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Leaving Garageband behind - what next ?


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Hi - I have grown out of Garageband (although I think the quality is amazing - here is a track I have written and played on  - not me singing though https://emastered.com/profile/CharlieBrowne/track/1618264584-h8GtIjW)  and I am not sure where to go next in terms of a DAW - Logic pro is the obvious contender but doesn't allow me to say goodbye to the Mac which I cant get along with and I have soooo tried. I'm not a technical obsessive and wont be sitting there for months trying to master every feature but want a great quality sound and able to select lots of instruments and amps from the DAW. What say you all from your experience (Ableton, Pro tools etc)  ? I am a musician more than a technician if that helps. Thank you for reading / replying :)

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hi - It doesn't have as many sounds / virtual amps etc but other than that its a fair point ! I just think I want to spend some time getting to know an industry standard DAW as  when I collaborate GB is perceived as a bit of a toy?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Beedster said:

I do not like GB but if you do, why move away?

It seems to be the Mac he's moving away from; Logic Pro only runs on a Mac OS.

To answer the OP, I'd suggest looking at the spec and screenshots of the main contenders and downloading a trial version of whatever you think might be a fit for you. I think you can get splendid results from pretty much any of the main DAWs (I use Reaper, but we're all different, so...).

Edit: I may have misunderstood the 'Mac' part, but the essence of my reply rests. :friends:

Edited by Dad3353
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Thanks for taking the time to reply folks - so .... to clarify.... I feel I need to learn a daw that’s more professionally recognised/ featured than GarageBand but don’t like using Macs - the logical transfer of my GarageBand knowledge would be Logic Pro x but that’s only Mac based - so in the ideal world looking for a Windows based daw with a huge array of amps and instruments and musician centric -hope that makes sense -  thanks! 

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8 minutes ago, CHARLIE-BROWNE said:

I only use a Mac for this purpose and find them less easy to generally navigate than a PC finding files and programmes etc 

Are you a Window's expert? Are you happy setting up complex system configurations, or are you simply a switch it on a use it kind of person?

While running a DAW under Windows is a lot easier these days, it's still not as straight-forward for most people running one on a Mac. You may be swapping one set of relatively trivial problems (a general unfamiliarity of the "Mac way" of doing things - although it's not that different to Windows these days) to a brand new set of potentially greater ones using Windows. Mac OS is designed to give audio the priority it requires especially when running a DAW. Windows, although better than it used to be, still does not without specific configuration and often 3rd party drivers. There is a reason why there is still a viable business providing music optimised Windows machines, while the same is almost unheard of outside of serious high-end Mac systems.

If you determined to press ahead with the Windows route, than as Dad3353 has said, download some trial versions and see which one suits your way of working the best. Reaper is nice and cheap, but IMO you get what you pay for, and if you are after lots of options for processing and instrument plug-ins, you may find that cost advantage quickly disappears if what you want isn't available for free. As an example the cost of a Reaper licence plus a decent drum plug-in is pretty close to the cost of the whole of Logic Pro X which comes with nearly all the plug-ins that most people could ever want.

If you are using your DAW simply as digital multi-track recorder and for processing recorded audio, then any DAW should have the facilities you need. Just find one that suits your way of working. If you intend to use a lot of plus-in instruments and be editing the MIDI performances for those, then you should be looking at a DAW that has it's roots in MIDI sequencing - Cubase, Logic, MotU Performer.

HTH.

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13 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Are you a Window's expert? Are you happy setting up complex system configurations, or are you simply a switch it on a use it kind of person?

While running a DAW under Windows is a lot easier these days, it's still not as straight-forward for most people running one on a Mac. You may be swapping one set of relatively trivial problems (a general unfamiliarity of the "Mac way" of doing things - although it's not that different to Windows these days) to a brand new set of potentially greater ones using Windows. Mac OS is designed to give audio the priority it requires especially when running a DAW. Windows, although better than it used to be, still does not without specific configuration and often 3rd party drivers. There is a reason why there is still a viable business providing music optimised Windows machines, while the same is almost unheard of outside of serious high-end Mac systems.

If you determined to press ahead with the Windows route, than as Dad3353 has said, download some trial versions and see which one suits your way of working the best. Reaper is nice and cheap, but IMO you get what you pay for, and if you are after lots of options for processing and instrument plug-ins, you may find that cost advantage quickly disappears if what you want isn't available for free. As an example the cost of a Reaper licence plus a decent drum plug-in is pretty close to the cost of the whole of Logic Pro X which comes with nearly all the plug-ins that most people could ever want.

If you are using your DAW simply as digital multi-track recorder and for processing recorded audio, then any DAW should have the facilities you need. Just find one that suits your way of working. If you intend to use a lot of plus-in instruments and be editing the MIDI performances for those, then you should be looking at a DAW that has it's roots in MIDI sequencing - Cubase, Logic, MotU Performer.

HTH.

Good post, I get the impression that the OP might be swapping a few easy to resolve problems for a set of less easy to solve challenges! Personally I'd stick with Mac and try other DAWs before reverting to Windows. Having used Windows since the early 90s, I swapped to Mac in 2011 and couldn't believe what I'd been missing all those years, in terms of music everything just worked. Had to use a Windows machine for a few weeks last year and found it an absolute nightmare. Horses for course is bottom line however :)

 

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thanks for this - a lot of sense in these - I am gravitating to toughing it out with the general Mac nav and going the  Logic Pro X route as I am familiar with the general way of workflowing that - :)  its not as expensive as I thought either ! thanks all !

 

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If you have a decent spec Mac (expensive!) then moving onto Logic would be a good move IMO

I only left macs because they can be so expensive to upgrade to, and reaper runs on a fart.

The free plugins available now are so good that unless you're a professional  they're good enough for most people (again IMO)

But for £200 quid Logic will give you anything you will probably ever need. Good Luck!

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3 hours ago, skidder652003 said:

If you have a decent spec Mac (expensive!) then moving onto Logic would be a good move IMO

I only left macs because they can be so expensive to upgrade to, and reaper runs on a fart.

The free plugins available now are so good that unless you're a professional  they're good enough for most people (again IMO)

But for £200 quid Logic will give you anything you will probably ever need. Good Luck!

Your Mac doesn't need to be expensive. I'm running not quite the latest version of Logic Pro X on a 2010 MacPro that cost £650 second hand and that's only because it had 64GB RAM and a high-end graphics card capable of supporting 4 large monitors (I run 3). I've seen the same Mac with less RAM and a more sensible graphics card sell for about half that.

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Posted (edited)
On 05/06/2021 at 15:46, BigRedX said:

Your Mac doesn't need to be expensive. I'm running not quite the latest version of Logic Pro X on a 2010 MacPro that cost £650 second hand and that's only because it had 64GB RAM and a high-end graphics card capable of supporting 4 large monitors (I run 3). I've seen the same Mac with less RAM and a more sensible graphics card sell for about half that.

yeah just got my daughter a 2015 MacBook pro Retina display (?) with 8 GB of RAM for £275. Probably a bit weedy for Logic but she's into DJ'ing so runs RekordBox no problem.

Edited by skidder652003
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Here's my 2pworth. ProTools isn't the be-all and end-all of DAWs, and I'm saying the as a PT user of 20 years.

If I had my time again then I wouldn't have chosen ProTools; Avid (the current owners) aren't great at providing bug fixes and patches, and are focussed purely on making money via subscriptions - I have a perpetual license, but some of their plugins have stopped working until I reactivate my subscription. 

I think Reaper should be high on your list of DAWs - costs very little (in comparison to Cubase, Protools etc), will use any kind of plugin format (VST, VST3, AAX, AU etc...) and is ridiculously economic on CPU and RAM resources - meaning the you can do far more in Reaper before your computer starts complaining about lack of resources.

If I had the time to learn a new DAW then this would be my first port of call.

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I am by no means an expert and the posts above encapsulate things nicely. I would favour staying Mac and using Logic Pro X. Windows OS and how it works are now becoming so close to Mac’s you may as well stay. So far as navigating a Mac - it would be worth visiting a Genius Bar in a store (if they are doing it) and or spending some time on you tube tutorials of which there are loads to help. 
collaborating with others and different programs is not normally a problem either as importing and exporting tracks is easy and compatible.

Once you get around navigation, and create your own workflow I think you will be flying

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I agree with the comments about Avid - despite the economic cost of the loss I had to stop using Sibelius when Avid took it over.

With regard to Macs... I worked in IT for nearly 40 years (big mainframe type stuff) and used Windows based desktops / laptops in the office and at home from around the early 90s. At home, I really lost my rag with Windows 10 - the never-ending updates, the instability, the crashes, the bugs, lack of drivers or the need to update drivers when you buy some kit...

I switched to using a Mac at home in 2018, buying a 2 year-old MacBook Pro. Yes, it's slightly different to Windows, but tbh it's not a lot different. 

Overall the Mac has been significantly more stable and far fewer issues to run than a Windows machine. Has it been faultless? No, but there have been few problems and readily sorted. My most significant issue wasn't the Mac's fault but third party - I would avoid using Western Digital NAS devices as they seem to pay zero attention to OS upgrades and you run the risk of losing access to your data for a protracted period (I lost access to my NAS for two months due to WD not updating).   

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10 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

I am by no means an expert and the posts above encapsulate things nicely. I would favour staying Mac and using Logic Pro X. Windows OS and how it works are now becoming so close to Mac’s you may as well stay. So far as navigating a Mac - it would be worth visiting a Genius Bar in a store (if they are doing it) and or spending some time on you tube tutorials of which there are loads to help. 
collaborating with others and different programs is not normally a problem either as importing and exporting tracks is easy and compatible.

Once you get around navigation, and create your own workflow I think you will be flying

Genius bars are open - not sure if you need to book an appointment in advance

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  • 3 weeks later...

The new Mac Minis with the Apple Silicon chips are audio monsters, quicker than my 6 core Mac Pro, they run Logic brilliantly well, so much DSP... Cheap too, for Apple.

I'm a ProTools user, I have Logic for project work, but I'm not keen, Reaper is very good but doesn't offer anything more than PT other than the price.

Once Universal Audio sort controller support for Luna (if they ever do), I'll probably switch to Luna.

In 25 years of running computers for audio my take is that you'll spend a good 20% more time administrating Windows than on MacOS, I run a 2015 Mac Pro, never gets above 30% DSP and I record and mix some massive productions. In the 3 years its been in the studio, it's not been touched but for updates to OS, PT and plug-ins. One piece of advice, get more RAM, 32Gb is good, 64GB is better. RAM is good.

I'd go with Logic on an M1 Mini were I you.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 22/06/2021 at 12:11, WinterMute said:

I'd go with Logic on an M1 Mini were I you.

Absolutely this. One thing with these new M1 chips, is that they can get away with much less RAM (compared to Intel Based Macs).... you'll be fine with 8gb

You wont regret stepping up to Logic. There's good reason why its the #1 selling app on the AppStore

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On 06/06/2021 at 01:47, paul_5 said:

Here's my 2pworth. ProTools isn't the be-all and end-all of DAWs, and I'm saying the as a PT user of 20 years.

If I had my time again then I wouldn't have chosen ProTools; Avid (the current owners) aren't great at providing bug fixes and patches, and are focussed purely on making money via subscriptions - I have a perpetual license, but some of their plugins have stopped working until I reactivate my subscription. 

I think Reaper should be high on your list of DAWs - costs very little (in comparison to Cubase, Protools etc), will use any kind of plugin format (VST, VST3, AAX, AU etc...) and is ridiculously economic on CPU and RAM resources - meaning the you can do far more in Reaper before your computer starts complaining about lack of resources.

If I had the time to learn a new DAW then this would be my first port of call.

Not only that but unlike any other DAW, everything you need to know about Reaper is documented in one place and for free. Kenny Gioia is the Reaper Enciclopedia. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq297H7Ca98HlB5mVFHGSsQ

That is another very good reason to go Reaper.

Now having said that, the natural progression for the poster is Logic, he already is half the way to master it completely. Remember the best DAW is the one you already know.

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1 hour ago, Mcgiver69 said:

Not only that but unlike any other DAW, everything you need to know about Reaper is documented in one place and for free

 

I think most major DAW vendors have free tutorials up on YouTube these days. They would be silly not to really with all the competition out there.

 

Steinberg:

(373) Cubase - YouTube

 

Presonus:

(373) PreSonus Audio Electronics - YouTube

Edited by lowdown
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