Monday, March 28, 2011

Digital Audio Workstations

Posted by Buzzy Lights at 6:38 PM ,

Let's start of with the simples and most used by beginners.

FL Studio( Fruity Loops)  first picture on the bottom right ->

FL Studio features a fully automatable workflow based on a pattern-based music sequencer.

Fl Studio is best for beginners because of its simple layout. It's recommended for hip hop/pop/electro and many other genres. It can export your songs into Wav or MP3 Files. Fl Studio Express Edition is only 50$. You can also download a free demo on there website The demo lets you do anything but save your work or export it. You can even record audio with Fl Studio but be aware thats it is its weak point. It is not great for recording audio, it does record vocals pretty well. So if you are a beginner I recommend you start of with Fl Studio. FL Studio features a fully automatable workflow based on a pattern-based music sequencer.

Next, in line, is Steinberg's Cubase (second picture on the right)

Cubase is a music software product developed by Steinberg for music recording, arranging and editing as part of a Digital Audio Workstation. I recommend Cubase for intermediate to advance users. Cubase can pretty much do anything. It is widely used in the Electro genre but it works great with anything else. Unlike Fl Studio it is great for recording external audio.  Prices vary from 150$ to 500$. I really recommend this if you are serious about your music.

Lets continue with Pro Tools (pictured third on the right)

This is the almighty of DAW's. If you ever go to a recording studio you will see this software being used. It lets you do anything from beats to recording audio. Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation platform for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, developed and manufactured by Avid Technology. It is widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film, and television post production. Pro Tools can run as standalone software, or operate using a range of external A/D converters and internal PCI or PCIe audio cards with onboard DSP. To cut it short this is the best, whether you're making beats or recording your neighbors band this is the best option.

Ableton Live (pictured fourth on the right)

Ableton Live is a great DAW for live performances and its widely used by Dj's around the world. You can record audio and of course make beats. Recomended for beginners to advanced users. Much of Live's interface comes from being designed for use in live performance as well as for production. As such the interface is more compact than most sequencers and clearly designed for use on a single screen. There are few pop up messages or dialogs. Portions of the interface are hidden and shown based on arrows which may be clicked to show or hide a certain segment (e.g. to hide the instrument/effect list or to show or hide the help box).

Reason ( pictured  on the top)

Reason is a music software program developed by Swedish software developers Propellerhead Software. It emulates a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequencers and mixers, all of which can be freely interconnected in an arbitrary manner. Reason can be used either as a complete virtual music studio, or as a collection of virtual instruments to be played live or used with other sequencing software. i recommend this for intermediate users to advance. Only downfall to Reason is its not able to use VST's. 

This is it for today. Hope this helps you out on picking the right DAW.

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  1. I use Virtual DJ to chop and screw tracks, which it is nearly perfect for. But I want something that I could maybe start making beats with, so this post is a big help. Thanks!

  2. i use garage band on my Mac, wish i had a pc for something this heavy duty.

  3. I use fruity loops in the past, I didn't ever get used to it though. I could make great dance beats and synthesizer type stuff, but I couldn't make any rap beats.

    Can you suggest which is best for rap beats? Or can I do it with fruity loops I just need to get sound files for rap beats and put them in?

    This is an awesome post by the way!

  4. @Amilli i suggest you start of with Fl Studio its simple and great to use. @ Azurikai for mac you can use Cubase and Reason if not mistaken oh and of course Pro Tools(can't pirate pro tools btw). @Android Fl studio is great for rap beats you just need to download rap samples.

  5. I got FL studio, but I can't work it out how to make the simplest of tunes. Maybe I'm just stupid, or too smart to figure it out :P

  6. Wow! this is awesome,. thanks!

  7. Hmm, did you recently change your blog template? It looks pretty! :)

  8. I use Pro Tools, FL Studio, and Reason for all my music making!

  9. This is a great and quick rundown of the main production app's out there. Good stuff!

  10. FL will always be teh best.

  11. It really is impressive all the stuff technology can do these days. If I'm really feeling bored, I'll just hook up my oldskool equipment and mess with the effects like that, but for gigs and stuff it's all about what my macbook can do.

  12. Wow that looks fairly overwhelming. But interesting nonetheless :)

  13. I love Reason! I had a class all about Reason in highschool, and it was fun. I forget most of it


  14. As soon as I have time I want to get into this! Sadly I will not have any for a while... :(

  15. wish i was good at this stuff... looks really cool.

  16. Damn this post is really helpful for when I'll be building my own PC next year. I'm gonna make it so fly, man. I'm really into visual editing so it should be sweet to learn some audio software too. Thanks for the info!

  17. Good read. I only got my iPad with Garage Band to create music.
    Won't be as good as this, but it's still hella fun :D

  18. Those are some good digital audio workstations. Thanks for telling about them!

  19. This looks awesome.


  20. I own reason (actually own, not pirated :O)
    and I have to say, it was confusing at first, but damn is it awesome

  21. Damn this looks complex lol :D

  22. Nice...a ton of my friends are really into making their own electronic stuff. They have a very similar setup to the first pictured work station.

  23. I'll have to let my musician friends know. By the way, your blog is very pretty. How did you do it? (at least the chat bubbles?)

  24. I have ableton, i love it!

  25. Some crazy looking tech!

  26. I use to mess around with early versions of Fruity Loops when I was a kid. It was fun, but I only made silly 8-bit songs.

  27. FL Studios is great. I've used it a few times!

  28. Most of this was beyond my comprehension. Great idea for a blog.

  29. Those pictures are very intimidating looking.

  30. Ableton + Monome + NES = awesome:

  31. It looks a bit difficult, but i may have to play with it. Cool blog though

  32. Really helpfull thank you

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