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Thread: Best DAW for orchestra recording?

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    Best DAW for orchestra recording?

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    So Iím getting a desktop computer to use for orchestra composing and Iím just wondering if thereís a good DAW for orchestra. Iím used to using Pro Tools and Logic Pro X. Since itís gonna be a windows computer Logic is out. Iím used to Pro Tools 10 but Iím not sure if I like their subscription pricing now. Can anyone that has the sub tell me if itís worth it and if you have to keep buying updates or just work with a version without upgrading? The software for orchestra recording will be Spitfire Albion One if anyone has used that with a DAW that would be super helpful! Thanks!

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    I use Spitfire Albion, and some of their other products on Cubase - and I still think that for MIDI editing, Cubase beats Pro Tools. Midi was Cubase's origin, and audio was added later - Protools started with audio and added MIDI. Cubase's MIDI tools section is really good. For Spitfire you also need a master keyboard with easy access to octave up/down, decent touch sensitivity and faders that can access controller 7 and 11 at the very least in addition to modulation as some of the patches really need to be played. I've never used this kind of app on Protools, so I don't know how well integrated it is. Albion is a little weak on solo woodwind for some reason, so that's one area you may need to look at. You essentially have woods low, middle and high, but when you 'inlayer' them to reveal the individual patches, some are better than others. I can't find a clarinet I like, for example.

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    Is Cubase pretty easy to learn? I have an 88 key Roland RD700NX that Iíve used for midi and modulation Iím just not sure what controller 7 and 11 do.

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    You need modulation, pitch bend, expression and volume really - Cubase is not the easiest to be honest, but with perseverance, it's really good for this kind of thing. Lots of very useful musical features, and some scoring capabilities too. The 88 keys come in handy, because the Spitfire sounds uses key switching to select the appropriate sounds as you play. So the very bottom C might set a staccato string, while the E a legato sound, so as you play, you change the character, and also use the mod wheel to add expression, and a bit of glass from the pitch bend - so it gets interesting. Feel free to send me a direct message and I'll try to help with specifics. Also investigate British Drama Toolkit. http://www.limelight.org.uk/felt.mp3Try this and you can hear how you can play so quietly you can get the strings to chatter - all the sounds on this short clip I did from Spitfire's products.

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    Best is subjective... Or dependent on your needs. The orchestra thing is throwing me. That's not really relevant - is it? You'll need something with a LOT of ports/inputs... A real Orchestra, or midi orchestra.

    Regardless, I use ARDOUR as my DAW. Cross-platform and really lite.

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    Definitely a midi orchestra. Just asking if thereís one thatís better for workflow as far as midi. Or just one that someone who has done midi orchestra recording likes better than another. Iím sure most are fine.

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    Your first post made me think you were going to record orchestras, then we settled on sampled orchestras. Albion, and the other Spitfire things I have runs on a number of platforms, and the playability of the sounds is really down to your manipulation. I doubt that there is a 'best' - and any of the popular heavyweight platforms will work for you, if you put the effort in. The trouble with MIDI is it's edit heavy. For orchestral work, the killer thing is being able to edit pitchbend, aftertouch, controllers, and then note by note editing - so you need to shift notes in time, pitch and of course velocity. How exactly these things get done, in Cubase which I'm happy with, are by different types of edit screens. I currently use the normal old fashioned key based screen most, followed by the list editor, then the score editor and occasionally the drum editor. Others will be quite different. Cubase does these thing pretty well I think. I can work quickly and pretty effectively. you need to have some dexterity with the mouse, but it works. after all these years I'm still not quite fluid with drawing in curves - to do expression as a second pass usually means pressing record and using the fader on my keyboard. This and things like pitchbend can be draw in with the mouse, but I cannot work the mouse the way I can with a real knob or wheel. I bet Protools now can do this kind of stuff as well - I don't know, because when I started with Cubase seriously for work, protools was a leader in audio recording, but very weak in MIDI. I don't know it's status now. I'd hope its now good. Other can comment probably.

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    Sorry if it was confusing. I shouldíve gone into more detail. Yeah Iíve always had trouble with Pro Tools and Midi so Iíve used Logic Pro X instead. The computer Iím getting is windows so unfortunately I canít use that. So Iíll probably try with Cubase since it came with my Podfarm for my guitar and upgrade if I need to.

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    Elements or Artist I guess? I'd certainly give it a shot and see if you can take to it. However, it's a bit of a risk to spend Albion money on something you may not like. My colleague and I collaborate a lot and both have Albion it works well on Artist 9.5 he has. Not sure if it will work on elements.

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    It says Cubase LE AI Elements 6. Looks like an older version. So I guess Iíll see. How much is Cubase Artist if I had to upgrade?

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