DAW Tutorials/Resources?

Hey all!

I should be getting some money coming in soon from some work I have been doing with an indie game studio and I am looking to finally get a proper DAW. I currently use Sibelius 7 notation software and some use of Audacity.

Prior to leaving college, I had studied music technology and do have experience using Avid's Pro Tools however, this was about 8-9 months ago now and obviously, throughout that time, I've got a little rusty.

Of course, my composing has never slowed down and I feel my portfolio is at a good enough level now that I can finally set up my website and start sending out links to game and film companies to try and get some more work. The thing that has been holding me back, for some time now, is the fact I don't have a proper DAW. For a professional portfolio, Sibelius sounds simply aren't good enough, in my opinion. But I digress

Back to the point of this, I'll be looking to get a DAW soon. My portfolio consists of quite a wide range of genres, so I'm not looking for something like Logic, which specialises in dance music production, for example, though I am on PC not mac so Logic would be no use anyway! I'm open to trying out some new DAW's if one of you lovely individuals can link a good tutorial series or book, perhaps, that can teach me how to properly use it. Even with Pro Tools, this would be useful, since I could do with a bit of a "refresher" course.

I'm very much a composer first and a producer second. My music studies were always head and shoulders better than my music tech studies - though that's most likely because I've been studying music a lot longer.

Regardless, if any of you could provide links to DAW tutorials, perhaps recommend what you think I should get and the reason why, then it'd all be much appreciated. Does one have better classical sounds? Does one have better quality audio? That kind of information would be great, since I'm pretty much walking in the dark when it comes to DAW's.

Thanks in advance!

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  • You may or not find this link helpful.  https://www.coursera.org/course/musicproduction

  • I personally use Ableton Live. Most daws offer similar features, although some are better than others for some particullar type of workflow, so it usually comes down to what YOU prefer. I suggest downloading a few demos to get a taste of what each has to offer.

    There is also Reaper, which is very low cost and quite allright from what other folks report. I suggest you check it out.

  • Logic might be geared towards dance but would do what you need fine, it is known as one of the best.  Pro tools and Digital performer are both similar quality to Logic.  You could try Reaper for free, after the trial it's very affordable.  I mostly use Reason and Digital Performer.  Reason is quite easy but Digital Performer, like Logic and Reaper gives you access to proper 3rd party plugins.  That is where you will get your good sounds.  Cubase or Live could also do the job, though I'm not really a fan of either, mostly for my preference in work-flow.

  • Thanks for the replies so far everyone! It's good to hear from people more knowledgeable than me in this field.

    Ann, thanks for linking that course, I'll certainly consider doing that.

    Reaper is also something I've considered, a friend of mine uses it and is pretty experienced with it. Just like people on here, he seems to be full of praise for it.
    Spiros, I'll download a few demo's if I can! Sound (pun intended, o-ho-ho) advice.

  • I haven't used many DAWs, but I am in love with Logic and have no plans to change it up anytime soon (still on Logic 9).  It's very very easy to use if you want to just get started with a DAW, and then if you have more experience there are a lot of parameters in it for editing MIDI, automation, the whole sha-bang.  I started my journey with Pro Tools but it is not the friendliest program for MIDI.

  • Mixcraft has some interesting things but Reaper has definitely more features and since version 4.5 it's one of the best DAWs for MIDI (the weak point before).
  • Of course you can transpose, copy and paste, but no, they don't have a score (traditional notation) view. But the piano roll contains much more information than a score and it's the traditional way to use a DAW. But it's a request and maybe someday Reaper devs will implement it.

  • And VERY important thing if you use VSTi: Mixcraft is still 32 bits and doesn't support 64 bits VST...

  • There are other DAWs most of the times they are much more expensive (and it doesn't mean they are better). Reaper has a 60 days demo (in fact it's even an unlimited demo) and is easy to install (it's only 10 MB), Mixcraft has also a free demo and it's still quite light, around 100 MB. You should try them and see which one you prefer.

  • Reaper is under $100 if you make less than 20k a year from music.  You could buy GP6 for $60, edit there and export midi to Reaper.  Or buy Logic or Digital Performer, DP has been used to score countless films, though most people know little of Motu.  You will have a rough time getting good sounds without vst.  I suggest getting demo's for all the Daw's mentioned in the forum. 

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