My daughter, Kay (14), is interested in composing and working with software that produces instrumental sounds. She has composed several pieces for the school ensemble she plays with. She is self-taught with regard to composition although her music teacher gives her (a little bit) of feedback. She has also found internet resources.
My job is to figure out the computer and software. Right now she only has a very old laptop (it's Windows XP...). It is time to buy her a laptop and, given her interest in composition, I wanted to get advice on what is best for running a DAW and whatever other software she will need.
Where do I find information about different DAWs and what they do? How do we choose one? This may also influence what sort of laptop we get for her. Is it better to get an iOS or Windows operating system?
She has learned to write music notation by hand. Is there a DAW that can read music notation?
She thinks that she should write music notation in a software program, then feed it to the DAW, then use the DAW to work on expression by adjusting speed and volume locally to each instrument. Then she would get a sound file from playing the DAW. Does this make sense? Or is it better for some reason to use the DAW directly without first writing in music notation? She wants to have a score at the end. If she uses the DAW directly will she then write the score herself or can the DAW help her write the score for what’s been entered into it?
So here’s my questions to you if you don't mind:
- What DAW software(s) should she use? (I don't mind spending some money if that means lasting longer as she improves her skills - she's a fast learner!)
- Should we get an Apple or MS Windows operating system?
- Internet resources on how to make use of different instruments to create the sounds you want?
- What should I be asking you?
Her style is classical though very unique and in a way very modern sounding. She has so far used string instruments (violins and cellos), piano, trumpet, trombone, some kind of flute, and percussion. She is essentially isolated as a composer but not as a performer, and the pieces she came up with so far are appreciated within her circle of friends, school and family.
Thanks for your time and trouble!