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Thread What software to use/get for newbie

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1 What software to use/get for newbie
Hello, I'm not really a newbie, I've used Cakewalk Music Creator and Cubase LE (entry-level DAWs that come with hardware). But I'm not that good at it.

I recently had to get a new computer. Because the new computer didn't have a firewire, I was forced to replace my audio interface.

Based on Amazon reviews, I decided to get the Focusrite 2i2.

I am going to have to start over learning a new DAW now and I'm not excited about that. I've had to learn a new DAW a couple times and I always find it to be difficult. So I'm effectively a newbie.

The Scarlet came with Abelton Lite. I spent an hour or two with it last night. I found first two tutorials to be cumbersome. the screenshots didn't always match what was in the tutorial. I couldn't figure out how to see more of a window (could only see a tiny portion of a recording; i'm used to being able to zoom in and out and have most of the width of my computer to see a whole song).

I'm thinking before I get too far into this software, I should consider the options.

Does anyone have an opinion on which of these is better, easier, ...?

Abelton Live Lite
Cakewalk Music Creator
Cubase LE

Or any other entry-level DAW.
I mainly do multi track audio recording. Would like to be able to add effects and start experimenting with virtual instruments.

Also wondering if there is an official user forum through Focusrite, or is this the closest thing?

any advice is appreciated.

-gary in vermont

[ Post last edited on 01/28/2015 at 23:25:34 ]

2
Quote:
Does anyone have an opinion on which of these is better, easier, ...?

Abelton Live Lite
Cakewalk Music Creator
Cubase LE


Live is conceptually different from Cakewalk or Cubase, so it will take a little more getting used to. That said, Live is an excellent DAW. I'm not sure how limited Live Lite is, however. If you're willing to spend a little, you might want to try Acoustica Mixcraft (I'm assuming you're on a PC, right?). It's an extremely fully featured DAW for the money (about $75), and comes with instruments and effects.

At some point, as you continue to progress as a recordist, you'll want to go beyond the freebie DAWs that come with your hardware, so it might make sense to purchase a full DAW now so that you don't have to deal with the restrictions that you have in free DAWs. If you don't want to spend the $$ upfront, you might consider Cakewalk Sonar Artist, which can be purchased via monthly subscription ($9.95 per month), and will give you a lot more than Music Creator would. It too, includes lots of instruments and effects. Good luck!
3
Thanks! To be honest, using the free versions that come with hardware have served me very well so far. I haven't bumped up against any restrictions. In my last one, Cubase LE, the only restriction I knew of was that there was a maximum of 25 tracks in one song. I came close one time but never had a problem. I was able to add effects like reverb and I started playing around with instruments and didn't see any restrictions there either. So for now I will start with the free version again. Since Abelton is differnt conceptually as you say, I might veer back to Cubase or Cakewalk. I really would be fine with the same thing I had before, it's just this computer upgrade that is forcing me to start over again and I'd rather not learn a new concept. My compositions are fairly simple compared to what others are probably doing.

I made this on Cakewalk over 10 years ago:
http://garybeckwith.net/music_files/songs/rockingchair.mp3
The piano and drums are virtual instruments, all the rest is multi-track audio

And this on Cubase LE a couple years ago:
http://garybeckwith.net/music_files/songs/listen-to-the-rain.mp3
All audio except the drums.

Just looking to do the same sort of thing.

Thanks again
4
HI Gary,

I think everyone goes through this at some point, finding a DAW that really suits them.
As mentioned above, Ableton is quite different to Cubase and other similar DAWs. I have always viewed Ableton as more of an electronic music platform, specifically for live use, with Cubase/Logic/ProTools being more for 'standard' multitrack recording. Of course there is cross over, but each has its strengths.
You may want to look into Reaper as another idea, similar to Cubase/Logic etc, free to evaluate and a very good support forum via their website.

In any case, glad you're enjoying the 2i2, please do let us know if you have any further questions.

Simon // Focusrite Technical Support

[ Post last edited on 01/30/2015 at 02:20:52 ]