Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Yes, I know I said I wasn't really interested in considering a DAW at this time. But given all the trouble I've had with Sibelius and NotePerformer, and given that the experts can't even be sure which software component is responsible, AND given that Avid doesn't offer tech support without an added cost contract, I figure I had better start thinking about a Plan B.

So... which DAWs are people using? What are the pros and cons of different DAWs? What is the workflow like when working in a DAW? Can you enter notes in something like the way you would in a notation software, or do you have to specify frequency in Hz and duration in seconds? Will I need additional hardware to be able to compose in a DAW? Are sample libraries compatible with any DAW or are they generally matched to a particular DAW?

I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on, but that will do it for starters I think... apologies if these questions are naive or poorly posed - I freely admit I know very little about the subject.



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Yes, we don't want a pandemic of it. There was one early last century when loads of composers caught Schönbergitis. They never got rid of it until the late 1970s.  

Ingo Lee said:

9-4-10 Morphic peripheral hyperchromaticism ; very painful but hopefully not contagious, affects mostly atonalists.

Oh sure they fought off Schoenbergitis... then they caught Webernitis! :P

Yup, the only cures were a course of Atonelol or a Frontal Webernotomy. Terrible really... They all started composing cereal music like Messiaen's Cornflakes Concerto.


The condition progresses in its final form to Fernyhough Syndrome. A frightful malady that fortunately appears to be exceedingly rare. See the following thread for more on this:

Very frightening indeed michael, and we were saved from all that by Gav Brown, thanks again Gav!

As I've said before Brian Fernyhough is not on my top ten list but he is very interesting to study and he does have a devoted following.  It's great that we can now discuss his work if we like without all the drama.

Back to the systematized serial subset.

michael diemer said:

The condition progresses in its final form to Fernyhough Syndrome. A frightful malady that fortunately appears to be exceedingly rare. See the following thread for more on this:

Aw, come on, Ferneyhough is fine. I had a most enjoyable evening at his disco bonanza. Most of you will have been to one of his raves but just in case someone hasn't here's a clip. Beware, the root beer has been spiked with double sharps.


The mark of a great artist is the ability to expand out beyond genre. Beethoven spans centuries. Bach lands on the Billboard top 40.  Fernyhough does the funky chicken on Broadway. Does it get any better? Thanks Dane for the optional vector synergy.

Even so, this has got me piqued. The possibility of Aleatoric Serial Ambiguity on the daw. It would take a competent programmer like Ali, but I wondered about applying the buzzword generator to music itself on a daw.

Like write 30 (say) fragments in three 'columns' then let the computer direct which one of each column it would play, then how it would change the numbers, or what if by hand? Choose the numbers then concatenate the sections....

Then I realised this has probably been done. Which means I'd be steering this thread into composition techniques rather than the use of daws....although it may be possible to get Reaper to swtich "takes" by way of program control. I get to discover valuable gems hidden in darker corners of Reaper every day.

I now discover I can edit duration lengths for the entire track list or a selection in one go by locking all relevant tracks, selecting what I want then drawing them longer / shorter as necessary. This is useful when drawing in chords the length of which I can't know exactly until the melodic elements they support are complete. If that isn't dynamic notation consolidation, I can't think what is.


 Along these lines of thought...Studio One has a chord generator. I've never used it. The idea is that it can help you to see associated progressions. Version 5 is coming out probably in a few days. Should be interesting to see what they've added to it if anything.

I tried the AIWA AI software briefly. It is maybe an interesting way to generate ideas I might use as some kind of frame work. Though I feel odd in even attempting that.

UPDATE- Studio One 5 is now out.

- A new performance page

-Improved effects suite

- Notation integration into Studio One using Notion code

- A monthly/yearly plan that includes all software , plugins and sounds. Software is still available for purchase. Rental is optional.

Point 3 is probably the most interesting for notation composers. It looks as if they have embedded the code from Notion right into the DAW! 

Check this feature at timeline 19:06 in the video.

This sounds really cool Tim, thanks.


You are very welcome.Hope this helps.

FYI- I downloaded SO 5 last night. I was using the notation functions. I am impressed by the way it can alternate between midi and notation. Has a palette to select the note values and articulations. Moving a note sounds the tone of the note according to where it is moved.

I'll be digging deeper into it. I had a few questions about the way my notation to an original piano work was being displayed. It was 4/4 and 118 bpm. There were bars with 3 usually indicating a triplet...there were also bars indicating 5 which I'm not familiar with...seemed a bit quirky, but that's coming from someone who doesn't often use a notation program.

I in no way am indicating that this is for certain the best solution for everyone. I can see myself using it a lot though since I already used the program in version 4.

If anyone has questions about version 5 please feel free to ask. If I don't know I'll try to find out.

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