Re: Producers!!! What programs?
This is taken from a previous post that I made.
There are tons of different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) out there. I would try demos and see what ones that you like the best. I’ve used Renoise, Logic, Pro-Tools HD and LE, Cubase LE, and adobe audition. By the way are you a student like in a college? Many DAWs offer discount prices for students and it could save you a couple hundred bucks.
Pro-Tools- starts at $300 for interface and software and goes up to thousands of dollars (have to use pro-tools interface or some models of MOTU support pro-tools M-Powered). Keep in mind to get good plugins at least for version 7 you would have to spend hundreds of dollars to start getting professional plugins (my dad spent $1,000 to get the needed plugins). I personally think this is stupid especially for what you pay for. Many other interfaces offer better quality for a cheaper price. This is probably the industry standard in America for professional studios, but if you are looking to make beats I would not go for this software. Then again I’ve only tried version 7. Version 8 came out and is suppose to have a lot more plugins and instruments. You also need certain hardware on your computer to make sure it is compatible.
Cubase- Software starts at $500. Good all around sequencer. It has some good plugins, probably close to Logic’s selection. It has a good convolution plugin, and the other effects are not bad. It also has a number of instruments that come with it. So it is close to Logic but I would say Logic’s stuff is a little bit better. The instrument sampler that comes with logic puts it past Cubase. Probably just behind Pro-Tools in being the industry standard at least when you include it’s big brother Nuendo. From what I hear this is more popular in Europe, where Pro-Tools is more popular in America.
Nuendo- $1,800 by the same makers of Cubase.
Logic Studio (mac only) comes with great plugins and software synths. This would be the best idea for someone wanting an all around package to start producing professional stuff. In the long run this is cheaper than Pro-Tools because to get the plugin bundle that come with logic it would cost probably around a grand. This would be my top recommend for getting into DAWs, but you would have to have a mac. I personally don’t use this myself because I have a problem with paying the mac computer prices. I bought a 3.2 Ghz quad core, 8 gigs ram windows machine for like $700 where a mac machine would probably cost $2,250 for the same specs. So instead of paying out the nose for the computer I would rather buy a windows machine and put the rest of the cash into more useful things. I have had this program crash a couple times on me though using different computers and completely different setups.
Renoise- cost around 80 bucks but has a demo that can save songs. It is on windows, linux, and mac. The price is supposed to go up on the next upgrade, which is adding some cool features. This is cheap and has a different layout than most DAWs. This is what is called a tracker, and I happen to think that they are the bomb when it comes to beat production. Check out the forum topic on the site (I don’t remember where I posted it, I think in technology and gadgets). It also has a free upgrade to the next version included with every purchase. This is a high recommend. A couple other users on this forum use this program and we can help answer your questions if you decide to use this. The software is very stable.
Reaper- cheap sequencer $60. It seems to have a up and coming strong following. Many people use this and renoise together. Sound on Sound, which is a leading sound magazine, gave it a great review.
FL Studio- $100-300 depending on what version you want. Has some okay plugins. It is one of the most popular DAWs for beat production. Has a very strong following. Free upgrades for life . Windows only. I’ve heard some great production using this program. Getting this and a couple synths would go a long way in your production.
Reason- $500 this is a sequencer and doesn’t have the best way to work with audio outside of buying the extra add on software. Comes with all the synths and plugins that you need to start making good tracks.
Ableton Live & Suite- $500-$800. This is very popular for doing live work, hence the name. Its got some good plugins and it is easy to use. Probably one of the most popular beat production DAWs.
Cakewalk Sonar- $500. Don’t know much about it. I think it is got some okay stuff included with it.
Digital Performer (mac only)- $500. Don’t know much about it. I think it is got some okay stuff included with it.
So to bring a long story home I would put these in order for recommendations.
1. Logic Studio (but if you don’t have a mac, I wouldn’t buy one just to use this program, I would choose one mentioned below instead)
2. Ableton Live or FL Studio
3. Cubase or Reason
There are tons of youtube videos and you can check them out to see the different software DAWs and pick the one that you like best. TRY DEMOS. I would highly recommend Renoise just because of the speed at which things can be done, which is important when making songs. I did not put this on my top three list because it is not used by very many people. It’s used by weirdos like me and DWORD lol . It has a dedicated community. It’s like the DAW for computer nerds; it’s kinda like making music in a Microsoft Excel lol. This program could save you hours of time if you got use to using it compared to the other DAWs, but it doesn’t have a very good way to record audio into a track, although it can be done. The upgrades for future versions look promising, and it can be put on multiple compute, where some DAWs limit the number of computers or partitions that it can be used on.