What should be my first DAW with Rack Pro?

No, bitwig isn’t inadequate at all, you could easily do everything inside it. Reaper is just more powerful in that area but it depends what you want to do really.

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Well, if it’s more of a recording device you’re looking for, then I highly recommend Reaper. I use it for a few years now just for this so multitrack recording with my ES9, and then mixing and mastering. You can set up macros that can really improve your workflow, place buttons on screen for different devices you’re using often, and the routing in Reaper is quite awesome and easy. It doesn’t have a fancy interface but that’s a good thing when mixing, in my opinion, so you’re focused on the important stuff. It’s also very light on resources, and the built-in plugins might look simple and ugly, but they are all very advanced and high quality. Thanks to their simple interface, they are also very light on resources, which is quite important for having a smooth workflow. You can also try Reaper for free for 60 days so you can see if it’s for you. The only downside with Reaper, the way I see it at least, is that Reaper is highly customizable so you might find it difficult at the beginning to set everything up the way you like it, but the more you work with it, the more you can see and change the things you want and make it work for you. Up until I started using Bitwig, I used only Reaper but again, I was only recording and mixing in it, I didn’t do any composing or arranging. It worked great for me. Now, I still use it for recording and editing videos, and I use Bitwig for composing together with the modular, and then bounce the tracks for mixing in Reaper.


Somthing else to consider before buying Ableton

It may be fixed in Live 11 - I’m not sure. But be sure to try this before you buy.

Bitwig does look interesting, especially the modulation stuff. I think ultimately the DAW choice is quite personal and depends on how you make music. For what it’s worth here is my perspective:

I like Ableton, it works for me mainly because it is quite minimalist and I don’t want too many distractions when composing/arranging. You can do a lot of interesting stuff with Max for Live and modular - a different paradigm but infinite possibilities if you’re willing to learn Max.

I wasn’t aware of the MIDI limitations above as it doesn’t impact my workflow. My patches are self-contained and I primarily want to multitrack record for editing/mixing. In terms of recording, the new Ableton Live 11 takes feature is amazing. Almost as good as Pro Tools for audio and amazing for MIDI. Reaper has a similar thing for audio but I found it a bit weird to manage (caveat I use Pro Tools for audio work so I’m not as good in Reaper). Not sure where Bitwig is on that front…

One downside of Ableton is the way it deals with mono audio tracks. Currently, it looks like VCV outputs appear as stereo pairs (not sure if this is a VCV or Ableton issue). Related to this is exporting tracks forces them all to stereo - I could elaborate on why this is bad but that’s a separate topic. It would be great if they also added an option to export all tracks pre-fade.

In terms of multiple audio devices, you can create aggregate audio devices in OSX to combine multiple sources. This should achieve what you are after.


Bitwig has comping which is essentially the same thing.

That’s Ableton, it records all internal signal sources as stereo.

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Ah good to know - for me this can be an absolute must for recording. A lot of my modular work is about live manipulations, and whilst I strive to get it right the first time, it’s not always the case. :slight_smile:

Yea, this is just bad. The number of stereo kick drum tracks or bass channels that I have had to convert to mono… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: Incidentally, Reaper is amazing for its flexible channel architecture but that’s probably a bit more esoteric.

From what I can tell so far, Bitwig does the same. But perhaps it does have something to do with Rack (and/or the VST format) as well. I know some VST’s come in mono and stereo versions. Perhaps if a stereo VST is used, the DAW will only offer stereo outputs for it, even in a multi-channel scenario. The Bitwig manual explains how to use multi-output plugins and route the audio to other tracks but it doesn’t mention mono or stereo at all, so perhaps this is something that is just locked into the format and beyond the users/DAWs control - I don’t know - need to investigate a bit more.

nobody mention Renoise, I m trying to handle the automation and it not work at all, nothing, dead (at least on windows) , but renoise is pretty cool , I love it

I used reaper for first time and is very well designed and really easy to use and is almost free, Bitwig seems amazing, so, why not both?

Yea Renoise is cool if you’re into the whole tracker vibe.

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the best (I didn’t want to say it so as not to hurt anyone)

I’m just curious if anyone here uses Studio One? I have to upgrade to V5 before I can test VCV as a plugin, but I really hope it works. I like the workflow and editing capabilities of Studio One, and it comes with some pretty nice stock plugins.

renoise is great for someone who likes tracker but not very ideal in terms of live line in recordings.

At a minimum, one should run all audio interfaces at the same sample rate. Even with very small audio buffers, these are all devices clocked by crystals, so while the sync isn’t sample accurate, it’s close enough for jazz.

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renoise is definitely the best for someone looking for “traditional daw” experience with tracker, but other trackers do certain things better, like openmpt has built-in scala file support and lets you use tracker effects commands with vsts, albeit inconsistently, unlike renoise which only allows you to use effects commands with its internal instruments, and sunvox has built-in synth engines and a modular interface like vcv. and then there’s the many trackers made to produce chiptunes for specific chips.

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It’s also worth mentioning once you decide which daw to use, learn it inside and out and try to not use anything else until then. It could get overwhelming and inefficient to try to remember different workflows. So try, decide then commit. :slight_smile:

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I agree. I actually want to try and keep it as simple as I can, just enough to fulfill my needs, because I want to focus on the music and not so much the technology, I get plenty of that every day :slight_smile:

Something that Bitwig has – in addition to all of the other things listed here – is a very easy non-realtime bounce feature. Just set up a dummy clip (or a MIDI clip) of whatever length you want and then you can bounce an audio clip of that length with a single command. The killer feature is that you can choose to bounce audio from any point in your chain. It seems like a small thing but this is the feature that made me dump Ableton in favor of Bitwig. This has obvious utility for Rack VST: just set up your patch and quickly bounce as many variations as you want.

(Regarding Reaper: it seems to be a polarizing DAW. People who like it really like it, but I tried it as my main DAW for a few years and found it counterintuitive and hard to use. YMMV of course.)

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asking what daw to use is like asking what religion to convert to. everyone will usually recommend the one they choose to justify their worldview.

excuse me sir, do you have a minute to talk about our lord and savior, ableton live?

so i dont do that. i recommend using a popular daw and/or the one that your friends use.

popularity means more access to applicable info in the form of youtube videos, googleable forum posts (random guy in reddit knows what hes talking about) and conversations with other people. theres also more chance that there will be compatible equipment and plugins.

having the same daw your friends have means you can collaborate easier with them, share tips and tricks, commiserate about the daws shortcomings, borrow your friends brand new Push 2 and spill beer on it, etc.


Renoise is a good shout, I used to use it exclusively.

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How do you set this up?