New to computer recording - which software?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Catfish, May 14, 2015.

  1. Catfish

    Catfish Member

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    I am entirely without any experience using computers to record. I'm only seeking to do basic demos - mostly guitars and vocals. I'm not looking to do much beyond record mic'd parts. For an iMac setup, where do I start?

    Any basic tips/recommendations are greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    If that is all you plan to do - Garage Band.
     
  3. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    Garage Band is the place to start. If you start feeling limited by its capabilities, read up on its big brother, Logic X, to see if it would suit you better. If you decide to upgrade, Logic will be able to read all your Garage Band projects.
     
  4. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Garage Band should already be installed on your iMac, I agree that it would be the best place to start. Just get a decent interface (Focusrite is really good in the lower price range) and you're off to the races.
     
  5. lang.murphy

    lang.murphy Member

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    Depends on which version of GB you have... the latest version is considered to be "Logic Lite," fwiw... it is missing some features of the previous version, like podcasts and "Magic Garage Band" but it is better in other ways.

    The versioning is wacky... the latest version is 10.0.3... the previous version was 6 point something but its "friendly name" was "Garageband 11."
     
  6. chrisjnyc

    chrisjnyc Member

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    I would check out Reaper and\or Audacity
     
  7. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Gold Supporting Member

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    Garageband for entry level on a mac. Then upgrade to Reaper.
     
  8. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Gold Supporting Member

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    No. Audacity is great for sound file editing/conversion, not so much for recording.
     
  9. Digitalman

    Digitalman Member

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    The upgrade for GarageBand users is Logic, it's a natural progression and I'm glad I went that path.
     
  10. BrewDrinkRepeat

    BrewDrinkRepeat Member

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    Reaper is great, although it falls more into the Pro Tools camp of DAWs -- it's built for recording and does a great job, but Logic Pro trumps them all when it comes to creativity -- the sheer number of soft synths / emulators / amp sims / sampler instruments / loops / etc. plus the Drummer instrument make Logic Pro the obvious choice for a project studio that is focused as much (or more) on creation as is it about simply recording.

    Plus, if you start with Garage band Logic Pro is the next logical (pardon the pun) step.
     
  11. BetterMeThanYou

    BetterMeThanYou Member

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    Have you thought about doing something like the Tascam DP-03SD or Zoom R8 instead? Used, these can be found under $200 and offer an all-in-one recording solution. They are portable whereas your iMac isn't. Also they have greater reliability than a computer-based recording system in my experience. Without crashes, the need to worry about software upgrades, conflicting background processes, and the ever-present distraction and glare of the computer screen, I've found that my recording process is more music-focused since I switched. Just a thought.
     
  12. BetterMeThanYou

    BetterMeThanYou Member

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    I should mention if you don't need 8 tracks and a bunch of effects then there are smaller recorders also, like the Tascam DP-006.
     
  13. CharlyG

    CharlyG Play It Forward

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    I went through Boss and Tascam multi-tracks and Garage Band, with little success. I settled on Sonar Platinum on Win 7. I bought the training vids from Groove 3 to get me up to speed. I am half way through our first tune...
     
  14. BenGWU

    BenGWU Member

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    I'm also relatively new to computer recording and I've just got Cubase Artist and it's great. Really easy to get to grips with. There's also the cheaper Elements version that would probably do what you need. I've been on Garage Band as well and that's also very easy to get to grips with. In short; don't think you could go wrong with Cubase or Garage Band
     
  15. jim683

    jim683 Member

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    When I started out I was like you and knew nothing about recording other than using Audacity to break down sermons at our church.

    I went with Presonus Studio One and have not regretted it at all. It would do the simple tasks and has been fine when I record entire bands. The software has been getting regular updates as well, some free, some at a small upgrade fee.

    Other programs are much better with sampling, etc, but I don't do any of those. There is a free version that is limited that you can download and try out.
     
  16. Beng2040

    Beng2040 Supporting Member

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    I started on a Tascam DP24 because I wanted to do computer-free recording. It works well but the editing possibilities are very limited, so I downloaded a free trial of Reaper (full version, just free for 60 days) and I love it. I record to the Tascam and transfer the WAV files to Reaper for editing. Great results so far.
     
  17. chillybilly

    chillybilly Member

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    Recording gear and software may worse GAS inducers than buying instruments & pedals.

    The helpful blokes here at TGP pointed me towards Presonus Studio One which I have been very pleased with.
     
  18. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    There are a lot of good DAW options that, for the most part, perform all of the same functions. It usually comes down to whichever one you start using first or spend the most time working with, one gets comfortable with its GUI and develops a workflow. If you have specific use requirements, that is where some of the distinguishing features may come into play.

    For your described purposes, GarageBand is free and has a nice GUI for first-time users. If you're likely to stay on Mac for the foreseeable future, there is no harm continuing that route and upgrading to Logic if need be. A nice plus is that the initial cost of Logic is lower than most competing DAWs.

    Get a basic audio interface, mics, headphones, and monitors and you're off to the races.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  19. BrewDrinkRepeat

    BrewDrinkRepeat Member

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    Indeed... the actual cost of the software is lower than most, and then when you factor in the included softsynths, instruments, samples, loops and effects the bang-for-the-buck goes through the roof. Easily the best deal out there... for Mac users. :cool:
     
  20. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Garage Band standard. Should be totally fine for what you are doing.
    Also every brick and mortar Apple Store will usually provide free in-store training to get you up and running.
    What you'll need is at least a 2 channel interface. Apogee Duet will be seamless.
    No personal experience with cheaper Focusrite Scarlett on a Mac.

    The benefits of Logic are the sound banks, plugins, expandability, but that can wait.
    There is a learning curve with almost any DAW software.
     

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