Thứ Hai, 12 tháng 9, 2011

Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Sonar, DP, Live: Which Sequencer is Best?

Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Sonar, DP, Live:
Which Sequencer
is Best?

By Tweak
Deciding on which sequencer is one of the most important decisions when putting together a computer based recording studio.  I will give you as much detail as you can stand.  If you follow "the Hand" at the bottom of the page you'll run through only the newest reviews.  I've listed all of them on this page in case you want more background. 
large product image
The Top Sequencers
 Sonar Main


Part I  Recent Reviews of Sequencers
Review of Sonar Review of Sonar 8.5 Producer (coming soon)

Part II Older Reviews
Review Of Cubase SX 3  (Mac and PC)

Even Older
Part III Comparisons over Time
            Page        1        2         3      

Screenshot Page

Some of these screenshots are large!  Don't click them if you are on a modem.  Some are jpg files at a 19" Monitor hi resolution

Cakewalk and Sonar Graphic User Interfaces

Sonar 8.5 
Screen from Sonar 8.5
Cakewalk Pro Audio
Screenshot from Cakewalk pro Audio9
Sonar 1
Screenshot from Sonar 1.31

Sonar 2.2
Screenshot of Sonar 2.2

Sonar 3
Screen from Sonar 3.0
Sonar 4 and project 5
Screen from Sonar 4.0 rewired to Project 5

As you see  before version 3.0, Cakewalks look is "more basic" than the others.  Yet it has essentially the same features.  One advantage of this approach is that screens draw with far less CPU activity.  This can make the program "snappier" Look at the big difference between Cakewalk and Sonar.  Sonar is a tremendous improvement, and we have high hopes for Sonar 3.0. Review of Sonar3
Vintage Pic--Cakewalk Pro 4 (DOS!)

Steinberg Cubase VST and Cubase SX and Cubase 4 Graphic User Interfaces

Cubase VST5Screenshot from VST 5.0
click to enlarge

Screenshot from Cubase SX I
Cubase has a very rich look indeed.  If we were choosing sequencers on looks alone it would have my vote.  A cool display helps inspire the songwriter, and heck, its just plain fun to watch your creation dance on the screen.  Cubase SX had a major overhaul of the GUI.  As you see it's quite a bit different.  Cubase 4 revised the scheme again. 
Screenshot from Cubase SX3

Cubase 4 AI 
Screenshot of Cubase 4 AI 

Screenshot of Cubase 5.1

Vintage Cubase Atari


Pro Tools 8 LE

PTLE 8.1

Ableton Live V 6


live 6

Logic 1.5 to Logic 8.0 Graphic User Interfaces

Logic 1.5
Logic 1.5 (Atari)
Logic 3.5 PC
Screen from Logic 3.5
Logic 4.7
Screenshot from Logic 4.7.2
Screenshot from Logic 5 PC

Logic 6
Screenshot from Logic 6

Logic 7
Screenshot from Logic 7
Logic takes a middle road approach in terms of graphics.  While extremely artfully designed, the windows have a lighter, less 3d look compared to Cubase.  As with Cakewalk, there is less work redrawing a Logic screen.  The real cool thing about Logic is the ability to configure 90 screens like the one above and select them with a keystroke or two.  Logic 5.0 was a major overhaul of the GUI, most notably to accommodate the new automation system. Logic 8 was a big overhaul to the GUI again.

Logic Pro 8 
Logic Studio-8 

Vintage Notator (precursor to Logic)

MOTU Digital Performer 4.12