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Suggestions for best DAW for Kronos
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deanbowlus



Joined: 24 Dec 2020
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:56 am    Post subject: Suggestions for best DAW for Kronos Reply with quote

Had problems with my 61 key Titanium crashing
and upgraded to the 70 something key Kronos. Thing
will throw out your back if you try to lift it.

One thing I have done since is to get a UPS power supply to help eliminate power spikes. Man I am in love with this machine and I have a great workflow going.

What is the best DAW program to hook the Kronos USB port into for backup files and computer editing? What do you recommend as the best software?

Keep in mind I am composing whole songs with a lot of audio files entirely in to the Kronos as my starting point.

dB
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KK
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember a Kronos is actually a computer, so for file transfers and backups I connect it in FTP with the PC. For the rest, there is no best DAW, simply lots of them, so everyone might prefer a particular one for their given needs.

I don't like complicated software as it kills inspiration, so I prefer simpler programs. There are also some interesting free ones as well like Cakewalk, etc.
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kronoSphere
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we accept to pay the price for a Kronos, we have to accept also the idea to pay the price for a DAW. The Kronos is not a toy and a real DAW is not a toy.

Some like Cubase, or Logic they find them very easy to use. I have tried both of them and I find them absolutely not intuitive.
And one day I have discovered Samplitude, and for me : what a dream it was !
Now I use its great brother Sequoia, it is even more than a dream to use.
You can automate so easily absolutely all the parameters you can imagine for a tracks and even make automation for all the parameters of each VST effect, or VSTi added.
For exemple if you use a VST reverb on a track, you can automate curves for each of all the parameters of this reverb. Amazing.
At the start I was thinking that all of that was superflu. I was wrong.

The sync is perfect even with many many audio tracks, VST effects,and VSTi.

And ouf ! I have no need anymore of the Korg driver to link the Kronos to Sequoia
Their relationship and the sync is superb with a simple audio driver.

Protools is certainly good also, but Protools lives a little to much on its past reputation, and is very closed to itself.
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ronnfigg
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check Out Studio One.
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nitecrawler
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ronnfigg wrote:
Check Out Studio One.


Very good as well as cockos reaper.
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ChrisDuncan
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Joined: 17 May 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for best DAW for Kronos Reply with quote

deanbowlus wrote:

Keep in mind I am composing whole songs with a lot of audio files entirely in to the Kronos as my starting point.
dB

That's certainly one good workflow, and might be more intuitive if you're not familiar with DAWs.

I've been using them since the 90s and am comfortable with computers, so for me the DAW is the center of the universe for recording. I play the Kronos and record the MIDI. When I'm ready to render, I'll point the MIDI back to the Kronos, and record the Kronos audio output.

So, for my workflow, the Kronos is just another instrument, like guitar, bass, vocals, etc. I use EZ / Superior Drummer in Cubase to lay down drums, record guitars, vocals, keys, etc. into their own tracks, do any MIDI editing in Cubase, and ultimately mix there.

The Kronos is very powerful as a workstation and you can absolutely do entire songs without ever leaving it. It will nonetheless never be as powerful as a native DAW, just as most VST plugins in a DAW can't come close to the Kronos. I try to use the best tool in each class of things I need to do.

As for which DAW, honestly they all do very much the same thing. As mentioned, Cakewalk by Bandlab is free, I think you can get a free version of Reaper, and if you own any Steinberg products they come with a free version of Cubase. Same with Presonus hardware and its DAW.

If you're not experienced with DAWs, I'd recommend picking one of the free options and get comfortable with all the basic concepts and workflow. Once you've used one for a while, you'll get a feel for what features you do and don't care about, at which point you can shop around to see if upgrading to paid versions is worthwhile to you.
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Chris Duncan
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Track 7
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Joined: 22 Sep 2016
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:46 am    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for best DAW for Kronos Reply with quote

ChrisDuncan wrote:
The Kronos is very powerful as a workstation and you can absolutely do entire songs without ever leaving it. It will nonetheless never be as powerful as a native DAW, just as most VST plugins in a DAW can't come close to the Kronos. I try to use the best tool in each class of things I need to do.

Hi, Chris, can you elaborate on this? How is the Kronos better than VSTs in a DAW? Do you mean effects plugins? Or instrument sounds? Wouldn't that depend on which libraries? Just curious, as I have not used DAW software in nearly 20 years and never with VST instruments. Thanks.
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kronosflyby



Joined: 10 Jan 2021
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its clear to me Smile

The best "daw" for the Kronos is ... "Kronos Vitamins"

https://www.youtube.com/user/superpno74

Wink


Daws are too complicated and too generic they waste your time, money, and inspiration.

Arrow
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ChrisDuncan
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Joined: 17 May 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for best DAW for Kronos Reply with quote

Track 7 wrote:

Hi, Chris, can you elaborate on this? How is the Kronos better than VSTs in a DAW? Do you mean effects plugins? Or instrument sounds? Wouldn't that depend on which libraries? Just curious, as I have not used DAW software in nearly 20 years and never with VST instruments. Thanks.

I was really just making a broad generalization about the fact that the Kronos is a dedicated keyboard that does its best to be a keyboard, e.g. the control surface, Karma, lots of sound engines all together, zero latency, etc. I see it in aggregate, the sum of all its parts.

You can certainly find a VST plugin to do most anything, and many are excellent. However, I don't believe there's a VST plugin that can do "Complete Kronos." You'd have to have lots and lots of plugins. Also, playing a keyboard into a VST introduces a latency that, depending on the plugin, is often distracting to me and makes it more difficult to play. Some aren't bothered by this at all, of course, so that will vary.

When you look at things like the Kontakt libraries, there's a staggering amount of high quality sounds available in sample libraries, and many people just buy an inexpensive keyboard controller and let the computer do the talking.

In fact, you don't even need a controller at all. Before I started working on my keyboard chops (I'm a gutiarist), I used to just write MIDI sequences in the DAW and point them to a VST. However, even with my limited abilities, there's something organic and natural to me about flipping the power switch on the Kronos, bringing up a patch, and just playing - with an instrument that is immediately responsive, like my guitars, i.e. no latency.

I have a nice weighted 88 key controller and tried the VST only route for quite some time. For the price of a Kronos I could have bought a heckuva lot of plugins, but the experience is greater than the sum of its parts, and to me the controller -> VST approach just doesn't compare.

And of course, as with all such things, the quality of a musical experience is highly subjective. So, I personally think that the controller -> VST approach doesn't come close to just playing the Kronos, but there are others who feel the exact opposite way. And I suspect we're both right.
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Studio: Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU | CMC AI, QC
Keyboard Station: Kronos 2 88 | Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | UR 22 | CMC TP
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Chris Duncan
Atlanta, GA, USA, Earth
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ChrisDuncan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kronosflyby wrote:
Its clear to me Smile

The best "daw" for the Kronos is ... "Kronos Vitamins"

https://www.youtube.com/user/superpno74

Wink


Daws are too complicated and too generic they waste your time, money, and inspiration.

Arrow


Dude, that's really nice work!
(I've paid the bills as a developer for 30 years).

While we obviously see the DAW thing differently, it's always cool to see tools like this that are done so well. That was clearly a lot of effort!
_________________
Studio: Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU | CMC AI, QC
Keyboard Station: Kronos 2 88 | Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | UR 22 | CMC TP
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Chris Duncan
Atlanta, GA, USA, Earth
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Track 7
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Joined: 22 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, many thanks for your further thoughts. I too love the immediacy of the Kronos. For the most part it usually feels like an instrument to me and not just gear. However, I'm slowly but surely becoming more curious about the DAW-VST option.

When I used Cubase 5 about 20 years ago, it seemed simple enough, so I'm not sure why I dumped it. Never had any latency issues. But I see how modern plugins can strain CPU, so I'll keep that in mind if/when I experiment.

I'm currently thinking of ordering a cheap Presonus interface and auditioning the included Studio One Artist software. I'd get a cheap controller too just to test the full experience. As I noted in another thread or two, I've been feeling a bit confined inside the garden walls of the Kronos. We'll see how long before I get overwhelmed and crawl back.
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ChrisDuncan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Track 7 wrote:
Chris, many thanks for your further thoughts. I too love the immediacy of the Kronos. For the most part it usually feels like an instrument to me and not just gear. However, I'm slowly but surely becoming more curious about the DAW-VST option.

When I used Cubase 5 about 20 years ago, it seemed simple enough, so I'm not sure why I dumped it. Never had any latency issues. But I see how modern plugins can strain CPU, so I'll keep that in mind if/when I experiment.

I'm currently thinking of ordering a cheap Presonus interface and auditioning the included Studio One Artist software. I'd get a cheap controller too just to test the full experience. As I noted in another thread or two, I've been feeling a bit confined inside the garden walls of the Kronos. We'll see how long before I get overwhelmed and crawl back.


If I can make a couple of suggestions...

Steinberg has a UR22 2 channel interface. I've used them for years and they're rock solid, and they come with a "lite" version of Cubase that still has way more horsepower than you're likely to need. I recommend Cubase over the Presonus option only because Cubase has been at it a lot longer and thus is more feature rich. The UR22 is around $150 on Amazon.

Apologies if you already understand this, but just to be clear the VST thing isn't an either / or with the Kronos. You can point the Kronos to your PC and use it as a MIDI controller to drive VSTs, certainly. However, that's something I would do only if I couldn't find the sound I wanted in the Kronos itself.

You can play the Kronos and record the raw audio to the DAW, and / or just record the MIDI. If you do the latter, you can then go in and edit the MIDI in Cubase (much more feature rich than the Kronos sequencer). When you're done, send the MIDI back to the Kronos, record the audio coming out of the Kronos to an audio track in Cubase.

Of course, if you record the MIDI, you could then point it to a VST for playback as well. That said, as I mentioned earlier, I record the sounds from the Kronos unless it just doesn't get it done, and only then go looking for VSTs. For example, sometimes I'll use Vienna for orchestration. For the most part, however, I like the Kronos pianos, organs, etc. so that's what I record.

I've been with Cubase since 6. It's come a long way since then.
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Studio: Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU | CMC AI, QC
Keyboard Station: Kronos 2 88 | Cubase 10.5 | Windows 10 | UR 22 | CMC TP
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Chris Duncan
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Track 7
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, Chris. Very helpful.

I started on Cubase before it was Cubase. This was in 1988, when it was called Steinberg Pro 24 (for Atari). When Cubase came around, I think circa 1990, I bought it and used it extensively for a few years, also on Atari. This was pre-audio, so it was just a great MIDI sequencer then.

After that, I dropped out of music for a while, and when I got back in, Cubase 5 was current and had audio tracks. I never used VST instruments or plugins. I just hooked up a Kurzweil PC3 to Cubase for all my synth sounds and effects. I also added live guitars and bass as audio.

So my first thought was to go back to Cubase. However, after much reading and hemming and hawing, I am dissuaded by Cubase's still cumbersome licensing procedures (hardware dongle) and lack of support (its forum will not let me join and says I'm banned for 100 years or something ridiculous).

I also determined that Cubase Elements lacks a couple of key features I would need, such as tempo and time signature tracks, so I think I'd need to start with Artist just to stick a toe in.

So in shopping around, I became more curious about Studio One, as well as Presonus Sphere, which for $15 a month would give me access to every offering from Presonus, either for one or two trial months or ongoing. Or, if after auditioning several plugins I wanted to commit to just a couple, I could cancel the monthly subscription and buy the couple of libraries I'd really need.

Anyway, not sure what I'll do yet. Analysis paralysis tends to send me back to the Kronos, so I'm inclined to choose something and try it. Cakewalk is free. Might try that first just to see whether I even want to "go there" with any DAW at all.

The possibilities are enticing, especially the scoring software. I'm still writing everything out by hand and wondering when I'm ever going to join the new millennium. A free (bundled) Studio One Artist + $150 Presonus Notion would be a much cheaper experiment than Cubase + Dorico. Not ruling out the latter for the long run. Just trying to keep the experiment affordable in case it just doesn't work out, in which case my Kronos and pencil would be awaiting my return. Embarassed
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ChrisDuncan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Track 7 wrote:
Thanks again, Chris. Very helpful.

Back in the 90s when you were Cubase / MIDI, I was Cakewalk / MIDI. I remember the mid 90s when Cakewalk (before the name change to Sonar) added audio recording. It was a difficult period. Hardware was much more bitchy (remember having to use SCSI just to get the performance?) and it was a lot harder to keep everything stable.

I stuck with Cakewalk through several versions as they cut their teeth in the audio world. It was best of breed for MIDI dating back to the DOS days, but audio was new and the host based DAW (versus Pro Tools' dedicated hardware) really wasn't ready for prime time. It all worked, but it was twitchy. Of course, eventually hardware caught up, Cakewalk stabilized, and it was a solid DAW.

I eventually moved to Nuendo 2 when I was toying with the idea of scoring for picture, then Cubase 6 when I realized scoring wasn't what I wanted to do because my head was now in the Steinberg camp. Neundo also jacked the price up from $800 in version 2.1 to $2400 in 2.1.01 just to get some credibility (because more expensive is better), at which point Cubase made more sense for me.

It was a number of versions before I felt Cubase could compare with Cakewalk on the MIDI front. I always used the Score editor in Cakewalk because it made more sense to me than the piano roll. Eventually Cubase had first class MIDI, and even the built in Score editor was much improved. However, I never had to write charts for guys, so I don't know how the articulations, printing, etc. would be. I would imagine Dorico is better since it's dedicated to that purpose, but I never used it.

Honestly, for recording and music production these days all DAWs do pretty much the same thing. Given what you've mentioned, if it were me I'd definitely download the free Band Lab version of Cakewalk. I kept my licenses current through many versions of Sonar and it was as full featured as all the rest of them. It would definitely give you a feel for the wheel, thought there's going to be the catch up learning curve no matter who you go with.
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Chris Duncan
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Track 7
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those 1990s hiccups you mention are partly why I have steered clear of DAWs ever since. While Cubase 5 worked well for me circa 2001-02, I never really put it through its paces, since I wasn't using VSTIs.

The Kronos just works, or at least up to its limits, which I seem to be coming up against more and more. For example, the ticks and pops of a strained CPU happen during audio recording unless I mute most MIDI tracks.

DAWs can do this too, or so I hear, as well as suffer from latency, as you mentioned. So as I evaluate some free/cheap ones -- Cakewalk, Studio One Artist, and maybe Reaper -- I'll be paying attention to efficiency. Again, the Kronos has been mostly good in this regard but not perfect (maybe I just need to max out my RAM at 3GB?). I can imagine choosing a DAW and some favorite libraries only to end up back where I started, having bit off more sonic aspiration than my system's CPU can chew.

For the record, my current computer is a 15" 2020 Lenovo Legion 5 laptop with a Core i7 and 8GB RAM. As most DAWs seem to require at least i5 and 4GB, I'm hoping my laptop has enough headroom.
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