Which DAW

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clarke_111clarke_111 Frets: 40
edited December 2018 in Studio & Recording
Hello,

Just dipping my toe into the home recording world and am looking for some advice.

I have just purchased a Focusrite solo interface. It came bundled with some software including ableton lite and pro tools first. Are either of these worth bothering with (I assume they are basic since free), I have reaped downloaded as well (the free version with the nagging screen) but never got it too work before (partly due to no interface)

what do people recommend as a
starter for 10 bearing in mind I like to keep IT stuff simple!! 
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  • Hard question to answer as everyone will have a favourite, what's will you be recording mainly? Will you be using alot of vsts? Do you want to delve into full production or just record ideas? 
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  • Also most importantly what's your budget? 
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  • Budget-cheap as possible to start, free is better! Initially I will just be experimenting with guitar stuff and creating some simple backing tracks. I’d mess around with a bit of production stuff but unlikely to delve that deeply at first. 

    Afraid I don’t even know what VSTS means!! 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 20171
    Go out and buy this month's Computer Music magazine - there's a free copy of Bitwig Studio 2 - it's limited to 8 tracks but is fully featured and will give you a chance to dip your toe in the water. Looks a very good product. You'll also find a load of free effects and instruments fro the mag plus tutorials.
    Frexited
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  • All of the modern DAWs are well specified and, whilst some may be slightly better at performing specific tasks, in general it comes down to familiarity.   I'm a Cubase user - because that's what I've been using for about 20 years and I've invested a lot of hours learning how to navigate it (and I'm still learning new stuff).  Reaper is highly recommended as it is very reasonably priced and very efficient (doesn't require as much processing power as some).  I downloaded a free trial version and I found it very easy to use (of course remembering that I have more than 2 decades of DAW experience).


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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 332
    I am new to this recording lark & am happy using Reaper.  
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 21329
    Start with Reaper.


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  • Ok so reaper-I’m a real noob... I have it downloaded and open. I have my interface plugged in and my guitar connected up. I can hear the guitar through the headphones connected to the interface but Reaper is not picking anything up. I have tried selecting my interface in the audio device bit but not working... how do I make sounds!! 
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  • revsorgrevsorg Frets: 601
    I don't use Reaper myself but I believe there are some really excellent YoutTube videos that lead you through the basics.
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  • I use Studio one basically because it came bundled with a Presonus Studiolive mixer I bought about 7 years ago. I’ve got used to the work flow with it so have stuck with it.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 41
    In Reaper,take a  step by step approach--
    PC or Mac?  first have everything plugged in.
    in audio prefs on PC or mac, make sure interface is selected for audio in-out.
    In Reaper, check options for audio in-out match, ie interface.
    create track-
    select input for track in I/O--ie, if its a scarlet solo-it will be one track
    arm track for recording, set input monitor to on, and you should hear your DI signal through your monitors or headphones--which should be connected to the interface.
    At this point you will realise that you need lots of VST amp and speaker sims for your DI track, and that will keep you occupied for ages, or you will decide to use a line out from an amp or external device into the interface instead, which will also lead to another diversion.
    Theres a whole thread here devoted to free plugins, so you dont need to spend more than the £60 fee for the Reaper license, which you dont need to pay anyway-it is completely unrestricted in demo mode, but is the best £60 you will ever spend.
    good luck
    cheers
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  • LodiousLodious Frets: 941
    +1 for Reaper, but Ableton live is great, and you might be able to use the version that came with your interface to upgrade to the full version cheaply in the future. 
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 3461
    Reaper all the way. Incredibly powerful but cheap as chips. Arguably the most efficient DAW in terms of resources required to run it. Plenty of support on their website and you don't get shafted for upgrades.
    However.. this recommendation is from a traditional approach to recording.
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • I’m currently usin Harrison Mixbus and i can’t recomend it enough. There’s a demo version available for free and if you wait a little while they offer the full version for about £30 and it’s a steal at that price. They have a good youtube page taking you through all the various elements of its workings which beats the hell out of a manual if you’re stuck. 
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 1036
    Ok so reaper-I’m a real noob... I have it downloaded and open. I have my interface plugged in and my guitar connected up. I can hear the guitar through the headphones connected to the interface but Reaper is not picking anything up. I have tried selecting my interface in the audio device bit but not working... how do I make sounds!! 
    Have a look at Reaper Mania on youtube. It will save you bags of time in the long run. 
     Learning how to create a track and arm a track will get you your sound.
    You can learn how to switch between record monitoring on /off/auto etc.
    Some of this stuff you simply need to take the time to learn to get up and running. I tried to find my own way around as i usually do and caused myself a lot of unnecessary frustration. Watch some of the tutorials they are very thorough.
    There is even a video on how to watch the videos. start at the beginning. Kenny Gioia is the man for this. Also you may want to check out the Reaper forum (his vids can be accessed from there also.
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  • Thanks all-I have found the reaper tutorials and am working though them-I now have a sound as well and recorded a couple of simple test tracks-so far all good-i do fear there is now a multitude of rabbit holes for my to dive down, like how to get a gold drum plugin loop...
    but at least I am up and running!!
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4359
    I’m currently usin Harrison Mixbus and i can’t recomend it enough. There’s a demo version available for free and if you wait a little while they offer the full version for about £30 and it’s a steal at that price. They have a good youtube page taking you through all the various elements of its workings which beats the hell out of a manual if you’re stuck. 
    I'm using 32c, and I love it too for its sound and workflow. It's definitely lacking in some of the bells and whistles other packages provide in terms of editing - most notably a total lack of ARA so no real-time melodyne etc, but it really comes down to what you need from it.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1133
    Studio One here.....Possibly better for more advanced users.


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • wave100wave100 Frets: 146
    But definitely give Ableton a try since you've already got it.
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  • Reaper as its affordable and has great user base with tons of great help online and on the forums. You're only ever a quick google question away from an answer which will be especially important when you're just starting out
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  • btw
    for anyone with a Mac, it's a no brainer to get Logic, it's a fraction of the price it should be sold at
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  • btw
    for anyone with a Mac, it's a no brainer to get Logic, it's a fraction of the price it should be sold at
    this also.... with an equally friendly and informative user base. I personally use Logic
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  • andyozandyoz Frets: 693
    spark240 said:
    Studio One here.....Possibly better for more advanced users.
    Big fan of it too here
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  • Bill_SBill_S Frets: 23
    Everyone will have their favourite DAW, and they are all so powerful these days. In terms of ease of use for a newbie, Tracktion is hard to beat and their free version is superb. The only thing is, it is a bit “different” from other DAWs so if you move onto to another one later on, the learning curve may be a little longer. 

    I personally use Presonus Studio One pro, and one of the reasons I love it is the tight integration with Presonus hardware - the FaderPort series makes using DAWs FUN! 
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1133
    Bill_S said:
    Everyone will have their favourite DAW, and they are all so powerful these days. In terms of ease of use for a newbie, Tracktion is hard to beat and their free version is superb. The only thing is, it is a bit “different” from other DAWs so if you move onto to another one later on, the learning curve may be a little longer. 

    I personally use Presonus Studio One pro, and one of the reasons I love it is the tight integration with Presonus hardware - the FaderPort series makes using DAWs FUN! 
    Yep...I have the FP8 as well....also good how S1 integrates with Melodyne....I just wish they wouldn’t bring a new product out every 5 mins !


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 570
    I'm looking into daws swell.

    I used pro tools back when, comming from hardware mixing but my of gave up, and it wasn't comparable with the new one, so I ditched it.

    Ive used reaper since and its good if a little dated looking.  However, it's midi is limited and doesn't have native soft instruments.

    I now Want tk get more into midi, particularly drum tracks and synth complex speciation stuff.  I also miss melodyne I used yo use for my ropey vocals.

    Not sure if I shoykdvinvest on some vocal pitch correction software, soft synth (plenty free as well) and stick with reaper or move to something else.

    I tried ableton and don't like it.  I have cubes so 9.5 (bundled) which seems ok and studio one from, which after an initial confusion also sermsxdecent.

    Of those, I can go for s1 pro for 190, or Cubase artist for 210.  Cubaae elements is available for 40, and can he further upgraded if need more tracks later (I believe all 3 come with vocal pitch help, though elements might not).

    So,  thoughts on which way to go?  S1, Cubase (which version) or stick with reaper plus software to fill it's gaps.
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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 41
    When I was looking around, I tried the new version of Cakeworks Bandlab, which was a free suite.
    I think it is the final version of Sonar, renamed after Gibson bought and sold it off. I had to create accounts etc, but ended up with a few free instruments--including melodyne.
    How happy was I that when I tried Reaper, it autodetected my previously installed vst's so my Reaper set up got a bit of a head start.
    The stock Reaper, and JSX plugins do pretty much everything you could need, and as I stated above, there are plenty of good free plugins available, MT drums, Tokyo Dawn, Spitfire LABS, so I decided to try and become a REAPER Ninja, but I dont think there are really ANY limitations these days with it, so it wiill always get my vote.
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 697
    I used Pro Tools as it came Cree with my first DAW. It was good and quite intuitive. I changed to Reaper when I upgraded to a Focusrite as my version of PT was for MAudio devices only. I did not find it as intuitive. But I'm sticking with it as I bought it and a load of people rave a out it.
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  • paulmapp8306paulmapp8306 Frets: 570
    I have mt drums, which is ok.  Only 1 kit mind, but I can midi trigger my keyboards so have options.

    I guess if i find a decent auto time plugin for it i might stick.  If cubase elements comes with good auto time though, k carport if to reaper with included soft instruments, and havec3 dad's plus all that software for 38 (upgrade route from ai). 

    That does seem tempting.

    On a side note, I have somewhere in the loft an old alpha track feder surface.  Anyone know others still usable (including driver downloads) For reaper, cubase or s1?  Would save buying a new surface.
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