#1
I've been using the same recording software (Cubase 3) for 10 or 15 years and feel it's time for an update. I'm looking for an all-in-one program to record, mix, and master. Most of my recording is done using an M Audio Delta 66 soundcard or a MOTU Ultralight hybrid. The most important aspect of the software will be the wave editor. I want to be able to mix and master at least 16 instrument tracks at once and I need good selection of the basic plugins required for mastering.

Up until now I have avoided midi because in the antiquated software I've been using the midi features are very confusing, however, it is my understanding that midi is much easier to use now days and I would like to get some software that has simple, easy to use, midi functionality.

So what software are you crazy kids using now days? My budget cap is £600.00 but would prefer to spend less. I don't need a lot of frills, just the basics needed for acoustic blues, and classic folk music. What software should I look into?
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#2
If you're familiar with Cubase already, why not just upgrade to the new Pro 8.5? Or even the Cubase Artist 8.5, I think, would have everything you're looking for and would not have as big a learning curve. I started with VST 3.5, so I remember it - sort of. Haha.

That said, it really is a "whatever floats your boat" kind of question. Everyone will weigh in with a different platform. But whether you go with Logic, ProTools, or whatever else, they'll all sound the same. It will be workflow and usability that will determine how happy you are with it. I love Cubase myself.

If you want to save $$$, definitely consider Reaper. Though I've not used it myself, pipelineaudio on this forum loves it. He has worked with some big names - Megadeth, Sheryl Crow, Gin Blossoms... His work speaks for itself. If it's good enough for him, I'd suggest it's probably good enough for anyone.

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.
#3
^That is a very good point and I have been considering Cubase 8.5. Have you used Cubase 8.5 before? Are it's midi controls any easier to use than in 3? I'm particularly curious about it's midi because I find midi in 3 to be boarding on unusable which is why I don't currently use midi. I don't want something that is equally difficult to use.

When I got cubase there were only 3 pro wave editors out there. Logic had just switched to Mac only so that wasn't an option and Pro tools required digidesign hardware which was prohibitively expensive at the time so Cubase was my only option. I know there are a lot more options now days but don't know which options to take seriously and which should be ignored.

Ableton and it's ability to mix on the fly seems intriguing and could be very useful. How does that compare to the the other heavy hitters, like Cubase and Pro Tools. Are they worth further investigation?

edit: Just downloaded the trail of reaper and it does look promising but won't be able to play with it 'till tomorrow. Thank you for that suggestions. Please keep them coming.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jul 12, 2016,
#4
Actually Cubase was the best program for midi in the Windows world, actually because of the complexity.

If you want solid and simple - look into Studio One, that is what I am currently using. While not as robust on midi as Cubase, it is no slouch. No note editor though, if that is a deal breaker.

A lot of people are on Reaper due to the low cost ($60) and the fact that is just as good as the other DAWs. Some other worth investigating for simplicity: Mixcraft, Tracktion (Tracktion ver. 4 is free).
Other popular DAWs: Sonar, Pro Tools, Logix (Mac), Digital Performer (Mac), Samplitude, etc.
#5
I love Cubase 8.5 though admittedly, I don't use midi much. It seems simple enough. If the way the audio portion of the program has evolved is an indicator, then the midi has probably evolved similarly. That's just me guessing though.

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.
#6
Do you know if Cubase 8.5 pro or artist still have noise reduction plugins? I've downloaded the free trial of 8.5 elements and can't find them in there but am hoping that perhaps they still exists in the more complete versions of the software.
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#7
Quick update. I bought cubase 8.5 pro. It is completely different than cubase 3 but most of the changes are for the best. The biggest improvement is that you can now use it easily with only 1 screen. My biggest complaint is that they have gotten rid of the noise reduction plugins and added them to wavelab instead.
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#8
So, by noise reduction, you mean things like hiss and things like that.... Not just a noise gate, right?

Geez... Has Cubase ever had such a thing? Cubase 3 was a long time ago. Haha. That said, surely there must be a usable freeware option or something?

Glad you're liking the new updates.

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.
#9
My copy of 3 has a very useful noise filter. It had presets for things like white and pink noise and was great for reducing the volume of the crowd. I've found a lot freeware stuff to replace it but I just feel like it should be included with the pro package. Perhaps I'm just too comfortable and set in my ways.
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#11
^ I know that it used to be possible but at some point cubase started locking the plugins to the dongle. 3 was before they locked the plugins so there is a chance it'll work. It's going to be a few days before I get the chance to transfer the files but I will give that a try.
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#12
The problem I had with Sonar was the MIDI editing was fairly weak
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