Looking for basic yet beefy multitrack recording software

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by jackmack, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. jackmack macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006
    Through my job, I've used soundbooth for my various audio editing needs over the years and have gotten pretty used to its interface. Lately I've been getting into playin the guitar and singing but I've found, for whatever reason, that sondbooth doesn't seem to let you record yourself playing an instrument then listen to it through headphones while you record your vocals (or another intrument) on top.

    Garage band does this, but it doesn't let you view the wave-view of the instrumental (only a flat timeline). I like seeing the shape of the music, like in soundbooth, as I record over because it helps with timing and fine tuning.

    So I am aware of software like Logic and Ableton live and even Reaper... But before I go demoing each of them I was curious if any of you had experience with what I want to do and knew which one would be likely the best option.

    While I obviously don't want to break the bank for features I'll never use, I'm more concerned with going too-basic and limiting myself or having to drop more cash later to upgrade to something else anyways down the line.

    Appreciate the help!
  2. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2004
    You mentioned Reaper. For what you've described it would be a good option. Logic Express would also be a good option. Ableton Live is easy to use, but the workflow differs from the first two DAWs I mentioned. You may prefer the workflow.

    What is your budget?

    Reaper has a full evaluation download that allows you to use it indefinitely. A discounted license costs only $60. To qualify for the discounted license you have to be using Reaper for personal use, making less than $20,000 per year with your music, or be a non-profit.

    Logic Express is $200.

    Ableton Live is $499.

    Options to consider that you did not mention: Digital Performer ($500), Propellerhead Record($150), Pro Tools M-Powered(no clue what this costs), or Pro Tools LE (free with some Digidesign hardware).

    A Protools Mbox 2 Mini costs about $300 and comes with Pro Tools LE. That would give you the hardware and software you need.

    It all depends on how much you want to spend, and what you'll be doing.
  3. jackmack thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2006
    Great reply. Thanks!

    I wanted to keep it within a couple hundred but I can go upwards of 500 if it's worth it. What are the real-world selling points of logic and live? For 500 I'd expect Live to auto tune me or something lol
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    My recommendation is "Cubase Eseentials" ($150, there is a "student version" for $100 - exactly the same app).

    Perhaps the best combination of "power" and "ease of use" that I've yet seen.

    I haven't used another digital audio application that offers better editing capabilities. Cubase makes it as easy to process, copy, cut and paste, and move sound around as using a word processor.

    It's got a good mixer and the Essentials version comes with an AutoTune plugin, as well.
  5. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    You wouldn't happen to mean like this?

    Attached Files:

  6. didii macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2010
    I agree. I have recently bought Cubase 5, student version for €299 ($499 for not-student, student should be -50%, couldn't find it on their site...) and I love it! I tried Pro Tools and Ableton, but I really didn't like the interface and it looked like you hadn't any proper shortcuts or easy-acces menus... Cubase has many versions like the Essentials mentioned in the quote, it's exactly the same as the full version, only you are limited. Compare the versions on the Steinberg site. It's still a bit buggy now, but with the new patches it's getting better and better! Cubase 4 is good too, but that version is more specified for midi and not audio.
    I worked with Garageband too, but you're too limited. You can't even move the audio files exactly per sample... So that didn't take long before I switched :)
    First I started with Audacity (best free recording-program). Of course you're very limited and you can't use any midi for some reason, or that was just my pc :)

    So I would strongly recommend Cubase 5, though it's not that cheap.

    Oh, but the conservatoire here works with Pro Tools, because they say it's the most familiar program and easy to work with. But that was not my experience.

    Hope I could help :)
    Good luck on you're recordings!

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