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DAW for computer-Averse


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#1 UnshavenBastard   Members   -  Reputation: 335

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:43 AM

Funny title, eh? biggrin.png

Well, let me explain.

 

My dad is an old-school electrical engineer (the big stuff with cucumber diameter cables and lever switches weighing more than your average oscilloscope). He uses computers at work because he has to, and reads e-mail, but that's about it.

So he's certainly no dummy, but is not quite enamored with computers (or with Windows. I have no idea whether Mac would be the "aha!" as some people claim ^^ I doubt he'd like to throw that kind of dough at a computer to run a DAW, though)

 

He plays the drums for a few years now (getting lessons), and, "playing around" with other things too, and in the house my parents recently moved to, wants to have a little recording studio.

Well, he never did any recording before, and I myself only as a complete dillettante.

 

So he recently mentioned he wants to buy one of those digital hardware multi channel recorders, which are IMO overpriced for what they can offer, studio wise, haven't operated one, but the editing must be clumsy compared to a good PC-based DAW.

I think he might regret it, and his fear of "them complicated computer programz" may be exaggerated compared to the fumbliness of such a device, which wouldn't be that easier to get into if you actually want to do something interesting...

 

First, are you on board with me on this at all, are those hardware recorders a waste of money?

 

Second, can you recommend some DAW that a computer-averse may get into without taking trainig courses (which would have to be available where he lives...), just by the manual - or maybe DVD tutorials?
The thing is, the software, and perhaps digital media tutorials, must be localized to German, since his English may allow him to order at McD, but with difficulties ;-)
While he certainly would not need all the bells & whistles of the most professional recording software, some of those free or cheap ones I've seen were apparently not available as localized versions.

As he's looking at some Tascam 8 channel or so thing, he seems to be willing to spend some money on this, so I guess the requirement is not "dirt cheap" or free, but if there actually is a nice cheap program which fulfills the requirements, so be it.

I guess the main key would be: intuitiveness through utter consistency. That's what the engineer likes.

 

Thanks for recommendations or hints,

-unshaven

 


Flash ™ - The lightning bolt that hits *your* smooth user experience, too!

 

-----Bel Canto Society
save old not-yet-restored Opera recordings from rotting


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#2 Dodopod   Members   -  Reputation: 663

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

I'm not sure it has all the features you need, and it's probably not as easy to learn as I think it is, but Audacity is both free and in German.



#3 Madhed   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3133

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 10:59 AM

I have no experience with *real* hardware daws.

Garageband seems to be the simplest but is only available for mac.

Reaper is my go to DAW mostly because it is inexpensive and feature packed, not exactly beginner friendly though.

 

I have thought about buying me one of those old Tascam 4-track porta studio though just for fun...



#4 Kryzon   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 3314

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:42 PM

Hello.

There are DAWs he can try without spending money. Audacity is one, and so is the case of Linux Multimedia Studio, a music production software that includes german localization: http://lmms.sourceforge.net/

 

It should be noted, however, that since that is a community-based project and therefore done without financial support, it will be lacking polish when compared with solutions offered by large companies such as Avid Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, Adobe Audition etc.


Edited by Kryzon, 08 December 2013 - 11:43 PM.


#5 JackMusic   Members   -  Reputation: 315

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:28 AM

Reaper with a German language pack and a project template that has everything set up when he opens it. The cheapest of the fully functioning DAWs and one of the most functional. Every DAW is a pain to learn.



#6 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5440

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 08:19 AM

It has always broken my heart to learn that no DAW is easy to learn or easy to use.  I find it inexcusable.  I come from an audio production background (back when we used splice blocks to do edits), I'm a musician, and I'm an experienced software developer so I doubt it's because I don't understand the technology or the workflows.

 

The closest I've come to a DAW that was easy to learn and matched a pre-MIDI workflow was Cubase.  Even that, however, had frustrating quirks that rendered it unrecommendable.  Trying to figure out audio routing, trying to get my MIDI controller keyboard working the same way each session, and setting up drivers to work with the hardware ADCs made it a lothesome experience (although admittedly, some of that was because I have little experience with Windows, and you need to be Windows-savvy to use Windows since it lacks discoverability for common tasks).  I've also tried Linux-based DAWs (Rosegarden is very good and definitely in German) but signal routing in Linux is even worse than Windows.

 

It just may be that what your Dad needs is not a computer DAW, but some audio hardware that will let him do what he wants and get on with the job.  If he's not going to be doing loops and samples and beats, autotuning, or MIDI sequencing he's probably better off with an old 8-channel mixer.  Then again, once the (steep) learning curve is past, he'll be able to do so much more with a DAW.  Any DAW.


Stephen M. Webb
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#7 jms bc   Members   -  Reputation: 445

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:00 PM


I have thought about buying me one of those old Tascam 4-track porta studio though just for fun..

 

Be careful there -- I bought one and the heads were a little rusty. Works but no way I'm going to ping tracks, mix down and keep any kind of fidelity.

 


but some audio hardware that will let him do what he wants and get on with the job.  If he's not going to be doing loops and samples and beats, autotuning, or MIDI sequencing he's probably better off with an old 8-channel mixer. 

 

Yeah, basically replace the mylar with the PC.

I use that 4-track as a mixer, and record on the computer with Audacity. I just started, but it seems fine for drum machine, bass, keys, one or two more tracks -- easy setup.


The Four Horsemen of Happiness have left.


#8 UnshavenBastard   Members   -  Reputation: 335

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:16 PM

It has always broken my heart to learn that no DAW is easy to learn or easy to use.  I find it inexcusable.  I come from an audio production background (back when we used splice blocks to do edits), I'm a musician, and I'm an experienced software developer so I doubt it's because I don't understand the technology or the workflows.

 

The closest I've come to a DAW that was easy to learn and matched a pre-MIDI workflow was Cubase.  Even that, however, had frustrating quirks that rendered it unrecommendable.  Trying to figure

 

Interesting. I don't know what Cubase is like today, but remember that 10 years ago, I found the MIDI editing (which was most important to me) to be quite cumbersome.
I liked Logic back then, as it was available for PC. Certainly used it superficially, but without reading the manual, it just all seemed so... logical :-)

 

Well, maybe he does need either multi track recorder hardware or a program that basically simulates it...

 

But I'll definately try out Reaper, had it on my list anyway, for myself, since I heard much praise for it.
I bought Sonar 8.0, maybe 3..4 years ago for myself, did a little with it, but have not gotten quite warm with it... it's not horrible, but I wouldn't call it intuitive, and will probably not show it to my father.


Edited by UnshavenBastard, 09 December 2013 - 04:18 PM.

Flash ™ - The lightning bolt that hits *your* smooth user experience, too!

 

-----Bel Canto Society
save old not-yet-restored Opera recordings from rotting





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