Found This Nice DAW Feature Comparison Chart

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

  1. You are absolutely correct about it being features, but not about it being 'gimmicky shortcuts'. I think if you read the chart you would realize that.

    Workflow is a very personal thing, and it depends on a lot of factors. I don't even attempt to tackle that bag of worms. There's people happily working in every DAW out there that adore the workflow.
     
  2. sinkd

    sinkd Senior Member

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    That's because you haven't tried Digital Performer. You may never know what you are missing. ;)
     
  3. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon KSP Wizard

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    No, this shows how you aren't at all familiar what Reaper can do in this department. It literally craps over Cubase and every other DAW for that matter when macros and custom commands are concerned.
     
  4. stigc56

    stigc56 Senior Member

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    I noticed the bit about Community Support and that DP scored lowest, and I fully agree. Motunation has given me the worst community experience EVER!. Of course that only counts for beginners, but in the DP example it's quite difficult to get knowledge elsewhere. I also think that the feature set of MIDI makes Cubase superior to all the others, and I have been a bit around all of the DAWS.
     
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  5. Quasar

    Quasar Senior Member

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    How can a Reaper look like a mess if you've customized and tweaked the hell out of it, considering that Reaper can look virtually anyway one wants it to look?

    I get the MIDI editor criticisms of Reaper, and wish a few ME things were different. I also get the "Linux of DAWs" thing to a certain though limited extent, as it behooves one to put in some work to tame it to one's preferred workflow. The various menu items for instance, out of the box, are almost insanely scattered about in a random, disorganized way. But I'll never get the appearance criticisms. I've watched more than one audio tutorial and wondered "What DAW is that?" until I realized it was Reaper, themed to look radically different than what I have.
     
  6. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon KSP Wizard

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    [​IMG]

    Yep, this looks like a mess.


    Look, we all know everybody hates the un-skinned "Windows windows" (like FX chain), but that's probably not changing any time soon... Solution? Use the extended mixer where you can just click on an FX slot and float the effect in its own wndow, without seeing the nasty FX chain window ever again. At least for that unskinned window. Plenty of other programs have dialogs that retain the OS look and feel. This keeps the resource usage down.
     
  7. Quasar

    Quasar Senior Member

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    I can't compare Reaper to Cubase, but it's true that Reaper's custom action possibilities are essentially limitless. I can't imagine how its macro capabilities could get any better.
     
  8. InLight-Tone

    InLight-Tone Senior Member

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    I guess we're all different, what feels comfortable to one is grating to another. Reaper is cool in some aspects, no doubt, but too many parts of it rubbed me the wrong way. For instance the scripting ability is phenomenal, yet those CC editing scripts by Julian, while impressive made me feel like I was driving a go kart. The native Cubase midi CC editing is solid in comparison.

    Cubase for me just gets out of the way and I'm actually productive in there which is a feat in itself. I somewhat like Studio One as well, but the flat interface and lack of advanced midi features wore me down over time. Plus the performance in building large disabled templates which I prefer, just wasn't happening..
     
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  9. Quasar

    Quasar Senior Member

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    I do relate to some of what you're saying. Though there are many, many amazing scripts made by dazzlingly intelligent Reaperites, I much prefer the simplicity of native integration. I use a few workaround scripts, but take a pass on many, as my tolerance for fiddling with stuff is rather low.

    The idea is to just be able to use whatever DAW as a tool without thinking about it very much. Whatever does that for you is the DAW you should use.
     
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  10. Vik

    Vik Scandi Member

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    That's true for simple tasks like adding plugins, adjusting levels etc. But when it comes to more specific areas like articulation control, notation, how to deal with the the many ways to control CC automation, beat mapping/time warping etc, my experience has been the opposite. Since I know Logic very well, many of the things in other DAWs (and notation programs) seem cumbersome - even if they may be better overall programs.

    Learning basic use of a DAW is a question of hours or days. But with DAWs nowadays have like 2000 pages of manuals, they are so deep and versatile that learning even only one DAW properly can take very long time. Personally I find Reaper cluttered, Cubase seem in several ways to be counterintuitive (but has many nice functions), Dorico doesn't rely enough on key commands for me, but on popup windows which require more learning and so on. And Logic has for many years been missing development in the areas which made me interested in Cubase/Steinberg: expression maps/notation/CC automation/articulation control and so on. And even old Sibelius has features which would have been great in all DAWs, but which may not in any of them, since they are more oriented towards...'simpler' ways of making songs that the kind of compositions notation programs are focusing omg dealing with.

    I'm also sure that if you select any handful of random DAW users and ask them to say something about 2-3 DAWs, they won't all be saying the same thing. So - if one of them - like you or I - would make a DAW chart evaluating all areas of DAWs, we wouldn't have been giving them the same number of points for UI, functions and so on.

    To use Dorico as an example again... while it's not a DAW as such, it deals with many of the same things as DAWs do, and it's the last program I wanted to learn. Now, it's still in it's early days and miss many functions, but it could have been *a lot* easier to learn if it would have pretty much all functions available in "all" kinds if ways, like as menu options, key commands and particularly as things that could be found through contextual menus. But Dorico isn't designed to work like that. They don't plan to implement all commands as key commands, and having contextual menys everywhere, which is known to be a big time saver without cluttering the UI, is something they either haven't gotten to yet, or don't want. So having a background from, say, a DAW or a notation program which is more key command oriented or context menu oriented doesn't help much.

    The bottom line for me is that it's almost always useful to have all functions available as key commands, normal menus and contextual menus. DAWs which don't have this take a lot longer to learn in depth. #2: the easiest way to implement a function is often the way which requires the fewest steps for the user to execute. And some DAWs need 5 steps to perform what you can do with one step in another. In such cases, one needs to figure out what those 5 steps are. This also takes time.

    So - like it or not... :) I don't believe that the need to compare DAWs will be eliminated if a person like you, me or someone else, sets up a chart like this, with one exception: it would be really useful if one knew that person well, especially if we both were interested in the same stuff. Buy if you are into hip hop and ADM and mainly rely on the piano roll and another users write nothing above 50 BMP and only use Kontakt with step ionic and a score window, they have very different needs. Maybe they couldn't give much advice each other much at all.
     
  11. Ashermusic

    Ashermusic Senior Member

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    Here is what I think for many of us is an issue. When you use a DAW pretty much exclusively for years, like I have with Logic, it teaches you to think the way it thinks. So then when you go to a different DAW and it does things differently, your initial instinct is to think, "Well that is wrong!."

    ED is a smart guy and if he makes Reaper work well, it can work well. I am a reasonably smart guy but when I tried it for a few hours, I wanted to end my life, which I attribute to my first statement.
     
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  12. Vik

    Vik Scandi Member

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    Sure, Jay. But some solutions simply are much better than others too.
     
  13. Ashermusic

    Ashermusic Senior Member

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    Not empirically, only subjectively.
     
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  14. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon KSP Wizard

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  15. Davidson A & M

    Davidson A & M Midi Devise

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    Reaper looks like it wins price to performance contest.
     
  16. Stevie

    Stevie Senior Member

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    It has already been said but as a long time Cubase power user I can only say: Macros, LE and PLE are ridiculous compared to Reaper's possibilities. It's true, you have to spend some time with it and maybe even dive into scripting. But that's what I already did with Cubase, when I tried to extend it with AutoHotKey scripts. In the MIDI department, Cubase might seem like the holy grail, but don't get fooled. Reaper beats it. Not because Reaper is better (as already mentioned, the standard MIDI tools aren't that great) but because Reaper features an API and there are a lot of smart people out there who provide us with great tools/scripts.
     
    robgb likes this.
  17. But does performance matter that much?

    Workflow is very important, and this chart doesn't really say anything about workflow. You can have a gazillion awesome features, but if you can't integrate them in to your daily grind, then it's not very useful.
     
  18. MarcelM

    MarcelM Senior Member

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    i agree. workflow is more important and cubase has a better workflow compared to reaper for sure. tbh studio one has the best and fastest workflow. its ok if reaper works best for you, but i dont think its a fair comparison.

    oh evil dragon, if you show the reaper skin - you should have also shown its bloody ugly piano roll including the even more ugly cc lanes and compare that one to the one from cubase ;)
     
  19. gregh

    gregh Senior Member

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    i see this subjective thing from people all the time when talking about DAWs and their user interaction but it is not true really. Any empirical judgement is made with respect to a metric - by definition. Workflow and design can also be measured against a metric eg learnability, time to complete tasks, visibility, accessibility and so on. People have been measuring effectiveness in design for a very long time and those sorts of measurements can be made about DAWs
     
  20. JohnG

    JohnG Senior Member

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    I doubt it, Greg, honestly. I think Jay's right about "what you're used to feels right." Writing music is not like most other tasks. Even architecture, to which it's most closely allied (in my view) has a different set of engineering issues that can never be violated, for structural reasons. We just don't have that in music.

    You can only measure the suitability of a tool for a task or category of tasks. But in music, what I do or you do may be so different as to be, effectively, unrecognisable. I use notation all the time, but composer X may not even read music, so that means the strength or weakness of an entire part of his DAW is irrelevant to him. He may, nevertheless, write music that everyone thinks is better.

    So I think Jay's right on this one. I have yet to hear of a tool that's not available in all the "full featured" DAWs that's indispensable, and yet some people will view a tool that I think is peripheral as -- indispensable.

    I don't see how you get around this.
     

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