What's the easiest DAW to learn for someone new to music software?

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77 posts since 28 Feb, 2021

Post Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:06 pm

I'm asking this for someone who doesn't seem highly computer literate in terms of exploring all kinds of software, but she wants to explore composing on a computer. She plays piano and sings.

I've always used Logic, but I remember it was a pain in the ass for me to learn how to use it from scratch, so I can't recommend it to her. Is there something more inviting for her to try? Thanks for suggestions.

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7234 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:12 pm

If she's on a Mac, have her start with GarageBand - it's basically a lite version of Logic. Then, if/when she's ready to move up to Logic, she'll have the basics down and can learn what she needs to know with the assistance of something like Groove3 or YouTube tutorials.

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Beware the Quoth
30016 posts since 4 Sep, 2001 from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Post Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:17 pm

would notation-oriented software be a better bet? ie if they're familiar with stave-based composition already.

most of it supports playback of the score.

this one, for example, is free. (not used it myself, though)

This signature tells the story really, as quoting insults directed at me makes me someone with an over-inflated ego.

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1244 posts since 17 Aug, 2012 from Old Zealand

Post Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:18 pm

Try out Mulab from MuTools. It is at first very beginner friendly but there is plenty of advanced stuff if you should decide to explore the program deeper.
I have used it for many years and can highly recommend it.

There is also a forum for it here at KVR and both Jo the developer and others are very helpful when it comes to answering questions and difficulties understanding how to do things in the Daw.
Sound C loud
Band C amp
Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination - Mark Twain


Topic Starter

77 posts since 28 Feb, 2021

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 12:56 pm

Thanks for your suggestions! If anyone has any others, I'd love to hear them.

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31166 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:13 pm

I've shown a few beginners how to use Ableton Live. They all picked it up very quickly. One of them was only 8 years old at the time, and is now an excellent musician. Live offers a free trial period.

148 posts since 18 Aug, 2020

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:17 pm

I agree ableton intro is great for producers and it can be upgraded if one needs also the comping feature would be handy. Bitwig is a great choice as I don't regret jumping ship from ableton to bitwig.

2985 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 1:48 pm

If she is on Mac, just show her Logic, maybe it was hard for you to figure it all out on your own, but you can at least spare her that and show her the basics. Logic have option to be set up for begginers without all advanced tools and options, that's actually default state. She seems more than adequate to skip all these fun/hack music theory/EDM friendly DAW's&stuff and actually is going to record perfomances, like singing and playing, so she will be right at home with Logic.

700 posts since 9 Aug, 2018

Post Sat Sep 04, 2021 4:32 pm

Garageband, followed by Logic.

There are also countless videos (on YouTube, etc.) going through any given DAW. So much easier these days, frankly.


Topic Starter

77 posts since 28 Feb, 2021

Post Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:31 am

Thanks for all these suggestions!

1000 posts since 30 Jun, 2014 from Pacific NW

Post Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:04 am

Mac: GarageBand->Logic
PC: Tracktion Waveform or Studio One (more complex but notation available)

5 posts since 4 Sep, 2021

Post Thu Sep 09, 2021 8:58 am

If you're on a mac, garage band is free. Definitely worth considering at that price.

Bitwig is great for exploring the basics of synthesis and sound manipulation and modulation. The full version can be downloaded and used in demo mode. The major restriction there is inability to save.

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729 posts since 10 Sep, 2015 from You haven't unlocked this character yet

Post Thu Sep 09, 2021 9:11 pm

You could just have her watch a YouTube video of someone making something on the suggestions everyone gave...no need to guess and gamble. You'd get it right the first time at minimal to no cost.
...and the electron responded, "what wall?"


Topic Starter

77 posts since 28 Feb, 2021

Post Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:15 pm

Thanks again for all the advice! I'll let you know which one she chooses when I hear back from her.

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1183 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:47 pm

There’s a free version of Studio One (Mac and Windows.)

It’s extremely intuitive and everything is drag & drop. There is almost no learning curve, and you rarely have to click a menu for anything.

The general rule for Studio One is, if you think something should work a certain way, try it because it usually does.

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