Free DAW Software That Does Not Suck
Sometimes I just need to get a song idea out of my head and do not feel the need to set up my Tascam US800 computer audio interface and fire up my Sonar X1 recording program. And to use Sonar X1 without the Tascam interface, I would have to change some settings. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s still more trouble than I want to go through just to record some new ideas quickly. So what have I been using? Well, I have been using free recording software called Audacity.
It is super simple to use and totally adequate as a note pad for my musical ideas. And like I said, it is a free recording program! I first began using it for streaming-audio recording, as I did not like the quality I was getting from Freecorder. So Audacity was the first free recording software I encountered, and it has served my needs well for both streaming-audio recording and for quickly recording new song ideas, so I do not forget them.
So after a while of using Audacity, I decided to see what else is out there. The question: “What is the best free DAW software for recording and mixing multiple tracks?” I wanted to see the extent of capabilities I could get from free DAW software. What I found is a recording program called Zynewave Podium Free. I downloaded it, installed it, and gave it a go. These are my findings!
I am astounded by what this free DAW software has to offer. It is a fully functioning multi-track recorder. It is great for documenting scratch tracks of song ideas or for recording an entire band. It comes available in 32-bit or 64-bit and contains more features and editing capabilities than most people will even need. This includes time-stretching and quantize. The latest version also includes support for the jBridge VST plugin wrapper. Many of the reviews I have read about the Podium Free DAW software claims it is a bit difficult to learn. I did not have this problem at all. Maybe it is because I do have a bit of experience with DAW’s. I do not know for sure. But I did not find it that difficult to use. But with any free DAW, there are some cons. Here are the few limitations.
1. The midi interface in Podium Free limits itself to just one input and one output. This is not an issue for me, I never use midi inputs anymore. So one is plenty.
2. There is no multiprocessing available for plugins. If you have a dual core processor, only one core will be used to process your plugins. Simply put, your CPU will overload more quickly. So if you’re plugin-crazy like me, this could be a problem. It could also be a good opportunity to back off the plugins a bit and see where that takes you. Remember, over-production is often worse than under-production.
3. ReWire is not enabled. If you’re not sure what this means, then you are definitely good to go.
4. Surround-sound playback is not enabled. I have never even thought about using surround-sound playback for audio recording, so there!
But if these limitations annoy you, there is still good news. The full version of Podium is available for just $50. So with all the features of this recording program, it still remains a great bargain. Give the Podium Free DAW software a go. I will update this as I get deeper into exploring Zynewave Podium Free.