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What is the absolute most basic, easy-to-use DAW?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Telecaster88, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Dik Ellis

    Dik Ellis Tele-Meister

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    It doesn't matter what you are using to record. Just spend some time figuring it all out, and once you do, it will become rote. The benefits are many, including a sense of accomplishment. Also you can begin to build your body of work, which to me is the most important thing of all.
     
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  2. Sinphenom

    Sinphenom TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Ive been working on Tracktion/waveform ( the free version) Daw. It’s quite a good system and works well on my mac. Quite intuitive and the best part is that it is open source. Found it to be quite stable on my macBook. Maybe give it a shot. Otherwise Garage band is quite a good starting point.
     
  3. richinmusic

    richinmusic TDPRI Member

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    I was in your spot 10 years ago. Performer, session musician, but always on "the other side of the mix" (never as an engineer or even DAW user). Injured my back pretty seriously and everything I knew and was good at musically changed. I started with Reaper and dedicated time to really learn it. They have unusually awesome forum, full of super helpful and talented people. There are even some there that are well established (even famous) in the music biz, some of them are not obvious with their online identities. I encourage you to try that route. Don't expect immediate easiness, just devote some time to one platform and dig in. Oh...have fun.
     
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  4. alexman

    alexman TDPRI Member

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    Reaper is free and simple enough.you will have to fool around with it for a while.it took me a few trys to get it working for myself.also there is a massive amount of useful information about the program.glen fricker on YouTube has some great videos about FREE plug ins and how to use them
     
  5. ticktok

    ticktok TDPRI Member

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    I'm a big fan of Ardour. It's free open source. I mainly use it on linux, but it also works on windows and mac.

    Also, as far as using knobs over a digital screen, if you have a usb midi interface panel you can map the buttons and knobs to actions in the daw. I use a korg nanokontrol. they've since come out with the nanokontrol2 and the nanokontrol studio.
     
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  6. johnny k

    johnny k Poster Extraordinaire

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    The good thing about audacity, if it is easy to use, i haven't tried it with my focusrite, is that if it is easy to set up, you will able to play right away.

    Spending 10 hours on reaper to figure how to reduce latency kind of killed the spirit of recording guitar. Especially since i still have a bit of latency.

    The cool thing about audacity is that you can click and drag .wav or mp3 drum tracks from say, https://drumbit.app/ and start playing right away over it. I have done it, but not with the focusrite thing.
    I did it with my fender mustang amp which you can plug on your confuser with a usb cable.

    edit making your own drum track on reaper is a possibility, but you will have to figure it out yourself, it takes a bit of time too. I got it after maybe 3 or 4 hours messing around.
    It is also possible to import guitar pro drum tracks (it will be midi though ) into reaper.
     
  7. Captain Krunch

    Captain Krunch TDPRI Member

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    Garageband has an interface that is almost for kids, its free, and you can do almost anything that you can think of with it. You can start working with that, and if in the future you feel that you need an upgrade, just switch to Logic Pro X and you already will have a long path walked with the way the program works.
     
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  8. flatfive

    flatfive Friend of Leo's

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    I like GarageBand. If you don't have a Mac you could consider getting a Mac mini as a dedicated machine for music recording.
     
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  9. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    The current version of Cakewalk is just an update of Cakewalk Sonar. It gets constant updates, and it's free! I discovered it when I looked into updating Sonar. Free is a nice surprise. It's not very complicated if you just want to dive in and record. You don't have to go deep, but you have the option of going deep. It comes with free plug-ins, and there are scores of free plug-ins for both effects and synths to be found on the internet. I've been getting a lot of mileage out of the MFreeFXBundle.
     
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  10. Ed Driscoll

    Ed Driscoll Tele-Holic

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    Right, I get that -- I've been using Sonar since about 2000, and during the big lockdown, I decided to give the Bandlab version a spin and I'm really enjoying it (including the updates). But somebody in this thread mentioned the basic Bandlab app (which presumably they created before buying Cakewalk's assets), which looks very much like a GarageBand knockoff.
     
  11. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ah...
     
  12. jameslandrum2

    jameslandrum2 TDPRI Member

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    Buy a used mac mini (2010 still works fine) use Garageband (free), mini runs around 2-250$. Plug in the focusrite (works great) Add ram as desired (cheap), with 16gb ram, its an amazing little recording box. None of the windows apps match garageband for ease of use and quality.
     
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  13. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    Wow, daunting for someone who learned on 1/2" 8 track, 1" 16 track and 2" 24 track magnetic tape 30 years ago. I like physical knobs and faders. Never learned digital recording because it was not intuitive. Can't get used to memorizing which icons and which commands to use for which function . As well as features and commands hiding under layers of other icons and commands. Will just have to work with an engineer.
     
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  14. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

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    I use Mixcraft also. An easy transition from working in a 24 track 2 inch tape analog studio. Worth the $$$ IMO.

    Faders and everything else pretty much in the right place and/or easy to figure out but must have some technical ability to configure the PC system and learn the program.
     
  15. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Take a look at Harrison Mixbus. Its interface is built to look like a Harrison console. I've used a program called Acid for the last 20 years but I heard that Mixbus was pretty good for mixdown so I bought it and I'm really starting to like it. I'm still getting used to a lot of the functions, but it adds a good amount of warmth to the mix and the layout is familiar to an old analog dog like myself.

    - D
     
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  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    IF we do not know the basic process or principles of recording it doesn't much matter what DAW we go to, all a DAW is , is a SOFTWARE version of a HARDWARE recorder. The process is EXACTLY the same on every DAW. recording, mixing..etc...

    "HOW DO I USE MY EARS " ?


    If we can't track on a simple 4 tracker to completion,( a final tune, even in simplicity) we are not ready for any DAW YET.

    IF we are not PC savvy or software savvy, we may NEVER be ready for ANY DAW.

    IF we are not able to differentiate the difference between a PC ( or MAC) issue and a DAW software issue ,we are jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.

    Reaper is not easier, Studio One is not easier, Garage Band is not easier, they all use and require the exact same basic process.

    Learning how to use any DAW software is not a replacement for learning the BASIC elements of recording or mixing. They are tools to a process we already have familiarity with.

    Time, experiment, study. REPEAT.

    a couple of my favorite recording forum comments RE - DAWS:

    -My version of Pro Tools doesn't work
    -I am very good at mixing but I can't find the MIXING window
    -My guitar output is too strong, its distorted


    Someone should write and publish the "DAW JOKE book " !
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  17. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Garageband. It's the gateway drug for recording. I teach a course where non-music majors have to make a song using garageband for their final project. It's easy enough that they can all manage it


    Any decent DAW is basically a fully featured multimillion dollar recording studio in a laptop. It's complicated because the things you can do are practically infinite. I use Logic Pro a lot and have only scratched the surface of what it's capable of.

    An alternative to the DAW is to just buy a dedicated multi-track recorder, like the ones tascam makes. The eight track version is under $329
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  18. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Agree 100% with your first two paragraphs. Buying a 'dedicated multi-track recorder'? Not so much. Now that I've been using GB, I can use it intuitively.

    I figured out Garageband by watching a few YT tutorials. Admittedly, I use it at a basic level, recording vocal, guitar and bass tracks. It's easy to share tracks as well. I haven't added any drum tracks yet but understand the process. I never did get a handle on my Boss BR600.
     
  19. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I know there are people here who insist on getting a standalone multi-track recorder, and there's no reasoning with them about it. I think it is such a huge mistake. It would be like playing the guitar in handcuffs. As the previous poster pointed out, there are a plethora of YouTube instructional videos for pretty much anything you could imagine. Get stuck, search for one. If one video doesn't work for you, there will probably be another that does.
     
  20. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    What Skully says has merit, the only thing I would add to the equation is that when moving to a DAW , we assume everyone is PC or MAC literate. We assume everyone can load software, make the PC or MAC efficient etc... We assume everyone can find the interface once installed, if installed at all .

    "My DAW doesn't work, it doesn't recognize my interface"

    A majority of complaints we read on the recording forums are not even DAW related, but rather something OTHER than the DAW, but they BLAME the DAW. Not everyone is suited for software is all I am saying. Those folks should use a Workstation. And even at that, its no guarantee they can record NOTE #1 .

    Some people can take Transmissions apart and put them back together in one day, I'm not one of them and don't want to be.
     
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