Author Topic: music recording software  (Read 109 times)

Jake

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music recording software
« on: November 06, 2019, 05:22:03 PM »
hopefully one of you can help me - I think Micah might know this - I am looking for some software for my daughter so she can record vocals and maybe play around with some loops and stuff. maybe like a keyboard too. I dunno much about it. win10 laptop. thanks.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 05:49:24 PM by Jake »
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micah

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 11:59:45 PM »
For just audio recording - you can't go wrong with the opensource and free Audacity.  It has a very tacky and dated interface but is updated regularly and has many (if not most) of the same features as you'd find in a super expensive platform like Adobe's Audition (which is top notch and really great; I used to use it when I had the Adobe Suite license from work 2 jobs ago)

If you want to get into loops and beats and stuff, then you're moving into the world of DAW (digital audio workstation) software. A common and affordable choice is Fruity Loops (recently renamed "FL Studio" after Kellog's felt people might confuse their cereal with music software) https://www.image-line.com/flstudio/  I only used the trial of it once and its pretty good but I prefer something thats really meant for music production.  Cakewalk was a leader for decades but surprisingly and suddenly went out of business a few years ago which is when I switched to PreSonus Studio One.  There is a free "light" version that is probably your best bet to get into the world of DAW/Recording/Production.  I have the mid-priced "Artists" edition plus a couple hundred dollars worth of plugins and extensions.  The nice thing about them is unlike Abelton and ProTools (other industry leaders) you can just buy it and own it, with out a subscription like Adobe.  I'm ok with subscription software if you live in it everyday for work - but for hobbies, I feel like your throwing your money away.

With the DAW, while it has a TON of functionality built in, it's audio editing is meant more for non-destructive modification in a production (think layers in photoshop) -- so I find myself recording and cleaning up audio tracks in Audacity and then importing them into Studio One.  So like, I remove background noise, normalize levels and edit phrasing etc in Audacity, then drag the file into the DAW as a layered track where I can then tweak it a thousands ways with effects and pitch corrections etc.

Anything is going to have a high learning curve but there are thousands of tutorials for every software and the more you enjoy doing it, the more fun it is to learn. I can't even imagine how many thousands of hours I've spent since I was a teenage playing with this sort of thing.

Here's an example of my most recent project. I started it in the summer, got all vocals, effects, and stuff set just right, but never finished all the instrumentation.  Here's what I've got so far though....

https://youtu.be/LI4uYhOif5E
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micah

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 01:10:55 AM »
I missed that last line "maybe like a keyboard too" -- are you looking for a piano keyboard as well for her?

I don't have ton of suggestions there but the most important thing you want, if you're getting an affordable low-end consumer model keyboard is to make sure it has USB-MIDI capabilities so you can hook it up to the computer.  This is on almost every keyboard, but some of the cheaper ones don't have it.

I'd suggests playing around at a Guitar Center / Sam Ash / Whatever music store is in your area and pick out something affordable that doesn't sound horrible. A lot of the entry-level (sub $300) keyboards sound like crap. Just bad sound samples and cheap built in speakers.  They're basically toys.  That said, in my above posted youtube video, ALL of the instruments are software generated. I just used my keyboard as an input device (ie, MIDI over USB) and then the computer makes it sound like notes. So you COULD buy a crappy keyboard and run it through your computer. In fact, they sell "controllers" for about $100 that have ZERO built in sounds or speakers. Its just like a keyboard or mouse -- except its a piano keyboard.

On the flip side, a good synth keyboard can run several thousand dollars.  BUT you can get something really nice for well under a grand.  12 years ago I bought my Roland Juno-G and love it.  Top notch sounds and onboard sequencer. The catch is, it doesn't have speakers built in. you can wear headphones or buy a couple studio speakers. I've got a pair of Rokit-5's

So my Juno-G was like $1000 a decade ago and they don't make it any more...but the new version is the Juno-DS and I WANT IT SO BAD! it's so much better than my old one.  Instead of expansion boards you can download new wav samples; its got an onboard sampler with tap-pads, and a built in vocoder with pitch-correction... all for like $750 https://www.amazon.com/KRK-RP5G3-Powered-Studio-Monitor/dp/B00EO7UNXO (+ speakers)

With that keyboard (which also syncs with your DAW software) you don't even HAVE to buy software or use your computer.  You can record and edit your vocals on board and then do all your beats and loops with the built in sequencer.  Kinda awesome actually.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 09:03:12 AM by micah »
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Jake

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 09:36:07 AM »
thanks for the detailed posts, Micah. I will download the first two recommendations and we'll take it from there. She has been keeping a "song journal" and now she wants to record them - I don't know jack about any of that so it will be a learning experience for sure!

FWIW - we listen to your track and she said you are very good! :)
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micah

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 10:54:37 AM »
FWIW - we listen to your track and she said you are very good! :)

thanks  :cool2:
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ober

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 11:23:34 AM »
I've been looking for something similar.  Somehow I recently found beatbox loopstation battles on YouTube and my son and I have been all about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dLQJCbDu28&list=WL&index=63&t=0s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1J00fwYcL0&list=WL&index=56

Now he wants to play with this kind of stuff.

jkim

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 02:02:17 PM »
Quote
recently renamed "FL Studio" after Kellog's felt people might confuse their cereal with music software
Dude, it was renamed over 15 years ago...
definitely bas

jkim

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 02:10:40 PM »
I think most midi controllers come with a "light" version of software. I'm partial the Ableton but have also used ProTools.
Heck, if you wanted to do things really simply, you could use GarageBand on a Mac. For an intro into song recording that would be my highest recommendation.
definitely bas

micah

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Re: music recording software
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 03:13:09 PM »
Dude, it was renamed over 15 years ago...

 :lol: I AM OLD

you could use GarageBand on a Mac. For an intro into song recording that would be my highest recommendation.

Totally forgot about Mac.If you have a Mac, just use garageband.
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Re: music recording software
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 08:48:00 AM »
I still remember it being called FruityLoops :D

Garage band is actually pretty awesome if you're on a mac. The "auto drummer" stuff is crazy. You have sliders to control their style and how fancy their fills are etc...

Audacity is pretty full featured but not the easiest to use. Audacity is kind of like the GIMP of music recording. ProTools would be the best if you want to shell out some $$.