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Unread 01-14-2016, 03:25 PM   #1
The Elephant in Your Room
Ben Toast's Avatar

Joined: Feb 2011
Location: The Monks
Posts: 5,058
All About DAWs

So I've played around with a few different DAWs and, inspired by the "favorite DAW" thread, figured I might start a thread specifically for talking about DAW things.

I'll keep this first post updated with lists of pros, cons, and features of various DAWs.


I'd wager MOST of us here have used Audacity, so let me mock up a quick list of pros, cons, and features.

- It's free
- Powerful: Supports project sample rates from 8KHz to 384KHz (what the what?!)
- Lightweight, not demanding on system resources.
- Supports VST plugins
- ASIO support (yes, you can set it up to utilize your multitrack interface if you use an ASIO driver).
- Volume enveloping

- No real-time monitoring of inputs.
- No mixer
- Built-in effects are garbage.
- No effects racks (you cannot stack effects on a track and adjust them in real-time; only one at a time, one track at a time).
- No MIDI playback (no mapping virtual instruments)
- No enveloping of effects unless routed through outboard hardware and done manually and recorded in real-time.
- Limited in functionality. Don't expect to be able to do *professional* production.


- Robust, with support for midi, multi-track interfaces, virtual instrument mapping, video integration, etc.
- Supports VST plugins
- ASIO is standard.
- Industry standard DAW, with oodles of tutorials to be found online
- Effects Racks
- Bussing is flexible
- Good built-in effects
- Easy to set up and use

- Buggy
- Limited company support; Avid doesn't like to fix problems
- Picky about what audio hardware it will play well with (it doesn't much care for m-audio interfaces)
- Does things in a roundabout fashion as compared to other DAWs
- VST plugins must match the architecture of the Pro Tools version you are using
- iLok is annoying
- No multi-monitor support (you can't put your tracks on one monitor and your mixer on another)
- Bussing is not handled very efficiently, strains outboard audio hardware; to monitor through a bus while recording, both the track(s) going into the bus and the bus itself must be activated and will be recorded.
- Expensive


- Robust, with support for midi, multi-track interfaces, video integration, etc.
- Affordable (currently $60 for a standard license).
- Lightweight, easy on system resources.
- Effects racks
- Decent built-in effects
- Supports VST plugins
- Multi-monitor support

- No live monitoring while recording. You'll have to rely on your interface for this, if it supports it.


- Powerful and robust
- Supports VST plugins
- ASIO support
- TONS of tutorial videos available online
- Can be acquired as part of Adobe Creative Cloud suite
- If you get it as part of Adobe CC suite, then add dynamic linking of audio for work in Premiere or After Effects to this list
- Also, if acquired via a Creative Cloud license, then frequent updates are also available at no additional cost
- Built-in effects are incredible.
- Bussing handled very effectively
- Effects racks are handled better (in Toast's opinion) than other DAWs.
- Best (in Toast's opinion) multi-monitor support of all DAWs.
- Enveloping is very robust

- Heavy on CPU; more latency while live monitoring with effects.
- Some built-in effects cannot be live monitored (most of the reverbs and delays).
- Only supports 64-bit VST plugins. This can be worked around with jbridge, but that costs $20.
- A Creative Cloud license can be expensive over time.

I need information on:
- Logic
- Ableton
- Presonus
- Cubase
- FL Studio
- and more

I hope that all is well in heaven, 'cause it's all shot to hell down here.

Originally Posted by BillSPrestonEsq View Post
...wives are expensive upkeep...

Last edited by Ben Toast; 01-15-2016 at 12:58 PM.
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