Live, Reaper, Cubase or Sonar?

Discussion in 'DAW' started by dr oldskool, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. dr oldskool

    dr oldskool Newbie

    Sep 29, 2014
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    Hello forum,

    I appreciate this is a rubbish first post and I apologise for that. I've read the sticky of what people use and it seems people use LIve more than anything else.

    I used to use sonar and loved it, then went to cubase and loved it, but now I can't really afford it.

    People are raving about Reaper but it seems simplistic. Live just looks a bit simplistic too..

    I really want to have the functionality that Cubase has. I don't care so much about the workflow or the looks as long as I can do all the things that cubase can. Evetually anything I use I'll get used to, but it has to have the ability somewhere in there. Eg I don't want to use something that is easy and looks cool, only to realise I can't do some simple thing liek timestretch or VSTis etc etc...

    ANy help in trying to decide would be appreciated: so far Live is something worth investigating as it's so popular (so it must be good I'm guessing), Studio One looks quite good, Reaper gets good rviews (but could be because it's free)...

    If I had a mac I'd go with Logic but I have a windows PC so I can't.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    And apologies again for a rubbish post because of course, it's very subjective and a very common question with no answer.

    Thanks in advance

  3. mild pump milk

    mild pump milk Russian Milk Drunkard

    Mar 29, 2014
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    What simple things do you see in Reaper?
    Reaper's simplicity kills the talent to compose/arrange/edit/mix/master your music?
    What features Reaper don't have?
    You need ALL features that exist in ALL DAWs?
    OR WHAT?

    i think, simple are MUlab, n-Track and other semiDAWs...but REAPER is a "extremely excellent" rival to Cubase, Logic, Sonar, Live, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Samplitude etc.

    Reaper has often updates. Large updates with large lists of changes/fixes/improvements about weeks/months. A lot of features, advanced stability,perfomance etc.
    Very soon Reaper will be a pro DAW. Maybe it is now...But what if it will be a rival to PT, MOTU, Pyramix......?
  4. Demon

    Demon Producer

    Mar 13, 2014
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    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi there. I have used pro-tools (briefly), cubase and reaper. For now I am sticking with Reaper. It does everything I want it to, it is extremely customisable and it gives updates super often. I am not as expert as everyone here. I have heard fantastic things about Studio One, but I haven't given it a fair chance. For now, Reaper does everything I want.

    Please note Reaper is not free. Just very affordable.

    Good luck!

    - Demon
  5. freerider197

    freerider197 Noisemaker

    Apr 11, 2014
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    Live simplistic ? Don't think you are talking of Ableton Live. A part the fact that you can do everything you want in live, i think it's one of the smoothest tool for creating music in your computer.
  6. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Producer

    Apr 17, 2014
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    Brave New World
    Welcome to the forum,
    You can answer the questions yourself, just try them out & google "around".
    Choosing a DAW is something very personal.
    Good luck!

    Edit: Had to jump off the desk ...

    Reaper, as stated is very customizable, take a closer look on that and whats called "Actions".
    Many of them aren`t active by standard installation.
    Ableton seems like a own universe to me, amazing factory content, great routing and Max, of course.
    S1 has a fantastic automation and controler assignment is quick and easy.
    FL has the best piano roll I know about (If you work mainly with a mouse).
    Every DAW has advantages/dis-, general ones as well as workflow related ones, may 2 cents are that you research a little deeper.
  7. shike

    shike Noisemaker

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Reaper is good and cheap,Live is expensive as new Cubase and it is nothing like it,but if you want something like Cubase,than get Cubase,here you can have top full version of Cubase 4 for the similar price of new Reaper,than save up money and upgrade to 8 or something or if you can handle Elements,than buy new 7 Elements or even some other version from ebay.I mean if you really can work with some DAW and he is everything you need,than get that DAW and work with it,simple as that,all of them are lacking and it is you who is making music in them,so pick one in which you feel most comfortable and forget the rest.
  8. rickbarratt

    rickbarratt Producer

    Dec 27, 2013
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    You haven't stated what you want to use the DAW for either.

    be it recording or simply making "computer music"

    for myself i use different DAWS for different jobs.

    When i want to create a track i tend to use live.
    i like the layout and the speed of workflow, when i'm mixing i'll often use Logic x instead, as i'm more comfortable with logic as i've been using it since v7.

    when i'm recording bands and musicians i'll use logic or pro tools (depending on which studio im in) because i find it quicker to record audio.

    people need to stop making threads like this


    use what's best for you and the best way to do that is for you to try it out.

    download some demos and trials and find out.
  9. lyric8

    lyric8 Producer

    Sep 12, 2011
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    Cubase 7.5 and soon to be 8 awesome editing features Pro stuff it dose it all great Midi Sequencing for Beat production and Great Vocal editing Pitch and timing :wink:
  10. orgcha

    orgcha Ultrasonic

    Apr 8, 2014
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    Jackass Flats, Arizona, USA, earth
    Reaper may seem simplistic at first glance but I assure you it is not. The plugins that come with it are not fancy looking and they require that you know how to USE the plugin instead of just punching in pre-sets, although you can go to the Reaper blog and get presets...or save your own.
    One thing that Reaper has over all the other DAWs that you mention is the support team. Go to
    and poke around a bit, especially in the newbie section. You will be amazed. If you can come up with a question, there are dozens of answers to be had, some times in a matter of minutes, never more than an hour or two.
    Reaper is cheap, cost wise but not quality wise. It will handle all the vst & vsti you can throw at it. The only exception that I know of is that it won't accept vst3 plugins and they don't intend to ever implement a version that does. What vst3 plugs do is not essential because Reaper has easy workarounds for the sidechaining features, which is all vst3 is good for IMHO.
    Try Reaper.
  11. filtersweep

    filtersweep Platinum Record

    Mar 15, 2014
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    i agree that reaper is not simplistic. in fact it is quite a labor to sift through the huge amount of menu items etc. which is why i prefer studio one because the workflow is much more compact. which is not say reaper isn't as good, it's as good as anything i have used and very powerful, cheap and constantly updated. it is a tired cliche but every daw has it's strengths and weaknesses according to your own method or taste. i would have to say i love ableton, fl studio ( these are 'everything you could need in the box' hosts to me and you rarely if at all need to open another app , fl studio has some great wave editing capabilities in Edison for example that means i do not need and external audio editor plus it is now a plugin in itself so i can bring that to any other daw i use. i love cubase but that is due i think to being very familiar with it and have used it on and off since it's atari days. my problem there is always starting with the interface which can get quite annoying ( again studio one has a pretty straightforward almost one screen interface which is a strong point).. occasionally i may use another daw just to shake the cobwebs out so i have done some nice work in energy xt and podium because sometimes i NEED limitation in order to do good work...
    i have to say calling reaper simplistic is a bit baffling. it is as 'complicated' as cubase, perhaps more so, plus you have all the extensibility to deal with, same goes for studio one..
    the only program i miss which i used to love with a big love is Acid... but sony done gone and killed it.. bashtards... whatever it takes to make music if the software can generate an entire track in itself then it is GOOD. everything else is just taste...
    i am sure i have left stuff out like reason etc... one thing i can tell you is i am NOT a fan of bitwig, at least not until they have developed and enlarged it a bit... nice looking and some great core features but so much missing at this stage. blah
    happy music making x
  12. dr oldskool

    dr oldskool Newbie

    Sep 29, 2014
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    Thanks to all of you very much indeed, and keep the thoughts coming. Truly a testament to the strength of this forum to get so many friendly and helpful replies.

    I hope I didn't offend anyone by calling their DAW simplistic - not even I am sure what I meant by that, but what I think I meant is not able to do certain things or 'limited'.

    I'm hoping to be a help and asset to the forum rather than someone who just asks Qs so here's something I found which I find very useful:

    The trouble I see it with any DAW discussion is that people (me included) generally are experts in the one programme they use, and as such they love it and can't see past it. Yes we may dabble in others but more often than not the learning curve of a new DAW is so steep we tend to get limited view of what another DAW can do. Yes there are people who have used different DAWs but the thing is DAWs keep changing. So back in the day when I used fruity loops (before most people had even heard of it) I moved to cubase and there was a world of differnece because I was using a mroe advanced version of Cubase, but of course FL has also moved forward so I can't really comapare like for like etc... ANYWAY the thing about the above web page is if I understand correctly it's by a team of experts whose job it is to teach this stuff so they know all features of all inside out and can objectively compare without fanboyism or user bias.

    I find it quite interesting that Cubase and Cakewalk come out top and on that basis I'll be going back to my old friend Sonar, albeit a really modern version, X3. Of course you have to take some of the scoring with a pinch of salt e.g. I don't care about video and that shouldn't be given so much of a weighting in my opinion... but generally speaking it's the most useful comparison I've seen.

    Sadly they don't include Reaper in their analysis and I may well get a copy of that too to see what it's like as a friend (who I hope to collaborate with on some tracks) uses it (converted from cubase).

    I'm currently building a Hackintosh so may dip into logic too, for collaborative purposes.
  13. xbitz

    xbitz Rock Star

    Apr 18, 2013
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    Live is creativity tool not a productivity one(so normally u create things in it then do the final mixing in Logic etc.), main feature is its session view which is a highly scriptable one if u use some remote scripting, good exampple what u can do with it is ClyphX

    and it has brilliant song creating workflow with Push
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