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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

Hey guys, as of late, I've been able to track a lot of my guitar playing on Reaper. I'm still learning a lot about it, but I'd like to think I'm proficient with it. Here's some covers I've recorded with it:!/pages/Josh-Kruszyna/183164488397615?sk=app_178091127385

However, I want to move beyond simple covers, and I really wanna take music making more seriously. Now, I have a few questions regarding this:

-What do you guys recommend for VSTs for a program like Reaper or guitar rig? I would love to hear what you guys recommend for anything, whether it be reverb, distortion, anything. I just want something that is going to sound better than what I'm using right now (Freeamp, Dirthead, and a few other free ones are what I'm using at the moment). I'm happy with what I got, essentially, but I'd like to upgrade if at all possible.

-I'm definitely looking to get serious about music making. Thus, I'd love to get my hands on a program that can help me with that. Price isn't an issue, but I'd like to keep it under $500, if possible. I've heard a lot of good buzz about Fruity Loops, in that you can do a lot with it, and it's rather accessible for new users. Of course, I'd love to hear recommendations that you guys have. It'd also help if the program could mix competently as well. Just a really well-rounded program to complement my guitar recording is all I'm essentially looking for. I'd also appreciate it if I could be pointed in the right direction for a good place to get VSTs for this program as well.
That's it guys, I'd love to hear your input with this! I truly appreciate it!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 12:26 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

I think you are doing well! Personally, I would stay with reaper as long as you can, they just released version 4 as well! I've tried most all expensive DAWS, and see no real measurable gain with any of them! In fact, I like it more than most, especially ones that have a million windows to get to (hidden features) which reaper shows perfectly clearly in a well organized environment!

As far a VSTs go, Plugs I can't really go without are:
Isotope ozOne: a great mastering plug, I use it in combination with:
PSP Vintage warmer - which is a great compressor, great for individual tracks, it also has a brickwall limiter, and I always use it in mastering.
If you are using amp sims - start using Cab impulses, bypass the cabs in guitar rig/amplitube, and you can put these after the amp. I reccomend you get the "guitarhack guitar impulse" pack, and to use them, you can download an "impulse loader" like voxengo boogex, or KEfir, or you could even use REAPER's "reaVerb", and use it to load the file. This is the missing link to getting amp sims to sound great!
Also, A recommend both ampltube AND guitar rig, they both do different things very well, GR can't touch the clean tones in AT. etc. You can get amplitube custom shop free, i very much recommend that.

Also, It's important to have a good library of samples/VSTi, I recommend starting with the "titanic GM soundfont" it is general midi compliant, and sounds great. you will need a soundfont loader to use them, a good choice is "SFZ". and you use it like any other VSTi, it just reads the midi on a track, just like GM, channel 10 is percussion.

Also, check out out the "tweakheadz recording guide", great info for everything! Pick up a couple of craig anderton books if you would like, and check out the reaper forum, TONS of info there!!!

Well, I think I've cover everything.

oh btw - Voxengo SPAN is useful too, so you can get that, It doesn't "do" much, but its a solid spectrum analyzer.

Here is my soundclick, everything here uses the plugins I mentioned, and I'm using reaper.

Here are some books on reaper, every time I think I've figure everything out on it, I find something new!

Last edited by fwd0120; 08-05-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 04:54 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

I agree with most of what fwd0120 said.You should stick with Reaper,its a good solid program with realy good support.
First,there are some good free vst's you can get to cover alot of what you need,here's a few links.
Check out Red Wirez for speaker cab impulse responses(IRs),they cost $ but,they have a free pack.
Alot of the people at the Cakewalk forums swear by Waves plugins and/or Ozone.Waves has the PowerPack bundle that looks realy good.
If you like Guita Rig,you should check out some of Native Instruments' other stuff like,Kontakt.They have the free Kontakt Player that comes with a nice free factory selection of instruments.Native Instruments has a bunch of new stuff coming out the first of next month that looks realy good,I'm wanting Studio Drummer realy bad.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 04:59 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

A few weeks ago I started a thread with some links to good recording info,you might want check it out. Another site you might want to check out if you haven't already is
I hope this helps.

Last edited by StevenMikel; 08-09-2011 at 05:02 PM. Reason: additional info
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 10:48 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

i started to use reaper a few days ago i used to use audacity lol it sucks
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 10:17 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

These are the "cant live without" plugins I use and have got really good results with for what I do. Pretty common and easy to find but have given me the best results.
Izotope Ozone
Nick Crowe Labs
Guitar Rig 5
Oxford plugs
Altiverb 6

Everyone has their favs but these are mine. Equipment aside I would definitely recommend getting process sorted out as quickly as possible. Setting tempo/tempo map first, tracking drums then guitars then extras (keys, percusion etc) with vocals at the end. Its not a rule but that simple path will save many simple problems later. I have seen many people track guitars for example with no click track then try to beat match drums later. Nightmare. Just look around on youtube etc all this information is out there just do not be afraid to ask. Good luck.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 03:03 AM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

you can start gradually .. watch alot of youtube tutorials & demos.
2 important hints though : also must consider over 4GB of Ram which requires a Windows 64 bit. coz Plugins needs alot of power juice specially when you get excited & start layering tracks.
2. You'll need a Midi controller for VST instruments.

Im not suggesting you get everything ... just for you to get a Variety of ideas on what you can do & how... it's up to you on the WHEN part.
Disregarding a Budget,This maybe a lil bit more advanced ... but if you're serious about it you can create a pro rock/metal song using :
Cubase 5 & Audition 3 are my fav.
as for VSTs .. IK Multimedia's Amplitube 3- GTR 3 - Guitar Rig 5 & Over loud TH2 for guitars.
Acoustic is always Live ... Music lab's Real Guitar2 might be a quick alternative once you get to know it better, for like background acoustic with no technical or sound character importance.
for Bass I love Spectrasonics Trilian << sometimes it beats a Live one !
EZdrummer for drums.

Hope it helps you if not now in the near future... & best of Luck
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 03:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

Some of the Plugs I use daily..

Izotope Trash, Izotope Ozone 5, SugarBytes WOW, Melodyne, Ohmicide..
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:56 PM
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Re: Choosing a Music Making Program and VSTs

FXpansion makes some killer drum plugins. I have Guru, also NI Battery 2 but those two are more of a sampler useful for things beyond live emulation. My buddy swears by BFD, lots of control there assuming you don't have a live drummer but want people to think you do. If you're planning to incorporate any kind of synth like pads and moody atmospheres, you can't go wrong with the Native Instruments lineup. I use a ton of free stuff too, money's no deciding factor in production anymore when it comes to software, just comes down to how much control, features and updates you're looking for.

Never been a huge FL fan, too many windows hiding, convoluted GUI in my opinion. I chose Ableton Live for its tabbed GUI and simple effects chaining. Not the best for mixing though ( note I am still on v5 and it may be much better now). Sonar is another one to check out, they all have demos, make sure to try everything. Disclaimer .. I've been out of the sequencer/ plugin loop for years so I'm probably behind but hey there's something to work with.

Oh and amplitube is a must have. I'm close to trading my android in for an iPhone so I can have iRig on my phone and carry a pedal board in my pocket.

Last edited by axel_f; 05-02-2012 at 10:03 PM.
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