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Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:00 am
by elsmandino
Hello.

I have bought myself a Steinberg MKII UR22 audio interface and am looking to have a go at recording some guitar-based music.

I currently run the latest version of Mint on my desktop and would be grateful for some advice as to which piece of software to use.

Any pointers/advice would be much appreciated.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:18 am
by sysrqer
Ardour would probably suit you. Guitarix on the way in if you are not miking up an amp.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:29 am
by tavasti
Vote for Ardour also from here.

And if you want best mixing UI, get Mixbus (Ardour with better mixer). They have pretty often discounts, so you can get it for 39$, or sometimes even 29$. https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

And if you start with Ardour, all your files will work also in Mixbus.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:26 am
by bulevardi
I tried a lot of daw's in the past couple of years.

Reaper is my favourite. Lightweight, fast, stable, straightforward, userfriendly.
Works perfect in Linux Mint Cinnamon (probably going to test it again in Xfce tonight)
It has a native linux version, and it installs fast and easy.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:50 pm
by elsmandino
Thanks guys - really appreciate that.

Usually, when there are lots of alternatives, I give them all a go. However, with something as complicated as DAWs, I cannot really take the time to learn how all of them work, in order to give them a good test run.

I think I am going to give Ardour a go and see how I get on with it (there seem to be loads of instructional videos on Youtube).

Further to Sysrqer's comment, I will indeed be plugging the guitar straight into the Steinberg, so I am going to need some software effects.

Guitarix looks absolutely amazing - is it easy to use this with Ardour?

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:57 pm
by Linuxmusician01
There are a lot of fine DAW's to pick from. Dunno which one is best for guitar recording. I like Qtractor. See this video about recording multiple takes (I think that's handy for guitarists) at 24 mins. 37 sec:

https://youtu.be/jpwGsNMUmQ8?t=1497

P.S. All the Qtractor tutorials from Demonic Sweaters are nice to begin with.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:59 pm
by Linuxmusician01
tavasti wrote:Vote for Ardour also from here. And if you want best mixing UI, get Mixbus (Ardour with better mixer). They have pretty often discounts, so you can get it for 39$, or sometimes even 29$. https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

And if you start with Ardour, all your files will work also in Mixbus.

Erm... Isn't Ardour free for Linux?

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:07 pm
by tavasti
Linuxmusician01 wrote:
tavasti wrote:Vote for Ardour also from here. And if you want best mixing UI, get Mixbus (Ardour with better mixer). They have pretty often discounts, so you can get it for 39$, or sometimes even 29$. https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

And if you start with Ardour, all your files will work also in Mixbus.

Erm... Isn't Ardour free for Linux?

Ardour is, Mixbus isn't. Maybe I need to clarify my post.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:07 pm
by sysrqer
Linuxmusician01 wrote:
tavasti wrote:Vote for Ardour also from here. And if you want best mixing UI, get Mixbus (Ardour with better mixer). They have pretty often discounts, so you can get it for 39$, or sometimes even 29$. https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

And if you start with Ardour, all your files will work also in Mixbus.

Erm... Isn't Ardour free for Linux?

Well strictly speaking no, there is a payment required for their official binaries. Mixbus is 'commercial' even though it is based on ardour.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:59 pm
by elsmandino
Thanks guys - really appreciate that.

Usually, when there are lots of alternatives, I give them all a go. However, with something as complicated as DAWs, I cannot really take the time to learn how all of them work, in order to give them a good test run.

I think I am going to give Ardour a go and see how I get on with it (there seem to be loads of instructional videos on Youtube).

Further to Sysrqer's comment, I will indeed be plugging the guitar straight into the Steinberg, so I am going to need some software effects.

Guitarix looks absolutely amazing - is it easy to use this with Ardour?

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:32 pm
by sysrqer
elsmandino wrote:
Guitarix looks absolutely amazing - is it easy to use this with Ardour?

Yes, just start up ardour and guitarix and then route your card input to guitarix and then to ardour. I think there are guitarix plugins so you could just record in to ardour but I think you would be missing out on some of the power and flexibility that guitarix has.

If you have any trouble just post here and we will help.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 4:10 pm
by milo
You can use Guitarix in a few different ways.

First is the way sysrqer just described: Guitar > interface > Guitarix (standalone) > DAW. This works really well as long as your latency is short. But guitarists tend to be very latency-sensitive, and my system isn't quite fast enough to use this setup. I have tweaked the sample size and other settings, but I haven't found anything with tolerable latency.

So the other way is: Guitar > interface > DAW > Guitarix (LV2 plugin). In this setup you have to do your performance without effects, and you record the dry signal into the DAW. Then you can spend as long as you want tweaking the settings in Guitarix to modify the sound. This avoids the latency problem, and opens up a world of options in the mixdown/mastering stage (which is honestly not always a good thing). But it is a bit harder as a musician to produce a good performance on a dry signal when you intend the part to have lots of effects.

You could also route the guitar to DAW and Guitarix (standalone) in parallel, which negates the problem of performance on dry signal, but still captures the dry signal for later processing. But this still has the potential latency issue.

Tradeoffs, as with all technology. Good luck!

(P.S. FWIW, I also vote for Ardour, but it sounds like you are already leaning that way.)

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 4:16 pm
by Linuxmusician01
elsmandino wrote:Usually, when there are lots of alternatives, I give them all a go. However, with something as complicated as DAWs, I cannot really take the time to learn how all of them work, in order to give them a good test run. [...]

I don't know if you have any experience w/ DAW's or recording on a computer but if your demands a really low you could try to start w/ Audacity. It's not a DAW (i.e. non-lineair) but "lineair" audio recording software. Plus point (just like w/ some DAW's) is that your experience w/ Audacity comes in handy if you have to work on a Windows or Apple computer. Its a really simple application. For simple record, encode, cut and paste work it's the go to app.

Succes! :)

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 6:39 pm
by tavasti
milo wrote:So the other way is: Guitar > interface > DAW > Guitarix (LV2 plugin). In this setup you have to do your performance without effects, and you record the dry signal into the DAW. Then you can spend as long as you want tweaking the settings in Guitarix to modify the sound. This avoids the latency problem, and opens up a world of options in the mixdown/mastering stage (which is honestly not always a good thing). But it is a bit harder as a musician to produce a good performance on a dry signal when you intend the part to have lots of effects.

You can also use Guitarix standalone in this scenario. After recording, connect DAW output to guitarix, and then record guitarix output to daw again.

Third way would require bit more hw:

Connect guitar to DI-box, from di-box to audio interface, there to guitarix and then to daw. And sure, I would record both raw signal and guitarix-made, so that in case there is some fiddling with sounds, there is still raw signal available.

Because di-boxes have also direct output, put that to some multi-effect, to guitar amp or whatever that will give you some approximation of sound you are aiming at. For that purpose old second-hand multi effect will do, for example Digitech RP50, or some new chinese stuff like Ammoon.

So you are recording with guitarix but listening some real guitar effect / amp, without latency.

Edit: When selecting DI-box, make sure it has thru / direct option available. I have active Behringer DI-20 which has, costs 20.90€ at Thomann.

Re: Which DAW to pick?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:39 pm
by milo
tavasti wrote:Connect guitar to DI-box, from di-box to audio interface, there to guitarix and then to daw. And sure, I would record both raw signal and guitarix-made, so that in case there is some fiddling with sounds, there is still raw signal available.

Because di-boxes have also direct output, put that to some multi-effect, to guitar amp or whatever that will give you some approximation of sound you are aiming at. For that purpose old second-hand multi effect will do, for example Digitech RP50, or some new chinese stuff like Ammoon.

So you are recording with guitarix but listening some real guitar effect / amp, without latency.


Oooooo . . . great idea! Thanks, tavasti! I think I'll get me a DI box.