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DAW With Focus On Recording Rather Than Internal Beat Making and MIDI?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by DCWalt, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. DCWalt


    Jan 12, 2021
    Sorry if this isn't the right place to post this. If it's not, please direct me to a more appropriate location.

    As the title says, I want a DAW That's more focused on recording and bring in tracks. Pretty much every DAW I've tried is loaded down with MIDI and beat making stuff and I'm just not interested. I already find DAW interfaces confusing and then when you through MIDI and beat stuff in my face I just get lost.

    I'm looking for something streamlined and more like a digital tape deck with infinite tracks I suppose.

    But please NOT Audacity. I hate Audacity with the burning rage of a thousand suns!
    Ekulati and Huw Phillips like this.
  2. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    bassbrad and equill like this.
  3. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Cubase. Any iteration.

    or Reaper if you want something free.
  4. DCWalt


    Jan 12, 2021
    Reaper comes up frequently in my searches and people seem to have very mixed feelings on it
  5. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I’ve played with it. That was 10 years ago though — anyway I found the workflow on Cubase better enough to warrant buying that instead of putting a little extra work in to use Reaper.

    But once you set up your inputs and outputs on Cubase (which is not at all that hard) you can just use it like a giant recording tape machine, which is what i prefer. It has all the MIDI stuff if wanted but it definitely doesn’t get in the way I never really use it.
  6. I like Reaper enough to have paid for it twice. There's nothing it can't do, but it can sometimes be a bit cumbersome. They did just release a new version that addresses a lot of workflow issues.

    REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits
  7. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I mean that's what ProTools is. Apparently they've got a free version now, no idea if it's any good.

    I'd add a second recommendation for MixBus if you're set on trying something different.
    SirMjac28 and Garret Wheeler like this.
  8. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I’d say Pro Tools or if you’re a UA user Luna
    sludgetail and Ryno1330 like this.
  9. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I'm stuck on Cakewalk (Sonar for me, but CW is now free). Yeah, it has a metric ton of stuff I don't need, but it can very easily be used for nothing but audio. If I don't need it, I don't bring it into play. I started out with doing nothing but audio in older Cakewalk, so it can be done without having to see any of the stuff you don't need.
  10. DCWalt


    Jan 12, 2021
    I should have included this in my initial post I guess. I spent many years in film school being forced to use Avid software... shag Avid and they're overpriced, bloated, buggy, ******** and especially shag their DRM
  11. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah there’s def downsides to Avid.
    Have you tried Logic Pro X or GarageBand ? I mean they have a lot MIDI functionality etc. but you can ignore that if you don’t need it. I think their both great options. I’m coming from a long time Pro Tools user but have recently been using Logic more and more and love it , but I’ll grant that half the reason I’m loving it is for it’s better MIDI functions compared to pro tools but I’m finding it great for just recording audio tracks as well and the stock plugin quality & variety are really great. I have used GarageBand for quick ideas over the years & it’s a quick easy DAW to use. Of course this assumes you’re on a Mac. If you’re windows based I’d say Cubase or I’ve dabbled with Studio One a little and it seems quite good & some friends of mine love it.
    sludgetail and FretFree like this.
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    There isn’t a DAW on the market without some level of MIDI implementation. You just have to ignore or disable tools you don’t use. The closest two to your stated goals are Harrison Mixbus and ProTools. Everything else is basically a wash except for Ableton Live which would certainly not be your thing.
  13. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Just ignore the MIDI stuff. But it'll be there when you need it, even if you just need one little element. They're all pretty much the same for the most part these days, except for Ableton which is a different beast as mentioned. Bang for buck Logic is hard to beat. Used to be Protools was considered more for audio and Logic was more for midi but those days are loooong gone. I do as much work in Logic with just audio, like a multitrack tape deck, as I do that are more MIDI and virtual instrument focused. In my world, music production in many genres mostly for TV, film, etc, Logic is easily as popular now as Protools, if not more so, and it is CHEAP. As for Garageband, frankly, I find it pretty unintuitive and not at all like working with a mixer and multitrack. It's simple, but awkward IMO. If you want a more traditional workflow, skip GB and go straight to Logic.
    TREYontheBASS likes this.
  14. Cubase is a very functional straight forward software, but initially it took me a little while on the bottom of learning curve until I learned what I needed to know.
    Kelly robinson and Standalone like this.
  15. DCWalt


    Jan 12, 2021
    I'm on PC
  16. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    In that case I’d take a good look at Studio One or Cubase
    sludgetail, JC76, MDBass and 6 others like this.
  17. DCWalt


    Jan 12, 2021
    I've never been able to get past the hump of the learning curve on any of the DAWs I've used. My brain just doesn't understand them. If you give me a bunch of gear and let me weir the whole thing up physically then I have it in my head and I can use it. But for some reason when you put all that on a flat screen, I just don't get it and have never been able to get anywhere with them
  18. That's the frustrating part that I ran into when making the switch from analog and digital tape to Software based recording. You sort of have to learn to speak the "language" of the software developer before you gain an understanding of how the software works.

    I use mine just as a recorder / editing system. All my tracking and mixing is still done with a conventional analog mixing console and outboard gear. I do use the occasional plugin and effects on individual tracks, but for the most part it's old school.
    Slough Feg Bass likes this.
  19. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    No argument from me here.
    wildman2 likes this.
  20. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Have you looked at some of the new recorders Tascam has releases in the last year ? Sort of digital versions of the old cassette porta studios as far as workflow but some modern features such as digital editing , more tracks etc & I believe they can also serve as an audio interface as well as stand alone recorders. Maybe that would be a good fit for what you want. I agree all DAW’s do have a learning curve & it’s sometimes painful & frustrating but I think worth it in the end of you can find one you click with enough to stick with and break through that. I couldn’t imagine going back to the old school mixer & tape or ADAT & outboard but I do feel ya on there being a certain straight forwardness to that workflow which was nice.
    Portamenti and PlatoFunFactory like this.
  21. 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.

    Apr 14, 2021

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