Roundup: Three “Nouvelle Cuisine” Daws

When you’re cooking up music, check out these low-fat alternatives

When you’re cooking up music, check out these low-fat alternatives

As a reaction against classic haute cuisine, “nouvelle cuisine” rejected excessive complication, favored shorter menus, avoided heavy sauces, and placed an emphasis on healthy, light— yet satisfying—dishes.

Microsoft and Apple took a similar tack with their latest operating systems; both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard touted efficient operation over new features. Now we have the equivalent in DAW-world, with newer programs emphasizing smoother, faster operation—while existing programs re-examine their code with an eye toward more efficient workflow.

The three programs profiled here represent different ways of approaching a DAW, but share a common characteristic: Each emphasizes a light touch that keeps the software nimble and responsive, while still offering considerable sophistication. They also illustrate that the “anti-bloatware” trend is pervasive, from overachieving budget programs like energyXT and Mixcraft to a world-class DAW contender like Studio One Pro. Efficiency is a trend that’s here to stay.

Trial version are available, so this roundup concentrates on the gestalt of each program, with an emphasis on a few unique features—so after reading this article, fire up your modem, and find out which one works best for you.

PreSonus Studio One
energyXT2.5 Plus
Acoustica Mixcraft 5