Which DAW

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
To my audiophile friends, I have a question regarding DAWs.

My basement band is looking to record some stuff in the basement and have it professionally mixed. I am fairly adept at getting my drums to sound good with my current pro-tools version, but I will need more channels and more functionality to get the level of recording we are looking for.

So my question is, what DAW software to you guys recommend? I need at least 16 channels, with the ability to have 8 record enabled at once. I am not too worried about plug-ins or add ons, but obviously I wont complain if it has those. My computer is less than 6 months old and is the top of the line, so the system requirements will be enough for just about software.

I am not looking to spend $500 or I would just buy pro-tools. Im not adverse to the monthly subscription for pro-tools, but I would rather purchase something that I can physically own and use for years. So, what say you DW forum mates? Any advice?
 

WalterKohn

Senior Member
To my audiophile friends, I have a question regarding DAWs.

My basement band is looking to record some stuff in the basement and have it professionally mixed. I am fairly adept at getting my drums to sound good with my current pro-tools version, but I will need more channels and more functionality to get the level of recording we are looking for.

So my question is, what DAW software to you guys recommend? I need at least 16 channels, with the ability to have 8 record enabled at once. I am not too worried about plug-ins or add ons, but obviously I wont complain if it has those. My computer is less than 6 months old and is the top of the line, so the system requirements will be enough for just about software.

I am not looking to spend $500 or I would just buy pro-tools. Im not adverse to the monthly subscription for pro-tools, but I would rather purchase something that I can physically own and use for years. So, what say you DW forum mates? Any advice?
I use Cubase 8 elements and a Steinberg UR44. Cubase is really a great program. Relatively inexpensive.

You can also look into Reaper. It is free and is really really good. Reaper can do everything any DAW can as well. Only reason I am not using Reaper anymore is because my UR44 came with a basic version of Cubase and I just upgraded to Cubase 8 for 49$ from there.

Personally Cubase is the best DAW for drummers, especially if you use an e-kit with Superior Drummer VST.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I've been using Presonus Studio One ever since I took posession of my StudioLive mixer and love it. Very easy learning curve, very accurate summing engine. Very good pre-installed plug-ins.

In 2006, KristalLabs Software Ltd., a start-up company founded by Wolfgang Kundrus and Matthias Juwan, began working on Studio One in cooperation with PreSonus. Kundrus was one of the early developers of Cubase and was the primary author of Nuendo for Steinberg. Juwan had written version 3 of the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plug-in specification, and written the freeware KRISTAL Audio Engine. KristalLabs later became an integrated part of PreSonus. Wolfgang Kundrus is current Managing Director and Matthias Juwan is chief technology officer (CTO). Other members of the team who also originally came from Steinberg include Maik Oppermann and Eike Jonas.

If you plan on using Presonus hardware, the integration is a breeze.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
If you're on a Mac, just use Garageband to record. There are workflow options for exporting to both Logic and Protools.
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
Reaper. although anything will work since you're just tracking and really don't need to take advantage of most of the functionality of a DAW.

reaper has an unending trial period. if you aren't interested in paying for it, you aren't forced to do so.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
They all use different means of getting to the same end.
Some have features that might be important to you.
For tracking a band, you mostly need the basics and an adequate track count.
Partly depends on what computer you're using too.
I've been using Cubase since it was midi only (before audio recording), so I'm kind of biased towards it.
I have several other DAW's too, but don't use them anymore.
 

poppies

Senior Member
Another vote for Reaper. It balances easy to use and powerful more effectively than any other DAW I've come across.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I bought Pro-Tools due to the fact that there is an immense amount of information on it out there. My wife and I did get the educator discount, which helps a lot (she teaches school orchestra).

If you are looking at programs other than Pro-Tools, take a look at the user forums, YouTube tutorials, etc. for that specific DAW. It is a drag to be in the middle of a project, get stuck, and not find a quick answer/solution online. Both music notation programs and DAWs can initially have a steep learning curve. The more popular the program, the more info available online.

PS - Before I bought Pro-Tools, I had Reaper. I didn't use it a lot, but I agree that it is a very good DAW.

Jeff
 
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iwearnohats

Silver Member
Another vote here for Tracktion - I've been using it since January, and it's easy to use for someone who has never played with a DAW before.

It will do everything you want it to do without having to purchase any extras. You can get a copy of Tracktion 4 free edition from their website to try it out, but I ended up buying 6 and got a free upgrade to 7 as it was released shortly after. They often will do specials as well.

But I have heard good things about Reaper - never looked into it myself, but it may do what you like. My only concern would be ASIO support as IIRC ASIO support requires the software producer to pay a licensing fee, so if Reaper is free that is what I'd check as you need ASIO for multi-track recording.

Edit: Just looked at the Reaper website and it is NOT FREE. It is US$65 for personal use (with some commercial flexibility) and over $200 for commercial use.

Tracktion is cheaper. Better? Dunno. But I use it and I think it's great.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I'm using Reaper and I think it's great.
I can get an educational version of Pro tools through my wife, but when I learned about Reaper and how well it works I decided against Pro tools.

Reaper also has video lesson right there on the website and you can follow along with each one to learn it and get up to speed quickly. It makes it very easy.

And Reaper is cheap at $65 and you can use it forever as a full functioning trial version if you're a cheapskate.

Reaper has ASIO support for Windows users.

The main thing to understand is that unless it's a very obscure DAW they're all good and will do what you need. If you are familiar with one, use that. Otherwise don't worry about which one to get.
 
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running

Member
Man, never trust anyone who self identifies as an "Audiophile" on anything, especially when it comes to gear! :)

If all you're going to be doing is tracking and bouncing personal stems, as others have said, it really doesn't matter what you use. One plug for PT -- since you have an existing version, did you check if you are eligible for an upgrade discount to Pro Tools? Might be able to get a perpetual license for significantly less than $500 that way.
 

MustangMick

Senior Member
Reaper. Works great on PC or Mac (few different versions depending on how old your computer is). Well worth the $65

Was going to get ProTools but AVID are heading towards a very expensive Annual subscription model for ProTools.

Mick
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
So it looks like Reaper got quite a few up-votes here. One more question; if I record on reaper and the mix engineer uses pro-tools will there be compatibility issues? We plan on having a local professional mix the songs and he uses pro-tools 12HD.
 

WalterKohn

Senior Member
So it looks like Reaper got quite a few up-votes here. One more question; if I record on reaper and the mix engineer uses pro-tools will there be compatibility issues? We plan on having a local professional mix the songs and he uses pro-tools 12HD.
Just export the wav files. You can import wav files to any DAW.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
So it looks like Reaper got quite a few up-votes here. One more question; if I record on reaper and the mix engineer uses pro-tools will there be compatibility issues? We plan on having a local professional mix the songs and he uses pro-tools 12HD.
The audio will transfer easily. The metadata may not transfer (insert markers, alignment, track starting points, etc). This means that the engineer may have to manually line up some tracks that do not start at the beginning of the song (guitar leads, backing vocals, etc).
 

Retrovertigo

Senior Member
when you export all the individual tracks they use the same start and end points so they always line up. a guitar solo that is in the middle of the song will just have silence on the track before the solo kicks in.

and as i said you aren't forced to buy the non-trial version (which is exactly the same as the trial) but $65 is very reasonable if you decide it works for you.
 

running

Member
So it looks like Reaper got quite a few up-votes here. One more question; if I record on reaper and the mix engineer uses pro-tools will there be compatibility issues? We plan on having a local professional mix the songs and he uses pro-tools 12HD.
You can bounce tracks out of any DAW and send them over. (This is basically giving the mixer an audio file for each track that they can import.)

You can't trade project files, which is a small reason for plugging PT. Where this is handy is when the producer wants to give the mixer a rough example of the sound they're going for. If you send a project file, the mixer can just bypass/mute any plugins. If you're bouncing then you have to bounce separate dry/wet tracks.

Some mixers will charge extra for any kind of setting up that they have to do, but most want the work these days and won't.
 
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