Found This Nice DAW Feature Comparison Chart

Discussion in 'Your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)' started by robgb, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. robgb

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
  2. stonzthro

    stonzthro Senior Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    Westwood, CA
    Interesting but very subjective; for example, Logic beats Pro Tools and ties with Studio One in the Recording category...
    germancomponist and tmhuud like this.
  3. James Marshall

    James Marshall Senior Memer

    Apr 26, 2017
    I wish more of the numbers were clickable to information about how he came to that conclusion. E.g. Logic installation was a 1. I'm not a Logic user but I'm curious as installing things on my MacBook seems very simple, what could the issue have been? I suppose the notes section must be incomplete.

    I do like how he looks favourably on Reaper (winner) though :grin: ... OMGIMUSTBEAREAPERFANBOY *pitchforks at the ready*.

    Still interesting though, almost as interesting as the name Admiral Bumble Bee.
  4. OP

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    ROTFL! Yeah, I've noticed that since switching to Reaper and singing its praises I have been frequently accused of fanboyism. I've used every DAW you can think of except Digital Performer. Reaper just works best for me.
  5. chillbot

    chillbot Forum Bot

    Feb 6, 2014
    La Canada Flintridge, CA
  6. KV626

    KV626 Member

    "Pro Tools exists. It has that going for it, I guess."

    And I am supposed to take this study seriously after that? :rolleyes:
    Arbee likes this.
  7. Hey guys! Thank you for your interest in the DAW chart. I'd like to clarify a few things.

    1. This is a DAW feature chart. I'm only considering the capability and presences of various features. I only very lightly consider workflow and ease of use. This means that very feature-laden products like Reaper will end up with a higher rating than Ableton Live, even though I think most folks could agree that Live is much easier to use for a majority of workflows. This is very important!
    2. I try to be receptive to feedback and accessible. If you have any questions regarding the ratings, suggestions or you just want to berate me because I seem to hate your favorite DAW, then I encourage you to contact me.
    3. I make mistakes sometimes! See #2. I've had fantastic users of every product, and often even the developers themselves contact me about corrections. I love when this happens. I'm human and I appreciate the community's passion about this topic.

    I agree with you. This is a bit misleading, because there's only 3 considerations in the Recording category. If you have any suggestions, then I will consider them.

    As complete review of the products, I would agree that for 'general recording', Pro Tools offers probably the nicest experience. Especially with HDx (which I used for years).

    As far as actual features go though, I don't think PT has an edge.

    The notes for the ratings come in response to questions. I have a lot of notes that I would need to transcribe.

    If something in particular seems unclear, let me know and I can add a note regarding why the rating is how it is.

    Well, it was a joke. I do try and insert some humour now and then. There's a few jokes in the FAQs, mostly based on silly forum memes and audio myths.

    I was a PT HD/x user for years, and I greatly respect (and love) Pro Tools. I left the platform shortly before Avid begun the subscription largely because of my dissatisfaction with the development pace and business decisions being made.

    I strongly believe that for the majority of professional workflows (outside composition), PT is still king.

    If anyone has any questions or criticisms though, feel free to let me know! You can email me directly audiolabs, gmail. I'll watch this thread as well. Thank you!
    jacobthestupendous, Quasar and robgb like this.
  8. august80

    august80 New Member

    Oct 21, 2017
    No, this is an irrelevant chart based on your most likely limited understanding of many of these DAWs. You gave Reaper a higher score in the macro department, over Cubase. This tells me your aren't very familiar with one of these programs.

    Also - the idea that "folks could agree that Live is much easier to use for a majority of workflows". What workflows? For a recording engineer? No. For a film composer? No. Comparing Ableton to Pro Tools is like comparing a piano to an organ. Sure they both make notes, but they do so in very different ways, and for good reason.

    Comparisons like "stability" are pointless - as you have no real metric. It's literally an entirely useless measurement unless you have a detailed average analysis of users vs. program stability under numerous conditions. For example, something like Pro Tools may seem less stable because it is often running under extremely complex scenarios (post- production for example, with extremely complex hardware setups, slaves, video) than a guy making beats in Studio One with a 2-channel interface and headphones.

    "Feature sets" is also an entirely useless metric. Feature sets for whom? Not everyone uses a DAW for music. Not everyone requires elaborate video, surround and metering features. Not everyone needs notation feature, or extensive midi features. There is no objective weight here - some DAWs are heavily geared to one area of audio / music - this doesn't make them less "feature" rich. It just makes them extremely efficient in certain areas. The notation features in Cubase may completely obliterate any advantage Pro Tools may have in mixing for many users. And vice versa.

    Anyway - these comparison are always kind of silly to me. I could go through every measurement you make and easily make an argument how your conclusion is entirely subjective. And easily argue how some of them are completely out to lunch.
  9. TintoL

    TintoL Active Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Soo subjective this comparison.

    And no comment about the most awesome feature in midi. "Expression maps" . This is supper important in midi. And i think only cubase has it.

    That alone to me, kills every other option.
    Robert Randolph and InLight-Tone like this.
  10. InLight-Tone

    InLight-Tone Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    @august80 I understand your point, yet Robert does get pretty in depth with each DAW from HIS perspective and I personally have founf his information valuable and interesting when making my assessments. There's a lot of good info on Roberts site for sure though biased in certain directions but let's not through out the baby with the bathwater...
  11. I am familiar with Cubase's macro system, and the PLE.

    Reaper allows combination of any actions, creation of custom actions programmatically, cyclical actions (a single key sequentially executes actions from a list) and allows the user to use actions that accept metadata that affect how the action or successive actions in the macro work. Reaper even has an integrated IDE for the lua and jsfx scripting interface for creating custom actions/macros. There is also a C API for this purpose as well.

    Cubase does not have these features. It's not even remotely close to as powerful or capable.

    The vast majority of DAW users right now are hobbyists, and based on the sales data that has been shared with me, Live is currently the best selling DAW by a fairly significant margin. It also dominates nearly all of the online usage polls.

    So yes, for the majority of DAW users, it would appear that its workflow is more than sufficient if not outright superior.

    I clearly don't agree with that, but going upon the available data it seems that a good case is made for that.

    You are absolutely correct, and if you would have spent some time with the chart you would see that you can weigh which featuresets are most important to you to help make the rating more meaningful for your workflow and requirements.

    If you feel like the categories could be further broken down, I'm open to that idea. Just communicate to me what you think could be improved.

    100's, sometimes 1000's of people see this chart daily. If you want to give some constructive criticism, I'd be more than happy to consider it.

    Otherwise, thank you for your input. I'll consider making the reasoning behind the stability rating more clear.
    Quasar likes this.
  12. I should add that to the chart. Thank you for the suggestion.

    I would consider this as 'articulation management', so that the comparison could be made with other products that don't use similar terminology. Do you think that's reasonable?
  13. InLight-Tone

    InLight-Tone Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    @Robert Randolph said: The vast majority of DAW users right now are hobbyists, and based on the sales data that has been shared with me, Live is currently the best selling DAW by a fairly significant margin. It also dominates nearly all of the online usage polls.

    Yes Live may be the best selling DAW to "hobbyists", but among professionals, those that make a living bringing in money from composing music, you would rarely see someone using Live except the EDM crowd. Reaper, uh, no way.

    Reaper is super powerful in some respects, yet so is Linux, and BOTH can be a total chaotic mess to work with. Why wouldn't Zimmer, Gregson-Williams etc., who can afford anything they want use Reaper, Live or other DAWS? Because when it comes down to usability, all the powerful features in the world don't matter. Prolific output does, not setting up endless scripts and endlessly tweaking the UI.

    Don't get me wrong, if I have to stare at something the majority of my day, I want it to look good and be clear, but Reaper looks like a mess to me, and I customized and tweaked the hell out of it...
    Robert Randolph likes this.
  14. I agree with basically everything you said.

    However not everyone has the same opinions as each other as to what is important, and I've managed to make Reaper very nice for myself. However, I never recommend it to anyone unless they are already very sick of their current DAW and need specific functionality that Reaper offers.

    The chart isn't to claim any DAW is better or worse, just express features and general facets of the experience.

    The scores generated don't at all represent what I think is a good or bad product. (Particularly that I don't think Reaper is the best DAW out there, even though that is what I use along with DP). Nor do I think any single product is good for all users, which is why I spend so much time making a system that lets pepole customize the ratings.
  15. InLight-Tone

    InLight-Tone Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    I respect that you have spent so much quality time with each DAW and value your opinions and observations for sure...
  16. KV626

    KV626 Member

    Every now and then I get sick of Pro Tools for some reason and recently I've started 2 projects in Logic (I'm doing film music) - I've worked on DP for years as well, lately though I find it more and more difficult to work with (GUI and eye strain, playback performance/cpu load, lack of stability/reliability with large projects to name a few). While I do like working with Logic, there are many things that seem awkwardly implemented compared to Pro Tools (inability to "unlink" regions from the tempo map for example, a real PIA and huge waste of time) and some basic features that are missing, such as region consolidation. After nearly 2 months yesterday I've decided to continue these projects in Pro Tools instead. Even when I'm sick of it or mad at Avid or whatever, spending time in another DAW always reminds me why I love Pro Tools so much. There are great things I can do in LPX, but I do everything so much faster in Pro Tools! And when it comes to editing PT is unparalleled (and yes I do use it for composition as well).

    As for Reaper I never really used it so I can't comment. I always hear great things about it but I don't know, so far I've never really felt any real need to try it.
  17. Vik

    Vik Scandi Member

    Dec 15, 2013
    Since it sometimes takes years to really learn a DAW, I must admit that I question if any single person would be able to set up such a chart, even with some help from others. Some DAWs are so deep that one still discovers functions af several years, and while having read all the manuals of all DAWs would be requires to set up such a chart, one wouldn't be able to remember everything in the manuals + some stuff isn't in the manual - and some stuff in the manual doesn't work as expected. And a chart which doesn't take bugs/easy of use/workflow into consideration wouldn't be really useful for me personally. I've spent much time just trying to figure out the differences between Logic and Cubase, but I'm not there yet.
    So, with full respect for all the effort that may have been put into this, I'd take a chart like this with a lot of grains of salt. :)
    Saxer and InLight-Tone like this.
  18. Red

    Red Member

    Apr 25, 2014
    Los Angeles
    I think the chart is more focused on hobbyists, and what would help them get the most bang and fun out of a quick toy purchase.

    I'm pretty sure anyone who have switched daws this often isn't focusing on the composition and midi workflow aspects of them.

    As the author stated, I think he is more interested in what kinds of "features" (gimmicky shortcuts that could sound better when done from scratch but are really easy and fast to use). Like that chord maker in cubase or the apple loops of logic.

    Although I haven't had much time with Reaper, I can see why when it comes to having a complicated, cool looking screen with meters, moving bars and graphs that you can customize to infinite optimization, all the while looking really cool and meta while doing it, Reaper would get most points.
  19. OP

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    Exactly. Reaper is macros on steroids.
    Stevie and gregh like this.
  20. OP

    robgb I was young once

    Apr 6, 2016
    Not really. Generally speaking, most DAWS function alike, so the learning curve starts with the first DAW you use. From there it's just a matter of understanding how the new DAW is different from the old DAW, and that usually takes a couple weeks or maybe a month of use (if that).

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