Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar and Performer: Which Sequencer is Best?
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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

 Cubase
Main

Main  Ableton Live 

Logic 9Logic Pro

 


Digital Performer
Main

 

Pro Tools LE/ M-powered
ptmp

12-24-09

 


 

Part I  Recent Reviews of Sequencers

Review of Pro Tools LE 8

Review of Cubase 5

Review of Sonar Review of Sonar 8.5 Producer (coming soon)

Review of Logic Studio/Pro 9

Review of the Ableton Live 3, 5 and 6

Review of Digital Performer 4 (Mac)

 

 

Part II Older Reviews

Early History of Logic

Review of Logic 5 (PC)

Review of Logic 6.3 (Mac)

Review of Logic Pro 6 (Mac)

Review of Logic Pro 7  (Mac)

Review of Logic Studio/Pro 8

Review of Cubase SX I (PC)

Review Of Cubase SX 3  (Mac and PC)

Review of Sonar 2

Review of Sonar 3

Review of the Ableton Live

 

 

Even Older

Part III Comparisons over Time
1999-2007
            
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 VST5
Screenshot 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 

 

Check out more info and screens for Logic Pro 8

Vintage Notator (precursor to Logic)

 

MOTU Digital Performer 4.12

Get info on Digital Performer 4.5


 Go to the Next Class (Pro Tools LE)

Go to the Previous Class

 

Want to talk about Sequencing software? Benefit from other's experiences!
Join the discussion at Studio-Central! 

 


Sequencers and DAWS Index
Review of Cubase 5
Logic Studio 9
Pro Tools LE 8.1
Logic Studio 8
Review of Sonar
Review of Reason
Reason (1st review)
Ableton Live
Logic Pro 7
Logic Pro 6
Logic Platinum 6
Logic Platinum 5
Digital Performer
GarageBand
Sony's Acid
Vintage Sequencers
Early History of Logic
Mac vs PC for Music?
Project 5
Sequencer City!
Cubase SX (original)
Cubase SX3
Using a Mac Pro as your DAW
Using Notebooks as your DAW
Which Sequencer is Best?
MIDI Time Code and Sync Issues
Custom Bank Select Methods in Logic
Write a Sonar Instrument Definition File
Sequencers Price List
zZounds Sequencer Store

 

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