What DAW to get?

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  1. Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    What DAW to get?


    I may have mentioned before, but I changed to Windows 10 after being a Mac user for many years. The single thing I miss about Mac is Logic Pro X.

    There seems to be a lot more DAW choice on Windows 10 so I come seeking suggestions please.

    I'm willing to spend a maximum of 200 on a DAW, which I will use mainly for recording guitar. I don't have a MIDI keyboard - instead I programmed the notes in hand on Logic, using the musical keyboard. Logic also had built in drummers, although I'm not sure if anything like this exists on a Windows 10 DAW.

    I would like something which I can perhaps purchase drum plugins or virtual instruments for in the future.

    Any advice and help is appreciated.
    Last edited by g41851; 15 Sep 2019 at 03:50.
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  2. Posts : 24,495
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    g41851 said:
    I don't have a MIDI keyboard - instead I programmed the notes in hand on Logic, using the musical keyboard. Logic also had built in drummers, although I'm not sure if anything like this exists on a Windows 10 DAW..

    I like the free open source Audacity, but my needs are probably less demanding than yours. Reaper looks a close match to your requirements, it has a virtual keyboard.

    REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits

    Those two, and others here:

    16 Alternatives To Pro Tools - Audio Assemble
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  3. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #3

    I see favorable mentions of Studio One and Stagelight, but have no personal experience.

    Member Fireberd has considerable experience and can likely help you.
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  4. Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Studio One, Reaper and Stagelight (which I'd never heard of) all look good!
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  5. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #5

    Not playing guitar at all so for information only which programs I use:

    DAW
    - Ableton Live Lite
    - Cakewalk by BandLab
    Notation
    - MuseScore
    Playing
    - Plogue Sforzando + Salamander Grand Piano soundfont
    - GrandOrgue + Strassburg sample set
    Latency
    - AsioConfig

    All are free except Ableton (license bundled with MIDI keyboard).
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  6. Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    muchomurka said:
    Not playing guitar at all so for information only which programs I use:

    DAW
    - Ableton Live Lite
    - Cakewalk by BandLab
    Notation
    - MuseScore
    Playing
    - Plogue Sforzando + Salamander Grand Piano soundfont
    - GrandOrgue + Strassburg sample set

    All are free except Ableton (license bundled with MIDI keyboard).
    What is Ableton Live Lite like? I was looking at the Ableton website just before I got the notification of your topic reply.

    Do you find it limiting?
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  7. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #7

    g41851 said:
    What is Ableton Live Lite like? I was looking at the Ableton website just before I got the notification of your topic reply.

    Do you find it limiting?

    Crippled version bundled with many equipment, you cannot buy it separately; similar to Live Intro but only 8 tracks instead of 16 so for very simple projects only.

    Live 10 Lite | Ableton
    Compare Live editions | Ableton
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  8. Posts : 2,499
    Win 11 Pro
       #8

    I use Cakewalk (Sonar) by Bandlab. It is a full "professional" DAW with many free VST plug-ins and MIDI synth. It was a victim of the Gibson Guitar Co financial downfall and picked up by Bandlab. I also have Studio One 4.5 Pro but prefer Cakewalk. I also tried ProTools but went back to Cakewalk.

    You have to first register at Bandlab and then download the Bandlab Desktop Assistant to get the free Cakewalk (which was updated in July 2019).

    BANDLAB

    Here is a summary of enhancements and fixes in the latest version from the Cakewalk Forum post. CLICK ME
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  9. Posts : 381
    Windows 10
       #9

    I use Ableton Live Intro. It's around $100 CDN (sorry, don't know the US price) and it features 16 tracks and is not crippled other than that. I have plenty of VST plugins that work great. I picked up a cheap MIDI controller keyboard for the synth and drum VSTs I have (all of which were free).

    I think in total, beyond the guitar/USB interface, my total recording setup cost me less than $200. Amps, pedals, guitar and mics are extra of course, but the DAW stuff is quite cheap and works well. firebrd is a professional and obviously knows more about it than I do, but I'm pretty happy with my results. I built a little studio on a shoestring budget and it works well enough to get good quality recordings.
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  10. Posts : 116
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Thanks everyone, still not sure what to get, although lots of good suggestions put forward.

    I'm kind of leaning towards Ableton at the minute. Cakewalk looks good, but it doesn't have any preset sounds. I'm terrible at coming up with sounds and would much rather use patches and tweak from there, which is why Ableton has the slight edge at the minute.

    Thanks again folks!
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