Which all software needed for creating a complete track?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by lynx, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. lynx

    lynx Guest

    Hi all!

    I am a wannabe music composer. I plan to do all my songs using PC. I plan to get a M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard and a Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones. Later, I would get a M-Audio Oxygen 8 MIDI controller.

    (Btw., please tell me which mic is good for male vocal recording: Shure SM-57? Anything cheaper than that?)

    Now, I plan to get these 3 software:
    1). Steinberg Cubase SX 3 [OR Nuendo 3 - suggestions pls.]
    2). Native Instruments Reaktor 4
    3). TASCAM GigaStudio 3 (OR) Steinberg Halion 3

    Now, I plan to construct sounds from scratch in Reaktor 4 OR use the samples from gs3 or halion3 and sequence them in cubase sx3.

    Now, my questions are:

    a). How do I record the vocal track? Do I need to get a seperate recording software (if so, which one?) or can I just do it from within Cubase SX3 or any of the above 3 software?

    b). When I am getting Cubase SX3, would it make any sense to get Propellerhead Reason 3.0 or Fruity Loops Studio or Ableton Live 3.0? Or, will Cubase SX3 do pretty much everything I can do in any of the above 3?

    c). Do I need to get a dedicated DRUM sampler like Battery 2 or I can use gs3 or halion3 and get drum samples, and use it? Will either have any particular advantage or disadvantage? Also, can I construct drum loops within cubase sx3 itself?

    d). Do I need audio editing software (extra) like: Adobe Audition 1.5 or Steinberg WaveLab 5 in addition to those 3?

    e). Would Finale 2005 do anything more that what Cubase SX3 will do?

    f). And, finally, how do I mix and master my songs? Do I need anything like Steinberg Nuendo 3?

    Kindly help me out...

    Thanks in advance.
    - Stanley Lyndon
  2. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    Hi Stanley,
    and welcome to wonderful world of recording. There are a lot a happy moments ahead of you. There are a few things to look out for, it is very easy to fall into that "equipment adding syndrome" for one thing. I know I am there when I spend more energy on thinking about new software and hardware and learning them, than on actually making music.

    Anyway, just maybe, start out small and grow from there. Perhaps start with one of the programs and learn that. Find the limits and when they are hindering you, make next investment.

    Just a few notes on your questions, I will stick to the ones I can answer.

    Cubase is good at recording sounds as well. You may use that. Only a small suggestion though, maybe you should look at the alternative versions of Cubase. They all do about the same for your usage, you may upgrade, and you can save a bit of money going with some of the smaller versions.

    Yes and no. Try Cubase first. If you have a problem getting it to do what you want, buy then. FL and Live are "sort of the same thing", ie main programs. Reason is more of a set of instruments. It very much depends on what work patterns you will follow.

    No. You might want to once you know what they can offer, that is not in Cubase. But not as a starter.

    Yes. It will write scores and parts for your symphony orchestra. Personally I like Sibelius better in that case.

    Mix in Cubase. Follow the tutorials. Master in Cubase for home use. If you want to go commercial quality you need a really good room and really good speakers, don´t expect to do it on headphones. The best bet is to get some experience into the working as well, quickest is to buy the mastering.

    Mastering is like woodworking. Anyone can buy a set of tools and some raw materials and make a table and a chair. Compare that to what a real craftsman does. The difference often is mainly the material and the experience, not necessarily the tools.

  3. lynx

    lynx Guest

    I didn't get this one right... Can you explain in a few words what the programs like Ableton Live, Reason, Audition, Wavelab, and Samplitude really do? I have read lots of reviews but couldn't make out which programs does what job in a generic manner...

    I plan to get creative inspire 5100 soon. But, do you think it would be a good idea to go for Nuendo 3 first instead of Cubase sx3 'coz I read that nuendo 3 has everything that cubase sx3 has plus some. But, will nuendo 3 have the same compatibility with gs3, halion, reaktor, REASON, and, live as CUBASE SX3?
  4. ghellquist

    ghellquist Member

    May 25, 2004
    you are asking a lot of valid and good questions. But I believe you should first get some hands on experience on the type of programs.

    My suggestion is for you to get Cubase SE. That will cost you about 1/10 of the Nuendo price. It has a lot of the functions needed for creating music. Learn that program as a start. Learn to record sounds from your soundcard. Learn to make midi music inside the program. Learn to handle automation. I bet you will be very occupied doing this for at least half a year.

    Once you know that, and find that feature x in Cubase SE is cumbersome or does not really help you get the results you want, we could talk about the alternatives.

    If you are too anxious to wait, why not start by downloading the demo versions of the programs. I believe they are tailored to a somewhat knowledgeable user, so it might still be better to get Cubase SE first. I have for example tried Live a few times, and cannot really get to grips with it. Know too little I believe.

    And no, there is no way I can make five ten page reviews into a few sentences. All of the programs you ask for are tools, more or less for working with sounds on a PC. The difference will take some time to explain.

    So once more, go ahead and buy Cubase SE, it is the lowest price version of the program series. Work on that for a while.

    And well, frankly speaking, avoid the Creative stuff. It is intended for gamers, and not really a good tool for music production. You will want to save your money for something better. So why not take the Nuendo price and put that on a pair of studio monitors. For the $1.000 price of Nuendo you can get a mid-level pair of speakers. The price level is still a bit away from the very top-level a professional mixing or mastering house would use. For home mixing though there are quite a few alternatives at that price point that will do faithful service.


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