Hardware fun vs. DAW productivity


Disagree. With every great artist there is a great producer in the background. These great tracks didnt mysteriously just appear on vinyl out of FUN. They came from hard work. Tony Visconti said every artist he worked with hated the studio. And he worked with sone of the best.




Episode 5 again? :thinking:


i´m totally on the hardware fun side (“fun” is relative, are cables fun?)

didn´t use any DAW for years now.
sometimes i hit “record” on my 2-track recorder.
it´s endlessly more complicated to get a good 2 track with hardware
compared to a DAW. but that approach teaches great lessons.

i´ll definitley get an audio interface soon again and use my ableton to
arrange just a little bit here and there - at least i hope i can resist to use all that other stuff these DAWs offer


You will be in good company. It has changed the mindset of numerous Amateur wannabee Professional musicians. Its about taking yourself seriously really. Dont want to sound like Jordan Peterson but i agree with him in many parts.


Before DAWs people used professional recording studios to make commercial level tracks
Now people use DAWs or professional recording studios for the same results


You do understand there a difference between a producer and an engineer right? Producing a song is not just ‘work’, it is a creative process, and you cant tell me creativity had to be achieved in some ‘right way’.


what some people say to slack, or end up saying is, “I am just having fun”, when they have realized they have put a lot of time and effort into something and secretly wished they could have a bit more into it emotionally than just a toss.
Or when the “fun” wears off, or when they like to believe they are getting enjoyment out of something, but actually it’s become a hassle. Like they could have pushed themselves beyond their own limits or had something like recordings, tangible results.
I think an important point made is that there is a line we cross, after some amount of time investment where we consciously are committed to a work, despite it sometimes being repetitous, tedious, even mundane at times. At the end of the day, we are focused on forward progress, towards some kind of goal, short and long-term.
It becomes hard work. But we enjoy it. We are not in it for transient emotional states. We do it because we have to. This is the paradox, like the caged bird.


It was the little things in Cubase that just annoyed me (some of which may have changed since I last used Cubase).

For example, you open up Cubase and the first thing that pops up is a box asking you where you want to save your project and I am thinking I haven’t done shit yet and you are asking me where I want to save it!

Another example is selecting a VSTi is a two part process, i.e. first you select this empty VST container and then, from within that box, you select the VSTi from a drop down menu.

Cubase has a lot of pop-up windows. There are a lot less in Live, where you can do most things direct in the main windows (Session or Arrangement) plus I found the huge transport bar in Cubase to be totally unnecessary (and yes I know you can hide it).

I know that the Cubase interface is very customisable but out of the box I just liked live, particularly their 2D style GUI. Also, Cubase didn’t have an equivalent to Live’s Session view, though I think there is something within Cubase now which gives similar capabilities.

Strangely enough it was Steinberg’s Sequel which led me to finding Live. I much preferred the arrangement options in Sequel to Cubase. However, (at that time) Sequel was a very closed program (e.g. could not host VSTs) so I switched to Live.

I am aware though that some people really gel with Cubase and of course Cubase does have greater MIDI capabilities if you need them. Also, even though I have Live 9 Suite, the only stock instrument I occasionally use is Operator.


I’ve listened to ‘amateur’, that is, made for love recordings that were more accomplished than ‘professional’ recordings that were made for the money. I reject the binary (and the underlying philosophy) that it’s one way or the other because most of my favorite music is made with a creative combination of both.


I’m a professional at having fun… :smile:


I’m having fun at professionals.


Mind blown. :exploding_head:


@Unifono to your initial post, yes I’m in and have been in the same place for quite some time. I do all kinds of cool things with hardware, except finishing a song. I move to the DAW, do the same cool things, finish songs, people give me great feedback, but for some reason, I can’t stay with that flow.

A large part of it has to do with crowd perception for me, for example, some random noise promoter says he can put me on a bill…but I can’t bring a laptop because the scene is anti (let’s not go into how Merzbow used a laptop for quite some time). Another synth shop that I’ve been a patron of for a while is doing shows, and the only rule…no laptops (iPads are OK). But if I record my stuff and drop it into an Octatrack with heat at the end and press play, it’s all good -_-

Another part for me is that tactile sensation that I miss a lot when working with a mouse and keyboard. I’ve tried Push 2 and an array of other controllers and I still haven’t found the right thing. At this point, I’ve been searching for something that is rather open (that I can program myself with a reasonable language, preferably max/msp). Maybe monome grid + faderfox knobs idk, maybe grid + faderfox knobs and norns so I can computer icognito at anti computer shows?

I guess in summary…I feel you


i´m a professional at having no fun - haha, just jokin´(no, i´m serious)


I come home in the morning light
My mother says when is OB gonna work right?
Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones
And Nauts they wanna have fun
Oh Nauts just want to have fun


I kinda assumed most of us here use a combination of hardware and DAW. I have a bunch of tunes that go back and forth several times before I feel like the tune is ‘finished.’ For some dopey reason, I never use hardware and DAW at the same time, sync’d up. Maybe one of these days I will.
I never use sample packs or presets. The main reason is because when I’m sitting in front of thousands of great sounding samples and presets I spend the whole day just trying to commit to which sound I want to use, then second guess whether it’s the ‘right’ sound after all or if it’s too over used to begin with. Just a personal quirk of mine. So I typically start by messing with ideas to sample into my OT. Once I have ideas I like it’ll eventually go into the DAW for editing and mixing. Other times I start in the DAW and transfer everything to the OT to mess with then back to the DAW. Or a bunch of other combos. Once I find a workflow that is efficient, I tend to disrupt that workflow by trying things a different way. It forces me to look at things from different angles which can lead to some nice discoveries.


Thats an intelligent and pragmatic thought.
Too add. Whilst people do laugh at the thought of being taken seriously. If you don’t,then why should anyone else? Being a Professional isn’t just about the music creation. It encompasses every avenue of your life. If your not commited 100% then yes i can see why its all about FUN.


hardware fun vs

I like arranging in my daw, I think it is fun, easy and very rewarding. On the opposite Arranging with hardware is a pain in the.

Playing great soundbanks with a simple midi keyboard can also be fun (my NI rickenbaker bass, or XLN Addictive drums), and the sound is breathtaking.


My main productivity advice would be to choose a setup as simple as you can and force you to stick with it for a while, trying to get the most out of it.

Be it just ableton and a midi controller, or a pair of Elektron.
The problem with all that stuf is that we spend more time to learn how to get things done than getting things done!