For Composers/Musicians: What programs do you use?

JDYMusic

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Hi all

For the musicians and composers out there, what music programs/DAWs do you like to use for writing/recording/editing your game music or sound design projects? I have my favorites (FL Studio and ProTools), but I'm just curious as to what everyone else likes or prefers. Reasons why? Computer setup(s)? Let me know what works best for you for getting that creative bug going! :)
 

MushroomCake28

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I've moved this thread to Useful Development Tools. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.


I use REAPER, and I don't like ProTools (just the general feeling, and the price tag). REAPER is really quick and light to run, and there aren't that many bugs. I've only had like 2 crashes since I start composing with it, and the other bugs are mainly due to my sound libraries.

For my sound libraries, I mostly use EastWest Hollywoods's samples, and occasionally some Miroslav Philharmonic samples that I don't have on EastWest (although I'm working on purchasing the remain instruments that I lack, namely the piano and solo violin, cello and harp).
 

JDYMusic

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Thank you for moving the post! My apologies as I was kind of uncertain as to where I should initially post this.

I've personally done a lot of recording and editing work in ProTools for quite a while, so I'm most familiar there. I also tend to do my scoring work there as well, but I've only just gotten into FL Studio for games because it has a much nicer "electronic music workflow" if that makes sense. Definitely more MIDI-editing friendly. I haven't checked out Reaper, but I will give it a look :)

If I'm doing orchestral stuff, I'm a big fan of the EastWest Hollywood and Symphonic libraries, and I've gotten my hands on a handful of Spitfire libraries. Electronic stuff, the sky is the limit.

Just curious, are you a Windows or Mac user?
 

MushroomCake28

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I'm a Windows user (I'm too much of a nerd since I'm also a coder, but Linux is kinda unfriendly to music softwares and game making softwares).

For the DAWs, it usually comes down to what people are used to. I didn't use ProTools for too long, so I didn't get used to it. I quickly switched to REAPER at first because of the price (the license is ridiculously cheap compared to other DAWs).

As for the libraries, I prefer spending my money there instead of the DAWs since I believe that is way more important than the DAW itself. I'm a huge fan of EW, and I also lvoe spitfire, but they are really costly haha.
 

standardplayer

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Back when I was actively making music, I loved FL Studio. I never understood the hate that it got. It has so much power and control, but I've always seen so many musicians hating on it. It's confusing to get started, but once you get your bearings, it's fantastic.
Add in the ease of using virtually any VSTi plugin, and almost every single control being easily eligible for automation, and I was always happy as a clam with FL
 
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HexMozart88

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StaffPad. It got a fantastic update recently that makes the instruments sound a lot more real.
 

MushroomCake28

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Ah forgot to add, but I also use Musescore for music notation. I used to use Finale and Sibelius, but Musescore seems to be doing great lately and I like supporting open source softwares from times to times.

But when composing for video game, I rarely use music notation softwares and I instead compose directly in the DAW, which is what I suspect most composers do. It just takes too much time splitting the process in 2.
 

Fleas

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I'm an old man so I still use Psycle.
 

TheoAllen

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Wait, do people hate FL Studio? For what reason?
Granted, I probably know why and it wasn't my first choice, but it wasn't bad.

As for me, I used to compose in MIDI for years, and so I used to use Anvil Studio for years before actually moved to FL Studio (although, I kind of retired from composing). For VSTi, reFX Nexus is good. It is mostly for modern synth than orchestra sample though.
 

Lars Ulrika

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I use the latest version of Fruity Loops coupled with Kontakt 5 elements and compatible sound banks.
 

standardplayer

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FL Studio carried a stigma from it's earlier years, when it was less of a DAW and more of a simple beat-making interface. A lot of it had to do with presentation. For example, they wound up choosing to push the name FL Studio instead of just the original Fruity Loops, largely because one sounds like real music software and the other sounds like a joke/cereal.
It does have some high-end professional features missing, and it can get a little RAM hungry, but I never had problems with it, even on an awful computer with very little RAM and a lousy standard sound card.

EDIT: I also just though of another reason why FL got a lot of hate. Like RM software, it had a LOT of casuals and amateurs, which gave it a bad name because of what media was attributed to it.
For RM this happens because of the relatively low cost of getting started, and the ease of visible publishing.
For FL, it happened because that program was easier to crack than an egg, which meant virtually anyone could get access to it, whether they were seriously pursuing music or not. As a result, a lot of 'RTP' tracks were made with it, using built in samples and cookie-cutter dance beats.
 
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JDYMusic

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Ah forgot to add, but I also use Musescore for music notation. I used to use Finale and Sibelius, but Musescore seems to be doing great lately and I like supporting open source softwares from times to times.

But when composing for video game, I rarely use music notation softwares and I instead compose directly in the DAW, which is what I suspect most composers do. It just takes too much time splitting the process in 2.
I hear that, Mushroom. I tend to be too meticulous when it comes to writing in notation software for games (I still use Sibelius pretty heavily), so I just focus on the moment and plink away at whatever starts "speaking to me" tonally first.
 

MushroomCake28

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@JDYMusic Yeah same for me. Although I'll still use Musescore/Finale/Sibelius when I write a more serious track, most of my game tracks are done directly in the DAW. I mean, I won't have my music professor look at those tracks haha.
 

Akaha

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(My first post on this forums, so welcome everyone (^。^ )

I also use MuseScore, Reaper, and EW libraries. In the distant past I've been using FL Studio, then for about a year switched to Pro Tools, but didn't like it, and finally decided on reaper, since it's so lightweight (important if you use EW libraries for all your tracks...)

Personally I like to compose in muse score first, then when I'm happy with initial arrangement export midi, import it in DAW, and start working on the exact instruments, articulations, and add finishing touches. When I work directly in DAW for some reason I'm not able to look at harmony clearly, and end up with very simple compositions.
 

ozubon

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My DAW of choice is Reason. It has a very analog approach to music, and the mixer and other racks are usually emulated real hardware. The synths that are included are very versatile and you can combine them in all sorts of wacky ways I haven't seen in any other DAW. I find it a lot more straight forward to use than Logic yet also more ergonomic. The downside is the price though.


For converting I use Fre:ac because open source freeware rocks. I recommend that to everyone, it's so easy to find essential software with pricewalls and limited trial versions. Converting sound files should be for everyone and that's why open source stuff like this is so good.
 

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