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I've tried going down this road a few times. I've tried the free Presonus software, the Ableton software that came with my interface, the trial of Reaper, and played with Logic on my bassist's computer.
They're all cool in their own way, but have a hell of a learning curve compared to Audacity. If you're just looking to do some simple multi-tracking with minimal effects, Audacity is actually pretty badass.
Maybe my soundcard is ****************ty but whenever i try to do more than one track i get a bunch of skipping and lagging on the overdub for audacity. i usually use it as a form of windows sound recorder with unlimited record time and then export as mp3. :|
I've got a ton of copies of Cubase LE. It seems to come with everything. Go buy something you need that doesn't cost much that comes with Cubase and you'll have that. Or you can download reaper, use it for free for a while and then pay for it, it doesn't cost much and it's nice.
Or, if you're using a mac, they don't charge much for Logic Pro 9 in the app store. It's either 2 or 300 bucks. I forgot. But that's what I use. And it's the full version. I actually prefer it over pro tools and it's nowhere near the price of pro tools. And it's not very hard to learn.
YouTube has tuturiols on reaper and any program you can find. You can learn how to do anything on YouTube in any program you decide to get.
Back in my beginner days I used Sonar XL by Cakewalk. it was 99 dollars and I liked it.