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    Any music software recommendation?

    Hello, I mainly do video editing but relatively new to music production. So, I am here looking for some advice on what software should I go for as a newbie. I watched some youtube videos on this subject and they were suggesting softwares like Audacity, Logic pro X, garageband, FL studio, walk band, reaper etc.

    I am not sure which of these software would be an ideal choice for a beginner.

    ​​​​​​​Any suggestions?

    #2
    Do you want to compose or mostly want to mix?

    My son's a composer and does a lot of work in Ableton, though he also does some mixing in Pro Tools. Right now he's working on a jazz suite for a nonet, as well as a score for a short animated film. https://www.ableton.com/en/

    If you're on a Mac, I suggest digging into GarageBand. You have it, there are lots of users and tutorials around, and it's pretty decent these days. And then after you know your way around it, you'll get a sense of what you do and don't like about its UX and general approach; different strokes for different folks (and for different tasks and clients). And then you'll have a better sense of what you'll want to get next.

    Or just let us know more about what sort of music and music production you want to do. Compose? Track? Produce?
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media

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      #3
      Originally posted by sean121 View Post
      Hello, I mainly do video editing but relatively new to music production.
      What kind of music? You'll get different suggestions depending on what you're actually trying to accomplish. For example, if you're trying to work in a studio the typical music studio in the US uses ProTools almost exclusively. But you'll find it maddening if you're out in the field trying to record a classical orchestra in a good performance hall, or trying to edit same. Different tools for different jobs. Just sayin'.

      You might want to search around on the GearSlutz forums (don't blame me, I did not name it), perhaps the biggest site on the 'net for music recording/processing/mastering of various kinds. Although there are soundies here who do both of course.

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        #4
        Music software is very much mother duck. Start with Garageband (if you're on Apple), then stick with whatever comes next. My recommendation is Reaper, but they all work pretty much the same way.

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          #5
          Yes. You may use the Apple and third party audio loop content (Audio Content). But You will not be able to use the proprietary Apple ESX sounds in Finale nor Garritan Instruments for Finale (GIFF) in GarageBand.
          I just shifted to windows os from Mac and I am still not able to run Garageband on my windows. Any idea of how this can work?

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            #6
            If you want to produce, strictly speaking bang for buck I think Logic is the best value. $200 gets you a tremendous amount of content (sampled and instruments) that none of the other programs really touch at that price level. Haven't used Garageband in 5+ years but it made me want to put my fist through the wall last time I did, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

            I personally use ProTools but would not recommend that to a beginner. More expensive and less featured. Makes life a lot easier if you're working with other people who use it, though.

            At the end of the day you could write a #1 with any of the software out there -- Logic, Ableton, Reaper, PT, FL, etc. What's going to make the difference is your willingness to learn and work.

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              #7
              Cubase anyone?
              Bill Totolo
              L.A.

              www.billtotolo.com

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                #8
                I've used Cubase since 1994 on an Atari 520, in black and white, and I've gone through every version. For what it's worth, Logic and Cubase - have been on par with each other for years, but it's the same as editors. Once you get quick and efficient on what you use every day, and have learned the shortcuts, the workarounds and the crafty tricks, changing to anything else is a HUGE problem.

                My advice is always the same - BEFORE you do anything, download the demos of each popular one. DO NOT read any instructions or watch Youtube videos, and see which one works in a way your brain finds simple. I'm a long term Sound on Sound reader, and they gave up trying to use the word best years ago - and they simply run articles each month on all the popular ones.

                Once you like the way it works, but one of the cutdown ones, which come with the samples and synths. I'm on Cubase 10.5 in the studio, and have spent a fortune on VST instruments Kontakt being the most useful thing I've ever had. This works on the popular DAWs. Always a good tip - look at the sounds on the net - from free to mega expensive, and then see which DAWs are supported. This is the key factor.

                My collaborator runs Cubase Artist 10.5. He misses out on very few things. Perhaps a few built in sounds I have, but mainly, we buy identical samples so I can play everything he produces. We can swap projects and it works great. Same with Logic. Abbleton and Reaper are well respected too. Just beware of software that is new, and niche - often they are great until they cannot do what you want. I have never had that with Cubase, ever. The limit to production is ALWAYS me!

                One thing that does annoy me is having to use two audio applications - I create music on Cubase, and I tend to edit audio on Sound Forge (because again, I've been with it for ages.) I also have as part of the subscription, Audition - and while it's great, it's 3rd on my audio editing list. In Premiere Pro, I'll pop out to Audition to fix something because of the way they integrate, but usually I am using Premiere/Audition on one computer, and Cubase/Soundforge on the other one. Why? Just history I guess.

                This week after 25 years I found yet another feature I've not used before - and discovered it's actually been there quite a few versions now.

                I never produce loop based music, I don't do dance stuff and this means my Cubase is set up differently to the way the dance folk set theirs up. This makes Youtube so called instruction videos very difficult to watch - because you see screens you've never used, and menu items you had no idea about.

                I suspect this applies to the others too. They grow with you.

                I always recommend Cubase. It's paid for so much in my work life. The next version of Logic could be the most amazing product, but life's too short to have to relearn 25 years of experience.

                The good news is that as far as I can tell, there are no truly dreadful DAWs out there - they don't last!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Rainer View Post
                  Music software is very much mother duck. Start with Garageband (if you're on Apple), then stick with whatever comes next. My recommendation is Reaper, but they all work pretty much the same way.
                  +1 Another vote for Reaper. I use and love it.
                  Matt Gottshalk
                  Director of Production
                  BPI.tv

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                    #10
                    And then there is always Reason. I started on an Atari with Creator in '88 and moved up to logic but never loved it and one day tried using Reason when it came out in 2000 and never looked back. Not for everyone but I love it! That said I'd say that all the DAW's are pretty amazing and some are better at some things as stated above.

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                      #11
                      Garage Band is free, there's a consideration. I've been using Ableton Live for several years now and find like it.
                      www.markoconnell.org

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Jim Feeley View Post
                        Or just let us know more about what sort of music and music production you want to do. Compose? Track? Produce?
                        As I said I am just a beginner and I want to start with some basic mixing on some prerecorded tracks, so that I can understand the interface and different features and once I get to know how things work, then shift to composing my own music.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Bruce Watson View Post
                          What kind of music? You'll get different suggestions depending on what you're actually trying to accomplish. For example, if you're trying to work in a studio the typical music studio in the US uses ProTools almost exclusively. But you'll find it maddening if you're out in the field trying to record a classical orchestra in a good performance hall, or trying to edit same. Different tools for different jobs. Just sayin'.

                          You might want to search around on the GearSlutz forums (don't blame me, I did not name it), perhaps the biggest site on the 'net for music recording/processing/mastering of various kinds. Although there are soundies here who do both of course.
                          Eventually, I want to produce my own music using my own instruments but for now, I just want to start with some basic mixing and editing on some pre-recorded tracks so that I can understand how all this works. And maybe after that shift to recording my own music.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Iíve just made a change from ProTools to Nuendo (Cubase with additional film tools). It is a big adjustment but it is much more capable for music production, particularly regarding midi and VSTs. Iím still learning and need to spend much more time doing dialog editing which I really liked doing in Pro Tools. Busses and sends are very different from ProTools.

                            Iím kind of blown away by Nuendo, actually. Iím pretty psyched to dive into film production stuff but for music production and sound design, itís got a lot going for it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sean121 View Post
                              Eventually, I want to produce my own music using my own instruments but for now, I just want to start with some basic mixing and editing on some pre-recorded tracks so that I can understand how all this works. And maybe after that shift to recording my own music.
                              If you're aim is to eventually record your own stuff in your own studio and record one instrument at a time (the basic studio multi-track workflow) then I'd probably go with Reaper. You can record with it, mix with it, edit with it, do all kinds of interesting (and not-so-interesting) effects, all that. And it's cheap. And it has tremendous help available in the Reaper Forums. But... it doesn't work like Pro Tools. If you stay the studio path and get good at it, you'll probably end up going to Pro Tools eventually. Or not. Because clearly YMMV.

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