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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I need to get some recording software, but as I have no idea what to buy, I must ask for advice.

I need software that can run on both Windows and Mac. The more user friendly the better, as I am the most technologically illiterate teen I know. Basic is good, but I'd like something that won't hold me back in later years if I decide to invest a lot of time in mixing and mastering.

That's all, really. I already have access to a lot of good microphones and I'm sure I can find someone who can help me set it up. Any suggestions for good software is much appreciated.

Thanks!
Stefan
 

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Apple has "garage band" and Windows has a sound recorder. If you want to multi-track with have some editing bells and whistles you might be looking at spending some dough, but there are many choices for pc microphones that won't demand your reed money. :)
 

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Apple has "garage band" and Windows has a sound recorder. If you want to multi-track with have some editing bells and whistles you might be looking at spending some dough, but there are many choices for pc microphones that won't demand your reed money. :)
Your mac will have the basic Garage band and it's free. It's very capable and one of the easiest to use.
 

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I need software that can run on both Windows and Mac.
One thing to think about and I should have added it above:

Reaper projects will transfer and work directly on BOTH mac and windows pcs. (except for any platform specific plugins, the builtin reaper plugins will work)

Some programs like Garageband and windows soundrecorder will not work on the other platform.
 

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I think the only "cross platform" Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software out there (besides Reaper) is Cubase and Pro Tools. Sonar is Windows only, Logic is Mac only. I've heard great things about the new PreSonus software, but have never tried it (it might also be cross-platform).

Cubase, and most other DAW software, has a "student" or "beginner" version that will probably be adequate for your needs.

I've tried Reaper, and decided I didn't like it. That's a personal opinion only, take it for what it's worth, but I've used all the above software (except for the PreSonus), and Reaper is just a little "different". Again, this is just my opinion, the software certainly works very well.

Note that Audacity doesn't do MIDI - I don't know if that's an issue for you or not. What this really means is, if you want to use backing tracks, you will not be able to change the notes being played - or tempo, for that matter. A DAW will have MIDI capability and many "instrument" plugins that respond to MIDI messages, so will be able to do this. (Many people may say you can shift time and pitch on audio files, but for a full backing track that may not work very well.)

Regarding free plugins, you get what you pay for, in general. The more expensive DAW editions will come with many plugins that are very good.

Do you have a sound card / audio interface? You will need that for any of these. I recommend an inexpensive (~$200) one that uses USB to start. You can pay a lot... but unless you are a) an audio engineer and b) have at least $5K to spend, it's not worth it. But make sure your interface can record at 24-bit resolution. Speed, or rather sampling rate, (44.1-48 vs. 88.2-96) is less of an issue than bit depth (24 vs. 16) for recording.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys! Thanks for all the advice. Sounds like it might be a little out of my reach without the aid of someone who knows what they're doing, so I'll wait.
 

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No, don't wait! Download audacity for free, it is very capable and good to start out on. If after you learn and progress you feel you need a more sophisticated solution, then you can lay down some dough.
 

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I'll also vouch for Audacity. It's free, and has many of the features of more expensive software. It's a good program to use in order to get familiar with recording software.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, you guys are the best! I'll definitely come back to this thread over the summer when I have some more time on my hands, but right now, I should really be studying for finals. Thanks again!
 

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Hi All:
I am starting to get serious in doing my recordings, so I bought an interfase to connect my Shure SM57 microphone (Lexicon Alpha),and after using Real Band ( from Band in a Box) to put my playalongs in a track, I recorded my sax.
I was using my PC with an internal Creative sound card. I also used the free Audacity with good results.
But now, as a goal to improve my knowledge , I am in the proccess of setting my own recording Home studio.
I am using the following equipment :
MacBook Pro
Roland HP 700 Piano
Ovation electroacustic guitar
Lexicon interfase to connect the Shure SM 57 mic
Software:
I need to make a decision between logic Pro 9 and Cubase LE 5 ( it came free with the interfase)
As i intend to make my recordings using playalongs with my saxes, then in a second step, start creating my own tracks ( using the software i will choose with your help), using loops and sounds from VST's.... And eventually in a third step make a creative work to produce play-alongs and compose music.
My goals look very ambitious but , if I am going to go in a learning curve, should it be the best option to use logic Pro 9, as it is a Mac specific software, has plenty of sounds and VSTs ?
A question to Steve Keller : as you have used both software and ,by your answer , you know very well how to use them... What do you recommend me ?
All advise from you fellow musicians is well accepted.
Best wishes
Humbardi
 

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I like Logic. You can use both VSTs and ai plugins. It's now available from the app store. Also, all of the Garageband plugins work with it. I would recommend that you also purchase Mainstage. With Logic and Mainstage you have everything you need.
 

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I think the only "cross platform" Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software out there (besides Reaper) is Cubase and Pro Tools.
As of version 8, Digital Performer is both. And PreSonus Studio One is cross platform.

In a personal observation, what ever DAW you learn first tends to be the one you'll use forever. Get ProTools. It's a deep program, but really easy for basic recoding too. And it's the standard. And student versions are quite inexpensive.
 

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I use Sonar Producer (have been a Cakewalk customer since Pro Audio 5). That said, if I just want to record a practice session in my studio, or a couple of horns to compare sound, etc., I just use Audacity. Very capable and can use the full 8-channel Pro Saffire rig that I have connected, so it will satisfy most of the basic requirements. Used it for years with an M-Audio Audiophile USB (which I'm trying to sell at the moment) and got some great rehearsal tracks for demo use.
 
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