Recommend Good Recording Software (I am Guitar Player)

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by LavaMan, Jan 14, 2006.


  1. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    I have not reserached this at all. I have a Laptop with 512 mb and a RAM.1.8 GhZ processor and am running Windows XP.

    I have been paying guitar for about 25 years and have owned some basic "Guitar Tracks" stuff that was not the best, nor was it user friendly.

    Looking for the best value recording software out there that includes some good drum modeling and will enable me quickly to start laying down tracks and is user friendly and with a good suite of features. Do not need the top-of-the-line that Pro-studios use but something inbetween.

    I plan on making my own cable to record direct.

    Recommedations?
     
  2. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    Check out Sonar, Guitar Tracks, Cubase, Audacity, Fruity Loops, and Pro Tools LE. Audacity is free, and the others will have demo versions for you to try out (Pro Tools is probably the exception, since it is tied to the hardware). They all can get the job done, but you may find one is easier for you to use.
     
  3. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

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    Good question Lavaman. I am in precisely the same position. My question applies to software also because of the interface. I was looking at the new issue of GP and saw the Alesis 102 interface (60 second buyer's guide - Budget USB recording interfaces). These interfaces sell for under $250 street prices, but they use Cubase. My problem is that I am unfamiliar with any of the software packages and do not want to invest in an interface that uses proprietary software I may want to replace later. So - Cubase opinions are welcome! I am wondering if I should stick to Pro Tools LE for future compatability issues with studio remixing.

    I am looking to get into recording direct through my laptop as well, so I guess I need an interface and a software package. Will I need phantom powered mics or will my SM58 work through the XLR input of the interface? I would like to keep my initial investment under $500. Advice on software and interfaces welcome! It is just me at this point so I do not need mutiple inputs. I will be layering tracks.

    What do you guys think?

    Regards
     
  4. Lefty

    Lefty Member

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    I'm a newbie to direct PC recording too. I just picked up an M-Audio Pre-USB from MF for 150.00, and it came with a free condenser mic. The Pre USB came with software, very basic stuff but good for a start. Also keep in mind your sound card in your Laptop. I have a copy of Cakewalk Guitar 3.0 (something like that), and it doesn't support the sound card. I know Cakewalk will work on my desktop, (Soundblaster). But food for thought.
     
  5. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    Here's a link to the cakewalk site:

    http://www.cakewalk.com

    The first thing to do is evaluate the processing power of your computer. A 1.4 ghz processor could be fast or slow depending on the brand and model of the cpu. Enquiring on some of the forums like Cakewalk provides about the worth of a cpu for DAW work is a good idea beforing spending any money on software.

    The three programs from Cakewalk that might interest you are Sonar5, Sonar Studio XL, and Guitar Tracks Pro. Sonar5 is the flagship professional package Cakewalk offers, and designed mainly for pros that choose to shape their music note by note and have total control over every facet of audio recording and midi programming. The number of tracks that can be recorded is limited only by the hardware being used.

    Sonar Studio XL is a simplified version of Sonar4. Even though midi tracks can be programmed using SSXL, the package is geared more toward buyers that want to produce backing tracks quickly, an effort facilitated by an extensive acidized loop library included with it. There is a limit to the number of possible tracks per project, 64 I think.

    Guitar Tracks Pro is obviously geared toward the guitar player. An extensive loop library makes it possible to throw backing tracks together rather easily, but if I'm not mistaken there is no midi programming option. The number of tracks is limited to 32 per project.

    GTP places the least demand on a cpu, while Sonar5 is the most demanding.
     
  6. retro

    retro Member

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    The Alesis and Cubase are not proprietary so you don't have to be concerned there.

    Generally, if not always, phantom power is switchable on and off. Your dynamic mic will work fine.

    I am a Mac person so I can't speak to PC very much.

    But, Sony's Acid look's easy and you can demo different versions. They seem to have tutorials built into the daw which can be helpful and I have found using loop based recording for guitarists is nice for laying down rhythm tracks to play over and easy to use. Built in cd burning, etc..

    I think Mackie's Tracktion is available as a demo also. I tried the Mac demo and found it quite easy to use. Both seem easy, at good price points.

    Nothing wrong with more traditional daws like Cubase, et al, either. And if comes with an interface for free...

    I would be sure to check for driver issues and good support. Also USB 1 is not the fastest or newest technology connection. These days you can find a FW equipped interface for under $200.00.

    It's probably a good idea to at least look for direct hardware monitoring to deal with latency. I think most interfaces have this feature, however.

    If recording direct, without an interface, there might be a consideration if one is trying to plug a guitar with passive pick-ups into a line-in versus an instrument input also...

    Perhaps a good thing to do is also check the respective users forums if one is available. To see what issues exist for what you are interested in. I know the KVR forum has a strong pc audio recording base. And the Pro Sound Web site is packed with info also. With so much out there, information is a good thing I think.
     
  7. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    I'm not familiar with the Alesis interface, but most likely it will work with any of the major audio software (excluding Pro Tools) even though it comes bundled with a version of Cubase. It is probably a "lite" edition of Cubase which may be all you need.

    If you are planning to record with your laptop, I would look at an USB or firewire interface with mic inputs. You will not need phantom power for the sm58, but you will probably be happy to have it in the future if you decide to use a condensor mic. I don't know about many of the current offerings, but I've heard good things about the M-Audio units.
     
  8. kmanick

    kmanick Member

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    good thread, I just got into trying to Record onto my computer as well.
    I have a ton of good backing tracks and I wanted to record myself over them and see how bad (or good) I was handling them.
    I got the Mobile Pre USB interface at GC and CakeWalk Sonor 4( already had it) Producer. I gradded an SM57 and off I went.
    the computer I'm running this on is just a pentium II 333 with 512 ram, and it still works fine. the only issue I have is with latency, I can't get it down so there is no delay when I turn the "echo On" so I can hear both myself and the backing tracks in my head phones, but I think that is a problem with the basic soundblaster card that's in there.
    I have Pentium 4 2 gigahertz, 1 gig of ram Xp box in my house but it's tied up doing stuff for work.
    I also have Cool Edit proo 2000, and Steinburg Cubase (someone gave them to me!) but so far I've found cakewalk to be easier to work with.
    I'm miking a 5150 combo and a B-52 At-212 combo and it sounds pretty freaking good.
     
  9. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    i want to spread the gospel of ableton live.
    at one point in time it was a DJ tool, but the last 2 versions have been excellent and easy to navigate recording/editing programs as well.
    get a USB or firewire interface and U are good to go.
    logic is my main program on the mac, but live is seriously easier to use and super intuitive and also very fun as well if U get into the looping and warping functions.
    sooooo easy to use.
    can i get an "amen"!
     
  10. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Check out the free demo download of Adobe Audition. Just came out with 2.0, which adds (finally) ASIO driver support. Excellent tool, but $350. I've used 1.5 for some time now and find the interface more intuitive than Sonar or ProTools and the audio filters/effects very good, especially the noise reduction.

    Have also used Tracktion and while it's fine for capturing tracks, I wouldn't want to have to use it for complex editing.
     
  11. DAB

    DAB Member

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    AMEN Brutha! :AOK

    If you like to learn songs you can record them into Live and use the Warp feature to slow them down just by changing the beats per minute and it does not change the pitch. Cool! :cool:

    Dave
     
  12. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    AND the software is SOOOOO easy to use.
     

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