I've tried many different DAW's, I landed on Reaper. It's very affordable and gives you every tool you'll need to do some great mixes.
Samples of my work in Reaper
I come from Adobe Audition and landed with Cubase which is amazing. Audition is "just" for audio files so playing backingtracks is fine. Wanted a midi part in my daw as well, don't even use that but cubase is amazing in audio. Generates harmonies, aligns vocal tracks, alings tempo's, has circle of fifths to help design your own tracks. Very, very impressed!
I don't have any experience with Audacity outside of using it for EVPs back in my ghost hunting days. However, I have been using Mixcraft for years, ever since version 3 or 4, so I can highly recommend it.
A nice thing about Mixcraft is that it comes with a good variety of plugins and virtual instruments to get you started.
Also, it's on sale right now!
In the world of "every body is equal" now. I guess my question to you is what are you lacking or want to do want more of? I'm a Cubase user myself but I came from an old Sonar/Cakewalk background. My biggest issue with them always was reliability. I quit for 15 years because they made my life hell. Cubase has a lot of options but they are buggy and they keep changing their brand. They got me back in the game though and for that I am very grateful.
Thank you for the responses. Headed off to look at some of the recommendations. I don't have any issues with Audacity so far, but I am new to sound engineering and selected Audacity due to price (free) and perceived functionality. So, Mixcraft, Cubase, and Reaper sound like they are mature platforms as well. Thanks for the comments!
I am not a Reaper user but you can Test the Full working version for a very long time ! You can try as long as you like !
The Software is good and worse a try ! Most DAWS are now days more or less the same thing ! Some can do this better another this and so at the end choosing a DAW is maybe the most about a personal way to work or an own workflow !
Reaper and when it does not work try any other one after the other and find that what suites your personal needs and way to work best !
My half Euro Cent.
Hey, a half Euro Cent is worth about 0.56 US cents, so there's that.
Besides the options the various flavours have it's a price thing too I guess. You're now working with a free daw with good capebilities. In Audition however I found the effects a lot better then in Audacity. It's there in both daw's but the reverb in audition was a lot better and basicly all effects I tested at the time. I tried it years later and that was still the same.
Cubase costs a bit, not the full monty other daw's ask, but still a chunck. If you are looking for a daw which has good mide and audio functions it's a good one. I watched a video with a comparison of all kind of modern daw's and it was pretty amazing, the guy was a por and worked with 5 or 6 ones depending of his tasks! From that video (can't find it unfortunately otherwise I would give you the link, it was a great video) I got that Cubase is a good allrounder for midi and audio and that was what I was looking for. Cubase is around for some time so they adjusted things as well, it really has a good workflow. And it's a huge step from the version 3 audition I worked with.
So, are you prepared to spend some money or is price the determining factor. If you want to spend a bit you have broader options. What I've heard of Reaper in my research is taht it is a bit of an odd one in workflow, a bit a steeper learning curve. I heard some fantastic tunes made in it bt it will take you a bit longer to master it I guess.
So, there are cheap options which are great as well but take you a bit more time. Coming from Audacity which is pretty close to Adobe Audition (where I came from) Cubase is different because it has sooo much more to offer but the basic view, how it looks, is somewhat familiar. If you're looking for a transition from a audio based DAW to a DAW which deals with audio en midi stuff and is a good allrounder Cubase is great. With the black friday going on it's a good price at the moment, if you have some money to spend .
If you're looking for a new DAW: everything I/JustVera did the last 10 years was done in Reason ( https://www.reasonstudios.com/). Extremely stable and versatile. Highly recommended.
I use Reaper like quite a few here. I'm still learning after using Reaper for around 2 years now. I have only just found out how to use the 'normalize' function in Reaper and used to export files from Reaper to Audacity just for the 'normalize' feature. I have found Reaper great and relatively user friendly for somebody like myself who very much benefits from the user friendliness of most things- including shoe laces! :D :D :D
Oh, and I still use Audacity to convert wav files to mp3 when needed. I think Reaper needs a plugin to convert to mp3. Is it LAME or something? I can't remember.
Really, a DAW which is not able to save MP3? I think Reaper is great, I heard fantastic things made with it, but this comes as a surprise I have to say. And yes, LAME sounds familiar as a Linux open source MP3 converter!
How to export .mp3 .in Reaper !
Can people watch here .
Other Daws use other Software in the Back somewhere . I can not see there a problem other then downloading the Software and to instal it. After that it is an Export Function so like in any other DAW !
I use anotherDAW that has no need to install something extra but i see that not as a real problem or downside .
That's great and makes no difference at all, Reaper has all it takes to do an export to mp3 format after a one tie setup, no problem at all. I love the open source community! I have been a Linux enthousiast a while ago and I love what these guys do!
Moonraker, You can export MP3 and wav files at the same time in the new version of Reaper. Reaper is becoming the new go-to for Low budget studios and individuals. And you can create fine mixes also. It's not the tool it's the user that limits himself for accomplishment.