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Moving from mac to windows

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by photogdude, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. photogdude

    photogdude ustonsucs Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    I pretty sure i'm going to go to a windows environment, my 2 questions are,

    1. is there a garageband equal for windows for less than 100 usd?

    2. And can i use my apogee jam to hook into a usb on a windows device, if not than what?

  2. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I don't know if there is anything quite as easy to use and useful as Garageband. I'll be trying out my new Cubase AI w/Steinberg CI2 interface this weekend. I'm thinking it should be reasonably close. To my knowlege you cannot use the Apogee with a PC, but I could definitely be wrong.
  3. Mixcraft is pretty easy-to-use. A pretty good alternative to GB, for PC. The Jam will work fine with a PC. (edit) Gotta take that back. The Jam is for an iDevice. Iphone, iPad, etc.. Not designed for PC.
  4. I've been looking at Reaper as I'm debating whether to use both my MacBook and desktop PC or just the Mac for DAW hardware.
  5. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    I'd strongly advise against that move. Nothing for Windows will do what GarageBand does... and it's free.
  6. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    GarageBand is a toy. Reaper is an actual daw.
    The Owl likes this.
  7. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    That may be true, but for some of us the sheer ease of use of Garageband makes for far greater creative output since one is able to spend more time actually laying down tracks and ideas as opposed to figuring out how to use the damn software. This is kind of key for the non-technical creative type. I really miss GB and I'm hopeful my Cubase set-up is at least close to it with regards to intuitiveness and ease of use.
    db59 likes this.
  8. photogdude

    photogdude ustonsucs Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, Tx
    Thanks for the suggestions so far, and pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease don't turn this into a GarageBand vs other daw thread.
    The Owl and db59 like this.
  9. Good luck. You'll be back.

    (Sent from a windows machine)
  10. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I do agree with this. Coming from an intense pro tools and nuendo background all I could think about the whole time I was using it was complex stuff I couldn't do. For non engineers it's great. For my own stuff it'd be fine, but working on other peoples stuff I would start to lose it.
  11. mizu


    Nov 12, 2010
    Moscow, Russia
    I'd advise against using a Windows system for sound processing in any serious application. In my experience it is too unstable to rely on even in a rehearsal, especially when paired with USB-linked audio interface. Firewire might help a bit, but finding a good laptop with onboard Firewire capability is not easy, and truly good Express-card expansions are rare too.
    And that's from someone who's fixing computers for a living.

    P.S.: USB-enabled MIDI support usually sucks in Windows, too. Random glitches are to be expected.
  12. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

  13. joebingo


    Aug 23, 2006
    London, UK
    Agree with you on the laptop issue but if you do a google search for laptops with texas instruments firewire controller, this won't be a problem.

    I'm not sure what you're doing to your windows boxes to make them so unstable though. I've been using windows to record audio and midi on various hardware for about 10 years with minimal issue. The only problems I've had have been software bugs fixed by updates and the occasional system crash. About the same amount of instability as any Mac system I've used, and my day job involves using mac pros exclusively.

    OP, as far as I'm aware, there's nothing quite like garageband for the PC. I use Cubase for my production work which is pretty intuitive once you gain the intuition. It will feel a bit jarring at first, but any change from what you're used to will.
    The Owl likes this.
  14. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    I just moved from Mac to PC myself. For two reasons: Annoyed at Apple for stopping making 17" MacbookPros; and annoyed at my finances for tempting me to get a 17" PC laptop for half what a refurbished 17" MBP costs.

    I switched from Logic to Ableton Live a couple of years ago, so I'm able to keep that on both OS's. I like the Live approach, with the two paradigms -- Session view for flexible on-the-fly combining of Clips, and a more traditional Arrange view.

    Clips are great for practicing bass! I keep a ton of different drum grooves loaded, and can switch between them instantly.

    It may sound insignificant, but one feature of Live I couldn't give up now: The interface zooms to any resolution/size you want. I keep things large, so I can be a comfortable distance from the screen holding a bass or double bass, and still make out what's going on on-screen.
  15. pbasswil


    Feb 17, 2008
    Btw, I've never used it, but Tracktion (DAW) looks like a really nice combination of intuitive/friendly and capable -- at least as capable as Garage Band.

  16. photogdude

    photogdude ustonsucs Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, Tx

    thanks for the advice,

    How are you hooking up your bass to your pc, and are there any latency issues?
  17. I have to agree with this. A Windows machine, properly config'd and maintained, will serve as a DAW platform just as easily as a comparable OSX machine. True, the Windows machine does take a bit more maintenance, but it's also not an expensive closed-ended system either.

    Not to veer this any further than it already has gone, but an OSX machine is not better than a Windows machine overall, and/or vise versa...they're simply different, and with compatible software and a knowledgeable user, the end result will be the same from either machine.
    The Owl likes this.
  18. rubbadubdub


    May 8, 2012
    I did the Mac to pc move because I got fed up with the price of Mac stuff at the time and my pc mates were constantly reminding me that they were getting more creative work done for less cost. It wasn't all plain sailing as getting a pc set up as a daw was a bit more complicated then than it is now.
    The next best thing that I did was to dump Cubase. I cant even remember my registration details and don't care. It seemed to me that it was a great sequencer that tried to bolt on an audio engine as an afterthought. If you want a very slick and efficient way of laying tracks you could try Audacity (free) or one of the low cost versions of Acid. The latter is great if you want to use loops for inspiration or as guide etc.
    You can download Reaper as a 30day trial and they ask you to do the right thing and pay for it after that but it doesn't expire. It's great value though as they offer a low price for musicians earning less than a certain amount. It's a serious production enviroment but it's quite easy to learn the basics. It also has excellent internet support and regular updates.
    Me and a mate once took it in turns to stick the phone under each others ears waiting for the Steinberg helpline to answer. After several hours they just said to spend yet more money on the Mac. Things must have improved by now but I wouldn't give them any more of my money.
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Reaper is great, and runs on anything
    Tracktion 3 was great and still very viable, it's incredible to see a Tracktion 4
    Studio one 2 is great
    Live is great
    Sonar is great
    Sensomusic Usine (Hollyhock) great
    They all do things different and all give you different ways to be creative.
    Those are ones I own, but many more are great too

    Good thing is most have full functioning demos for a couple of weeks so you can give them a try. Sometimes it's worth it to sign up on one of the training sites and let a pro guide you through the DAWs and what they can do. It costs a little, but it will save you massive time and learning.

    I hook up my bass in a couple of ways.
    1. Through an audio interface - ESI, or UX2, I used these because they also support midi and pedals, and balanced mics with phantom.
    2. Just straight into the PC with an adaptor. Most of the time. With an active bass it's the same as a "Line Level" and there's no problem. New pc's are all sporting 24bit HD quality audio. ASIO4ALL works great if I need ASIO.
    Latency is not an issue. If you try to go through many VST effects, it may be. But for bass, just a good modeler will give you all the tone you need. Record raw anyhow and just use the modeler for monitoring, and for mixing down.

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