Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

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merlyn
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by merlyn »

@Linuxmusician01 In practice one particularly annoying aspect of MIDI in Ardour is that notes can get stuck on. If you have notes that have no time gap between them i.e. the second note starts exactly when the first note finishes, the first note can get stuck on. For a short sound like a hi-hat this may not be noticeable, as the first sound will have died out before the second one starts. But for loops the result is terrible, with two slightly out of phase samples playing back together.

The workaround is to leave a tiny gap between notes, and this can be musical.

As the quote from Paul Davis mentions this is because of the way Ardour represents time. Ardour was originally a multitrack audio recorder with MIDI bolted on, and so its timebase is samples. When many conversions are made between bars and beats and samples, the resulting rounding errors mean the start and end of notes can be in the 'wrong' place.

Believe it or not this is not a deal breaker for me, as the workaround works, and I don't find it too much hassle. I have been thinking of using Muse or Qtractor for MIDI and Ardour for audio, joined together with JACK.

In one of your previous posts you said you want to record hardware synths. Ardour excels at multitracking digital audio, and the MIDI hassles wouldn't affect that at all.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

@Merlyn: thanks for the explanation.

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lilith
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by lilith »

But still it's possible to work with midi.. it can just get annoying sometimes. The problems will be solved this year in Ardour 7 then... :mrgreen:

artofmusic
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by artofmusic »

As I said before Muse and Ardour together are the best solution. I use Mixbus 32c and Muse together. Another really awesome solution would be to use Musescore and Ardour together get it all at once as Musescore 3 now is able to split out midi ports and channels on midi out making it way more usable as a means of sequencing.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

Any love for Reaper here? They have an experimental build for Linux and it's a relatively cheap DAW. Supports VST and Midi. Suited for the casual living room amateur?

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sysrqer
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by sysrqer »

Linuxmusician01 wrote:Any love for Reaper here? They have an experimental build for Linux and it's a relatively cheap DAW. Supports VST and Midi. Suited for the casual living room amateur?
Personally I think it is the best available on linux. It can take a bit of learning but that's the same for any daw really. By the way, the only difference between paying and not paying is that you get a nag screen on startup for 5 seconds. That's it, otherwise fully functional and no timeouts etc. The linux build is very stable now.

glowrak guy
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by glowrak guy »

Linuxmusician01 wrote:Any love for Reaper here? They have an experimental build for Linux and it's a relatively cheap DAW. Supports VST and Midi. Suited for the casual living room amateur?
install or extract reaper to a convenient folder (.aaaNewestReaper is handy*)
start qjackctl, configured for your sound card options
start a2jmidid -j default

start Reaper from a terminal

Use Reaper menu 'Options -> Preferences-> Audio
Choose 'Device' and take Jack

In the 'MIDI devices' area, click 'enable' on what midi gear you have

Scroll down to 'Options -> Preferences-> Plugins'
and choose VST. The third line down is the line to edit your plugin path(s)
Once finished with paths, press 'Clear cache/re-scan

On Reaper main screen, right-click in the track area (upper left rectangle area)
Choose from the pop-up menu from among

insert new track

insert multiple tracks

insert plugin on new track

insert track from teemplate

show master track

If you 'insert new track', it is mono by default, so right-click the rectangle
in the new track that is labeled 'system capture_1'
and choose 'input stereo' from the popup menu, as desired.

Next to that rectangle is the 'record-monitoring' icon,
click that, and also above it, is the red-dot record-arm button.
Your hardware synth output will now be on this track.

For a midi plugin, choose 'insert plugin on new track'.
This defaults to midi stereo.

Click the FX button found on the right of each track panel
to choose a desired plugin.
Once a plugin is loaded, it's panel has on it options
to add more plugins, remove them, dock them etc.
Easy to make a chain, and cycle through them.
Reaper comes with a host of it's own plugins,
under the JS and Cockos headings of the insert-plugin menu.
Linux vsts can be copied or linked to /home/you/.vst
for convenience.

For your hardware synths, you can use qjackctl to connect
to Guitarix, rakarrack or calf-jack-host effects, and connect that to Reaper's
audio input. Great possibilites, also Surge synth
can be a plugin multi-effcts unit (see how-to in plugins topic nearby)

Many windows vsts can be wrapped for linux reaper using linvst,
or used straightaway in the windows reaper through wine,
or both at once, if the muse so plucks.
That be my love for Reaper :wink:

* Reaper get's frequent updates, so the new tarball goes in this path.
I drag the soon-to-be old install contents to another folder
in case of regression, and extract the newest reaper. Some prefer
to use the provided installer. A REAPER folder will be found in
/home/you/.config. Many greatt themes exist,

https://stash.reaper.fm/tag/Themes

put some you like in
the 'ColorThemes' folder, and test them from
the Options->Themes menu (I like RadoV4C or Commala_5, myself)


This location shows atop a pcmanfm filemanager, where i click on
the reaper icon it contains, and choose the option to launch Reaper in a terminal.
If something hangs the audio system,
closing the terminal is an easy way out.
Cheers

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

@glowrak guy: thanks. Ill try it. :)

glowrak guy
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Re: Best DAW for the casual beginner?

Post by glowrak guy »

Reaper defaults to jack midi, so use
before launching reaper, run

a2jmidid -j default

It will autoconnect, or if the command is
run second, connect manually in
qjackctl MIDI tab
Cheers

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