Logic Pro X vs Cubase Pro 10 vs Ableton Live 10


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Recently bought a Roland FA-08 keyboard and have been trying it out a bit (haven't had time yet to do anything more for the moment).
I'm a Mac user so I've tried out the free Garageband software and it works perfectly.
The natural evolution would be to get Logic Pro X at a later point in time, but that would lock me into the Apple eco system even more. I must admit that I have been considering switching over to Windows and as a result, it would then be wiser for me to invest in DAW software that is cross platform so as to avoid having to buy everything from scratch a second time.

However, my Roland FA-08 came packed with a 'Lite' version of Ableton Live. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get it to work with my Roland FA-08. Either I'm doing something wrong, or that Ableton software is no good (to be frank, the graphical interface looks like something from the eighties).
Or am I wrong and is Ableton Live really good (of which the full version costs twice as much as Logic Pro X). There's also Cubase Pro 10, and some other DAW software I'm not familiar with.

I'd go with Logic Pro X (Garageband is nothing more than Logic Pro X 'Lite') but I'd like to keep my options open towards the future when I might decide to switch to the dark side.
Any suggestions ?
 
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Ableton is a little flaky, it is totally dependent upon the PC hardware.

Visit BandLab and register, once registered you can download the free DAW Cakewalk. Many here use Cakewalk with great success.
 
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Cakewalk (the desktop client) seems to be Windows only... On the Mac, the Bandlab site offers mobile apps and a in-browser app only. Which doesn't seem to support Firefox (don't care much for Chrome).
They offer the desktop client in conjunction with Crossover - emulation software- which I don't really care for.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I finally figured out how to reset my forgotten password on my "new" MacBook Air (bought in early 2018), so now I can install programs again. (Apparently the date and time didn't agree with the iCloud server.) Anyway, I'm going to be installing the macOS versions of several DAWs that I own-- Live Lite, Tracktion, Cubase Elements, REAPER, Studio One, etc. I'll keep you posted on how it goes! :)

Live can take some getting used to, but once you figure out what you must do to get it working with your keyboard then you should be good to go with it. However, one thing about Live which can make it less suitable for sequencing is that it cannot handle SysEx messages-- it will strip them out of an imported MIDI file, or an incoming MIDI stream, and it will not transmit SysEx messages. That may or may not be an important point for you, and Live isn't the only commercial DAW that has chosen not to support SysEx, but it's something to be aware of just in case you do need to be able to use SysEx.

Studio One is quite different from Live, but is similar as far as there being some setup required, as well as its lack of support for SysEx. But despite that, I like certain things about Studio One.

On the other hand, Tracktion, Cubase, and REAPER do support SysEx.
 

SeaGtGruff

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I'm installing Live Lite 10 first, and since you already have it, once it's installed I'll take some screenshots showing you how to use it with an external keyboard.

Basically, it's very easy (as you would hope), except there's one or two steps that you need to know to do, otherwise you probably won't be able to do simple things that you'd expect to be able to do.
 
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Think I'll try out Reaper alongside Garageband, see where it leads me... ;)
 
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I use Cubase AI, which came with my Motif for free. The Elements version is the cheapest "normal" version. I can recommend it based on my experience with my version which is more or less one step lower. The only thing that is annoying is that sidechaining is not possible until Pro. If you need that that is.

I've also used Studio One Prime (V3), Audacity, and Garageband. Garageband isn't bad, Studio One Prime's ok but not my favorite (have had tons of issues with installations plus weird things), Audacity I use for opening files that other DAWs can't open well or for quick listens when I don't want to fire up the full rig.
 

SeaGtGruff

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As far as Studio One Prime, for me its main pluses are that it’s free and that it includes a customizable panel of controls for manipulating the CC settings on your keyboard; but its main minuses are that it doesn’t allow using third-party plug-ins and that it doesn’t support SysEx. (Note that the most expensive editions do support the use of third-party plug-ins, although in the second-most expensive edition the use of third-party plug-ins requires buying an additional module which is apparently already included with the most expensive edition.)

Studio One also requires a bit of setup before you can use your MIDI equipment with it, and you actually need to set up a typical keyboard two or possibly three times in it— as a “keyboard” (for MIDI going from the keyboard to the DAW); as an “instrument” (for MIDI going from the DAW to the keyboard); and possibly also as a “controller” (for using the keyboard to control things within the DAW, as opposed to controlling virtual instruments). And I’ve even found it advisable to set up a given keyboard multiple times as a “keyboard,” where each setup is for just one or more specific MIDI channels coming from the keyboard.
 
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I agree with pretty much everything you said there. I've pretty much given up on it honestly as Cubase seems to work perfectly for my needs.


As an edit to my previous post, looks like in the most recent update of Cubase, you can do sidechaining in Artist as well. That's cool.
 
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It’s obvious that Apple are masters at making user friendly software, something other companies can’t match, really, whether it’s music or other software. It does lock you in, kind of, but the experience is second to none.

So, Logic Pro seems the obvious choice ( been on the Mac since 1999, mainly graphic design, some light video editing); I just hope Apple doesn’t forget about its professional and pro-sumer customers. It’s all been a bit too much about trendy and fashionable mobile devices these last few years.
Still, there’s some huge announcement coming at WWDC in June (new Mac Pro ?) so let’s keep the faith...
 

SeaGtGruff

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I think Acoustica Mixcraft (Windows-only) is also very user-friendly and simple to use, but it has a few shortcomings (lack of SysEx for one).

I'm very curious about Logic Pro, since I have a MacBook Air, but I already have so many DAWs that the last thing I need is to go spending money I don't have on yet another one. :p
 
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Got a 5K iMac and an Macbook Pro, iPad Pro and iPhone. Not much Apple gear around I don’t have :p
So Logic Pro seems ‘logical’...
 
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Haven't bought Logic yet, as I'm still considering Cubase as well. Cubase is 50% off at the moment which means that Cubase 10 Pro is only marginally more expensive than Logic Pro X (about 20 euros). What's more, I've entered in a prize draw where I can win Cubase 10 Pro, winners will be announced on 3rd June ;)

Still, I don't like Cubase's approach with the USB security dongle (you even have to purchase it if you want to run the trial), but if I can get it for free... In any case, waiting until June 3rd and if I'm not a lucky winner, I'm getting Logic Pro X.
 

SeaGtGruff

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Yeah, I don’t like the security dongle, either; that’s the main reason I have Cubase Elements, which doesn’t need a dongle if you use the e-licenser. But at least you do get a free dongle in the box if you buy a new copy of the other editions— although that doesn’t help with the “free” trial.
 
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Good luck in the Draw.

Is your Logic Pro X a typo, I thought its price was 200, if it is 20 then I am buying it.
 
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No, I meant that Cubase 10pro is only 20 euros more expensive than Logic Pro X at the moment. Every version of Cubase is 50% off at the moment...
 
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For what it's worth - I've been using Garageband for years, and only very recently upgraded to Logic Pro X. It has felt like a very natural, logical progression because everything you're used to with Garageband is essentially the same - just with lots more functionality!

You'll find that you can actually switch on/off advanced features if preferred, which helps with the learning curve even more. Essentially I'm able to continue working in just the same way that I'm used to with Garageband, but I'm gradually exploring and getting used to the more advanced features of Logic.
 
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I started using "Cubase" over 30 years ago. I had "Cubase" on an Atari ST. The only other option on the Atari ST at the time was "Logic". Surprisingly these are STILL the only 2 valid options today in my opinion.

Back then, the Atari ST ran a crude form of Windows but both Cubase and Logic worked very well. Both these products are very stable then and both work well today. I personally prefer "Cubase" but either have developed to have similar features.
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I think Pro Tools and Cakewalk are two more full-featured DAWs which are valid options for professionals. My only experience with Pro Tools is with the free edition, Pro Tools First, which I definitely did not take to. But I believe the full edition of Pro Tools is used in many studios, although I have no idea what percentage of studios use Pro Tools versus some other DAW.
 

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