Upgrading The DAW
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
Years and years ago, when I first came back to Malaysia, I got hired as music director at a major post-production studio, and I was first introduced to the DAW software they were using called Nuendo by Steinberg. Prior to that, when I was in the US, I was using Cakewalk Sonar for a long time and at first, I was a little apprehensive to learn to use a new DAW, since I was so used to the workflow of Sonar, which at that time, was quite innovative. For example, it was able to work with Acid loops way back in 1999. However, I digress.
The studio used Nuendo because it was a jack of all trades and a master of those trades too. It was a superb DAW for working with sound design for commercial, TV and movies, and it also had the ability to be a full-fledged music composition and production tool. In time, I got used to using Nuendo and realized just how powerful it was, and through the sheer number of music projects I produced, I got reasonably adept at using it. Some years later, the studio decided use Steinberg's Cubase DAW (a more music-centric Nuendo), and we kept on working with that.
After my time as Music Director, I moved on and became a corporate suit, in a totally different industry, but I still did personal music projects out of my home studio, using none other than Cubase. So it kind of made sense that once I decided to get back into composing full-time, I would fall back on Cubase once again. I guess I'm just too used to working with it to the point that I don't really want to check out other DAWs. But I think this brings about a point that is quite important here. I believe that once you find a DAW that works well for you, you should just run with it. Too often, people keep asking which is better and keep trying one DAW over the other, and all this takes up too much time; time that should be used actually make music. Unless the DAW you're using doesn't jive with your music workflow, I don't think there is a need to change. And I think all the DAWs out there are pretty darn good at what they do anyway, and they can all produce awesome sounding results, they just go about it in different ways. Check out this link showing the different DAWs and the famous music-makers that use them.
I just upgraded my version of Cubase Pro from 9.5 to 10, and I kept the old version on my computer just in case version 10 had problems running on my computer. I usually keep the previous generation of Cubase Pro whenever I install the latest version. I think that's a pretty good way to ensure your ongoing projects are not interrupted.
So for those of you starting out in music production who are contemplating which DAW to get, do try some of them, of course, but choose one soon and get into the business of making music, because it isn't the DAW that is really responsible for the music, it's you.