Quality/DAW Suggestions?

Hello all,

I am a piano composer who works on a Mac using Finale. I've posted a lot of compositions on this forum using the mp3 output from Finale and have never been satisfied with the quality. I would like to explore options for better quality output. I see a lot of folks on the forum posting music from DAWs which sound better than what I am able to produce. Can anyone suggest to me a DAW or another approach I could take which would help me produce better recordings? Thanks!

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • Because I like working in Finale also I was told to go with Cubase because it was made with composers in mind. So, I will be making my purchase soon.
  • Check out this discussion for more information: https://composersforum.ning.com/forum/topics/cubase-pro-8-the-lastes...
    Cubase Pro 8 the Lastest Version?
    Is this the latest version of Cubase? Steinberg Cubase Pro 8. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CubaseP8
  • Rodney, thanks for your replies! I will look into Cubase and also check out the discussion you linked to -

  • Michael, thanks for your post. What do you mean by "staff view"?

  • Reaper is very customizable, sounds great, renders great, and doesn't break the bank. Like Michael says, though, it doesn't have a staff view yet, and that can be a fairly considerable bummer, as trad notation can help you keep up with your ideas better. If I could afford it right now, I'd probably lay out for Cubase, too, but, in the meantime, it might be worth considering spending $60 for a Reaper license just to get used to working in a DAW, if money is kind of tight for you, too. I have Reaper and haven't been too disappointed with not having that staff view, but it has forced me to think in different ways. However, I think this is generally true for all DAWs, staff view or not. It becomes more of an actual performance than working in a notation program, if you're inputting with a midi-controller.        

  • Thanks all for the comments so far. Does anyone know if there is any DAW than can import a file exported from Finale? @Bob, I have tweaked Finale as much as I can and am not sure if I can get more out of it. I've gone so far as to copy scores into what I would call "performance" versions, where I alter the score from the original in an attempt to get better sound. I'm a little behind on the version (I am using 2011) and agree the sound gets better with each version. Perhaps it's time for an upgrade -

  • What Kristofer says holds true for Reaper, as well. Yes, you can do it, and in fact there are a couple of different ways you could. 

    Gav Brown said:

    Thanks all for the comments so far. Does anyone know if there is any DAW than can import a file exported from Finale? @Bob, I have tweaked Finale as much as I can and am not sure if I can get more out of it. I've gone so far as to copy scores into what I would call "performance" versions, where I alter the score from the original in an attempt to get better sound. I'm a little behind on the version (I am using 2011) and agree the sound gets better with each version. Perhaps it's time for an upgrade -

  • @Kris and @Paul, thanks for the tips! I obviously need to upgrade and will bear in mind everything commentators on this thread have said. It's actually kind of amazing to me that a computer is able to produce anything remotely resembling a live performance and I should be glad that I've been able to produce what limited sounds I've presented so far! Cheers! -

  • Sorry about the late reply, Michael, I just now saw this...

    I'll attempt to answer as best I can, although I'm still very new to Reaper and there's a WHOLE LOT that it can do that I haven't even touched on yet... But, yes, from what I've seen (even if I haven't actually used it much yet), you can edit all those parameters and more with the functions on Reaper's piano roll view, and also by simply right-clicking while in the track view. But the way I've been doing it almost exclusively thus far is by simply playing everything in by hand with the midi-controller, and if and when I make a mistake, just deleting that take and trying it again. For me, this is less of a headache than going back and nudging notes, adjusting dynamics, etc., although you might want to do that if you play in, say, a really long, complicated line and have it almost the way it ought to be. The few times I've been over to the piano roll, it doesn't seem any less intuitive than what I would sometimes work with in Cakewalk Music Creator, which is related to Sonar, I think, right? Once in that view, you have a drop-down box in the bottom corner that has a list of all the many items (I'd say at least 20) you can adjust and it seems pretty straightforward. Hard to say how much you might miss about the staff view... What I mostly miss about it is just the quicker information it tells you about your harmony in all parts, and that it's easier in notation software to try out a different harmonic idea more quickly, and then delete it if it isn't suitable. For things like the overall form, I find I haven't missed it very much, nor when it comes to the choirs, how often you've used certain combinations, etc. However, I'm also sure there are many more efficient ways of working in Reaper than the method I'm currently using, still being relatively new to it. The manual for the thing is over 400 pages long, for instance... So I've tried to keep it pretty simple, learning some things as I go along and as they're needed. Also, you probably know this already, but there are some great tutorial videos up on the Cockos forum about both getting started with it and about how to do more complicated things that have been very helpful. Come to think of it, I guess I'll send you the link for that, so you can get an idea how comprehensive those are, just in case.

     http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=76872  

    Hope all this helps.      

    michael diemer said:

    Hey Paul (reminds me of an old song - don't worry, I'm already married), how is Reaper for midi editing? Because that's basically what I do. I use the staff and event views in Sonar. Can you do all you need to do with their midi editing view? Like adjust notes values (pitch, volume, duration, etc)? Is it easy and intuitive? Would I really miss the staff view?

  • You should check out Sagan Technology Metro 7. There are free demos available for the three versions. I have th full version which is around $300 but I bought it a long time ago from Cakewalk for $100 before Jeremy Sagan rescued it from oblivion and took it to OSX.

    The LX version is $100 and might be enough DAW for you. It's pretty easy to learn and has very low hardware requirements. Metro 7 has as many or more midi editing features than other DAWs. The Mac versions are still 32-bit but I've never had any issues working with it. If your looking for something to polish up your exported midi files or working from scratch in Metro 7, this could work well for you.
This reply was deleted.