Need DAW recommendation for Macbook

KierONeil Member Posts: 6 Member
edited September 2022 in Tech Talks

I'm getting back into music after a couple years and want to create new music. I have NI Kontrol A49, Maschine Mk3, and Traktor S4. Almost all my hardware is NI.

If money were no object I would get Ableton Live, but since it is I'm looking for a DAW that works well with the NI hardware I have.

The options I see are Reaper (free for 60 days, then $60; I know they're not really strict about using it after eval period) and Logic Pro ($200). I don't mind spending the $200 if Logic has a lot more features and/or is easier to use, especially for a beginner, but don't want to pay that if the free DAW is better.

I appreciate any help you can give.

I hear this is important: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7820HQ CPU @ 2.90GHz


  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 220 Advisor

    I dont know what extras you get with Reaper as not familiar with it but Logic is a steal for its price. You get a whole heap of synths, loops etc etc. Maybe might pay to check that out if its important to you.

  • KierONeil
    KierONeil Member Posts: 6 Member

    Thanks for the input. I just ordered NI Komplete 14 Standard so for me the question is whether the Logic extras give something significantly more than all the NI plug-ins I have. Now I know what to research though.

  • Jojo123
    Jojo123 Member Posts: 220 Advisor

    I have K13 UCE and there are things in Logic that are not covered in this NI product. It all depends on what your needs are and focus is tho, so yes definitely check it out as it is an individual thing.

    All the best with what you decide..

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 586 Pro
    edited October 2022

    i use Reaper,

    it is definately a Daw that is value for money..

    there is a dedicated channel for learning many of the functions that Reaper has....(search on youtube reaper mania covers basics as well as advanced topics)

    There is functionality that has been added by user scripts for many other diverse functions... basically if you can think of something in another Daw.. if its not implemented natively in Reaper... the community of scripters have probably made a script that does it.

    Custom Actions in reaper allow you to chain actions together... to automate a series of button presses, making complex or tedious tasks faster!!

    midi controller intergration is very powerful with Realearn by helgoboss...

    Reaper is as simple or as complex as you decide to make it!!

    heres a template i have made.. working with 256 looped tracks, the template im still working on..

    using my 2 maschine Jams i control most aspects of it... with VU feedback on the Jam touchstrip and routing from Traktor all set in place...although it is not demonstrated in this video...

    this was just a demo of Realearn& a simple custom action +snapshot to bring tracks into view ... also in this Video im using cableguys Shaperbox briefly... which is an excellent plugin!!

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 586 Pro
    edited October 2022

    just to give context to what some Reaper scripters have produced...

  • Knth
    Knth Member Posts: 16 Member

    Might be against the rules, but you can use free versions of DAW for multiple periods, just register thru new email and enjoy Ableton/Reaper.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,722 mod
    edited September 2022

    In this day and age, I think you really can't go wrong with any major DAW.

    Reaper: Best value for money, a million features, the most amount of customization & updates. Devs seem to listen to their audience's feedback. The cons are it's GUI looks awful (for many users, but somewhat subjective) and with a millions options comes a steeper learning curve.... I wouldn't say it's very beginner friendly, it tends to be used by power users, experienced folks, audio engineers, etc... But if I was starting today Reaper would be my pick.

    If you're into live performance then it's either Ableton Live or Bitwig.

    Logic is pretty feature packed as well and easy to learn, it's UX fits well with the Apple way of doing this so if you're a long-time mac user things will be sort of familiar... The disadvantage IMO is you then get stuck on Apple and if you ever want to switch to Windows for any reason you're in for a world of pain.

    Studio One also seems to be rather intuitive to learn.

    Something to consider is how often the DAW gets a major updates and how much you pay for them, Cubase for example has a horrible update policy IMO.

  • Ronny Bangsund
    Ronny Bangsund Member Posts: 71 Helper

    Reaper comes with a surprising amount of functionality for its price, but its plugin selection is a bit bare. It's the cheapest budget option, unless you get any of the others for free.

    Logic has a lot of features not found in every DAW, and a decent amount of nice plugins included. One size fits all, no different editions to worry about and a fairly low price for a pro DAW. Mainstage is a decent companion app if you play any live, or just want a plugin host for guitar.

    Ableton Live has different editions, with the Lite edition being included with roughly nine million apps, pieces of audio hardware, cereal boxes etc. The Suite edition has roughly as much stuff as Logic, and its two different interfaces (classic and loop-based) may appeal to some. Should you not have a copy of Lite, against all odds, I'm sure I have some spares. Ableton are also cool with licence transfers, just like NI, so finding an old used Suite is possible.

    On updates:

    I dunno what it's like for Reaper, but Logic gets big updates far apart, and small bugfixes now and then. It's also pay once and never worry about upgrade costs again. Ableton Live has frequent betas and somewhat regular updates of the stable version, with each major version being supported for a number of years.

  • Ronald_Gill
    Ronald_Gill Member Posts: 3 Member

    Get Abelton live, We have similar hardware. I paid $75 a few years ago for it. I think it might be cheaper on Black Friday. So many deals coming up, so keep your eyes open. Best of luck!

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