All DAWs have their idiosyncratic nuances that make them great for some things but not so much for others. Lots of producers may have grown up using one DAW and switched to another later down the line. Some stick to one and others flit between several.
One extremely useful development by Propellerhead and Steinberg in 1998 was a software called ReWire. Originally created to connect Propellerhead’s TB/TR X0X emulator ReBirth to Cubase, it’s now an industry standard method for connecting any two DAWs capable of using it.
A full list of what DAWs can be ReWired can be found here, but the big hitters are really Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools, Reason and Cubase. ReWire requires one DAW to be a host and another to be a slave (bear in mind you can run more than one slave DAW at a time).
Some DAWs can only be hosts (Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase) and some only slaves (Reason) where as Ableton Live can be both. In this post I’m going to take you through the steps in rewiring Logic X and Ableton 9; importantly, the latter needs to be running in 64-bit mode else it won’t work. If you paid for Live, you can download the 64-bit version for free from your account on the Ableton website in your account downloads.
All DAWs do things slightly differently. Some come bundled with tonnes of really useful plugins, like Logic; some handle time stretching in a really CPU-light way, like Ableton; and some have great ways to cross-modulate synths and drum machines, like Reason.
Combining the best of all of these DAWs can lead to interesting results. I am mostly an Ableton user these days but I was predominantly using Logic for about eight or nine years before that, so I am very clear about the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Many Reason users were extremely happy with the sequencing and modular options available in their DAW of choice but begrudged the fact you couldn’t record audio – ReWire made that possible by hooking it up with Pro Tools, Logic or Cubase.
ReWire can be heavy on your CPU so this isn’t always something I reach for. Know the limitations of your music-making machine and be prepared to freeze tracks or bounce down if necessary.