Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Problem With DAWs

There are a lot of problems with DAWs. Many are unstable, most are difficult to learn and counter intuitive and they are digital so you can kiss that naturally warm sound of tubes and tape goodbye.  The problem I speak of is there is no standardization. They are all laid out differently and contain different nomenclature. I suspect this is to purposely make the learning curve hard so that users will stick with the DAW they know even if it has some serious short comings. You stick with what you know especially if you are a pro.

Creative people like artists and musicians are right brained whereas geeks are left brained and unfortunately it's geeks who design most software. Adobe PhotoShop's design was probably a combination of left and right brained people because it works well and is fairly intuitive.

DAWs force creative compromises. Let's say that you want to make meter changes in a song. For any geeks reading the meter changes mean going from one time signature to another like in the Beatles song We Can Work it Out where it goes from 4/4 to 6/8 and back 4/4. Slowing tempo and speeding it up again is not even possible with some DAWS. This is why at this point the best use of a DAW is for mastering but KISS Keep It Simple Stupid and mix with your ear but if you are a geek that's impossible. 

I've heard music created by geeks and it's sterile and hardly clever. Today's music, well most of today's music is sterile and that is why the shit the Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber is popular but you many Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift songs can you sing or even want to sing?

A DAW in the hands of a geek is a very ugly thing. A DAW in the hand of a right brained person endowed with creativity and commonsense is frustration and and toxic to the creative process.

Geeks just don't get it and they will never get it and that's why DAWS tend to suck and as a consequence so does today's music.

Because this blog is called Mixcraft Sucks I will mention Mixcraft. The biggest disappoint about Mixcraft is that it is intuitive and them power it lacks would not be a bad thing if it were stable. Mixcraft is like a 90 horsepower sports car. You know that a Corvette will blow its doors off but you don't care because it is still fun to drive and may potentially even beat the Corvette on a very tight road course. But your 90 horsepower sports car uses more gas than the Corvette and is extremely unreliable. That's Mixcraft. Put the power and reliability of the Corvette into your underpowered and unreliable British sports car and you will have a real winner. Put the reliability of Reaper into Mixcraft and put the ease of use of Mixcraft into Reaper and you will have a DAW even the most analog oriented musician can live with. BTW, Corvettes are easy to operate, fun to drive and very reliable.

Neither a fixed Mixcraft or an intuitive Reaper will ever be the Cadillac of  DAWs but they can become the DAW of choice for most PC users and don't let the assholes from Acoustica tell you that the reason Mixcraft crashes, freezes and has horrible latency issues is because of a problem with your PC. Install Reaper and you won't have latency issues or crashes. Reaper has a horrible work flow and it's user hostile but it is very stable.

Currently I am testing Adobe Audition and so far it sucks as a recoding platform.

Since most DAW suck and since the companied who sell them are making obscene profits here is a little tool that will make trials last forever. It's called Run As Date.

NirSoft's RunAsDate is a small, free tool that lets you run applications using a different time and date stamp than your Windows system, yet without changing your Windows system time. It can change the date and time of multiple programs running simultaneously, each with different time and date settings. We can think of several reasons for wanting to do that (debugging log files, for example) so in any case, it's a useful capability to have around. However, it's not designed to extend shareware trial periods, which use different means of keeping track of such things.

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