Hey folks, I have a question. We own a PC and are looking for VERY USER FRIENDLY (meaning EASY to learn) recording software. It definitely needs to be multi track. The purpose is for high quality work session recordings, not master quality recordings. Any recommendations?
If you don't have to worry about cross-platform collaboration w/larger studios Cakewalk Home Studio or Sonar is pretty easy to learn. If you've not set anything else up on your computer and don't have an interface yet you might investigate M-Audio's Pro-Tools M-powered interfaces and Pro-Tools M-powered software. It's a version of Pro-Tools LE that is compatible with larger Pro Tools systems in bigger studios in case you wish to take your demo to a big room and put the "sparkle" on things.
Of course, there's always Pro Tools LE and the various Digidesign interfaces as well.
I find Sonar much more powerful and intuitive compared to Pro Tools LE, but Pro-Tools is so darn ubiquitous here in Nashville I would advise anyone starting a home studio from scratch to go ahead and get it....
I strongly agree with the prior comments. What's your budget though?
If you're going to do it right, you need a firewire drive (external), assuming you have a modern PC with firewire. ProTools with an M-box or even a 003 (or used 002) interface is fantastic. It's very intuitive to use (if you've been trained on consoles), and they include tutorial software to help you learn. But with anything, of course, you'll not be an instant ingineer. So the VERY USER FRIENDLY concept is subjective. It's like guitar. It's easy to learn the first three chords. It's learning 16 inversions in four voices of every chord that gets challenging (John Pell Reference for Roy's sake).
Same deal with the recording software. But since almost all the bigger recording systems in town are Pro-Tools, it's easier to interface your home recordings, so you can continue work at places with the bigger systems if it's practical.
I highly recommend talking to Sonic Circus or Marshall (note they both advertise to the right).
Let me know if you have any ongoing specific questions, and I'll be happy to answer. On ProTools, that is. I don't use any other platform.
Another nod to Sonar, although any sequencer program is going to have a learning curve to it. Depending on how many tracks you plan to record simultaneously, you'll need to consider the best interface for your situation also, which will have more impact on the end quality of the tracks than the software will.
Did I recently record some strings for a classical project of yours via Rollie Mains?
Does anybody else use Adobe Audition? I started using Cool Edit when it first came out (tech support at that time was the guy who wrote the program) and upgraded to cepro and now Audition and have always been happy with the results and the price is much lower than the competition. Of course this didn't become a real multi-track program until Audition came out but I still don't use it for tracking...
As for compatibility, I can open the files (.wav or otherwise) recorded in any software so it's never been an issue that clients use PTs or whatever - I have had issues going the opposite direction but it was probably user ignorance since I can't imagine that PT would not allow for opening files from Audition (or it's a really nasty marketing trick).
Pro Tools LE and M-Powered both work very well on a PC. In fact my PC M-Powered system has been more solid than many of my friends' Mac-based PT systems. Pro Tools is the market leader because it's lots more user friendly for recording audio than its MIDI sequencer based competition. It also makes collaboration across the country or across the world very very easy.
My experience has been that every time you open a mike you might be making a master and not a demo or work session.
I really enjoy and appreciate Ableton LIve....easy and powerful...works on PC or Mac works on most all interfaces...does audio and midi...works with all VST plug ins....is cool
the other would be Pro Tools and an M-Box...depending on price point...easy to do for under $500 for an interface to get into the computer and software...most all are compatible and sonically equal...Cakewalk, Logic or Cubase are all good...
Best thing to do is go to a music store that can show you some of the differences...all will require a certain learning curve...Happy Hunting and Merry Christmas