So here's the deal. I am in the works of turning my room, and more importantly my laptop, into a music workstation. Currently, I am running Reason 3.0, and I have a MIDI contoller keyboard on the way. The next thing I want to obtain is a DAW and an audio interface for recording guitars, basses, and vocals. My intended workflow is to record Live intuments (Guitar, bass, samples, vocals) with the interface and the DAW, and use Reason as my keyboards and drums, as well as a production tool. So, with some reasearch, I've come to the assumption that my final result will be produced in the DAW because importing audio longer than 1-3 sec. efficiently into Reason requires Recycle, which is another 300 dollars, and another road for another time. So, which DAW would work better with Reason? I've read that Cubase works really well with MIDI and digital music, and I would love that, it would put the MIDI controller to more use, but on the other hand, Pro Tools seems to be an industry standard, and I could take a song into a studio or space to record drums. I'm a big fan of electronic and industrial music, so digital is deffinitley a pro. But at the same time, I want alot of flexibility to maybe take the program to a situation of (for example), a live recording, or recording drums for a more straight ahead song. Or the flexibilty of recording (through a mic) an amplifier, or using preamps and rack gear in the future. So UG, help me decide which will work better, Cubase or Protools? Which is a more versatile DAW? And what version and Audio interface will go along with that the best? I want my studio to evolve as I evolve as a musician.

Thanks in advance!

Member Q-Tron of the EHX Users Guild
this should probably be in the recording forum?

anyway, in terms of sound quality all DAWs are pretty much equal. its just what youre more comfortable using. cubase is a mother to use though, and a lot of people just use protools because its common though there is a movement of sorts and people are starting to abandon it.
im a logic man myself(flexibility is absolutely in-fucking-sane)
but try out some demos beforehand and see what clicks with you. if it came down to it, given your situation id probably get an mbox/protools setup and call it a day though.
It's a tough one there. I work as a studio engineer, primarily recording 'real' instruments (guitars, bass, drums, pianos, strings etc). And I couldn't imagine trying to do that sort of thing efficiently with Cubase, the audio editing and tracking abilities of cubase although effective, are rather clunky and difficult to use. Whereas ProTools has easily the best user interface out there for recording, editing and mixing audio. However, MIDI in protools is awful. So as you can see it's a bit of a trade-off.

However, with your copy of reason, you'd be able to run your reason outputs, dirtectly into protools and record them as audio data since even ProTools LE supports ReWire which links the two programs together and from memory that comes standard with the LE Factory bundle. So with Reason and Tools running together you'd have a pretty damn complete setup and I've worked with a lot of electro artists who use just that.

Another option worth looking at is Logic Pro. Logic is an awesome composition tool. The MIDI in it is excellent and the audio recording/editing, although tricky at times is pretty damn solid too. The other advantage of Logic for a home user is that you can use just about any brand of audio interface with it, where ProTools only works with digidesign hardware.

Hope this was a help

Thanks for the help.
My current siuation is that Digital is much more affordable, and Reason way my way around not being able to play drums or having a sufficient keyboard rig. As I get some more money in time (and possibly a group of musicians), I would like to gravitate to some more use of recording real instrumets with external harware (preamps, DI's...), and the digital would just be one aspect of the music, and I would rely less on it. I wouldn't mind having to upgrade the current interface, I just wouldn't want to switch DAWs after I've settled with one. The reason why Cubase seemed appealing was the fact it had all its own synths as well, but I guess Reason takes care of that.
3 questions:
I'm running Windows Vista, so isn't Logic MAC only?
The Protools LE Package, is that the one that comes with an MBox? How much? I wouldn't really like to spend more than $500 CAD, unless theres nothing in that pricerange. How's the Audio Interface?
You said Protools is bad for MIDI, but isn't there expansions that would open up more MIDI capabilities?

PS- I didn't know there were any professional studio engineers on UG. I want to work in that job field when I get out of school.

Member Q-Tron of the EHX Users Guild
Ahh, Vista may present some issues. I'm not a huge Logic user (only have express myself) and I use macs anyway but I think version 7 and onwards are mac only, so scrub logic.

Cubase and ProTools should both have Vista compatible versions by now but the stability, or lack of, in vista may present an issue when you're hammering some serious plugins through your system since Vista is pretty heavy on processor power and ram just to run. That's where ProTools will come in handy. Tools reads all audio straight off the hard drive, so it's much easier on RAM than Cubase, but it does still need at least 1GB of RAM to run.

The LE package does come with an MBox II (or MBox mini, but they suck in my opinion). The MBox is a very nice little piece of hardware, USB powered with 2 input channels for XLR or DI as well as s S/PDIF input and MIDI in and out for outboard units. The Preamps are decent (go to www.myspace.com/stealingglimpses to hear my band, all of those demos were recorded using my MBOX 2 using just my MacBook 2GHz and some sexy microphones) It's piss-easy to use and obviously the ProTools program itself as Ive said is simple to use too. My MBox 2 setup cos me $770 Aussie dollars, dunno what that'd be in canadian.

As for the MIDI, there are a lot of MIDI add ons made by other companies that enhance the ability to use MIDI in protools and having Reason already sets you up well because you can just run reason straight into tools with ReWire. There are a range of others but I haven't used many and ReWire seems to be the best.

So basically you'd wanna make sure you have a nice beefy machine if you're doing serious audio work with vista, Cubase is gonna use more system resources but will offer you more MIDI options straight off without needing to link programs. As for the synths that cubase comes with, they're ok, but there are nicer ones around if you know how to find cracked versions