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What's Your DAW of Choice and Why?


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Hey gang

 

I've been thinking a lot about the tools we use to bring our musical ideas to life, and I'm super curious about what everyone's go-to DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is. I know we've all got our preferences, often shaped by our workflow, the genres we dabble in, or even just how we got started in music production.

 

So, I thought it would be useful to start a thread where we can all share the DAW we use and dive into the reasons why we've chosen it over others. Are there specific features that make it your top pick? Is it the user interface, the stock plugins and instruments, the community and support around it, or maybe its integration capabilities with other hardware/software you use?

 

Here’s what I’m thinking we can share:

  • Your DAW of choice
  • Why you prefer it (specific features, workflow advantages, etc.)
  • Your favorite plugins or instruments within that DAW
  • Any tips or tricks you've discovered that might help others using the same platform

 

Whether you're a Logic Pro X loyalist, an Ableton Live wizard, a FL Studio guru, Studio One expert, or rocking Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, or anything else — I want to hear from you! Even if you're using something less mainstream, don't hesitate to jump in. This could be a fantastic way for us all to learn something new and maybe even reconsider our current setup.

 

Looking forward to your insights and stories behind your DAW selection! Let's make this thread a treasure trove of DAW wisdom.

 

Cheers

 

John

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Your DAW of choice

Cubase (currently v.13 Pro)

 

Why you prefer it (specific features, workflow advantages, etc.)

I've been using Cubase since the mid-90's (back then on an Atari ST). I've always been MIDI based in my personal work, and Cubase worked for me at the start. I used a few other DAW's in my job as Music Technologist (ProTools, Logic, Ableton, Digital Performer), mostly for audio work, but with some MIDI stuff too. I also tried a few different DAW's after I returned from a multi-year break from making music (Studio One, Reaper). Nothing has felt intuitive like Cubase. It's really small stuff like how you interact with the piano roll editor, and bigger things like the Logical Editor which I have grown up with and use a lot for dynamic and rhythmic nuances in particular. Even though I still feel like I've only really touched the surface with it, I don't feel the comfort level with any other DAW I've used/tried.

 

Your favorite plugins or instruments within that DAW

I think Synthesizer-V is the most significant plugin development this century. For people like me who can't sing, a vocal synthesizer that actually sounds human is a great production tool, and an even better song writing tool. Synthesizer-V is not Cubase exclusive. It's a standard VST instrument, made by Dreamtonics.

 

Any tips or tricks you've discovered that might help others using the same platform

Preferred DAW is a very personal thing. I think all of them are amazing, and the journey can end when you find one you click with... that feels intuitive to you. There wasn't a ton of choice when I started out, so it was an easier decision to make than it is now, but take your time to evaluate, and I would recommend that you stop looking when you've found one that works for the way that you do. Even if there appear to be features missing, there are almost always work arounds.

As I said above, in Cubase I use the Logical Editor a lot. I have set up presets to select rhythmic selections... that's all the presets do, and it gives me a lot of flexibility to use them to create rhythmic interest in a number of different ways. I also use the Logical Editor to add randomness to velocities and other data to make lines seem more human. The Logical Editor can look intimidating on first look, but give it the time of day, and it will save you plenty!  Also, the Quantize Editor is a lot more comprehensive than it first appears, giving you the ability to affect not only note position, but also note length and velocity to add real groove to MIDI parts.

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