Best Audio and Video Editing in Windows

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by \-V-/, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Note: Please do not douse me in gasoline and set me on fire for not knowing exactly which section this goes in.

    For those audio and video folks out there... what are... in your opinion... the best audio recording (something like Logic... I'll be plugging in and recording my piano, for example) and video editing software available for the Windows platform?

    The price does not matter and if there are free apps out there, I'll take a look at those as well.

    Also, if you think audio/video editing is superior on either platform, a reason as to why would be very helpful. I'm still debating on getting the new iMac when it's released or building myself a workstation rig.

    I've heard Mixcraft is a lot like Logic/Garageband... and even allows the downloading of the Apple loops sound effects/instruments.

    Thanks in advance, fellas.
  2. macrumors 6502

  3. macrumors G4

    The ability to run Logic is a very good reason for buying the iMac.

    OK if you must use Windows the #1 by a HUGE margin audio workstation wsoftware is ProTools. It is used is a vast majority of studios. It comes at various price points. Is it the "best"? It is the one you need to know if you are going to work in the industry.

    After PT I think Logic is #2 in line. Logic is way less expensive.

    But for your needs, simply recording one piano, use Garage Band until you can clearly say why you need to upgrade to Logic.

    But really there is so uch software out there and for most home users they never use 80% of any app they buy
  4. macrumors 65816


    It won't be just the piano I'm recording, but it will be a primary focus. I've done a lot of mixing in the past, but it's been far too long.

    It appears there's a student edition of Avid Pro Tools for about half the normal price. Regardless... Logic is still 100 dollars less.

    The price is not really the issue, I just want to know if I do make the jump to Windows again... I won't be bashing my head into the wall.

    As far as video editing is concerned, what do you think is decent on the Windows end? I've heard good things about Sony Vegas... and Premiere as well. I currently have a Panasonic x900 that records at 1080p/60fps.

    (thanks for the advice so far, guys)
  5. macrumors G4

    Apple practically gives away Logic and Final Cut. I'm sure they loose money but that software sells many Macs.

    I really dislike those audio tools that try an look like a real hardware device with photos of real chickenhead pointer knobs and analog c=glass covered UV meters. Looks cute but usabilty suffers. Logic is one of the few that uses REAL GUI widgets, and allows windows to be resized and looks like a NATIVE application.

    If yo must use Windows, disconnect it from the Internet keep it off. Use a different computer for email and web browse ring. Turn off disk indexing and remove drivers you don't need. It can be made to work. Then go with Avid software for audio and video.

    Or buy an iMac and get Logic/Final Cut. and it just works.
  6. macrumors 65816


    I'm perfectly capable of running Windows without issues. My questions are not about OS usability... nor Windows optimization advice. I appreciate your concern, though.

    My main reason for possibly building a workstation is the upgradeability factor. If I want to install a new hard drive, it's much easier to take the side panel off and swap it out than having to use suction cups to remove the screen, then finding third-party fan control software to bypass Apple's firmware red flags. I don't particularly want to build a Hackintosh either. The Mac Pro is out of the question due to the price remaining the same despite containing parts that don't justify it.

    Rant aside, I'd still be happy with a new iMac, but if there alternatives, like Pro Tools on Windows that I can effectively have a mini recording studio then I'm okay with switching over. If it just makes more sense to stick with Apple, I'm okay with that as well.

    So far it looks like the wind is blowing in Apple's favor, but if there's anyone that actually records/mixes music or edits video in Windows, I'd like to hear that side as well.
  7. macrumors 6502

    DAWs and computers are a very personal thing. What works for one person might not work for someone else. In the end though, the key thing to remember is that while the workflow might be different, they can all generally achieve the same results one way or another. Other things to think about is what you will be doing with your DAW. Will you be recording audio? Will you be working with MIDI? Are you planning on mastering other people's work? Or do you plan on using a program for Live performances?

    Personally, I found GarageBand was a very easy introduction to DAWs and a gateway to Logic Studio, a fantastic program you can't go wrong with. GB (and by extent, Logic) comes with a variety of virtual instruments. They might not be studio quality, but they're certainly adequate to start off with. The UI, while different from the Windows environment, is something I found very intuitive. Plus, Logic Studio comes with a suite of useful applications (Soundtrack Pro for audio editing, MainStage for Live performance, etc).

    Of course, Macs aren't for everyone, nor is Logic. A lot of people use ProTools, which is apparently very good for audio recordings. It's also very well supported online. While it's often called the "Industry Standard", that does not make it the best DAW. In fact, I found ProTools is very unforgiving on the user. With my little experience with it, I consistently experienced Kernel Panics. While most my colleagues got used to it, a lot of them have had nothing but problems with Avid products. Yet, people always lavish on how wonderful ProTools is, so they must be doing something right. Others might consider Logic the "Industry Standard" (my school of choice use Logic Studio exclusively).

    I would definitely suggest seeing if you can use a Mac for a month, and take it from there. Otherwise, just try as many DAWs as you can until you find one that suits you. Some popular ones off the top of my head include:

    - Ableton Live
    - Cubase
    - FL Studio
    - REAPER
    - Reason

    I believe Adobe and Sony has a few offerings (I can't remember their names off the top of my head). I toyed around with FL Studio a few years ago, and it was pretty fun.

    Remember there are other costs to consider too. If you're recording in MIDI, you will need a MIDI input device, and you will probably wish to invest in virtual instruments (which can start to get very expensive). Virtual instruments can become very system intensive. Plus, how are you monitoring all of this? I trust you plan or have decent monitors? For recording, you will probably need headphones too. Finally, you might wish to get ahold of an audio interface... you can imagine how expensive this can all get. You won't need it now, but it is things you should be thinking of. But I digress...

    So, to sum up: You can't really go wrong with the different kind of DAWs. Try them out, get ahold of a decent machine if you can, and go from there. I love Logic, quirks in all. You can't fault it for it's ease of use. Either way, best of luck to you in finding what works for you.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Thank you very much. This is exactly what I wanted to hear (or read, rather). I realize this will eventually get pretty expensive, but it's something in life I find the most joy in... so to me it's worth it... whether it be as a personal hobby or for financial gain.

    I think I'm just going to stay with OS X. OS X is fun to use... while working in Windows makes me want to hurl a bag of kittens into the sun. Completely different experience. I suppose if there is a DAW that I find a liking to in Windows, I can always use VM software or Boot Camp to run it/them.

    I've used GarageBand in the past and found it a joy to use, but have been looking for something more intensive. I suppose Logic is the answer to that. :]

    I appreciate everyone's time in answering my questions.

  9. macrumors G4


    So you ARE worried about cost. If you weren't you'd have a disk array for your media. No one opens up iMacs. There is no point in replacing the 1TB internal drive unless it fails and then Apple Care does that for free. In most cases the internal drive will last the entire life of the iMac

    Don't put your media on the system drive. Use firewire, Thunderbolt or iSCSI to an external RAID box.

    Then you need to worry about backup. You will need at least a pair of disks you can rotate to an off site location. These are going to have to be external drives. Best to standardize on a type. What I do is every year or so buy a new drive and retire one drive. One is used for the main data drive the others are backups or Time machine. The largest and newest drive is always used for Time Machine. The old TM drive then gets used for a main data drive.
  10. macrumors 65816


    No, I'm not worried about cost, I just don't like spending frivolously if I can get more for my money. Throwing money around for the sake of throwing money around is illogical. I already have a RAID setup for my media. I use CCC as I've not had the best luck restoring with TM in the past.
  11. macrumors G4

    You are not going to find any software that can convert a low quality recording to a higher quality recording. But yo can find software that will help you remove the worst annoyances like noise and hiss form poor quality recordings. Software can never add what is missing but can subtract a few things you don't want.

    The basic tools are to use some EQ and manual volume control riding. Garage band can do that.

    Then there are some profesional tools like Sound Soap
    Waves makes ssomething called "z-noose" too:
  12. macrumors 65816


    Use what you are comfortable with. Mixcraft indeed is a lot like GarageBand, just like how Cubase is much like Logic. Although most, if not all, DAW are available on both platforms.
  13. macrumors G4

    If you have a disk array and keep a hot spare drive in it. You may never loose data to a disk drive failure. But then disk drive failure is not the most common cause of data loss even in single drive systems. The big probles are
    1) Operator error
    2) Theft of the hardware
    3) Silent file corruption. That means a file is corrupted and then written to backup media (over writing the last good, non corrupt version of the file)
    4) Software bugs
    5) fire or flood
    6) failure of the RAID controller.

    Most people don't believe any of the above will ever happen to them, especially #1 because they are to smart for that. But it is 100% true that most people who loose data think none of the above would ever happen to them.

    The advantage of TM over CCC is that TM is automated and happens ever hour and you can't forget to make the backups. Also CCC does not address #3 very well unless you rotate a number of backup media. I use a combination of the two. TM runs all the time and I also make backups and rotate them to a fire safe in an off site location.

    Backup is a very hard problem if you want the data to live a very long time.
  14. macrumors 65816


    False. I have CCC archive any modified files in the event that #3 occurs... which it has... on several occasions. I'm able to delve into the archives to retrieve the previous file. Basically similar to TM, but it allows for a bootable backup. You can set CCC to do an hourly backup as well... or every 5 minutes if you want. It's very customizable. I rotate my backups as well. I've been down the road of idiocy when it comes to backing up important data. I learned the hard way.

    I'm in the process of doing just that. I'm toying with software on both ends and I'm steering more toward the Apple side of things at the moment.
  15. macrumors 65816


    If you are just recording and not using loops, maybe you should just invest in Avid ProTools (Audio) and Media Composer (Video)? Sure, you are limited in terms of what interfaces you use, but Avid software is still the software of choice for professionals.

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