What preference do you have for DAWs?

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

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arpegadream
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What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby arpegadream » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:39 am

I don't know if this is opening a can of worms, if it is, Mods let me know so I can remove or revise the question.

I know nothing about DAW softwares, so far all I've tried is Ardour5.

I am aware that there are Windows and Mac DAWs, are those inherently superior?

What big differences are there between Linux DAWs?

Is there a place I can read about them in comparison?

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Michael Willis
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Michael Willis » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:47 am

Hold everything, I need to go pop some corn.

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Michael Willis » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:00 am

Ok, I'm back. I guess I'll get this thing started. To briefly summarize:

Use LMMS if you want to make electronica
Use Qtractor if you want a good midi sequencer that also happens to support audio tracks.
Use Ardour if you want good multi-track audio recording/mixing that also happens to support midi tracks.
Use MuseScore if you want a music notation editor that also happens to play the music.
Use Rosegarden if you want a music notation editor and you don't like MuseScore.
Use Zrhythm if you want to try something on the bleeding edge.

Some commercial options that work natively on Linux are Mixbus, REAPER and Bitwig Studio. Use Mixbus if you want something kinds of like Ardour with a virtual old-school mixing console (including some emulation of how an analogue mixer colors the sound, I think?) I can't really tell you much about the latter two, other than people who use them seem to really like them.

You can try running a Windows-native DAW like Ableton, Cubase, or Protools on Linux with Wine if you're the kind of person who thinks that getting a back massage with a cheese grater sounds like a fun time.

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby stanlea » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:16 am

Commercial also : Trackion Waveform

Besides, Michael post is accurate.

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby lilith » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:13 am

Use Renoise when you want to be super cool :lol:

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Basslint
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Basslint » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:44 am

Michael Willis wrote:Ok, I'm back. I guess I'll get this thing started. To briefly summarize:

Use LMMS if you want to make electronica
Use Qtractor if you want a good midi sequencer that also happens to support audio tracks.
Use Ardour if you want good multi-track audio recording/mixing that also happens to support midi tracks.
Use MuseScore if you want a music notation editor that also happens to play the music.
Use Rosegarden if you want a music notation editor and you don't like MuseScore.
Use Zrhythm if you want to try something on the bleeding edge.

Some commercial options that work natively on Linux are Mixbus, REAPER and Bitwig Studio. Use Mixbus if you want something kinds of like Ardour with a virtual old-school mixing console (including some emulation of how an analogue mixer colors the sound, I think?) I can't really tell you much about the latter two, other than people who use them seem to really like them.

You can try running a Windows-native DAW like Ableton, Cubase, or Protools on Linux with Wine if you're the kind of person who thinks that getting a back massage with a cheese grater sounds like a fun time.


Nice summary! Although for electronica, I think MusE is much better - it has proper MIDI support and supports LV2, unlike LMMS. I would only recommend LMMS to beatmakers and newcomers who need something that ships with plenty of easy to use synths and sample(r)s.

And let's not forget about RADIUM, which is actively developed and might be interesting for people who like trackers.

Anyway, to answer OP's question, right now I say Ardour.
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:48 am

What @Michael Willis said.

And if you just want to record one ore more audio tracks quick and dirty one can use good 'ol Audacity. And why shouldn't you? One can use a sh*tload of plugins with it (read: chorus, delay etc.) if you installed the free LV2 and LADSPA plugins via your package manager. In the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's they used such a method: it's called a 24 track tape machine and it was bloody expensive! ;)

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Michael Willis » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:07 pm

Ha! I knew I was going to forget some things. Yes, Trackion Waveform, Renoise, Muse, and even Audacity probably warrant at least a cursory investigation to see if they would work for you.

I think the first thing is to identify what you want to do. Based on some of your previous posts, it seems like recording guitar is a big part of your goal. What else do you want to do in addition to your guitar?

Don't feel like you have to jump in and learn some really complicated application just because it boasts a big set of features. Sometimes smaller is better, if it makes it easier for you to just plug in and record.

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby tavasti » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:10 pm

Michael Willis wrote:Ok, I'm back. I guess I'll get this thing started. To briefly summarize:

Use LMMS if you want to make electronica
Use Qtractor if you want a good midi sequencer that also happens to support audio tracks.
Use Ardour if you want good multi-track audio recording/mixing that also happens to support midi tracks.
Use MuseScore if you want a music notation editor that also happens to play the music.
Use Rosegarden if you want a music notation editor and you don't like MuseScore.
Use Zrhythm if you want to try something on the bleeding edge.

Some commercial options that work natively on Linux are Mixbus, REAPER and Bitwig Studio. Use Mixbus if you want something kinds of like Ardour with a virtual old-school mixing console (including some emulation of how an analogue mixer colors the sound, I think?) I can't really tell you much about the latter two, other than people who use them seem to really like them.

Pretty accurate. Mixbus is best thing if you are mostly recording real audio. It is Ardour with great mixing interface. If interested, load demo version, and most likely you will start getting marketing emails. There is great discounts often.
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby JamesPeters » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:14 pm

Since a lot of DAWs in Linux are free, it's a good idea to try them to see which workflow suits you best. Each has something about it that's different, and to some people it's a make-or-break difference. No DAW is absolutely perfect/flawless either.

I use Reaper. It can usually bend to fit the workflow I want; rarely do I find that I'm hindered by a lack of workflow options. The other side of that: not having defaults which make a new user feel comfortable with the program, "holding your hand" and "showing you how to do things its own way". A lot of it is left up to you to explore and discover. Initially it feels bare and almost stark. After a few uses though I realized there's so many possibilities it was a matter of setting it up how I wanted. Some people customize Reaper in ways (and to such an extent) that leave it virtually unrecognizable as Reaper.

The full extent of Reaper's customization for your tastes may rely on add-on scripts. Anyone can write scripts and/or make custom actions/macros (some of it is very simple, and some obviously requires programming knowledge). There are thousands of them, from simple functions to advanced dialog windows which for example can do things like generate compression/de-essing envelopes in realtime. There's a repo management system of sorts for most of these scripts (which in itself is an add-on, called ReaPack). Some people are worried custom scripts may "break" in terms of compatibility with later versions of Reaper. I've noticed that happens occasionally, but I've found either those scripts have been fixed to meet the later Reaper version compatibility, or new scripts have been made by others (which are usually better than the old ones). Also sometimes new functionality is added to Reaper itself which covers the same ground as a script.

Then there's Reaper's own plugin format "JS". These plugins can be written by anyone, and they'll work on any version of Reaper on any OS. Reaper compiles the plugin on the fly as it's loaded, so the plugin is OS-unaware (with a few possible exceptions for specific graphics or font options which differ among OSes). A lot of JS plugins look very plain but even so they can be fantastic. The barebones look of the JS plugins means a lot of people underestimate them. Some of my favorite plugins are JS plugins, and it made migrating from Windows to Linux (native, no Windows-based plugins at all) a lot easier for me; JS plugins written by Mac or Windows users all work for me in Reaper for Linux. There are a lot of JS plugins made by Reaper users, covering a lot of ground: MIDI utilities, testing/analysis tools, synths, guitar/bass amp sims, tape/tube drive sims, and plugins of the usual types (EQ, compressor, modulation, delay, etc.) A lot of these plugins are managed by the ReaPack "repo manager" too.

A downside of Reaper for Linux's plugin formats: currently there is no LV2 compatibility. It works with Linux VST and JS plugins only. Plus whatever you want to do with plugin bridging (linVST etc.) It's possible Reaper will get LV2 compatibility in the future but there's no confirmation it's going to happen.

Reaper's trial is "60 days" with unlimited functionality, and then it continues to work with unlimited functionality. :) It's an honor-system thing. The cost of the discounted license (for which most people qualify) is quite reasonable especially when it has lasted between 3.5 to 8 years depending on when it was purchased in the Reaper version cycle. Reaper is very actively developed and maintained, so in my opinion the discounted license is more than fair.

Kirtai
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Kirtai » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:46 pm

And when would you use Non?

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Gps » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:14 am

I use LMMS, one of its limitation that it can't record live music, is not relevant for me.

Maybe one day I will run into issues that only using a better daw can solve, but for now my skill level is much more the limiting factor then LMMS.

Few years back, when I released my first track, people asked if I was tone def. :lol:

To some extent I was tone def ( ears not trained for music scales ), but nothing some exercise by not giving up can solve.
Never played any instrument, before I started with lmms.

I learned allot of watching people using, Cubase, Abelton, Fruity loops and LMMS and asking questions on forums.

If you using Ardour now, why not continue to do so until you run into limitation of ardour ? :)

Because of some sentiment for the good old days, I would not mind a Linux Cubase version though.

Off topic
Years ago saw a demonstration with a Yamaha DX 7 an Atari ST with Cubase, connected through midi.
Tried it at home, to find out the dx 7 was not able to play back different instruments together.
Cubase on an Atari st. Loading a beat from a floppy disk.
Cubase in the good old days had no windows or dos version, only Atari and Mac.

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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:43 pm

Kirtai wrote:And when would you use Non?

On a computer with a very small screen. I like its simple looks.

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English Guy
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby English Guy » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:45 pm

I use Mixbus (Commercial, but the demo is free to try). I am old fashioned musician playing and recording instruments. I cut my teeth on analogue gear in the pre-digital pre-PC days and I love it.

Mixbus has a mixer based on Harrison Console's studio grade hardware. A lot of the stuff you need (compression, limiter, EQ, HIgh Pass) is built in to the mixer so does not need to be loaded. It also has built in Tape Saturation. It sounds great and has a very logical workflow. It has many other great features so if you are in the market it is worth checking out.

If you watch out for their sales you can pick it up cheap ($40 or so).

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chaocrator
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Re: What preference do you have for DAWs?

Postby chaocrator » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:17 am

same here.
i use DAW only for mixing & mastering, and Mixbus is absolutely superb for this kind of job.
(with all LV2 Harrison plugins, in my case)

prices are moderate to low, support is great, i'm allowed to install it on all my machines — all these things make me love it.


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