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gjamer

best value DAW

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Just get Reaper and see what you think lol....it's free to evaluate.

Start learning it and stop listening to us ;)

Si

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49 minutes ago, lurksalot said:

I feel the OP pain, there is no way I would be auditioning different DAW's to pick one, having gone through the DAW learning curve from scratch , even the language being used got me for a while xD

If you have an audio interface, then you should be able to write a simple beat - or set up a loop - and record some bass to it within your first hour with any DAW (certainly using YouTube tutorials).

If not, then you’re probably not using the right DAW for you. And you won’t discover that unless you demo a few and try.

But yeah, it’s a cyclical discussion that comes back to Reaper because it’s the cheapest DAW for people to ‘dip their toes with’.

I suppose I’m just more of a tart ‘cos I enjoyed playing the field before finding my sweetheart :D 

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Why am I still on here?! :facepalm:(Note to self: for future reference I clearly don't take any notice of notes to self) :D

Edited by Al Krow

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Reaper is good.  Can be a bit of a pain to set up to start with, but once you get your head round it, it's just like any other DAW.
If you've got a Mac, get Garageband.  It's the free version of Logic.  You can then upgrade it to Logic if you find yourself using it & want the extra features.

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Logic has loads of built in Cow-Bells though so...........

 

Definitely make the decision based on that ;)

Si

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In case you need any help recording your band in Reaper, Kenny Gioia has your back. 

 

Edited by Mcgiver69
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I came looking for a programme. I downloaded Audacity as it was free, and just couldn`t get it too do anything. I have downloaded Reaper for a 60 day trail. I got that working easily(at least sound through the bass) . So looking at the comments, it is looking like Reaper and Logic. I only downloaded Reaper because of some bloke  on Youtube called Glenn Fricker highly recommended it. It looks like a lot of you agree

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^ Yeah Audacity is a great for processing and recording audio (so I'd strongly recommend keeping hold of it); but it's not much use for writing/arranging music. You definitely need a DAW software like Reaper* for that.

*Other brands are also available :) 

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I loathe audacity. Truly. Its such an outdated piece of software. Yet there are a couple of things I have used it for that nothing else will do (recovering files from corrupted SD Cards for instance). I use it for nothing else.

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2 minutes ago, 51m0n said:

I loathe audacity.

It has a nice noise reduction filter. Super quick and easy to use.

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Yes, I use it for Normalising, rough and ready chopping of heads and tails, and quick and dirty fade-outs. All my ISIHAC files have been doctored in this way. Very efficient, once one has the work-flow sorted. I use Reaper for most everything else, though.

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Audacity also has the ability to turn any file into an audio waveform - useful if you are creating Musique Concète or similar avant garde  sounds.

Edited by BigRedX

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Just re-read this thread :)

Not one person coming out for Ableton Live as their preferred DAW?

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3 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Just re-read this thread :)

Not one person coming out for Ableton Live as their preferred DAW?

I agree Ableton is awesome, and can do things that most DAW’s can only dream of, but for the full fat version it’s expensive, but I guess that opens up the value vs cost can of worms...

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8 minutes ago, Crawford13 said:

I agree Ableton is awesome, and can do things that most DAW’s can only dream of, but for the full fat version it’s expensive, but I guess that opens up the value vs cost can of worms...

If it's awesome then that equates to value, in my books.

If we're going to be spending hours of our lives getting up to speed on a DAW frankly I don't have an issue spending more on an "awesome" DAW (in the same way that most of us, I suspect, recognise that an "awesome" bass, cab or amp is going to cost 2 or 3 times the amount of a run-of-the mill one).

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

If it's awesome then that equates to value, in my books.

If we're going to be spending hours of our lives getting up to speed on a DAW frankly I don't have an issue spending more on an "awesome" DAW (in the same way that most of us, I suspect, recognise that an "awesome" bass, cab or amp is going to cost 2 or 3 times the amount of a run-of-the mill one).

I totally agree! Just unfortunately most of the time when you see the pharse “best value” what people actually mean is cheapest that will actually do the job...

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13 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Just re-read this thread :)

Not one person coming out for Ableton Live as their preferred DAW?

Ableton is very much perceived as a specialist tool for musicians working in live electronica. 

What most people want from a DAW is a multi-track "tape recorder" running on there computer.

 

13 hours ago, Crawford13 said:

I totally agree! Just unfortunately most of the time when you see the pharse “best value” what people actually mean is cheapest that will actually do the job...

Let us not forget that even the most expensive a DAWs are now incredibly good value for money compared with what you could have spent 25 years ago.

Today a copy of Logic Pro X is £199.99.

When I bought my first copy of Logic (version 2. something) is cost at least £399 and all it did was manipulate MIDI data. There were no VST instruments back then, so on top of the program and a computer to run it (in those days you most likely bought a computer specially to run Logic), you would need a MIDI interface, and hardware synthesisers and samplers to actually make the sounds. You would also need something tape-based to record your compositions on to (and a mixer and outboard signal processors). You could get an add on to Logic on for recording audio (provided your computer was up to the task) which was another £399.

ProTools back then was essentially a hardware-based solution that used the computer merely as a visual interface - the ProTools hardware did all the heavy lifting in terms of recording a manipulating the audio data.

My first Logic system cost me about £2500 for the program, a computer to run it on, and a MIDI interface. I already had several thousand pounds worth of synthesisers, samplers, outboard signal processors and an 8-track analogue tape machine and mixer to record it all on to. By the time I'd worked my way up to what could be considered a "proper" DAW, I'd spent another £6k on a better computer, audio interface and a digital mixer. It still had less capability than the cheapest system you could put together today.

Edited by BigRedX
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38 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Ableton is very much perceived as a specialist tool for musicians working in live electronica. 

But is that a fair perception?

@GisserD

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That's the perception yes but it's not the whole story....Ableton is also a fully capable audio/midi tracker in its own right.

I've been using it to produce, record sessions and live bands for years and found its feature set/workflow very intuitive after learning Daws on primarily sonar, and fruityloops.

Horses for courses tho I suppose :)

 

edit: its also VERY stable! which is essential if your recording live! i think i've yet to witness ableton crash even once.

Edited by GisserD
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I was just going to start a thread asking if Audacity was worth using for mixing and producing my recorded tracks? I have Audacity indoors, and Reaper out in my studio space that is too small/badly laid out to be comfortable for sitting spending hours on the learning curve.

I would be using my Zoom R24 as the interface, but don't have monitors indoors. I've only spent long enough on Reaper to get the interface set up, and by he time i'd done that, was too exhausted (mentally) to get into it again.

Not done any mixing in Audacity, but it seems simple enough even for a novice like me.

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Audacity is great for certain tasks (recording audio from online sources using speaker loopback, editing/processing stereo/mono audio files - e.g. splitting down a long recording of a gig/rehearsal into individual songs) but it doesn't really work nearly as well for multitracking as Reaper IME, but by all means give it a try. Reaper will run happily on low spec machines, and doesn't take up much drive space, so no real excuse not to use it on your secondary computer.

I remember spending hours trying to get cubase to find my audio card back in the day when I first used it, once I'd figured out what I needed to do future installs took a couple of minutes to get up and running. Same pattern with recording my first tracks - once you understand how to create a track, assign an audio input to it and set your basic project parameters, you can set up from scratch very quickly or create template projects which will load up everything you need e.g. I have a template for jamming ideas with a drum plugin, that has everything setup and ready to go including tracks ready set up for guitar and bass with ampsim plugins preloaded and audio inputs pre routed so I can be up and running in a couple of clicks (saves setting up every last little thing every time you want to do that type of activity) - you can't really do this with a program like audacity, so the return on investment of dealing with the learning curve of reaper is absolutely worth it.

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Regarding Ableton... it’s roots lie in live performance and that’s where it initially gained notoriety as the tool of choice for people wanting to performing live with a DAW... which inevitably appealed to DJs and electronic musicians. Hence it’s now ubiquitousness in those scenes.

But it can of course be used as a regular DAW in home studios. @Leonard Smalls of this parish uses it to great effect, for example. I have the ‘light’ version myself and it’s very good indeed - and very different to other DAWs (in a good/interesting way). Given that I don’t perform live, I just found that I wasn’t making the most of its functionality - and the functionality I was using was already available in my DAW of choice (Reason). Hence I didn’t explore it any further.

If I was starting over, however, I’d certainly consider Ableton. It’s the world’s most popular DAW for a reason.

Another strong contender rarely mentioned here is Fruity Loops.

Lots to choose from 😉

Edited by Skol303
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