Seeking an accessible digital audio work station for macOS

macOS and Mac Apps

Hello applevis user,,
I want to make a recording studio at my home. But the only computer device I have is macbook pro. I do not have an iMac, mac mini or mac pro. What macbook can work well? And what DAW applications can i use? Sorry if my english is bad. Because i use google translation. thanks.



Submitted by Mitchell on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I was wondering with ProTools, how pluguins were handled. I'm still a bit confused about if they'd be handled in the app, or if they weren't accessible plug-ins, I couldn't use them. Take SampleTank for IK multimedia. From opening their app, it is not accessible, but I am wondering if it would be as a plug-in. Thanks for your time.

Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It highly depends on what you need. Garageband comes with every Mac and has many sounds if you are into midi instruments and loops. I don't own ProTools, but I know it is very accessible with VoiceOver. I wouldn't ignore Logic especially if you are into midi instruments and loops, but need more than what Garageband can provide. Reaper is quite accessible, but not without installing some third party scripts which makes it even more accessible. It's also much less expensive than Protools and Logic. There's also Amadeus Pro which works very nicely for editing audio. All of these should run reasonably well on a fairly recent MacBook Pro, depending on the specifications of the computer and the tasks you wish to accomplish.

Submitted by Remy on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hi Chris, I'm not exactly professional, but I've been doing music creation and audio theatre sound design and mixing for several years now. I started on Sony Sound FOrge (boy what a mistake that was, trying to mix on a single-track editer), then audacity (better) and finally Reaper. I do love reaper - keeping in mind I'm on a PC and have some rudimentary vision to get past the inaccessible bits) but the thing about Reaper is it's almost ... too customizable. The learning curve is huge. That and the scripts I use with the PC seem to have been abandoned. I've been curious about Protools, even though I probably won't be able to afford it or a Mac any day soon. I was curious about its accessibility though. I understand from you and others that it works very well, but what about for things like automation envelopes I haven't run into a single DAW which handles automation accessibly.

Submitted by Jim Homme on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hi Chris,For the total beginner, at what point would you say that I would out-grow that version and be able to justify buying the full version? I'm a former pro musician, just getting back into 'getting my chops together wanting to lay down some tracks so as not to lose ideas for arrangements or compositions.

Submitted by dharmaputra on Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hello Chris, and a friend of the applevis forum. I want to introduce myself. My name is DharmaPutra. I come from Indonesia. I can not speak english, finally i use google translation. Once again forgive me if my question is hard to understand .. how to know macbook specification? I want to learn to make a song project, and learn to make midi. I want to be an aranger. But what should i do? And what proTules can be used? The software is very very expensive ...

Submitted by Matt D on Thursday, May 11, 2017

With all do respect to Chris's assertions regarding ProToolsWithSpeech tutorials. As one of the folks who worked to produce these tutorials, I would say that while it is in fact true that Pro Tools 12, has increased in accessibility 20 fold over previous versions, one thing we worked hard to do in our training was to not focus on limitations of previous versions and/or version specific methods for doing things. In other words these new features and fixes are in addition to the workflows we have established. We teach a workflow that has been extremely successful, and offers an emersion in to using PT with voiceover. Yes, there are some areas that you can approach differently, but overall, a vast majority of concepts are absolutely applicable. Also, even in those areas where things are different, sometimes knowing the older or different method for doing things allows for troubleshooting when things don't work as intended.
As far as keystrokes we teach not one of them that I can think of has been eliminated in PT 12.
We have considered updating the tutorials but in all honesty, when we considered the areas we would change, there is likely only a hand full of major things that we would want to focus on. With this in mind, considering the 3 months it took to produce 7 hours of training, and we both have full time jobs, as well as musical projects we work on the side, it has not been possible at this point.
Hope this helps.

Submitted by dharmaputra on Friday, May 12, 2017

If I buy proTules for a reasonably high price, then does the VST plugin have to be purchased separately?

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I highly recommend the following resources, since Reaper, though amazing and affordable is a bit of a beast to learn sometimes.

The Reaper User's guide: very easy to follow and it covers a whole lot about the DAW
ReaMix: A mixing guide for reaper users. I haven't really mastered it, but it's a fantastic resource when it comes to mixing.
The Reaper Blog videos on youtube and the site itself: lots of tutorials on how to do things.
Reaper Mania: a youtube channel dedicated to even more reaper tutorials. Even though it's a fantastic sight channel and even if you have no sight you should be able to follow most things, Kenny the guy running it uses a lot of mouse, and a lot of "like this" and "here" in his descriptions which might at times be hard to follow.

I use reaper exclusively, and though I'm no power user, I can get it to do what I want it to do most of the time. It's fantastic. At least it is on the PC.