Is DAW a necessity or a Luxury?

Discussion in 'Sequencers and Music Software' started by Keyboardie, Jan 30, 2017.

?

Necessity or Luxury?

  1. Necessity

  2. Luxury

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  1. Keyboardie

    Keyboardie

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    Hi guys,
    Just wondering what you think. Is it possible to record a professional sounding CD without using a DAW and just using the software from a keyboard like the Korg Kronos? Or do you think a DAW is a necessity to reaching a professional level?
     
    Keyboardie, Jan 30, 2017
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  2. Keyboardie

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Considering a professional grade DAW like Cakewalk Music Creator 7 can be had these days for under about $50 USD I'd hardly call it a luxury.

    Consider that an 8 track portable Tascam Multitrack Recorder costs upward of $150 or more while pretty much everyone owns a computer already the investment in a Software DAW for multitrack recording is a no brainer.

    Again it will also make a difference what type of music you are recording. If you are recording a live symphony or a hillbilly jug and banjo band, then chances are you'll get your session in a single take, but if you are layering multiple tracks on a modern keyboard workstation and wanting to add effects and edits in post production, then you'll need a DAW even if you did record on a Tascam standalone unit.

    I'm not saying that audio recording and remixing on a console is entirely dead these days, but for the average bedroom studio or home prosumer who wants to cut their first CD a DAW is an essential piece of software if they ever hope to achieve anything even approaching a professional result.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Jan 30, 2017
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  3. Keyboardie

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    I voted "Necessity," but not necessarily for recording purposes-- although that's certainly a large part of it. :)

    Most multitimbral keyboards can do a lot more than what can be accessed from their panel controls-- e.g., they can play at least 16 different voices at the same time, but typically limit you to two right-hand voices and one left-hand voice. Connecting to a computer and using a DAW for sequencing and other functions can let you do a lot more with your keyboard.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Jan 31, 2017
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  4. Keyboardie

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Many of the multi-tamberal synths also have onboard sequencers. I know of people who live using their Kronos sequencer. (What's interesting is that the Montage, which costs even more, does not have a usable sequencer. At least until Yamaha addresses it with a software update.)
     
    Fred Coulter, Jan 31, 2017
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  5. Keyboardie

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Not just the Montage.

    The Juno DS also has only a pattern sequencer and arpeggiator but is fully multi-timbral.

    Same applies to the Casio XW-P1

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Jan 31, 2017
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  6. Keyboardie

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    More acceptable in sub-$1,000 keyboards. The Montage is more expensive than a Kronos. At that price point, it really shouldn't be scrimping on the software. I haven't investigated enough, buy I'm pretty sure the Tyros also includes a decent sequencer, although I don't think it includes a full sixteen track audio recorder.
     
    Fred Coulter, Jan 31, 2017
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  7. Keyboardie

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Oh, I probably should vote. But I don't like the options. I agree with happyrat1 that given the prices, it's hardly a luxury.

    It is quite possible to use the Kronos' onboard sequencer and audio recorder to produce CD quality results. And if you've worked with them a great deal, it probably isn't painful. BUT if you want to do it now and haven't spent a lot of time working with them, you may find that a DAW on a decent sized monitor will be easier to work with. And given the price of some of the DAWS out there, it's a convenience, not a luxury nor a necessity.
     
    Fred Coulter, Jan 31, 2017
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  8. Keyboardie

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    I just wanted to add that the Korg X50 also has no built in sequencer and is fully multi-timbral.

    And IMHO I really don't understand why manufacturers still put sequencers into workstations at all.

    First of all they are very obtuse and difficult to work with having tiny screens and extremely limited editing functions and awkward control buttons.

    Secondly, in an age of $600 laptops and iPads which can perform the job so much more capably it makes sense for manufacturers to leave the sequencers out of the workstations and save the buyers a few hundred dollars off of the purchase price for a feature which very few people still use at all.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Jan 31, 2017
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  9. Keyboardie

    Fred Coulter Collector of ancient keyboards

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    Given that most keyboards nowadays are really just glorified special purpose computers, I don't what the extra marginal cost is to include a sequencer on board. It's just extra software. You could think of it as bloatware if you don't want it on your keyboard. But there are people who do use it quite successfully. Even with the small screen.

    Personally, if there's one thing (actually two) that I really wish Korg did to improve the Kronos, number one would be a separate monitor output so that the small (actually, a Kronos screen is not as small as many others) screen isn't a limiting factor. No, not for the monitor to duplicate the existing screen but so that you've got a big screen for sequencing and editing when you're at home, but that you don't need when gigging. And the second is having notation editing available for the sequencer. Both of those would be a great way to address some of the issues you've identified.

    However, I will say that having a sequencer on board means that you can PLAY sequencers when gigging, even though you're correct and a DAW is easier to use. Heck, with the Kronos, you can even have multi-track backing tracks available since it also has the sixteen track audio recorder. (It would really be nice if there was a DAW that would easily transfer both the MIDI sequencer information and the multitrack audio information back and forth. That way you've got the full editing capabilities of the DAW while you're in the studio, but would be able to use them on the road.)
     
    Fred Coulter, Jan 31, 2017
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  10. Keyboardie

    scullen Converts oxygen into carbon dioxide.

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    I'm saying necessity.

    I'm with Gary. The thing I like about the Juno is that it doesn't have a sequencer, which makes it dirt simple to operate and use. For sequencing/recording the DAW is the thing, but they have gotten pretty bloated themselves.

    The Juno has a basic drum machine with about 240 or so drum patterns and I can do some custom ones myself using the pattern sequencer. That's all I need, since I'm not a drummer.
     
    scullen, Feb 3, 2017
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  11. Keyboardie

    johnny196775

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    I went from the free DAW audacity to the free DAW traction 5 and was very very impressed with tracktion 5.
     
    johnny196775, Feb 3, 2017
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  12. Keyboardie

    scullen Converts oxygen into carbon dioxide.

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    Audacity is audio only, i.e. it doesn't record midi at all. It's great for what it is but you need an audio interface and drivers for it to work. Traction 5 is an older version but totally free and it records midi as well as audio.

    Free is free.
     
    scullen, Feb 3, 2017
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  13. Keyboardie

    johnny196775

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    My guitar pedal has a USB port and i have a behringer UCA 202 and those connect to my computer. I do not do MIDI stuff usually. Once i broke a light bulb, sampled that and assigned that sound to my keyboard connecting an AKAI 2000 sampler to my korg X3 threw midi. I need to do something like that soon. :)
     
    johnny196775, Feb 3, 2017
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  14. Keyboardie

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Other "freeware" DAWs include Anvil Studio which charges for upgrades and Reaper which has an evaluation period that never expires.

    Personally though, I've been using the same edition of Cakewalk I bought 20 years ago which runs just fine under Linux and WINE Windows Emulator.

    If you're looking for DAWs which run under Linux and WINE I'd suggest almost every version of Cakewalk Home Studio or Music Creator or Reaper and if you need a DAW that runs under native Linux I used Rosegarden for several years.

    Otherwise I've tried several other freeware DAWs under Linux and not every Windows program runs under the emulator.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Feb 3, 2017
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  15. Keyboardie

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Most commercial DAWs come in about three different editions, ranging in price from inexpensive to very expensive, and a varying number of features and capabilities based on price. Some of them also have a free lite edition that has the least number of features and capabilities, although it may very well meet the needs of someone who's just getting started with a DAW.

    PreSonus Studio One Prime is one such.

    Ableton Live Lite is another, although you can't just download Live Lite from Ableton the way you can download Studio One Prime from PreSonus; you must get a free license for Live Lite by purchasing certain MIDI or audio equipment that includes a download URL and license code for Live Lite as bundled software.

    Avid Pro Tools also has a free edition, called Pro Tools First, although (as with other lite DAWs) it has limitations, and I think you can only save your work online in the cloud.

    Tracktion is a bit different, in that each version comes in only one edition per se, although you can purchase add-ons for it, and they do have an "ultimate edition" which is the DAW plus all add-ons. Their free DAW is an older version, so it doesn't have reduced or limited features per se, but it doesn't have the features and functions that were added in subsequent versions. The free version is from two releases back (currently T5), whereas the version from one release back (currently T6) is available at half the price of the newest version (currently T7, although at the Winter 2017 NAMM Tracktion announced a new DAW). The version from one release back is also available as free bundled software with certain MIDI or audio equipment.

    Zynewave Podium is another DAW that has a free version-- Podium Free-- which, like Tracktion, is an older release rather than a stripped-down lite edition of the latest version, although I think the free version has a few limitations placed upon it (but not nearly as many as with the free lite editions of other DAWs).
     
    SeaGtGruff, Feb 3, 2017
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  16. Keyboardie

    Fellwalker

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    Hi All,

    Personaley I use the built in sequencer in my Yamaha keyboard, basically as I have lost count of the hours I have spent setting up midi channels etc. only to go back the next day and nothing works ? so I do as much as I possibly can on the keyboard as that way everything works perfectly every time, don`t get me wrong I am not against DAWS and will if necessary take a file into a DAW and do something the built in sequencer cant do but it for me is a last resort.

    Brian
     
    Fellwalker, Feb 10, 2017
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  17. Keyboardie

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

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    Yes, if you have a keyboard that has good workstation features then the built-in song sequencer might be the way to go. I've heard from Tyros and PSR-S users who can do everything they need right on the keyboard. :)
     
    SeaGtGruff, Feb 10, 2017
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  18. Keyboardie

    tassiespirit

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    Korg PA users have also the save ability and the PA4x has a chord sequencer as well which you can just play in your chords as you want. Also, got and record over the top with the backing and drums of your choice. The change the chords one at a time without having to step though all of the track and change them too. It does them all in about two clicks. Then you save it and play.
     
    tassiespirit, May 3, 2017
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