Advice on DAW software (WAV editing/mixing) to run on Win-7 x64 ?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by cloche, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. cloche

    cloche Guest

    I've been using with very great satisfaction Syntrillium CoolEdit 2000 for a long time, but now that for other reasons I changed my hardware platform and adopted Windows-7 x64, this software is not compatible any more.
    Though I could run it with the "XP-Mode" virtualization, I'd prefer to direct myself to a newer software.
    My budget is extremely limited, since I perform Waveform editing by passion, for personal use (and for some of my friends), and not by profession.
    Currently I'm examining the following ones:
    - Reaper
    - Audacity
    - Traverso
    - LMMS (linux MultiMedia System - ported for windows)

    Can somebody provide some advices?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you like Cool Edit then purchase Audition 3.0 which is the current version. It runs very well on Windows 7 and an education license is pretty reasonable. Another alternative is Mackie Tracktion 3 which is found pretty darn cheap online.
  3. cloche

    cloche Guest

    Thanks for your attention!
    Yes, I know Audition but in Italy it seems not available in other license than the "normal" one, and sincerely it is far beyond what I'd like to spend for a WAV-editing software.
    I'll look better for the "educational" license.
    However, how about the 4 softwares in the list?
    If Audition is the only possibility, or if I'm advised that CoolEdit would still be better than the four I listed, then I'd run my CoolEdit (for which I own an official license) in XP-mode.

    Thanks again,

  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Reaper is quite customizable and the price is reasonable. It can be a bit clunky until you do get it the way you want it and set as default.

    Audacity is good for one track at a time though it's limited. VST plugins can be added in the current version with an extra download program. It's not hugely versatile, just convenient and free.

    I do not know the other two at all. If Audition ends up being too expensive then I would go with Tracktion 3. Ebay has it new in the box from $50-$150 on a regular basis.
  5. cloche

    cloche Guest

    Thanks again!

    I'll follow this strategy:
    - install Reaper and experiment a little until the expiration of the trial period (30 days I seem to remember)
    - disregard Audacity after your comments
    - install Traverso and have a look at it in parallel with Reaper
    - provide feedback herein about the two of them ;-)
    - uninstall the one I like the least.
    - in parallel, get more info about Tracktion 3 (I know nothing about it, at the time present).

    Thanks again, regards!
  6. cloche

    cloche Guest

    OK, I had a look at Traverso, just to notice that all its effects plugins are compiled for Linux only :-(
    So, no sound effects processing under Windows... and I immediately uninstalled it, since it would have been of no use for me.
    At the time present I'm having hard moments with Reaper, first of all because I don't understand how it talks to my audio interface: ASIO is completely mute (why? The audio interface does have ASIO drivers), and the other options are also a bit randomic...
    Also, its "philosophy" is very very far from CoolEdit, but here I only have to get used (shouldn't be so impossible, after all it looks a bit like hardware equipment, where every "FX track" is kind of an hardware signal processing module, to be routed in appropriate ways to the other modules...). Looks interesting, and the FX plugins seem to have a very high audio quality.

  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    GVST - Downloads

    Here are some quality free plugins. Remember that even in the digital world it all breaks down to gozinta and gozouta. Reaper in theory is set up vaguely like a sideways mixer. The "patching" is done via assigning on the "sticks." Before you can do that however you have to select which ASIO driver Reaper is going to use in the audio hardware setup.
  8. cloche

    cloche Guest

    thanks for the advices!
    Yes, world has changed since when I was using CoolEdit... It was all based on proprietary plugins, you could apply one effect after the other, so that FX-on-FX was very hard and time-consuming to achieve (had to make a copy of the portion you wanted to effect, apply the "sum of effects" on it, the paste-and-overlap it on the original track... and so on...), but I was so used to this way-of-life that even the incredibly more powerful paradigm of the "patch bay" disorients me instead of making the "work" more efficient... I suppose things would be similar to Reaper also in Audition, aside its "basis" closer to CoolEdit.
    Well, apart my problems with the user interface (there is a learning curve for everyting, isn't there?), which I can most probably solve by reading the manual (more than 400 pages !!! Gulp !!!) and with some try-and-error, the heaviest problem I have is in the "dialog" between the program and the audio interface.
    So, the audio interface is a Terratec Phase 22, which comes with ASIO drivers among others. All seem correctly installed, even under Win-7 (though the card was certified under XP and neither under Vista nor 7...), and the demonstration is that Traverso could send the signal via ASIO right after I chose it as the default.
    So, supposing ASIO drivers are working correctly, why Reaper doesn't come out with any sound from the Master output, whether it does with DirectAudio or WDM? If I create a project with only one track (just to test the output), I suppose I have to route it to the "hardware out" with the "I/O" selector, and by doing so I selected "Left+Right". Is it correct? By the way: do I have to explicitely assign the ASIO out to one "route" so I must direct the track to the appropriate "REA route"? Even if this route directly ends up to the audio interface? Aren't they "channels" to interconnect applications with one another?
    Excuse me if the questions may sound stupid, but none of all this was present in CoolEdit (a "pure" WAV-editor, if you see what I mean) so I'm really disoriented...

    As regards the VST plugins: thanks, interesting resource! Though it won't bring Traverso back to life on my system, I fear, because there seems to be something "Unix-oriented" in where the program expects them to be placed and how it expects them to be loaded/linked/registered/whatsoever... I suppose VST plugins are independent from the program which uses them, correct? Otherwise, their utility would be less than zero... :)

    Thanks again,
    regards !
  9. cloche

    cloche Guest

    ... Oh, sorry, I forgot about Tracktion 3: though EBay may have it, I am extremely suspicious about this site after I had a very bad experience of stolen password and malware infection, so I decided to keep away from EBay forever.
    Tracktion is distributed in Italy by Proel, if I'm not wrong, a dealer specialized in professional equipment and hi-end home audio. So the route to Tracktion, even only in order to get a quotation, is far longer and probably much more expensive than allowed by my budget... I keep it as a future reference, however, in case I can't find my way out with Reaper... :)

  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    In this Reaper is both very flexible and a little clunky. You need to assign the input and output in each track via the I/O button and also make sure the Master track is assigned. If nothing is assigned you will not get any audio. If you are not getting any sound from your interface headphones you will need to send the Master track ot the headphones. Sometimes this is 1-2 on an interface and sometimes it is a different output assignment. The manual for your interface should tell you which that is.

    Once you have a session set up exactly like you want it, then save that as your default session. You can then quickly load it up whenever you want to be set up quickly. Of course you will want to immediately <Save As> in order to preserve your template. Audition is much easier to set a default session or change the default at any time. As to VST plugs, all programs will look for a particular folder to find these. Some programs also allow you to add other folders to find VST. If not, then you will simply need to copy and paste the VST dll files into the proper folder for your DAW whether it's Traverso or Reaper or whatever. Look under Program Files-->Traverso-->Plugins. Paste your VST dll's into this folder. When you restart the DAW it should find the new ones. If not then there will be some option within the program to search for new VST's.
  11. cloche

    cloche Guest

    thank you very much!
    Things are globally "clear" (I suspected something like you described, as regards the Master out), except one point:
    If under preferences -> audio -> ..., I choose "ASIO", then without changing anything I hear NOTHING. Instead, if, without changing anything of course, I choose "WDM" or "DirectSound" in the preferences, then the output correctly goes out to the SPDIF-out. Why? Is that because WDM or DirectSound bypass the routing of the Master Out and automatically map it to the currently-selected interface (by"currently-selected", I mean the one selected by default via Windows' Control Panel)?
    Thanks again,
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Usually the WDM or DirectSound is a very limited driver and likely does not allow for different output options. Your interface no doubt allows more flexibility with routing the output.
  13. cloche

    cloche Guest

    Yes, by thinking on it after your comments I strongly suspect that both WDM and DirectSound don't allow using the "direct pass-through" allowed by the Phase 22, thus keeping the signal "under the control" of Windows, with subsequent possible degradation in quality.
    Possibly when I made my first tryouts in routing to the output, I didn't properly understand the mapping "route - output", due to the fact the Phase 22 in reality is built as a 6-routes interface, 1 SPDIF-in, 1 SPDIF-out (there may be, at this point, another "problem" with Reaper, since a SPDIF can hold an arbitrary number of channels, depending on how they are "coded": I have to find out how to make Reaper understand that I want a 2-channels stereo output at 44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bits, since that's what the external D/A receiver allows...), 2x mono balanced analog in (can be reconfigured as 1x stereo: have to find out how to make Reaper understand that... :) ), 2x mono balanced analog out (ibidem !!!)... And if I add the MIDI port, the number of routes may increase further...
    Life would not be so interesting if it was too simple, wouldn't it ? :)
    Regards !

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