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DAW Recommedation
Old 19th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

DAW Recommedation

So.. I'm ready to start recording more songs, and I'm faced with a delima.

I'm a singer/songwriter, play guitar and piano, and have used a boss br1600cd for the last 5 years. Its done me well, but I'm getting tired of the small window to work (which makes editing and looping a b*tch), and the limited tracks available are frustrating. It also doesn't provide much by the way of loading additional effects, pitch correction, harmonies (that vocal toolbox it comes with is pretty much useless).

I also have a 2005 version of Sony Acid that I haven't installed (was a bday gift, but I was happy with my br1600 at the time and didn't see the need for the program).

About 6 months ago I bought a Roland vs2000cd from a bass player I worked with, which has a VGA extension (which rocks.. I can actually see what I'm recording). Though, after turning it on, thinking I could just hit record and "go", I'm finding the learning curve looks pretty steep. Also, it only has the basic setup for effects, and to add any more (such as the pitch correction and more guitar effects) requires another expansion board (VS8F-3) which isn't manufactured or sold anywhere (can't even find it on craigslist or ebay). So basically I'm screwed there if I wanted any add-ons.

I went to guitar center, and they almost talked me into completely ditching the multi-track recorder and going with Logic, Protools, or Ableton, and perhaps adding an interface to keep a bit of the "hands-on" approach instead of using a mouse for everything.

But I also discovered there are other interfaces that come with software, like Yamaha's MW series, which is more plug-and-play.

Any feedback? I know Logic and ProTools are more of the "standard", but from your experience, what do you recommend? Is the Yamaha MW (and similar workstations) a good transition from the Boss 1600? Is the learning curve crazy? And/or should I just jump right into Pro Tools-type stuff?

Please help. My brain hurts.

-Justin Utley

PS: btw.. I've been a reader of this forum for quite some time. Bought a Babybottle and some KRK monitors after reading the forums.. and am very happy!
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I have a friend who is in exactly the same situation: against my advice he bought the Boss and has used it for too long, found the limitations that I told him he would find, and now has to buy and learn something new, all over again. Go with the computer.

He's gone with a simple interface and the entry level version of samplitude.

Pretty much any of the sub $250 entry level USB boxes are going to do you just fine for a long time, and the bundled software will work for you. After you get into this a little bit you may find that you change software... my friend changed to Samplitude because he watched me working in Sequoia and wanted something similar.... but you'll do fine with the bundle and your finished waves will be importable (or can be saved in a format that can be imported) by the others should you change softwares later.

You might do better to research the interfaces, check on problems with drivers and how well and long a given company supports their products. Some are surprisingly bad at this while some are amazingly good.
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
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mattjew24's Avatar
 

There is definitely a learning curve with DAW software...it can make you want to bang your face against your monitor.

PreSonus now has a nifty control surface/DAW collaboration. the software is StudioOne and it has a mixer that goes with it for easy integration.
Old 20th December 2010
  #4
Hire someone on Craigslist to show you 4 or 5 DAWs and how they work. Buy the one you like and have the same person give you a few lessons and you are off and running. Money well spent.
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
Gear Addict
 
TimDolbear's Avatar
 

Yes I am bias, Samplitude, you get recording, real editing, mixing, mastering, CD and DVD creation. Audio/Midi/Vst/VSTi...on and on

And the Samplitude forum is the best community around, very helpful and no BS.



Here are the introduction videos so you can learn about it:

YouTube - TimDolbearMagix's Channel


In N. America, Samplitude 11 cross grade is $249 and Samplitude Pro is $499. You qualify coming from the recording setup you have currently.
Old 20th December 2010
  #6
Gear Addict
 
mmarra's Avatar
I just switched to Samplitude from Sonar and I have to say that I'm loving it. To me the workflow is easy and efficient. For the me the big advantage was the object oriented functionality.

Try the demo you have nothing to lose
Old 20th December 2010
  #7
I own Cubase 5, Samp 11, Reason 4 & Pro Tools HD 8.

I use Samp for Mastering on Bootcamp.
Used Cubase for years mainly on PC but also on Mac - recently moved to PT HD on a Mac Pro - awesome.

Do yourself a favour - buy PT 9 native - not sure how buggy it is but I am LOVING Pro Tools.
Old 20th December 2010
  #8
Gear Nut
 
goz211's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
Hire someone on Craigslist to show you 4 or 5 DAWs and how they work. Buy the one you like and have the same person give you a few lessons and you are off and running. Money well spent.
+1 to that. Maybe your local music shop will have a keyboard tech guy who will do it.

OR - buy what a friend has and have them as your tech guru - help you get it all set up and working.
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
Gear Nut
 
goz211's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Pretty much any of the sub $250 entry level USB boxes are going to do you just fine for a long time, and the bundled software will work for you.
Also a very astute observation - though in keeping with our Gearslutz ambience someone should really be telling you to buy the full version of ProTools, a variety of expensive monitoring solutions, a walk in closet full of vintage mics and preamps ... and did we mention the Waves plugins ... and I almost forgot the XXXXX that you absolutely can't do without ...
Old 20th December 2010
  #10
Gear Nut
 
goz211's Avatar
 

Three posts on the same thread - apologies in advance.

This book helped me. Amazon do it. Get the latest edition:

"Guerrilla Home Recording" by Karl Coryat.
Old 20th December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
This is a big chore. If I were in your position this is what I would do:

1) Buy a the Apple computer of your choice that has a Firewire port. Get the one that fits your needs. If mobility is important get a MacBook Pro. Otherwise buy the best Mac you can with your budget.

2) If you plan on only recording 2 tracks at a time your choice is easy - Apogee Duet. If you need more than that you have lots of choices in 8 channel interfaces. Presonus, Focusrite, Digidesign, M-Audio, and MOTU make great inexpensive Firewire interfaces. On the high end RME, Metrix Halo, and Apogee products are superb. Call/email their tech support and see which one you think does the best job.

3) Demo Cubase, Ableton, Logic, Studio One, or even REAPER. I am not sure if ProTools has a demo. Buy the one that seems the easiest for you. Watch Youtube videos on each DAW when demoing them. Call/email their tech support and see which one you think does the best job.

My 2 cents.
Old 21st December 2010
  #12
Gear Nut
 

I've been using my precious Tascam 688 since 1991. I thought nothing could beat it. I still have it, BTW, in perfect condition. So, I have to walk the learning curve myself. I started with Cubase LE, because it came with my first interface. The learning process was not that hard, because the logical interface is developed after the analog domain we all knew. I mean, what you will see in your Mac/PC Monitor is a representation of an analog mixer. Probably this will change in the future, but this is part af another thread.
If you already have an interface, get a demo version of all the DAW you can. If you are going to get a new interface, get one with a DAW bundle, so at least you already will try one.
Now I have Cubase 5 full version, and I am really happy with it, but Cubase LE4 was incredibly powerful and really easy to learn. I also tried Logic 9, which I find easy also and with some creative features, and Pro Tools. They're all good.
Just keep in mind that getting the DAW is not the final step here... save some money for decent mics and decent preamps.... Oh, well... we're slutz after all
My 2 cents.
Old 21st December 2010
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Thank you VERY much. Looks like cubase LE with a combo (Yamaha MW series anyone?) is pretty appealing.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 
bryan k's Avatar
Go Entery level PRO-Sumer gear.

-Get a decent computer (Mac, PC...what ever floats your boat) or even a used older one that still has some decent specs.

-Buy a entry level Pro-sumer audio interface. Things like M-audio, Presounus, Motu have GREAT entry level interfaces that sound great.......and they usually COME WITH a FREE version of a popular DAW (Sonar, Studio One, Cubase, etc). Just grab an audio interface that has enough mic pres that will get you on your way. Im sure a few years from now youll upgrade for more stuff, or better stuff anyways.....

The DAWs that come FREE with these interfaces are loaded with stock plugin effects, so just doing this will get you on your way....


....and then in 4-5 years youll laugh at your self cause your stock-piled with more audio recording gear that you know what to do with....its the addiction we all face....and your showing early signs of addiction.

"Welcome to RGA (Recording Gear Anonymous)....HI, My name is Bryan....and im an Addict......."
Old 22nd December 2010
  #15
Gear Addict
 
mmarra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
"Welcome to RGA (Recording Gear Anonymous)....HI, My name is Bryan....and im an Addict......."
So true for so many of us here on GS heh
Old 22nd December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
mattjew24's Avatar
 

I have to agree about Cubase.

LE was my first DAW. At the time I had JUST begun the whole recording thing. I had never touched a mixer. Didn't know what the hell signal flow was. I figured it out eventually. I kinda miss it.
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