View Full Version : cheapest place to buy a daw (and possibly other stuff as well)

09-25-2009, 07:53 AM
so, as i mentioned in another thread (http://www.ocremix.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25316), i've got all this shiny new stuff. silly newbie that i was, i completely forgot to purchase an actual usb cable as well as a keyboard stand, so i went back to good ol' guitar center and grabbed those. on the way out, i was chatting up one of the store employees who seemed to know a good deal about recording and such. he pointed out that my demo software was extremely limited and that i should upgrade to a full version asap. hey, that makes sense! so i casually glanced over at the shelf for the price tag on cubase 5.


urgh. i know music is expensive, but i've already dropped $1500 for the keyboard and komplete 5. then again, without a decent daw, i won't even be able to utilize everything to its fullest potential anyway. so since i've resigned myself to a life of poverty, where would be the best place to pick it up?

09-25-2009, 12:04 PM
What version of Cubase have you got? I have Cubase AI which came with my Yamaha XS, and I've made 2 albums with it, so if you have the same, you won't need anything else.

09-25-2009, 12:53 PM
There's also Reaper (http://www.reaper.fm/), free unlimited trial, $60 for a convenient license.

It's not Cubase, tho.

Then again, until you actually need the features of the full version you should do just fine with what you've got. I used GarageBand for a few years before needing to upgrade to Logic Express. Haven't yet needed to get Logic Studio or Pro or whatever it's called now.

09-25-2009, 02:21 PM
Yeah, you really should quantify what you mean by "extremely limited" then decide if you need those additional features that your current software lacks.

big giant circles
09-25-2009, 03:32 PM
Well, good news for you. Since you already own Cubase AI, You qualify for a discounted upgrade from version AI4. (http://www.steinbergupgrades.com/).

You can get the full out Cubase 5 for $399 and Cubase Studio 5 for just $199. Which do you need? Well, technically, you don't need either as Malcos has already mentioned that you can do a lot with AI4. However, I will say that Cubase 5 has a lot of nifty new features such as these. (http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/musicproduction/cubasestudio5_product0/cubasestudio5_newfeatures0.html) that I don't believe 4 does. Also, many DAWs besides Cubase have tiered versions of their program. In most cases there's usually an LE/light/home version, a Studio/mid-grade version, and a Producer/full version, or something along those lines.

LE/Light ($0-200) Studio/Mid ($2-300) Pro/Full ($300+)

Cubase LE/AI Cubase Studio Cubase
FL Fruity Loops Ed FL Studio FL Studio XXL
Sonar Home Studio/XL Sonar Studio Sonar Producer
Ableton Live LE - Ableton Live (or Suite)
Apple Garageband Logic Express Logic Pro/Studio
Sony Acid Music Studio - Acid Pro
- (lol yeah right) Digidesign Protools LE Protools "costs more than your car" HD

Those are all probably the most well-known or widely used DAWs out there. So anyway, I would suggest playing around with AI4 for a bit before deciding to sink money into a major DAW. Also, whichever route you decide to go, make sure you compare the features between the different versions. Personally, I would suggest steering clear of the LE versions, as they're usually either really limited, or in some cases (Cubase and Ableton) come free with the purchase of an audio interface (like Lexicon, Tascam, Yamaha, M-Audio).

Lastly, if/when you purchase, remember to purchase from Zzounds by using our affiliate link here. (http://www.zzounds.com/a--925434)

Like Guitar Center (or everywhere else thesedays) they will match the lowest price (usually their price is already as low as you can find), plus they throw OCR a small percentage of the sale. So it's a win/win for you and the site.

Keep us updated on what you decide, bro!

09-30-2009, 12:12 AM
thank y'all so much for the sage advice, and bgc especially for the comparison chart (ya don't do anything by halves, do ya?). i shall obey your commands and dick around with cubase ai for a bit before making a decision. hell, i'm still a newb, so it'll probably be awhile anyway.

i am so incredibly excited to enter into a community of some of the most creative and talented musicians on the planet. as the japanese say, "yoroshiku onegaishimasu"; in other words, please take care of me, o great vgm-senseis.

big giant circles
09-30-2009, 03:50 AM
haha, I do plenty of things by halves. But I am pretty passionate/excited about music gear. And I enjoy giving advice on the subject.

09-05-2010, 08:39 PM
man oh man! been almost a year since i started this thread; sadly, music-wise, i don't have much to show for it. basically, shit happens and i had a lot of life stuff goin on. but now things have settled down and i'm gonna try and give this another...try.

here's where i am now: i have enough dough saved up to buy something in the $300 range, like fl studio, but i really don't want to if i can help it. can free/cheap daws like REAPER use kontakt and the other goodies in komplete 5?

09-05-2010, 09:20 PM
Yea, Reaper can use VST plugins. It's a pretty great DAW and not just because it's so cheap.

prophetik music
09-06-2010, 04:44 PM
well, david, i think that's your answer. i know in your email you mentioned being interested in Reaper - why don't you get the free trial and check it out a bit?

09-07-2010, 05:44 AM
i think i shall do exactly that. thanks sixto!

by the way, brad, it'd be nice to see a remix from you sometime this year. ;)

prophetik music
09-07-2010, 12:47 PM
wait a bit and you'll get a project =)