The question may be a bit weird. My friend has a classical piano training and would like to play and record some songs with a pc/laptop, sometimes electronic, sometimes traditional music. I advised her to look for a midi keyboard like Novation. But then the question came - which software to recommend her? Should be something simple, effective and contain workstation like general-purpose timbres. It’s not about virtual analog or modular stuff
On Macs there are Garageband and Logic. What can be suggested for the Windows? Korg Gadget is a mixed bag and it’s not a standalone app on Win. Kontakt too bulky and requires a DAW (even I don’t like it’s interface). Ableton-Lite is oriented towards sound-design and EDM-something… What people use nowadays instead of workstations and “keyboards”?
FWIW, someone who has played extensively on a piano will probably have a much better time with an 88-key hammer action electric piano that has MIDI. Synth action controller keyboards can be pretty good, but $1k will get you a very nice Yamaha or Casio e-piano with good piano sounds and a great keybed. If the budget is in the $2k range, Kawais and the Korg G1 Air are in range.
You can get the presets with a Roland Cloud subscription or NI’s Komplete or various other sample libraries. Arturia has some stuff like that too.
To some extent, whichever DAW someone picks doesn’t matter. You have to take the time to learn it. But Ableton is easier than DAWs like Logic (I use both), and geared towards the live performer. It’s way more immediate, intuitive, and fun.
For us nerds, things like Bitwig and Reason have their attractions, but for your friend, it sounds like they don’t need to get esoteric.
Plus it’s a total industry standard, and they can easily get help.
Just show them Ableton’s retrospective MIDI capture and they will be hooked
Top of the line MacBook Pro with maxed out RAM. An 88 keys weighted Komplete controller with the full version of Komplete.
BitWig, a dozen or so top VST’s, and some Mastering suites.
And outboard compressor, and don’t cut corners. Buy once I always say. A Nord Lead 76 key, plus a Moog Matriarch for those sweet mono and duophonic tones we all love.
An SSL mixer because, again, the sound, right? An OctaTrack for live looping and mixing, a Pro 5 to add character, Analog4 for the cool sequencing capabilities, a RYTM because we all know how awesome that is.
Add in the Syntakt, Digitone for FM, and a few choice pedals from Strymon, Chase Bliss, and Behringer. Definitely get a Microcosm.
Studio monitors you have a few choices, best to refer to the studio monitor thread. I’d also suggest 2x 4k monitors so you can have the timeline on one, and VST windows on another simultaneously.
Better grab some nice headphones for late night jamming and critical sound design work.
A full compliment of sound treatment, bass traps, and don’t forget the cloud overhead and thick Persian rug to tame the reflections.
… or maybe a nice midi keyboard with free Ableton as suggested. Either way and you would be up and running.