OT: DAWs for music loops

crocdoc wrote on 11/26/2010, 2:40 PM
I've just started playing around with some trial versions of software for producing simple, non-copyrighted musical scores for videos. Most of these videos are either small productions for work (youtube videos of some of the animals we have on display, linked via our social media pages) or for my own little pet projects (pet in both senses of the word).

As I'm entirely new to DAWs and it's suddenly opened up a whole new world of software to play around with, it aroused my curiosity as to what most of the videographers on this forum use for musical scores.

Edit: I plan to use library loops to put together music, not write my own. In deference to the people who have kindly responded so far, I'll leave my original wording in this post only so their responses make sense.


musicvid10 wrote on 11/26/2010, 3:28 PM
Unfortunately, only two or three people I know of on this forum do their own scoring.
Are you talking about actual scoring, or being able to lay some tracks and loops to back your video?
KeyofG wrote on 11/26/2010, 3:46 PM
Originally posted by musicvid
“ Unfortunately, only two or three people I know of on this forum do their own scoring.
Are you talking about actual scoring, or being able to lay some tracks and loops to back your video? “


Well, I would be one of those two or three. I can help you with this one, but I have the same question as musicvid. Are you actually going to write and record your own music or just place “library cuts” into your projects?
PeterDuke wrote on 11/26/2010, 3:57 PM
You can convert a score (what live musicians read) to MIDI and play it on a synthesizer. Is that what you had in mind? Or are you talking about creating music from loops (recorded music segments)?
Mindmatter wrote on 11/26/2010, 4:11 PM
Being primarily a jazz musician with a freelance cameraman background ( well yep, jazz mostly does not pay the bills, TV and radio jingles, scores and stuff do sometimes, but more often does the cam work these days...)...I can only recommend Cubase. I do all my CD productions, scores etc with it, have done so ever since Cubase on atari in the 90s.
Although, like all DAWs out there, it has its bugs and issues, but as long as your projects are not too plugin- , softsynth- and FX- heavy, it works pretty well, is super intuitive and easier to learn than most others , at least to me. there are also cheaper beginne's versions like cubase studio etc.
On the cheaper side, there's Reaper, which I heard performs well but cannot really tell. There's also Propellerhead's Record 1, digital performer etc.
I'm working an a film score in cubase right now, and the video import and transport is flawless.
I guess it'll depend on your budget and OS platform, there'e a good overview here:

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X, 12x 3.7 GHz
32 GB DDR4-3200 MHz (2x16GB), Dual-Channel
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 8GB GDDR6, HDMI, DP, studio drivers
7.1 (8-chanel) Surround-Sound, Digital Audio, onboard
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB, NVMe M.2 PCIe x4 SSD
be quiet! System Power 9 700W CM, 80+ Bronze, modular
2x WD red 6TB
2x Samsung 2TB SSD

crocdoc wrote on 11/26/2010, 4:13 PM
Oops, my apologies. As I said, I am a newbie at this and consequently have used the wrong terminology. I will not be writing or performing my own music, but using library loops.

edit: Having said that, I do like the option of being able to create very simple music things, using MIDI/piano roll editors, now and then. A tinkling of 'piano' keys or a nod to the Jaws theme, probably not much beyond that as I've never studied music or played an instrument.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/26/2010, 4:39 PM
Ahh, download the Acid trial version. Loops, midi, audio tracks, can save as audio to import into your Vegas projects. Very fun too!
crocdoc wrote on 11/26/2010, 5:01 PM
Thanks for that. I was contemplating Sony Acid. There seems to be a download for Acid Music Studio, rather than for Pro, but given my newbie status the entry level Music Studio makes more sense. I'll give that download a trial.

I've been playing around with the Mixcraft 5 trial and have found it easy and fun, but guess that Acid's interface may make it more seamless moving soundtracks to and from Vegas.
musicvid10 wrote on 11/26/2010, 5:02 PM

ACID Music Studio 8 is on sale for $45 through Dec. 14.
It'll do some pretty amazing stuff. I never saw a need to get Acid Pro.
Laurence wrote on 11/26/2010, 5:36 PM
I really like Pro Tools 9. This is the first one that isn't tied to specific hardware. I'm using it with a Line 6 Toneport.

What I love about Pro Tools is it's control surface integration, and how common it is in recording studios. I use mine with a Command 8 control surface that I got used off eBay. I love having faders, transport controls, knobs for effects sends and panning, etc. I love being able to automate a mix I did grabbing the faders instead of poking around with a mouse on some virtual rubber band graphics. I love watching the motorized faders moving by themselves.

Soundwise, you can go any number of ways. On my music demo page, pretty much every piece was done with a different platform of DAW software:

This one was done with Sonar:


This one was done with Mackie Tracktion:


This one was done with Propellerheads Reason and Record (and some Melodyne Studio harmonies).


This simple two track guitar and piano piece was done with my current Pro Tools setup:


I've done some projects with Sony Acid Pro as well but none of them are up right now.

It really doesn't matter which software you use. Much like video editing, the results will be the same. It's just a matter of the comfort level you experience with the work flow when you are working. Having worked as a sound engineer for many years, I really like having a control surface that resembles the mixer you sit behind in a 1990s studio. That's why I like Pro Tools so much.

If you are not a musician and like to work with loops, Acid can be a compelling choice. If you do a combination of loops and instruments, Acid Pro can work well. If you write out orchestral pieces, a notation program like Sibelius is especially well suited to that approach.
PeterDuke wrote on 11/26/2010, 8:20 PM
Then there is Acid Xpress which is free. The site also has giveaway loops each week.

kkolbo wrote on 11/26/2010, 9:20 PM
Loops can be used in Vegas Pro as well as multi-track recording. I have scored shot subject films and industrial/promotional pieces without leaving Vegas and using Acid loops from the cinematic series as well as others.

I have associates that do their scoring (professional work) with Acid Pro, including midi and sample libs. For high end sample libs which you will not be using, they do tend to use other software and often multiple machines.

If you know Yanni, he lays his beds down in Acid and then lays his extras down with Pro Tools.
Laurence wrote on 11/26/2010, 11:31 PM
>If you know Yanni, he lays his beds down in Acid and then lays his extras down with Pro Tools.

I've always pronounced his name "Yawn-ee" ... right up there with John Tesh and Kitaro in the sleep inducing genre ;-)
alltheseworlds wrote on 11/27/2010, 2:50 AM
I'd stay clear of Traktion (dead product) and Reason (closed system). Otherwise some excellent suggestions in this thread. The only other one I'd add is Reaper. Very powerful, very cheap.
Laurence wrote on 11/27/2010, 6:50 AM
Tracktion was just a wonderful program back when it was just one guy programming away on his own. It was the first program to do track freezing (Logic even copied the name!) I don't like it nearly as much now that is a Mackie product.

Propellerheads Reason (and now their DAW style Record) is quite an amazing system even if it is closed. One price and your in. No need to buy extra expensive plugins. The problem is that some of the plugins it doesn't run are just too important to me. I use a virtual piano called "Pianissimo" that I just love. Low overhead and fantastic sound. I love virtual B3 organs with their drawbars and Leslie speakers that slowly comes up to speed. You can't use these things in Reason.

Reaper is simply fantastic. Very inexpensive, very low footprint on your computer resources, there are both 64 and 32 bit version. Just a wonderful program every which way. Not only that, but you can use it for free with the only limitation being some "buy me" nag screens. For anyone just getting into DAW stuff, Reaper is probably the smartest place to start. Not that it's entry level. it's not. It can be very simple, but it can also be configured to handle the most complex projects. Not only that, but the coding is so efficient that it will handle a more complex project on a less powerful computer probably better than any other program.

For me though, it's all about the hardware control surface and it's integration into the DAW software. Yes you can configure a HUI surface in almost any of these programs, but no the integration isn't as good. With Pro Tools it really feels like you are at an audio console. I can do so many things without even looking at the computer screen. It's not necessary but I just feel so much more comfortable working this way.
Randy Brown wrote on 11/27/2010, 6:56 AM
I use Sonar for composing but like Kkolbo mentioned Vegas Pro handles loops very well.

I've always pronounced his name "Yawn-ee" ... right up there with John Tesh and Kitaro in the sleep inducing genre ;-)
Then I'm guessing you've never heard "Live at the Acropolis".
musicvid10 wrote on 11/27/2010, 8:40 AM
"I've always pronounced his name "Yawn-ee" ... right up there with John Tesh and Kitaro in the sleep inducing genre ;-)"

You know, I have to share another point of view on that.

I had neurosurgery in 1990, and it was Yanni, along with R. Carlos Nakai and a few others that had a more therapeutic effect on me during those first few post-surgical weeks than prescription painkillers. From my personal pov, it still evokes strong emotions. Yanni also seeks out and hires some of the best solo musicians on the planet for his live concerts.

The New Age genre is full of milktoast, but Yanni and Kitaro are not among them (John Tesh, well . . . . . .).
crocdoc wrote on 11/27/2010, 1:16 PM
Thanks for all of the many suggestions. I have started playing around with Sony Music Studio and have just been looking at the Reaper website with plans to download that and try it out as well.