Recording Software for $300 or less?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Dismalhead, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey people,

    I'm wanting to get set up to record again and lost my old computer and software a couple of years ago. I used to use Reaper, paid the $60 for it and everything. I did probably 40 decent recordings, but always hated the software for not being "user friendly" enough for me. Took me a long time to figure out a lot of it, and I still had a big chunk of stuff I didn't know how to do like cutting and pasting, fixing individual notes, or normalizing the tempo across the whole song.

    So the logical thing would be to buy Reaper again. I do know how to use it well enough to make passable demos. But then I never liked it and always wished for something easier.

    I've got a new computer, and I'm wondering what you guys would recommend for $300 or less.

    Thanks
     
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  2. kLyon

    kLyon Tele-Meister

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    Funny... I saw the thread and was going to post what is, to me, the correct answer: Reaper)

    (Then I saw that, in this case, the obvious answer wasn't going to work...))

    I've used almost all of them, made records with most of them, and Reaper is my choice. But lots of people love Ableton Live, you might want to give that one a try. It has a very different interface; it's a cool program and might be what you're looking for.

    And, if you're a Mac - and only Mac - user, Logic is a real steal now (now that Apple owns it and basically uses the computer as a dongle, that is) and has always been a fine program.

    They all work: just find the one that fits you best.
     
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  3. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I use Audacity. Easy learning curve, and it's free.
    With the extra complexity of Reaper comes less user friendliness (IMO).
     
  4. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    Audacity. I have recorded into my Ditto looper and sent it through Audacity.
     
  5. teleMc

    teleMc TDPRI Member

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    Free. Save your $300 for a mic and interface. It's a bit clunky if you're used to PT, but it works ...
     
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  6. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    FL Studio

    https://www.image-line.com/flstudio/


    I don't think any of them are easy or user friendly. There is always a steep learning curve at first.
    You just have to have a lot of patience and be willing to watch Videos on how to use these DAW programs.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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  8. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Meister

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    Well, Audacity is great at the pricepoint, and if that works for you fine.

    Reaper is very "tweakable" if thats what you want to spend your time on.

    Perhaps a potential "happy medium" is Acoustica Mixcraft. https://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/buy-mixcraft.php

    It may lack some of the features of the tweakable and more complex programs, but in exchange you get a simpler more intuitive interface, a very supportive user group and far better customer support than most other programs.

    Power tip: Free fully functioning demo.
     
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  9. knavel

    knavel Tele-Meister

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    Cakewalk from Bandlab. Free.

    My favorite even more so is the Bandlab phone app. Also free. It's largely intuitive.

    Essential on the phone app version is compensate for latency each time you record in settings and be aware that every "save" does not overwrite but is cumulative and you have to go to the front page of the song file to manually select the most recent saved version if you want to download to WhatsApp etc.
     
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  10. MarkieMark

    MarkieMark Tele-Meister

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    Oops. Hit reply prematurely.

    let me know if I can help anyway.....
     
  11. teleman78

    teleman78 Tele-Holic

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    If you are a Mac user then Logic X is a no brainer, for PC Cubase Artist 10, also Bitwig if you want an Ableton Live alternative. All of these are under $300 and solid user friendly options.
     
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  12. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Holic

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    I'm wanting to get set up to record again

    You don't say what you want to record, or how you want to record it.

    Are you wanting to just record a guitar and microphone. Or a brass section? A choir? All three? It's kinda important!


    lost my old computer and software a couple of years ago.

    As long as you still have the email the program was registered with the boys at Cockos will resend you your authorization.


    I hear what you say about REAPER though. It's a great program, has many uses, does many things better than many other DAWs/Audio Editors. But... It doesn't always click, depending on how you use it.


    For $300 bucks your options are massive. You could consider Cubase even as long as you don't mind being tied to a dongle at the back of your USB port.

    Someone mentioned Cakewalk and it's the most powerful free sequencer at the moment. I think it comes with a cut down free TH3 amp model as well which is top notch. It's pretty complicated though. It does midi very well and audio, but it's not the most intuitive. It's been getting more development and is becoming more stable though. A serious choice if you are on PC.


    For that money there is programs like Ableton, which might work, depending on what you want to do. There are even more esoteric programs like Energy XT2 which might work as well, considering how you want to work.

    FLStudio should also not be discounted. It does recording of certain things very well - midi in particular, but it can record guitars too.

    What interface do you have? What do you want to record?

    Another program I would say to look at is Studio One Pro. It has cut down versions that are cheaper, but they are great for audio/guitar, just not so great if you want to run a few VSTs on top.

    You can buy it for about $60-70 bucks in the market place at KVR if you can keep your eyes peeled. This is the full Pro version and you can run as many VST plugins as you want. Comes with a nice library of stuff as well which be up your street or not.

    Then there are programs like Samplitude which cost $500 bucks, but you can get for the same price. It is an excellent program to record stuff in and is also an excellent editor for various stuff.


    I'm wanting to get set up to record again

    is about as vague as you can be when asking for advice.


    Tell us what you want to record, then tell us what you want to do with it when it is recorded (basic editing, full on editing with voice and pitch manipulation via Melodyne etc.). Some programs have their own version built in (Newtone in FLStudio for example, or VariAudio in Cubase). Other programs such as Tracktion Waveform include free versions of cut down Melodyne where you can do basic monophonic pitch manipulation which is all you need for solo voice or lead guitar. A few other DAWs include this as well.


    But don't feel bad about not clicking with REAPER. It is a great program, but it doesn't work well for everything/everyone.


    Give us some more information and I'm sure someone will be able to point you in the right direction.
     
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  13. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    It's not software, but you may (or may not) want to check out the Izotope Spire Studio. It's ridiculously easy to use, portable and works with a phone or tablet, has a built-in mic or you can use your own external mic (has phantom power, too) or external instrument (has two combiner's input jacks with XLR and 1/4" inputs, onboard effects, etc. I cannot comment on how easy this thing is to use. Very limited editing, and effects have to be added while recording, or you can export stems to an external DAW.

    This device is for the person who wants to record something with really good quality but doesn't want to go through the hassle of going into a DAW, but also wants something higher quality than just recording into their phone.

    https://www.izotope.com/en/products/spire-studio.html

     
  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  15. Boil

    Boil Tele-Holic

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    Mixcraft works well for me, I have been using it since V4, its grown up a bit since then but is still fairly easy to use.
     
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  16. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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  17. GuitarPix

    GuitarPix Tele-Meister

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    I too was going to mention Harrison Mixbus, I like a lot about it however have found a few issues using it on my Mac. But apparently on PC it works really well. It’s also warmer sounding than other DAWs - a feature they market it with.
     
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  18. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Holic

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    For any DAW that you get you'll have to learn how use it. There is an abundance of video tutorials on the Reaper website.

    https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php

    Don't worry about trying to learn everything all at once, just concentrate on the task at hand. You have time invested in Reaper. Why start over in another DAW and have to re-learn everything?

    Just my two cents.
     
  19. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  20. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    On that budget you could also go the hardware route - something like a Zoom R16.
     
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