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Multitrack Mixing Software for PC WITHOUT all the MIDI business?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by discountsounds, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

    Messages:
    150
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    Jul 11, 2005
    Location:
    Bartlett, IL
    I have a Fostex MR-8 HD which I use for recording real, live instruments. I dump my WAV files to my PC and mix using Cakewalk, but I hate Cakewalk. It seems like every piece of software out there is heavily geared towards the "electronic musician", but as far as I know, I don't have any real use for MIDI or anything to do with MIDI so I don't really care about that functionality when it comes to mixing software.

    So can anyone suggest what would probably be considered to be barebones multi-track mixing software for the PC? I just want to (easily) dump my guitar, bass, drum, piano and vocal WAV files into a project, mix the tracks together, add some EQ and effects when necessary and create final stereo mixes which I can then master and burn to CDs. I don't even record on my PC - I use the MR-8 for that.

    Also, please tell me if I'm missing some kind of obvious application for the MIDI stuff in my approach to recording. I just want to find some software that is geared towards rockers, not electronica/techno musicians.

    Thanks.
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 9, 2005
    Which Cakewalk program are you using--they offer quite a selection, including packages geared toward the guitarist that has no need for midi.

    If the goal is to run an analog line out of the Fostex into your computer, then I would look into some of the free programs available, like Audacity or Kristal. The reason I suggest a free program is due to the fact that an analog bounce from the Fostex to your computer will result in a loss in signal to noise ratio, which is fine for homespun recordings made for fun, but undesirable for recordings that are intended to approach commercial quality. I was faced with the same dilema when using a four-track minidisc recorder--it had no digital output.

    Most people have trouble making the transition from hardware recorders to computer recording using DAW software. Software can accomplish things that most inexpensive hardware can't touch, but can only do so within a complex programming environment. The major obstacle for most musicians when using software is coming face to face with the level of one's musicianship. With hardware recorders you just press record and play; DAW software requires some fundamental knowledge of the technical aspects of music that are usually of no serious concern to casual players.

    MIDI is great for creating realistic drums, and keyboard sounds, even if you can't actually play them in the real world. Another option advanced software offers is the use of audio loops for drums and bass, which can sound very impressive with little effort involved, but the tradeoff in both cases is a learning curve that is not really that steep in retrospect, it's mainly a problem of changing how one thinks and learning how to work in a different environment.
     
  3. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 11, 2005
    Location:
    Bartlett, IL
    Thanks for the reply. I'm using Cakewalk's Home Studio 2. I definitely do NOT want to run an analog line out from the Fostex to the PC. The Fostex is a digital 8-track that is not really suitable for mixing more than 4 tracks. I have a simple piece of software from Fostex that acts as a conduit between the 8-track and the PC so I can digitally transfer tracks via USB without compromising the quality of the original tracks. So that's not an issue.

    I haven't used MIDI for creating drum, bass or keyboard sounds because I prefer to capture actual performances played on the respective instruments, so that's not a MIDI application I'm currently interested in using.

    I'm not even interested in doing any actual recording on the PC since I'm pretty content with using the Fostex for that step; I just want some simple multitrack software so I can mix and add EQ and effects without all the MIDI bells & whistles I'm not going to use.
     
  4. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    MD
    Krystal and Reaper are both free so I'd suggest you try them first. They both support VST plugs but have gui's that aren't as refined as the big boys.
     
  5. covert

    covert Member

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    Mar 8, 2005
    If they still make a pc version, Bias Deck should rock.
     
  6. ultrevex

    ultrevex Member

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    Location:
    Lilburn, GA
    Second the suggestion for Reaper, it's a great piece of work. They're charging a nominal fee now but the free versions are still available in their download section. While it has midi capabilities, they're not obtrusive or 'in your face' at all. If I didnt mention that there's midi capability, you probably wouldnt have even noticed. The software is clean, bug free, sounds great and has capabilities to use any of the DX and vst plugins out there. I bought and used Samplitude Pro for a number of years... I think Reaper is nearly as good.
     

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