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best software for windows

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by napbass_, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. napbass_


    Jun 21, 2016
    orl, fl
    I want to record some stuff but I'm tired of using audacity. what are the best recording software you guys know about?
  2. lakefx


    Sep 14, 2012
    I'm a huge fan of Reaper.
  3. Icemanaroonie


    Sep 6, 2015
    Most professional software will have similar feature sets, but a different workflow.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Reaper is very well done, customizable to hell and inexpensive. I like it.
    I still use Audacity for most simple editing though.
  5. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    I plan on using Reaper once I get an interface.
  6. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    If you go through an interface, they all record identical in quality.
    And guess what, higher sample rates don't increase quality.
    There are many great daws/ You should consider getting what your friends use so you can talk-shop. Or go to the forums and see how helpful they are to beginners.
    They all have free trials.

    Tracks Live is free basic DAW
    Tracks Live Downloads | Waves
    If you need help you can pay for support
  7. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    Thanks, I'll give Tracks a try. I eventually expect to go to Reaper if my band uses it, but they aren't at this point.
  8. Well, kinda! It's true that you won't hear the higher frequencies allowed by high sample rates, but there are reasons to use them in tracking, mixing, and mastering. There's VERY little reason to use high sample rates for the delivery format though.

    TRACKING: When your interface tracks at 44.1 kHz, the analog signal gets brick wall filtered at 22.050 kHz before sampling to avoid aliasing (nasty fold-down of high frequencies, incorrectly, into the audible band - there are stomp boxes that use aliasing as an effect, which can be very cool). No filter is perfect, and the quality varies by interface, but they'll all have some pass band ripple or ringing. The "damage" done by these filters isn't terrible, and you're unlikely to hear the difference with one track, but with multitrack recordings it adds up. Still, I've NEVER heard anyone complain about it. I only point it out for science.

    MIXING: High sample rates are actually great for mixing, because they improve the accuracy of many effects. I believe that EQ benefits the most, followed by pitch shifting, compression, and limiting. Everything you do to tracks during mixing degrade the sound in small ways, and higher resolution files reduce the amount of damage done, or for EQ, increase the accuracy of the filters.

    None of the benefits have to do with the frequencies above 20K. Think of it as the damage done to the tracks getting spread out over the whole spectrum, so that less of it resides in the part we can actually hear. EVEN SO, you might not hear a difference, even if you took the time to do two identical mixes with the only variable being the sample rates. If storage and computer power aren't issues, best practice is to track, mix, and master high, and THEN downsample, but ideally leave that to a qualified mastering engineer.

    The other side to all this is bit depth. That should always be high, no question.

    Also, I agree with the others about Reaper. I bought it even though I use Samplitude Pro X2.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Here's a good site to review the sample rate discussion
    Xiph.Org Video Presentations: Digital Show & Tell

    Some players might pick an interface thinking they need 192khz, i.e. more is better.
    It isn't.

    There isn't more information with higher sample rates. There is only once curve that fits the sampled points. Higher rates can actually introduce more unnatural distortion and is difficult to fix.
  10. napbass_


    Jun 21, 2016
    orl, fl
    if i want to get reaper should i get the discounted license or the commercial license? whats the difference?
  11. napbass_


    Jun 21, 2016
    orl, fl
  12. Likely you can get the discounted licence. As long as you are not making more than $20,000 (I believe) per year using Reaper in a professional setting, you qualify for the discounted price.

    Another happy Reaper user here. I could go on for paragraphs raving about it, but I'll refrain.
  13. That's a very good video, but nowhere does it state "Higher rates can actually introduce more unnatural distortion and is difficult to fix." Also, that's not even remotely true.

    I agree that 192 kHz is overkill. I use 96. Also, your statement "There isn't more information with higher sample rates" is not true. There IS more information, but it's not that information that is put to good use with any digital audio manipulation. We don't hear anything above 20 kHz, but the benefits are real ON THE PROCESSING SIDE of things. There are audible benefits in the range of human hearing by using files that allow frequencies beyond our range of hearing. This is true even if you record at 44.1 kHz and then upsample to 96 to get the filter and other PROCESSING benefits, even though there is no extra high frequency content after upsampling. It simply allows for more accurate math during processing.

    You can read everything I'm saying for yourself in Bob Katz's essential digital audio book, Mastering Audio, currently in its 3rd edition. It is the definitive resource for digital audio. He also explains why that video's claim, "No one ever ruined a great recording by not dithering the final master" is not STRICTLY true. There IS a negative audible difference with undithered bit depth reduction, but most people won't hear it. The video seems to be talking about most practical applications, so it's true that there are many things you don't have to bother with, and things will sound good enough for most of the population. I'm just talking about best practices. Dithering costs you nothing, and is usually automatic anyway, so there's no reason not to do it.

    For sample rates, do whatever you want, but the science is very clear where there are and aren't benefits. It's all in the processing, and has nothing to do with the actual frequencies beyond human perception.
  14. napbass_


    Jun 21, 2016
    orl, fl
    yeah right now im making 0$ per year haha
    Luke19Boarder likes this.
  15. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    Use Reaper as well.
    No problems with it for my use.
  16. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Same site: 24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed
    "192kHz considered harmful"

    It doesn't help the math, a processor has more data to deal with, it works harder. And for DSP processing there's more data to deal with that doesn't give any extra benefit. There's more storage to deal with. But storage and CPU is cheap. One can over spec and get no real value. That's all I'm getting at.

    More on dithering: Does Dither Really Matter?
  17. That's talking about PLAYBACK, not mixing, and I agree. I laughed at PONO the first time I heard about it. Most gear can't faithfully pass the stuff we can't hear, so it's senseless (and even bad) to distribute anything above 44.1 or 48 kHz. That's also not what I was talking about.

    Yes, there is more data to deal with, yes it takes more processing power, but there ARE benefits for the extra work and storage. Filters and pitch shifters become more accurate and have fewer artifacts. Compressors and limiters also benefit, ESPECIALLY the multiband variety, as they employ filtering. All because the math is more accurate. Mastering Audio explains why.

    The science is settled, and the benefits are real. Again, I'm talking about best practices, not rules. You can do what you want, but the science is available to read.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Yes "The science is in" and yet another mythbusting article
    The Science of Sample Rates (When Higher Is Better — And When It Isn’t)

    All the information needed to accurately represent the widest of human hearing is a sample rate of 44.1khz and it includes plenty of buffer.

    I see interfaces at 384khz are advertising now, and 768khz gets mentioned now at some sites. The burden of proof is on those making extraordinary claims.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 3, 2021

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