snrkiwi

What is the best recording / production program for home studio ?

24 posts in this topic

Hey guys, Snrkiwi here, just wondering what avervage home studio artists,such as yourselves are using ?how you compare pirated copies to original programs ?What your using ? is it cheap ? User friendly ? Do you use 2 different programs combined or more ? Do they work well together ? Do you use separate monitors (dvi) for each program, or if its unnecessary ? or Is there one program that does it all, record,edit,master,format and highly recommended.

I am currently looking at buying legit software, as probably many others are too. Ive posted many topics, but mainly on problem solving issues of my own :bang: , so hopefully others can benefit from this post, and i dont have to feel like a taker of peoples time :eatadick: (Thnx guyu, kno who u r. )

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I'm not going to go all moral on your arse cause, fact is, i've pirated software in the past... BUT don't do it. Shit like Ableton is SO cheap. If you want to try before you buy, download a demo. You can't be serious about music production/making tracks AND have pirated software. Pirated music software is for kids who can't decide which cool new trend to jump on. Aint got money for Ablertronz etc.? Use Reaper - it does pretty much everything and it's free or something like $20AUD. If you can't afford that then you've got some sort of raging smack addiction.

I run Cubase. Basically, i started with it soooo many years ago and it does pretty much everything so why change? When i bought Cubase, you couldn't get cracked copies. Anyway, i guess it's not cheap but there are the Lite and Studio versions. I run studio 'cause it does pretty much everything and didn't break my bank when i updated.

I run multiple screens so i can split mixers and VSTi's and Midi control interfaces up without putting to much clutter in the working area. It also looks cool.

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I see a few themes running here:

1) What's the best software?

2) Piracy, cool?

3) What/how do you find your own DAW (or DAWs) of choice?

4) Dual (or triple) displays?

Well then, to respond in order:

1) Best? Best for what? At their very essence, they're all pretty much doing the same thing (eg. Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools) just with different windows, labels, and keyboard shortcuts. Ableton Live has a unique, realtime, aim/trigger/fire style loop arrangement capability. But for studio production (rather than the Live stage), it's totally acceptable to load up every track, loop  a portion, then mute/un-mute to taste, working through what works well with what. Reason probably is the only one coming from a different angle, by emulating a 'real' studio rig, but every component, and every in and out, can be found and utilised in some manner or another in pretty much every other DAW, so its difference is kinda moot. If anything, Reason's closed-off from the rest of the world approach (ReWire excepting) could be considered limiting. As for whole Pro Tools is best for rock, Cubase for house, Logic for trance, Fruity Loops for hard-stylze, MPC for hip-hop generalisations, they kinda wear thin once one looks beyond the label and discovers the similarities between 'em all.

2) It seems that with each price drop, the rationale for what's a fair deal is re-calibrated, and it's never gonna be cheap enough for the masses. Take Logic, was a $1500 app, gets rorted by warez, bought out by Apple, drops to $600, and this shit keeps happening and happening and happening. Fuck me, when is it gonna stop? Oh, and it'll give your computer AIDS.

3) Pro Tools LE since v5.0, now 10 years later and at v8.0. Knew its limitations (software AND hardware) when I got involved, but simply looking for something more versatile than the hardware sequencer I'd been using up until than. At this stage, virtual synths wasn't even on the radar for me. I kinda grew with the program, as it evolved, I took on and appreciated its advancements. At the same time, I can also appreciate that only by v8.0 has it arrived on par with its competitors (while still lacking in some critical areas eg. offline (non-realtime) bouncing and automatic plug-in delay compensation). Its strengths the whole way, however, have lay in its very tidy audio editing facilities and single edit window approach. While v8.0 has brought in a separate MIDI edit window (if one chooses to use it), however, the basic principles still remain. I have no intention in changing, especially as the many of the key softsynth players have adopted the RTAS (plug-in format), though if starting out from scratch, I expect I'd be closely sussing Logic, but hey, Pro Tools is on the back of my hand so tough choice. While I get the Ableton concept, I've never liked its interface, such as its restricted-size audio editing window (despite its clever zoom/scroll facility). But to answer your question, "Is there one program that does it all, record,edit,master,format and highly recommended", they'll all do that!

4) Never been a dual display person, much preferring to stick with a BIGGER single display to get things done, and switching EDIT and MIXER windows with a keyboard shortcut, just like switching applications. Maybe because my near-field monitors have always sat near (funny that), I like to sit face on so as to not disrupt the stereo balance. Having said that, since picking up a 24" display (as the 15" laptop's 900 horizontal lines simply couldn't display enough of the edit window - painting a hallway through the mail slot, anyone?), I've  not looked back at the dual screen concept. But rather than side-by-side, the larger 24" screen is positioned behind and raised up over the 15" laptop. The mouse is able to travel up/down between the 2 screens. Best of both worlds, keeping it symmetrical with no head shifts left/right to upset the sound, while the 15" acts as a 'palette' for the soft synths, effects plugs, or the MIDI editor. Plus, the laptop's keyboard still gets used, saving from a separate keyboard purchase.

I think that's it! :)

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I'm not going to go all moral on your arse cause, fact is, i've pirated software in the past... BUT don't do it. Shit like Ableton is SO cheap. If you want to try before you buy, download a demo. You can't be serious about music production/making tracks AND have pirated software. Pirated music software is for kids who can't decide which cool new trend to jump on. Aint got money for Ablertronz etc.? Use Reaper - it does pretty much everything and it's free or something like $20AUD. If you can't afford that then you've got some sort of raging smack addiction.

Could you please define "SO cheap"? Because I checked out "Ableton" on Amazon and it was running around $329-499 and in my book thats pretty steep or is audio software similar to graphics software and that is the average price of it and it can get as expensive as up in the thousands?

I see a few themes running here:

1) What's the best software?

2) Piracy, cool?

3) What/how do you find your own DAW (or DAWs) of choice?

4) Dual (or triple) displays?

Well then, to respond in order:

1) Best? Best for what? At their very essence, they're all pretty much doing the same thing (eg. Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools) just with different windows, labels, and keyboard shortcuts. Ableton Live has a unique, realtime, aim/trigger/fire style loop arrangement capability. But for studio production (rather than the Live stage), it's totally acceptable to load up every track, loop  a portion, then mute/un-mute to taste, working through what works well with what. Reason probably is the only one coming from a different angle, by emulating a 'real' studio rig, but every component, and every in and out, can be found and utilised in some manner or another in pretty much every other DAW, so its difference is kinda moot. If anything, Reason's closed-off from the rest of the world approach (ReWire excepting) could be considered limiting. As for whole Pro Tools is best for rock, Cubase for house, Logic for trance, Fruity Loops for hard-stylze, MPC for hip-hop generalisations, they kinda wear thin once one looks beyond the label and discovers the similarities between 'em all...............

Thanks a lot for that Spectrum it helped but my question to all that is if all of them are relatively the same which is the best one to start of in terms of someone with a small budget and also which of them is more user friendly for someone who absolutely knows nothing and is starting from scratch?

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Hello Audioenthused. You'll get a lot of different answers to your question, but one of te more common ones will be "downlaod the demo of Ableton Live and try the tutorials". It comes with all these step by step lessons that will get you up and running very quickly.

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Could you please define "SO cheap"? Because I checked out "Ableton" on Amazon and it was running around $329-499 and in my book thats pretty steep or is audio software similar to graphics software and that is the average price of it and it can get as expensive as up in the thousands?

Intro versions start from under $100USD. You can get full versions on sale for sub $300USD. If you're a student you'll get discounts on the pricing making it even cheaper.

And yes, it's specialised like graphics software.

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Hello Audioenthused. You'll get a lot of different answers to your question, but one of te more common ones will be "downlaod the demo of Ableton Live and try the tutorials". It comes with all these step by step lessons that will get you up and running very quickly.

I see well that is actually a rather logical recommendation I'll do just that. Could you recommend where I could get some Ableton Tutorials the ones located here App Tutorials seem to be dead.

Intro versions start from under $100USD. You can get full versions on sale for sub $300USD. If you're a student you'll get discounts on the pricing making it even cheaper.

And yes, it's specialised like graphics software.

Yes I did see that "intro" version I was thinking it was some watered down version and that I should avoid it.

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Get the demo's from Ableton's website.

The light version lacks a couple of features you wont use for maybe 6-12months after starting depending on how quickly you pick it up. The real advantage of most lite versions when you're starting out is they give you the core functionality without all the distractions. There's lots of things you can do with a full version but until you know how to use them or are in a position to learn, they'll just distract you from actually making music and getting a workflow sorted. IMO it's best to build your studio as you learn not try and build a studio then learn how to use it... and i'm a major gear whore so it's kind of ironic.

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I use CB5 essentials. Got it for $150au or some shit off ebay with the elicenser. I use CB pretty much because it's all I've ever used. I'll probly upgrade to studio or full when I juggle some finances, but I'm happy atm cause I run mostly hardware,sequence and record into CB then add effects/processing etc.

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I've been using Cubase since Version 3 - not Cubase 3... back then it use to ship on floppies or optional CD. Still using it today and i think it's a great application with massive flexibility. I wouldn't encourage anyone to start with it today, though, having broadened my horizons a little. It can be a serious distraction having all the functionality of Cubase and all the setup options. Live really does tend to produce faster results by allowing you to get your head around the concepts of making tunes rather than the tech of using your DAW. From what i've seen, Reaper provides a similar focus.

If you're going to produce music it's going to be critical at some point to grasp the different technologies and make them your bitch. You'll get more flexibility and originality with your sound... but start by nailing the composition side 'cause i know it took me years with Cubase before i was starting to produce music i thought was good. Most of the early stuff i had that i considered OK was done real time with some mates jamming with me and recorded into Cubase then edited a little. Not saying Ableton is the be all and end all here, but it's much easier to grasp than Cubase or ProTools.

Another thought is to consider what mates/friends you have are using. If you've got some people in your current circle of friends using one of the applications it can make your uptake and success with it much quicker as you've got someone to quiz and bounce idea's off when getting started. It's always helpful if you know someone who can show you the ropes regardless of the app you choose in the end. The guy who i bought Cubase off back when stone was the most common recording medium was a brilliant bloke and spent ages showing me different things and answering questions over the phone. It's the sort of support i don't think you get that much any more from a retailer... but then he was more a muso making an extra quid selling synths and software from his house than a retailer. But, umm, yeah - friends help. Forums good, but nothing like sitting down with a couple of beers and a mate showing you some tips and tricks :lol:

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I see well that is actually a rather logical recommendation I'll do just that. Could you recommend where I could get some Ableton Tutorials

The Ableton demo download includes a whole bunch of tutorials. Then after that, youtube or forums are an almost endless source of ideas and inspiration.

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Another thought is to consider what mates/friends you have are using. If you've got some people in your current circle of friends using one of the applications it can make your uptake and success with it much quicker as you've got someone to quiz and bounce idea's off when getting started. It's always helpful if you know someone who can show you the ropes regardless of the app you choose in the end. The guy who i bought Cubase off back when stone was the most common recording medium was a brilliant bloke and spent ages showing me different things and answering questions over the phone. It's the sort of support i don't think you get that much any more from a retailer... but then he was more a muso making an extra quid selling synths and software from his house than a retailer. But, umm, yeah - friends help. Forums good, but nothing like sitting down with a couple of beers and a mate showing you some tips and tricks :lol:

Well currently I have no circle per say I'm looking to get into the whole thing from the basics of the basics all from scratch if I'm fortunate I may meet individuals of like minds where I plan on doing my course next year but the DAWs that seem to be dominant in my little country are "Fruity Loops", "Pro Tools" I'm not sure if "Acid" & "Atomix" are DAWs also but those are names that I have heard also.

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if money is an issue look at reaper - a fully featured DAW thats around $50 for individuals i think

or ableton live lite is only $99

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Well currently I have no circle per say I'm looking to get into the whole thing from the basics of the basics all from scratch if I'm fortunate I may meet individuals of like minds where I plan on doing my course next year but the DAWs that seem to be dominant in my little country are...

What 'little country' are you from?

And does anyone use Digital Performer these days?

I remember the USA, for example, being very DP and Cakewalk centric at the turn of the century.

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If price is the issue, stop drinking beer for 3 months and it will pay for itself.

Price is never the issue.

J Fred in Nashville

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Reaper. Its cheap and does the job really well. Native Instruments Komplete 7, everything you need will be in there. A good PC/MAC, some monitors, and your good to go. This would give you the weapons for pro results, and for a really good price.

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If price is the issue, stop drinking beer for 3 months and it will pay for itself.

Price is never the issue.

J Fred in Nashville

Great advice. :blink:

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I kinda gave up on this because the realistic applications seem to be very limited. I was planning on doing a Sound Engineering course and see where I could start from but that would have been a big gamble so I had directed the funds to other areas.

What 'little country' are you from?

And does anyone use Digital Performer these days?

I remember the USA, for example, being very DP and Cakewalk centric at the turn of the century.

Sorry Spectrum I thought I answered this many moons ago, I live in Jamaica.

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I haven't used ableton cubase or protools. I started using cool edit pro... that became adobe audition. That is really all I needed I really like the spectograph view.

 

I saw garageband and it looks colorful. But I prefer FruityLoops now FLStudio. Now that I stepped away from the 'educational use' of those softwares I am running linux multi media studio and Pretty much testing out all the audio software on linux. Linux is sort of a pain to set up you have to connect things with qjack so midi/sounds go to the right programs. Its like driving a stick shift car. If you have manual you get a lot more control over things. I like that. Plus there's alot of open source but Im not at that level of programming yet.

 

Right now I have ubuntustudio and you can test out all the software like muse milkytracker audacious ardour etc. Has anyone found a good spectograph software for linux??

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^ great spectrograph and multipurpose analyser for linux/win/osx is sonic visualiser. I use it all the time for my research. Its offline standalone, not realtime plug-in though. Awesome nonetheless and freeware. Just google sonic visualuser download or go to sonicvisualiser.org

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