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Open Source Recording Software?

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by Boognish, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 31, 2011
    Is there any free open source recording software available that is any good? I'm looking to try to start recording some originals, so I don't forget them, and for backing tracks. I don't have mics or anything like that so some helpful advice on cheap tools I would need would be appreciated. It would also be helpful if the software had a manual or instructions, since I don't know squat about how to record.

  2. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    If you have a mac or an ipad, Garageband is perfect for basic recording. Will need an interface.
    Boognish likes this.

  3. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    Audacity is a fairly good free open-source tool for audio recording and editing. It has some multi-track capabilities too.
    Omar, Boognish and T Bone Slort like this.

  4. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    As mentioned, Audacity. Another is Ardour.
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  5. MetalPedal

    MetalPedal Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 22, 2016
    Auto-Wah, Canada
    I'm using Studio One 3, Free with a Presonus iOne or iTwo if you need to purchase a DI/interface anyway.
    Boognish likes this.

  6. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    There is a program called Reaper that I've been using for a few years and am happy with. It's not open source or free, but it's cheap :). You can download and try it for as long as you like before you pay. After a month or so a nag screen comes up asking you to cough up $60 or whatever it costs.

    They have a manual and an active forum.
    Ramon Malone and Boognish like this.

  7. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Reaper (Windows & Mac) has a full function no time limit demo, for Mac, Garageband is the way to go if you want simple.

    Reaper is a full fledged DAW, Garageband isnt, but is also much easier to jump into.

    You'll need an interface, such as a Focusrite Scarlett, or something similar. Other than that, you're good to go.
    Boognish likes this.

  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    . . Audacity, Hydrogen, Ardour, LMM, Guitarix, Tuxguitar, Midi systems, lots and lots of software, free and legal. The advantage of Audacity installed on UbuntuStudio is they include a couple hundred effects that are not in the typical Audacity install if you just load Audacity on your existing pc.

    Burn it to a DVD, install it to a usb, and you can boot your existing PC into it without wiping the hard disk; make saves to a flash drive or external HDD. Then take it out and go back to normal software you have. They have links on how to do that on the site.

    Alternatively, you dig out that older desktop you kicked to the garage or basement because Windows got slow with ads and viruses and do a complete fresh install from the Ubuntustudio live DVD/USB. Then you have a dedicated workstation that boots and runs fast.

    As for how to use the software, there are all the youtube videos to walk you through.

    Omar, Boognish and alainvey like this.

  9. Robins

    Robins Dr. von Loudster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 22, 2010
    Magix Samplitude Pro X Silver - you have to register your version but it is free. Limited to 4 tracks but you can add as many tracks as you like during recording.
    I love it.

    All the best,
    Groovey and Boognish like this.

  10. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 31, 2011
    I didn't realize there was that many out there! I think a buddy has an extra interface that I can use but won't I need a Mic?

    Just to make sure I've got this right: place the mic in front of the amp, the mic is connected by a mic cable to the interface, the interface is connected to the computer by some type of port i.e. USB?, and then click record and start jamming?

    I screwed around with Cakewalk (?) years ago and remember I couldn't figure it out. There was a BUS, and some other things....BUS just stands out in my mind right seemed like rocket science.

  11. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 5, 2015
    The EU
    I have used Audacity on multiple occasions - having a Line Out on your amp is gold.
    I had a budget PC once, Line In quality wasn't the mutts valuables exactly...
    When I put together my blue glowing big tower and got a good Line In jack as part of a good mainboard, it was all fine.

    Now, the only thing that's better on the Albums I bought on CD than on my recordings is the quality of the playing, not the quality of the recording.
    So hardware is key, I guess.

    Line In on your PC is blue. You can also use the headphone jack on the amp and connect it to your PC's mic input. Works fine for me, too.
    Omar likes this.

  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Mac or PC? Mac = Garageband. PC = Audacity.
    Omar likes this.

  13. Boognish

    Boognish Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 31, 2011

  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Start with Audacity to get a feel for working in the digital world.
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  15. apm1991

    apm1991 Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 14, 2017
    I use Tracktion it comes free if you buy any of there Berringher interfaces... they even have $20 ones.. Audacity is good for free, I'm really bad with DAW's and Tracktion has been the easiest for me

  16. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    Just so you are aware of options . . . I record my tracks on a Zoom H6, then drop those in Audacity as my mixing platform. Works great, and I don't have to be by the computer when recording.
    stratman in va likes this.

  17. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    I just realized that this is an old thread... oh well... here's my 2 cents worth anyway:


    I use both Reaper and Audacity.

    Reaper for major, multitrack recording and Audacity for quick and easy single track editing.

    My interface is a Zoom R24 but there are a lot simpler, cheaper interfaces to be had.

    As far as mics go, you can go with the tried and true Shure SM57 and SM58, but I also recommend a relatively good condenser mic as well. I currently use a super-old Shure 849 condenser, but I'm "sure" (pun) the newer versions are very good too.

    I also recommend getting a mic preamp. I have a couple ART Tube MP preamps and they are cheap and do a good basic job.

    But, at the very least (and assuming you have a modern PC that's fast enough), all you really need is the software, an interface and a decent mic to get started.

    Good Luck!

    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  18. Teddy Watkins

    Teddy Watkins Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2009
    Reaper is absolutely worth the $60.
    Thrup'ny Bit and AxemanVR like this.

  19. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    Yeah, Reaper is awesome... even without considering the price!

    I also made my token donation for Audacity since I find it to be a very useful tool as well...

    Omar and Bopocaster like this.

  20. Ravenmore

    Ravenmore Strat-O-Master

    Oct 9, 2017
    Cedar Park
    Doesn't Pro Tools have a free version now as well?
    fezz parka likes this.