Apple, GarageBand, OS-X, Protools

Best DAW For Songwriters

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DAWs are made for general recording. However, I feel that some of them are better suited for the songwriter who wants to record his/her own demos.

Accessibility
Since songwriting could take a long time to pay out (if ever…), I think it’s sensible to not go grazy on the home studio expense. Personally, I’m a ProTools fan boy. You can get an MBox under 300$. It’s the same software as the pros and it’s very easy to learn. Hitting EBay for some used ProTools gear is even cheaper…

However, after purchasing a new iMac a few months back, I got to try Apple’s GarageBand, which comes bundled with every Mac. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to operate compared to Logic, Apple’s high-end DAW program. The only major limitation that I could see was the fact that you could not do very detailed MIDI editing (not a problem for songwriters who only want to record their guitars).

Learning Curve
I’d rather write songs than have to go through another manual. However, after using ProTools for a while, I just bit the bullet and spent some quality time with the manual. I think it’s worth it. However, as I said earlier, Logic was just too complex for me.

What about you? What’s your favorite DAW for songwriting and why?

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6 thoughts on “Best DAW For Songwriters

  1. dsound says:

    I use PTLE and PTHD (depending on location) for writing. I find it to be so easy to use and I often use it with Reason, which is still an incredible program – if you know how to use it right. I also have several soft-synts like Komplete 4, DFHS, Mach 5, Arturia stuff — all paid for! I find the Komplete stuff to have some cool stuff but more scientific and less musical. That’s why Reason is so nice. You just throw stuff up and go.

    If a new version of Logic comes out and has better Audio editing and a more intuitive interface, I might give it a try…

  2. valerianmusic says:

    Yeah, Reason is just so drop dead simple. Plus it sounds good. In fact, Reason is the reason (!) I don’t have a drum machine anymore.

    I also like the idea of the refills. It means that instead of upgrading the software, you can just upgrade the samples to get better sounds. How cool is that?

  3. Domen says:

    I got komplete 5 by native instruments, but i have a big problem using it….When i bought it no one thold me that i need a different program for recording…Can someone please thell me if i can use komplete 5 together with reason or if i can t what program do i need for recording songs

  4. Ben says:

    DOMEN..cakewalk should be good enough for recoridng..you can open up the natvie instruments as pluig ins inside of cakewalk and play what you created within that software…piece of cake(walk)

  5. heath says:

    I used to be a PT fanboy until Logic 8 came out (I still have an mbox left somewhere). Things just work. You get tons of pristine plugs, surround, more than 32 tracks, and the clincher… No crappy digidesign “Giant Dongle” interface. You get to choose any interface on the market (I personally use Apogee). I also love that bounces to disk or MP3, etc, are fast, real fast. I remember with ProTools, If I was editing an hour long session and I wanted to bounce to disk, it took an hour long. That sucked.

    It also ships with Mainstage, which is now my central live guitar and vocal rig.

    I owned Logic 7, but it was WAY to hard to learn. It was clunky and I could never get anything to work. I really hated it. It reminds me of why I switched to Mac… OSX. OS9 was as bad as Logic 7.

  6. I’ve been producing a guitar based singer-songwriter recently and decided to use Propellerheads Record in place of my ordinary DAW (Sonar).

    I have to say, the work flow is spot-on simple and easily the best tool I’ve ever seen for home or project studios.

    -kb

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