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Want to hear from SONAR expats
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bitflipper
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Joined: 05/01/2011 01:55:19
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Hi, everybody! I'm a tourist here, but as a longtime SONAR user I'm looking at Studio One's great automation implementation and salivating.

As you may know, the new SONAR X1 has been well-received by reviewers and many new users - but not so much by us old-timers who'd hoped for enhancements other than a pretty new GUI. Not to mention some bug fixes. Consequently, many of us are discussing (http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?&m=2181251&mpage=1) possible alternatives, with S1 occupying the top slot in many of our shortlists of candidates.

I'd like to hear from any of you who are SONAR expats, or are seriously investigating S1 as a possible replacement. What's still missing from S1? How's the MIDI editing compared to SONAR? Is there anything comparable to AudioSnap or V-Vocal? How do you manage large projects without track folders?

Switching DAWs is not something I'll undertake lightly. I have a high level of comfort with SONAR, such that I rarely have to think about how to do something. But I also want a tool that's getting better with each release and S1 definitely qualifies in that regard. The only question is: is version 1.6 full-featured enough to warrant switching at this time?




themuzic
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Well, if I may humbly interject here, having made the complete migration from Cubase, I can honestly tell you that Studio One has a bit of work yet left to be done on the midi side for a few folks here. For me personally, it has everything I need at this point and anything new is a bonus, for me!!

I'm just trying to give you an honest point of view here because there are a few "Midi Heavy Hitters" in here that use S1 but still visit their old DAW for a feature or two. So hopefully some of those folks may chime in here and give you more details.

I'd like to offer you a few of my own videos on Studio One for you to check out at your leisure just to see all that I have learned in Studio One and why I made the "Full" conversion for my personal studio and my client base, despite some of the lacking features.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic and go through any vids you might be interested in. I'm not trying to sell you S1, just trying to give you as much info as possible.

Good luck to you.

http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
bitflipper
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Nice videos. So you are a happy S1 user, an ex-Cubase user, and judging from your videos an experienced user. So far so good! Perhaps you won't mind if I inquire further about what kind of user you are...

Would you say that most of your projects are mostly audio, perhaps with a sprinkling of MIDI?

That most of your projects are other people's music (as opposed to using S1 as a composition tool)?

In your "setting up for a mix" video you appear to have couple dozen tracks. Would you say that's typical for you?

Do you mostly use the bundled effects, or do you rely extensively on third-party plugins?

Do you master in S1, too? How about assembling and burning CDs?

Sorry to be so nosy, I'm just trying to get an idea of the profile of a satisfied S1 user.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/01/2011 03:26:45

themuzic
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bitflipper wrote:Nice videos. So you are a happy S1 user, an ex-Cubase user, and judging from your videos an experienced user. So far so good! Perhaps you won't mind if I inquire further about what kind of user you are...

Sorry to be so nosy, I'm just trying to get an idea of the profile of a satisfied S1 user.


You're not being nosy at all! I have no problem answering your questions. Happy to do so. So let's go in order.

Would you say that most of your projects are mostly audio, perhaps with a sprinkling of MIDI?

For my clients' I specialize in Midi and audio together. Since I live in a Townhouse, a V-drum kit and a ton of Drum VST instruments are required. So I'd say it's an even split with some projects having 15 to 20 audio tracks and 4 to 8 VST Instrument tracks running at once. So far, never an issue.

That most of your projects are other people's music (as opposed to using S1 as a composition tool)?

Both. I have a regular rotation of clients as well as composing my own music. But as of late, since I'm having some bad throat issues I haven't done much writing so right now, mostly client based projects dominate my use of S1.

In your "setting up for a mix" video you appear to have couple dozen tracks. Would you say that's typical for you?

Yes. And at times more, especially when I have a client with alot of vocal work. Lots of vocal stacking and so forth.

Do you mostly use the bundled effects, or do you rely extensively on third-party plugins?

This is a good question. For effects, I have fallen in love with the Studio One native effects. They have very useful presets for quick ideas and sometimes, I use just the presets or chain presets. I do, however use T-Racks for some mastering and I have many clients that like me to use the waves bundles for certain kinds of effects. I have the Mercury Bundle and it works beautifully in S1.

Do you master in S1, too? How about assembling and burning CDs?

I have sold my copies of Wavelab, Sound Forge and CD Architect because all I use now, for any kind of mastering, is the Studio One Project page. It took no time at all to make that decision,despite a few things I miss with CD Architect.

One being able to take a solid wave file and split it up into pieces for shuffling. I have to bring it into the Song page, split it up then drag them back into the Project page. I thought at first it would be a pain but it's actually only a click or 2 more because I'm able to just drag the new separated tracks into the Project page in on drag. I got passed it pretty quickly.

Overall, without sounding like a silly commercial, the other thing that really sold me was the integration with Presonus hardware. The Zero Latency options with the Firestudio line of interfaces and the seamless Cue Mix creation with zero latency right from Studio One, with out having to open a separate applet. For full bands, that one really hit home and allowed me to configure my Mobile rig for live shows and onsite recording gigs.

For me, that completed my entire setup. Hope this was helpful and I just keep in mind that in just over 1 year, we've had 7 updates. Each one better than the last. It's only gonna get better from here I feel.

http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
bitflipper
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Thanks for taking the time to make such a concise reply. You've certainly made a compelling case for S1 as a capable alternative to SONAR (or Cubase or Logic for that matter). Good to hear that the bundled effects are up to snuff, that you no longer need CDA or WaveLab, and that you're happy with S1 as a MIDI composition tool. These are all encouraging points.

Next step is getting the S1 demo. I have some vacation time coming up next month that will include a long flight followed by two weeks of serious beach relaxation time. The S1 demo will be accompanying me on that trip, along with my trusty little AKAI (sand-resistant) mini-keyboard.

Thanks again for your replies!
themuzic
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bitflipper wrote:Thanks for taking the time to make such a concise reply. You've certainly made a compelling case for S1 as a capable alternative to SONAR (or Cubase or Logic for that matter). Good to hear that the bundled effects are up to snuff, that you no longer need CDA or WaveLab, and that you're happy with S1 as a MIDI composition tool. These are all encouraging points.

Next step is getting the S1 demo. I have some vacation time coming up next month that will include a long flight followed by two weeks of serious beach relaxation time. The S1 demo will be accompanying me on that trip, along with my trusty little AKAI (sand-resistant) mini-keyboard.

Thanks again for your replies!


Great. I'm glad it was useful. And thanx for posting that thread. What a great read. It was funny to see my video series about recording a song from start to finish, mentioned by a few people. I didn't realize there were so many Sonar (X1) users looking at Studio One. There are some great comments over there.

I also have the Akai mini keyboard as well as the drum pad for my laptop. Wouldn't leave home without them. Good luck in your testing and remember we're always here to help with any questions.

http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
Gizzmo0815
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Joined: 28/07/2010 21:18:43
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themuzic wrote:I also have the Akai mini keyboard as well as the drum pad for my laptop. Wouldn't leave home without them. Good luck in your testing and remember we're always here to help with any questions.


Those two little controllers freakin' rock. I took them on a looooong trip away from home (6 months) and into a pretty grueling environment. They still work like new.
Computer: Lenovo y560, 2.0 GHz quad core, 8 gb RAM, Win 7 (x64)
Presonus "Stuff": Studio One Pro, Presonus Firestudio Mobile, Studiolive 16.0.2, Faderport
ricstudioc
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Joined: 05/01/2011 22:49:35
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Hey Bit -

You'll recognize me from over on the Sonar boards - just a quick 2cents.....

I've been running the S1 demo for a few days, with the following (2 cent) observations -

- There's a lot of stuff you're probably used to in Sonar that ain't here - at least yet. But I've never used 80% of what's under the hood in Sonar anyway (by your definition, I'm an "audio w/a sprinkling of MIDI" guy) so I haven't hit any major "can't do's" yet. Just have to figure things out.....

- There's a distinct learning curve, but I'd expect there to be regardless of what platform you're coming from. But the guys who are saying "I've never even had to open the manual" must be aliens, I've printed the whole thing just to grasp the demo.....

- For me, the reason why I'll probably switch: I've run Sonar's 1, 3, currently 8.3, and every single version, on several different machines I've built and dedicated to audio, has always exhibited some kind of audio issues. Little clicks, pops, drops - you know the whole litany. I've tweaked and re-buffered, and re-profiled etc, but I've always had'em. Never a deal-breaker, once you realize that those blips don't ever get to mixdown - but one reason I don't do more client-based work is the having to explain that it's OK, don't let the little blips concern you.

I loaded S1 onto the same machine that I've been running 8.3 on - copied over some projects, dumped a buncha plugs in (including multiple convo 'verbs), hit play and........... Not a single problem yet - not one!! Absolutely pristine audio so far, without the slightest click, pop, whatever. No Issues At All. Obviously the core engine is as rock solid and stable as anything out there, and moreso than some. I'm liking this - a lot.

Matter o' fact, you weighed in the other day on my thread asking for Orchestral softsynth recommends - hate to say it, but it wasn't Sonar that prompted the question, it was S1. I've avoided s/s usage in Sonar because with the other audio issues they just weren't running well at all. In S1 (same machine, remember) they're purring along without so much as a hiccup.

So - not done testing yet, but early returns are beyond promising. I can do the work I need to do, do it with (so far) absolutely flawless audio performance, and it looks like I'll be able to start relying on Virtual Instruments without fear of system crashes. And all of this without having to assemble a new system - I'm sick to death of that.

Y'know - a common theme for years over on the Sonar board has been "quit adding candy and get back to the basic core stability". S1 just feels like a new engine, certainly it's performance is leaving S8 in the dust over here.

Personal observations - ymmv.

See ya on the other side.......

Ric


Ric

"The amazing thing about the dancing bear is not how gracefully it dances - it's that it dances at all."
kreeper_6
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I used Sonar from v2.0 to v8.0 and when S1 came out, I switched overnight. Main reason was that Sonar had way too many speed bumps, buttons, menu's, etc. and ACT was HORRIBLE. I've literally recorded more projects in 1.5 years than I did in 6 mainly because the feeling of fighting my way through a text book is gone.

Best advice I can give would be to Move to S1 with the idea of doing things the S1 way. If you move to S1 wanting everything to be the cakewalk way but better, it'll never work. I suggest moving directly to the S1 Demo with a new project and jump right in, no getting the feet warm. After 2 or 3 projects you should know what is missing from Sonar that you think is needed and you"ll know if you like the S1 work flow. Then go back to Sonar and see how it feels. For me it was no contest but now with X1 it may be a little different, still I've tried X1 and its still Sonar in new clothes...and I do not like it at all.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/01/2011 23:50:38

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themuzic
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ricstudioc wrote:Hey Bit -

You'll recognize me from over on the Sonar boards - just a quick 2cents.....

I've been running the S1 demo for a few days, with the following (2 cent) observations -

- There's a lot of stuff you're probably used to in Sonar that ain't here - at least yet. But I've never used 80% of what's under the hood in Sonar anyway (by your definition, I'm an "audio w/a sprinkling of MIDI" guy) so I haven't hit any major "can't do's" yet. Just have to figure things out.....

- There's a distinct learning curve, but I'd expect there to be regardless of what platform you're coming from. But the guys who are saying "I've never even had to open the manual" must be aliens, I've printed the whole thing just to grasp the demo.....

- For me, the reason why I'll probably switch: I've run Sonar's 1, 3, currently 8.3, and every single version, on several different machines I've built and dedicated to audio, has always exhibited some kind of audio issues. Little clicks, pops, drops - you know the whole litany. I've tweaked and re-buffered, and re-profiled etc, but I've always had'em. Never a deal-breaker, once you realize that those blips don't ever get to mixdown - but one reason I don't do more client-based work is the having to explain that it's OK, don't let the little blips concern you.

I loaded S1 onto the same machine that I've been running 8.3 on - copied over some projects, dumped a buncha plugs in (including multiple convo 'verbs), hit play and........... Not a single problem yet - not one!! Absolutely pristine audio so far, without the slightest click, pop, whatever. No Issues At All. Obviously the core engine is as rock solid and stable as anything out there, and moreso than some. I'm liking this - a lot.

Matter o' fact, you weighed in the other day on my thread asking for Orchestral softsynth recommends - hate to say it, but it wasn't Sonar that prompted the question, it was S1. I've avoided s/s usage in Sonar because with the other audio issues they just weren't running well at all. In S1 (same machine, remember) they're purring along without so much as a hiccup.

So - not done testing yet, but early returns are beyond promising. I can do the work I need to do, do it with (so far) absolutely flawless audio performance, and it looks like I'll be able to start relying on Virtual Instruments without fear of system crashes. And all of this without having to assemble a new system - I'm sick to death of that.

Y'know - a common theme for years over on the Sonar board has been "quit adding candy and get back to the basic core stability". S1 just feels like a new engine, certainly it's performance is leaving S8 in the dust over here.

Personal observations - ymmv.

See ya on the other side.......

Ric




Wow. What a testament. I'm so deep into S1 that I avoided signing up for the Sonar forum and risk being called a troll.....lol. But some folks don't realize how deep into Cubase I was for many years and, like you, was amazed by the stability and performance of S1. And, you should know, Studio One was only 3 months old when I downloaded the demo. That should say alot.

Now, you mentioned needing the manual to get through the demo. Having used Sonar myself (limited mind you) I could see where a learning curve would be apparent. For me, coming from Cubase, it was more of a common move as the main feature set was more comparable. So, those who touted "No Manual Required" may have had some Cubase experience and the obvious was just more obvious. That's what I experienced at least.

I am obviously a fanboy now when it comes to Studio One. But that's only because I have found an All-in-One DAW for my needs. There are many that use 2 or even 3 different DAWs to accomplish their goals so I'm sure I'm in the minority.

Thanx for posting here. It's nice to know others from the outside are looking in

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 06/01/2011 00:09:13


http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
themuzic
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kreeper_6 wrote:I used Sonar from v2.0 to v8.0 and when S1 came out, I switched overnight. Main reason was that Sonar had way too many speed bumps, buttons, menu's, etc. and ACT was HORRIBLE. I've literally recorded more projects in 1.5 years than I did in 6 mainly because the feeling of fighting my way through a text book is gone.

Best advice I can give would be to Move to S1 with the idea of doing things the S1 way. If you move to S1 wanting everything to be the cakewalk way but better, it'll never work. I suggest moving directly to the S1 Demo with a new project and jump right in, no getting the feet warm. After 2 or 3 projects you should know what is missing from Sonar that you think is needed and you"ll know if you like the S1 work flow. Then go back to Sonar and see how it feels. For me it was no contest but now with X1 it may be a little different, still I've tried X1 and its still Sonar in new clothes...and I do not like it at all.


You know what, that's really good advice. I really like your approach

http://www.homestudiotrainer.webs.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/themuzic
Email - homestudiotrainer@yahoo.com
Skype - themuzic
Phone - 773-303-7260
I offer FREE assistance for Studio One (any version) and Presonus hardware, to anyone having issues or anyone who simply wants to learn

Gateway Tower - Intel Core i5 3330 CPU 3GHz 8GB Ram and 64bit Windows 8
[Email] [WWW] [Yahoo!]
ricstudioc
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Joined: 05/01/2011 22:49:35
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themuzic wrote:

Now, you mentioned needing the manual to get through the demo. Having used Sonar myself (limited mind you) I could see where a learning curve would be apparent. For me, coming from Cubase, it was more of a common move as the main feature set was more comparable. So, those who touted "No Manual Required" may have had some Cubase experience and the obvious was just more obvious. That's what I experienced at least.


Well, in all fairness to Sonar, their "track view" really is comprehensive, I rarely ever left it 'cuz I didn't have to. I/O selection, mix parameters, insert FX, buss creation/selection/assignment, per clip processing, automation, and so on - I could pretty much do anything from that one screen. Once you get used to that, having to shift screens to set up FX busses and the like IS a little off-putting.

But take my first post at face value - S1 looks to be worth adapting to a new work style, for me at least. And as someone mentioned above, 7 updates in the first year - I'm sure that there will be gradual changes/improvements. Important thing for me is, I can work with it NOW, with observable benefits over my current platform. Haven't broken out the credit card yet, still got over 3 weeks on the demo - but as of this moment I'm making sure there's room on the card.
Ric

"The amazing thing about the dancing bear is not how gracefully it dances - it's that it dances at all."
AudioCave
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ricstudioc wrote:Important thing for me is, I can work with it NOW, with observable benefits over my current platform. Haven't broken out the credit card yet, still got over 3 weeks on the demo - but as of this moment I'm making sure there's room on the card.


Look at the crossgrade offers from Sweetwater, you can save $100 I think. Or maybe even sit down with a calculator and weigh various hardware options. If you also need additional hardware it might be a better value to buy into hardware, get Artist, and upgrade from there.

The Firestudio Mobile along with a laptop that has a 6-pin FW port (bus power) makes a really sweet easy to setup mobile rig that only needs one power outlet. Laptop Bag + Laptop + FS Mobile in the pouch + bus powered USB 2 drive in another pouch + a long extension cord... good to go.
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bitflipper
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Probably the hardest adjustment I'd have to make would be the track view. SONAR's track view is where I live. I don't use the console and I don't use the Inspector. Don't need to, because everything's right there to the left of the track: volume, pan, trim, routing, fx. The downside is that it takes up more vertical space, but I do a lot of minimizing and collapsing folders while I'm working so it's an acceptable compromise. Not having that stuff feels very disorienting to me, at least for now.

I'm holding off on downloading the S1 demo so that the 30-day demo window can encompass 3 weeks of out-of-town down time, first a week in Anaheim to do NAMM (with a visit to the Presonus booth, to be sure), then two weeks on my little island in the Philippines sipping fresh mango juice. Everything I know today about S1 is from videos and hearsay, but in a month I'll know for sure if S1 and I have a future.

Thanks everyone for your observations!
betaguy
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Joined: 06/01/2011 14:08:08
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Hey Bit,

I believe the S1 demo can be downloaded 5 times.
If it expires, just download again.

I was timidi over there. I might just move to S1 so I can finally abandon that monicker (after 18 years...
http://members.soundclick.com/Timothy+Bowman
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