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next step DAW grown out of Garageband

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next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby forumuser743521 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:50 pm

Hi

I am not a great fan of Macs and have grown out of Garageband so although Logic Pro beckons it doesn't let me leave the Mac behind

I have a home studio with Focusright Scarlett interface and am not sure whether to stick it out with Logic Pro or plump for something else - Ableton? Pro tools?

I am a musician so less interested in the tech but need to be able to record to a good technical standard

Would really appreciate views form the group
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:39 pm

forumuser743521 wrote:I have a home studio with Focusright Scarlett interface and am not sure whether to stick it out with Logic Pro or plump for something else - Ableton? Pro tools?

Everyone says "Reaper" now. So maybe try that first if you're open-minded and don't have unlimited funds, or follow your gut if your inspiration is elsewhere. It's all about the inspiration and workflow, really.

I would say that Ableton and Pro Tools perhaps have a more distinct character than most, but quite a different character. Pro Tools started as the studio recording DAW of choice, whereas Ableton sets out its own path with a lot of looping functionality and integration with Max for advanced programmability.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby RichardT » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:51 pm

All the DAWs are very powerful. Reaper is the most affordable and would make a good choice.

Ableton is great for loop-based production.

The advantage of Logic, though, is that it can open GarageBand projects - so if you have lots of ideas in GarageBand that you want to develop further you can do it easily.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:57 pm

On the one hand, it doesn't really matter...on the other it depends on your work flow. If your music is sequencer based, then fl studio or Ableton (I think). If recording instruments is more your thing, then any of the big names are good...Cubase, Reaper, Cakewalk...the list goes on. They all have their own learning curves. Cakewalk is free and reaper has a very reasonable pricing structure, allowing you to trial it indefinitely, though is still cheap should you decide to buy it. I like cubase because it was the first DAW I used, it came free with my mixer. Over the years, I gradually upgraded to the pro version.
In terms of sound quality, they are all the same. They differ in workflow and bloat. FL studio has loads of bloat in the form of midi instruments and sample content. Reaper is the other end of the scale and is very light in footprint, but immensely powerful.
If you have an idea how you want to use it, others might chime in with more targeted advice. But most of all, don't get sucked into the idea that you must have this specific DAW to be any good, or to get a pro recording, its all nonsense!
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:38 pm

Just adding a +1 to the above. All the major DAWs are supremely capable, some have slight advantages in some areas, but whether those are significant will depend on your requirements.
Fortunately most of them have a sensible trial period or a free version so you can have a decent play around before committing.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby fatbenelton » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:39 pm

Didn’t the focusrite interface come with a ‘lite’ version of cubase or ableton? Might be worth checking and having a play with that.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby IAA » Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:48 am

If you’re a musician and less interested in the tech, whilst the advice here is spot on, I’d just add that learning a new DAW will take serious time. What is it that you’re missing given GarageBand is in most cases pretty good?
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:05 am

I’ve been on Reaper for years, I’ve also got Garage Band, Ableton, Reason, but I always gravitate to Reaper, it’s almost a no brainer, Reason has some great instruments, that’s why I use that, and Ableton has some truly amazing effects, all have their uses.
Reaper is just a great easy to use all round DAW.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby forumuser743521 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:33 am

thanks so much for the replies all really useful - Because my songs never involve loops and I use the virtual amps and instruments in GB even when recording using a real guitar or bass DI'd into the Scarlett I think that's one of the priorities in the choice - the virtual drummer is a big plus in GB - does Reaper have those functions ?

thanks ! :)
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:16 am

"Reaper is just a great easy to use all round DAW"

I agree with Tony and the plugins included are so good you don't need to buy any others. (Need means different things to different people..........)
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:32 am

Actually the weak point of Reaper is that it doesn't have any included instruments.
So either you use the cost savings of Reaper vs Logic/Cubase to budget for some VSTis, or you spend a bit more upfront for Logic/Cubase, or give Cakewalk a try - free and has included instruments.
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Moroccomoose » Sat Jun 05, 2021 11:52 am

Reaper will do exactly what you want, and very well too. It does come with the essentials...that is the ability to record your tracks (Its flexible routing makes connecting things in interesting ways very easy and is one of its strengths) it comes with stock EQ, compressors, delays, reverb limiter and others. They are very 'utilitarian ', but perfect for buliding
your knowledge and skills. It will also do MIDI pretty well, if you wanted to add drums or use a midi keyboard.


Of course there is a plethora of perfectly usable free VST and VSTi (and commercial ones too) to broaden the pallet.

Stick around these fora, and keep any eye on the SOS articles for reaper specific tricks, tips and techniques. Also there is a YouTube channel by a chap called Kenny Gioia which will help you get up and running.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bepxGZ-ZXGE

Good luck! :thumbup:

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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Wease » Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:35 pm

forumuser743521 wrote:thanks so much for the replies all really useful - Because my songs never involve loops and I use the virtual amps and instruments in GB even when recording using a real guitar or bass DI'd into the Scarlett I think that's one of the priorities in the choice - the virtual drummer is a big plus in GB - does Reaper have those functions ?

thanks ! :)

It does sound as if Logic Pro might be the most suitable! (I know, controversial!) if you look at cost, Ableton suite is around £450...Cubase and Reason not dissimilar. These give you the virtual amps etc that you want. Logic Pro is on the App Store at £199....half the price with as much additional content as the full versions of the others....factor in a new pc cost and your budget starts to disappear. Have you got a reasonably new Mac?.....would it work as just a music Mac?

Reaper option doesn’t include the virtual instruments etc...you’d have to go 3rd party (native instruments or similar) which bumps the price up to similar £450 levels.

You did say the virtual drummer and amp sims are useful....they are all in Logic Pro...

Just saying. ;)
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:46 pm

I've used Reaper with MT Power Drumkit to put quick drum tracks down. MT Power Drumkit is donationware - you can use it for free but you have to click on a window each time it starts up. It only comes with one set of sounds but they are very usable if you are working in a rock or acoustic genre and you can substitute your own sounds if needed. There are plenty of more sophisticated drum plug-ins like EZ Drummer or Superior Drummer if you need more versatility.

Reaper comes with amp sim plug-ins if you explore the JS folder (many people seem to overlook this part of Reaper).
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Re: next step DAW grown out of Garageband

Postby Dave B » Sat Jun 05, 2021 2:16 pm

Given your list of features, I'm still curious about how you feel you've outgrown Garageband?

I'm with Wease - it sounds like you want GB++ which is (at a very simplistic level) what Logic is. But, speaking as an experienced Logic user, if you told me I had to do a song in GB, I wouldn't find it too much of a chore (unless I was doing heavy editing / complex music)
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