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Old 12-14-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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What DAW to use for beginner?

So I want to learn how to produce music. Since I feel very good on mixing music, I'd like to produce some of mine too. This is all a hobby, so I guess it could come out nicely.

What would You suggest me as a beginner? Any articles to read, any videos to watch, which DAW to use? Should I use few DAWs or just stick to one?

I'm open to Your suggestions

Thanks in advance.

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

There are tons out there. To find the one (that you will stick to), you could spend two weeks just trying out different demos, getting to know the softwares, and then uninstall it if not satisfied.

The usual suspects are Cockos Reaper, Ableton Live (Lite), Apple Logic (or Garageband), Steinberg Cubase/Nuendo, Cakewalk X1, Propellerhead Reason, Sony Acid Pro, Presonus Studio One, Renoise (tracker), Jeskola Buzz (tracker). The list could go on and on.

If I was starting out I would research, test and try out a handful of choices and then settle with (and buy) the "one" which feels right. Learn it through and through. Disect the manual page by page, once decided upon. Many DAWs do the same thing and have similar features, but look different (GUI), feel different and have different shortcuts, etc etc. There is basically no "best DAW", just the one that is best for you, the user/producer/musician.

edit: Also... [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

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Old 12-14-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

That's about the best advice you can get. Maybe it helps to see what other people chose, listed in this poll: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


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Old 12-14-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

Well I have check and been experimenting a little with Ableton Live. Is it enough to produce perfect music? I might want to try Logic too since it's apples product and I kinda like them all.

Do You need to work on few DAWs to finish a track or 1 is enough?
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:39 PM   #5
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

1 is enough. The sound quality of each daw is the same except for the built-in fx/instruments. Loads of commercial tracks are made with ableton, but also logic, cubase etc.

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Old 12-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

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Old 12-16-2011, 04:14 AM   #7
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

The biggest factor in my opinion is what you want to do with it. I've only used some of the myriad available so apologies to any hardcore Pro Logic fans in advance . If you want to track MIDI, most of them can do it great but I'd personally say Live is the best at it. As far as manipulation of loops, Fruity Loops (mainly the Image-Line VSTs) has been the best for a while but Live is pretty great at that as well. For ease of use, I'd say Sony Acid Pro is right at the top. Very easy to mess with loops, set up automation on VST FX, volume envelopes, etc.

For learning whichever one stands out to you personally, if you google "DAW NAME tutorials" you can find ridiculous amounts of information on how to do everything from mastering to creating a certain genre of music for most of the more popular DAWs.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

I guesss I will stick to live prob then, since I want to use it for live mixing as a dj too.
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

Thanks for the tips btw
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

To me, there are two types of DAW; the professional timeline-based DAWS like Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, Pro Tools and even Reaper. These are more for audio recording, arranging and mixing in my eyes. Then there are the more enthusiast pattern-based DAWS like Ableton Live, Reason, FL Studio and Renoise. These usually focus more on MIDI and synths & samples & automation rather than recording. The timeline DAWs are great for recording you guitar and making some indie wank, and the pattern DAWs are great for creating repetitive dance beats.


I have tried or been around most of those I've listed, Ableton Live is great for beginners. I personally prefer FL Studio as it does some things differently to most DAWs that just suit my shitty dance music better (fullscreen piano roll, step sequencer as default for samples, arrange pattern blocks or audio files on timeline, awesome automation curves you don't have to draw or record in, crazy internal control signals). Its like they designed it people who don't record shit or don't have a MIDI keyboard, but they fully support that stuff too. Reason is also good, but thats mainly because its all self-contained and supposed to resemble a rack of vintage music gear.

The best DAW, hands down, is easily Logic. It just does everything right (from what I've seen of it) even though it doesn't really meld with my pattern-based mind or my avoidance of Apple gear (which will probably change as soon as I give in and get an iPhone).

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Old 12-16-2011, 03:45 PM   #11
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

I remember when I had windows I tried FL and I like it, it looked simple.

But I'm a OSx user now. Also I don't have any midi-controllers, I'm thinking about creating music just with my computer for starters.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

logic or live? most daw have a pretty steep learning curve - worth remembering whichever you pick its going to be hard to begin with
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

I don't have a MIDI controller yet either and as much as I hate to seem like a shill for the product, Sony Acid Pro(or Xpress if you just want to try it out) sounds like a good place to start. I am absolutely biased as I've been using the thing for almost 10 years now but had no issue getting comfortable with it way back then when they didn't even have the built in interactive tutorials they do now.

I'd say get Xpress, go to the acidplanet site, grab the latest contest loops and just have a go at it. I feel like unlike the more complex DAWs, you'll know if you like Acid or not within a few hours instead of days or weeks.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #14
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

For me personally I am an avid supporter & user of Reason - not upgraded to Reason 6 yet which I believe now has audio recording support as well as some nice new mixing tools & fx devices + the reason record bundled in. - hopefully will be able to get it in near future

I have stuck with Reason since I started using it over 3 or 4 years ago (don't remember) as I like hardware & for me it made sense to use something which represents something I could wrap my head around as most the other daws are just lots of floating windows to me, which doesn't help me with my ocd bullshit of trying to keep things organized so I know what is what.

since this year I've started incorporating Presonus Studio One into some of my productions as I've found the gui is quite nice & according to some of my friends who use it the built in eq's etc are really good.

Me personally I only use S1 for checking levels, chopping & adding glitch (if needed) to my music as I've never really been bothered about using vst(i)'s a right lot.

If you like vst(i)'s then Reason wouldn't be much use for you as it has no support for them & you'd need another daw to rewire or export into for vst support.

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Old 12-20-2011, 12:42 PM   #15
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

I think Reason is the best tool to start with. It is very intuitive in use, and it has enoght synths/loops/samples for any genre you want to produce.
Mixdown quality is little low, but it should work for you if you're a beginer
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:54 PM   #16
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

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I think Reason is the best tool to start with. It is very intuitive in use, and it has enoght synths/loops/samples for any genre you want to produce.
Mixdown quality is little low, but it should work for you if you're a beginer
Well we are limited to the peq-2 & mclass eq's & they aren't really up to standards of plugin eq's which are much more precise

I'm hoping there's some better mix down / mastering tools in reason 6 (especially considering it comes with record which I'm sure has more eq's / compressors etc - also I think reason 6 has new mixer with db count?)

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Old 12-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #17
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

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Well we are limited to the peq-2 & mclass eq's & they aren't really up to standards of plugin eq's which are much more precise

I managed to overcome this obstacle, just bring the chanels to wave, saparately and then mix it in cubase with all its Eq's Compressors itd.. its significantly improving the mix

Too bad propellerhead had'nt released any of their Reason synths for VST plugins. Synths like THOR and Subtracktor are really usefull..
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:08 PM   #18
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

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Originally Posted by revoice View Post
I managed to overcome this obstacle, just bring the chanels to wave, saparately and then mix it in cubase with all its Eq's Compressors itd.. its significantly improving the mix

Too bad propellerhead had'nt released any of their Reason synths for VST plugins. Synths like THOR and Subtracktor are really usefull..
I have Presonus Studio One as my second daw & don't have wave plugin's.
I have been told that the eq's, compressors of S1 are really good, just I haven't had time to learn much about S1 & what it can do so I've been using what I know ... m-class. - haha.

Personally I rarely use subtractor as I prefer malström & thor.
thor can pretty much do whatever subtractor / malström can do except it might require a bit more work to get the sound you want - also if want to go mono like subtractor just disconnect the right output lead & or use mclass imager

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Old 12-26-2011, 09:01 AM   #19
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

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Originally Posted by steeboo View Post
1 is enough. The sound quality of each daw is the same except for the built-in fx/instruments. Loads of commercial tracks are made with ableton, but also logic, cubase etc.
For instance, Ableton is my primary DAW, but every now and then I use Reason (as ReWire) or Logic for a bit of other stuff.
I came to the conclusion, that not only my workflow differs from DAW to DAW, but also my musical approach. With Logic I can't do purely electronic music. I always end up with some Post-Rock stuff. With Ableton it is vice versa.
It always depends on what you want to do.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:14 PM   #20
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Re: What DAW to use for beginner?

I think everyone should start with Reason these days. Not because it is an amazing DAW, but because it will teach you more by understanding from a hardware prospective, not a drop down menu prospective. I was lucky enough to begin producing with hardware instead of the other way around. I didn't even know DAWs existed when I started. I think everyone should start that way, but this day and age, it's a lot harder. Shit got too expensive.

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