Alternatives to Vegas?


canum wrote on 4/21/2005, 9:00 AM
It seems like Vegas is just more transparent than Sonar. In that respect it's similar to Pro Tools in the quality of its audio. I realize that this is pretty subjective and if asked to put my finger (or ears) on exactly what the difference is, the best I could come up with is that there seems to be an overall "haze" from Sonar. Since this is subjective, the best thing to do is a comparison and make your own decision based on that.

Rednroll wrote on 4/21/2005, 9:44 AM
This is intedresting because I was just reading a thread yesterday in the Sonar forums, where a user was asking about the Sonar audio engine. He wasn't bad mouthing it but just wanted to try and understand why it sounded different. He had put together a project that was identical in Sonar and Nuendo. He said although the projects where identical the audio coming from Nuendo sounded so much better. He was quesdtioning about the differences in the audio engine as to why it would sound better coming from Nuendo.

Unfortunately he didn't get any legitimate replies. One thing I've learned in the Sonar forums is that the users seem to be very closed minded, and will come to Sonar's defence first and foremost, no matter what point you bring up against the app.. So the only replies he got where users coming to Sonars defense, saying it must be him doing something different, Nuendo's default settings hypes the sound....yeah I heard a bunch of crap, none of it held any water.
H2000 wrote on 4/21/2005, 9:55 AM
Well there has been alot of talk about DAW summing and general audio sound differences. Some people mix ITB, some don't. Every app. probably has different processes and routing, and each might even do the same things slightly differently which can account for differences.

I demoed Samplitude 7 last year and I definately noticed a sound difference. Samplitude sounded a bit more open whereas Vegas sounds tighter. I've seen many Samplitude users saying how the sound is superior and all. I think it's completely subjective. As I said, I like the results that I'm getting and I don't take that for granted.
randygo wrote on 4/21/2005, 10:08 AM

There may be some truth to that, but I am always skeptical of claims that X audio engine sounds better than Y audio engine. It's hard to tell what is actually in the signal path or what the test conditions were. Maybe one is by default set to output at 16-bits whereas the other defaults to 24-bits. Maybe dithering is on. Maybe there is a default track compressor enabled, etc...

Tracktion 2 claims to have a 64-bit floating point audio engine, so by that measure Tracktion should sound best.

There are other factors like how smoothly crossfades and automation curves are added into the equation, I would assume. Maybe the rendering process provides more resolution than live playback. This would be advantageous in saving CPU while working with large numbers of tracks and saving the expensive calculations for non-realtime rendering.

There are a lot of variables!
James Young wrote on 4/21/2005, 11:32 AM
Well, all the built-in plugins (EQ, compressors) are different. The way the Pan works may likely be different. And the gain control itself might even be different. I did a test last year with a bunch of programs just running several tracks completely dry with no plug-ins and no volume/pan changes and the differences were none. So I believe it to be all the other stuff. I also remember someone doing a blind mix test with all of the programs and Samplitude and Vegas were the top 2 - they used the standard plugins that came with each app if I recall. Anyone remember?

I think the problem with the live playback using a different method then the rendered playback is that of course people will complain "It doesn't sound the same" and I remember this being the case a few years ago with Vegas - don't know in what circumstances or if it was dealt with properly.
James Young wrote on 4/21/2005, 11:34 AM
(Oh, they were none because when superimposed and flipped the phase on one, the output was zero)
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/21/2005, 11:43 AM
I have the DAWSumm CD. I don't remember if Sonar was on it but Ill take a look. There are two different issues here. The summing differences between different apps, and realtime vs. render in each app.

There are a LOT of places where things can be different in the mixing engines themselves in my opinion. Whether dither or truncation are used, where the dither happens, what kind of dither, and other stuff I cant think of this early in the morning :)
James Young wrote on 4/21/2005, 11:45 AM
Oh, and also where the comments are placed in the code. I think Vegas was one of the better ones because they had no comments and it all ran smoother/quicker.....
James Young wrote on 4/21/2005, 11:46 AM
just kidding, of course...
canum wrote on 4/21/2005, 12:22 PM
randygo said:
There may be some truth to that, but I am always skeptical of claims that X audio engine sounds better than Y audio engine. It's hard to tell what is actually in the signal path or what the test conditions were. Maybe one is by default set to output at 16-bits whereas the other defaults to 24-bits. Maybe dithering is on. Maybe there is a default track compressor enabled, etc...

I agree 100%. I was also skeptical of such claims until I started using Vegas. In fact the difference was so great that I went to pains to make sure that the playing field was level in terms of the comparison test. Same hardware, same tracks, no processors and every parameter that I could think of set the same way on both Vegas and Sonar and still this noticeable difference. I honestly can't say what you'd chalk such a difference up to... did Sony spend more time and energy developing their core audio software instead of gee-whiz GUI stuff? Maybe so, or do they just have better software engineers working on the audio engine... who can say?

Being new to this forum and not having anywhere near the history with Vegas that most of you have, I can sympathize with your frustration over the Vegas 6 release but having been on the other side of the DAW fence I can honestly say that there's a lot to love about Vegas.

Rednroll wrote on 4/21/2005, 1:55 PM
"I can sympathize with your frustration over the Vegas 6 release but having been on the other side of the DAW fence I can honestly say that there's a lot to love about Vegas."

Thanks Canum, I agree Vegas is a great piece of software, thus why we all have been sticking with it for this long. Wouldn't it be great though if Vegas had Rewire, so we could bridge those fences together though? That's the current Pitfall of Vegas. Imagine, using Vegas and Sonar together, or Vegas and Acid, or Vegas and Project 5, or Vegas and Cubase, or Vegas and Reason or Vegas and <insert your own favorite Rewire compliant specialized function app here>. I don't know, if I speak for the majority of the users here or not when I say this, but somehow I feel if we knew we had a choice of ONE audio feature for Vegas 6, I somehow feel the majority here would all come to an agreement, the it would be Rewire, so we all had the flexibility to link in other apps to overcome most other pitfalls we run into.
Ben  wrote on 4/21/2005, 3:21 PM
Definitely Red, although the only problem is - as far as I understand ReWire - that Vegas couldn't link with the other 'big' hosts such as Cubase, Sonar, etc, unless Vegas was a ReWire slave, which isn't really the way around we'd want it. We'd want to mix in Vegas. I posted this below a while back:

I've been thinking about Rewire and I'm wondering how much it would actually help us out with midi. I'm presuming Vegas would be a Rewire host, as that's the configuration way that'd make the most sense for mixing, but the problem seems to be that all the major sequencers/DAWs are also hosts rather than slaves. And it's these that we'd mainly want to Rewire to Vegas to use their midi capabilities, such as Sonar, Cubase, etc. Acid is a slave, but I for one don't find Acid's midi at all useable or adequate. So, would Rewire implementation actually solve the problem of Vegas' lack of midi?

Rednroll wrote on 4/21/2005, 3:42 PM
I think so. Cakewalk's Project 5 is a very interesting possible solution. I've been having some discussions over in their forums to learn more about the program. I will download the demo to the new version as soon as it's available. P5 v2 is rewire host/slave compatible. Also, I didn't realize Sonar, Cubase and such couldn't be used as a rewire slave for doing midi. I know Reason can be, so that's an option, but I heard it's midi sequencer isn't all that great....I haven't tried it personally to know. The only major problem I found with P5 so far is that it doesn't have midi out capabilities. It's designed to be a VSTi workstation, so all midi sequencing is for VSTi's and DXi's. With that being said, there is a plugin available that a user wrote for the Program, and that's what many of the users are using as a solution, to get midi to an external sound module. The plugin allows you to route the midi data in P5 to a midi channel. You would need to run one instace of the plugin per midi channel. So it is possible, just not natively built into the app. Ron Kuper stated on their forums, that they had considered adding midi out capabilities to P5 v2, but held it back because it wasn't fully functional as far as handling SYS EXC commands and such, but is still being considered for a later release. You know sounds similar to things we hear in these forums.....(ie we looked into adding Rewire to Vegas, but to make it fully functional we would need to implement tempo mapping.) At least in P5 a solution can be obtained through a plugin. Maybe someone can create a plugin here to enable Vegas to be a Rewire host huh?
kbruff wrote on 4/21/2005, 4:45 PM
Here you go...

I like traktion, very easy to use.

Nice midi editor, enough for what I do.
drbam wrote on 4/21/2005, 4:49 PM
Interesting reactions to Traktion. It seems as if people either love it or hate it – not much in-between?

James Young wrote on 4/22/2005, 8:10 AM
I'm not too crazy about it. I like that I got it free and it works for most basic stuff.
canum wrote on 4/22/2005, 10:42 AM
Just thought of something I'd miss a lot if I switched from Vegas... per track pan laws. The other alternative some folks have been considering gives you one global pan law per project.

Ben  wrote on 4/22/2005, 10:52 AM
Things we'd miss...

Plug-in chains - can't seem to find the equivalent of these anywhere else, amazingly. I really rely on these.

Obviously there's loads of things I'd miss, but that one just struck me the other day when I was considering alternatives.


somedolphin wrote on 4/22/2005, 3:32 PM
Tracktion's racks are Plug-in chains but more flexible.
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/22/2005, 6:49 PM
Could rewire even be enough?

The pressure on me right now to start using Alsi is intense. Unreal!

My ONE fear, that I have, the only one they can even remotely beat me at, is that they can save a project with MIDI data. Now I can OMF to my hearts' content, but how do I merge a midi project from one app and audio from vegas into an OMF?

Can I just drop the junk in sonar? Can you copy midi tracks between projects in sonar the way you can PAINLESSLY copy audio tracks between vegas instances?

Im in real trouble here guys ;) I am going to get my ass beaten and soon if I can find a way out of this one.

I am NOT interested in being dictated what software I HAVE to use, just because a couple zillion kids a year coming out of a half ass recording "school" are having it advertised to them

oh I could go on and on, just extremely frustrated. Im back in a beatiful studio I used to work at, and now it is being defiled with PT
randygo wrote on 4/22/2005, 11:42 PM
FYI, for those testing the waters of Sonar 4 I found a usable solution to the problem of the missing scrollwheel zoom feature in Sonar.

I found this shareware utility that will map the scrollwheel to keystrokes.

I configured it to map scrollwheel-up to ctrl-rightarrow and scrollwheel-down to ctrl-leftarrow.

It works perfectly!

I have no affiliation with this shareware company and can't say anything about it other than it works perfectly for this application.

I may be closer to becoming a Sonar 4 user. I need to go dig out my old Cakewalk 3 license from ten years ago so I can qualify for an upgrade price...

PipelineAudio wrote on 4/23/2005, 1:49 AM
awesome! Is there a keyboard thing like that ?
Rednroll wrote on 4/23/2005, 9:32 AM
I tried out the demo of Project 5 yesterday. It did give me some grief at first, just because I'm so use to the Sony apps, and know exactly where to look for things. After I got a bit more comfortable, I rewired P5 to Acid and it was the best thing since sliced bread. Rewire is truly one of the best technologies out there. Now if I could someday see Acide get all the Vegas multitracking and editing features, and the rest of the things I always feel like I'm missing when working in Acid compared to Vegas, I would truly be one happy camper.
Cold wrote on 4/24/2005, 9:15 AM
Hi folks, it has been a while since I've been around here.

I switched to cubase about a year ago for the lion's share of my multitrack work . I did not upgrade vegas last time and will not this time either.
Talking about mix engines, I did a side by side comparison between cubase and vegas and cubase won hands down. The differences were more than subtle. I also found tracking multiple inputs to be much more accurate in the timing across all tracks(no drift in cubase, random drift across multiple inputs in vegas). I can also mix in cubase using my 2 O2R boards (ver2, not o2R96) as a control surface with working motorized faders.

But I absolutely miss the editting. If I am doing a small proj such as vocals over existing music (karaoki type recording) Then I use vegas, but I don't need an upgrade for this. I feel very sad that in retrospect, I made the right decision switching DAW software when I did. Vegas - Ya coulda been a contender.