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Recording guitars for next to nothing or how to find a DAW for peanuts

Reaper DAW screen shot  ·  Source:

Recording guitars for next to nothing or how to find a DAW for peanuts

PreSonus Studio One Prime screen shot  ·  Source:

Okay, so you need to find a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that you can use to multi-track your guitars, bass, vocals, drums and so record your whole track with. Now of course you can get Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase; however, these all cost money and we are working to a budget here. So I would suggest that you broaden your horizons and start looking at some of the other DAWs out there with include some which are a fraction of the cost of the big names and in a few cases completely free!

My recommendation if you have a small budget would be Reaper. It’s multi-platform, so will work on Mac and PC and it’s open-ended. What I mean by this is it supports just about every plug-in standard, so we can add to it and therefore customise it with our own amps and effects. A Reaper licence for non-commercial use is $60 and you get a whole lot of power for that money. It’s been around for years and has a huge user community that support it, with video tuition on places like YouTube and also on the main Reaper site itself. You can even download a free trial version from and so get a feel for the program before you commit.

However, if you have zero funds then I would recommend PreSonus Studio One Prime which you can download from here It is a fully functional DAW and again you can plug in your own effects and amp simulations into it. It is also available for Mac and PC.

So as you can see we have a few DAWs that we can use for little to no money. There are more than this, however these are the two that I have used on professional recordings and with great results. The reason I like both of them is that they have been around for a while, they have great user communities and you can find video lessons on both easily for free.

Next Sunday I am going to show you some amp modelling on a budget to go with your new DAWs. So have a play with these two and we can move on to the fun stuff next time.

by Jef

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