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Most intuitive DAW for non-professionals?
Old 21st September 2012
  #1
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Most intuitive DAW for non-professionals?

Other than Garageband. . .what would you consider to be the most intuitive [easiest] DAW? That is, the one that is easiest to use for personal [non-professional] recording/editing/mixing?
Old 21st September 2012
  #2
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🎧 10 years
If you're recording live instruments and vocals instead of focusing on electronic loop-based music, all the DAWs make it easy for non-professionals to get that done.

Set the input(s), arm the track(s), press record.

For the basics, there isn't really a "non-professional vs professional" divide. Presonus,Cubase,Logic,ProTools,Sonar are all easy.

If you get into more advanced features such scoring/notation, MIDI automation tricks, etc... that's when the DAWs start differentiating themselves for the pros.
Old 21st September 2012
  #3
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🎧 5 years
Acoustica Mixcraft is pretty easy to use.
Old 21st September 2012
  #4
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Reaper uses visual folders to group tracks versus bussing the traditional way. Probably annoys experienced engineers but for those who weren't brought up on analog mixers, it's intuitive.

Plus it's free to download and demo before paying for it, so you can decide yourself if it's going to work for you.
Old 21st September 2012
  #5
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I use Adobe Audition CS5. Love it. version 6 is on the way.
Recording software, audio production | Adobe Audition CS6
Old 21st September 2012
  #6
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there isn't one. it is not an 'intuitive' process. I've been using DAW software as long as it has existed, going back to the original Carnegie-Mellon U, MIDI Toolkit. Like any other discipline, you have to learn it. If a standard DAW looks hopeless,. check out Band In A Box. I've turned a few musicians who were unable to grasp Sonar, Vegas, or whatever onto it, many made an instant connection.
Old 21st September 2012
  #7
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Ya sorry. They are not known for being intuitive. The next best thing might be who has a good manual. I think reaper might be one of the better ones.

Sent from my MB525
Old 21st September 2012
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Tracktion.

If only it were still being actively developed!
Old 21st September 2012
  #9
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In all honestly... the answer is 100% subjective.


However.... I must admit that i learned Presonus' Studio One waaaay quicker than I learned how to do things in Sonar and Cubase. I didn't last 30 minutes with Reaper. I didn't last 5 minutes in Ableton lol.

Reason took a lot of tutorial for me to learn, but once it clicked in my brain... it was amazing. FL Studio is very very easy also... but i found it too cluttered and unfocused.


Studio One does it for me. I done looking for a DAW.. professional or non-professional. (They're ALL professional... if YOU'RE a professional)
Old 21st September 2012
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard1 ➑️
Other than Garageband. . .what would you consider to be the most intuitive [easiest] DAW? That is, the one that is easiest to use for personal [non-professional] recording/editing/mixing?
A common question that's commonly framed way too broadly to get any really good answer. The reason is that DAWs are not used for the same things by everyone and not every software has the same focus in the same direction.

If you plan to create electonica you might find X more intuitive than Y. If you plan to record small bands, maybe A will be more intuitive than B. if you haven't used much digital recording software at all or done much recording at all and don't know what busses and similar things are, none of them be all that intuitive.

People ask this question all the time but rarely does anyone even ask what they actually plan to use it for giving an answer.
Old 21st September 2012
  #11
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RRCHON's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I really depends on what you want to do.

There are many offerings from many software companies that mirror or parallel the usability of garage band.

Ableton Live Intro.
MAGIX Music Maker.
Cubase Elements.
Sonar x1 Essentials (soon to be X2)


All around a hundred dollars (US) and all have free trials I think.

Best way to really figure it out, is to figure out what works best for you, and take advantage of the free trials.
Old 21st September 2012
  #12
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Arthur Stone's Avatar
 
91 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard1 ➑️
Other than Garageband. . .what would you consider to be the most intuitive [easiest] DAW? That is, the one that is easiest to use for personal [non-professional] recording/editing/mixing?
Propellerheads Reason is worth checking out.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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11 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence ➑️
A common question that's commonly framed way too broadly to get any really good answer. The reason is that DAWs are not used for the same things by everyone and not every software has the same focus in the same direction.

If you plan to create electonica you might find X more intuitive than Y. If you plan to record small bands, maybe A will be more intuitive than B. if you haven't used much digital recording software at all or done much recording at all and don't know what busses and similar things are, none of them be all that intuitive.

People ask this question all the time but rarely does anyone even ask what they actually plan to use it for giving an answer.
100% agree here
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
215526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence ➑️
if you haven't used much digital recording software at all or done much recording at all and don't know what busses and similar things are, none of them be all that intuitive.
I am one of these people. The reason I ask the question is because I have been using Garageband for quite some time now. While it is very intuitive it is also very limiting at the same time. I switched to Logic a couple of months ago and have found it to have a very high learning curve. . .at least for me. For the record, I am an amateur musician doing solo recording [guitar, piano].

I see your point though. Just wondering if there was a DAW out there that fell in between Garageband and a pro application like Logic Pro, etc.

It seems like there are only two options with DAW's: The amateur route [Garageband] or the professional route [Logic].
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard1 ➑️
I am one of these people. The reason I ask the question is because I have been using Garageband for quite some time now. While it is very intuitive it is also very limiting at the same time. I switched to Logic a couple of months ago and have found it to have a very high learning curve. . .at least for me. For the record, I am an amateur musician doing solo recording [guitar, piano].

I see your point though. Just wondering if there was a DAW out there that fell in between Garageband and a pro application like Logic Pro, etc.

It seems like there are only two options with DAW's: The amateur route [Garageband] or the professional route [Logic].
I started with Logic about three years ago, and the learning curve was pretty steep at first. However, that will be the case with any of the DAWs available. Once you get over the initial hump, though, it's pretty smooth sailing. I would hit YouTube and start watching the Logic tutorials, there's a ton of them out there.

Also, don't try to master the entire program all at once, it will leave you cross-eyed and drooling. Start with the basics, and then over time learn to use additional features as the need for them comes up.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #16
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StudioOnePro is easy IMO and pretty straight forward. ALL of them have a curve
Old 23rd September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodebro ➑️
I started with Logic about three years ago, and the learning curve was pretty steep at first. However, that will be the case with any of the DAWs available. Once you get over the initial hump, though, it's pretty smooth sailing. I would hit YouTube and start watching the Logic tutorials, there's a ton of them out there.

Also, don't try to master the entire program all at once, it will leave you cross-eyed and drooling. Start with the basics, and then over time learn to use additional features as the need for them comes up.
Well put.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit ➑️
StudioOnePro is easy IMO and pretty straight forward.
You are the second one to state this in this thread, and I had the same thought as well. But all 3 of us are experienced Cubase users, where StudioOne has a lot of workflow routines in common with Cubase. Most key commands to start with.
Old 23rd September 2012
  #19
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Polarelch's Avatar
 
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Studio One, Studio One and Studio One
Old 23rd September 2012
  #20
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FullCount's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Cubase and Reason are dead simple to me

I don't like Reaper at all.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS ➑️
You are the second one to state this in this thread, and I had the same thought as well. But all 3 of us are experienced Cubase users, where StudioOne has a lot of workflow routines in common with Cubase. Most key commands to start with.
However, StudioOne has drag and drop in both directions, the Project page for Mastering and assembling your tracks and the ARA with Melodyne. Those right there make it worth the while to learn.
Ive been using Cubase the longest and its still my DAW of choice right now

Logic on the other hand is the most illogical DAW I have here. I can still do what I need to do with it though. I just choose to dive in and learn it. Besides, all the info is transferrable to the other DAWs. Logic is a no brainer though coming from GarageBand.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodebro ➑️
I started with Logic about three years ago, and the learning curve was pretty steep at first. However, that will be the case with any of the DAWs available. Once you get over the initial hump, though, it's pretty smooth sailing. I would hit YouTube and start watching the Logic tutorials, there's a ton of them out there.

Also, don't try to master the entire program all at once, it will leave you cross-eyed and drooling. Start with the basics, and then over time learn to use additional features as the need for them comes up.
This is GREAT advice!! Learn what you need to learn at the time. You dont have to know every function in the DAW to make good music. For example, why would I waste time learning the Score Editing functions if I dont need written music? Just hack away at it.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard1 ➑️
I am one of these people. The reason I ask the question is because I have been using Garageband for quite some time now. While it is very intuitive it is also very limiting at the same time. I switched to Logic a couple of months ago and have found it to have a very high learning curve. . .at least for me. For the record, I am an amateur musician doing solo recording [guitar, piano].

I see your point though. Just wondering if there was a DAW out there that fell in between Garageband and a pro application like Logic Pro, etc.

It seems like there are only two options with DAW's: The amateur route [Garageband] or the professional route [Logic].

Stick with Logic bro, you already have it to use there. Any other DAW is going to give you that, " What the #$%^?? thing anyway as you try to learn it. I didnt see you already had Logic there. Again, you dont have to use all the functions in it. If its making your brain hurt all the time then maybe try StudioOne demo and see how you dig it
Old 24th September 2012
  #24
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Thanks for all the replies.

In addition to here I've been asking around and checking elsewhere on the internet and Studio One seems to be the most popular option for an "easy-to-use" yet professional DAW.
Old 24th September 2012
  #25
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🎧 10 years
I'm surprised that you thought the learning curve from Garageband to Logic was high. There are many similarities between the two. I'm a huge Logic fan.

I honestly don't think Studio One is going to be much easier than Logic for a former garageband user.

Logic already has many workflow shortcuts built in compared to a DAW like Pro Tools.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiztones ➑️
I'm surprised that you thought the learning curve from Garageband to Logic was high. There are many similarities between the two. I'm a huge Logic fan.

I honestly don't think Studio One is going to be much easier than Logic for a former garageband user.

Logic already has many workflow shortcuts built in compared to a DAW like Pro Tools.
I agree, if you're coming from GB then Logic will be the most painless transition.

Either way, it's just like learning to drive a stick shift car-it's going to have a curve regardless of which brand you buy. You already have Logic, so getting something else isn't going to take away that first bit of learning that you're going to have to get through.
Old 24th September 2012
  #27
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zoahk's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Propellerheads Reason by far to me, seems to be the most 'intuitive' program for anything from non-professional to professional work. All my projects start out on Reason, the devices you get with Reason are so powerful and easy to work with, aswell as the new SSL Mixer you get with Reason 6 which is just unlike any other mixer you'll find on any other program.

It's very interactive and hands on, one thing I don't like about programs such as logic and pro tools is the interface on many of the instruments and effects, which just seem too fake and complicated, with reason the instruments really feel like they're doing something, it's not as overly complicated as you look, and I found it the perfect software to teach you alot about hardware, I started off working in te box, and slowly built my studio around hardware, and what I learnt from within reason, and the knowledge I picked up from exploring the devices, learning what each knob does and how it affects sound, and the different combination of connections I can use, it made working in a studio alot easier.

One thing i've never understood is why people prefer programs such as logic and pro tools as easier programs to use than Reason, as I find the other programs alot more 'computerised'. Reason really is a little virtual rack on your computer that you can rely on, and the others just don't convince me, Reason has a few minor limitations such as no MIDI out, but this has never bothered me, and if you want you can also rewire Reason to a program such a ableton live intro, as I often bounce my Reason tracks out to other programs for further editing and mixing.

But Reason itself has such a powerful sound synthesis engine, i've been using it for nearly 7 years, and I couldn't recommend any other program for exactly what you're looking for, it's an intuitive DAW that anybody could use, doesn't require any computer knowledge or huge technical knowledge, it's just as if you've got the real thing right in front of you to play with. The London Syphony Orchestra run Music Education programes called LSO Discover, which I have been working with for a long time, where people are taught how to make music with Reason.

I highly recommend it.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
215526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiztones ➑️
I'm surprised that you thought the learning curve from Garageband to Logic was high. There are many similarities between the two. I'm a huge Logic fan.

I honestly don't think Studio One is going to be much easier than Logic for a former garageband user.

Logic already has many workflow shortcuts built in compared to a DAW like Pro Tools.
I found the transition from GB to Logic to be very difficult. It seems like Logic was developed many years ago and the developers just kept adding things on to it making it less intuitive in the process.

I downloaded the demo for Studio One, watched some of the free tutorials, started some recording, and I can already tell it's much easier. . .for me, at least. We'll see how it goes.
Old 24th September 2012
  #29
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
One interesting thing I found with Logic tonight... you can drag a music/sound file right from iTunes into the arrange window.

Wow.
Old 24th September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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DAW PLUS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit ➑️
However, StudioOne has drag and drop in both directions, the Project page for Mastering and assembling your tracks and the ARA with Melodyne. Those right there make it worth the while to learn.
Ive been using Cubase the longest and its still my DAW of choice right now

Logic on the other hand is the most illogical DAW I have here. I can still do what I need to do with it though. I just choose to dive in and learn it. Besides, all the info is transferrable to the other DAWs. Logic is a no brainer though coming from GarageBand.
Yes, it wasn't meant to be read as "only easy to use for Cubase users". I do agree it is a very smart and fast program.
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