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  1. #1

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    Hello all!
    I'm wanting to get back into playing and looking for some advise.
    I had fun about 18 years ago with garageband but haven't recorded anything since and everything is different now.
    I finally have a new enough pc to run a modern daw but there is sooo much out there. I am a bit of an old dog and would like to avoid having to learn several systems (new tricks) to even make a judgement. You know, not reinventing the wheel and all. It seems all of them do similar functions and all probably way more than I need.
    I want to be able to build up from loops of drums mostly. Maybe other instrument loops also. Adding multiple guitar tracks. Editing and mixing.
    Ease of use/shorter learning curve is quite important. I've glanced at FL studio, magix, cakewalk, mixcraft, reaper, ableton...
    Now confused.
    Thank you all for any suggestions!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I'm a Linux user, and as a DAW I use Ardour - ardour - the digital audio workstation - It's avalaible on Windows and MacOS, also.

    Not easy, but well documented and a real beast.
    Ardour on the Linux platform takes advantage of the power of Jack Audio Connection Kit for the signal routing: on Win & Mac I can't tell.

    If you're into drum/bass loops with some additional recorded tracks, another (cross platform) more intuitive option is LMMS (LMMS | Home).

    Sergio
    Last edited by sergio.bello; 03-08-2021 at 05:35 PM. Reason: url fix

  4. #3

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    Check out Acoustica MixCraft, I find it very simple and very intuitive. Prior to MixCraft I was using Ableton Live and prior to Ableton I was using Gragr Band and prior to Garage Band . . . I don't remember, I do plan on staying with MixCraft.

  5. #4

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    Reaper is highly customizable and very powerful... there is a learning curve as there surely is for all DAWs. One benefit of Reaper is it's a very efficient program that uses less computer power than most DAWS. And, it's priced very low (it doesn't have a bunch of bloatware a lot of which you probably won't use). Another huge benefit of Reaper is the Reaper Mania tutorials are great... Give some of them a look which should help you decide if it's for you. For example:


    Recording guitar, and bass would be a very similar process.

    This one is a bit more complicated but shows you another basic feature of Reaper (and DAWS in general):

    Last edited by fep; 03-08-2021 at 08:11 PM.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the replies!
    I will do a bit more research. I know they all require study. I remember garageband to be very intuitive.
    The instructional videos for reaper look great. I'm sure I'd be able to get that to work.
    Mixcraft was another one that came highly recommended also, thanks.
    I'll check out those others also Sergio!
    Narrowing it down!
    Looks like fun. I'm hoping to get some of this stuff out of my head and recorded!
    Cheers

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by xiyangshen
    Thanks for the replies!
    I will do a bit more research. I know they all require study. I remember garageband to be very intuitive.
    The instructional videos for reaper look great. I'm sure I'd be able to get that to work.
    Mixcraft was another one that came highly recommended also, thanks.
    I'll check out those others also Sergio!
    Narrowing it down!
    Looks like fun. I'm hoping to get some of this stuff out of my head and recorded!
    Cheers
    sorry it looks like I messed up my post and copied the bass video over the vocal one, I fixed that, "Your First Vocal Track" is a great one to watch first.

  8. #7

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    I'm using Reaper. Frank (fep) is right: there is a learning curve. And this old dog is slow to learn new tricks, but I think if you start simple (-don't expect to compete with Steely Dan albums right away), it's worth the money (-I think it's $60 for a lifetime license, and you can have a free trial for 30 days, maybe 60.

  9. #8
    Thank you all!
    I think I'm going to dive into Reaper. I like the ability to do the bass parts per the video. Amazing what's possible now!
    My son knows quite a lot about FL studio but his teacher uses Reaper.
    I'll check back in a year or two on how I'm doing.
    Ha

  10. #9

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    I use Reaper. I had given up on Ableton. Reaper was much easier.

    It did require watching some videos and struggling occasionally.

    Most of the difficulty was due to the astounding depth of the program.

    It's not difficult to do most simple things, but there's so much there that it can sometimes get confusing.

  11. #10

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    In going over the Reaper tutorials you may want to take notes and simplify things. You'll be shown five different ways to do the same thing. I only need to know one way to mute a track. Once you're comfortable you can always go back and dig deeper.

  12. #11

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    I use FL Studio. Force of habit. From everything I've read about, Reaper is a no-brainer for recording instruments and as an all-around DAW.

  13. #12

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    Most of the trouble I had with Reaper was operating on the track graphics. There are so many things you can click, grab, slide etc. It takes a while to amass the repertoire of actions you need.

    On the positive side, once you figure out a relative handful of things, operating the program is easy enough that it doesn't get in the way of the music. It actually enhances it.

    I was doing Covid-style band recordings -- starting with a backing track, having different players contribute tracks by email and then mixing them down. I used a 13 inch laptop, which is probably not optimal, but it worked.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-10-2021 at 03:00 PM.

  14. #13

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    I share your feelings, xyiangshen, about learning new tricks.

    I just wanted to share that I thought I was a smart man - college graduate, handy with fixing things, good with electrical/electronics, supervised and managed numbers of people - then I got into guitar at around age 44 in late 2006. My journey of using DAWS, multi-effects units, setting up pedal boards properly, choosing the right gear, etc... had me doubting myself for years (still do, sometimes).

    I think I have finally learned enough of the basics to be able to use much of the gear and software associated with the guitar, but it took a long time, mostly researching on my own, and I must be honest to say I did not have a whole lot of time but still...

    Anyway, good luck to you, be patient, and I think you will be fine, especially considering that you have messed with this stuff before. You came to the right place to get going!

  15. #14

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    Audacity is easy to learn and use, although may be short on fancy features, any of which can be purchased and downloaded as your own knowledge and needs increase.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Most of the trouble I had with Reaper was operating on the track graphics. There are so many things you can click, grab, slide etc. It takes a while to amass the repertoire of actions you need.
    I've had trouble with directory paths. Sometimes I can't export a song because the directory path is "not available." (I've searched online and discovered this problem has cropped up for many people, usually after a software update.) That's frustraiting.

    Kenny Gioia is the grandmaster of Reaper instruction online but I get a lot out of videos made by Ken Theriot because they're aimed at, so to speak, club players. I'll use Kenny's videos more when I have the basics down and want to get a bit fancier. Right now, I just want to be able to get song parts down to give myself an idea of whether a song works. (I'm using Reaper more as an aid to songwriting than for recording something I would release. I've come to accept that it will be awhile before I'm at home enough with this to think about adding FX, getting a good mix, etc.)

    It's like math---no matter how easy the teacher makes the explanation seem, you have to solve a lot of problems yourself before you are at home with it.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Audacity is easy to learn and use, although may be short on fancy features, any of which can be purchased and downloaded as your own knowledge and needs increase.
    I used Audacity before I used Reaper. I liked it. But, after spending a few hours with Reaper, I've never opened Audacity again.

  18. #17

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    Reaper +1

  19. #18

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    Another +1 for Reaper - I never opened Audacity again

  20. #19

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    I like short, focused videos like this that show one thing at a time from a newbie perspective.

    Obviously, advanced users don't need this, but novices---at least this novice---can easily be overwhelmed by the more advanced videos.



  21. #20

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    And always remember the advice of Tomo Fujita:

    DAW suggestions for old dog-dont-expect-too-fast-pick-jpg

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I've had trouble with directory paths. Sometimes I can't export a song because the directory path is "not available." (I've searched online and discovered this problem has cropped up for many people, usually after a software update.) That's frustraiting.

    Kenny Gioia is the grandmaster of Reaper instruction online but I get a lot out of videos made by Ken Theriot because they're aimed at, so to speak, club players. I'll use Kenny's videos more when I have the basics down and want to get a bit fancier. Right now, I just want to be able to get song parts down to give myself an idea of whether a song works. (I'm using Reaper more as an aid to songwriting than for recording something I would release. I've come to accept that it will be awhile before I'm at home enough with this to think about adding FX, getting a good mix, etc.)

    It's like math---no matter how easy the teacher makes the explanation seem, you have to solve a lot of problems yourself before you are at home with it.
    I find it frustrating when I want what seems like a simple answer to a simple question and I have to watch a video. The manual is 600+ pages and it seems like the first 50 pages are a list of sub-manuals that you need for specialized topics. I've almost never found the manual helpful.

    That said, the first video I watched had a guy set up Reaper from absolute scratch on an older laptop that had never had Reaper. He had pretty much the same gear I have and the video made the process a snap.

    And, some other videos have been helpful too.