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Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:17 am
by Ad7
I currently use garage band on my imac to record my own music. Its ideal as for one is free and two I can quickly set up new tracks, add basic percussion with the built in drum machine etc. Ill be selling my imac at some point soon and moving to a PC, so I'll lose all my stuff and need to find something to fill the garage band void.

Anyone got any recommendations? I'm not against paying for decent software by the way, but a free alternative would be great for now.

Thanks.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:16 am
by Lex-Man
Audacity is the goto open source program. It seems fine for audio recording. But if you're looking for professional quality it's probably not good enough.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:20 am
by Oblomov Boblomov
I used to use Reaper, although I've not touched it for about four years now so I've no idea if it's still any good.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:09 am
by Ad7
No not looking for pro quality, just for getting demos to a decent quality really. Ill check those out later, cheers.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:22 pm
by Karl_
Audacity has a fairly large userbase and seems to be able to do most things audio editing wise. (I've only scratched the surface myself -- I'm not a musician.) Good luck!

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:02 pm
by Squinty
Audacity is alright for demoing things. There are probably better solutions, but you would have to drop a bit of money. I use it for slowing down music to learn it, it does a great job for that.

There is an open source drum machine called Hydrogen. It's not bad. I don't know about the options it has for exporting samples though.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:45 pm
by Ad7
Great suggestions, thanks guys.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:11 pm
by Kezzer
Paging Stuart Gene to the thread

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:16 pm
by Karl_
Kezzer wrote:Paging Stuart Gene to the thread


Big fat ugly Douglas, there is a music advice thread on aisle 3. Big fat ugly Douglas to aisle 3, thank you.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:20 pm
by Green Gecko
Reaper. It's better than Pro Tools.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:54 pm
by Cal
Oblomov Boblomov wrote:I used to use Reaper, although I've not touched it for about four years now so I've no idea if it's still any good.


It's great. I use it and have done so for years. It can handle analog recording just fine - it's more about your outboard gear, tbh (the quality of your mic, mixing desk, etc). I don't often record audio, but my semi-acoustic 12-string sounds just fine in Reaper and I've used a vocal mic a few times without problems.

The thing with Reaper, though, is to spend the paltry amount they ask for access to a continually updated version (the free version won't update to the latest). It really is worth it - these guys update the software almost once a month. I really like Reaper - it's got all the features I need for digital and analog recording.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:22 pm
by Ad7
I went to try reaper earlier and ran into serious problems. It installed fine (win 10 64bit install), I had a poke around the interface, then I installed my pod X3 and software, started reaper again, selected the pod as the input and started to test. It registered the pod for about 3 seconds,then wouldn't do anything (but hasn't frozen, I can still click things). So then I tried to change the audio settings and reaper froze. Then it decided it would freeze on start up (even without the pod in, í tried both). I un installed and re installed but it just does the same thing, freezes on start.

Help.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:37 pm
by Green Gecko
Er... I have never had any problems like that at all.

Are you sure you downloaded the 64-bit version? That was in beta for quite a long time, so you might want to try the 32-bit version.

It sounds like more a problem with your audio interface's drivers. Are you sure the Pod X3 is compatible with Windows 10? Devices (especially USB devices) tend to have very bad compatibility with recent versions of Windows, leaving audio engineers running an old OS most of the time.

Can your device run as a class compliant audio device? You won't get real time effects monitoring, but you would still be able to record.. but multi-tracking will be almost impossible.

The other other thing I can recommend is either Ableton which is good for entirely different reasons, or Sonar, which is meant to be quite lightweight and easy to use (formerly cakewalk). But Reaper is really really solid, so I would look into your audio interface drivers first. They tend to cause the weirder problems like this.

On Windows, because class compliancy isn't really a thing for most audio gear, having stable drivers is the bedrock of the platform (as there's no CoreAudio support). Without that working reliably, you're basically buggered. So I always look into that first.

There are complicated issues with windows surrounding IRQ conflicts, in which case, try changing them, but don't strawberry float with the Registry unless there's nothing else left to try: http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-vista-t ... s-vista-7/ or http://www.helpwithpcs.com/upgrading/ch ... ttings.htm (I'm guessing Windows 10 is the same here)

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:45 pm
by Ad7
The X3 is a legacy device and was replaced years ago by the HD but the drovers claimed to be for win 10. Ill try the drivers again and also try 32 bit reaper before anything else, cheers.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:46 pm
by Green Gecko
Orbital wrote:Quoted for notification

Have you had any issues like this with your Pod XT on Win 8?

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:50 pm
by Green Gecko
Ad7 wrote:The X3 is a legacy device and was replaced years ago by the HD but the drovers claimed to be for win 10. Ill try the drivers again and also try 32 bit reaper before anything else, cheers.

DAW crashing, not initialising, dropping in and out or no audio coming from selected inputs or missing inputs/outputs is always a driver problem for me and I've had many devices across Win/OSX and several builds.

If it truly turns out to be a problem with drivers, you might need to consider a separate XP/Win7 install or a hardware upgrade.

It is expensive, but some of the more midrange vendors like Focusrite have really, really good driver support for many years if you do look for something new. You can always have a seperate audio device and route your Pod XT through that using SPDIF or Optical or just balanced TRS stereo or unbalanced TS (mono) jacks and some of those are inexpensive. There will be no loss of audio quality that way and you can still use your guitar amp/fx processor and possibly get some better pre-amps for your mic along with it (I don't imagine that mic pre bundled in with the Pod is that great).

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:07 pm
by Ad7
I've got a few mics, a sure sm58 and another studio instrument mic I forget the name of.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:12 am
by Green Gecko
Make them glow with a nice preamp :)

Any news?

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:30 pm
by Ad7
No I won't be trying again until Sunday probably. Where would I find the files to clear out the reaper equivalent of cookies for the settings on PC? I'd know where to look on the Mac partition but I'm so out of the game on PC. Uninstalling and reinstalling kept the settings so it makes me think there's bits being left over.

Re: Recording guitar and vocals on a PC. Any good free software recommendations?

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:22 pm
by Green Gecko
You could try searching the appdata folder http://www.windows10themes.net/guides/h ... indows-10/