So now what?!?
I am a hobbyist. I don't get nearly enough time to spend on music making. I am a drummer for the most part. The rest of my musical endeavors have been around playing around with other instruments, learning how to use the technology side of the recording process, and having to play the other instruments well enough to be able to do that, which means trying to write some songs, doing my best to cover some songs I like to the point of not being embarrassed to play them for others, and just generally enjoying the process.
Not getting enough time also means that I don't want to spend all of that time either troubleshooting software that is no longer supported or patched, but also that I don't really love that I have to relearn so many things. But in truth, I actually do - in fact, that's a LOT of why I do this.
Being in the IT business for as long as I have been, I KNOW that unpatched software WILL eventually break, so I don't believe that Sonar would be any different. At some point, a Windows Update will kill it.
So I started looking at alternatives. Reaper and Studio One came to the top of the stack and Studio One earned my money. Sonar was to be left behind and Studio One adopted for the future.
Things I REALLY like about Studio One:
- The audio engine is more responsive
- The GUI is more responsive and doesn't FEEL like it's about to fail like Sonar often does
- The GUI is less crowded and has a lot of drag-and-drop capabilities that I like
- It has pre-roll recording. I didn't even know I'd want that, but in practice, it's pretty cool and a fair trade for "sound on sound" recording that Sonar has.
- It has more intuitive and simple Comping than Sonar.
- It has been MUCH easier to work with my external hardware for control - like the Contour Shuttle Pro, the PCR-800, and the BCF-20000 (in HUI mode). It was a lot easier to setup all of these and I seem to have a lot more control over all of them as well.
- I could go on...
Things I think Sonar is better at:
- Drum Maps. Hands Down. There are feature requests on the Studio One site that have this as a very stongly voted for thing, but Sonar is MUCH better at it. There is a limited version of this is Studio One, but it isn't even close. I lacks the ability to hide the notes that are not used in the map, cannot do solo and mute of individual kit parts, and doesn't show drum notes as drum notes - instead showing regular notes. Since I'm a drummer, this function is really important to me.
- Sound on Sound. I'm not sure if it's really "better" per se, but it's what I got used to using. The pre-roll mentioned above definitely has some benefits and I think with use, I could definitely learn to like it better, especially since the sound-on-sound mode can be more labor intensive since it really just records to layers that don't all play back together in the same way as S1.
- Familiarity. Let's face it, it's hard to break away from things you know - even if they are "less good".
So I got used to using Studio One for some experiments, the setup, and a few basic tracks.
And then came BandLab