PC equivalent to Garageband?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tdhurst, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    I've got a buddy looking to edit some music (yes, he's stuck with a PC) and loves Garageband. Anyone know of a cheap/free pc equivalent?

    He's not a pro by any means, so he doesn't need a mixing board and a $1000 program.

    Thanks!
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    For commercial alternatives, check FL Studio, and the entry level versions of Cakewalk.
     
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #4
    He's gonna need a decent sound card for all of these Apps though. No PCs I've come across come with any kind of a decent sound card built in, even the Creative Audigys aren't that good (I had one).

    By that time, he may as well buy a MacMini (£399, about the same as a very nice sound card, although they come as cheap as £140).
     
  4. tdhurst thread starter macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Wow...

    Buying a sound card isn't really an option. Besides, the things he wants to do are REALLY simple (like taking lectures, cutting them up and putting highlights onto a cd).

    These programs work for that?
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Check out audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    It's free, reasonably high end and runs on everything, Macs, PCs, UNIX
    For mixing and cutting it's good but it's not for music composition

    If he is going to spend money the first thing to spend it on is a good mic.
     
  6. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
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    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #7
    another option comes to mind... find someone who still has nero 6 ultra edition. or pick up a used copy cheap on ebay or somewhere. it contains the 'nero wave editor' which would do what you ask. works well, easy to use. just a thought.
     
  7. WillMak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #8
    Are you telling me that the mac built in soundcards are better than audacities!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!
     
  8. Locolako macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    #9
    but those are just audio editors are they not?

    Is there anything that can actually do a composition for pc?

    Such as actually playing the instrument on a keyboard or such?
     
  9. slooksterPSV macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Nowheresville
    #10
    http://www.ejay.com/us/

    Check out eJay they have some good software. I bought Dance 5 - you create songs by drag and dropping out premade items. There's also a mini-keyboard thing so you can make your own sounds. Download a demo of one and try it out, see if he likes that. Otherwise tell him to buy a Mac =P

    I love it when PC Users get jealous of us Mac Users.
    [Macs for beginners, advanced, power, experts, guru's, and higher users!]
     
  10. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #11
    If the raw materials are imported from MP3 or CD source, if they are printed to MP3 or CD, there's no sound card needed at all, except for monitoring. Using digital outs to a receiver (if available) means no D/A needed on the motherboard.

    Why do you assume that motherboard audio on a PC is poorer that motherboard audio on a Mac?

    Also, your assumptions of audio card costs are a bit off -- the Echo MiaMidi is US$129 for example, and the Edirol UA4FX with hardware effects, COSM modelling, Sonar LE and software instruments is US$199
     
  11. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #12
    How do you tell which audio card is a good audio card?
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #13
    who knows. to my untrained ears, they all sound exactily the same
     
  13. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #14
    You can use Audacity as your software and an external USB sound card, which might be the only option if you need to use a laptop. I have used "Griffin iMic" in the past. I bought it at Fry's, but I think Apple Stores might sell it, too. Of course, there is always Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Griffin-Technology-External-Sound-Card/dp/B00006BALQ

    It was recommended to me over at some forums and the sound quality is much much better than the internal card I had on my laptop, even for my average ears.
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    So he already has the sound recorded. That is the only way he would not need an audio interface and microphones.

    You asked for something like Garage Band which is more for music creation. Yes it can make simple edits to an audio files but if that is all you want look at Audicity. It is free and a pretty good audio editor http://audacity.sourceforge.net[/URL
    It runs on both Macs and Windows.

    What Garage Band and some of the other DAWs do is handle MIDI files. If he is not doing miss he does nt need MIDI and loops and automated drummers and music notation and the ability to changing timing and pitch and guitar amplifier simulations and so on. All those are reasons people use GarageBand and he does not need any of that.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    There is a minimum features set...

    1) First buy from a good brand and don't buy from a bottom of the heap brand. This really does matter. You avoid things like hum and hiss and other self and environmental noise. Brands to avoid are Beringer, anything market for video games. Goodones are MOTU, Focusrite, Presonus, Avid some others) those are all top line studio equipment makers.

    2) You rely need physical gain control knobs for each input channel, the monitor speakers and the headphones.

    3) Both XLR and 1/4" inputs. The XLRs need to have Phantom power if you plan to record.

    4) Must have feature is 24-bit sampling. 44.1/48 K sampling is fast enough. 96K is marginally useful but 24-bits is a must.

    If you do the above you can't go wrong. One that gets recommended all the time is this. Watch the video all the way to the end
    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioBoxUSB/

    There are others too. sweetwater.com is a good place to buy it too. They give you a free extended warranty an the sales staff knows about recording (two things you don't get at Amazon.) Presonus will repair out of warranty equipment too, That is important because you might have this for 10+ years. Pro level audio gear should last nearly forever so you want a company who can do repairs years later
     
  16. travisbrowning macrumors member

    travisbrowning

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    Jan 28, 2013
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    Fort Walton Beach, FL

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