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Wanting to switch from old school / Alesis HD24 and Mackie mixer / to a new, more modern (computer) system. I have Win10 pro and .....

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  • Wanting to switch from old school / Alesis HD24 and Mackie mixer / to a new, more modern (computer) system. I have Win10 pro and .....

    ... guess I would need some decent interface and workstation software.

    If I have to spend a year learning it or fighting problems all the way, I'm not going to be interested, so is there something that is proven to work well that is intuitive?

  • #2
    Most modern daw programs have some learning curve to them. You'll find many things you wont need to use right away, simply because you don't know what they are or how useful they can be. Overall however, the basic recording functions are very simple. In many ways its similar to running Microsoft Office, creating a document, printing it and saving it. Menus work in similar ways as do things the things you do with audio files.

    The biggest challenge you'll have is learning is the work flow and the features you can apply. Once you set up the first recording, the tracks, the plugins, you can save that project without recorded tracks as a template. This makes it super easy when setting up a new recording. For me using sonar, I have a project up and running with tracks armed ready to record in 3 mouse clicks. I click once to open the program, clock on open project and click on may saved template.

    The only thing I need to do from there is simply hit the red record button and the tracks record. hit stop, rewind, unclick the arm buttons so those tracks are in play mode, arm more tracks and hit record again and then first tracks are plying back and you're multitracking more.

    I've used many stand alone systems before. The most frustrating thing about them is the buried menus. you have to sit there manual in hand and scroll through sub menus to find the editing options, apply something, exit, play the recording and hope you got the adjustments right. If not you got to stop and drill down again and again. What a pain in the ass. If you can learn to do that work on a hard drive system, doing it on a computer will be like living in heaven to you once you learn the basics. Then learning how to expand your skills is simple too. You have help manuals/dictionaries which you simply right click on any button and it takes you to that chapter in the manual and it tells you about it. If that isn't enough you can go on line and find forums and help sites, Q&A, etc and have your answer in no time if you get bogged down.

    What's really cool about using a daw is when mixing you have a virtual mixer. You wont need a hardware mixer and when you have plugin effects you click on them and they have knobs and switches that work just like hardware versions do. Plus you can download thousands of free ones to try out from sites like KVR or buy new ones as you come across versions you want or need. Most DAW programs come with a decent set to get you going too.

    That's also where the real differences in the cost of plugins comes down to. You can start off with a low cost or free DAW and when you shop for a paid version, the costs usually comes down to their plugins packages. Some are plain Jane and others are quite extensive. Sonar not only has double sets and some name brand plugins like Lexicon, they also contain virtual instruments which allow you to run midi keyboards, but they also have things like Sessions drummer for building drum tracks.

    Of course you need to invest time to learn how to use those packages and your results will vary on experience gained using them. I'm pretty much old school when it comes to recording and prefer to use real instruments. I been recording digitally since 95 and have 25 years experience recording analog before that. I doubt if I've touched more then 25% of the full potential of a DAW but its there if and when I need it.

    Think of it this way. If you had to duplicate what most DAW's can do with actual hardware, it would equal the best multi million dollar studio ever built and even then it would have far more potential because you have an unlimited number of tracks which are only capped by your computers horsepower. Your biggest storage expense is hard drive space which is dirt cheap.
    Last edited by WRGKMC; 09-22-2017, 07:20 AM.


    • #3
      Maybe a RADAR system would be more your speed? It's hardware based, but also software compatible. You can use whatever DAW you want with it, except Logic.


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