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Can't find my ideal DAW

OP
Mason

Mason

Active Member
Excuse me but...

These two things don't make sense to me when you sum them up. You evidently have a rather limited computer but at the same time state that 256 tracks is not enough for the work you do.

I really don't think a (really rather high) limitation on the number of tracks available is going to be a bottleneck for you unless you reach hundreds of gigabytes to run such an amount of tracks simultaneously. And if your template exceeds that number of tracks at this point I sincerely believe you should re-examine your workflow.

This honestly seems more like an unhelpful mental hang-up than an actual practical problem.

My advise would be to re-evaluate what it *actually* is you need to get your work done and if a track limit of such proportions should really be a bottleneck.
Personally, I'd sooner work with multiple different templates than I'd ever want to reach such a number of tracks in my projects.
I have two computer so this is the master computer who only runs the daw and the audio. Im planning to upgrade the master but even though the templates can get large only a small fraction of it plays at the same time.
 

Shiirai

Resident Crow
I have two computer so this is the master computer who only runs the daw and the audio. Im planning to upgrade the master but even though the templates can get large only a small fraction of it plays at the same time.
In that case I stand by my previous statement, this seems like either an unhelpful mental hangup or a misuse of your templates. You really shouldn't be using over 200 tracks in any template, I don't think.
 

Shiirai

Resident Crow
I'm just saying, you should pick a daw and learn to work around its limitations, not the other way around. I use both Live and Cubase depending on the situation. Your voyage to find the "perfect daw" is singularly unhelpful.

Because it probably doesn't exist
 
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OP
Mason

Mason

Active Member
In that case I stand by my previous statement, this seems like either an unhelpful mental hangup or a misuse of your templates. You really shouldn't be using over 200 tracks in any template, I don't think.
It’s not a mental hangup. I just want to do proper research and testing before I settle with a daw to avoid becoming an idiot user.

The track limitations are not the most important although FL Studio’s limitation of 115 tracks is too little for most orchestral templates.

I don’t want to use Logic because how it handle multi-timbral instruments, Cubase did not perform well on my Mac (as many others with a Mac have experienced), and now I’m currently demoing Studio One. I like it so far but are worried that it can’t handle bigger templates well because of the lack of multi core work.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I like it so far but are worried that it can’t handle bigger templates well because of the lack of multi core work.
Never had a problem with its performance from the standpoint of playback on lots of tracks, but I do think the program gets increasingly kludgy as you increase track count. (I find 40 to be about the maximum I can use, not because of performance, but because of how it organizes instrument plugins. But maybe I just don't have it set up properly; the manual is not very helpful on a lot of things, and there are many more or less undocumented features that I pick up from watching YouTube videos and in the Presonus help forum. But it also does not have nearly as large a user base as most of the other DAWs so it can be hard to troubleshoot and get useful tips.) The program is also not optimized at all for midi editing. On the other hand it has some really great features for moving things around cues and the scratch pad is also fabulous.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
The 256 limitation is not really a barrier as many people think. First of all the statement above is not even accurate. LOGIC IS NOT LIMITED TO 256 TRACKS! You can have thousands of tracks in LogicPro!

It is limited to 256 instrument channels. If those are 16 channel multi-timbral instruments, then already you could have over 4000 tracks feeding into 255 multi-timbral instruments with 4000 distinct sounds. (255 because one inst channel is normally used by the metronome, but you don't have to if you don't want to).

However there is also a limit to 256 AUX channels, so if you need to bring all the 4000 instrument sounds back to separate LPX channels for mixing in the LPX mixer, then really you're talking about 510ish mixable instrument sounds. The other 3500 distinct instrument sounds would need to be mixed inside the actual instrument plugins, which in many cases can certainly be done, for example drum plugins usually provide their own mixer for submixing the drum kits in there rather then in LPX, as long as you're happy with the effects they provide. You can also use plugins from BlueCatAudio or PlogueBidule to do enormous amounts of submixing in the plugin if you so desire to mix more than 500 sounds at a time.

And of course if you want to use VEP, then you can submix thousands of instrument sounds in VEP and bring them back to as many as 510ish channels of Logic if you really need to mix them in the Logic Mixer.

And if you want to use VSL's multi-port macro with VEP, then you have many more thousands of distinct instrument sounds that you can direct thousands of tracks to, to the point that its a moot point, nobody does that.

The point is, this 256 limitation is not really a limitation as it has been portrayed. There are some inconveniences that Cubase, for example, does not deal with since it supports virtually unlimited tracks and channels, VST3 support for feeding many midi tracks into a single multi-timbral instrument, etc. But if the performance sucks, then its a moot point too isn't it? How many tracks do you really need to play anyway?

In my mind Cubase could be better choice if you want to have a 3000 track orchestra template online and ready to play every sound you own by simply clicking on the track and playing your keyboard. If that is what you really want, then I don't think Logic is the right choice, cubase is much better. But in order to do that you will probably need some VEP slaves, just sayin'.

I would also encourage the op to look a little deeper at Logic's existing multi-timbral support before writing it off. There are a number of ways to handle multi-timbral instruments beyond what you get with the new track wizard and you may find its not a deal breaker. Certainly a 500 track template with 500 channels of mixable instrument audio is possible in LPX without much trouble or need for any third party anything. LPX has tremendous support for articulation management and if that matters to you, then I think its the best choice as of right now for that.

you won't find one DAW to rule them all. This has been shown to be the case countless times
 
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stigc56

Active Member
Let me chime in on this. I have been running Logic for years and now I'm using Cubase. I have been on the same "quest" like the Mason. But consider this: If you are going to buy a car for every day transport, how much attention should you pay to the fact the trunk is difficult to open and very small, compared to that the gear shift in the car is really nice and the stereo plays wonderful?
I mean the MIDI editor in Cubase is the best you can get, you can do every kind of set-up to accommodate your personal work style. Okay the performance under OSX isn't that good as in Logic, but in my workflow I increase the buffer size from 256 to 512 when the system begins to perform bad.
My point here is that you that the annoyance you might experience now and then in any DAW should be measured against the benefits this particular DAW has. In Studio One you just drag in the VI but the tempo track editor might not be as useful as the one in Logic, but if all your music plays in static tempo's then it doesn't matter right.
I think that in my workflow, Cubase right now is a bit ahead of Logic, but the moment that Logic gets multiple CC lanes in the editor, better support for VI's using VEPro, improved MIDI editor, a really thoroughly thought out articulation switching system then I will probably take a look again.
 

PeterKorcek

Active Member
I keep coming back to Cubase despite its flaws - it's just that polished MIDI behaviour and the overall package that keeps me in
 
OP
Mason

Mason

Active Member
Which other DAWs other than Digital Performer can handle more than 32 outputs from one instance of VEP?
 

styledelk

Member
I'm not even sure which midi features from Cubase I'm missing out on. I feel like I've used every DAW except Cubase.
Working with CC automation curves is always annoying in everything.
I enjoy "explode all notes to tracks" in Studio One.

But I feel like the thing missing is actually some element of AI: "extract the melody", "extract chords and accompaniment", "take inner voice of chord and put it in this other track."
Instead of those things, it's "drag select this stuff, but try not to get overlapping notes. Copy-paste it up to this other track."

I can't imagine that any DAW is that smart about MIDI editing in a way that's composer and arranger oriented rather than being "MIDI is a technology of events, and we let you select and edit those events!" It's always dictated way too closely to the technical underpinnings rather than the goals we're trying to accomplish with it.
 

rhye

Member
What are those midi editing features people keep mentioning in Cubase that don’t exist in Logic besides multiple cc lanes?
 

JamieLang

Active Member
What are those midi editing features people keep mentioning in Cubase that don’t exist in Logic besides multiple cc lanes?
Drum editor...all that comes with but including remapping on note level. And yes, I'm aware I can go into the Environment and create custom routings of anything to anything. I can select C1 and tell it to go a to another Drum library in Cubase...done. Also function of the drum editor--the view without length. The invented it 25 years ago--other DAWs have ripped it. Except Logic which still has no drum editor....

Articulation maps....Logic got this like, this last year. It didn't work well until at least one point release...but, Cubase that's been there and fully functional for 10 years. I kind of like the way Logic's new one works (once the map is set up)...but, still--this wasn't there until this past year.

Score editor: in Logic it's a single line/track. In Cubase I can select several harmonies and they display and can be edited on the same grand staff, just like when I wuz in school. :)

Hermode Tuning....in concert with defining the chord structure with the Chord Track, actually functions...where Logic's doesn't, because it tries to self define the harmonic context on the fly with a buffer...and fails miserably. I mean did you want your strings and horns to intonate properly, or not?

Just off the top of my head--as someone who uses Cubase on Windows and Logic on OSX fairly regular like...

Also note that the instrument buffer implementation works (IME) WAY more effectively/consistently and efficiently in Cubase. I saw someone say that modern machines can all run without latency...who is a long time Cubase user...and I kind of wanted to jump in to say CUBASE, runs VI input without latency on most anything. You used to have to use an Instrument track...now they've connected any live MIDI track input to the VST RACK....which, is also a thing--Logic's super weird way of handling multitimbral VIs is just that--super weird.

On the "huge win for Logic"....the AI based Drummer Track. My MacBook is now my auto tempo mapping drum machine for making song demos.
 

stigc56

Active Member
The way you colourize events in the editor can be very useful. Ex. Grid match will set the color according to how close the event are to the grid, it will be super easy to spot events that are off grid. When you change the swing factor, the grid are adjusted accordingly. It's very easy - and built in - to create almost any kind of changes to a number of velocity of events, like crescendos and even maintain the already existing differences in a group or sequence of midi events. Iterative Quantize is by far the most valued function. The iterative Q will "drag" midi events towards the grid little by little again maintaining the differences between the selected notes, and a little detail - if you hit Q without selecting specific events, all events will be moved, if you select specific events, then only those events will be affected.
But I miss the drummer track!!
 

Vik

Scandi Member
Score editor: in Logic it's a single line/track.
Hi, please elaborate... In Logic you can show as many tracks you want, in three different modes, and save combinations of tracks ("score sets") you want to see?
 

5Lives

Senior Member
There is no such thing as a perfect DAW. I've owned PT, Cubase, Logic, Studio One, and Ableton - sometimes all at once, and that's the only thing that I've learned. You'll always be frustrated about something with the DAW you have and love something about another DAW - and vice versa. Instead of individual features, focus on the workflow and philosophy of each DAW and just make it work.

For example, Ableton is really meant for loop-based ideation and utilizing creative effects. While they have improved their arrangement page, their core philosophy is not to be a tape recorder type of DAW.

Pro Tools has improved a lot in the past 2 years, but they are still very much focused on audio recording and mixing. MIDI and production tools will likely never be their focus and so they will always lag behind. Really well thought out implementation though - I wish more DAWs adopted an edit cursor.

Cubase is a behemoth - lots of features, but in my humble opinion, a bloated workflow to go with that. Lot of clicks to get things done. However, the best MIDI editor in the market and clearly focused on writing / production. If you jive with their workflow philosophy, hard to beat this.

Logic is exactly what I imagine an Apple product to be. I personally find it very well thought out, refined, and yet super deep (without becoming cluttered). Their strength is MIDI and production tools - I keep discovering new things that they've added recently (that I used to complain about it lacking). Their smart tool is one of the best in the game. In terms of limitations, plenty of professional composers get along with it fine.

Studio One is my pick for most improved in the shortest amount of time. The amount of area they've been able to cover is amazing - and really thoughtfully done. If they added more composer-friendly features and clean up the UI, they could be the "perfect" DAW IMO for my purposes. However, I doubt they will be able to support the advanced features that something like Cubase has any time soon.

Good luck in your search.
 

JamieLang

Active Member
Hi, please elaborate... In Logic you can show as many tracks you want, in three different modes, and save combinations of tracks ("score sets") you want to see?
Here's what happens in Cubase--I select the cello and violin lines on two different tracks, right click "score editor" and it displays both together on a grand staff. Then if I want to leave that score editor open, it combines the viola and cello if I highlight that instead.

I've never gotten Logic to combine selections on the fly. Maybe I'm missing a window or method? Do teach the secret handshake! :)
 

Vik

Scandi Member
Do teach the secret handshake! :)
This area is important in Logic (not really secret, but many aren't aware of it):

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 23.54.51.png

You can create 'score sets' manually, but the V1/Va set you see here, was created by selecting two regions (on two different track) and select Open Score Editor (or Command-3) when the two were selected.

This will open a separate score editor (not a small editor under the main area) with these two instruments displayed.

If you rather want to see this under the main area, go there, and select the V1/Va score set Logic created automatically. All these score set are remembered, so if you later have lots of tracks, you can go back and select any combinations that have been created automatically, or make others. To switch between the score set you look at and full score, double click in the score background or on an instrument which is part of the score set (in the score editor). Not perfect, but quite good. :)


https://support.apple.com/kb/PH24603?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

There's also a key/menu command called 'Create Score Set from Selection', so if you look at lots of racks represented in Score, select those you want to see, and use that command, and Logic will create a new score set with this instrument and activate it.
 
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