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skarabee
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Joined: 05/15/2012 - 07:52
modular DAW

I was recently mentioning Mulab and Mux in a topic about modular, and just received an update offer by Mutools (I own Mux, installed in Cubase). Version 7 seems to have great improvements, I think I will crossgrade to full Mulab on my spare PC. Mulab is available for Won and Mac, but it seems that the Mux plugin only works with Win DAWs. There is a free demo version (4 tracks and some limitations) . Check out the videos, interesting features: step sequencer can work as a module by itself, audio as source or target for modulations (idea for a new Caustic feature?) 

http://www.mutools.com/index.html

I mention it, because the philosophy behind this beast  remind me Caustic: It's simple in a first approach, but if your take the time and and get involved, it's a real modular thing, you can build whatever you want/need: FX, synth, sampler, use your own VSTs inside a module, build your own interface. (It reminds me an old thread about faceplates for Caustic's modularsynth, by the way ;-)  IMHO, this is the future fo DAWs: clear, fast and simple in surface, but a lot of power under the hood, flexible and modulable. I think for the live aspect, Bitwig is on the same road, and I will test it too. Not to mention Caustic was and is still in the same area for a new approach with making music on computer. 

It's not an ad, I have no links with Mutools. But I noticed they offer a free unlock key for the best demo file ;-) I won't do it, not enough time...

pquenin
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Joined: 07/30/2013 - 17:47
I love Mulab too, it's a

I love Mulab too, it's a great tool for MIDI sequencing, and the sound is BIG. However, on the audio side, you can record or create audio tracks, but no time-stretching, pitch-shifting or audio-warping... The developer seems to have understood that this is the top priority for the future Mulab 8, if he wants to keep or attract new customers... That's why I use the Mux Modular VST instead, in Tracktion 7, witch is a great great sequencer too.

17hex
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Joined: 01/07/2013 - 12:23
Glad to see Bitwig get a

Glad to see Bitwig get a mention here.  I have been using Bitwig for a while now (finally moved away from the more traditional workflow in Reaper..), and I have to say, it is a REALLY nice DAW.  It has TONS of flexibility, great sounding built in instruments and effects and tools, really extensible modulation/automation routing, pitch shift/time stretch a la Ableton Live, and a bunch of other stuff.  The Clips interface (again like ableton) is very useful for capturing and using ideas in a musical way. I think Bitwig's interface is better than ableton's and the tight integration with my Surface Pro 4 is freaking fantastic.

I still end up using Caustic a lot, simply because the interface is so beautifully straightfoward and musical, but when i want my caustic songs to go on to the next step, or sync with an audio loop or trigger external gear, the MIDI and stems end up in Bitwig.

derrtiblu
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Joined: 03/08/2014 - 23:00
hmmm ok.followin' this.

hmmm ok.followin' this.

mekanism
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Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
If I wasnt so fluent in

If I wasnt so fluent in Ableton I would switch to Bitwig, am still considering it actually.  I still have problems getting my mixes to sound good in Caustic though, my new Ableton projects are sounding really nice in comparison. 

skarabee
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Joined: 05/15/2012 - 07:52
@17hex: how good is the

@17hex: how good is the surface pro4 for audio? Did you try some Asio drivers on it? I recently sold my iPad air2 and I'm looking for a live device, running Caustic and maybe Ableton or Bitwig, and some VST synths for my Fishman triple play guitar. Latency is the main concern, I have a Scarlett 18i6, but if I can avoid an external soundcard and run my system with Asio4all...

@pquenin: same thing for me , I took Mux, it's a great modular plug-in, and I still can use it in my DAWs. Mulab has still some progress to do, as you said, hope the devs will continue to improve it. I'e tried Tracktion on laptop, but had some crashes and didn't put it in my main machine.

mekanism
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Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
Skarabee, check this video

Skarabee, check this video out for some testing that was done on the SP4. https://youtu.be/dCC7FBd5cag

He has a bunch of other good vids on the SP3 as well. If I were to go this route I think I would get the i5 SP3 used and go with Bitwig, that would be right around $1000 here in the states. The Core i7's on the Surface tablets throttle anyway for music production so you don't gain much by going that route.

skarabee
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Joined: 05/15/2012 - 07:52
Thanks Mekanism for the link.

Thanks Mekanism for the link. One thing I can tell is the best way to have audio problems, even with a high end PC, is to run Avid Pro Tools on PC with a Steinberg interface. All 3 are enemies to each other! Anyway, I won't use one of these DAWs (Pro Tools, Cubase or Studio One) for live, but if the latest Microsoft device can't run them smoothly on such simple projects, It's a no go for me, as I have to run a live sequencer (maybe lighter than Cubase or Pro tools), but a guitar synth brain too. Better use a laptop (my old Toshiba full of crap is still running fine with 16 tracks running with a 128 buffer size (wich is the minimum required for no perceivable latency, at least on fast transients sounds, as drums or percussive synths). For live purpose, I don't wan to use tricks and workarounds. I just want a reliable unit. Maybe the Surface3 can do it. If I could test one here...

So , what's wrong with these new devices (Apple's and Android included)? Are the manufacturers thinking we'll spend more than 1000 dollars or Euros just to run Facebook or Skype or make selfies? Some years ago, we where thinking: wait a couple of years and we'll have horsepower to run our beloved music apps, better latency, full and fluent connectivity between apps, devices and external gear. Still waiting, but a little bit tired...

Apps were improved (well, the best ones, including Caustic), but now we're back to a buffer size of 1024 to run 16 tracks on a brand new machine! I've done that 10 years ago, and sometimes have to it now for large projects with lots of tracks, lots of plug-ins including fine compressors, convolutions verbs. On my 4 years old PC, I can run such projects with a whole mastering suite loaded on my master output track. Oh, yes, I forgot, I still use old fashioned firewire gear ;-)

At this point, I was seriously thinking to go back to hardware sequencing for live, thinking that with the progress made in technology, I could easily find affordable sequencers, synths and samplers. Well, just try to find a serious multi layers sampler...tons of gadgets, mono 16 step-sequencers, small memory machines and fun toys. And on the other side expensive machines like Muse Receptor, still not able to run smoothly with some simple VST, and not able to run the latest ones, because of authorizations systems requiring an internet connection (can't install Addictive Drums on a more than 3000 bucks machine, so bad.)

The solution could be simple, but we' ll probably not see it happen: music and audio dedicated OS.

Or use a simple but powerful app, running on all OS ;-)

 

 

 

mekanism
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Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
Skarabee, Bitwig seems to run

Skarabee, Bitwig seems to run on the SP4 perfectly fine, and is the only daw to do so at this point, so it sounds like it's software related, or compatibility between interface like you said. I have read a lot of complaints on the windows central forums about the SP4 though, buggy, laggy, and even BSOD problems.

I'm really surprised Windows doesn't offer different user profiles based on usage, like having a profile for music production where anything non essential to music making is shut off. The ads for the surface products even show Bitwig being used, why not have a custom profile for stuff like that? Linux has had custom distros for years for music production so you could go the Linux route now that Bitwig runs on it, but then you lose any VST programs that you may have.

Yeah I agree though, we should be further ahead on having built in DSP's that offer lower latency than what's available but it seems like majority rules, and for the majority they don't need low buffers, multiple I/O's, and high impedance audio outputs.

RomanFox2 Music
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Joined: 02/21/2016 - 07:54
Tracktion Waveform

To add to https://singlecellsoftware.com/comment/93009#comment-93009 (pquenin's comment), there's also Waveform, which is made and developed by Tracktion who also made the T DAW's.

https://www.tracktion.com/products/waveform-free

(Really sorry for the necropost. I came across this thread being the first search result from searching "modulable daws" and wanted to add to it.)

 

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