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Sound Editing software

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What are some of the top choices for sound editing software on the market? I'm on mac OS X. Also, are there better choices than garageband for music? I've used garageband and made some good stuff with it, so I'm really just wondering if there is anything dramatically better i should use for top quality synth music (no live recording). I could also use pointing to a good set of synth instruments, the stock set in garageband isn't so great.

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Hey,

I have good news and bad news! Your question mentioned top choices for audio software, and I'm happy to say yes that you have many options. The bad news is the top choices are usually more expensive. Especially when talking about quality samples (VSTi plugins).

I work on a Mac Pro set up at work and use ProTools 6HD and Logic 6 Pro. Logic isn't my favorite but is a very capable program. To get the pro version of Logic 7, it will run you about $700-$1000 depending on where you shop. The sounds that come with it are not so great, so I'd really recommend checking out the East West samples. These samples are incredible, but require a large amount of storage and a good, strong computer. These sample packages run between $200-$1000 each! I'd look around if I were you and try and find the best deal possible. If you're a college student, then look into academic pricing, which can really save you a TON!

Another option for you is Reason 3 (Reason 4 is about to come out soon). This program has some really nice sounds and is a very user friendly program. The only con is Reason 3 doesn't support audio recording, so if you ever want to do that in the future...you'll need to try out some other platforms.

Acid Pro 6 is another cool program, which combines great loops with the ability to record MIDI and audio. It can also score to video. This program is for PC only (I believe) but you might be able to run it if you have an Intel Mac.

It really comes down to what you're wanting to do with the programs. For example, my day job (and my freelancing gigs) require that I be able to compose, mix and produce audio content to video. For this I have to use a high end program with great samples. At home I have a PC setup and use Sonar Producer 6, Reason 3 and 8 East West Sample packages.

If you're only needing this to create music, then you can go with a lower end version of Logic and probably do just fine.

If you have any more questions, I'll be happy to help out!

Hope that helps!

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For sound editing, you might also consider Adobe Audition. There are some good student deals, if you can nab them, and it's a capable enough program. I can only assume this runs at least as well on a Mac as it does on a PC.

Audacity (as mentioned by Kwizatz) can be used for this, but it is much, much less capable (and in my opinion, almost useless, except to easily convert formats to .ogg). It is, however, entirely free.

I don't think I can give you a better answer than nsmadsen on the music - I'll just mention that I use Reason 3 with the (included) Orkester soundbanks. The soundbanks are good, but nowhere near the quality of the truly professional sorts that you can find (and drool over).

Incidentally, both programs are fairly ease to learn and use. Of course, I can also recommend anything Logic - I no longer own it, but it was excellent when I did.

Also, we have a thread in this forum that lists out an impressive number of low, medium, and high-end bits of music and sound creating software: Music Software, etc. (But I'm biased.)

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This just in: Logic Pro 8 is going on sale for $500 at Apple.com. This looks to be a huge collection of samples and programs. This might be beyond your budget, but it would give you a ton of resources and power to work with. Might be something to look into!

Avatar God- you're in Richardson? I used to teach in Richardson ISD and live in Plano. Now I'm in Ft. Worth. We should meet up sometime!

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I agree with the other suggestions, Im not sure exactly what you want the software to do, but reason is probably my main recommendation depending on what you what to achieve (eg dont want to actually record live sounds). Even though it wasnt suggested, i would discourage you from looking at pro tools, without the hardware (and even with some of the cheaper hardware) it isnt worth it.

If you are wanting something that can record, it might be worth looking into Krystal (spelling?) which is a free program, but does most of the things the more expensive products do.

But if you think about what you are looking for, just make sure garage band isnt doing it for you before forking out the big bucks on something 'better'.

hope that helps,
Mick.

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nsmadsen is right on the money about the quality sample sets. I own East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra, and their sound quality is superb. It's expensive, about $3000 when I got it, but you get 14Gb of professionally recorded instruments. I'd definitely get more sounds from the EWQL collection.

Since you are after some good synths check out Sytrus (ImageLine), Rob Papen's Albino range of synths and Atmosphere. All of them cost money but are great quality.

I also use Magnus Choir that can add some good oohs and ahhs to a track.

Although as a caveat I use these VST's on a PC, you will have to see if they have mac versions as well. If they do it's definitely worthwhile checking them out.

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