Still looking for musician-friendly recording software

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Hilary, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Hilary

    Hilary Guest

    So I'm still looking for musician-friendly recording software.

    I had started out with Audacity, and it works like a dream but it can only output 2-channel stereo and it crashes a lot. And it has a long list of rotten effects that I don't know how to delete.

    I had looked at n-track but that's looking pretty dead nowadays.

    I had looked at -- and tried -- Reaper but I was uncomfortable with the general loser vibe and obscenities; and the sarcastic references to Jesus really hurt me. Who needs -that- $#!%?

    I went out and purchased the new Cubase Essentials 4, thinking that the large Cubase user base is a good recommendation, but it is NOT a recording program. A MIDI production/creation tool maybe, a toy for someone who likes to play with his computer, but it's not for musicians recording music.

    In Audacity, if I want to record a track, I hit the red button and it starts recording. This morning, I went to do a three-track recording, and every time I wanted to do it, it required 30 CLICKS, give or take a few depending on how you want the monitoring to be set up.

    30 CLICKS TO RECORD A TRACK.

    And it won't go to 32-bit (for clean effects and undistorted volume line math). And it has a peculiar style of blacking out the area between the wave and the wave centerline, so you can't really see what you're recording unless you zoom to nanoseconds, in which case you can't see either.

    It might be a great MIDI assembler but it isn't a music recording tool.

    Is -anything- a good musician's recording tool? I mean, if Audacity is just a couple output buses and a little more polishing to be a perfect product -- a tape machine without the tape -- and it's free, why can't I find something at least that good, with four or six outputs, for a hundred bucks or two?

    H
     
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Mo money, mo money, mo money...

    I've said it a million times: Vegas. The DAW, not the town.

    I've taught countless musicians how to use it at RC....

    [/repeating myself]
     
  3. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Tracktion recording software may be what would interest you. Reads like the gui{graphical user interface} is giving you the most issues, and Tracktion has a very simple gui.
     
  4. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Cubase actually is a great recording app - esp. Cubase 4. I don't know what is or isn't in Cubase Essentials, but there is a ton under the hood of Cubase 4. You can simply setup your template (or default project) for whatever and however many tracks you need, with inputs assigned, output busing, grouping, etc, etc and be off an running in seconds.

    I have separate templates in Nuendo for scoring, audio post projects, voiceovers, etc, with key commands and workspaces for recalling screen setups.

    I wouldn't necessarily say Vegas is a great music production app. It's a great NLE, but audio/music capabilities are behind other DAWs, and while it's simple in some regards, it's not a program to grow with in terms of music production (truly great for video though - probably faster than Final Cut).

    I agree with you on the apps you've tried - most freeware/shareware apps leave quite a bit to be desired at least in some key area, even for simpler use.

    As far as inexpensive alternative recording apps - Samplitude SE might be another to consider. It's fairly straightforward for most recording needs.
     
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    No matter what software you get, you'll need to get intimate with your manual. Yes! Your manual. Every piece of software has some sort of getting started tutorial. Seriously. If Cubase Essentials is a roadblock for you, I don't know what will be of any value to you. If you can't get the basics of routing together, no amount of money is going to get you into recording any easier.

    There is always some amount of setup involved before you start recording. Choosing the driver, enabling inputs and outputs, selecting your target recording drive, setting up folders for each project. There's always some configuring to do. If you get frustrated at that point, how do you expect to move forward? It might seem overwhelming now but if you can just get past it, those things will be the simple things that you will apply no matter what DAW you use.

    Sony's Acid actually has a tutorial built in to it. You can find it in a drop down menu and it will literally hold your hand through the whole recording process. But then there's some more money for you to spend.
     
  6. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    30 clicks to record a track?

    As Dterry said, if you set up a template or two ahead of time, when the moment strikes you can save a lot of time. It's pretty darn close to "hit the red button and go" from there...
     
  7. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    :lol:

    I just found my first good reason to check out Reaper.

    :cool:
     
  8. ElPedro

    ElPedro Guest

    I absolutely have to agree as someone who coaches non-professionals to self-produce podcasts. We use audacity to get them started, but when they want to take it up a notch, we head to Vegas land (except for the Mac users, who play with Garage Band).
     
  9. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Guitar Tracks Pro by Cakewalk is totally musician friendly. It's modeled after analog recorders and mixers. Just a thought. I've used it, and still do for some things due to it's simplicity. It runs quite smoothly as well.
     
  10. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    +1 for Tracktion. Though unfortunately it doesn't contain any blasphemy...
     
  11. Hilary

    Hilary Guest

    "No matter what software you get, you'll need to get intimate with your manual. Yes! Your manual."

    Yep, that 30 clicks was clocked with the manual on my lap and my finger on the page, doing just what it said to do, step by step. As a matter of fact, I didn't even do everything it said to do; if I had named the track it would have been more.

    I'm pretty accustomed to writing macros in Windows office apps and I suppose that templates are the same thing but why should people lie down and put up with user-hostile software anyway?

    If you want to be a recording "engineer" the more knobs and switches you have the better. If you want to be a musician, at least if you want to be a good one, you're pursuing something that's evasive at best, and the best environment is the least distracting one.

    It's probably inevitable that the people who write apps, being computer jocks, are going to write apps for computer jocks.
     
  12. Hilary

    Hilary Guest

    "I've said it a million times: Vegas."

    Oh, and by the way, I have Sound Forge/ CD Architect.

    CD Architect is exactly like a Seventies American car: Beautiful and powerful and comfortable and nothing on it works right. (Struggle with pc and burner compatibilities, unacceptable distortion apparently due to sloppy math)

    If it is an example of Sony's craftsmanship, Vegas being so much bigger is bound to be so much more a nightmare, isn't it?

    Gee, I hate to be so negative here....what I want is so simple....
     
  13. cathode_ray

    cathode_ray Active Member

    Musicians can be very un-friendly...

    But CUBASE SE-3 is VERY affordable and easy(if you can read) and will do everything you need(from the sound of your past endevours).
    Once you have a template and use it to start a new song, one button works.
    I think TRACTION will as well...
     
  14. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I will bet that 20 of those thirty clicks were a one time thing. I use Cubase and once I have a project set up, there's only two clicks to record. One to enable the track and the second one to click record. That's it. I don't know where your thirty clicks are coming from.
     
  15. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Kristal

    Pros:
    Free.
    Easy (5 clicks TOPS for recording a stereo track from a brand new project).
    16 channel multitracking.
    Supports VSTs.
    Has basic fade in/out / master gain.

    Cons:
    Multi Window interface.
    No envelopes (of any sort).
    Only 2 VSTs per track + 3 masters (unless you download a VST which allows chaining of VSTs inside it)

    Haven't played about with the simultaneous input/output of it but I know that it plays back the mix of any tracks there when you record. Yes, it has a mixer. If I got the source, rewrote the UI and added volume envelopes/FX automation, I'd love it.
     
  16. Groff

    Groff Active Member

    http://reaper.fm/
     
  17. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Reaper was already mentioned and dissed.

    You could always try Linux. See what's going down in the wonderful world of Ubuntu (Studio).
     
  18. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    This is going to be no help at all but here goes anyway...

    The only truly "musician friendly" recording software is the software that the recording engineer uses when recording said musician. A musician writes and plays. He/She shouldn't worry his/her little head about what software to use. The engineer records. He/she is the one that picks the software to use and learns how to use it in such a way that it won't interfere with a musicians mojo. Let a pro or semi-pro or even an amateur do it for you.

    But really, if you are looking for something easy enough for any musician to use you might look into getting one of those all-in-one boxes.
    -simple, play, stop, rewind and fast forward buttons. Easy enough for any musician.
    -no brainer A/D-D/A
    -built in preamps
    -easy to use EQs, dynamics processors and effects
    -portable, for recording on the go
    -many have expandable options
    -many have built in CD burners for printing mixes
    -many have some sort of computer interface so if the need arises to do some major editing everything can be put into a computer for just such a task.

    Then there is the portastudio. The musician's best friend. Put in a tape, plug in. Press record. Play.
     
  19. Hilary

    Hilary Guest

    "I will bet that 20 of those thirty clicks were a one time thing. ...
    I don't know where your thirty clicks are coming from..."

    Well, I told you where they came from....they came from doing what the manual said to do.

    In my last session I did mess around with setting up templates. I am of course willing to invest in this and see whether I can get used to it.

    My problems at this moment are that:

    If I open a three-track wav it opens them on one track so the three tracks are no longer individually editable

    It won't export multitrack wavs so I could port stuff to another program and back (this is really, really bad)

    The Hi-Quality Pitch Shifter mentioned on the box, and a very major reason I purchased the software, does not seem to exist once you get into the manual

    Meanwhile my guitar is wondering where the heck I am....

    P
     
  20. Hilary

    Hilary Guest

    "I will bet that 20 of those thirty clicks were a one time thing. ...
    I don't know where your thirty clicks are coming from..."

    Well, I told you where they came from....they came from doing what the manual said to do.

    In my last session I did mess around with setting up templates. I am of course willing to invest in this and see whether I can get used to it.

    My problems at this moment are that:

    If I open a three-track wav it opens them on one track so the three tracks are no longer individually editable

    It won't export multitrack wavs so I could port stuff to another program and back (this is really, really bad)

    The Hi-Quality Pitch Shifter mentioned on the box, and a very major reason I purchased the software, does not seem to exist once you get into the manual

    Meanwhile my guitar is wondering where the heck I am....

    P
     

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