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Best software for recording musical instruments???

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  • Best software for recording musical instruments???

    I play electronic drums, guitars and do vocals at home. I would like to record multi tracks on my PC and write mp3's to a CD. I have the PC (P933) with the burner. I need software! My boss wants to sell me Cakewalk 8 with a Peavey mixer board (with no inputs except the sound card). The software makes no reference to saving to my hard disk and all it talks about is MIDI, MIDI, MIDI!

    I downloaded some freeware/shareware that seems to work (kinda). The best one seems to be "n-track studio". I don't need a bunch of MIDI options!! I just want to plug an instrument or mic into my soundcard and lay down some tracks. Nothong fancy in the background. Just me, drumming and picking.

    What does anyone suggest?

    TD-8, TD-7, Roland rack, Pintech AX14, ConcertCast and Roland PD-9/7/5 pads, Yamaha and Pintech cymbals, Dingbat, Nimrod, Vertikik & KD-7, FD-7 , DrumKat DK-10, Fender Bassman 60.......2000 Eclipse GS
    I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!

  • #2
    Hi Clymore.
    If you dont need any midi at all then i`d suggest Cool Edit Pro. http://www.syntrillium.com
    It is a "no fuss" piece of software that put simply ,gets the job done.
    The main thing you need to decide is how much you want to spend.
    I think the best advice I can give though is try them all ,there are demo versions of all software sequencers/recorders and they all do more or less the same thing but with different user interfaces.
    With the exeption of Pro Tools I think ive tried them all and heres my opinion (and it is just that).
    If you want Audio and Midi then my prefered software is Cubase. It can be a pig to set up properly but when you do get it working its great. (check out "Cubasis Inwired" its totaly free).
    If you just want to work with audio then I think Cool Edit Pro is the easiest software to use.
    Good Luck.


    • #3
      I second that opinion on Cool Edit Pro. It's a bit of a resource hog, but a very user-friendly system nonetheless.

      As far as buying recording software of any stripe is concerned, well......

      Check out KaZaa or LimeWire. You'll thank me for it later.
      TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad


      • #4
        My personal favorite for recording audio is ProTools LE, as supplied with the DIGI 001. It's simple to use, and you can ignore the MIDI stuff until you feel you need it.
        There's a free version on Digidesign's website which is limited to 8 tracks of audio, but runs without Digidesign's native hardware. Did I mention it's free?
        Logic and Cubase are my runners-up, they can be a bit more difficult to use, but have the advantages of ..... VST PLUG-INS!!!!!

        "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"


        • #5
          My personal favorite right now is Logic Audio Platinum....

          Once you get over the hump of setting it up it is a joy to work with....VST and virtual sampler integration is very cool...I had Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 and thought it was a little too basic...

          For mastering and converting to MP3 I use Wavelab....


          • #6
            Cool Edit Pro is what I use on my laptop (Cel 366 with 192 MB RAM) and my home system (P3 733 with 768MB RAM).

            It works quite well for the quick and easy stuff. Some effects and EQ's to play with. I am still experimenting and so far it has been favorable.

            Good luck!
            Kelly Mercer
            Halifax, Nova Scotia

            My Youtube Channel!

            My "home studio" webcam!


            • #7
              Originally posted by captain54:
              ...I had Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 and thought it was a little too basic...
              sir, can you elaborate a little more?



              • #8
                I like Protools Free, which is a Windows 98/Mac OS9 only version of the program. It is limited to 8 tracks, but that is more than enough for me.
                DTX950, UX8, Logic


                • #9
                  Nuendo! (.com for info)
                  Roy A.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marc.:
                    sir, can you elaborate a little more?


                    Compared to Logic Audio, or for that matter even Cubase, I found CWPA 9 to be more of a basic sequencing tool..

                    That's not necessarily a negative attribute, mind you....for down and dirty midi tracks its totally cool....

                    the audio end of CWPA 9 is way basic...I can't even begin to name all the advantages Logic has over it in that respect...

                    Logic environments allow you to totally customize your setup and it organizes everything in your studio rig and tailors it to each individual project...

                    Many, many, more options in setting up hardware....midi editing is far deeper than what CWPA 9 has to offer...and Logic track mixer windows give you much more flexibility than the standard Cakewalk console views that havent seemed to change in a few years..


                    • #11
                      For what it's worth, the new version of Cakewalk is SONAR, and it has some pretty amazing improvements over previous versions(I've been a Cakewalk user for years). Things like Acid-like looping, software synthesizers, increased MIDI resolution to 960 PPQ, and a new UI that's much better than the dated 9.03 one. I'm happily using it with my V-clubs.

                      They have a fully-functional, 30-day trial download available from www.cakewalk.com if you're interested.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johner:
                        For what it's worth, the new version of Cakewalk is SONAR, and it has some pretty amazing improvements over previous versions(I've been a Cakewalk user for years).
                        My stumbling block with SONAR has been my reluctance to upgrade to DirectX 8 which SONAR requires...I have a slew of TC Works and Waves plugs that I'm afraid won't work with DX 8....has this been a problem for anyone??

                        Also, has the console/track mixer view been improved?? That's always been my Achilles heel with CWPA9...


                        • #13
                          Well, I use the Waves Renaissance collection under DX8 just fine, dunno about TCWorks, though. Another nice thing about Sonar is you can buy a VST-DX plugin adapter for about $40 and use all the freeware VST effects and softsynths from within Sonar, including automation.

                          I agree with you on CWPA 9.0's mixer view; I've always hated it. The good news is that the new main Track view has all that functionality built into it. I haven't opened the mixer view in weeks. If you're really attached to the "virtual mixer" paradigm you might still want to use it, but I've been very happy doing all my work in the upgraded track view.

                          And the automation capabilities are (finally) top-notch. Automation drove me crazy in CWPA 9.0, but it's great in Sonar and all envelope-based. Non-destructive all the way.

                          I understand your reluctance to upgrade to DX8, but if you do, you should give Sonar a look. Also if you have a USENET reader (Outlook Express will do), check out the newsgroup for Sonar that Cakewalk hosts at news://news.cakewalk.com/Product.SONAR (there's also a link on their homepage). Some really knowledgeable and helpful folks there.


                          • #14
                            I got Vegas Audio 2.0 budled with the M-Audio Delta 1010 breakout box and sound card. My brother and I lay down tracks for his original music (should be called the glacier project) and burn CD's directly form it. It's got a full array of virtual compression, EQ and effects, so we do everything dry and then tweak it later. It has unlimited tracks, which is good. It is a little hard to seemlessly punch in re-dubs of minor sections inside tracks, so sometimes we'll just redo a whole take for a specific instrument to get it right. I use 8 separate tracks for my e's though, so it gives us a lot of control over the drum mix. We don't do any MIDI, so its fine for what we do. If you are big into MIDI, you may want to try something else, like Cakewalk, which I used to use, but had problems getting it to start recording reliably.


                            • #15
                              Well I was up late last night with ProTools and finally figured out how to record. It looked really complicated at first but I managed to record a rhythm and bass track. My drums were still in the cases from Tuesday night rehersal. I plan to lay down a drum track and see how they all three sound. I assume I can join the three together into a MP3 to burn to a CD. I may need some help with that. Is there a ProTools user forum or web site?
                              I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!