Software Use Poll

Which is the best and why.

Ok, guys (and gals?). If you read my last thread, I’m very newbie-ish to this home studio recording and am trying to evaluate the correct software to purchase.

Can you give me a hand? :p

In your reply, if you so choose to accept this mission, could you also tell me a little about your use/studio? Are you professional? Amature? home recording? Are you also a musician? (duh)

anything additional information you can give me will help me out!



I’m a relative novice at the computer studio application I’m more familiar with digital recorders(Zoom,Boss etc…)

I purchased a new puter decided to give this a go. I researched and found the prices of the tried, true and tested apps were way to expensive. I came across several reviews of nTracks that gave the program a thumbs up, the price was great so it was a low risk investment. I ordered it and was skepticle at first but became totally impressed. It is so easy to use. I was recording within 5 minutes. Withing a couple of days I had the bulk of this thing mastered. All VST plugins I’ve downloaded off of KVR work with nTracks. The bTrack VST’s bundled with the program are very good too. Had some difficulties with Guitar Rig 2.0 but have managed to get this to work by routing to a group channel.

I’ve downloaded other apps. as trial versions but these programs were not very user friendly and to be totally honest nTrack visually looked more appealing. It’s a sexy program…it looks great…I know how to use it.

I’m using a Presonus Firebox (24bit) firewire sioundcard. I have 2.2gig athelon cpu and 1 gig of ram. My instruments include a Yamaha APX6a(acoustic-electric) and a real cheap midi keboard capable of incredibly cheesie polka backup. I have a Zoom MRS 8 digital recorder chained into the setup. Programs I have succesfully hosted with nTrack include NI Guitar Rig 2.0, FL Studio 5 (as a rewire device), various softsynths, and effects.

I’ve tried other apps, mostly - but not exclusively - demos, and I’m sticking with n-Track for now because of the cost/functionality ratio. Truth is, I would love to get into a Pro Tools Digi 002 system. But a shoratage of disposable income and a lack of and urgent pressing need keep me happily sticking with n-Track.

While it does have a few shortcomings, n-Track does almost all of what I need in a multitracking package, does it well and at a rediculously low price, compared to it’s competitors. Flavio (n-Track’s developer) Is constantly tweaking, improving and adding features. I should point out that when the time does eventually come for me to step up, I am not considering Sonar, Cubase or Nuendo etc. I’ll be going straigt to Pro Tools.

My current setup includes a P4 2gHz with an M-Audio Audiophile2496 card. Samples of my music recorded with n-Track can be heard on My Web Page

I’ve bought many different multi-track programs. Many were too complex to easily use. Some were too buggy. Some were too expensive considering their bugginess.



Works for me…


I have full access to a Pro Tools Digi 002 system. It is constantly crashing and a computer resource hog. I guess if you are going to be dragging your tunes to large studios for mastering, then Pro Tools is the way to go. But the system I have used seems buggy and expensive. I prefer using an ESI WamiRack 192 and N-Track. Always works and never crashes on me.

Your poll is a bit limiting- I have two other apps I use, and like them both.
I bought n-Track two years after my first look at it. Got 4.1, and it’s a good prog. There are some issues I have with it, but my situation might dictate some of that:

I have a pretty high-maintenance home-life, and don’t get a lot of time (none) to sit for very long periods dealing with the few workaround situations n-Track presents to me.

I like to arrange my tunes in a time-line situation, and n-Track is not as good as that, I find, as Cool Edit Pro 2. It’s also not really much of an editor- you need Goldwave, Audacity, or something like CEP…

CEP, though, is not as good for me for mixing. The signal-flow is all there, visible, in n-Track, and the built-in VST fx are really good. Even the reverb, which is a sticking point generally in software apps, is effective and believable.

I’m also using Sonar HS 4. I’ve had some experience with Sonar 3.1 (discussion of this on the “OEM” thread!), and went and got HS 4. I looked at the box for two weeks before I opened it, as I’d invested a lot of time in n-… but I find Sonar doing well for me right now. But as I alluded, I’m not spending too much time in my “studio” just these days, and Sonar is, for me, much more of a no-brainer. It’s ready-made in some ways n-Track isn’t.

Better? Don’t know. But you can track, write/play MIDI, mix, and burn in n-Track at 24-bit for $75.00.

Thanks for the insites so far. Yes, Sloom, you’re right, I didn’t think about someone using and liking other programs as well for different types of applications.

I think you’ll find most people use at least two. That might not include an editor app, as well. Hey, good luck!

I use nTrack primarily for software recording and editing mainly because has the capablity to have lots of tracks recorded and playback.
Seems to accept most Vsts and vsti’s I throw at it.

At the present moment I record everything to a Fostex DMT8 and then transfer each track to N track to mix down, add effects etc.

I use Goldwave to edit the files.

My only real issue with N track is some songs have trouble mixing down to a stereo file, but I have worked around that and it doesn’t like some windows audio drivers.

I recently bought cakewalk Music Creator 3, too see whether or not I would also use Sonar. One day!

I mainly use MC3 for its midi notation and the support for hardware instrument files, so synths etc are easy to set up and playback sounds.

Yep, the poll’s a bit leading – I like n-Track, but I wouldn’t say it’s perfect.

The only other platform I’ve used for any real work is ProTools LE with an 002. It’s a very smooth-to-use application with lots of little things that n-Track doesn’t have (edit/mix groups anybody?); but then it’s version 6 and it’s running on a new Mac G5 :) so it had better be pretty stable and powerful! And it is; but it costs an arm and a leg for all of that, and I can pretty much only use it now and then since it’s down at school where lots of people use it.

On the other hand, I can make perfectly good recordings at home on my really slow computer, using the sound card that came with it, for only $45, by using n-Track. I should probably start giving Flavio credit for the stuff I do with n-Track :wink:


I have only been home recording for about a year. Considering all there is to know, I consider myself still a newbie. I can do most of the functions but not that well. I have two guitars (electric & acoustic), a Boss drum machine, Yamaha keyboard to creat MIDI tracks, FX pedal, cheap mic and 8 channel Peavey mixer. I use Goldwave as an editor, dbPowerAmp as a converter. My current sample (me learning MIDI) is here:

Combo Rockers.

When I was a total newbie, I tried some demos but found myself pretty much confused. I stumbled across NTrack and tried its demo and found it comparable to others in its functionality, user ‘friendliness’ and superior in its bargain price. So, that is the direction I went. My son uses Pro Tools in school and at home. His work is not discernable from mine even though his system is in the hundreds of dollars range. But, we are both relative newbies and the final mix and mastering, which is what its all about, is more a product of the person doing the master mix than of the software used.


I started off with Cakewalk version 4, I think. Also got Logic back when it was pc as well, n-Track version 1 and a few others over the years. Currently I track with an Alesis HD24 dedicated hard disk 24 track recorder. I mix with Samplitude and edit with Adobe Audition, formerly Cool Edit Pro. Its all good stuff, and if you learn a particular software you should be able to get good sounds.

Thanks again for the input, fellas!

Hey, Tom Hicks - I’m in Ft. Worth, too!

7. I’ve only used trial downloadable versions of other software, but decided n-track was the only one worth my money because…

It’s what I started with and I’m used to it. I’d rather spend my time writing and recording music than learning new software.

There might just come a time though, when I get into MIDI in a more serious way, that N-Track’s limitations in that area might be reason to look elsewhere.

– I use dbPowerAmp as a converter and audacity for an occasional wav edit

I initially purchased N-tracks as a way of getting started in multi-track recording, fully expecting to move on to another program once I was more familiar with the limitations of N-tracks and multi-track in general. I have not found much that I would like to do that I cannot do easily in N-tracks and have seen no reason to move on to another program. I think I’ve been using it for more than 5 years (I should check. At my age the years fly by and the work days seem to last forever).

Now I don’t do MIDI and I am not including things that are normally done in plug-ins (like auto-tune). Some programs (such as Cool Edit) come with useful plug-ins that N-tracks does not have (particularly noise-reduction) but for the most part I find it hard to justify the additional cost. I have tried several other programs and find them significantly less intuitive and no better for the type of work I do. I have Cool Edit (I guess it is called Audition now) at work and will occassionally bring in a file to do some noise-reduction on but it can be frustratingly non-intuitive to use as a multi-track program. Probably just fine once you get used to it but considerably more expensive.

That said, I’ve seen enough that I would probably look at a different or additional program if I did much MIDI. Cubase and Sonar/Cakewalk started out as MIDI programs and have a more evolved feature set for those functions. I am still on 3.3 so that may have changed but I would bet that MIDI is still better done elsewhere.

I haven’t checked on Pro-Tools lately but the last time I did, the file structure for the low-end products was incompatible with the full-on versions so any advantage in transferring files was lost.

If I were running a commercial studio, it would probably be essential to have Pro-Tools simply because the clients would expect it. The high-end Pro-Tools systems also have dedicated hardware which is part of their advantage for full-pro activities.


jimbob, after all these years you gotta start calling it NTrack not NTracks

OH NO! It’s n-tracks, as n-track studio.

At least we don’t have to deal with things like the road near where I like. It’s named West Lake Sammamish Parkway North East, officially. And of course it runs the full length of the west border of the lake, including the southern end, so there is stretch of road that is W Lk Samm NE South (unofficially or course - don’t want it to be too confusing you know).