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N00b here - which DAW software is right for me?

woodman

Hi everybody,
I'm a longtime musician / first time composer and I'm looking to purchase some recording / composition software. Basically what I intend to do is hook up my electronic keyboard to my PC and use the software to generate funky sounds & effects, lay down tracks, and generally put a piece of music together. I also plan on hooking up a mic or two to record vocal or instrumental tracks as well. I've never used any DAW software and I've been reading through these forums, but I don't recognize one from another and I'm as confused as ever.
Given what I intend to achieve (see above), and given that I'm a N00b at this, could you please provide your opinion as to which DAW I should be buying? Cubase? ProTools? Reaper? There seem to be a ton of them out there, and I have no idea what the merits / demerits are of each one. Thanks!!
July 22, 2009 @05:08pm
Andrew_Malloy

Yeah, there are tons of great options. Reaper is great because it is inexpensive, but it does really lack some heavy duty features that you may want later, but it is simple in form.
If you are really looking to compose and do sound design and not really record, take a good look at Reason. It has all of your traditional sounds, plus some crazy synthetic sounds plus all the sound design tools you could need. The downside is that it doesn't do recording in the traditional sense. They are releasing Record to be the companion piece for it that would cover that aspect if that is what you feel you need.
If you would like to talk about it more, I would be happy to help you. I own and use all of the major DAW software.
July 22, 2009 @05:21pm
TimOBrien

Sequencers are like cars; every one of them will get you from A to B, but it's your SUBJECTIVE feeling of comfort with them that counts the most.
Download what demos you can and try them out YOURSELF.
(Reaper works with just a tiny nag screen)
Go to the bookstore and READ READ READ - every Barnes&Noble and Borders has books on the major packages. Have a cuppa java in the cafe and spend a few afternoons on research.
Find out which one makes sense to YOU.
Find out which one fits YOUR workflow.
....no one can tel you what YOU will be comfortable with.
July 22, 2009 @05:45pm
woodman

Thanks very much guys,
Could you comment some more on workflow? What are some of the primary ways in which workflow differs between the major DAW software? I have this naive idea that my composing would go something along the lines of:
-I hook up keyboard to PC (via whatever soundcard will let me do it)
-I choose a cool drumkit, lay down some drum tracks
-select a funky bass, lay down bass tracks (perhaps note by note, perhaps playing realtime on the keyboard)
-I build the song up, track by track
-I hook up a mic and record a vocal or an instrument - again, track by track
-I do whatever fine tuning is required to make it sound slick (?)
-song is complete; I click button to magically have the software translate what I've done into a music score
-record song directly onto CD
Do most DAW's work in this way?
Thanks again!
July 23, 2009 @06:29am
Psykostx

Basically what I intend to do is hook up my electronic keyboard to my PC and use the software to generate funky sounds & effects, lay down tracks, and generally put a piece of music together. I also plan on hooking up a mic or two to record vocal or instrumental tracks as well. I've never used any DAW software and I've been reading through these forums, but I don't recognize one from another and I'm as confused as ever.

Propellerhead Record Bundled with Reason. Best bet! Easy easy easy to learn, plus the sound is FANTASTIC!
August 4, 2009 @12:41pm