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Easiest/Best Daw for noob
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Easiest/Best Daw for noob

Hello All,

I have had my Kronos for a couple of years now. Even bought an interface a couple of years ago and I have “Daw paralysis”. I guess it’s time to start.

I realize “easiest daw” is an oxymoron and “best” is highly subjective. Just looking for some suggestions.

Up to this point I always used the Kronos sequencer but one of the things I want to do is create wave files. This is for personal use only.

Lastly, the interface I bought comes with Studio One Artist, but I am not averse to using something else.

Thanks folks!
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

Fruty Loops..
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Benjaymun's Avatar
Propellerheads Reason. Open Reasonstation files and see how electronic music is made firsthand. Nothing beats Reason for being a tutorial for beginners.

This is coming from someone who drowns in Reason. I'd use something much simpler when you're actually ready to produce tracks. There are way too many possibilities in Reason, and you can spend your time just rewiring the studio all the time. When you reach that phase, abandon Reason. (Restrictions breed creativity, and Reason is too unrestricted.)
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
KickDrum's Avatar
Start with Studio One Artist as you already have it and many people have lots of positive things to say about it, including how user friendly it is.

If that doesn’t work for you, you can go on the websites of all the major DAWs and watch brief tutorial videos about how to do certain tasks. You can get an idea for the look and ease of use of a variety of DAWs this way. Alternatively, you could actually download the demo versions of different DAWs and test them out one at a time before committing, although that could take a while.

To answer your question more simply, I think ACID Pro is a very easy to use DAW that is a blast to work with that yields great results. Editing audio in ACID Pro is the simplest I’ve ever found and I’m not sure why all DAWs don’t copy this one feature.
Old 6 days ago
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Transistores's Avatar
 

Download demos of all main ones and see if you can do anything in any of those.* To me personally FL Studio and Ableton are the easiest and intuitive but to make anything in Reaper I have to google it. For some it may be the other way round. It's personal.

*probably demos won't let you save so be ready to record whatever you'll come up with - onto standalone recording soft, phone or something else.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Thanks guys! I am going to look into all those suggestions!
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
If you have a mac then I suggest Logic or Reason, Reason is the most basic DAW you will ever find trust me, it has insane synths and effects but the audio editing and MIDI spec are pretty basic, I like that as less can go wrong and there's only a few basic menus. Logic is just Garage band on steroids, if you want to know what's like get garage band and try see.

All these things have free demo's to try before you decide so unlike hardware you really can try them all before you decide.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Gear Head
 

id probably go with ableton, seems like there are more free resources for learning than with any other daw. Also seems like their user base is young i.e. more beginners making music and less studio professionals using it for mixing and mastering. fl studio seems like a a good choice too. Logic is cheap and feature packed (and what i use), but ive noticed less free resources like youtube tuturorials. Also its mac only so that can be limiting for some.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
apessino's Avatar
I think Studio One is the most streamlined, best designed DAW you can get. It is fast, stable, complete and affordable.

When it comes to features nothing beats Cubase, but as far as workflow and performance Studio One is the best I have used, and it keeps getting better.
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
7Wave's Avatar
I'm a longtime Logic, Cubase, and Reason user, and Reason is probably the most intuitive and user friendly DAW I've used.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
The PC-only Acoustica Mixcraft 9 is stupid-fun. Includes a ton of stuff. The built-in online sample-finder is cool—you can create a movie-soundbed in like 10 minutes with it. Probably not my first choice in a DAW, but I bought because it includes MemoryMoon's CS80 PC-only soft-synth plugins for about what they sell for separately. Personally, I use Apple Logic Pro X on macOS as my primary DAW.
Old 6 days ago
  #12
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TornadoTed's Avatar
I've tried a few and Pro Tools clicked with me most, I think that is because I came from an analogue desk, multi track background. The one that I gelled with the least was Logic.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I’m on the “try Studio One and see” camp. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, but never really used it myself.

I’ve personally tried many DAWs, starting with Studio Vision Pro, and I don’t think I ever found a more easy to work with and intuitive DAW than Ableton Live. It just seems to work the way I’d expect a DAW to work. I abandoned it a few years ago, as I got tired of waiting for them to embrace MPE or even polyphonic aftertouch. I went to Bitwig, which is also great, and in many ways a bit better... but I still don’t think that it beats Live for really going from idea to track.
Old 5 days ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
One things for sure, by the time this thread has run it's course, every single DAW will have been recommended, and then some..
Old 5 days ago
  #15
Gear Addict
Using Studio One myself. Everything is presented right there in a single window and thus no menu diving to do basic stuff. 'Artist' version is already a very nice package bar a few rather useful plugins (like arpeggiator) - but that is not a problem in this era of plugin excess as you most likely won't be using much "default" stuff anyway.
Old 5 days ago
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestickz View Post
One things for sure, by the time this thread has run it's course, every single DAW will have been recommended, and then some..
And the reason for this is very simple; you generally pick one DAW and stick with it. Often a friend introduces you to it, or you get a trial version and decide to keep it.

All DAWs have a learning curve and all DAWs are opinionated on how the designers/developers expect you to make music with it. If you find something that matches your idea on how to make music, then it's easy to get fluent; if it doesn't, then it feels like it's fighting you every step on the way.

Part of what makes a DAW easy is a set of included instruments. While there are great third party offerings (and you might end up primarily using those over the included stuff - and if you're already experienced, included instruments should not be a main reason to choose for something), the tight integration that Reason and Garageband (and in a way Logic) offer really makes things a lot easier.
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

An obvious subjective topic but Ableton for being the most intuitive, easy to use and nicest looking of them all. But probably the most objective aspect (and most important imo), it's probably the DAW with the most resources, 3rd party devices, tips & tricks etc. out there. Free or paid, the multitude of actual sound design instruments built for Live (not vsts) is astonishing. Add the M4L functionality and the amount of content gets overwhelming, it basically feels like the Reaktor of DAWs.

The closest thing to Live would be Bitwig, haven't dived too deep but definitely stole a lot from Ableton and that Grid looks very nice.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
3bc
Gear Maniac
 

Get the one that suits what you want to do, and forget about the most user friendly. Why invest hundreds of dollars into Reason because of a smaller learning curve if you’re ultimately going to get annoyed with it’s relative limitations and have to spend more money and start over on something else anyhow?

Some really oversimplified generalizations:

Cubase/Logic - Goldilocks DAW’s, good for writing/arranging/mixing. Logic is the best value at $200 out of anything, and probably includes the best stock plugins of any DAW

Ableton - Best for writing, experimenting, using as performance tool. Probably among the worst stock plugins, quirky interface for mixing that is both powerful and maddening

Pro tools - best tape machine in the box concept, probably still the most widely used in “pro” recordings, probably? Less sophisticated writing/arrangement/sequencing tools.

Reason - Most “turnkey” with probably smallest learning curve. Like shopping at Trader Joe’s. Do you need a whole aisle of cookies to choose from? Not the place for you. Good collection of (IMO, mostly dated) soft synths and effects, pretty straight forward. Probably more sophisticated midi/sequencing that PT, but definitely less so than the rest.

Studio one - no firsthand experience, but it seems like a powerhouse when it comes to mixing duties

FL - haven’t used in 20 years. Way back when it was more or less a toy, seems to be a lot more sophisticated now, but i need to learn another DAW like i need a hole in the head!
Old 5 days ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

If you work with apple, garageband is the most easy daw there is.
If you work with a pc Studio One can be a good start, I use it myself and since the last version it's a very good balanced package.
Right now they have a sale till the end of december, you can upgrade from artist to pro for 199.
Look on youtube for beginner videos, also quanta, obedia and studio one expert clips will help you in the beginning.
I also use Ableton but like 3bc above says, the interface/layout is not the nicest for the eyes.
And Ableton is a bit pricey and never a real good sale, only every now and then 20% off but then again still pricey.
Remember; whichever daw you're gonna use, in the beginning it's always a bit of a steep learning curve.
Old 5 days ago
  #20
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by battyroy View Post
An obvious subjective topic but Ableton for being the most intuitive, easy to use and nicest looking of them all. But probably the most objective aspect (and most important imo), it's probably the DAW with the most resources, 3rd party devices, tips & tricks etc. out there. Free or paid, the multitude of actual sound design instruments built for Live (not vsts) is astonishing. Add the M4L functionality and the amount of content gets overwhelming, it basically feels like the Reaktor of DAWs.

The closest thing to Live would be Bitwig, haven't dived too deep but definitely stole a lot from Ableton and that Grid looks very nice.
The Grid (basically a modular environment inside your DA) is cool. I don’t know how Live is in v10, but when I abandoned it in v9, there was M4L, but it wasn’t nearly as well integrated.

I’m not sure if Bitwig is less intuitive, or if years in Live made me think that things should just work like they do in Live. It doesn’t hurt that they did sort of copy the basic layout. (Developers left Ableton to create Bitwig) Anyway, it seems like I’m digging for ways to do things more often than I did when I was in Live. One thing that I’m really happy with is Bitwig’s modulation system. I’m not sure if another DAW has anything like it. Side chain anything. Add aftertouch to any plugin. Mad that your emulation only has 2 LFOs? Add another. Etc. They do make it very easy to experiment.

But really, in the end it comes down to learning your tools. I feel as a UI designer, I can be a bit objective about things, but I really have no idea what I’d think about Live if I’d come at it from nothing. I’ve been at this for about 35 years and I’m sure I’ve been shaped by the tools I’ve used along the way.
Old 5 days ago
  #21
Gear Nut
Try them all.

Download them, run them, and stay with the one that brings you your desired results the fastest and most fun-to-use way. The more you need to google how something is achieved, the more you know it's not for you.
Old 5 days ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
All the major ones are all pretty easy I reckon. I was up and running on Cubase within a few days at age 14, and I’m thick as pig**** me.

Just download the free 30 day demos of them all and see which one gels the quickest.
Old 5 days ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all the great information folks! I am going to try out a bunch and make a decision as to what “clicks” with me.
Old 5 days ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camus2 View Post
The easiest DAW is the one you take the time to learn to work with. There is no easiest DAW. some might be more complex than others but they are designed for musicians, not computer scientists.
Very true.

I found Tracktion Waveform the easiest to make music in. It just stays out of the way. I never learned a "traditional" DAW like Cubase or Reaper. Etc. Even Ableton (such an ugly DAW, too, by default). Tried several others over the years but all of them are annoying to me.
Old 5 days ago
  #25
Lives for gear
I would suggest you to try for linear approach the Presonus Studio One and for non linear approach the Ableton live.
Old 5 days ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Shadowkast's Avatar
I primarily work in Logic on a Mac. But I also have two pc's running Fruity Loops studio signature. And FL is much easier than any DAW I've ever tried.
Old 5 days ago
  #27
Gear Nut
 

I found Reaper to be the most logical by a mile

As others have said all DAW's do the same things (ie. work with vst's, do automation, have mixing and mastering onboard etc)

Now this is what I like about Reaper and why I decided to go with it rather than the others.

1. Reaper is no thrills straight forward DAW (not like Ableton which looks like a fashion accessory)
2. Reaper is CPU light (some DAW's require more power and you'll need all you can get for the VST's you will load as extras)
3. Reaper can be customised more than the rest (make it look and work how you want)
4. Excellent series of free tutorials from Kenny Gioia that will get you up and running and then every thing else from there on (lots of great vids on his youtube page)

All the best
Old 5 days ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Thank you AMTech, you have been extremely helpful.

Reaper will be on my hot list, ,I’ve the fact that there’s lots of videos available for assistance.
Old 5 days ago
  #29
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Persemone's Avatar
I keep going back to Tracktion, had it since V1. A very different one-screen, left-right approach to most DAWs. They also give a prior version completely free, so no limitations other than a version or two behind. Worth a tickle
Old 5 days ago
  #30
Gear Maniac
As others have said, DAWs mainly do the same thing so it depends on how you gell with the one you have. If you've never used one then they will all have a learning curve so just pick one ... it's no big deal.

Here are my thoughts on the 3 I've used (Ableton, Reaper, Studion One):

Ableton Live - the most creative DAW of the three. I really liked the creative plugins & traditional DAW functions were not as developed but am sure they've improved. It was fine but the break in compatibility from 9 to 10 pissed me right off them.

Reaper - my current DAW. This is like the Linux of DAWs, you can make it run however you want basically. If you're used to traditional recording or other DAWs, the way Reaper works may throw you off a little (like no defined SENDs or MIDI channels). Once you get used to it, it's hard to go back though. I've not gotten that deep into customization other than defining a few shortcuts for myself. My biggest complaints are lack of auto-save (it crashes a fair bit when I'm using it w/ Izotope or Waves plugs) & no dropout protection. I'm gonna stick with it because the price is right & I'm used to working on it.

Studio One - I've been demoing it the past month with the intention of picking it up during Black Friday. Some of the workflow was irritating for me as I'm used to Reaper now. Didn't think the chord track was that great & things like defining MIDI instruments seemed more finicky than needed. Maybe it's a great DAW but I didn't like it enough to suffer through the switch or pay even 1/2 price.
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