Help needed with Music Mixing S/W

Discussion in 'Computers' started by John Wilson, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. John Wilson

    John Wilson Supporting Actor

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    Hello. My son is an aspiring musician who plays piano, electric bass and acoustical guitar. He would like to begin dabbling in recording tracks to his computer and then mixing them into songs. He also would like to add vocals. He has a Dell 4600 P4-2.4 running XP Pro with integrated sound card.

    Some of the software under consideration are:

    Cakewalk's Music Creator 2003

    Voyetra's Record Producer

    Magix Music Maker Deluxe

    As you can see, these all retail at about $50-75 as I am really looking at easier, entry level stuff. He can always upgrade once he outgrows whatever we end up with.

    Can anyone recommend one product over the other as far as usability and stability? Pros/cons? Will there be issues with using the Dell onboard soundcard? Are there better S/W choices out there that won't break my bank? [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help. I'm completely out of my element on this and if I ask too many questions, I'll tip my hand.:b
     
  2. Aaron_*P

    Aaron_*P Stunt Coordinator

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    I would also go for Cakewalk. FYI The integrated sound card isn't the best choice for recording music, and it will not work for multi-channel very well (if he's in a band or something and they want to record), if you have the money you may want to look at some m-audio cards (m-audio.com you can buy on there website or you can get most of there stuff on newegg.com for much less), or creative sound blaster audigy 2 platinum if you don't want to shell out too much money.
     
  3. John Wilson

    John Wilson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys! I went ahead with the Cakewalk Music Creator 2003 but have not installed it yet. We'll try it out with the onboard sound card but will probably end up with a PCI card. Any specific models that won't break the bank (college student) but still is an improvement over the integrated sound?

    I'll look over newegg to see what they have.[​IMG]
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I think the integrated card will be OK, or at the most upgrade to a decent 2 channel card (Maudio is recommended around here, but I prefer Echo). If he's recording all the instruments himself, you won't need any more than 2 inputs at a time (stereo), so a multichannel card would be overkill... but a good 2 channel might be a resonable upgrade eventually- but for now, get a small mixer and a RCA to 1/8th in stereo and use the stock card... the mixer will allow you to hook up a couple mics to get more "professional" results... An acoustic guitar will often sound best using 2 or more mics with some creative placement...

    I have posted on the topic of "home demo studio" on the cheap several times on this forum, and I'm a big fan of using a behringer mixer coupled with a 2 channel soundcard and the Sonic Foundry pack of Sound Forge and Vegas (although sonic foundry is now gone, but you can still find their products out there, if you know where to look [​IMG] ).

    I personally cannot stand Cakewalk, and find exactly ZERO reason to use it if you're not heavy into midi. Cakewalk is the best home solution for midi work, but for strict audio recording, it leaves tons to be desired.

    See also:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...30#post1336930

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...26#post1154626

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...44#post1157544

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...87#post1159687

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...31#post1025531

    Another AWESOME cheap setup is the new(ish) Digidesign M-box. This is an EXCELLENT USB audio card, with two FOCUSRITE preamps (these are top of the line)-- it is bundled with Pro Tools LE... all for like $450. You can basically plug this into any PC with USB -- it powers right off the USB port- you can plug mics directly into it without a mixer, and you get a great software package!

    Worth checking out, if the kid gets even remotely serious... for $450, this is a better recording rig than $10,000 would have bought you when I started in the late 80's and early 90's!

    -Vince
     

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