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What's the best recording application for OS X?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I run a small audio recording store in Oakville and wanting to get some opinions on the best audio programs for Mac OS X.
 

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I see Logic 6 is taking an early lead!

But I would qualify my vote by adding - the best audio program is the one you know how to use. Or the one most suited to the way you like to work (and think).

That being said, Logic has some features that really set it apart - features that would benefit all applications of every type: fully customisable and searchable key commands; custom screen sets; Object-oriented programming...

Amongst audio programs it is unique (i think) in being able to integrate different brands of audio cards simultaneously.

And, with 6, the new additions to its feature set - like "freeze tracks" and firewire DV output - have actually freed up cpu and bus resources on my old Blue G4. The trend seems to usually be the other way around - with new features requiring greater cpu power, more RAM, faster drives...

anyway - blah blah blah - it's not for everyone. But it keeps me happy :cool:
 

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I agree Logic6 rocks. the freeze tracks feature is revolutionary. I personally think that Logic is on its way to taking over the Pro Tools world.

just my 2 cents.

808kik
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree, but so far Logic and Pro Tools are neck and neck. I'll admit my Mac bias and say I'd take Logic any day (almost assuming it's better because it's Apple) but why so many Pro Tools 6 votes? What advantages does it have over Logic? To me Pro Tools feels like one of those free programs compared to Logic. Have people been pro-tools brain-washed? (Have I been Mac brain washed?)

J
 

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The latest issue of MacAddict has a head-to-head between Logic and Digital Performer.

Digital Performer wins. Mainly because, for all it's bells and whistles,Logic is hard to use.

DP was late getting to X which is why Logic was favored for so long, plus the perception that because Apple owns it,Logic is somehow...better.

Anyway, maybe check out the article and judge for yourself.
 

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ProTools established an early lead in professional studios because they were able to "guarantee" a certain level of quality, a specified number of playback and record channels and other professional features by developing the necessary hardware and bundling it with their software. Actually, they TIED their software and hardware together.

The drawback of this practise is there is little choice of hardware for ProTools users - and I have never heard very remarkable opinions expressed about Digidesign hardware. It works. It's expensive. If you DO wish to use Digidesign hardware but don't like ProTools... Logic is the only alternative. No other software that I am aware of integrates with Digidesign TDM hardware. now that computer systems are so much more capable than they used to be, I feel ProTools is disadvantaged by its adhesion to Digi hardware.

ProTools software, on the other hand, IS the standard. It is the Audio Software that everything else is compared to. For better or for worse. Unfortunately, as already lamented, ProTools only works with Digidesign hardware (except ProTools FREE - which ONLY works with built-in Mac hardware).

If you KNOW ProTools - then it is a fabulous tool. I don't consider it better or worse than Logic or any other program. I just find that Logic suits the way I think and work. And I have more choice in the hardware department.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone. I think you are right that it's hard to compare the software. I've heard it said that Logic was more of a creative tool and Pro Tools more of a digital multitrack. That seems to ring true.

I'm afraid there is only so much room in the audio software world, and I don't think DP is going to make it. I would also agree and say that the days of Pro Tools are numbered. People want more flexibility in the home studio setting, while keeping quality high and the costs low. That's also my biggest beef with Pro tools: the hardware and software are stuck together. If the hardware was that good, I say it could stand on it's own without it being tied to the fading "standard."
 

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Yeah, keep in mind that, GENERALLY, Logic is a midi sequencer/digital audio recorder editor, whereas ProTools os really a digi audio recorder/editor, only. Its midi sequencing capabilities are less than basic. So, it depends on the nature of work your customer is doing.

ProTools has more hardware that bears much of the processing burden, whereas Logic's is all host-based. On the other hand, logic is more open to different audio cards and software than proTools is -- although, this is less so with the OS X version of Logic not supporting VST. Thankfully, Apple's own Audiounits plugin seems to be catching on. I have read of a VST wrapper for OS X that will allow Logic to use VST plugins, however. Forget the name, though...

I must confess i have never used protools, myself, but it is the de facto standard in recording studios -- but NOT the de facto standard in composition setups. Remember that distinction. having said this, logic covers all the bases in spades for DAW chores -- including outputting an entire multitrack mix in OMF format, which can be loaded into proTools and the same multitrack mix is there for the engineer to manipulate. Logic will also time-stamp audio files with their time-code positions. So, conforming is easy.

Now, Digital performer has OMF export and time-stamping as well. Cubase probably does, too. As someone else noted, whatever you're used to is best, and that certainly has a ring of truth to it. I would STILL lean towards Logic, however, as Emagic now sits at The Apple Table and will be party to OS developments. You can't beat that edge
 

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Just checked your website, Rev. Audio. you have Cubase very prominently listed in your software list and logic is nowhere to be seen. This prompted me to tell you my observations over the years has shown that, in the recording studio arena, where guys are sequencing for performance music, be it pop, hip-hop or whatever, Cubase can usually be found, there, along with a Windows PC. This goes along with the "budget writer's setup" scenario, and they usually stay with that platform as they (that are able to) rise up the ladder.

Scoring for film and television, however, is a completely different story. Macs are BY FAR the dominant platform. As for software, the veterans who started back in the old days probably STILL use Digital Performer and newer guys (like me) use Logic. Almost every composer I know, both personally and also that I hear of use Logic/Mac. When Opcode -- or rather Gibson when they bought opcode -- killed Opcode's Studio Vision, many guys went to Logic. Studio Vision was used heavily in LA before its demise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the note on my website lacking Logic. I'm more recently (partly due to this survey) being "sold" on Logic. Especially with OS X, I think it has advantages. I've been a Cubase user for quite a few years as my "main" program, and so I favour what I know (Like most people, I think).

I think the question of genre is an important one, too. Cubase made their mark as a midi sequencer. Many people don't think "cubase" when they think audio, although the audio features I think are very good. That's why it shows up so much in hip-hop - it was first used as a sequencer to run the midi rack gear. As the programs blend more and more (Logic now does video, Cubase does audio, Pro Tools does midi, etc.) I wonder if the question "What's the best for.." will turn into "What are you familiar with?" and "What are your friends using?"

I appreciate your helpful posts - thanks for taking the time!

Jason
 

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Actually, Emagic "Logic" was originally C-Lab's "Notator" sequencer program for the Atari, which predates Cubase by a few years. As a matter of fact, Steinberg was started up by some C-Lab guys who quit and moved out on their own to create Cubase.
 

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i use logic platinum everyday

midi wise there isn't a major sequencer out there that can touch logic audio for its ultra powerful midi enviornments

for example i have written a 16 step sequencer as an enviornment, there isn't any of the other major sequencer packages that offer you this kind of custumization...

in terms of audio, digital performer is up there
obviously protools, but that is more hardware/tdm based system so different ballpark alltogether.
but now that logic is so highly optomized for the mac platform, i think it will undoubtably be the #1 app for doing audio/midi production on the macintosh...

they discountinued the pc version for a reason


however...
if you are used to using cubase, cubase sx is a great app on the mac, and runs very nicely on OSX, logic does have a bit of a learning curve as it does work very differently then arranging in cubase...

in theory you can't go wrong using logic platinum, cubase sx, or digital performer, use whatever is most comfortable to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Logic is sooo flexible. I was to a Logic training course a few weeks back and they said the main discussion among Logic users was "check out my window presets." By the way - there is a great website with some downloable setups for Logic (including a 16 step sequencer):

http://www.swiftkick.com/loglugfun.html

I wonder if Logic's flexibility also adds to the learning curve? So far in the poll Logic is ahead. It will be interesting to see where it goes. No stuffing the ballot box!!!

- J
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oops - we're in a discussion about applications in OS X and the website I put up is for Logic 5. Sorry! The downloads will not work in Logic 6. My apologies, please ignore the previous link unless you're a Logic 5 user.

Thanks!

- J
 

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Actually, the files from Swiftkick WILL work in Logic 6. I have used a few of them myself. It's just that many of them have been created on a Windows version of Logic and have the suffix ".lso" (logic song) but no "resource fork" with the creator info. To use them in Logic 6 on the Mac - just choose "import..." from the "File" menu - then select the lso file.
 

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well, I thought I'd chime in with my 2cents

I noticed that you don't have Nuendo listed, only Cubase SX. Being a recording engineer and using every program there is for Mac, I have to say that Nuendo is the best "recording application" for OSX. It's not that great for MIDI, for that I would definitely give the nod to Logic. But have you ever tried to edit audio in Logic? It's a pain. I think Nuendo comes closest to ProTools when it comes to audio editing/manipulation and how fast you can work. It also doesn't tie you down to Digidesign hardware like PT does. You are free to use any ASIO compliant audio hardware you want. We use the Steinberg IO boxes (made by RME) because they sound fabulous and are _relatively_ inexpensive when compared against a ProTools system.

And the program sounds the best with audio... don't ask me why, it just does. Something with the internal algorithms and 32-bit handling of audio, it sounds great.

Of course, you're probably polling about home studio setups... my vote is Cubase SX because of how you actually work with and edit the audio (just like Nuendo), and because it's cheaper and more flexible choice of IO boxes than ProTools.
 

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Some recording engineers i know echo your comments about Nuendo. it is having trouble gaining traction in the industry, however...
 

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it is definitely hard to fight against the dominance of ProTools... and Digidesign has no interest in playing nice, you must buy their audio interfaces and cards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, Nuendo is quite a program. There is some buzz in the industry, but I'm not sure if people are biting just yet. They have some tough pro tools competition in that area.

I guess I was thinking mostly home studio setups when I put together the poll, although I do know some people using Nuendo in their home studio. It is not priced out of the market, and let's face it: home studios = pro studios more and more these days.

So, if anyone has a Nuendo vote, you are free to write it in!

- J
 
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