Freeware DAW...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Freeware DAW...

Post by popslut » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:29 pm

I was musing earlier about how many astonishingly good audio software products there are available as freeware for download on the internet these days.

Then, I got to wondering if it would be possible to assemble a DAW setup which is capable of professional results for no money.

To that end, I'd like your suggestions for freeware audio software which I could gather together and make a record to disprove [or possibly prove] the notion that having all the latest gear makes for better records.

I'd need a sequencer/DAW, some synths/samplers and some fx - EQ, Compressors, 'verbs, etc.

It must be freeware - not shareware or crippleware or time-limited demos and certainly not cracked commercial software.

I'll be doing my own research too and I'll be searching KVR and other places but I'll bet some of you know of some absolute gems that you could point me to as well.

Thanks in advance.

P.s. - I'm PC based.

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Post by babkubwa » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:54 pm

I'm very interested in this too.

I'm an almost annual traveler to tanzania, where I'm usually recording swahili rappers and try to involve people in the beat production as much as possible. Almost teaching - but in a very informal, get the job done type of situation

When I come across groups with access too a computer - old or new, would be very cool to leave a working setup behind without the issues of "try before you buy". Buying a copy of ableton in tanzania is about half a years rent! not likely!

I was looking at this OLCP project too ( one laptop per child ). billed as a $100 dollar laptop that can be distributed to schools/kids in developing countries. Seems to come installed with linux and some very basic music software. I'd be really interested in seeing how far you could take them.

When you look back at the electronic music of 15 - 20 years ago... so fresh even now, - I often feel there might be something in that theory of limitation being conducive to creativity.

I need to check my book marks and get back to you about any cool freeware I've come across - was a few months ago since I was looking

Excuse me if I'm rambling - Just got home and having a beer after 6 uni lectures and 3 night shifts in 4 days!
Last edited by babkubwa on Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by babkubwa » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:55 pm

a link to the OLCP project

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Post by popslut » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:02 pm

babkubwa wrote:
Excuse me if I'm rambling...
Not at all - good tangent. I'd love to get hold of one of those $100 laptops and see what could be done with it.

For the purposes of this experiment, however, I shall be using a Intel Q6600 quad core with 4gb of RAM and a terrabyte of HD.


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Post by Homebelly » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:39 pm

For a sequencer you could check out Reaper
For a sampler you could check out
For a synth people seem to put a lot of stock in to synth 1 ... ynth1.html
there are also loads of free plugs, but i'm not that up on those,,

I'm not sure there is any thing that is actually free,,, i think the best you'll get is donation wear,,,

If you really want to test the boundaries of "Free" you should take a look down the open source route. Ardure is about to get a big update and will include MIDI, and there are a couple of VST to LADSPA wrappers that seem to work,, there was also an "Unofficial" Ardure that has been compiled to run VST's natively,, but i haven't checked that for a long time and the link i have is no good,,,
Rose garden is also getting better,, and there is another suite that runs on Linux that i can't recall the name of right now,,
15" 2.4 MBP/Live/Sampler/Operator/ Home made Dumble clone/Two Strats/One Jazz Bass.
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Post by len9 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 8:48 pm

Kjaerhus Audio's Classic Series of plugins is free quite useful in a utility sort of way.
They have a good part of the basics covered!

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Post by Precision » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:14 pm

Nice idea :D

The "Computer Music" DVD that comes with the magazine has a suite of freeware apps - though I've never used the sequencer, it might be worth investigating :)

Gotta love crystal too.
Tone Deft wrote: it's hard to code Python when you're knocked up on morphine with your dick in a sling.

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Post by C.S. » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:53 pm Looks like it might work as a freeware DAW for you. has a lot of free utility effects nice freeware synth

good luck

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Post by sweetjesus » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:14 pm

this one is a little gem ;-)

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Post by popslut » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:40 pm

Bloody brilliant. Thanks everyone.

Keep em coming - looks like I've got some testing to do.

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Post by pamplemousse_mk2 » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:48 am


do you know about Ardour?

It comes from Linux world, but a Mac Os X version is available. I don't know about Windows.

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Post by ava » Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:03 am

Personally, you would be better off with a comercial daw, has exta features which help you reduce time to market, time is MONEY!

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Post by Angstrom » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:51 pm

for a 'posh' reverb, the good old SIR , Impulse reverb.
bit of a nasty latency (of 8960 samples) for PDC to choke on, but hell it's a lot cheaper than Altiverb.

load up those Lexicon/tc impulses and listen to the loveliness.

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Post by Bunky Freaks » Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:22 pm

i like that approach, great idea!

Here is list of developers who offer tools for basic processing which are up to par or even surpase the quality of some commercial products:

Good luck :)

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Post by Atomikat » Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:06 pm

babkubwa wrote:Buying a copy of ableton in tanzania is about half a years rent! not likely!
What? no cracked software in Tanzania? it's everywhere... 8O

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