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Bowlerhat

What DAW should I use?

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Heey,

I recently bought a new laptop and I want to continue my recording stuff on it. But I'm not sure what DAW I should get. I'm fine with spending money on getting it, but I'm just a poor student so anything that's too expensive isn't preferred.

I don't really make electronic music, since I've got no idea how to do that. But I've got quite a lot of instruments so I mostly just record and layer different instruments. Before I got a laptop I used Windows Magix Music Maker, but since I've got a MacBook now I don't think I can use that program anymore.

Is there anyone here with lots of DAWly knowledge that would know a program which fits my needs and doesn't require me to sell my new laptop in order to buy it?

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Cubase is an excellent, stable DAW that works on both Windows and Mac. You can get the "Elements" version of it for $99. It doesn't have as many features as the full version(which is over $500), but it has the necessities. It's a little hard to get used to though You can find a trial version of Elements here: http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cubase/trial.html

 

You can run FL Studio(which has a $99 version as well) if you have Boot Camp and a copy of Windows, but I assume that doesn't apply here. There's also GarageBand or Ableton Live, neither of which I have any experience with.

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i personally would say go for Logic Pro, it's 200 for the full version (last I checked) and since you've got a MacBook it will run like a dream. Also there's reaper which a few people around here swear by and its 50$ for the full version.

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i personally would say go for Logic Pro, it's 200 for the full version (last I checked) and since you've got a MacBook it will run like a dream. Also there's reaper which a few people around here swear by and its 50$ for the full version.

 

Exactly this.  Logic for $200 is damn near impossible to beat value wise.  Especially now that it comes with Alchemy.  Just do yourself a favor and go with Logic.

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I own and love using Logic, but don't just take people's word here for it. There are a bunch of great DAWs out there (Ableton Live, Logic, Cubase, Studio One, Reaper, etc.), and you should find out which one you're most comfortable with. Logic, however, is REALLY hard to beat for the value you get. It is the single biggest bang for buck you can find out there.

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I forgot about Logic, though I haven't actually used it. If you only intend to use the samples you have and don't want anything else, I'd still suggest Cubase. But $200 for a working full-version DAW and a large amount of samples that you might find a use for? Can't beat that.

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You can also give free trials of many DAWs a shot.  Reaper in particular has an unlimited, full-featured free trial--you pay only if you want to.  Also it will stay with you if you decide to migrate back to Windows at some point.  You can also consider Garage Band as a sort of free trial of Logic (similar interface, much fewer features), so you can compare the two (Cubase too, if you want) before plopping down money.

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I've heard that Studio One 3 is very good, but I haven't used it myself. My DAW is Acoustica Mixcraft 7, and I think it strikes a great balance between usability and power.

 

You can also consider Garage Band as a sort of free trial of Logic

 

I wouldn't recommend it myself, I tried it when I first considered making music, but I found it too limited. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Logic seems good though.

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Logic is so much bigger and better than Garageband.  

 

I have used Studio One for a couple years now.  It is an amazing DAW.  Extremely fast intuitive workflow.  The included plugins are OK.  Enough to get you posted here.  

 

You need to find what DAW fits best with you.  Highly recommended to demo and try out a bunch.  However it is going to be very hard to find one that gives more bang for your buck than Logic.

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Logic is the only DAW I actively dislike using. On OSX I use Cubase, Reaper and Pro Tools, and all three work great. On Windows I use Cubase, Reaper, Pro Tools and Studio One and they are also all great. It's hard to find a truly bad DAW these days, but I really dislike working in Logic.

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Hmmm, so much options...

Democratically speaking, logic sounds like the best pick, but since I also still have to buy Sibelius, new speakers, clothes and pay €400 of service costs for my new room I think it'll have to wait a few months. In the meantime I'll try some of those free trial versions.

Thanks for the dawesome advice, people!!

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Like I said, every major DAW is pretty much great these days. Even Logic which I personally dislike working in. You can't go wrong. They all borrow so many features from each other that it really is a subtle flavor difference.

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Logic is a dream to use.  I've been through a few DAWs myself, but personally Logic works with my workflow and the controls are pretty straightforward to use.  Don't go with Logic if you think you'll switch back to Windows.

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Nay! Heretics all of them :twisted: ! Reason is the one true DAW! :-) People love what DAW works for them, but the key is what DAW works for you. And to figure that out, you've got to work with the different DAWs. I enjoy Reason, because it's easy to see exactly where all your routing is going and ,if you're new, it eases you in nicely, but at the same time can be very deep once you know what you're doing. Propellerhead will put you in a headlock with only being able to buy VST through them, but I have yet to run into any VST that I just had to have, but couldn't get through Propellerhead. FL studio seems to be the gold standard, but since you've got a Mac, Image-Line hates you and keeps telling you there will be a Mac release...but...well yeah. If you've got live instruments and you're on a Mac, Logic seems to be the right call, cheap too. But I refer to my earlier statement, to find which DAW works for you, work with each DAW. Don't make any choice in a rush, I thought I'd like Cubase so I tried it for about 1 month then bought it and I'm not a huge fan. Also you're a student so Make sure you checkout those student discounts!!!

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 Make sure you checkout those student discounts!!!

 

Wow, I can't believe I almost forgot that... Thanks for reminding me!! 

 

Just keep in mind that a lot of student discounts don't allow you to upgrade to the next version without paying the full price of the next version, whereas buying the regularly-priced software will give you upgrade rights.

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