Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Any Tracktion 4 Users Out There?

I just found out about Tracktion 4.

Tracktion 4 is another DAW. It is one of the many digital audio workstations that are out there. So why mention it here? Didn't I recently talk about my love for FL Studio? Sure. It doesn't hurt to look around, does it?

I found out about Tracktion 4 while looking at Behringer's website. I noticed that some of their products included a DAW. Behringer chose Tracktion 4. I was curious. Of course I hopped over to the Tracktion 4 website. I search sites fast, and quickly noticed that Tracktion 4 is inexpensive (I hate to use cheap). The price of $59.99 seems pretty low compared to numerous other DAW's available. For instance, FL Studio Producer Edition is $199.00, and Pro tools 11 is $699.00. I am a basement creator/producer, so my budget is very limited. $59.00 is tempting.

I headed straight for the Videos area. The SWA COMPLETE TRACKTION TUTORIALS area in particular was very enlightening. Within minutes of watching the excellent videos, I became very impressed with Tracktion 4. It all looked so user-friendly, bright (Damn but FL Studio is dark), and packed with great features. I became aware rather quickly that Tracktion 4 is not a toy. It seems to be a working marriage between software that is laid out smartly, making it easy to use, and software that is very capable of great music. Much of it just seems to make sense.

Tracktion 4 is quite different from FL Studio. The layout is all there, right in front of you. Users don't have to jump between modes. In fact it appears that much, if not all of Tracktion 4 can be used with a single monitor. I know I can use a single monitor with FL Studio, but two monitors is far better when something such as the size of the Playlist is considered.

One of the first positive features was the Settings tab. It just seems right. It is a logical arrangement of feature controls cleverly disguised as an easy interface. While viewing most of the videos, I was surprised at just how powerful Tracktion 4 appears. The Edit screen, Mixer, and Automation, among others, are a offering a new approach to music creation that is very appealing to me. I couldn't help but frequently find my self thinking how this would just how smart it all seems. Much of the way Tracktion 4 assists a user in creating songs is very different from what I am used to, but is just makes sense. I recommend you check out the videos, as it is very apparent that I can't accurately describe all the great elements of Tracktion 4.

I couldn't wait to try it. I downloaded their demo. The Tracktion 4 demo is free to use without a time restriction. As they put it, "Unlike most audio program demos that “time out” after 30 days, ours last indefinitely, with the only demo restriction being a small burst of “white noise” overlaid on your song’s audio every few seconds. This approach lets you take as long as you need to evaluate Tracktion.".

I had only a short time to check the demo out, but am happy with it so far. I checked out the Settings tab for myself, and was pleased to find that I could configure my audio devices quickly, but was more impressed to find how easy it was to create aliases for them. I have numerous inputs and outputs, so I find this very helpful, especially when some of the devices have rather archaic names. In addition, setting a colour schemee was very easy. I love it. One of my pet peeves of some DAW software is that they look so dark, especially FL Studio. I know I can adjust FL Studio's look a bit, and even find some skins, but frankly, they suck. I had Tracktion 4 looking bright and beautiful in seconds. There were a number of schemes to choose from, and users can even share their own custom schemes. Very cool indeed.

Admittedly, this isn't an in-depth review. I need to venture further and try Tracktion 4 out a lot more. I can't wait to continue. So ...    see you later. I am off to make some noise.

As always, spelling and grammar are for wizards. Please excuse errors.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Simply Love FL Studio

After a few years of using FL Studio, I have come to the conclusion that it is the best digital audio workstation (DAW) for me.

I am still a beginner with this wonderful software, and as a result my music is basic, unpolished, and not ready for human consumption. The thing is, I don't care. I can't stop creating tracks. It's like therapy. I get into it, and hours pass. It seems that every time I use it I just feel better. I get lost in it.

FL Studio is feature packed. there are so many great features to use, far more than I can take advantage of. I am continually finding new things to make my tracks better, and easier to create. I guess that until recently, I never really gave it much thought, but I have used Fl Studio for a long time. It was called Fruity Loops back when I first tried it. I never did like that name, as it made the software sound immature and unprofessional, which it isn't.

Are there better alternatives? Sure. I don't care.

There are a shitload of videos out there that offer tutorials and guidance on how to use Fl Studio. As a beginner I found that many people offered videos aimed at those that are just starting. Searching for just FL Studio in Youtube resulted in over 1.5 million results.

If you are curious to try it, go to Image Line and grab the demo. It has everything.