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Thread: simple recording software

  1. #1
    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    simple recording software

    I am still trying to record stuff, but find most apps too complicated for me. I want to focus on the music, but be able to record multiple tracks without getting overwhelmed by the technology. Is there a software out there that will allow you to record without having an engineering degree? I use PC's so that is a consideration.
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Some of the best sounding recordings I ever made were with the free version of the Sonor program that went around years ago.

    I do not get along with the Mac and recording. I am much better able to use the technology to get the best recordings on that old program on a PC. I don't think they make it anymore.

    I have an older laptop PC that I plan to record with, so I'm really interested to hear of possible software.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Why am I even responding to this question? Every time I've tried to record myself -- from a little handheld tape recorder -- to various computer programs, I've had awful results. I'm sure part of it is the quality of my playing, but even I can lay down a pretty simple backing track. Or so I'd like to think.

    Cut to the chase: The closest I've been able to come to something usable is GarageBand. I use a Mac, but there's a PC version, too.

    But hey, I actually did find a different tack: iMovie. And QuickTime. I had a request to provide a video of my playing, so after trying the "selfie" phone solution, I set up my laptop, fired up iMovie and started recording. Hey. You know, the built-in mic and the FaceTime camera don't do a half-bad job. The camera is only 720p, but since the question is more about recording, iMovie's sound track(s) are separate, so you can easily edit them without regard to video. You can do pretty much the same thing with QuickTime, but it's pretty kludgy. iMovie is actually pretty easy to learn, and there are lots of tutorials online if and when I get stuck. I don't want to be an expert movie producer, but for recording a song, it's actually pretty good.

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    Re: simple recording software

    I'd like to say that there's an easy way to get started, but I'd be lying. You're going to be on a steep learning curve in the beginning. Some DAWs are less intuitive than others. They all do the same thing, and the arguments about which one is better, are pointless to a beginner. Once you get the basics figured out, you'll find that it's the easiest way to record music, in the history of recording music.

    Okay... You're a PC user, right? GREAT! Here was my recommendation in a recent thread at the LPF, "Download the Reaper free trial to get started. Once the trial runs out, BUY IT!!! It's 60 bucks!".

    What about all those other DAWs??? Avid ProTools??? Steinberg Cubase??? PreSonus StudioOne??? While it's true that Avid ProTools is the "Industry Standard", (for now), they're a pain in the ass, and expensive. PreSonus StudioOne is okay, for software developed by a hardware company, I guess... Steinberg Cubase??? Irrelevant...

    Like I said... "Steep learning curve"... Download Reaper and GET STARTED... What do you have to lose?

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    I used Reaper in the past. It is a good program to use, and not to difficult to use if you've spent much time recording with the computer. I had forgotten that one.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    When I recorded with Charlie Karp they used Pro Tools and I was impressed with its power. However, I could never learn it. I did get Studio One with my Presonus interface, but it isn't a whole lot easier. I think I'm going to check out Reaper!
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    When I recorded with Charlie Karp they used Pro Tools and I was impressed with its power. However, I could never learn it. I did get Studio One with my Presonus interface, but it isn't a whole lot easier. I think I'm going to check out Reaper!
    I remember now that I recorded a couple of songs with it and got on with it well. I'd forgotten, but that's what I was using until I went Mac several years back.

    Keep me informed about how it's going with it when you use it. We might be able to exchange helpful knowledge.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    "they used Pro Tools and I was impressed with its power."
    By "power", I assume you mean features... There are a few DAW comparison videos on YouTube that are very enlightening. You'd be surprised at how little difference there is between the big guns like ProTools, StudioOne, Logic Pro X and Reaper. And a big portion of those differences are features that most of us will never use, or even have a need for.

    As far as POWER? That's ALL about the Computer!!! Seriously!!! You need the most powerful processor, and the most amount RAM that you can afford... Not even half kidding... Plugins, sample rate and bit depth are resource hogs...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fortunato View Post
    By "power", I assume you mean features... There are a few DAW comparison videos on YouTube that are very enlightening. You'd be surprised at how little difference there is between the big guns like ProTools, StudioOne, Logic Pro X and Reaper. And a big portion of those differences are features that most of us will never use, or even have a need for.

    As far as POWER? That's ALL about the Computer!!! Seriously!!! You need the most powerful processor, and the most amount RAM that you can afford... Not even half kidding... Plugins, sample rate and bit depth are resource hogs...

    This reminds me of a conversation I had with my guitar teacher a year or so ago, when I was still taking lessons. He had some nice scores printed out, so I asked him what he used. "Sibelius," was his answer.

    Sibelius costs $600 for a permanent license. Or it can be had through a subscription plan, starting at about $20/month.

    I then told him about
    MuseScore. Free. Completely. Every feature I could possibly want to write musical scores. Maybe Sibelius has more, but I haven't found anything MuseScore can't do.

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    What kind of audio interface do you have?

    What’s your use case for recording - a single track/one and done or multitrack, multiple instruments etc?

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    Why am I even responding to this question? Every time I've tried to record myself -- from a little handheld tape recorder -- to various computer programs, I've had awful results. I'm sure part of it is the quality of my playing, but even I can lay down a pretty simple backing track. Or so I'd like to think.

    Cut to the chase: The closest I've been able to come to something usable is GarageBand. I use a Mac, but there's a PC version, too.

    But hey, I actually did find a different tack: iMovie. And QuickTime. I had a request to provide a video of my playing, so after trying the "selfie" phone solution, I set up my laptop, fired up iMovie and started recording. Hey. You know, the built-in mic and the FaceTime camera don't do a half-bad job. The camera is only 720p, but since the question is more about recording, iMovie's sound track(s) are separate, so you can easily edit them without regard to video. You can do pretty much the same thing with QuickTime, but it's pretty kludgy. iMovie is actually pretty easy to learn, and there are lots of tutorials online if and when I get stuck. I don't want to be an expert movie producer, but for recording a song, it's actually pretty good.
    GarageBand is macOS only, not Windows.

    also, GJ’s use case appears to be audio, not video.

    Your challenges with audio recording are likely due to not having a proper audio interface.

  12. #12
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    In any case, since it appears GJ has a Presonus interface, a good first recording software (aka DAW) would be Audacity. This has ALL the core features that any other DAW has (Logic, ProTools, Studio One, Cubase, Sonar, etc) but it’s FOSS and fairly easy to use. But feel free to go ahead and pay for ProTools! Ardour is another good FOSS DAW but it’s a bit more finicky to set up.

    one of the biggest challenges for musicians new to recording is learning how to configure the DAW and the interface to work with each other. I’ve found it to be a learning experience each time I get a new interface and it can be frustrating. But we’re here to help you!

  13. #13
    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    I have a Presonus Studio 24c Interface. My PC is an i7 with 32 GD Ram and a solid state drive (actually 500GB SSD for OS and a 2 TB HDD for file storage. I don't need complicated. I do want to record multiple tracks, both live (guitar and vocals) and MIDI.

    As far as notation software - I've been using MusicTime which was bought out by GVox and hasn't done an update in years. I think I paid about 40 bucks for it (for version 1 back when it was shareware), and it's done a great job - up to 16 voices.

    Added just now! I forgot I even had Audacity on my computer - I used it to edit some audio files a while ago. It seems to connect to both my Presonus interface and my Nektar midi keyboard. I'm going to play around with that - as well as Reaper since I get to try it out.
    Last edited by gibsonjunkie; 05-23-2020 at 09:15 PM.
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Re: simple recording software

    When you're away from home, more than you're there??? My apartment "bare essentials" rig... "Yeah... I'm nuts"...


    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    I have a Presonus Studio 24c Interface. My PC is an i7 with 32 GD Ram and a solid state drive (actually 500GB SSD for OS and a 2 TB HDD for file storage. I don't need complicated. I do want to record multiple tracks, both live (guitar and vocals) and MIDI.

    As far as notation software - I've been using MusicTime which was bought out by GVox and hasn't done an update in years. I think I paid about 40 bucks for it (for version 1 back when it was shareware), and it's done a great job - up to 16 voices.

    Added just now! I forgot I even had Audacity on my computer - I used it to edit some audio files a while ago. It seems to connect to both my Presonus interface and my Nektar midi keyboard. I'm going to play around with that - as well as Reaper since I get to try it out.
    sounds like you’re good to go! I forgot about Reaper - yes, another good FOSS DAW software

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fortunato View Post
    When you're away from home, more than you're there??? My apartment "bare essentials" rig... "Yeah... I'm nuts"...

    is that DAW reaper?
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: simple recording software

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    is that DAW reaper?
    Logic Pro X...

    "...put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme."
    Neil Peart (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020)

  18. #18
    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: simple recording software

    Nick,

    Reaper is fine. It will pretty much do anything you want and some of the plug-ins are REALLY nice.

    I use MAC/Logic in my studio because it works so well and seamlessly integrates with a POD HD Pro I have in my rack, which has become my go-to guitar processor.

    I do have Reaper also and I use it not only to record every now and then but to do video editing.

    All DAWs basically work the same way: Create a track, add the plug-ins you want ( reverb, delay, compression, noise gate, EQ, etc.) arm the track, set your level and the hit "Record". The master track is where you add the overall EQ and effects.

    Yes, even the simplest DAWs have a learning curve and you'll need to climb it, but with all popular DAWs there's always a YouTube video explaining how to do something.

    The most important piece of kit in your recording setup is not the computer or software. It's your monitors. All the tweaking in the world won't make up for not using reference monitors or trying to do the final mix in the cans.

    Chuck
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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