Best entry level DAW

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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6869
    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.
    Oddly I started with Cakewalk when it was midi only ... on a 386 with 2Mb ram then Cubase on a Pentium 133, then Samplitude  (most underrated DAW ever. then switched to Protools. 

    I actually found Protools the easiest one of all to learn, just 2 Windows and 3 tools basically. The work experience kids in the studio were normally able to create a session and record and edit audio within one day, the live guys got on with it very well too because the mixer ap operates like a real analog desk in regard to the signal flow. 

    Sadly nowadays there's the useless Protools free or an overpriced sub based version of the software. 

    Reaper is good but the included plugs and instruments aren't great and the aux patching is strange. I downloaded the latest version of Logic a month ago and was impressed with some of the features but ultimately I can still work perfectly well on my old software so won't be buying it. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • PeteCPeteC Frets: 271
    If you've got a good solution for drums and don't need something like Logic's in-built Drummer, then Mixbus is definitley worth a try.   I used it extensively when it was first developed and did a little bit of beta testing for them.  I've also used Cubase and Logic extensively - but since moving to Mac in 2012 have used Logic for everything ever since then. 

    I do have a soft spot for Harrison Mixbus for tracking guitars and for the sounds of the mix you get quickly and easily. 


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  • gusman2xgusman2x Frets: 831
    Is cakewalk still free?

    its a pretty std and pretty good quality DAW
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  • PolarityManPolarityMan Frets: 6135
    Danny1969 said:
    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.
    Oddly I started with Cakewalk when it was midi only ... on a 386 with 2Mb ram then Cubase on a Pentium 133, then Samplitude  (most underrated DAW ever. then switched to Protools. 

    I actually found Protools the easiest one of all to learn, just 2 Windows and 3 tools basically. The work experience kids in the studio were normally able to create a session and record and edit audio within one day, the live guys got on with it very well too because the mixer ap operates like a real analog desk in regard to the signal flow. 

    Sadly nowadays there's the useless Protools free or an overpriced sub based version of the software. 

    Reaper is good but the included plugs and instruments aren't great and the aux patching is strange. I downloaded the latest version of Logic a month ago and was impressed with some of the features but ultimately I can still work perfectly well on my old software so won't be buying it. 
    I came from trackers so the jump to cubase was a bit of an adjustment and I didnt initially like the lack of tick level control...until I realised I was doing everything in really stupid ways back then.
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  • FreebirdFreebird Frets: 5815
    gusman2x said:
    Is cakewalk still free?

    its a pretty std and pretty good quality DAW
    Google BandLab.
    If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it.
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  • StratavariousStratavarious Frets: 1426
    edited May 10
    BANDLAB!!!... the future is now! ... free, online in browser with amp and fx sims, editing, mixing, automation, apps and free copy of Cakewalk for PC hardware 
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 19380
    Best entry level DAW = the one that you gel with best. 

    Reaper worked for me because it is so free and tinkerable. 

    Cubase over the years has been a buggy mess right down to demo versions/freebies given out with soundcards not working. The e-licenser side of things also feels very outdated. 

    Some people swear by Ableton. It's good but it's not quite my thing. Same with Bitwig, Reason... 

    There are so many options out there. Get some demos, play with them, find the one that suits you. 


    Now accepting applicants for the position of Minister for Being Reasonable Until Questioned. 
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  • BodBod Frets: 619

    Cubase over the years has been a buggy mess right down to demo versions/freebies given out with soundcards not working. The e-licenser side of things also feels very outdated. 
    I second that.  I bought v10 when they had a 50% off sale - buggy mess.  Was "forced" into paying for an upgrade to v10.5 in the vain hope that they'd fixed stuff, but they hadn't.  Such a slow development cycle with fixes, presumably because they're more interested in chasing new features that they can charge for.

    I've heard that they're ditching the dongle now - about time too.
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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 7053
    I would vote for reaper , very good features, will do more than enough for most applications and I found it far more intuitive to use than Cubase and Logic, though I have eventually moved to Logic as i used the drummer feature a lot and now it's stuck with me :)

    But my experience is limited and I've not tried ableton and studio one. Maybe try a few demos.
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  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 1564
    GarageBand/logic 
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 2072
    Thanks for the tips. I've gone for Studio One. Seems pretty intuitive so far....
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  • I’m tinkering with GarageBand and AUM on my ipad, which both seem to work for my more synth based noodling.
    I'll get a round to buying a 'real' guitar one day.
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  • icu81b4icu81b4 Frets: 92
    +1 for Cakewalk by Bandlab (CbB) some great tutorials on YT and really good support. 
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  • Jonathanthomas83Jonathanthomas83 Frets: 3067
    NelsonP said:
    Thanks for the tips. I've gone for Studio One. Seems pretty intuitive so far....

    Good choice, I've had a three-day trial recently and I enjoyed using it immensely.
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  • framesterframester Frets: 6
    I absolutely support Reaper. It's a great piece of kit, and more intuitive than many others.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 4901
    If you want the most complete and capable totally free DAW with very good bundled plugins and pro level features it's Cakewalk by Bandlab by a very big country mile IMO.

    Oodles of tutorials, vids and support and continual free upgrades being released. It is a little bit glitchy but nothing like as much as it used to be. The new version is pretty solid. 

    For a beginner the learning curve is not too bad, and the amount of tutorial available makes this much easier too. 

    I had the previous paid version, which cost me about 380 quid I think. Bandlab took it over and made it free, and tbh it isn't a great deal different to the version I had. I upgraded to the latest version and if anything it's even better.

    You'd be missing out if you don't give it a go. 
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