Heyo. Maya here. Just a little article about DAWs or Digital Recording Software options for 2017. It used to be “so do you use Pro Tools” now there are a whole host of different Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs to choose from.
Pro Tools used to be the only tools. Now we we have Pro Tools version Pro Tools 12. Getting ready for lucky number 13. Pro tools is a common DAW used by rappers and kids on laptops in their parents basement. You need an iLok to run Pro tools. The iLok is a little dingy, (or donger) which is a usb dingus you plug in to the USB. It costs $600 and some features require that you pay a monthly fee. It comes with some plugins and its designed to be simple and easy to use as well as with many advanced features like editing, mixing, crossfades and real time manipulation whatever that means. It has some samples loaded with it and some different software instruments for drums and keyboard sounds and the like. Expect years of continuous updates and much proprietary hard ware devices like HDX2 and Pro Tools HD Thunderbolt. It is by far the most expensive and you have to use the iLok which is dumb, but it is “the most state of the art professional recording software on the planet”. Some features are only for HDX users so don’t even think about it if your aren’t in the HDX club. Pro tools is ready to go with AAX DSP and the whole amazing “space convolution reverb” and “new stomp box effects” and some other “Pro” effects. Get ready for elastic audio and loaded quality tools with 64 bit Architecture.
Logic X is the newest version of Logic. It has all the same functions as Pro Tools except for HDX so don’t even think about it. It is a “powerful studio” of many amazing plugins and samples as well as a “real drummer”. Right on your Mac. (Windows users can get lost and skip to Reaper or Pro Tools or something else.) It has a nifty track alternatives feature where you can record multiple takes on one track and review them easily. If you can use Garage Band you can use Logic X. You can mix edit, use almost all the same plugins as Pro Tools users, and you don’t have to have the little dongle. It costs about $299 and comes with many free sample packs and instruments. I really like the new MIDI FX you can make chords and advanced melody creation tools similar to aprpeggiator or step sequencer similar to MIDI but with a new sort of plugin space for MIDI fx. Cool. 64 bit capable as well as the same quality recording wise as pro tools in a simpler package.
Logic 9 has a lot of the same basic features as pro tools as well. It has flex time editing for drums and an easy to use “take folders” type system for storing multiple takes. It does crossfades and editing, as well as supporting the latest plugins like Pro Tools. It doesn’t have midi effects or a few other features of Logic X, but it does have a few cool features. Its about $300 last time I checked. They also have an Express version which has track count limitations.
- Customizability unparalleled. Reaper harnesses your inner nerd to make music. Get ready for complicated automation in a windows type format. Midi. Get your caffeine on and nerd out trying to use the latest plugins for a fraction of the cost of Pro Tools. These caffeine crazed nerds make a recording software like Pro Tools, it doesn’t sound nerdy, but it kind-of has a metal vibe. Germans were involved in the software, and these caffeine crazed Germans went Cockos It works on Windows and Mac and either has a paid license for commercial or individual use. Its customization is unparalleled with user custom themes and special workflow enhancements like Jesusonic script plugins and VST. Reaper is 64 bit (with 32bit options. It was stable enough to record and the quality was the same as Pro Tools.
- DJs and performance artists Ableton is awesome. These brits made a DAW and they loved to DJ and make EDM. Anyways, the Brits got all fired up on tea and crumpets and coded an amazing recording software called Ableton or Ableton Live. Theres a free trial if you want to download and try it out on Mac or PC.
- Beat Machines Galore. This funky machine is a bunch of code written by these crazy lunatics in Sweden called propeller head software. It features a virtual rack of “machines” you can patch with cables and do sequencing and sort of live performance type software with virtual instruments. It is sort of like Pro Tools or Logic, but you can use it WITH protools or Logic with reWire. Its pretty cool and has a lot of cool modules like Dr Octo Rex Kong Drum, Neptune, Alligator, Pulverizer and one secret effect that no one knows about. See if you can find it.
FL Studio (Formerly Fruity Loops)
- S S S Samples and Looooooooops Oh yeah. Get funky cuz you can make some dope ass hip hop or rap beats in fruity LOOPS my men and women. Ladies and gentlemen fruity loops is mostly used to make “beats” you can use it on any stupid laptop or stupid fresh desktop PCs. FL Studio has machines to make b b b beats. Get those clicks goin’ like fire I wanna see a river of clicks all over the place. You can’t stop. You gotta get poppin’ cuz your beats gotta be FRESH. Make loops. Loop em. Then loop that. Then make another l l l loop and replace it with the first one. and go back and make a bridge. Make another little part then another. I wanna see those clicks all other the p p p place messin’ with the knobs and stuff. Fruity loops is also sometimes used to make EDM or Techno. It has some cool hip-hop and rap sounds to. Damn those beats are fresh… Do like an A/B A/B C/B and tell me that is not a song of some sort man fruity loops is easy!
- Next best thing to Logic. Totally useable. It can be used with an iPad or iPhone? No one knows except apple users who enjoy simple easy to use products the work most of the time. Garage band cannot be used on Apple Watch or Apple iPod, but it comes stock with most Mac laptops and desktops. Its pretty east to use. It has the same quality as Pro Tools, but not so many features. You cant do fancy stuff its just supposed to be an easy to use interface for people who don’t know a whole lot about recording or making music. It has funky beat machines and some software instruments and basic plugins like compression and reverb. You can get along with it for awhile until you decide to purchase Apple Logic.
- Free. When all you need is the most Basic free recording software with minimal support for plugins and, you don’t care if it looks kinda ugly. I actually prefer Audacity to recording with a rock and a stick like they used to in the old days before computers. It has plugins, and the basic recording functions. If you don’t like it you can go try Pro Tools for $600. It works on Mac or windows on desktops and is a full function multi-track studio DAW like Garage band or Pro tools. It is fairly simple to use and fairly reliable. Its very basic. Perfect for your 0$. Put some blankets over the windows and some pillows and couches and make something cool at your house. Its open-source (which is cool) and free.
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