Free Host for some students

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
sluggo
KVRian
609 posts since 31 May, 2002 from chez moi

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:12 pm

I teach high school physics and I have a couple of students that are interested in audio engineering. I thought I would introduce them to a DAW, show them how they work alongside recording, plugins, etc. They won't have much money though. My first thought is to introduce them to Bandlab Cakewalk but I'm having problems installing that. They could also first try the free version of MuLab but it's pretty restrictive and I've never thought of it in terms of audio recording although perhaps it's perfectly fine for that. Are there any other free stipped down versions of a DAW that I could use with these kids?

jinotsuh
KVRist
355 posts since 31 May, 2008 from Australia

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:18 pm

As mentioned in your other thread, you could try Traction Waveform (Whatever it's called) I have no knowledge of it personally, so no idea, but it may suit your needs. There is a version available for free at present. Just fill in you details, your students details, submit and download.

https://marketplace.tracktion.com/shop/activate-cmpromo

You will/should be able to find other products available for no cost that may suit your needs to try out.

Best of luck

codec_spurt
KVRAF
3737 posts since 21 Sep, 2005

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:42 am

Yes, there is a free version of Tracktion Waveform.

https://www.tracktion.com/products/t7-daw

It's awesome. Hopefully it's stable on your system, you'll just have to check it out.


Another great free DAW is Podium.

https://zynewave.com/podium-free/

It's a few years old now (as is Tracktion) and it has its idiosyncrasies (as does Tracktion), but it might work for you. It's a very powerful DAW. The interface is really nice and it's probably more of a standard 'linear' DAW paradigm than compared to Tracktion. Podium has a 64-bit version available as well. It may not be the most stable program in the world, so get in to a habit of saving often, or set up the autobackup in options how you like it.


Don't forget there is also REAPER, which you can try for 30 days. It can be a bit fiddly for a beginner, but as long as you aren't going too mad, it's no more difficult to learn than the previous two.

Cakewalk is great and all that, but it would be harder for a noob to get to grips with imho, initially anyway. The other DAWs while a bit 'odd' in places are much easier to use once you overcome the initial hurdles relevant to each one (setting up VST folders in Podium takes a bit of effort to get started, for example).


Tracktion and Podium will allow you to save and load all your projects, use whatever VST you like, etc. etc. so it's just a case of finding which one you click with the most and is the most stable on your system.
"you're all GUI whores." - banned KVR member 'snooky'.

chk071
KVRAF
21873 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:49 am

What exactly was the problem with installing Cakewalk? IMO, it's the best free option.

jonljacobi
KVRian
1188 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:18 am

I’d say Cakewalk, as it has every feature in the books. Just revisited it myself and I’d forgotten that it’s at the level of Cubase, Logic, Studio One, Pro Tools, etc. in that regard. I also think it’s more similar in its approach to those, hence the lessons would translate more readily.

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deep'n'dark
KVRian
1091 posts since 8 Feb, 2006

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:28 am

Why not also Reaper, you can always use it for free til you decide to buy it off: http://reaper.fm/download.php

Jafo
KVRAF
1911 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:59 am

deep'n'dark wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:28 am
Why not also Reaper, you can always use it for free til you decide to buy it off: http://reaper.fm/download.php
For up to 60 days, sure.
Joy and kindness are acts of resistance -- fight the power!

Jafo
KVRAF
1911 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:11 am

+1 to Tracktion. Pro: It's an older, but fully-functional version, unlike other DAWs; and it uses a superior interface (tracks appear on only one place on the screen). Con: Tracktion has a nonstandard interface (tracks don't appear on two places on the screen).

The nonstandard interface is the biggest pro and con. Tracktion treats a bus as just another track, all in the same list; other DAWs treat busses and tracks as completely separate and incompatible things, following a hardware metaphor. Tyranny, discontinuous minds, and all that.
Joy and kindness are acts of resistance -- fight the power!

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deep'n'dark
KVRian
1091 posts since 8 Feb, 2006

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:25 am

Jafo wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:59 am
deep'n'dark wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:28 am
Why not also Reaper, you can always use it for free til you decide to buy it off: http://reaper.fm/download.php
For up to 60 days, sure.
So it has changed from the days when it was always free to use? All you needed was waiting for the waiting countdown to end.
Last edited by deep'n'dark on Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mgw38
KVRAF
2017 posts since 26 Jul, 2015 from Philadelphia

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:25 am

Jafo wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:59 am
deep'n'dark wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:28 am
Why not also Reaper, you can always use it for free til you decide to buy it off: http://reaper.fm/download.php
For up to 60 days, sure.
You are supposed to buy it after 60 days. However, the evaluation version continues to work. It just comes up with a nag screen every time you start it. I use Reaper in such situations.

Btw, Tracktion offers educational accounts. They give you a classroom license of their entire software suite for free if you are an educator and want to use it in the classroom. That includes all their synths. No need to use the old version that is free for everybody.

fladd
KVRist
439 posts since 27 Oct, 2004

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:59 am

deep'n'dark wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:25 am
Jafo wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:59 am
deep'n'dark wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:28 am
Why not also Reaper, you can always use it for free til you decide to buy it off: http://reaper.fm/download.php
For up to 60 days, sure.
So it has changed from the days when it was always free to use? All you needed was waiting for the waiting countdown to end.
It has never been free to use. Has always been 60 days.

No_Use
KVRAF
2400 posts since 13 Mar, 2004

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:40 am

jonljacobi wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:18 am
I’d say Cakewalk, as it has every feature in the books.
That on the other hand could be rather overwhelming for kids.
+1 from me for free version of Tracktion / Waveform, found it one of the most intuitive DAWs when I tried it, e.g. with its (mostly) single window approach, visual wiring etc.

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fmr
KVRAF
8899 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:15 am

No_Use wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:40 am
jonljacobi wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:18 am
I’d say Cakewalk, as it has every feature in the books.
That on the other hand could be rather overwhelming for kids.
+1 from me for free version of Tracktion / Waveform, found it one of the most intuitive DAWs when I tried it, e.g. with its (mostly) single window approach, visual wiring etc.
I would go with Cakewalk also, for sure. I have Waveform, and I don't think it is "that" intuitive. And in terms of features, Cakewalk beats it any time. If you had problems installing Cakewalk, those problems have to be related with your computer/system, not with the software, which is pretty solid.
Fernando (FMR)

Izak Synthiemental
KVRian
613 posts since 4 Aug, 2010

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:34 am

I would recommend Cubase LE which you can get as magware or with some audio interfaces. Cubase has the advantage that it will teach the students best practices in music production, that can then be transferred to other DAWs. Cubase LE is quite powerful for a LE version. If you are in the EU or even in Germany, you could get it for example here for 18€ (pdf version): https://shop.heise.de/katalog/ct-musik-kreativ-2019

Another possible solution would be to get Ableton Live Lite or Live Intro. You can get it with many audio interfaces. Has all the features you need. Ableton Live Lite and Intro licenses are often sold cheaply, because many have multiple licenses that were bundled with various audio hardware. I think even I have some unused licenses. So, you could ask around in the forums whether someone might donate you their doublette license for your students.


This way you could teach music production on commonly used and popular DAWs that have a huge user base (forums, support, tutorials, tips etcetera). That will be more fun for the students and give them more motivation, since they essentially have access to the same tools that popular producers and artists use.
http://soundcloud.com/samaritageto

Proper Education Always Corrects Errors

LawrenceF
KVRAF
6102 posts since 4 Dec, 2004

Re: Free Host for some students

Post Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:47 am

sluggo wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:12 pm
... audio engineering.... free stipped down versions of a DAW ..
Studio One Prime is another free option for beginners. Students that don't have any money will likely not be recording more than 1-2 tracks at a time and audio engineering has little if nothing at all to do with having lots of third party virtual instruments.

But it won't work on a 32-bit OS.

https://shop.presonus.com/Studio-One-4-Prime

Ardour is also free-ish: https://ardour.org/

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