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Pro Tools versus Reaper?


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58 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

 

Now? Well now we have the 99/1 product, which is the average DAW. 

The secret to being satisfied with your DAW, whichever one it is and however much it cost you, is to just use the bits you need and assume that the bits you don't use are not worthy of you. Nirvana achieved.

Well said , I use the 1 part of that , and have just about got the hang of it , a step to 2 would be a 100% knowledge leap , I don’t think I’m quite ready yet 9_9

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Lots of heated opinions here! 

I started out using Cakewalk in the late 90s, before moving to Cubase, which I happily used in studios and at home for a long time. 

I'm now a Reaper user. I do more live engineering than studio these days, and my initial use case for Reaper was as a very stable, resource efficient and lightweight platform for capturing live multitracks at shows.  It's a lot less bloated and hungry than other DAWs I've used, and proved to be a solid choice for the job. 

I've since moved over to use it for all my mixing and editing. The included plugin set (it's an optional tick box in the installer) is all useable - there's no fancy graphics on the front ends, it's all just sliders and parameter value displays, but they all sound fine and do the job they're meant to do, and there's a pretty broad selection of them. 

The audio editing and MIDI functionality all works fine for me. There's a little learning curve in adjusting if you're used to another DAW, but that's to be expected. 

You can load custom keyboard shortcut maps and I'm pretty sure there's one available that mirrors common Pro Tools shortcuts to help if you're moving across. 

It's not going to be for everyone, these things are always about what works for you personally, but it does the job fine for me and I've used it professionally for mixing and mastering of material that's gone out for releases and broadcasts. No desire to change, as it's doing everything I need it to and not causing me any issues. 

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  • 4 months later...

OS willy waving is such a load of bollocks.

 

Macs are great, then you get a version discrepancy that absolutely flips you bloody. And Apple are bastards only out to get money out of your pocket in as many and varied ways as possible.

 

Windows is brilliant, until you get an appalling update snafu that blows away a few weeks of your life getting out of. Reinstalling everything several times whilst restarting in safe mode for the umpteenth time.

 

Linux is brilliant, until a driver goes to stinky poo and you spend 6 months trying to find a  fix then resort to writing your own solution.

 

Yeah as a professional software engineer I have used them all in anger, and more, Solaris is the real deal, Linux is a toy, etc etc.  They are all flakey as stinky poo if you push them juuuust so....

 

 

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21 hours ago, 51m0n said:

OS willy waving is such a load of bollocks.

 

Macs are great, then you get a version discrepancy that absolutely flips you bloody. And Apple are bastards only out to get money out of your pocket in as many and varied ways as possible.

 

Windows is brilliant, until you get an appalling update snafu that blows away a few weeks of your life getting out of. Reinstalling everything several times whilst restarting in safe mode for the umpteenth time.

 

Linux is brilliant, until a driver goes to stinky poo and you spend 6 months trying to find a  fix then resort to writing your own solution.

 

Yeah as a professional software engineer I have used them all in anger, and more, Solaris is the real deal, Linux is a toy, etc etc.  They are all flakey as stinky poo if you push them juuuust so....

 

 

Absolutely this. Computers are dreadful, really.

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7 hours ago, velvetkevorkian said:

Absolutely this. Computers are dreadful, really.

Just follow some basic rules:

 

Never, ever buy first generation hardware, be it computer or audio.

Never, ever let your computer update anything in the middle of a project.

Chose your weapons for a project and stick with them, don't add or update.

Only update when you have the time and energy (and funds) to fix whatever goes wrong.

Only update major components when the developer says they are cleared to run under your stable version of whatever OS you chose.

Back-up, back-up, back-up.

 

Go make some music, all DAW/OS/hardware combinations work for the active creation of music.

 

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19 hours ago, WinterMute said:

Just follow some basic rules:

 

Never, ever buy first generation hardware, be it computer or audio.

Never, ever let your computer update anything in the middle of a project.

Chose your weapons for a project and stick with them, don't add or update.

Only update when you have the time and energy (and funds) to fix whatever goes wrong.

Only update major components when the developer says they are cleared to run under your stable version of whatever OS you chose.

Back-up, back-up, back-up.

 

Go make some music, all DAW/OS/hardware combinations work for the active creation of music.

 

I'm kinda following this mantra, but I'm seeing the limitations of a DAW that can't be upgraded because my OS is out of date.  The DAW is a free bundled with hardware and although I only use a small part of its functionality there are things that are not included in the freebie that I want - the lack of facility to install a MIDI track for example is beginning to annoy me.

 

So, to upgrade the DAW I'll have to upgrade my PC, which is otherwise perfectly functional at present for what I do with it.  And so the merry-go-round continues.  Which is why I'll probably go to Reaper who seem to have set up the DAW to run on virtually anything.

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18 minutes ago, Nicko said:

Which is why I'll probably go to Reaper who seem to have set up the DAW to run on virtually anything.

 

FWIW I'm currently running the latest version of Reaper (R6) on an 11 year-old 32-bit W7 PC with a 2.4 Ghz processor and 4Gb memory. So, pretty basic, but it works OK.

 

Things occasionally get a bit sticky if I've got more than 10 tracks and I'm running shed loads of plug-ins on all of them but there are workarounds like freezing or rendering tracks, and bunging multiple tracks into a sub-project to get them out of the main project while still being able to hear their combined output.

 

As ever, I recommend checking out Kenny Gioia's Reaper Mania channel on YT. He's a god-send.

Edited by skankdelvar
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3 hours ago, Nicko said:

I'm kinda following this mantra, but I'm seeing the limitations of a DAW that can't be upgraded because my OS is out of date.  The DAW is a free bundled with hardware and although I only use a small part of its functionality there are things that are not included in the freebie that I want - the lack of facility to install a MIDI track for example is beginning to annoy me.

 

So, to upgrade the DAW I'll have to upgrade my PC, which is otherwise perfectly functional at present for what I do with it.  And so the merry-go-round continues.  Which is why I'll probably go to Reaper who seem to have set up the DAW to run on virtually anything.

Pretty much all bundled software is for is to get you to buy the full version when you hit the limitations, if your PC is still in the minimum spec required by Reaper, go for it.

 

Others have commented on the basic functionality in the plug-ins, but you could always spring for one of the Waves bundles or get the Sound Toys set, which is brilliant. Just remember the DPS penalty for 3rd party plug-ins will tax older computers. 

 

I'll not mention Universal Audio at this point...

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Any "DAW" that can't handle MIDI is not a DAW but a digital audio recorder. 

 

As has been said the cut down versions of DAWs that come with audio interfaces etc. are there simply to get you hooked before you shell out for the full version.

 

It's all very well saying that Reaper is cheap but by the time you've shelled out for some Waves or Sound Toys plug-ins you might as well have bought a DAW that comes with all the plug-ins you should ever need as free. Personally whatever you go for I wouldn't buy any 3rd party plug-ins (or even download some free ones) until you have absolutely exhausted the possibilities of the ones that come bundled with you DAW.

 

Also be aware that if recording and editing MIDI is important to you, that MIDI manipulation in Reaper is still very much an after-thought and no-where near as comprehensive as what you will find in the DAWs that have their roots in MIDI sequencing.

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9 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Any "DAW" that can't handle MIDI is not a DAW but a digital audio recorder. 

...

Also be aware that if recording and editing MIDI is important to you, that MIDI manipulation in Reaper is still very much an after-thought and no-where near as comprehensive as what you will find in the DAWs that have their roots in MIDI sequencing.

 

Or to put the other point of view, any DAW that doesn't come equipped with the kind of routing power of Reaper, down to phase inversion of aux sends, is really just a midi editor playing at being a DAW.

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I've been using Reaper for many, many years now, and use channel sends, routing, and MIDI recording and editing, just fine. There are, naturally, things that other software can do better, in the same way as a new Bentley has some advantages over my Citroen ZX, but, for a very high percentage of the Users, Reaper does just fine. Anyone with specific needs should look into DAWs that meet those needs, of course, but other than that, Reaper is as good as any other, and better than many. One is free to try it for an indefinite period, so, discounting any time spent learning how to use it (as with any and every DAW...), there's not much against giving it a go. It won't suit everyone, but then again, nothing does (and it's true; some folk are just picky...).

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11 hours ago, BigRedX said:

I wouldn't buy any 3rd party plug-ins (or even download some free ones) until you have absolutely exhausted the possibilities of the ones that come bundled with you DAW.

 

Absolutely correct. Here's a list of the plug-ins that come bundled with Reaper. They don't have beautiful GUI's and they're fairly neutral in flavour but the one's I've used have performed basic tasks to a satisfactory degree of adequacy.

 

Apart from the bundled VST's listed below there is also a wealth of community scripts lurking in the so-called Reaper Stash including a nice little EQ matcher and a track alignment tool that scans tracks, inserts time markers into phrases and pulls them into line with a 'master'. Very useful and free.


Cockos

ReaComp - Compressor plugin

ReaDelay - A Delay

ReaEQ - Fast, configurable unlimited band EQ plugin

ReaFIR - Equalizer/analyzer plugin

ReaGate - Gate plugin

ReaInsert - Bring hardware into a track as a plugin

ReaMidi - Midi tool

ReaPitch - Alter the pitch of audio

ReaTune - Tuner plugin

ReaVerb - Reverb plugin

ReaVerbate - Reverb plugin

ReaVocode - A Vocoder

ReaVoice - MIDI Controlled, Multi-voice pitch shifter

ReaSamplomatic 5000 - Sample machine plugin

ReaSurround - new v4

ReaStream -

ReaSynth - Simple VSTi synthesizer

ReaSynDr - Simple VSTi drum machine

ReaXcomp - Compressor plugin
 

Effects written by various people and implemented using the Jesusonic, or JS system.
 

Analysis

JS: Analysis/compscope

JS: Analysis/compscope_src

JS: Analysis/fft_noise_generator

JS: Analysis/gfxanalyzer

JS: Analysis/gfxscope

JS: Analysis/gfxspectrograph

JS: Analysis/spectropaint

JS: Analysis/zoomanalyzer

Delays

JS: Delay/delay

JS: Delay/delay_chfun

JS: Delay/delay_chorus

JS: Delay/delay_lowres

JS: Delay/delay_sustain

JS: Delay/delay_tone

JS: Delay/delay_varlen

JS: Delay/fft-delay

JS: Delay/scratchy

JS: Delay/time_adjustment

Filters

JS: Filters/autopeakfilter

JS: Filters/bandpass

JS: Filters/dc_remove

JS: Filters/ftf-filter

JS: Filters/FIR_8

JS: Filters/lowpass

JS: Filters/mdct-filter

JS: Filters/mdct-volsweep

JS: Filters/parametric_eq

JS: Filters/spectro_filter_paint

JS: Filters/sweeping_lowpass

Guitar

JS: Guitar/amp-model

JS: Guitar/amp-model-dual

JS: Guitar/chorus

JS: Guitar/distort-fuzz

JS: Guitar/distortion

JS: Guitar/flanger

JS: Guitar/phaser

JS: Guitar/tremolo

JS: Guitar/wah

IX

JS: IX/MIDI_CCRider

JS: IX/MIDI_DuplicateFilter

JS: IX/MIDI_KeyMap

JS: IX/MIDI_KeySnap

JS: IX/MIDI_Router

JS: IX/MIDI_Tool

JS: IX/MIDI_Tool II

JS: IX/MIDI_Variant

JS: IX/MIDI_Velocifier II

JS: IX/MIDI_Wobulator

JS: IX/Mixer_8xM-1xS

JS: IX/Mixer_8xS-1xS

JS: IX/PhaseAdjustingRouter

JS: IX/StereoPhaseInvert

JS: IX/Switcher

JS: IX/Switcher2

JS: IX/SwixMitch

Liteon

JS: Liteon/3bandpeakfilter

JS: Liteon/applefilter12db

JS: Liteon/applefilter72db

JS: Liteon/bassmanager

JS: Liteon/butterworth24db

JS: Liteon/cheby24db

JS: Liteon/deesser

JS: Liteon/lorenzattractor

JS: Liteon/moog24db

JS: Liteon/nonlinear

JS: Liteon/np1136peaklimiter

JS: Liteon/pinknoisegen

JS: Liteon/presenceeq

JS: Liteon/pseudostereo

JS: Liteon/rbjstereofilter12db

JS: Liteon/ringmodulator

JS: Liteon/shelvingfilter

JS: Liteon/simplelp6db

JS: Liteon/statevariable

JS: Liteon/tilteq

JS: Liteon/vumetergfx

JS: Liteon/vumetergfxsum

JS: Liteon/waveshapermulti

LoopSamplers

JS: LoopSamplers/autoloop

JS: LoopSamplers/loopsampler-granul

JS: LoopSamplers/loopsampler-m2

LOSER

JS: LOSER/3BandEQ

JS: LOSER/3BandJoiner

JS: LOSER/3BandSplitter

JS: LOSER/4BandEQ

JS: LOSER/4BandJoiner

JS: LOSER/4BandSplitter

JS: LOSER/50HzKicker

JS: LOSER/5BandJoiner

JS: LOSER/5BandSplitter

JS: LOSER/amplitudeModulator

JS: LOSER/CenterCanceler

JS: LOSER/Compciter

JS: LOSER/DDC

JS: LOSER/DVC2JS

JS: LOSER/DVCJS

JS: LOSER/Exciter

JS: LOSER/gfxGoniometer

JS: LOSER/gmemReceive

JS: LOSER/gmemSend

JS: LOSER/masterLimiter

JS: LOSER/MGA_JSLimiter

JS: LOSER/MGA_JSLimiterST

JS: LOSER/MIDI_EQ_Ducker

JS: LOSER/phaseMeter

JS: LOSER/ppp

JS: LOSER/Saturation

JS: LOSER/SP1LimiterJS

JS: LOSER/stereo

JS: LOSER/stereoEnhancer

JS: LOSER/StereoField

JS: LOSER/TimeDelayer

JS: LOSER/timeDifferencePan

JS: LOSER/transhape

JS: LOSER/TransientController

JS: LOSER/TransientKiller

JS: LOSER/UpwardExpander

JS: LOSER/waveShapingDstr

JS: LOSER/WhiteNoise

JS: LOSER/ZeroCrossingMaximizer

Meters

JS: Meters/dynamics_meter

JS: Meters/tonemeter

JS: Meters/tuner

JS: Meters/vumeter

MIDI

JS: MIDI/drumtrigger

JS: MIDI/midinoteondelay

JS: MIDI/midi_arp

JS: MIDI/midi_CC_mapper

JS: MIDI/midi_chorderizer

JS: MIDI/midi_chordkey

JS: MIDI/midi_eater

JS: MIDI/midi_logger

JS: MIDI/midi_maptokey

JS: MIDI/midi_note2channel

JS: MIDI/midi_note_filter

JS: MIDI/midi_note_repeater

JS: MIDI/midi_transpose

JS: MIDI/midi_velocitycontrol

JS: MIDI/program_bank_onload

JS: MIDI/sequencer_baby

 

Pitch

JS: Pitch/fft-ps

JS: Pitch/mdct-shift

JS: Pitch/octavedown

JS: Pitch/octaveup

JS: Pitch/pitch2

JS: Pitch/pitchdown

JS: Pitch/superpitch

remaincalm_org

JS: remaincalm_org/avocado_glitch

JS: remaincalm_org/floaty_delay

JS: remaincalm_org/tonegate

schwa

JS: schwa/audio_statistics

JS: schwa/fft_splitter

JS: schwa/gaussian_noise_generator

JS: schwa/midi_examine

JS: schwa/midi_humanizer

JS: schwa/midi_modal_randomness

JS: schwa/soft_clipper

SStillwell

JS: SStillwell/1175

JS: SStillwell/3x3

JS: SStillwell/3x3_6dbSlope

JS: SStillwell/4x4

JS: SStillwell/autoexpand

JS: SStillwell/badbussmojo

JS: SStillwell/badbussmojo_aa

JS: SStillwell/chorus

JS: SStillwell/chorus_stereo

JS: SStillwell/delay_pong

JS: SStillwell/delay_tempo

JS: SStillwell/dirtsqueeze

JS: SStillwell/drumtrigger

JS: SStillwell/eventhorizon

JS: SStillwell/eventhorizon2

JS: SStillwell/exciter

JS: SStillwell/expander

JS: SStillwell/expressbus

JS: SStillwell/fairlychildish

JS: SStillwell/fairlychildish2

JS: SStillwell/flangebaby

JS: SStillwell/hpflpf

JS: SStillwell/hugebooty

JS: SStillwell/louderizer

JS: SStillwell/louderizer_lpf

JS: SStillwell/majortom

JS: SStillwell/mastertom

JS: SStillwell/ozzifier

JS: SStillwell/randomizer

JS: SStillwell/rbj1073

JS: SStillwell/rbj4eq

JS: SStillwell/rbj7eq

JS: SStillwell/realoud

JS: SStillwell/realoud_lpf

JS: SStillwell/stereowidth

JS: SStillwell/thunderkick

JS: SStillwell/volscale

JS: SStillwell/width

Synthesis

JS: Synthesis/midi_drumseq

JS: Synthesis/sine_sweep

JS: Synthesis/tonegenerator

Teej

JS: Teej/rbj12eq-teej

JS: Teej/rbj4eq-teej

JS: Teej/rbj4notch-teej

Till

JS: Till/Auto-Wideness v1.0

JS: Till/Transient-driven Auto-Pan v1.0 (Master)

JS: Till/Transient-driven Auto-Pan v1.0 (Slave)

JS: Till/Transient-driven Auto-Pan v1.1 (Master)

JS: Till/Transient-driven Auto-Pan v1.1 (Slave)

Utility

JS: Utility/bufsave

JS: Utility/chanmix2

JS: Utility/channelmixer

JS: Utility/dither_psycho

JS: Utility/KanakaMS5

JS: Utility/KanakaMSEncoder1

JS: Utility/limiter

JS: Utility/phase_adjust

JS: Utility/smpte_ltc_reader

JS: Utility/vca_master

JS: Utility/vca_slave

JS: Utility/volume

JS: Utility/volume_pan

waveshapers

JS: waveshapers/graphdist

JS: waveshapers/graphdist-dyn

Edited by skankdelvar
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There's one MIDI function I've not (yet...) found, for Reaper, and that's a MIDI 'maths' function, to allow stuff such as 'Add 12% Velocity to Channels 2, 3 and 6', or 'logic' operations. I had this on a very old Atari at one stage, and found it useful, but I've not seen anything since (well, not free, at least, and I'll admit I've not looked too hard, either...). Other than that, Reaper does MIDI just fine, I find. I've not tried absolutely all of the plug-ins listed above, but quite a few of 'em, and they're good enough for me (read: they're bloomin' excellent...).

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2 hours ago, 51m0n said:

 

Or to put the other point of view, any DAW that doesn't come equipped with the kind of routing power of Reaper, down to phase inversion of aux sends, is really just a midi editor playing at being a DAW.

The issue with me has always been phase accuracy of busses, sample accurate delay compensation and the ability to speak Eucon for the controller data, any DAW that doesn't have these things is next to useless paid or not.

 

I'd switch to UAD's Luna tomorrow if it supported Eucon.

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If it is good enough for Dan Worrall, it's good enough for me.

 

Without doubt the best engineering slanted explainations of things sound and DAW related are on his channel.

 

https://youtube.com/c/DanWorrall

 

He does videos on Fabfilter's channel too, as well as the Tokyo Dawn Records 'Introducing' videos.

 

He also swears by Reaper.

 

Here's a video which shows an application of Reaper's routing that I don't know of another DAW that can quite match.

 

 

 

I've used variants of this for mastering for a while, parallel compression on just the mid band is a very very powerful tool in my arsenal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 13/08/2021 at 10:19, BigRedX said:

Any "DAW" that can't handle MIDI is not a DAW but a digital audio recorder. 

Not quite.  The version of Cubase I have will handle VST instruments just fine.  What you cannot do is insert a MIDI track and send it to various instruments so using a multitimbral synth or Kontakt player to it's full capacity for example aren't possible.  This functionality is available in the freebie version of Ableton that I have but that has a very limited number of tracks and I've never resolved the issues with latency on it when recording audio tacks (not worth investing the time to resolve as the limitations of tracks mean I'm more likely to do what I want in Cubase anyway).  

 

Bundled software has opened up a whole new world for me and two years in I'm just about hitting the limitations of it but only insofar as knowing that some things would be easier to do with a paid for version.  I suspect even if I did hit limitations in Reaper it might take me several more years to get to that point at which time my hardware will probably need updating in any case. 

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14 hours ago, WinterMute said:

The issue with me has always been phase accuracy of busses, sample accurate delay compensation and the ability to speak Eucon for the controller data, any DAW that doesn't have these things is next to useless paid or not.

 

I'd switch to UAD's Luna tomorrow if it supported Eucon.

I think Reaper buss s are phase accurate, you can try for yourself by setting up various types of group, swapping output phase and getting a perfect null.

 

Sample accurate delay compensation is there too I think, although I'll let you know for sure when I finish my Becos Twain review, which will involve reamping as well.

 

There has been work on Eucon since 2013, but not having any of those interfaces I couldn't tell you how well that works.

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1 hour ago, Nicko said:

 The version of Cubase I have will handle VST instruments just fine.  What you cannot do is insert a MIDI track and send it to various instruments so using a multitimbral synth or Kontakt player to it's full capacity for example aren't possible. 

 

 I'm not sure what version of Cubase you are using but, as far as I'm aware, that has been possible for many years.

You have two options. One single (Instrument) track, which is midi in and audio out combined. Then there is a 'Rack' track...

The Rack track can handle up to 16 midi tracks on each port of any multi timbral instrument. One midi track can drive 16 instruments all set to (eg) midi channel 1.

 

 

 

Rack.JPG

Midi 1.JPG

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2 hours ago, 51m0n said:

I think Reaper buss s are phase accurate, you can try for yourself by setting up various types of group, swapping output phase and getting a perfect null.

 

Sample accurate delay compensation is there too I think, although I'll let you know for sure when I finish my Becos Twain review, which will involve reamping as well.

 

There has been work on Eucon since 2013, but not having any of those interfaces I couldn't tell you how well that works.

I've not the time I used to have to do those tests, or the tech team, Protools works in all respects and I can afford it's fees, so I'm good for now, Luna's analogue console emulation system is very appealing, but no Eucon for now, so I'll stay with Protools, Reaper is a viable alternative for many people however, it's a class act for an independently developed app.

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3 hours ago, lowdown said:

 

 I'm not sure what version of Cubase you are using but, as far as I'm aware, that has been possible for many years.

You have two options. One single (Instrument) track, which is midi in and audio out combined. Then there is a 'Rack' track...

The Rack track can handle up to 16 midi tracks on each port of any multi timbral instrument. One midi track can drive 16 instruments all set to (eg) midi channel 1.

 

 

 

Rack.JPG

Midi 1.JPG

Its a very old version of Cubase - LE 7.1.  I am now questioning my own sanity as I am sure i read that MIDI tracks could not be added in this version in the manual but I've just looked again and can't find what I thought I'd read.  The dropdown menu allows adding a MIDI track, but when you click it the pop up comes up identical to the VST insert.  I'll take a proper look at it again.  I tried this before using Xpand 2 and didn't get very far.

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18 hours ago, Nicko said:

Its a very old version of Cubase - LE 7.1.  I am now questioning my own sanity as I am sure i read that MIDI tracks could not be added in this version in the manual but I've just looked again and can't find what I thought I'd read.  The dropdown menu allows adding a MIDI track, but when you click it the pop up comes up identical to the VST insert.  I'll take a proper look at it again.  I tried this before using Xpand 2 and didn't get very far.

I've had a look at a couple of tutorials for Cubase 7 for routing instruments to MIDI tracks and the menu commands required to follow the tutorial are not available in my version of Cubase.  For some reason I can route MIDI commands to plug ins on an audio track but not to a VST instrument.

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Although I have used Reaper for the last few years, I don’t have an axe to grind about which DAW you should use. I moved to Reaper from a hardware solution (Akai DPS16) and I’ve got used to using it, but if you’re using a particular DAW and it works for you, you may be better off sticking with it rather than taking on the challenge of learning a different one.

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