This could lead to some very long posts, but here goes anyways...
I got into a conversation with the guys at work about the old DAWs they used to use, what's changed, what they miss, and what's stayed the same. I thought it would be a good topic to put up for discussion.
So we've covered which DAW you currently use. What did you use before you found the latest and greatest? Do you miss anything about them? Are you happy they're in the rear view mirror of your life? Lets put some perspective on these new-fangled devices...
Here's my history:
I have a relatively long history with Pro Tools, going back to '95 when I was just a little whelp of an student/editor using a Pro Tools III Nubus (thank you, Tim) system with PT3 and Sound Designer II. I loved the concept that it was Mac-based and not a proprietary system costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. I had been forced by employers into relationships with other systems, but always have had a PT system in one form or another on the side. I've owned Pro Tools Free, Pro Tools Mix Plus & Pro Tools LE and all have treated me well.
AMS Neve Logic 3 with AudioFile
If I could go back in time, I'd kick my own ass for ever trash-talking this machine. I just didn't know what I had my fingers on. Gear-wise the L3 was great, smooth faders, nice jog wheel. 4-band EQ, compressor, limiter & gate on every channel. I hated that screen, but not as much as the soft keys. DAW-wise the AudioFile felt like a huge leap backward from the Mix system I had at home. Again with the soft keys and that awful blue screen. It was early in my career that I had to sit down to learn it, and it taught me some valuable lessons like, "It's just a tool, what do they call it & where do they put it? You know how to do this." and thanks to its lack of waveform display "Stop mixing with your eyes, dummy."
The DSP PostStation
aka - The Enterprise
Built off the architecture of two ganged Yamaha 02R's, this DAW had very little going for it in terms of processing. But being that we had a direct line of communication to the developer, any new system feature we were looking for was only an email and a software update away. Which usually was delivered the next day! Two keys that I still miss are the un-top and un-tail. No need to pull out a region's end, just untail, scrub, and re-tail. And speaking of, what a scrub wheel! Nice and heavy, with a resolution that made you forget you were at 16-bit / 48k. With no other form of navigation in the editor other than the wheel and 4 arrow keys, I finally understood the benefit of keyboard shortcuts over mousing around. The "ergonomic" desk was a joke for my 6'1" frame, but the touch screen mix console (left) and video playback (right) worked great, until the screens died. I believe that the owner sold DSP to Fairlight in 2003(?), and went on to form SmartAV