Reaper is an amazing, fully-featured tool that has an uncrippled demo. Like WinRar, you can keep using it after the 30-day demo has expired.
You'll want to give them your money, though. $60 for that software is criminally cheap. The dev team is reponsive and constantly patching and adding new features.
Reaper has a great piano roll MIDI editor, but if you're looking for real "composing" software (as opposed to a DAW, recording package like Reaper or Cakewalk), MuseScore is open-source and free.
If there's something you need Pro Tools for, then as bodean55 said, the educational version is probably going to be your best bet.
If, on the other hand, you're looking for a phenomenal daw, check out Reaper. The free trial doesn't have any limitations (no features disabled, saving is allowed, etc) and for the price it's a steal.
Indefinite, full-featured free trial, very reasonable purchase price. Not a huge range of included plugins but a clean, extensible workflow and the dynamic plugins are very very good quality. Side chaining and custom I/Os are simpler and more extensible than any other DAW, in my opinion.
I also add CM magazine/MusicRadar's free CM plugin suite. A bunch of good synths and plugins for the cost of a magazine.
Reaper. You can get a free trial that is the full program for 30 days (though I'm almost positive that you can just keep using it if you don't want to spend the 40 dollars on it). It's gonna be different for you (as it would switching to any other DAW), but it can essentially do everything that Pro Tools can. I'd at least give it a try.
<em>Reaper</em> will do the job beautifully.
You could also look in to <em>Pro Tools First</em> or <em>Studio One 4 Prime</em> which are slightly limited versions of the full programs.
Yes. Very easy test: get some software like http://reaper.fm and load in a file. Now make a copy of the file in a second track. Woah, hear that? It's way louder, possibly distorting, because you're increasing every value.
Now press the phase button. Now you hear nothing, even though each track is visibly outputting.
To think of it another way: your speaker can only be positioned +1 or -1. (all the way in, or all the way out).
Say you had a track that oscillated between +1 and 0.
Now you flip that track and it oscillates between -1 and 0.
So when your speaker gets the sum of those two signals, it is 0. aka, it doesn't move.
I see a lot of people here recommending great builds, so I don't have anything to add on that from. However, no one here is mentioning the audio interface that will be needed to actually record his music.
There are a lot of different options available for those, and they definitely have a huge range in price. As an audio guy/musician myself, I use the Presonus Audiobox USB for home recording. It has the inputs I need to record with either a mic or by directly plugging in my guitar and using amp plugins.
If he's using large sample libraries, then he'll need a lot of ram. 16gb would be ideal, but he can get by with 8gb. It'll just limit the amount of libraries he can load in one recording session.
Also, I don't know if he already has a Pro Tools license, but that doesn't come very cheap. Currently, a Pro Tools licence goes for pretty much your entire budget (600$). If you want a cheaper solution, I HIGHLY recommend Reaper, which goes for about 10% of what it costs for Pro Tools (60$). I use it both personally and professionally for work and can say with some authority that it's an excellent tool for any kind of audio work that you need to do, be it music, sound design, or even scoring video.
I prefer Reaper. It's much more fully-functioned than something like Audacity, and its workflow is much more efficient, for me.
It's also "free" in the same way Winrar is. You'll never lose functionality if you don't buy it, you'll just get a nagging pop-up on launch reminding you of how long you've used it for.
It's good enough that I bought a commercial license for it, but that was after a couple years of using it for free without issue and starting to make real money using it.
I have a Shure SM57 and use it to record vocals as well as acoustic guitar. There is an old DigiDesign MBox 2 as the interface to the computer/DAW.
I use Reaper as my DAW and really like it. It's free to try out and very inexpensive if you decide to purchase. There are lots of tutorials on their website as well.
Check out Reaper, it's fantastic and there's a great community. Between Reaper Blog and Kenny Goia, you'll be up and running in no time. Trial is generous, and then it's $90, which is a steal.
Elitists will frown upon this answer, but in my opinion, your best option is to get a small, inexpensive USB interface (I use the Steinberg CI-1, retails for ~$100) and a cheap recording program like Reaper.
If you just plug another 1/4" cable from your amps headphone slot into the interface, you can use whatever settings/tone you want, and you're free to use any backing tracks you'd like as a .wav or .mp3, or even just playing YouTube from your headphones.
Reaper does everything you need and much more. Full unrestricted demo version comes with a 4 second nag screen when you open it and if you do get some cash I think it's like $60 to purchase. The Reaper website
Before you take the plunge into Pro Tools, you owe it to yourself to check out Reaper. You can run it with your current soundcard using ASIO4ALL and if you decide that you like it, you can choose from a huge range of audio interfaces.
Work through a few tutorials, do some reading in the forums, then decided if Pro Tools is something you need. At the very worst, you'll learn that there's more than one way to skin a cat/track a guitar.
Also, audioengineering is a slightly more on topic subreddit for this question.
>I'm also a bit weird in that I like doing what I'm not supposed to.
You definitely want to take a look at REAPER then. Ridiculously flexible routing and tinkering, but you don't have to dig to find it. You can also completely ignore it if you'd like. It has a very simple interface. Everything is a track -- audio, MIDI, folders, everything.
I've used ProTools, Cubase, Sonar, Tracktion, Ardour, Qtractor, n-Track and others. In my opinion REAPER is the best of all of them while adding its own improvements and cool features/workflows.
If you are recording and tracking instruments or live-playing virtual instruments you will want to invest the time into installing your interface's ASIO driver to reduce latency. If you do not have an interface then just stick with WASAPI, it's good enough to start with, just don't be surprised if there's a delay between playing a note and hearing it. If you get sick of the latency you can determine how much you want to invest into a proper interface later.
If videos are more your thing check out the official ones here: http://reaper.fm/videos.php
Setting up shop for preferences... aside from setting up audio and perhaps MIDI you don't need to touch the rest of the preferences. Just jump straight to the first song, recording or using MIDI videos.
REAPER will continue to function after 60 days so don't worry about running out of time to evaluate it. Choosing a DAW takes a lot of time because of figuring out workflows. Other DAWs with shorter trial periods are pressuring people into making snap decisions.
> and also the max rate on gen-1 scarlett's is 48khz
Wrong. The maximum sample rate on gen1 scarletts is 96khz, for gen2 it's 192khz. BTW, unless you have very specific needs, using 44.1kHz or 48kHz is absolutely fine - a higher sample rate just gets you bigger files and uses more processing power for virtually no audible benefit (unless you a are a bat...). Recording at 24bit makes sense though - you'll have more dynamic headroom to work with.
As for a beginner DAW, I'd recommend REAPER, since you can download fully featured trial version with only a nag screen after the trial period.
To elaborate on /u/Tarron's advice...
The most straightforward way to do this (IMO) is to get a DAW and some drum software. A DAW is a Digital Audio Workstation, and will let you arrange multiple drum patterns in sequence, save them as a wav or mp3 file, turn on/off a click track, and load virtual instruments, like drum kits.
The drum software itself is a plugin that will let your DAW utilize drum sounds.
If you're not looking to pirate anything (and you SHOULDN'T pirate anything), the most cost-effective solution is to download Reaper and MT Power Drumkit 2:
Install Reaper, which is your DAW. Then install MT Power Drumkit. You'll have to go into the settings in Reaper and tell it where to find MT Power Drumkit. From there, you can program in drum patterns and arrange them in the order you want.
Oh, and MT Power Drumkit is free. Reaper isn't free, but the demo version is fully functional with no time-limits. You shouldn't have to spend one dime.
LMMS will most probably put you off music production all together. I made a few tunes in it for an open source game (I thought I'd have a blast at trying to make them with open source software, due to the purpose of the tracks). It's really an abysmal piece of software compared to the major ones, and I imagine it'd be especially bad when you're still at the stage where you're learning.
If you're on the cheap, I recommend you check out Reaper which you can evaluate for 30 days and only costs $60 to buy after that.
From what I understand Reason isn't recording software. For that you need something like Propellerhead's Record or (my favourite) Reaper
For everyone asking, here's a bit of a breakdown of the process.
I record into a presonus FP10 running into my home built PC via firewire, into REAPER.
Audix d6 inside the kick, about 4 inches away from the batter head pointed straight at the beater, plastic beater. Kick is 20x22, muffled with a pillow against the reso head. The Batter head is a pre-muffled aquarian head (comes with a foam ring fastened to the head, I forget the model number at the moment.)
SM57s on the snare and toms, nothing too fancy here. Drum tuning is a big deal.
two AT2020s for overheads. I only used 2 cymbals in this recording, so they're at equal height above each cymbal, adjusted to fix phasing.
EQ and compression to taste, and moderate reverb added. I can go over some EQ/compression techniques later if anyone's interested.
Bass recorded direct in to the interface, light EQ. Pretty raw bass sound.
Guitars recorded via a line 6 POD XT, running a line out into my interface. Custom patch. 5 guitar tracks total, 2 doubled rhythm/lead parts, and a solo.
Vocals are recorded with an AT2020, heavily compressed (10:1, about 8-12db Gain reduction), light EQ to brighten them up a bit. Melodyne Pitch correction used at 60% strength.
If anyone has any other more specific questions, feel free to ask! I love to talk about recording! Thanks for all the great feedback! I know this isn't the most popular style here, but it's great you guys are diggin' it anyway!
Based on your description, it really sounds to me like the microphone is broken. It was working fine and now it isn't. If nothing else changed in between those events, that's the most likely issue. But, we can test some more. I noted in another comment you're using Audacity to capture audio. Download Reaper (http://reaper.fm) and record a track from your Yeti into that, see if the problem follows the microphone or if the problem stays within Audacity. And if you have access to another computer, I'd move the Yeti to there and test again using another machine. If the problem follows the microphone no matter which software or computer you are using, then that will probably confirm a hardware issue with the mic itself.
<strong>Reaper</strong>. Demo is actually full versions, no limitations, lasts forever, has all the features of a DAW and then more. Basically you can use it for free. It's only 60$ to get a license.
The only thing missing are samples and instruments. See this post for all kinds of free stuff to fill that gape.
All DAW are equally hard to learn. It's a complex software, but they're all about as hard/easy to learn. Having video tutorial makes it easier to learn. Reaper have a lots of them, directly listed on the official website.
You'd normally use VST instead of soundfonts. Soundfonts itself is pretty outdated, and the alternative now are sfz. You'll see that many sfz are listed in the linked post. If you really want a soundfont, a good general one is "Timbre of Heaven".
You can get started right away with all of that without spending anything :)
We have to do this methodically. There are lots of things happening and we want to eliminate possibilities. I have a lot of ideas about what could be going wrong but I'm trying to not send you on wild goose chases. So let's see if input is the problem first.
Okay, your interface wears more than one hat so you need to look for it under both Audio > Device and Audio > MIDI Devices for the specific role it will be playing (it can play more than 1 role at a time).
It might be faster if you try to follow along the official set-up video here: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#Hh04XZqFsic
It would really help to see a screenshot of Prefs > Audio > Device but make sure your inputs are enabled and cover the range you are using (note first and last). Do the same for outputs.
If you close the preferences window, you should see in the upper-right corner of Reaper information about your interface. Namely, the sample rate, bit-depth, latency, and system. If that shows up without errors then you're on the right track.
Create a new track. Set the input to the analog input your guitar is plugged into. Make sure record monitoring is on. You should be able to see the meters move on the track panel and mixer panel when you play the guitar. If you aren't getting sound at this point, then we can narrow the problem down to output.
Yes, you want to create an automation envelope, most likely bound to the "wet/dry" control of your reverb. Refer to the Manual page 353 for automation envelope information. http://dlz.reaper.fm/userguide/ReaperUserGuide540c.pdf
And particularly page 370 for automating FX parameters.
If videos are more your style then look here: http://reaper.fm/videos.php You want the Automation section and the Parameter modulation sub-section.
Reaper is just $60 after a generous demo period. There are some good free VST instrument plugins you can add to get a wider range of sounds. See  and .
The documentation of Reaper's Jesusonic scripting language is available here: http://reaper.fm/sdk/js/js.php
What the plugin actually does is very straightforward. If you can't understand it by reading the code then nothing I can say will make you understand it any better because the code is literally exactly what it does. It's a soft-clipper/saturator. It uses a soft clipping curve based on a sine function. That's it, and that's what the code says.
MT Power Drumkit 2 is a decent VST version if you want to program your own MIDI beats. You'll probably need a DAW to run it, but the demo version of Reaper is free to use and without limitation. It's a good entry into doing more comprehensive music production.
MT Power Drumkit 2:
> Which software should i use when i don't have a buck to spare?
Reaper; ACID Xpress; Audacity. Those are free ones that are good.
Practice, practice, practice.
I'd suggest Reaper instead of Renoise. Renoise is based on old school trackers.
Reaper is a modern style sequencer. The discounted license is only $60, and from what I understand, the trial never expires or cripples.
The idea of the SM7B is decent as even Michael Jackson used this however as mentioned, you will need a device such as a cloudlifter to supply the boost needed for "volume" or signal.
While I am not a huge fan of the copying Behringer has done, you can get their clone of the Neumann TLM series aka the Behringer B-1 or B-2 Pro for $100-200.
Save the $$ and use this for other things like the interface, software, plugins, time, etc.
I have worked as a music producer for quite a few decades and while I have high end gear, I also use some of the other equipment such as these microphones.
Most of the magic when using a microphone is actually the placement of the microphone and not the actual mic itself. Then, what you do with it, after you have captured the signal is next.
You can decide if you want to use a hardware compressor / limiter / filter / eq / pre-amplifier or handle it on the software side with plugins.
As for the recording, you can use reaper which is quite advanced and you can "try" it before paying. Even if you decide to pay for it, which is a good move, it is very affordable.
The suggestion of the sm and pg 58 is ok. Bono used the SM58 for a number of their well known albums as do other artists. Again, it is about what mic works best with the content being recorded and then the placement of the microphone... up close vs off axis vs further away / room.
I usually lurk but this is what I do for a living so I wanted to chime in and help.
I hope you have a fun adventure with your relative.
Reaper is the best entry level DAW imo - endless trial, and if you want to be a nice guy^tm and buy it, only $60. I've been using some higher-end DAWs, and they beat if for some very specific work (I like Studio one for mastering, Sequoia for movie mixing), but I keep coming back to Reaper as a way to do songwriting and production work quickly.
As far as audio interfaces go, the cheap lil' fella I got years ago was the 2i2 - no complaints, it's a nice little box, still have it for travel. If you want to be a real fancyboi the Apollo Twin is supposed to also be quite good, although I think the general consensus is that much of its value comes from UAD plugins it lets you use.
It might be difficult if you haven’t used such software before, but if you do your homework, you can write anything with it. Tons of free plug-ins available, from synths to effects.
DI through an interface into an ampsim in a DAW (reaper is cheap). Guitar Rig is probably the best beginner ampsim if you've never done it before. It's not free. Lepou is fantastic and free but takes a bit more work to get going.
Audacity isn't compatible with VSTs. Reaper is. It's free-ish nagware. Do you have an interface already?
Links to that stuff I mentioned
Free at the point of purchase, loads of free effects including noise reduction..
Have a look at some tutorials to get you started
I suggest Reaper, because it has the user-friendly price of $60 after a fully functional "demo" period of 60 days, is not crippled with DRM, is feature rich, and includes a native bit bridge (which is nice to have for those older freebie plugins). There is great documentation, including video tutorials, and a welcoming community.
You might want to take a look at Reaper if you're just getting started. It's a whole world of cash less expensive, and just as fully featured as ProTools, without the commitment. There's also PT First, which is... a thing, but not an expensive thing, so that's good.
Why not try REAPER? You can download and install it in a couple of minutes right now. There is only one version of it - the difference is in the license. It's light, stable, updates frequently, has a free comprehensive manual and is very reasonably priced.
If I get some time, I'll sort it. It's very easy to do.
If you want to give it a go: download the file, install http://reaper.fm (free trial), import file, highlight a single song, render-> time selection. Repeat for each track.
I've been making radio drama podcasts for about a year and a half now. One piece of advice I can give is to be as consistent as possible, especially at the beginning. For one of my podcasts, our first season had 25 episodes and we only skipped one week because of some personal issues. It feels really good to have that kind of consistency, constantly producing something you're proud of.
Also, https://castingcall.club/ is a great place to find voice actors who will work on your project for free. Tons of people just love doing it and want the experience. If you're writing is good, all the better.
As far as technical experience, if you haven't already settled on a DAW, check out Reaper. By far the best I've used, especially for this sort of project. It's like Audacity on crack.
Past that, I'm not really sure what advice to give. Make something you love and hope other people will love it, too. Also, get the word out as much as you can. That's something I'm awful at and have failed at entirely. Maybe get some b-list celebrities to guest on your show, bring in some attention that way.
If you have any questions or need advice for a specific area, let me know.
dual boot or install linux on a flashdrive and run Reaper with Wine(from what i hear it works just fine). Other than that there isn't anything full featured that would run on a chromebook. The few cloud based ones on the webstore are too simple and not worth messing with.
Ardour is the free one I hear mentioned most, but I haven't used it.
If you don't need "free" as much as "remarkably cheap," Reaper is like $60, and the demo may as well be free considering that contains every feature and doesn't expire. (I also think Reaper is awesome, so there's that).
Is there a particular reason why you chose Audacity? It's extremely basic.
I would recommend starting on Reaper. It's a full fledged DAW that you can download from http://reaper.fm it is a full evaluation version (that doesn't expire).
I still use WinAmp daily at home and work. No need to fix what ain't broke.
Sidenote: Winamp's creator (Justin Frankel) is now working on a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) called Reaper and you guessed it. Fully skinable, fully customizable, and awesome.
The question is, what aspect of sound design do you want to look at. Do you want to record sounds, design sounds, compose music or do technical sound design?
I think I can safely say that if you are going the old fashioned "designing sound effects for movies" or something similar then this book is a good start. http://www.amazon.com/The-Sound-Effects-Bible-Hollywood/dp/1932907483
I haven't read it myself but many of my colluegues swear by it.
Also, a good starter DAW would be Reaper. It's cheap (and "free" if you want to) and high quality. http://reaper.fm/
This is false. After 60 days you are legally required to buy a license, although Reaper does not enforce this via DRM (i.e. you can still use it after 60 days, but not legally..)
Either way, $60 really isn't much to pay for such an awesome piece of software.
My favorite DAW is REAPER: http://reaper.fm/. It's $60, yet, in my opinion, easily as robust as the full versions of the others. (I actually own an old-ish copy of SONAR that I never use.)
It may be a little confusing--REAPER has loooooots of menu items (both regular and from right-clicking) and a few unusual quirks in its interface. (E.g., selecting items is done by dragging with a right click, not the left.) But the evaluation version of REAPER is completely uncrippled, and you can use it for as long as you want (though legally you're supposed to buy it after 30 days or stop using it), so it might be worth a try.
Of those three, Ableton Live would be my personal choice... if they were the full versions, that is. I don't know enough about the limitations of these three to be more helpful. But I find Live's interface very intuitive, and I like the workflow.
As long as you're going with something that is "free" but actually costs a reasonable amount of money, I think REAPER is a better product, and has the advantage of being partially cross-platform (Windows/Mac)
It's GREAT for the price.
That said, try it for yourself here. There is a bit of a learning curve but it's not bad.
If you're just getting into using a DAW you'll probably want to spend some time with the manual and in the forums but that's the nature of inherently complex software.
TLDR; Try It
I think it's smaller. More full-featured than Audacity, but it's commercial software. Really fantastic program that's gaining a lot of traction in the Windows recording community (seems like all of the bigger studios still use Pro Tools or Logic, though.)
Bear in mind the brand of your keyboard is completely irrelevant, but I could direct you to a specific video if you knew whether the "something" you wanted to record is audio, or MIDI.
> I thought Reaper is free?
It's not, they just let you try it indefinitely for free.
A license costs $60 usd though, which is still very affordable for DAW and helps the team to keep the project going: http://reaper.fm/purchase.php
Then you don't necessarily want to convert to audio just yet. It sounds like you want individual outputs for each kit piece or group (e.g., toms), like how a drum kit is mic'd with multiple mics. This is a routing task. Once each piece or group is on its own output (and track), you can adjust levels and add FX. Once you're satisfied then you can render to stems for mixing.
Here's the official video for individual outs for RS5k: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#1kAz3_nB2-k
There are a lot of other videos on the page, I suggest expanding all categories then using your browser's find feature to find the specific topic you want.
http://reaper.fm is free to try indefinitely (although if you like it, you should buy their very affordable license), you should at least give it a try.
You will also need some type of audio interface.
All you need to make music is a computer and some DAW software. If you're a beginner and your budget is $80 then you can try Reaper. I wouldn't typically recommend it for beginners but it can absolutely do everything any other DAW can do and it comes with a 2 month, unrestricted free trial.
There are hundreds of free VST's to use available here and here.
Use youtube for tutorials, not just for getting started but anything else you might need to know along the way.
I'd also recommend getting the best headphones you can afford, maybe used ones if your budget is tight.
The short version of the license, directly from their site for anyone interested:
> You get 60 days of evaluation free, with full functionality, and no strings attached.
> You may use the discounted license if:
> * You are an individual, and REAPER is only for your personal use, or
> * You are an individual or business using REAPER commercially, and yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000, or
> * You are an educational or non-profit organization.
> If you own multiple computers, you may install the same license key on all of them, as long as you only use REAPER on one computer at a time. We also offer classroom licenses and discounted-to-commercial license upgrades.
This is one of those things where a lawyer and the full license would be necessary to know exactly what was allowed, but I take the "no strings attached" to mean that you could use the evaluation version commercially but only for 60 days. Of course by the time you paid for a lawyer to take a look at it you could just buy it outright. It's pretty cheap and very much worth the price of admission.
> I'm using Audacity to record.
Well, there is your problem. Audacity does not support ASIO drivers. That's why you get high latency (=delay).
My advice is to use reaper instead.
Reaper is about being able to suit your workflow so there's a good amount of setup to get there. A lot of it will happen over time as you encounter situations where you say "I wish I could..." and find that you can. But the default setup is perfectly fine, and if you get stuck, the official videos will walk you through the fundamental aspects and then some. So bookmark that.
The Reaper Stash is where you find all the user-contributed stuff, including themes and scripts. Themes are easy to apply and switch between so feel free to experiment. Note that if you're trying to follow along with the tutorials you may want to switch to the default theme so it matches.
ReaPack is a package manager for Reaper. A lot of the active developers have moved to this system since it's easier to maintain and distribute than the Stash. This is what I mean about granting wishes. Synchronize the repositories, then browse/search for whatever it is you want to do; it's probably in there.
LardPhantom already linked the SWS Extension. You'll definitely want this as some scripts depend on it. Over time, you'll probably want to look into AutoColoring/Auto-labelling tracks, setting up toolbar menu popups, and Cycle Actions. I find those improved my workflow immensely.
From the frontpage of Reaper's website:
> From mission-critical professional environments to students' laptops, there is a single version of REAPER, fully featured with no artificial limitations. You can evaluate REAPER in full for 60 days. A REAPER license is affordably priced and DRM-free.
That's not DRM, because all there is is a nag screen. It will remain fully functional even without a license.
1) There are no technical requirements. Don't get into a loop where you think you have to learn all new programs or acquire gear. Just start by working with what you got.
2) Youtube and guitar tabs or transcriptions. Just google for them. Learning other peoples songs is the best way to learn how songs work.
3) Finish it! It doesn't matter how shitty your song is, just find parts that work, know where it starts and ends, maybe record it, then put it to side. Don't work for forever on the same thing. Finish one thing, then move on to the next.
Here are some resources that might be useful if you need them:
transcription software. Helps you transcribe things.
Audio workstation with a fair licensing model and infinite unrestricted trial. Fairly easy to get into, but can do everything. There are professional studios working with this and for a good reason.
book: Chord Scale Theory by Richard Graf. Very accessible music theory for dummies. All you really need to know. This is the foundation for everything. I highly recommend this as an entry point
Check out reaper. Work through some tutorials, check out the forums, etc. It's $60, includes 3 major revisions worth of upgrades, and is all around an incredible deal on what I've found to be the most capable DAW (digital audio workstation) ever. Everything about it just works.
(I'm a former reel to reel user who switched to cubase, got pissed off at their upgrade circus, checked out Pro Tools and found out that it's midi sequencing sucked.)
If this isn't what you're talking about then you might be stupid...
If you want a free/cheap DAW that is really good I highly recommend trying out Reaper.The trial never ends and has zero restrictions. However if you go that route it's highly advised to pay the very very measly $60 for the license.
Reaper is free for the most part. After the trial period you should still be able to use it, full featured, minus the nag screen asking you to buy.
Having said that, it is not expensive for a personal license at all. Check out http://reaper.fm
There is a very primitive synth built into the program. However you can always go to free VST websites like http://vst4free.com or http://freevst.org to get a simple piano VSTi.
...Or of course you can just record a real piano with it.
If GarageBand doesn't support multi track audio recording, then try using REAPER - It is a little more complicated, but it definitely supports multi track audio recording and multiple monitor outs. It also has an indefinitely long free trial version (and it's cheap at $60), and can handle almost anything you need to do with it. It is very comparable to ProTools.
A few sources for help:
the reaper forums. People are really helpful, there's even a "newbie" section! Just try to read things like the wiki, and search old posts before posting new things. People will help you if you have a legit question, not one that's already been answered 300 times.
http://reaper.fm/userguide.php Massive (I mean it) user guide, a quickstart guide, and other helpful stuff. Not sure if anything is written from a complete beginner's viewpoint, but just try to be a sponge, soak in the knowledge, and you'll figure it out. There's a pretty steep learning curve for this stuff, but once you get the terminology and some basics down you'll be of and running.
for general recording tips (done mostly in pro tools, but the lessons still apply) I love http://therecordingrevolution.com/ Graham has a real passion and a great way of explaining things. I also recommend that you seek out his podcast (Simply Recording Podcast) if you have time/ are into podcasts. I listen, and take a few notes on each episode, it's amazing the stuff you'll learn!
EDIT: Check out his youtube page too! It's great, and free! Looks like you actually have to pay for most things on the website, but his free youtube videos are all I use.
Check out Vienna Ensemble. This allows you to offload processing via network to other computers. As someone who relies on jbridge (ableton user), and has multiple computers / servers, I am seriously considering this option.
In theory I bet one could figure out a way to run VM across servers rewire it all into a host through a network connection, but I have not tried that. As for host preference, any host that supports rewire should be able to work, in theory.
The closest I came to anything like that was running real time kernel on Debian and then running Ableton through Wine. I wanted to then figure out how to lan rewire that into my host DAW, but my issue was that I could not for the life of me get my soundcard to behave (m-audio fast track pro), as it could not keep up with the RT kernel. The ridiculous amount of configuring I had to do makes me believe that one should stick to a windows / mac OS for this stuff (yes I know osx is offshoot of unix, but the linux problem is drivers related, not flexibility related).
You put the bug in my mind to try this again. Please report back any successes, or methodologies and I will do the same.
Edit: ReaStream (free reaper plugin) can send / receive midi / audio over lan.
I use Reaper for pretty much anything music related. It's basically free (kind of like a winzip trial), but only $40 for a personal license.
That being said some people hate using it for electronic music and prefer FL Studio or Ableton Live... I honestly don't mind it and use it for both electronic and live recordings
A software license for Reaper. I just checked--it costs $60.
It does have an unlimited trial for free, which is great for checking it out.
EDIT - Now that I'm back on my desktop, here's a link to their site: http://reaper.fm/
I just recently bought it and had absolutely no clue about DAWs, not even what exactly the features are that they provide and I feel like it isn't really difficult to get into.
I can't compare Reaper to other DAWs in how hard it is to learn but I just want to say that I absolutely love this program. It's perfectly customizable, loads up extremely fast has never crashed so far, everything I looked for was available, comes with no piracy protection whatsoever (compare that to ProTools, which wouldn't even let me try it without buying a USB Dongle), gets updated frequently and has a large community surrounding it that can help out.
Have a look at
Tutorials for Reaper to get into the basic stuff and
The user guide for everything you need to look up
Garageband sounds like it would fit your needs quite well. That's got lots of built in virtual instruments and is really intuitive and easy to use.
If you're looking for a little more power, you should check out reaper. It's got a free evaluation version that's literally the same as the full version. They just trust you enough to pay for it when you can. That doesn't come with any virtual instruments, but you can find cheap samplers and stuff like that.
And not that I would ever condone illegal behavior, but there are loads of VST instruments that are really quite easy to pirate.
Hope that helps! If you have any more questions, ask away!
Producing good electronic music requires no less dedication, practice, or knowledge than producing music played by instruments.
If you'd like to prove your point, I challenge you to grab one of these amazing programs you speak of that supposedly allow you to create music with no knowledge, and use this program to write and produce a piece of electronic music yourself. If you don't want to spend any money, you can grab http://reaper.fm/ for free.
I guarantee your first effort is huge steaming pile of shit.
Reaper, Amplitube 3 FREE and an interface for guitar. Whats your budget?
Check out script posted at https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=217951
It's meant for track volume fader adjustment and has increment setting which i think translates into sensitivity determining the smallest step, but can be modified to target pan and send knobs with the Lua functions
Voicemeeter is useful if you want a program to handle audio on a global scale. So instead of setting up two or more programs to have a voice gate (multiple configurations that may vary or not exist), VM deals with it before any other program receives it. I use it simply because as long as I don't speak over a certain threshold, my mic isn't constantly transmitting. This includes to in-game chat, but also as a baseline for things like OBS.
I should note that ever since I got a Nvidia GPU, I have used RTX Voice for my mic before it hits Discord, and Discord just has its default sensitivity to handle the rest. I would seriously consider putting OBS after RTX Voice, however the broadcast software does sometimes crash and I would hate to have a recording that looses my voice.
If you want to just focus on OBS, reaplugs is a good solution as a plugin. OBS has added support for RTX Voice inside the program if you want to use it, otherwise the plugin is good for things like setting up a gate (more advanced settings then VM such as attack and release time), noise suppression (to cancel out a very consistent humming sounds for example - ReaFir in Subtract mode), compressor, etc. There are guides for it online that have been out for a while now.
>Is there any difference between the standard $60 license vs commercial in terms of functionality?
Nope, no difference! Just depends on how you use it. From their purchase webpage:
There is only one version of REAPER. The license price depends on how you use it.
$60 : discounted license.
$225 : commercial license.
You may use the discounted license if:
-You are an individual, and REAPER is only for your personal use, or
-You are an individual or business using REAPER commercially, and yearly gross revenue does not exceed USD $20,000, or
-You are an educational or non-profit organization.
>Also it's a one time purchase, right?
Correct! The license a one-time purchase and includes updates through version 7.99. The current version is 6.19. If you don't purchase a new license once development proceeds past 7.99, you'll still have a perpetual license for 7.99, which will be available on the old versions page by that time.
>His birthday comes up in April and I'm sure my parents wouldn't mind chipping in for the cost of since it would legitimately useful
That's an excellent gift idea! It's a gift that will keep on giving. I'll bet he'll have a blast layering different sounds from his Microbrute together. He'll also be able to use it to host instrument plugins that he can play on the computer using the Microbrute's keyboard.
As far as the DAW, don’t feel like you need to throw down 100s of dollars for your first program. Reaper is popular around here, with a fully functional free version and only costs $60 for the full. Also, Ableton Live Lite 10 is being offered at no cost now through the end of the year, it’s not the top-of-the-line but you can’t beat the price
Yeah, if your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) supports it. I use/prefer Reaper for my DAW, but there's plenty of other ones to choose from (like Ableton, ProTools, Ardour, etc...). The MIDI controller just sends MIDI note on/off data and the DAW does all the magic of producing sound from the MIDI data (including looping)
View --> Media Explorer
This opens the media explorer which allows you to navigate through your local files and preview them by clicking on them. You can also have the preview looping if you want. If you want to manipulate the sample or map it to different midi notes then you can use the Reasamplomatic5000. (see link to tutorial in other reply).
Here's a good tutorial covering a lot of the basics of the ReaSamplomatic5000 from the Reaper website.
I don't really have experience with GarageBand, but if you find it limiting in any way Reaper is also worth a consideration. The trial period never expires and if you decide you like it enough to purchase it's only $60. The built-in plugins aren't fantastic but there's no shortage of free FX VSTs available online to get the job done. Even a very basic mix job (like volume level adjustments alone) can really open up your song. YouTube is also an invaluable resource for mixing tutorials.
If you're interested in some unsolicited advice I've learned from writing music (mostly for myself) over the past 18ish years: The only way to get better and make the music you hear internally is to actually do it, even if it's as a one-man band. Don't be afraid to experiment a little just for the experience and it's helpful to see a project or song through to the end, even if you find yourself hating it halfway through. You may end up with a finished product you still don't enjoy but some of the ideas you threw down might just need some gestation time in your brain before they become fully realized.
You should check out this video to understand the most efficient options for setting up a project and associated files: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#K4WhkBzK3PA
Yes, GGD is triggered via MIDI, whether live or sequenced. This tutorial shows how to record and sequence drums in Reaper: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#8fzZDEzQunc
Other videos on the page will show you how to create separate outputs for further processing.
Room treatment is important and can be expensive. You will not be sound proofing your room, it is for taming unwanted frequencies and standing waves.
Decent condenser mics can be had for $100-200.
Get a decent interface, usually around $150-250 for Presonus starter models.
AVOID BEHRENGER LIKE THE PLAGUE
so I have a Radar now and I'm using IRs from 3Sigma. They are 44100 Hz, 24-bit IRs. I don't know the sample length unfortunately, but I believe that number is published on the Radar site, in the change log.
And yeah, I've heard of some of those lol. I've used Calf and Hydrogen and even Guitarix (like I said though, using Radar now). I've been using a TR-8 for a while, but I should totally look into Hydrogen again.
I use Reaper as my DAW right now. In Arch Linux, Reaper is available as a pre-compiled binary as well as a source tar ball. And they just use http://reaper.fm/files/5.x/reaper5974_linux_x86_64.tar.xz as the source. It works great and I greatly prefer it to Ardour sadly lol. I would love to support Ardour devs but I'm just used to the Reaper flow by now.
Are you sure? The reaper website says the Linux builds are experimental, but "the Windows version works with wine".
>Any VST should run in Reaper just fine, no?
From my understanding, Windows VSTs are basically DLLs, so they need to be run through wine. Different VSTs have varying levels of compatibility with it.
Unless a VST is specifically written for Linux, it's a crapshoot whether it will work or not on Reaper/Linux.
OG dev went on to create Reaper, an incredible Digital Audio Workstation available with the WinRAR model ("free", until it nags for 5 seconds you every time you open it, with dirt cheap licenses for the full version).
Tape is still available from places like Amazon (as is film!). I'm no expert with tape, but ATR makes a tape stock I like, and that's what I use. It used to be ATR and RMG being the two main tape companies as of a couple of years ago, but I think RMG recently sold to another company or something. But I'm pretty sure there are still two main companies making tape -- ATR and whatever the other one is now.
As far as affordability, I will say it's a pretty damned expensive hobby. You can get a 10.5" reel (referring to the diameter of the reel) of 1/4" tape, and it'll be somewhere around the $70-80 USD range. Depending on what speed you record in (you can run the tape faster to get a better quality recording), that can get you from 45 minutes to 90 minutes usually. And you can reuse the tape, but quality degrades as you do that. That's not to mention the cost of a good reel-to-reel tape machine, which has gotten more expensive due to scarcity. Because of that, it might be better to start out with digital until you get bored with that.
Techmoan has a great video with various tips about tape machines, although with more of a focus of playback instead of recording, but it's still a good video I think. He features a TEAC A-3440, which is exactly the machine I use for my junk. (Edit: Re-watching now, this is less relevant than I remembered. But still, maybe it's interesting to you as it is to me!)
If you're looking for a good DAW, I recommend Reaper. It's what I use, and it has an unlimited, fully-functional demo mode if you want to try it out before you buy it!
Cakewalk is currently free, so is Audacity (but that's more a wave editor than a DAW), and Reaper is cheap.
There are loads of comparison reviews on online - google "best free DAW" or words to that effect.
For software, I'd recommend REAPER to try first. It's $60 to buy it if you like it, and I think they offer academic discounts. It comes with great free plug-ins and many tutorials are out there. Easy to migrate files between Mac/PC if needed.
Seconding u/geetar_man suggestions about hardware. Reaper will work well with the FocusRite stuff.
Do you have the older version in your Downloads folder? If so just re-install the older version and see if things clear up. Older builds can be found here if you don't have the file on your PC and you want to revert. http://reaper.fm/download-old.php
Well you'll need the appropriate number of outputs, which is easily done with an audio interface of sufficient channel count.
Then it's just a matter of using software hat can address each of those output channels separately, which again poses absolutely no problem when you use software like Reaper (It's not freeware, but the trial version can be used indefinitely until your conscience gives up).
Reaper includes a sine wave generator (it's the Tone Generator plugin), and you can simply create 30 tracks and route each of these tracks to a different output.
Then add the Tone Generator plugin on each of these tracks and set it to the frequency you want.
Stick with it. I'm still bitter about apple dropping windows support for logic.
When that 'one day' comes, do check out Reaper. It's saved me hundreds of dollars in cubase upgrades alone.
I use the WaveOut for playback on my laptop speakers/headphones. I switch to ASIO if I'm recording/playing-back through my digital console/interface.
Since you're brand new to Reaper, you should spend some time watching tutorials here:
I would start wiith pick a DAW, if you register your focusrite you can get AbeltonLiveLite9 for free, if you can't get this then get reaper which has an unlimited trial period, but is only $60 if you decide you want to buy it.
Again if you can register your focusrite they give you a ton of offers of free lite versions of stuff or heavily discounted products for plugins. If not most DAWs come with a bunch of stuff to get your feet wet with. So I'd start with those and then go from there to figure out what you use and want better versions of.
Once you've decided on a DAW then you cant start looking into tutorials for what you want to do, for this youtubes search bar is your friend. If you're doing this do check that you're searching and watching tutorials for the version of the software you have.
Yes, you can do this several ways.
See this video for more: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#JZzR7-KSQMU
You'll want to create an envelope for track pan. See this video: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#Un719m_7pNc
For the EQ, it's the same general idea, but you would be creating automation envelopes for the specific frequency and gain settings of the ReaEQ plugin. See this video for automating FX: http://reaper.fm/videos.php#EWKp02kgOyo
Recording software (aka digital audio workstation, aka DAW) - I like Reaper but there are many more to choose from
Interface that converts analog to digital signal, to get the sounds into your computer
Mic if you want to mic an amp
Since you have the Pod Stuiod, that's your interface, and it also has built in amp simulation software, so you don't need to mic an amp if you don't want to.
Not that much... an interface like a Focusrite 2i2 is around $150 new, or $120 used. There are others you can get cheaper used though, I bought an M-Audio Fasttrack Pro a few years ago for $AU100 used on ebay. It has good/reasonable mic pre-amps, and plenty of inputs/outputs. Though there's no software drivers beyond Win7... which is holding me back from updating to Win10.
Guitar Rig and Amplitube have free versions, with basic amp models, speaker and mic models and effects. And you can buy packs with more amps and effects. BIAS FX is really good, but I've only been using it on the iPad... but there's reviews online comparing it to the Axe FX II.
Install a DAW, like Reaper, and you can use these amp modelling softwares as plugins for your recordings, as well as build drums and bass parts from the software.
I also highly recommend Reaper as a DAW. As far as I'm concerned it if the perfect VO DAW, and very very affordable. You can work 10 times more efficiently in Reaper than Audacity.
I'd suggest Reaper. It's cheap, fast, and super configurable. Audacity is just clunky. Grab Reaper (http://reaper.fm) and setup a good workflow. Plenty of tutorials for longer form content (saw one recently about Reaper setup for audio books but my Google Fu is being a touch Bingkata at the moment). Best part is you can automate some tasks and tweak everything to just the way you like it.
Yowsa! What a mic! You dropped a grand on a mic, and don't know what to plug it into? Brave!
You'll definetly need an interface. Focusright Scarlett or a Presonus Audiobox would work. Also: An XLR Cable, Mic stand, pop filter and a DAW in your PC.
FYI, that mic needs Phantom power (may be labeled "48V"), so make sure you know how to turn that on on whatever interface you end up with.
Reaper is incredibly small and inexpensive and it has an unlimited trial period with all features intact. They have an active community that can answer just about any question you can throw at them.
I don't think it's as geared toward composition as some of the big name DAWs (although it's possible), but it's a good way to get the hang of working w/ digital audio until you've gained enough knowledge to know what your needs are before shelling out big bucks for one of the "big ones".