I really need help on making a decison purchasing a DAW. Thanks


New member
Hello Everyone....BobbyD here in NY. I posted in this section because it's the most general and I know that many of you will be able to answer what I though was a simple answer but has turned out to be not so simple and causing me more anxiety than fun. This email may be a tad long but ti's the only way that many of you will be able to guide me in the write direction because I am ready to make a bif purchase tomorrow that will impact just about everything I do with recording music..

I am not a newbie to recording and about 15 years ago, I had a high end 24 track recording studio in my apt. The24 track recorder was the Roland VS 24. I had a set of Roland Vdrums, Yamaha Motif Keyboard, and a ton of high end rack gear. Avalaon 737b Preamps . Old Lexicon PCM 800 & 900 analog delays, mesa boogie rack premaps, top of line mics some costing over $2,000, etc. I tell you all this because that studio is long gone and I am starting to build a new studio from scratch and want to use a DAW instead of the stand alone Roland VS 24 I used to have.

I should mention I have been playing guitar for 37 years and play all genres. Lately I only play classical because all I own is a nylon string guitar.

One last thing I must mention is that I was badly injured in a horrific accident at end of 2012. I am now fully disabled and currently my only income is Social Security Disability Insurance, Food Stamps and help from Mediacaid. But please do not feel bad for me because I am the luckiest man in the world and was pronounced dead for two minutes until God put a Navy Medic at scene of accident who revived me with CPR until paramedics arrived. I look and sound normal normal now and no one would even know I was injured. But I have to watch every penny and make sure I purchase the best equipment for my 5 or 6 apllications I will use new studio for. I thought Pro Tools was the only game in town because I have been out of this industry for quite some time. I recently stumbled on Ableton's website and of course that led me to Logic and also Native Instruments website. I do have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and suffer a bit from anxiety so trying to make a choice on my own was not working for me so I am reaching out to everyone to hopefully make this a simple decision.

There are only 4 or 5 applications that studio will be used for. And please remember, I am doing this only for a hobby and NOT planning on making any money from producing and mastering a DAW although it wouldn't suck if I did

1.) As mentioned in my old studio, I had Vdrums and Keyboards s so I could have friends come over at anytime and jam into late hours of night/morning to capture our ideas on tape. It was a very cool setup because we sounded like we were in Madison square Garden with my Boogie amp cranked yet my neighbors didn't hear a peep because I had a rack mounted headphone amp so we all used headphones. I want this capability again and plan on buying Vdrums & Keyboards again in the future. Plus I enjoyed laying down tracks of my own ideas.

2.) I play in every genre but my niche was heavy rock & Blues like Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Hendrix etc, and I want a DAW that will allow me to program bass, drum & keyboard tracks and loop everything so I can write riffs or play leads over the loops and record everything at the same time.

3.) I also want to just chill and have a room setup with video that I believe is somehow triggered by MIDI which although I know what MIDI is, I have never played around with it. There is this guy on Youtube named RHeyne and I just dig the heck of what he does and the video and lights in the background which are all triggered by his DAW. Here is a link of what I ma taling about. He has about 122 videos on Youtube all labelled video 1, video 2 etc. Here is video 100 which was on top of Google after I just googled "Rheyne youtube" and just read for the first time he is using Ableton in this setup. Doesn't mean he is not using different DAWs in the other 100 videos. I need this type of serenity in my life because the last two years of my recovery were absolute torture and even put me in a hospital for depression because I couldn't take the mental & physical pain of multiple surgeries and all the other crap I had to go through. And the only reason I even bring this up because depression is a serous illness ( I am fine now) so don't ever be afraid to seek medical help because their no stigma attached to it anymore. I am sure there are people reading this post right now who can relate.

4.) I may want to gig again with either a full band or solo and think It would be cool having tracks queued up and I can just play guitar over them. And eben though I was a heavy rock/blue player, I think adding a DAW into a live act could be very cool.

5.) Even though I am 52 years old, I actually dig trance music. Back in the lat 80's when I was in USAF, I started going to these underground Trance clubs and tried pure MDNA at the time which was so new, military had no drug tests for it. So every Friday night was spent in these clubs and those were some of the best times of my life. So I have this crazy thought of partnering up with another trance DJ and using the new Fishman Tripleplay Wireless MIDI pickup Fishman Transducers, Inc. 1 can get on stage lay down guitar riffs over the trance beats. This would also be my main controller because I know the fretboard inside/out.

So those are really the 5 applications that I would use the new DAW for. I was leaning towards Ableton until some friends of mine who are musicians all told me that Logic is the superior DAW. Hence, I am now turning to this forum to make the decision for me. I will rely on what the majority says.

The other thing that confuses the heck out of me is how all the Native Instruments software and controllers integrate with these DAWs. I immediately saw the value in Push because you learn one pattern and after that, a c major scale becomes an e flat harmonic minor scale with twist of a know. Same thing with the new Komplete Keyboard. Go to Native Instruments website Native Instruments - Software And Hardware For Music Production And Djing and check out the Keyboard. Plus Mashine looks so damn cool I am just too overwhelmed and can not get a straight answer from anybody.

And yes, I have some money coming in as a result of my injury and want to put it all into music. Can't think of a better hobby. Just don't want to waste a penny and I who knows when I will ever get a penny I am going to start with the DAW and one controller. I do own a apple 2009 Imac with 16 GB of memory and quad processors 2.8 Gh with a 1TB drive so that should be enough power hopefully for the time.

I am also going to post this in the Ableton and Logic Forums but each forum will be biased for the DAW they use. Maybe I can also get some decent feedback.

Thanks again everybody. God Bless



Well, I've been a Reason user for forever. But I won't recommend it for your situation. I'm also in my 50s and play guitar or piano over backing tracks that I make myself in my studio.

Between your two choices, I might have to go with Ableton for it's superior ability with loops and live performance (what it's designed for), but have you considered Reaper? It's only $60 for full pro install, and it works with all the free (and paid) plug ins. If you're looking for the best solution on a budget. There are a TON of FREE apps that work great with Reaper. (I'm currently using Reaper for my SSD drum programming ($99) and for some mild bus mastering with Density (which is free). A good fit for tight money situations!


New member
I use dual Mackie D8b's and HDR's for the main work, I have been using Logic Pro 7 for about ten years but just for VST's mainly Garritan GPO and JABB, also BFD2 for drums, it's just used to get midi down, I do all the sound mix etc on my desks. If I were to start fresh with just a DAW I would have second thoughts about Logic as it's not the easiest to get your head around, I still can't fathom out the Environment section.....not that I want or need to, but you would if this was your main DAW.

On one of the download sites there are pro's and con's, here's one of the cons:- "complex for beginners".

rob aylestone

Well-known member
All the big names make good products and so many people stick with their first you can never get an unbiased opinion. I've been using cubase since 1994, in black and white on an Atari so whenever I use something else, it takes longer and stretches me because I can't do things quickly. However, I could use Logic or the others. Before you spend any money on the software, have a think about what you need. If your interest is in trance, then loops and a very visual form of working may be best. Most of my music is based on traditional instruments, live and MIDI controlled, and for me, I use notation quite a lot, so something that didn't do this wouldn't work for me. Loops, however, never feature for me at all. So make a list of things you MUST have, then search the products. When you have something you think may fit, buy the entry product first. If you get on really well with it, then swap versions and upgrade. Upgrade costs are usually modest if you do it as your skill level improves. Cubase 8 for example, that I use has thousands of features I never use, but I do use some features that the cut down versions don't have.

MIDI is really quite simple from a user level. It's like getting excited because we speak English. It's simply a communication protocol. The tricky part is simply making your DAW talk to the other devices, and modern kit usually makes this simple at the basic level.

So it's features and computer power really. Logic is not better/worse than cubase, it's just different.