Mad props, Kuru. You're the first person I have ever met who (a) uses Waveform (b) likes and prefers it (c) doesn't work for Tracktion.
Over the years, Tracktion / Waveform has gotten a probably-undeserved bad rap from the community. I have looked at it time and again starting with version 1, and probably (due to my magazine review work) have installers for every version up to 9, maybe even 10, laying around here and there. No matter how I tried, I just could never get into it.
It's a lot more comprehensible now that they've added some more conventional ways to do stuff, but the way the early versions worked really broke my head... very space efficient on small monitors but very alien to me. I never got past that. I'd love to hear more about how you use it and what appeals to you about it!
My pleasure, one of the reasons I bumped this thread was that nobody else mentioned Waveform/Tracktion. Maybe I will connnect with somebody else!
Disclaimer: I know virtually nothing about other current DAWs and (thankfully!) remember very little about DP. So I have no idea if other DAWS also have any of these features.
Further, I have no affiliation with Waveform other than being a customer. Further still, there is a TON of cool stuff that I haven't used yet. My next explorations will be with Tempo shifting functions, there appear to be some useful tools there.
Also, I am on a Mac using High Sierra. I'm sure it is only a bit different using Windows.
First, what appeals to me:
Customer service. When I inquired as to why a set of plugins that came with Waveform 9 made a noise every so often, they said the plugins were included so you could decide if you wanted to buy the DAW Essentials package ($150). I mentioned that I'd been using the program since Tracktion 3 and they authorized them and thanked me for being a long term customer. Good plugins too.
When you click Record, two buttons appear in the same general area - "Abort" and "Abort and Restart". Abort deletes the recording and goes back to the starting point. Abort and Restart deletes the recording, goes back to the starting point, the click track counts off and you are back recording. I like to record tracks in a single take, these are great timesavers.
3 simple tabs, each one taking up the entire screen. Projects - where it is easy to organize all of your projects, Settings, where you can address all the nuts and bolts under the hood, change the Appearance of the interface, organize your Plugins, find Tutorials and learn a pageful of Keyboard Shortcuts, and the last Tab is currently defaulted to the name of the project that is open right now. If nothing is open the third tab just goes away.
You can have more than one project open, handy if you want to copy/paste or other fun stuffs.
This arrangement helps keep the clutter down and provides plenty of space so it is easy to find what you want and ignore what you don't need.
Choosing an input section that you have just armed will bring up a large input meter across the bottom of the DAW, very easy to see and dial in your gain.
Adding tracks is simple, you can add up to 16 tracks at a time or as few as one. Deleting a track is even easier, select it and hit Delete on the keyboard. You can add tracks anywhere you would like, if you select a track before addding tracks they will all appear directly under the selected track. This makes it easy to stay organized when I do my parallel processing thing. Tracks are very easy to name and there is color coding, it looks like 9 colors but perhaps there are more. I didn't see "no color" and White, those would be easy. Also very simple to make sub-groups of tracks and group those sub-groups.
When you add or delete tracks the remaining tracks remain organized. If they are numbered they will renumber, if they are named they will move into the new order with their audio tracks intact.
The up and down arrows shrink or expand the recorded tracks horizontally, from the cursor position. So you can get close to your edit point, expand quickly, zero in and seperate the track into clips.
There are simple controls to expand vertically or horizontally or show all tracks.
Automation tracks are easy to make, if you just need one automation track you can put it right on the audio track. Automation tracks can perform basic functions but can also be used to automate plugins. I just added an automation track to a track that has IK Multimedia Leslie on it and it offered automation options for around 40 different parameters of the Leslie plugin (which is insane but super cool at the same time).
Bread and butter functions are located in a box at the bottom left, transport and output functions are located in a box on the bottom right.
Last but not least, I love that there is a substantial space bottom center of the interface. Anything you click on (except third party plugins, which have their own popup windows) will generate a set of options and features for your selection. When you chose another selection the options and features for that one fill in. So there is no "palette clutter" like the older versions of DP had. I hated that!!!!!
I use Waveform for recording and mixing/"mastering", it works well for anything.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Cheers, Kuru