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DAW incase of full lockdown help

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I have the chance to join an originals band which has some really nice material, due to the current and upcoming restrictions we are not going to be able to get together for a while, with that said can any one recommend me an easy to use daw( i do not even know what it is bar a quick google!)

 

It would have to be idiot proof(me)

Basic (like me)

Cheap ( like me)

 

Any help really really appreciated.😄

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Reaper.

Even the licence is cheap, but it seems they'd rather you keep 'evaluating than get a cracked copy and slag them off based on faulty software! I fully intend to buy the licence once earning again.

I've been using it.. you can get as complicated as you like, but there are endless YouTube tutorials, including by the developers themselves. 

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Are you talking about the software such as Garageband or the interface that's going to get your sounds into it? If the former, Garageband is free and easy to use (if you are on Mac of course)

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If you haven't already got an interface, whatever you buy will come with a stripped down version of whatever DAW they're allied with. I bought a Steinberg because I'd previously worked with Cubase and knew it was dead easy. I did eventually upgrade to a 'better' version when they made me an offer too good to refuse, but I really didn't need to. The free version had pretty much everything I needed.

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Reaper is cheap and once you get the hang of it is very flexible and as good as anything else out there once you get the hang of it. . The only downside is that it has a bit of dated Windows 95 look to it when you open it up for the first time, however that can be fixed.

I find Studio One to very intuitive and will be buying that when I get started again. However, you have to buy the Pro version at £300 in order to use third party plug-ins on Studio One, which is a bit crap. In comparison you can pretty much use any plug in on Reaper. I find Studio One to be fairly intuitive and idiot-proof though, which is why I like it. 

Frankly, I found the learning curve on Pro Tools to be too great. 

Of course, if you have a Mac then Logic. 

Most DAWs have a free demo version, definitely try downloading them and seeing what one you like best. 

Edited by thodrik
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I have Reaper. Cheap it is, easy to use, less so. 

 

If you want proper basic, and the ability to collaborate online try Bandlab. We've used it recently to compile demos and it's been fine. 

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As NickD said, if you haven't already got an interface for your PC, then buy one that has a DAW bundled in with it.

If you do already have an interface, then maybe look at Reaper (never used it personally), though Pro Tools do a free starter (Pro Tools First).

Cubase is good, but can be a bugger to set up.

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10 minutes ago, Skybone said:

Cubase is good, but can be a bugger to set up.

Agree, but none of them are easy to set up if you're new to this stuff. I'm using Pro Tools daily at present to edit voice tracks, a few weeks ago the workload got on top of me and a colleague said "I'll pop over and do some editing for you, it'll only take me a few minutes to get to grips with the software". The long silence on the call following that required no editing or processing at all :) 

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Another Reaper recommendation here - it's as powerful as anything else out there, flexible, and very cheap i.e. free for evaluation (never ending!) or £58 for a licence.  Loads of vids on YouTube and a massive user base all willing to help out.

The visuals can be updated with skins so it can look much more modern if appearances are important

 

Screenshot 2020-10-16 at 16.04.33.png

Screenshot 2020-10-16 at 16.06.00.png

Edited by DaytonaRik

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1 hour ago, Jakester said:

I have Reaper. Cheap it is, easy to use, less so. 

Really can't disagree more with that @Jakester - Reaper can be as simple or as complex as you want - groups, aux's buses, virtual groups, mix buses - it's got it all.  Perhaps its drawback is that it's TOO flexible - any channel can be directed to any other - then onto anywhere else.  Start simple, then build up to more complex mixes.  My vocal process will regularly have 10-12 channels of audio and processing, but I can adapt that as needed to suit the needs of the track.

 

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If you are using it to do collaborative songwriting with the other band members then get whatever they are already using. While there are work arounds for exporting audio and MIDI from one DAW to another, none of them work brilliantly IME.

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8 minutes ago, DaytonaRik said:

Really can't disagree more with that @Jakester - Reaper can be as simple or as complex as you want - groups, aux's buses, virtual groups, mix buses - it's got it all.  Perhaps its drawback is that it's TOO flexible - any channel can be directed to any other - then onto anywhere else.  Start simple, then build up to more complex mixes.  My vocal process will regularly have 10-12 channels of audio and processing, but I can adapt that as needed to suit the needs of the track.

 

You've just disproved your own point there Rik, you're using classic studio terminology found in so many of the manuals and tutorials for DAWs that to many people, including the O/P perhaps, means it might as well be written in Lithuanian :)

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9 minutes ago, Beedster said:

You've just disproved your own point there Rik, you're using classic studio terminology found in so many of the manuals and tutorials for DAWs that to many people, including the O/P perhaps, means it might as well be written in Lithuanian :)

No - not at all - you can make a very simple mix, or you can start to get clever with buses, effects aux, groups etc.  As you learn you can add to the complexity of the mix, but Reaper allows you do be productive from day one.

Surely most musicians who have ever looked at a mixing desk understands mute groups?  A bus is no different, a collection of similar instrument channels routed through a single fader for common processing or control

Edited by DaytonaRik
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1 minute ago, DaytonaRik said:

No - not at all - you can make a very simple mix, or you can start to get clever with buses, effects aux, groups etc.  As you learn you can add to the complexity of the mix, but Reaper allows you do be productive from day one.

Ah, OK, fair enough, apologies if that came across as rude. I've tried to teach some non audio folks how to use recording software recently and language was a real problem, and it's not just language, its the concepts that the language refers to, because many of those are completely alien to many folks, a bus being a good example! 

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Yet another Reaper vote here. Our slide guitar player was a bbc sound engineer and he rates it highly, after having used it at work.

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26 minutes ago, DaytonaRik said:

Really can't disagree more with that @Jakester - Reaper can be as simple or as complex as you want - groups, aux's buses, virtual groups, mix buses - it's got it all.  Perhaps its drawback is that it's TOO flexible - any channel can be directed to any other - then onto anywhere else.  Start simple, then build up to more complex mixes.  My vocal process will regularly have 10-12 channels of audio and processing, but I can adapt that as needed to suit the needs of the track.

 

*Shrugs*

As ever, YMMV. 

I've been in and out of recording since using tape and Atari in the mid-90s, but I just didn't find Reaper that easy to work with. Many of the controls and settings were, IME, counter-intuitive.

Once you get used to things, it's great, I just found the initial learning curve very high.

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1 minute ago, Beedster said:

Ah, OK, fair enough, apologies if that came across as rude. I've tried to teach some non audio folks how to use recording software recently and language was a real problem, and it's not just language, its the concepts that the language refers to, because many of those are completely alien to many folks, a bus being a good example! 

No worries.  In Reaper you can quite easily create 10 audio tracks, and then process each track individually without knowing how to send things to effects on dedicated channels.  Sure, it may be a little more long winded, but you can work that way until your knowledge slowly expands and you learn more streamlined and efficient ways of doing the same tasks.  In Reaper, a channel is just a channel - you decide what you send to it, or where you send it.

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2 minutes ago, Jakester said:

*Shrugs*

As ever, YMMV. 

I've been in and out of recording since using tape and Atari in the mid-90s, but I just didn't find Reaper that easy to work with. Many of the controls and settings were, IME, counter-intuitive.

Once you get used to things, it's great, I just found the initial learning curve very high.

I've found the biggest problem (for me at least) is that it wants to do things in its own way, rather than the way I've done in the past.

If the op hasn't used any workstation before though, I'm not sure it would be any harder to learn than any other system.

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Another cheap (free) option is Audacity. That is pretty simple to use but more limited than Reaper. I downloaded Reaper this week and it’s taken quite a while to work out overdubbing, whereas in Audacity it seems to be more intuitive. I’ll buy the Reaper license and stick with it as it’s far more versatile but if I didn’t have any previous experience (very old version of Soundforge and Audacity) I wouldn’t know where to begin. This lady may become your new best friend, she explains stuff really well:

Music Reapo

 

Edited by yonni
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31 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

If you are using it to do collaborative songwriting with the other band members then get whatever they are already using. While there are work arounds for exporting audio and MIDI from one DAW to another, none of them work brilliantly IME.

That's probably the best bit of advice so far, also means that there'd be others to help the OP familiarise with it :)

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11 minutes ago, yonni said:

I downloaded Reaper this week and it’s taken quite a while to work out overdubbing

This is what really did my head in at first! Once I figured it out, it was fine.

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When working out what you're going for, worth considering a DAW that also has decent video editing capability as well as sound editing, and do away with the need for a separate video editing package. 

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12 minutes ago, Jakester said:

This is what really did my head in at first! Once I figured it out, it was fine.

Yes, it’s a case of don’t know what you don’t know. Once you figure it out it’s ok. I was racking my brains trying to figure out how to cut and paste bars of a drum beat until I accidentally discovered that you can just drag and extend the track and it does it for you.

Edited by yonni
Typos

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Thanks for all the great replies, i currently have no interface so the world is my oyster i guess. Alsoo it is a pc not mac . Good advise to chexk what they are using.

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Thanks for all the great replies, i currently have no interface so the world is my oyster i guess. Alsoo it is a pc not mac . Good advise to chexk what they are using.

 

They have just informed me they use reaper, so just what interface to buy now!

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