#1
Simple question:

At what point should I be upgrading my DAW?

I'm currently running Reaper, like a lot of you guys. I've been looking at the Cubase Artist 6.5 DFI, which runs at about 260 euros. I wouldn't really like to spend any more. I'm just wondering, at what point should I really be upgrading? When is Reaper not enough? It just seems like Cubase has a lot of VST plug-ins and VST instruments that a DAW like Reaper can't offer.

I'd be recording guitars, programming drums and just general mixing/producing.

Thanks!
-Jonathan

EDIT: If anyone gives a shit, this is some stuff that I've managed to do already:
http://soundcloud.com/joneh/mellow
Last edited by fc89konkari at Apr 7, 2012,
#2
Reaper is a professional DAW. There is no reason to really ever upgrade from it, unless you want a certain functionality or workflow that only another program will provide.

Cubase might have built in plugins and instruments that Reaper doesn't offer, but that doesn't mean they're particularly good. If all you want is better plugins, you'd be much better off buying a professional suite from a plugin company; because they'll be better than any DAW has to offer in its stock plugins.
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#3
I haven't really thought from that perspective Thank you very much for that advice

The main functions that I'd want (as plug-ins) are getting somehow more punch/clarity/presence into my guitars (just my mixing skills), a proper drum program and some way to get synths done (don't know rats ass about this).

The next thing I thought of getting is definitely a drum program. I've been doing a lot of research about the comparison on AD, SD2.0 and EZD. I figured the smartest way to go for me personally is EZD (perhaps with metal pack), because it's a solid plug in and if I someday find it lacking, it's upgradeable to SD2.0. How does this sound?

About the synths... I haven't done much research yet. I suppose I need a MIDI controller (as in a keyboard), but do I? And also, I suppose I'll need a plug-in for the sounds, right? Recommendations for both? (tbh, as cheap as possible)


I suppose the synth stuff can wait a while, but the drum thing is probably the next step. Other recommendations as studio equipment (hardware/software, some great plug-ins, etc.) goes are welcome

Thanks!
-Jonathan
#4
The short answer is, "you need to upgrade your DAW when the one you're using is limiting what you want to do."

Now, on to the specifics...

Quote by fc89konkari

The main functions that I'd want (as plug-ins) are getting somehow more punch/clarity/presence into my guitars (just my mixing skills)


Consider this... software manipulates recordings that are already made. It's far better to get punch/clarity/presence when you record it than it is to try to manufacture something that isn't there in the first place.

In order to do THAT, you're looking at:
-mic choice
-mic placement
-a sound source that sounds like what you want to record. You're not going to get a nice punchy kick drum, for instance, if the kick drum you are recording is not nice and punchy. :-) The same, of course, can be said for guitars.

... not software.

Your mixing skills will help you to bring out what is already there, and to mitigate the crap out of what is there, which shouldn't be much if the other things are in place.


Quote by fc89konkari

The next thing I thought of getting is definitely a drum program. I've been doing a lot of research about the comparison on AD, SD2.0 and EZD. I figured the smartest way to go for me personally is EZD (perhaps with metal pack), because it's a solid plug in and if I someday find it lacking, it's upgradeable to SD2.0. How does this sound?


To my knowledge, any decent daw will run any of these drum programs. That said, some of the sounds that come as part of the HalionOne and Groove Agent plugins in Cubase are very, very good.

Quote by fc89konkari

About the synths... I haven't done much research yet. I suppose I need a MIDI controller (as in a keyboard), but do I? And also, I suppose I'll need a plug-in for the sounds, right? Recommendations for both? (tbh, as cheap as possible)


Cubase has a couple of great synths built in. Of course, like soft drinks, just because you have a couple of great ones, it doesn't mean you have what you are looking for. That said, if you find a VST one that you like, virtually any DAW will run it.

Quote by fc89konkari

Other recommendations as studio equipment (hardware/software, some great plug-ins, etc.) goes are welcome


Well, if you want to improve mic placement and your range of mixing technique, then you can't really buy anything that will help much with this. Time and learning. There some good knowledgeable people here who can help you out, and there are some other really good forums as well.

Also, Recording Magazine is really excellent. I had a subscription for five years probably, and am considering signing up again. From there, you just need to spend time practicing, just like any other instrument.

What mics are you using, and what preamps?

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#5
Not any atm My guitars were recorded with a POD HD500. It gives decent results, but I might end up buying an sm57 and an interface with the only one that I'm particularly interested in being the Saffire 6. That depends if I can't manage to produce any pleasing results with the POD. I just can't seem to get any results even close to what people like fearedse are getting. I would've thought using a POD would've been much more simple and failproof than eg. micing an amp. I thought there would've not been as many variables. One thing also pushing towards the traditional direction is that I really dig my bedroom tone (6505+ and a bunch of other stuff).

And again about the synths. I'd need a midi controller (as in a keyboard), wouldn't I?
#6
Recording guitars direct, pretty much no matter how you do it, almost always sounds better when mixed with real guitars.

That said, there are some great recordings made where they ARE all direct. Starting with the debut album by Boston. Nobody ever complained that their guitars sounded bad.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.