Super noob question re PC GarageBand alternative

Discussion in 'PC' started by photonic, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. photonic

    photonic Newbie

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    Greetings. First post here. I am a guitarist and regularly hang out in our sister site. My teacher (via video) has suggested that I dip my toe in the water and start making some jamtracks in GarageBand which he feels is insanely easy and intuitive with a super simple interface. I really want to stick with the PC world and so am asking for advice as to what would be your recommendation for the easiest to understand, graphically simple first try PC software for beginning the journey of putting together some drum and bass tracks to start understanding rhythm and arrangements better. I am looking at really easy to start, but am computer savvy for advancing in the future to more sophisticated software if I want to continue with this (I suspect I will!)

    I also use a Surface Pro 4 computer which does have touch capabilities.

    What would you recommend to me?

    Thanks for any help. I wonder if this is my first step to a new obsession?
     
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  3. filtersweep

    filtersweep Platinum Record

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    it's old, but Acid Pro was the app that garageband was modelled on... It's owned by Magix now..
     
  4. junh1024

    junh1024 Platinum Record

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    Perhaps try something from the sonar family? Latest versions should have touch, should have a few included instruments. PC-only.

    or REAPER. While it is a bit more complex than GB, v5 adds a bit of touch support iirc. No included instruments (DL your own VSTis), but lots of included FX & cross-platorm.
     
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  5. kimikaze

    kimikaze Producer

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  6. Futurewine

    Futurewine Rock Star

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    Studio One has the most simplest interface but I recommend Cubase.
     
  7. photonic

    photonic Newbie

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    These comments have all been so helpful so far. I can see after examining these suggestions that perhaps there really is nothing quite as simplistic as GarageBand in the PC realm and thus maybe it would be better for me to start with a DAW that will last me if I advance further. Thus perhaps the suggestion of Reaper or its equivalent might be the best for me even if there is some initial pain in learning how to do things on it. At least this way I won't outgrow it and need to switch to something else.
     
  8. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Platinum Record

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    The closest for PC would be Magix Music Maker.

    For an all-out DAW, FL Studio for more features and options. And let's not forget Reason.
     
  9. mozee

    mozee Audiosexual

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    Live 9 Lite
    https://www.ableton.com/en/products/live-lite/
    It is drop dead simple to use, just use the loops.

    Doesn't cost anything, has plenty of material for you to make simple jam tracks with...

    You don't have to get any deeper than Garage Band with it unless you really want to... it is a gateway DAW same as Garage Band. There is only so much time in a day if you want to focus on playing, you probably want to start with the simplest, easiest thing you can.

    Do you spend time messing around with a DAW or just make some jam tracks in 10 mins and play along ... etc ...
     
  10. photonic

    photonic Newbie

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    Well THAT sounds incredibly sensible. Thanks for that reality check perspective. Nice. I think I am gonna like this place...:winker:
     
  11. Olaf

    Olaf Kapellmeister

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    For Windows there are basically two applications to "create" music without having all the recordings (i.e. tracks/loops) you need or much knowledge about music theory and production: Sequel from Steinberg (and definitely not Cubase) and the already mentioned Music Maker.
    But both give you very little flexibility if you need your own chord progressions etc. There's also BIB. It abstracts production skills and allows you to create your own backings with hundreds different styles, create or change chords and arrangements or even generate melodies and solos. Maybe that's what you're looking for.
     
  12. Olymoon

    Olymoon Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Staff Member

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    I agree with all comments here. But you have to know that if you go the BIB , which real name is Band-in-a-Box, you will not prepare yourself to use a real DAW in the future. As it is easily to foresee, one day you'll probably use a real DAW, so it would be better to use something that already goes in that direction. If you want a program that offer ready to use sounds Music Maker is probably a good choice.
    If you don't mind to install vsts , then I would recommend Reaper. I'm a guitarist and bassist too, and reaper offers a lot of useful and easy to access function for guitarists, not only to record, but to learn too.
    Another advantage of Reaper on other DAW is that it does not take exclusivity of your Audio-Interface, so you can watch YouTube, or speak with your professor online at he same time you're using it.
    Some other DAW are supposed to give you the choice, like Sonar, but at least in my case, I cant find a way to make it non exclusive.
     
  13. metaller

    metaller Platinum Record

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  14. Futurewine

    Futurewine Rock Star

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    I still want to convince you to get Cubase. It has Chord Assistant. Derp.
     
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  15. Olymoon

    Olymoon Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Staff Member

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    I just tried Music Maker to be able to give you a better answer, and maybe I would discover something useful for me, but that was an install, configure and at the time to create a track and select the input, here we go, open menu and so, then it took 100% control of the audio interface, with too few configuration options.
    The mixer is not resizable, and does not bring any basic equalization. In this case Reaper is much better.
    I thought it was a good program for beginners and I just found out that Samplitude is easier to use LOL. So this was uninstall immediately.

    BTW , the installer try to install a computer cleaner of some sort , so read the options when installing. Then it instals a CD burner on your behalf, that is not uninstalled when you uninstall Music Maker. Now I'm sure this is bad option.
     
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  16. kimikaze

    kimikaze Producer

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    Also one i forget is Air Ignite. Excellent for just scratching ideas, because with its limited functions and direct approach it limits your brain to be distracted by unimportant things, that doesn't matter when you just put ideas on "paper" . Which is so easily happen with normal full feature daw and you can spend hour before even start to play something useful. Then you can group and save those tracks as wav or midi and transfer it directly in your daw of choice for mixing and further enhancing.

     
  17. LuckySevens

    LuckySevens Platinum Record

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    Well... to accomplish the same simplicity, it would take Microsoft to include a DAW as powerful as Garageband with it's computers... but they have nothing comparable. BTW... as a DAW, you could complete a film score with Garageband not to mention simpler things like creating and releasing an entire musical album with the same quality as any other PRO DAW. It's that good. But I digress...

    While I disagree that Ableton LIVE (even the Lite version) is anything but simple to a beginner, it's probably going to be your best option, due to it's popularity and available resources. Not to mention the potential growth within the DAW itself... Windows doesn't have as many musical options as Apple/Mac does, which is why I switched to the Mac world and have never looked back... (currently own 3 Macs for my music studio and personal use and 3 PC's for the wife and children).

    Otherwise... I would (highly) suggest you find a nice MacBook Pro with 16GB memory and as much hard disk space as you can afford and begin right off with either Garageband or Logic. You won't regret it... I just bought a 2011 (great year) MacBook Pro with 16GB memory/1TB drive for $600 used. It sold new for $2500.00
     
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  18. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    I would suggest maybe n-track studio or yes - Acoustica Mixcraft. I see beginners using Reaper very successfully, too. :wink:

    A little off-topic note: PC "world" is not just Windows. PC "world" is also Linux, BSD, OSX... it can run every OS imaginable. That's why I cringe when someone tells me "I have a xxxx program for PC." "For PC? Really? What OS?" :wink: Similar goes for Macs. You can have a program for "Mac", but what OS? OS9? OS8? OSX, PowerPC?, Apple IIgs? ;) This is also why I like PC. Which means simply "Personal Computer". It is *very flexible*. :wink:
     
  19. photonic

    photonic Newbie

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    This thread has been so useful to me at getting me oriented. Thanks to all who have provided their thoughts! After looking at all of this I have realized that I need a two pronged attack. First I am going to very slowly start to explore Reaper just cuz I really do want to start to explore a DAW and what I can do. That will be a long term adventure.

    For the immediate goal of having a simple sketch pad for beats and chords (I didn't realize that actually GarageBand is really quite complex and sophisticated) I stumbled across, quite by accident, Songtrix Gold which lets you lay down some rhythms and chords with a few clicks. After all of this thread's discussion, I realize that that is really what I was looking for. It was mentioned on our site here: https://audiosex.pro/threads/songtrix.7159/

    I will also look into kimikaze's suggestion of Air Ignite.

    So, Reaper for serious exploration and the other simple sketch pads for quick down and dirty rhythm and chord arrangements literally as a sketch pad.

    Thanks SO MUCH!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
  20. suefreeman

    suefreeman Kapellmeister

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    Reaper is very cheap ( and the demo has no limitation except a splash screen for 5 sec.)
    And most of the companies offers a demo limited in features and time ( usually 30 days )
    GO AHEAD AND TRY THEM, that'll be the real test, you vs the software.
    We all have differents opinions based on our experiences and mostly our needs.
    Personnaly i use ABLETON Live, but i started with Reaper.
    There are things better in Ableton than Reaper
    There are things better in Reaper than Ableton also .
    Good Luck.
     
  21. jhnflwls

    jhnflwls Newbie

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    I don;t think you need to look for an alternative of garageband app. You can run this app on windows devices by using a virtual machine software VmWare
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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