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Which DAW for more acoustic sounds?

onmadegringo

New Member
Hi, gringo, i was wondering what DAW you would recommend if you primarly use real sounds and not unreal one's. My sampker sound's pretty real and i read somewhere that Cubase is supposed to be the top for that. Is that true? i think (on this site) i could read that Reaper has a more prestine sound while Cubase has more vintage vibe but is that true? Thanks so much for the help.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
There is no technical difference between DAWs except for the Harrison Mixbus and that is only because they include the color from the hardware mixbus in their data flow. Everything else will sound the same, even though people argue about it.

That said, if you are mostly recording live, people tend to like ProTools for audio recording. Cubase has the most midi tools, though if you don't use them all, they are not any better than Studio One or Reaper. The workflow in Bitwig Studio, Propellerhead Reason and Ableton Live are all a little different from the more standard workflow you will find in the other major DAWs. Logic only works on Apple products. And Cakewalk is free.

Did I cover it all?
 
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onmadegringo

New Member
If all of them sound the same why would someone then choose one over the other? i am really new to this so trying a lot of demo's and i do believe. that some DAW's will sound better no? i couldn't understand why Reaper is said to sound more prestine... in my test's it was distorting easily and everything sounded harsh. With Cubase no problem but if there is a "vintage vibe" I do not know. Thanks.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
If all of them sound the same why would someone then choose one over the other? i am really new to this so trying a lot of demo's and i do believe. that some DAW's will sound better no? i couldn't understand why Reaper is said to sound more prestine... in my test's it was distorting easily and everything sounded harsh. With Cubase no problem but if there is a "vintage vibe" I do not know. Thanks.
A lot of it is workflow. I learned on ProTools and find Cakewalk and Studio One to be fairly easy to use based on it. For me, Cubase is a pain because they use different names for things and trying to figure out how it works gets frustrating when the manual makes no sense.

Both Ableton and Bitwig are good if you like working with samples more than virtual instruments. Reaper is inexpensive and very adaptable. There are people on their forums who know how to write programs for it to do a lot of the things more expensive DAWs can do. Reason comes with a lot of really good instruments and can be used as an instrument in another DAW.

if you are using an Apple computer, Logic is maybe the best of the bunch for value vs options. But it is only Apple. And if you are going to school, you may want to use whatever they are training you on.

i would watch a lot of walk through videos. Really it comes down to which one makes it the easiest to make music for you.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
Oh, and if you have a crappy computer, I think Reason has the lowest RAM/CPU footprint. I've been able to use it on a netbook with 4 GBs RAM. These are things you have to think about. If you are going to do huge orchestral templates, you want to you ProTools or Cubase because they allow for the most tracks
 

Quasar

Senior Member
If all of them sound the same why would someone then choose one over the other? i am really new to this so trying a lot of demo's and i do believe. that some DAW's will sound better no? i couldn't understand why Reaper is said to sound more prestine... in my test's it was distorting easily and everything sounded harsh. With Cubase no problem but if there is a "vintage vibe" I do not know. Thanks.
Choosing one over the other is all about workflow preferences, price and platform. If Reaper sounds "harsh" then it must have to do with how your interface levels are set or some such. No one chooses a DAW because it colors the sound one way or another except (as dzilizzi already pointed out) the DAW is overtly emulating a specific hardware console, and Harrison Mixbus is the only DAW I know of that makes such a claim, though there may be others.

I use Reaper because it's affordable, because I've gotten accustomed to the workflow, because it's customizable, full-featured and has righteous copy protection. Best $60 I ever spent on software, by far. But it doesn't in any way have its own "sound" that makes it more or less suited to any particular genre or style of music. Digital audio doesn't work that way.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
There is no technical difference between DAWs
There can be lots of technical differences between DAWs. Pan laws, summing method (floating point or integer), resampling algorithm (if supported), timestretching algorithms, the way plugin buffers are processed, and especially host automation can vary wildly between DAWs.

Do read (all parts):



Sound-wise you can get all of them to sound the same, true. But that's only if you don't do ANYTHING to the recordings - no volume or panning changes, no automation, no plugin processing, nothing. As soon as you introduce more variables, things start to change little by little.
 

dzilizzi

I know nothing
There can be lots of technical differences between DAWs. Pan laws, summing method (floating point or integer), resampling algorithm (if supported), timestretching algorithms, the way plugin buffers are processed, and especially host automation can vary wildly between DAWs.

Do read (all parts):



Sound-wise you can get all of them to sound the same, true. But that's only if you don't do ANYTHING to the recordings - no volume or panning changes, no automation, no plugin processing, nothing. As soon as you introduce more variables, things start to change little by little.
Sorry, meant to say technically, there is no difference between the sound of the DAWs. Which has been shown to be true. But you are right, it is without anything being done to the sound. I have read multiple threads and tests over on Gearslutz about this.

So really, it comes down to workflow. And maybe the plugins that come with the DAW? I think I have 6 or 7 DAWs. I've yet to find one that makes my music sound any better, though some are much easier to use than others. No magic potion in any of them. :sad:
 

JamieLang

Active Member
...and the Spinal Tap suggestion of the week goes to...

To the question why one chooses one over another, again leaving out mixbus32c, which simply sounds better...it's largely a LOT of featrure differences--ones that are likely meaningless to someone who is new to this. An Online community like this is often a terrible place to research. Talk to people who work LIKE YOU DO...musically...meaning that while "acoustic sounds" is not really a functional category so much--it's more about, do you want to use virtual instruments? MIDI sequencing? How much of the MIDI will be "horns and strings"**? Will you be "correcting" the pitch and time of audio as standard practice? Will you be using sampled drums? These are all answers that will lead to a valid recommendation. Do you have a personal allergy to Windows or Apple OSs?

**because they generally require more specific instrument toolsets--articulation management, score editing, etc....vs sequencing a keyboard or drum part--a lot of the "disagreement" over which app is "better for MIDI" is because "MIDI Sequencing" isn't a single thing like it was in say 1994.
 

Tim_Wells

Tim Wells
onmadegringo - any of the major DAWs are capable of recording with pristine sound. For 99.9% of us, sound quality is not a factor when selecting a DAW. There are many reasons people choose different DAWs, features, workflow, os compatibility, etc., etc.

It sounds like you're new to this. I would just pick a DAW that appeals to you and get started. There are many good ones. Cubase, Logic, Reaper, Studio One, Ableton, and many others.

If it were me, I would start with Reaper. It has a free demo you can try. And it's only $60 to buy.
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
... in my test's it was distorting easily and everything sounded harsh.
There is no DAW out there that "distorts" or "sounds harsh".
If you have these symptoms, you're doing something wrong.
Maybe it's the routing (e.g. stereo signals that play back in mono may distort) or the levelling.

As has been said, set your priorities according to what suits your workflow.
The audio quality of all available DAWs is nothing to worry about.
There are thousands of other things to prioritise.
 
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