Switching DAWs - getting a good deal on a DAW

AwakenTheSkies

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
451
Reaction score
417
Location
The unemployment office
Hello,

I've been using Studio One 4 Artist with VST support since 2018 and I want to switch to a new DAW. Before that I used to use REAPER. I was looking at Cubase. Does Elements have any serious limitations aside from the track count in your experience? I might be able to get it for 50 bucks with an old Cubase LE 5 or 4 serial.

I tried using REAPER again but it's just not as good for the stuff I do, drawing MIDI and all that. Recording with it is fine. SO1 5 Pro might be an option too but the upgrade is too expensive, I'd have to wait for a sale. Anywhere that sells second-hand SO1 5 Pro licenses? Call me crazy but I feel like the mixes don't sound as good in SO1. And I've been using it for a while. But the editing is great. Idk.
 

CanserDYI

Yeah, No, Definitely.
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
3,976
Reaction score
5,486
Location
419
Personally I find reaper's MIDI writing system to be quite easy and straight forward, Maybe take some "classes" on how to properly use reaper? (i've been using it for years and still learn new things DAILY) Its really a fantastic DAW and honestly I don't find Cubase to be much better if better at all? Completely up to you, but I'd be willing to bet you'd be better off REALLY diving into reaper and finding a good work flow.

Just my two cents, not saying Cubase is "bad" if anything its awesome. I just find reaper to be an amazing product.
 

MetalheadMC

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
832
Reaction score
332
Location
Bama
Agreed about Reaper. For the price alone, or evaluation, it's definitely hard to beat with all it has.

The videos with Kenny Gioia are a godsend with learning everything to do with Reaper
 

WarMachine

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
2,770
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Charleston, WV
Reaper is the GOAT.
And agreed, I've used it since 2009 and STILL learn new things about it. And with the Reaper v6 and up you get as good of plugins in the Rea set as many commercial plugins. My main mastering plugins used to be Fab Pro L2, and the SSL Bus Comp. The last few months I've been using the JS 1175 compressor, the ReaLimit and the JS Loudness to watch the LUFS. Best sounds I've gotten so far.
 

Giest

Never a tune you can dance to.
Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
350
Reaction score
544
Reaper all the way. Been using it exclusively since Cubase did me super dirty. Haven't looked back. I have Studio One, I think Artist, I kicked around in it for about an hour then said shit on it and went back to Reaper.
 

MetalheadMC

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
832
Reaction score
332
Location
Bama
Reaper all the way. Been using it exclusively since Cubase did me super dirty. Haven't looked back. I have Studio One, I think Artist, I kicked around in it for about an hour then said shit on it and went back to Reaper.
Exact same experience. Cubase tried to get me to spend $100+ for whatever version they upgraded to. Tried Studio for a bit but it was more eye candy than anything honestly
 

Stiman

SS.org Regular
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
256
Reaction score
250
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Reaper is the GOAT.
And agreed, I've used it since 2009 and STILL learn new things about it. And with the Reaper v6 and up you get as good of plugins in the Rea set as many commercial plugins. My main mastering plugins used to be Fab Pro L2, and the SSL Bus Comp. The last few months I've been using the JS 1175 compressor, the ReaLimit and the JS Loudness to watch the LUFS. Best sounds I've gotten so far.
I’m curious what general settings you use for the JS 1175 and the JS Louderizer. Care to share?
 

WarMachine

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
2,770
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Charleston, WV
For the compresser, i just aim to cut no more than about -4db on the meter. As for the Louderizer, it just monitors the LUFS for the track. Depending on what its for, i'll adjust the ReaLimit to get the volume where it wont be clipping. Google is your friend here. If i remember right, CD LUFS is -9, YouTube -13 to -15 etc. Just watch the far right LUFS meter and it'll show you where you are.
 

Winspear

Tom Winspear
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
12,286
Reaction score
3,246
Location
Yorkshire, U.K
+1 for Reaper, having used Protools, Cakewalk, and Logic extensively.
It's incredible - extremely flexible.
The MIDI editor is the one thing I always hear complaints about and without specifics I really can't know why, but trust me when I say you can get it to work exactly like you want it to. Same applies to the rest of the software. I get that change from what you are used to is always unpleasant, but Reaper is extremely customisable software with additional scripting buttons for just about anything you could imagine.
It's one of those softwares where the question is always "How do.." rather than "Can I.." (yes, you can)
 

Stiman

SS.org Regular
Joined
Apr 13, 2011
Messages
256
Reaction score
250
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
For the compresser, i just aim to cut no more than about -4db on the meter. As for the Louderizer, it just monitors the LUFS for the track. Depending on what its for, i'll adjust the ReaLimit to get the volume where it wont be clipping. Google is your friend here. If i remember right, CD LUFS is -9, YouTube -13 to -15 etc. Just watch the far right LUFS meter and it'll show you where you are.
Last question:
Is this mastering chain on your master bus when tracking and/or mixing?
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,933
Reaction score
11,079
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
Why switch at all? :scratch:

Cakewalk was one of the original MIDI editor software suites, or at least one of very very few that are still around.

I know everyone says Reaper, Reaper, and also Reaper, but I've had similar problems with the learning curve of it being non-intuitive for me. I think I learned enough about Studio One to effectively use it within maybe one hour. I spent maybe 6-7 hours with Reaper and still felt uncomfortable using it. I guess the most basic stuff like just recording a track and doing simple edits was straightforward enough, but anything beyond that seems to me like it just doesn't work the way I would intuitively expect it to, so I'm always having to look things up, even things I had already done before, just because there is so much to relearn... But I'm convinced that nearly everyone who spends enough time with it ends up loving it. With Studio One, though, button clicks just tend to do what I guess that they'll do, icons look like the thing I expect them to look like, etc., so I very rarely ever have to look up how to do a thing that I want to do. It's pretty much drag and drop, and even then, every time I've ended up hopelessly lost on how to do something, it's simply ended up being something that you can't do without paying extra money for some sort of tool.
 

WarMachine

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
2,770
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Charleston, WV
Last question:
Is this mastering chain on your master bus when tracking and/or mixing?
I leave these on all the time on the master bus. YMMV, but I've always had better results setting the master bus how it will be for the finished product at the beginning vs after mixing. Sure, after you mix you'll need to watch your compression to make sure it's not pumping too much (unless that's the sound you're after), but better to know what your mix sounds like going into these plugins vs trying to tweak things like eqs/etc after the fact. I've gone down that rabbit hole years ago. And it's not fun.
 

Crungy

I've made up mah mahnd, I ain't wastin no mo tahm
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,851
Reaction score
2,165
Location
Minnesota
I would definitely try the free Cakewalk daw first and see if you like the midi editing. It's frickin free!

I am a Pro Tools convert to Reaper though... I've been infinitely more productive with it and think the midi editing is great. I did try some iteration of Studio One and hated it lol
 

Drew

Forum MVP
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
31,990
Reaction score
8,708
Location
Somerville, MA
Big Reaper fan here, but if you're primarily looking for a DAW for MIDI and not .wav audio, I suppose it might not be my first pick either. I don't know if you're on a Mac, but isn't Logic supposed to be one of the stronger DAWs for MIDI?

I write all my own drum parts by hand in Reaper and it definitely works, so it's not that it can't handle MIDI, but it's probably easier working with a MIDI controller or canned MIDI files.
 

Winspear

Tom Winspear
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
12,286
Reaction score
3,246
Location
Yorkshire, U.K
As a second option I do definitely recommend Cakewalk, I absolutely loved it any my reasons for switching to Reaper are not relevant to just about anybody.
@Drew I think Logic just gets recommended so much for MIDI because of the huge amount of sample libraries and synths it includes.
I'm really not aware in any large way of how certain DAWs MIDI editors can have a big advantage over another (unless a given DAW is missing the ability to quickly rhythm paint MIDI, or doesn't allow you to name drums (I didn't realise how many DAWs don't!) , stuff like that etc)
 

tedtan

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
5,385
Reaction score
2,007
Location
Never Neverland
Cubase and Cakewalk and Logic started off as MIDI sequencers in the 80s/90s and added audio along the way. Pro Tools started off as an audio recorder around the late 80s and added MIDI along the way, and Reaper followed this path, but didn’t get started until around 2005. Based on their beginnings, you’ll notice some differences in the abilities and, more commonly the work flows, of each DAW, but they all do basically the same thing.

The key is finding one that works for you in terms of work flow.

If you’re looking for a change, consider Reaper and the free training videos by Kenny Gioia. But if it doesn’t work for you, move on and find one that does. Don’t let technology get in the way; fighting with tech kills creativity.
 

Crungy

I've made up mah mahnd, I ain't wastin no mo tahm
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,851
Reaction score
2,165
Location
Minnesota
That's the nice thing now, there's a lot of options and affordable ones too.
 

AwakenTheSkies

SS.org Regular
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
451
Reaction score
417
Location
The unemployment office
I've downloaded REAPER and Cakewalk again. I like the mixing console on Cakewalk. But isn't that DAW on it's way out? Is it worth it to learn a program like that? I didn't like that it installed some unwanted plugins. Like TH3 and Melondyne? Whyyyy? 😥

REAPER is just...REAPER, lots to learn but for me it's easier to use because I made albums and lots of music with it a few years ago and I still remember some of the things.
 


Top