I have spent the last couple of weeks auditioning a new Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). The Sony ACID Music Studio that I have been using was a great starter and is still very useful, but, I feel the need to move on to higher capabilities in my music software.
Sony’s ACID Pro is good but is expensive and has not been upgraded in several years and is rumored to be discontinued.
Most of the more professional level DAWs are quite expensive and have lots of features to accommodate live performance. I don’t do live performance. I have a simple home audio studio, just a computer, a keyboard and a microphone.
I have been auditioning Reaper by Cockos Inc., which has a good pricing policy (relatively inexpensive, based on how much money you make producing music) and lots of nice professional features for the type of production that I do. It is well documented and appears to be well supported with lots of enthusiastic users. As a bonus, there was no extraordinary effort required to learn the basics as I moved from Music Studio. It was similar enough that many of the actions seemed intuitive. In fact, I like it so well that I have purchased it.
Reaper did not come with the same software instruments and effects as Music Studio. It does have some free effects which seem very good. It has a flexible plugin feature which allows almost any type of plugin available and let me use all of the instruments and effects plugins that I had downloaded from the web and add instruments to replace the ones built in to Sony. It is very interesting to me that so many software instruments and effects are available free on the web. Of course, all of my copyright free music loops (about 6,800 or 6.3 gb in my collection now) work fine.
During my auditioning, I tested Reaper by remixing my very first composition on it. This piece was all midi, not using music loops. I had to find and download the appropriate midi instruments. In the process, I actually found two different replacements for the entire list of instruments that came with Music Studio. I downloaded them both. The midi score from the original piece was easy to import. During mixing, I changed the instrumentation and effects and added additional instruments. The original was my first piece and I knew little about using a DAW and the mixing process. I think this remix came out better. See what you think.
|First Take – Blog Remix – 15 April 2012.|
|First Take – 30 June 2010.|