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What is the best DAW for me

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What is the best DAW for me

Postby rrudolph » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:09 am

I am an intermediate piano player. I am currently using BandLab which does everything I could possibly need. However it only records 15 minute segments. I would like to know if there is a free program for windows that will let me record my hour long practice session and be able to listen to it to improve my playing. Not nearly ready to publish anything. Thank you
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:53 am

I would recommend Reaper as a good next step. It's a fully-featured DAW which can be installed and trialled for free and, should you decide you like it, can be licensed fully for the very reasonable price of $60 (converted to your local currency if not the dollar) on an 'honour' basis.

It doesn't come with quite the range of shiny plugins offered by more expensive DAWs but it is every bit as capable as any of them and supports 3rd party plugins with no problem.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:23 am

If you want something that's simple and free then checkout Audacity.

It's a good, basic DAW for capturing sound and doing some simple post-processing should you wish to.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby Music Wolf » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:47 am

I've recently installed Cakewalk https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk on my old laptop which I use for live work / location recording. It was free.

Because we are in lockdown I've not had chance to use it in anger yet but it was easy to set up and record a few test tracks.

I haven't checked the max record time.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:34 am

If you're currently using bandlab the obvious step would be cakewalk. Unless you're after something for a mobile platform? In which case maybe cubasis or garageband?
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:22 am

If you simply want to record your practice to listen back then a DAW is overkill. A simple stereo (or even mono) audio recorder would work fine for that task*. If you later want to edit and layer multiple tracks, maybe add drums, vocals or lead instruments then a DAW is the correct tool for the job in which case I too would endorse Reaper if you are prepared to learn a new workflow or, Cakewalk for something similar to Bandlab to ease the learning curve.

* Most OS's have a 'voice recorder' app built in which should record a full hour.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby adrian_k » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:21 pm

I would second the Cakewalk suggestion, it’s a mature and fully functional DAW with a pretty simple workflow. And it’s completely free. (Windows only).

Also free, and perfectly fine for recording one or two track of audio and adding some simple effects is Audacity. I think that’s multi-platform.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby CS70 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:25 pm

Just a note: I don't think that Bandlab (the web music-making application) is anything like Cakewalk by Bandlab (which is the fully fledged DAW application) in terms of interface or use.

The main advantage is that I vaguely remember there's a sort of built-in exchange mechanisms between the two so you can for example upload the results of a proper Cakewalk project into Bandlab.. but as I've never used this latter, I'm not sure.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby Peevy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:24 pm

Rrudolph

In case you’re not aware, ‘Bandlab’ and ‘Cakewalk by Bandlab’ are two different things. Cakewalk by Bandlab is an excellent DAW for Windows and has no recording time restrictions. It’s also completely free. It used to be called Sonar Platinum. It can be found here:

https://www.bandlab.com/products/cakewalk
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby adrian_k » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:44 am

CS70 wrote:Just a note: I don't think that Bandlab (the web music-making application) is anything like Cakewalk by Bandlab (which is the fully fledged DAW application) in terms of interface or use.

Yes this is right, Bandlab on the web is kind of like GarageBand on an iPad in term of functionality. I found it a bit clunky and couldn’t get it to recognise my midi keyboard or any other audio stream than the system mic (probably a Windows thing). But if you want to rough out a song in collaboration with someone else online it can work quite well.
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Re: What is the best DAW for me

Postby nwns » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:25 pm

I love Acoustica's MIxcraft, nice and easy to use, very cheap.
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