Best entry level DAW

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Is it Reaper? Don't want to spend too much, and need ease of use.
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  • Dave8Dave8 Frets: 67
    If by best you mean “free”, yep 
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 31121
    Reaper isn't that easy to use, it is cheap.
    It does things differently to most other DAW's- it is best suited to 'tinkerers'.

    I suggest Studio One to most people these days who are looking for a 'it just works' vibe.
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 7812
    edited May 2021
    I'd genuinely look at Studio 1 Artist.

    You can try Studio 1 Prime for free to get the feel of it, but will want artist once you've got to grips with it fir the extra functionality. 

    Very intuitive, drag and drop editing and everything is just obvious. 

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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 21775
    Studio One has worked for me.

    Pretty intuitive, but with some great (professional) YT vids for support too.
    Having trouble posting images here?  This might help.
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 3684
    octatonic said:
    Reaper isn't that easy to use, it is cheap.
    It does things differently to most other DAW's- it is best suited to 'tinkerers'.

    I didn't find it that difficult to use as it happens -- you know for straight-forward, build a project work. It certainly does allow for an insane level of customisation -- which is great till you can't remember what or how you customised something and you want to get it back some other way. 
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  • Macca_25387Macca_25387 Frets: 74
    I’d tried Garageband and Logic, but found Harrison Mixbus the most intuitive to pick.
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  • markvmarkv Frets: 266
    I think it depends, because different DAWs suit different ways of thinking or working. Personally I like Reaper and can't get my head around (say) Garageband at all for some reason, but I know other people are the other way round!

    I saw some advice somewhere that said that the biggest investment you're going to make in any DAW is your time, so before you do that it's worth having a look at a few.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 5817
    edited May 2021
    Grunfeld said:
    octatonic said:
    Reaper isn't that easy to use, it is cheap.
    It does things differently to most other DAW's- it is best suited to 'tinkerers'.
    I didn't find it that difficult to use as it happens -- you know for straight-forward, build a project work. It certainly does allow for an insane level of customisation -- which is great till you can't remember what or how you customised something and you want to get it back some other way. 
    The best DAW is the first one that you use. I started on Reaper and I find it really simple to operate, while everything else is confusing! With templates, I can be recording new ideas within seconds.
    If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 5817
    I’d tried Garageband and Logic, but found Harrison Mixbus the most intuitive to pick.
     That's a good under the radar suggestion.
    If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1580
    I found Reaper easy. I've been using it since v1 in 2007. It was my first DAW, so I came to it with no preconceptions.

     I can't make comparisons because I've always been able to achieve what I want and haven't felt the need to try alternatives.

    It's not a competition.
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  • SteveFSteveF Frets: 348
    I used to use Cubasis back in the day, and it was pretty intuitive and easy to use.  I moved to Garageband and subsequently Logic when I moved to a Mac and they're both great.  

    There's a balance to be had.  Something like Cubasis/Garageband etc will give you the ease of use, but may not have enough features for you.  If you want something more fully featured (but still easy to use) at a low price then something like Presonus Studio One might be a good bet.  You can start with the free version and move up to the next tier pretty cheaply when you need more features. Everything I have seen and heard of Studio One has been positive. 

    Alternatively, for a similar price, you can get the full version of Reaper, and I know people who have had great success with it and swear by it.  It's not too difficult to get recording with.  There are a ton of features that you can delve into as you grown in confidence, but you don't have to if you're happy just doing simple multitrack recording. 

    You didn't say whether you were on a PC or Mac, but if on a Mac, I would personally go with GarageBand and upgrade to Logic later.  The projects are compatible and for the (not-cheap but not-unreasonable) cost of Logic you get a lot for your money.  I think I paid for it about 10 years ago and I still haven't had to pay for an upgrade yet.
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  • SteveFSteveF Frets: 348
    Just noticed Studio One Artist is 25% off at the moment (until tomorrow) https://shop.presonus.com/studio-one-5-artist ;
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  • MusicwolfMusicwolf Frets: 2456
    Freebird said:
    Grunfeld said:
    octatonic said:
    Reaper isn't that easy to use, it is cheap.
    It does things differently to most other DAW's- it is best suited to 'tinkerers'.
    I didn't find it that difficult to use as it happens -- you know for straight-forward, build a project work. It certainly does allow for an insane level of customisation -- which is great till you can't remember what or how you customised something and you want to get it back some other way. 
    The best DAW is the first one that you use. I started on Reaper and I find it really simple to operate, while everything else is confusing! With templates, I can be recording new ideas within seconds.

    Familiarity is everything, especially for those of us who do this as a hobby and not for 8 hours a day (although my wife would argue that it sometimes looks that way).  I started with Cubase so long ago that we didn’t even have computers.  We had to do all the signal processing using log books, an abacus and a slide rule.  It took us ages to finish projects.  When I wanted a cheap DAW to load onto a laptop for field recording (I didn’t want to mess around swapping dongles) I tried Reaper.  I could set it up to capture tracks easily enough but to do anything more was going to be a steep learning curve and wasn’t worth my time.  I now use Cakewalk alongside Cubase and, to me at least, it seems far more intuitive.

    If you don’t already ‘know’ one DAW then it can be beneficial to pick one that someone else that you know is using.  If you can’t get that one-to-one support then have a look at which DAW has the best online tutorials.

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  • notanonnotanon Frets: 466
    I did a music production course online. I was using Cubase at the time. Studied quite a few aspects of DAWs.

    I tried everything I had worked on in Ableton and Reaper, groups, envelopes, routing, . .  Reaper is closest to Cubase and suits my Brain. Garage Band I can't even do the basics. To be fair I haven't watched any tutorials but people say very intuitive.

    +1 for Reaper from me. 
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 6244
    Reaper. It's not really hard to use. When I made the switch from cubase there were no you tube channels for that kinda stuff and I managed it without any instructions or anything so it can be doing things that much differently to other DAWs.

    Except maybe Pro tools which I really didnt get on with at all.
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 2665
    I went from cubase to Reaper too.  Reaper is dead easy to use.  And free. 
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1580
    edited May 2021
    I went from cubase to Reaper too.  Reaper is dead easy to use.  And free. 

    Not free really. Just free to try. Are you being a naughty boy?

    It's not a competition.
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  • BodBod Frets: 654
    It's worth bearing in mind that many DAW manufacturers include a licence with their hardware.  PreSonus, for example, include a copy of Artist with their interfaces and control surfaces, so if you need hardware you could kill two birds etc.
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 2665
    I went from cubase to Reaper too.  Reaper is dead easy to use.  And free. 

    Not free really. Just free to try. Are you being a naughty boy?

    Yes free to try :wink:   
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2958
    I went from cubase to Reaper too.  Reaper is dead easy to use.  And free. 
    Reaper is kind of free, it has a trial period but if you continue using it after it has expired, there's an icon 'Still Evaluating' which lasts for 5 seconds before it can used normally.

    I used Logic for a very long time, it took me ages to get used to using the Environment screen (this was back when it was on PC!) but I've struggled to get to get to grips with using Reaper on PC now that my Mac is a little old in the tooth.

    The plugins in with Reaper are pretty good though, worth giving it a go to see if you can get on it with it.

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