I’m a pro musician who started on an Atari STF. Well, that was when I was a kid.
I’ve used literally ALL the DAWs outthere, bar some few you can’t really get to (MOTU performer?).
Anyway, got my two cents to throw in.
I am a big fan of Logic (as it was when there was a Windows version). I started playing with Linuxes around the same time that 5.5 version came out. Started with RedHat, moved on to MEPIS, then FreeBSD, then Debian, then back to FreeBSD, then Ubuntu, etc.
Anywaywhos, recently I’ve settled on Ableton Live as my sequencer of choice. It was due to pricing.
But there’s a story behind that that I think fits into this conversation.
When I was deciding what to shed money on, it was between Cubase and Ableton Live. (I have deserted Logic since it went Mac only, and if Apple don’t want to be game, it’s their fault. They have meddled with powers that be). The choice for Ableton was driven a little bit around its’ “intuitiveness”. But since then, I’ve changed my notion of “intuitive”. Ableton Live is a peculiar beast: it sacrifices customizability and functionality for their (albeit great) approach to simplicity. But simplicity and intuitiveness are not the same thing.
Also, if something has a setting, it is not related to intuitiveness. (sorry for my spelling). If you can customize it, and there are settings presets, it’s an endless debate about “defaults”. So that is off-topic to me.
I need Ardour. I need a DAW on Linux, even though I dual boot, I simply like to switch quickly between programming and making music. Ardour has been steadily improving over the years, and it’s come to the point where I can now see where it is going.
Now, Ardour is as intuitive as they come. Interface bugs, default settings and such don’t fall under intuitiveness. I liken Ardour to Pro Tools, which I’ve used only briefly, but that is an intuitive program. Intuitiveness is about the learning curve. And yes, no DAW should be simple (exception is Ableton Live, but it only has a linear learning curve, which is to be aplauded of course).
Ardour has become customizable in the right direction. I think at this stage it just needs to be polished, and we need quality plug-ins. The thing that’s missing the most is basically what ALSA and pulseaudio are doing. Personally, I’d switch to OSS, and scrap the whole thing, but ALSA has gone too far already.
I don’t really understand jack, I never cared for interprocess audio, but performance is quite essential.
Anyway, I find Ardour very usable, and it is intuitive in the sense that a lot of things have been simplified, like it working without jack, or autostarting jack - that’s was an ice breaker for me.
I fully support Ardour, and people who find it unintuitive (god, that word is hard to spell), then they should stick with, I don’t know… come on, garageband is not intuitive at all. Logic is. Just as Ardour. It depends. As I’ve said, simplicity and intuitiveness have nothing in common, neither do default options. Ardour is one of top 5 applications for Linux, the list including blender, digiKam, audacity, fontforge.