Digital Audio Workstation (DAW): Foundation for a Home Recording Studio - Page 3
Speaking of sounds—or samples—having a library of 1000's of sounds is mandatory. KVR , Synthtopia and Big Fish Audio are good places to explore both plugins and sample libraries (and do a Google search on sample libraries). Most every keyboard (synth) comes with 1000s of sounds. Every DAW—digital and analog—comes with tons of plugins, virtual instruments and sample libraries. It's fair to say even the top composers, producers and engineers have a difficult time grasping the phenomenal spectrum of sounds now available. And no, musicians are not being put out of work...I don't think. The world of virtual instruments is taking over collections of sounds, an excellent way to keep them organized.
Topping the list:
All of these virtual instrument and sample library suppliers are providing smartphone apps now, a world that is only beginning to explode.
Each of these DAW's has a current version such as Pro Tools 10, Logic Pro 9, Sonar X1, etc., and keeps you forever on the edge of the next version coming up. Upgrading will drive you crazy. Compatibility across versions and equipment (hardware or software) is an endless source of frustration but comes with the territory. More and more, each of these programs are allowing greater use of 3rd party plug-ins and multiple file conversion.
Following on the heels of these top audio recording programs are the loop-based programs like Acid by Sony and FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops) by Image-Line. Sony refers to Acid as a DAW with loop-recording capability. Loop-based recording involves pre-recorded "loops" that already contain arrangements and beats the creator assembles into a musical piece (song or instrumental). These programs are becoming quite powerful and often purchased to supplement the primary DAW. Reason, by Propellerhead, is a beast unto itself. Reason is designed to do everything everybody else can do but with a twist: Rack Extensions. Rack Extensions is a virtual rack of FX units and virtual instruments with a virtual wiring scheme that let's you plug just about anything into anything. Ableton Live (and Ableton Suite) is another DAW of a different color.Continued on the next page