Getting into the DAW....need your experience/knowledge


New member
Hi guys,

Well, the old school home recording guy that I am finally bows before this digital age and admits good ol' analog recording is, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED, not up to par anymore. I gotta get into working with a DAW.

Can any of you refer me to some good ressources (on the Web or yours) that would educate me.

Here's what I already am familiar with : I know a little bit about the laptop's specs (like having a high speed hard disk, large storage, a burner, etc....), I know a little bit about the software I think I'd like to use (REAPER, because seems like a great "bang for the buck" and it sounds quite good and complete as per what I saw so far on the Net. Note that I'm opened to other suggestions) and I know that I need audio interfaces.

Now, about the software:

I used to do sequencing in the past, and I was working guys will laugh, at least the ones old enough to have known that ATARI software sequencer : MasterTracks Pro. It was working like a charm. I loved it. Now, dont go thinking I'm looking for something similar, I know we're now ligth years more advanced from that era.
I've had a chance to try CUBASE LE at some point and I could, after lots of trials and errors record one guitar track, but ultimately I was turned off cause too complex, too steep the learning curve and I am the kind of guy to hate the idea of spending too much time on machines and not enough on guitar and mic (I'm more an artist than a technician...this is important to consider). I got also traumatized by CUBASE's software's registration process online. It took me hours to manage to get the dam key to unlock my CUBASE LE. Anyway....

I'd like to be told about a user friendly software (seems like REAPER is one of those...) not overpriced. I'd like to be told about if that software does the recording as well as the editing. And for the editing, I hear there are add ons modules that can be downloaded and tied to the DAW software....there are VST also.....

Here's a good one: What kind of a set-up (software speaking) for a musician like me who writes and record rock, blues, metal, Folk, prog songs, with acoustic guitar as well as electric and vocals (and I'm into nice vocal arrangements like The Eagles). And again, I'm talking here about the recording/editing main software as well as the added modules one find it useful to have (rythmic module for drum tracks, Effects for guitar, vocals, mastering, WAV/mp3 converters, CD burning, etc.)

About the hardware :

What would be the audio interface(s) best suited for my context (great features/quality and not too expansive)....I know I need at least two 1/4 jacks inputs and two XLR ins as well. And my mics are dynamic as well as condensers, so is there such a thing as phantom power on those audio interfaces ?

I dont think I miss anything, do I ?......And all that has got to be the best quality for the lowest price possible. That's the catch !;)

I thank you all very much in advance for your time on this.


gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
Reaper is fine.

Interfaces often come bundled with software (for example, Cubase LE), so you can also try these to see if any of these suit you.

There are many free VSTs that you can download to give you a supply of extra sounds (synths, drums etc.).

Reaper will render material as an MP3, but you would probably need to download an MP3 DLL. When you first try to render as an MP3, Reaper will tell you whether you can or can't, and, if not, will direct you to a download site. Reaper also comes with a heap of plugins for EQ, reverb etc (as do most other audio programs).

If you are just putting down one or two tracks at a time, then there is a good range of (relatively) inexpensive interfaces out there. Connections are commonly via USB or firewire. The USB ones are fine. Do a search for, for example, Tascam. These interfaces often have phantom power for your condensers, but check before you buy.