements – as was stated earlier in this thread. Just saying.


    Logic X is a comparable alternative to Pro Tools for sure. It comes with an excellent, and comparable FX and instrument suite. Alchemy alone is phenomenal and for the price you just can’t beat it.

    My other suggestion would be Studio One. I’m looking to pick up a copy later this year and potentially migrate; as after demoing it I can only say amazing things about it.

    The workflow is better than any other DAW I’ve used bar none, and the bundled FX are perhaps the best native DAW FX I’ve heard yet. You can do some really complex stuff with it as well, yet they’ve managed to keep even the most complicated stuff easy to achieve. The toolset for scoring to picture and tempo mapping could be enhanced for sure, but I have a strong suspicion that this is something they plan on tackling in the very near future.

    From a raw production perspective it is the most fluid DAW I’ve tried (and over the years I’ve tried virtually everything… Logic and Live being my home for the last 6 years…) Routing is simple, drag and drop anything anywhere, route midi wherever you want without any convoluted workarounds or too many steps. It also has VST3 support so you can have 64 channel VIs if you feel so inclined. It has a feature very similar to Logic’s smart controls (sans the fancy GUI.)

    The clincher for me was a killer feature it has for making cutdowns called ‘scratch pads.’ It literally doesn’t get any easier to make alts and edits without having to touch your original project, all integrated within the same project window, without having to reload a thing. It’s like Logic X’s “alternatives”, but done right! Soon to be convert here!! :p


    Since the start of this topic, subscription fee was changed to $99 for a year :).

    Before I came to PT (version 6), I worked with Cakewalk, Cubase, Nuendo, Logic, Samplitude. I would probably stay on Logic cause I loved it, but I’m on Windows.
    Since upgrade to PT 11, I’m absolutely happy with it! It’s much more stable and less CPU hungry in respect to PT10. Some projects that I can’t even play in PT 10, run with 40-50 % CPU in PT 11 on the same computer. You can try trial version before upgrade. Avid made some very unfriendly movements for the last year, but the last 12.3 update looks very promising and timesaving. I tried S1 and Reaper, but was disappointed with interface. Sure it’s very individual impression. I think, Logic can be good alternative to PT.

    Mike R

    Same here. Had nothing but problems with PT (bad drivers, etc). Switched to Reaper, never looked back. Really sad that these companies are switching to a subscription model. There’s a difference between supporting the developers and corporate greed. To paraphrase someone who commented on a Pro Tools You Tube vid, “The next Pro Tools will be even BETTER. It will link directly to your bank account!”


    I’m of the opinion that Ableton Live (and now Bitwig, due to them “borrowing” a certain feature) is the best DAW on the market. This is due to one specific feature: the session view.

    I’ve found that mastering the session view can dramatically speed up workflow. It provides a flexible framework for brainstorming and arranging. It also turns your computer into a musical instrument suitable for live performance.


    Per Boysen

    I currently own three software DAWs: Logic, Bitwig and Live. Logic X is the one that allows me to work faster than the other two. I generally sketch up the pieces in my head by imagination first and then I record the stuff and mix it in Logic. The Alternatives feature works well for me when a mix is finished and I want to have fun and try out a handful alternative mixes and edits (ad spot cues, drumless, ambient etc). I really dig the fast “reverse audio snippet” and “time stretch by mouse painting” in Logic together with the quick audio crossfade implementation.

    Like Matt says, I assume Bitwig would allow the fastest workflow but I just haven’t had enough hands-on time with Bitwig yet, so much work and so few hours a day.

    I have been using PT and Cubase too in the past, but not today… and probably not in the future. Logic is like a second instrument to me and I put my hopes for a grand future in Bitwig 🙂


    If on a Mac demo Studio One extensively !!!! used to be rock solid but loads of issues now. As for Logic/Ableton/Cubase I personally found Cubase to be the best fit for me. YMMV


    I’ve started out with FL Studio 3 back in 2004, then switched to Reason in 2005, experimented in Cubase in 2006 for a bit and hated it, got in Logic 8 in 2007 throughout 2011 and loved it (with a bit of Pro Tools sparkled in between, and profoundly hated it), then got back in Cubase in 2012 and stuck to it since. I have tried very briefly other DAW’s, but Cubase Pro is just my way to go.

    The versatility, editing options, workflow, tools, interface, everything is to my taste, especially starting with version 6 and now with 8.5.15. When I open it, there’s a little guy in the corner which says “welcome to the pro paradise, enjoy” and hands me a cold smoothie. Yeah, that’s how good it tastes.

    Art Munson

    I started with Sonar 6, then migrated to Pro Tools 7, 9,10, and now 11. I just recently got Digital Performer 9.1.

    I like Digital Performer’s film creative-editing tools. And I can see how DP9 helps with orchestra composing involving a lot of tracks. It’s a powerful tool you can setup many different ways. But right now I can’t get my Apollo Twin/USB to work with DP9.1, while I have checked it out with Sonar Artist and Pro Tools 11.

    Pro Tools is simply more of a mixing/mastering platform. You can do MIDI on it well enough, but they’re still a little behind Cubase and DP on MIDI tools. Sonar is just a little behind Cubase on MIDI tools. Looks like DP and Sonar only have unlimited tracks (don’t know about others like Studio One, Reaper, etc.). I’m not sure about Cubase, but I’m pretty sure their Artist version has limited number of tracks.

    In Sonar, you keep adding tracks with something on them until you start hearing audio artifacts. In other words, there’s no visible warning of the slow start of those artifacts. This is one area where Pro Tools beats all others, as it’s well-written error engine catches just about everything. They include an option to turn it off temporarily if it bugs you, showing how intensely programmed it is. Of all the DAW’s I’ve tried, Pro Tools is still the most stable when on the right system (a good quad core or more cpu with at least 32 Gig of RAM).

    I’m surprised how buggy Digital Performer 9.1 is. I’m using the Windows version, so that may have something to do with it. I’m finding little errors that should have handled after beta testing. If I don’t get this issue with my Apollo Twin resolved, I’m dumping DP9, and will probably have to go to Cubase. DP9 would still be OK for composing though, just not recording live instruments.


    I hear you- you’re working with Windows machines.

    I was a Sonar user back when it was Cakewalk, and came free with sound cards…

    I switched to Macs several years ago, and tried Logic- and fell in love. It’s more of a religion than a DAW. If your budget will stretch that far, I highly recommend it.

    Art Munson

    Yes, Logic Pro on a Mac Pro would… be great. Can’t swing the cost of that yet. One of my instructors at Berklee, Ben Newhouse, just last year made Logic a usage requirement for his 2nd class on Composition for Film and TV, (arghggg). I have the Specialist Certificate and was going to work on the Master Certificate, until he made having Logic a requirement for his class. And what’s funny is that he was using Digital Performer when he taught my class over a year ago!

    I am so… disappointed with Digital Performer 9. Could be UAD simply missed beta testing their Apollo Twin in DP9 on a Windows platform. MOTU still has no excuse, since Apollo Twin works fine in Pro Tools 11, latest Sonar version, including their Sonar Artist version, and in Cubase 8.5 (all 64bit DAWs).

    What little Digital Performer 9 did record of my guitar signal from my Apollo, on playback it crashes, regardless of the track’s button configuration. All the other DAWs I tried you don’t have to disable the track’s record or input monitor buttons to do playback of the recorded material. DP9 crashes if you do that, which shows me they’re kind of behind on their error programming.

    Per Boysen

    I just want to add an important point, I forgot in my previous post: Cubase offers something that I dearly miss in my Logic X, BitWig and Ableton Live. That is the option to deactivate an instrument track and regain both used CPU cycles and RAM memory. That’s speeding up your work a lot in case you prefer to work with a huge orchestration template that keeps as many instruments as possible loaded for immediate hands-on playing. You typically can’t have everything loaded into RAM, so you are forced to bounce instrument tracks to audio files or freeze them (Logic’s terminology). But freezing in Logic only reclaims CPU, not RAM used by Kontakt 5 for samples (enter Cubase).


    +1 here for Ableton Live. It can be customized to fit most workflows and with Max for Live you can create just about any feature you need.

    It looks strange at first but is 100% worth learning.


    If you are looking for a job in a professional elite studio, you need pro tools for sure. Thats what they use, especially in the us, so contenders need to learn how to use it.

    In a project studio, I believe its more mixed, and depend more on collaborators ect. If you have friends that use the same daw, you can share settings on plugins ect.

    In a home studio, where you are the engineer, producer, mixer, performer and artist all at the same time, you should rather use whatever makes your creativity tick.

    Im in the latter category and swear by Studio One. Started out with Ableton Live but migrated. I think Ableton mainly are for the electronic crowd, and I missed a lot especially when it came to recording audio, midi editing, mixing and mastering. I didnt love the workflow nor the looks either, but its a highly personal thing in the home studio, and we are fortunate to have lots of choices.

    In Studio One, the main issue is the sounds it comes with, imho. They are not great, but I use third party vi’s almost exclusively, so. But for features and workflow, I love Studio One. I don’t think anything less than the full version will do, though, but I believe that applies for all of the daw’s.

    To control articulations theres a free extension available from a private developer. Havent tried it though. http://studioonex.narechk.net/index_en.html

    I also have a good eye to the new Faderport 8 for more tactile experience with Studio One https://www.presonus.com/products/FaderPort-8

    I think of Studio One as the new and modern pro tools, and love the apps for ipad where you can record (Capture) http://www.presonus.com/products/Capture-for-iPad
    and mix (Studio One Remote) http://www.presonus.com/products/Studio-One-Remote

    And the new integration of notation software, where you can compose on a bus ride, and just sync it when you get home. THAT is workflow! http://www.presonus.com/products/Notation-Software

    I sound like a commercial, but these things are just incredible to work with.

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