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Eric Pederson
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#1
4th September 2010
Old 4th September 2010
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Question Best DAW for a beginner with DAWs

Hey slutz, i need your help.

My dad recently rebuilt his secondary house (tornado ripped the roof off) and he has been working hard all summer to rebuild it into a studio friendly environment (really cool space with big ceilings and great angles).

He's a very smart guy but learning recording software has been a bit of a hurdle for him.

The question:

What would you recommend as a simple to use DAW?

-He has a new iMac and is totally competent with using computers
-Is Garageband ok? (not worried too much about plugins etc right now)
-He needs to not get buried in menus and steps

I just want to get him into recording without getting him too frustrated.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
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4th September 2010
Old 4th September 2010
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If he's putting all of this effort into building a place where he (and you presumably) can record music, why don't you send him on a pro tools, or alternative, training course? There are lots around, and in my opinion they are well worth the investment if you've already put the effort in to get to a point where you can record. Its just an idea, other than that, most DAWs I've worked with just have a learning curve that once you're past its easy enough. I've never used garage band, but I've heard its easy, and it is almost definitely simpler than logic or cubase. Or even at a push, audacity has a nice big record button if he will be just recording everything at once.

Let me know how you get on.
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4th September 2010
Old 4th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombies_on_Fire View Post
If he's putting all of this effort into building a place where he (and you presumably) can record music, why don't you send him on a pro tools, or alternative, training course? There are lots around, and in my opinion they are well worth the investment if you've already put the effort in to get to a point where you can record. Its just an idea, other than that, most DAWs I've worked with just have a learning curve that once you're past its easy enough. I've never used garage band, but I've heard its easy, and it is almost definitely simpler than logic or cubase. Or even at a push, audacity has a nice big record button if he will be just recording everything at once.

Let me know how you get on.
Good advice. Theres an apple store here at the Mall of America that might do a Garageband thing. Also he could probably buy a tutorial dvd or something like that. Thank you.
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4th September 2010
Old 4th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pederson View Post
Good advice. Theres an apple store here at the Mall of America that might do a Garageband thing. Also he could probably buy a tutorial dvd or something like that. Thank you.
Fl Studio would be a Good suggestion .I also started with it to learn beat making alltho Every very new thing is a bit weird/difficult but Fl studio has a step sequencer build in and a playlist and a mixer so everything is actually dricketly reach-able. (Dont think that im tryn to explain something like im talking to a kid but flis the most simple software therre is for music productions) FL 8 going for 60$ in guitarcenter and i tought you get the update to 9 for free.Also watch some video,s on youtube with your father how other people make beats and explain him why they do it and how that,s how i also learned a bit from beat making.

Succes!.

PS: therre are many video,s on youtube about how to load Wav drum kit,s in Fl and install vsti,s etc....
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4th September 2010
Old 4th September 2010
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Reaper. There's a new tutorial series available (very professional) that was filmed using Reaper in a mac environment. Your dad can start simple and basic and grow forever with Reaper but not with Garageband.
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5th September 2010
Old 5th September 2010
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You say Dad is new to DAWs, and that they are a bit of a hurdle for him.
Leaping into a full featured program could be a bit overwhelming, and you don't want to scare him off.

Why not try Dad out on GarageBand, which already resides on his mac via iLife?

You won't have to pay for or download anything.

GB is practically crippled compared to Reaper.... but easier for a novice to get a hold of. You can plug directly in with a cheap USB mic or mixer, or whatever you have, and get a session going in minutes, with very little hassle for a novice.

If Dad finds he likes working within a computer, then you can spend some money and get a full featured program. Or if he's sharp, download the full Reaper demo at get-go, and just have at it.

Either way, trying out a program you already own (GB) won't hurt, and may make the leap into recording easier than starting out in Logic or Reaper or some other full feature DAW.
#7
5th September 2010
Old 5th September 2010
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+1 on GarageBand. It's so simple that a total beginner can easily get into it without getting frustated (I've seen it. Even seen full albums made on GarageBand.) and it's already there with iLife so you don't have to purchase anything. And for basic few channels at a time recording, it works really well. It also has full AU support so it's ok for basic mixing, or at least learning it. And it's much better than Audacity in terms of simplicity, speed and stability.

GarageBand has it's limits, but only when you hit those limits, then consider a more featured DAW if needed.
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5th September 2010
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Logic Studio + Logic 101 certification. It's a full 3 day that goes through every section of Logic. It goes from recording to editing, automation and mixing. I have been teaching it for 4 years and my students (beginners and advanced users) can't praise it enough.
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5th September 2010
Old 5th September 2010
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+1 Garageband to start

Move to Logic IFF* he uses it lots.

(* if and only if)
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5th September 2010
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I started on Cubase and have stayed with it. Learning the hurdles is part of anything as complex as recording. Take the time to learn the hurdles and it will be worth it in the long run. As far as DAW's go, I wouldn't recommend anything but Cubase but that's just me and they all do their jobs very well.
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5th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdupproductions View Post
Fl Studio would be a Good suggestion
He's on a mac..
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5th September 2010
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Best DAW for a beginner with DAWs

+1 for GarageBand
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5th September 2010
Old 5th September 2010
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PT? Logic? holy smokes. Yes, save yourself $$hundreds. Get him started with garageband.

You didn't state his background, where his level of interest really is, and how committed he may be. If he came from an analog environment with 24 track 2 inch and knows he wants to get back into it big time, well ok, he'll probably end up on logic or PT.

But jeez. I used to do OK stuff on a 4 track cassette set up. garage band slays that. like most people in this thread, I'd say GB is where to start. Take the money you save and buy a decent mic and interface. That might be all he ever needs.

good luck
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5th September 2010
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True. If he's just starting, GB will probably do it for him. But I'm sure that further down the road he'll feel frustrated about missing functions. Then point him to my prior suggestion.
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5th September 2010
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Seriously Reaper is worth considering, lots of great tutorials and good music making interface too...

Never tried Garage band but heard a lot of cool stuff from it...
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5th September 2010
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Garageband would be a good starting point, although I learned on cubase SX
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5th September 2010
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GB may be great as a first DAW - simple and quite toy-like IMO. And it may be all your dad will ever need. However, if he really gets into the DAW world and starts experiencing the seemingly limitless universe that is available, it won't be long before he's encountering the limitations of GB and want to move into something more sophisticated. For some users, switching DAWs is not a big issue - they are adept at navigating the learning curve and actually enjoy it. For others (like myself) that kind of thing can be extremely stressful and a downright nightmare. The new learning curve can be a huge hurdle that blocks the creative spirit and juice. If dad were to start with something like Reaper (basic on the surface - deep and complex under the hood), he may never need to switch no matter how sophisticated his skills become. Whatever he ends up going with, I hope he has a great time with it!
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5th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
He's on a mac..
Fl doesnt support mac ? whoops my bad :P ive never used an apple.I tend to eat em more
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7th September 2010
Old 7th September 2010
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Garageband it is! As for his background, he has been doing music and helping run his band's PA for several years, really no recording experience.

I am sure GB is the simplest recording interface since it is marketted as such and bundled with the computer.

Dumb question...

Is there a maximum silmutaneous input count or max track count in GB? We probably only need about 8 inputs for him (at the max)

Also can you have more than two outputs from GB for cue mixes?

Thanks for all the replies guys
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7th September 2010
Old 7th September 2010
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I believe simultaneous is 8 or 10, not sure. But it is definitely 8 at the minimum.
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7th September 2010
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#22
9th September 2010
Old 9th September 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suda Badri View Post
Seriously Reaper is worth considering, lots of great tutorials and good music making interface too...
I really like this idea. Reaper can seem a bit overwhelming at first (due to the infinite number of routing options) but if you are any good with this stuff I think you could whip up 2-3 templates that he could use as launching pads.

You may be able to get some of the guys from the reaper forum over at cockos to help with templates too if it is not your thing, but that forum seems much less friendly than it did >rev1.

Reaper is free to try so he could work with it for 2-3 months and decide if it is right for him.
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Eric Pederson
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9th September 2010
Old 9th September 2010
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Just want to say thanks again for all the help guys.
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