View Full Version : What software to buy?

03-21-2014, 02:08 AM
I am soon going to be purchasing a new computer and I need suggestions on video/music software. Although I know it is better for music and video, I can't afford a Mac at this time. So I will be getting a Windows 7 machine (I HATE Windows 8).

What software should I purchase for video creation and editing?

I see a lot of very stylish videos being done by you guys. Many are multi-tracked, which I like because I play several instruments besides uke. I'm also impressed by videos where you intercut between you playing the different instruments. Can I do any of this on a Windows machine?

Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Doug W
03-22-2014, 07:24 PM
I don't know that much about video software but you might want to start fooling around with Windows Movie Maker. It is free and probably will already be installed on the computer, if not you can download free from Microsoft.

If nothing else it will give you an idea of what features you might want to look for in a paid version.

03-23-2014, 02:29 AM
I use Nero Video, part of the Nero Suite. Although it is sometimes frustrating (an occasional synch problem), it gets the job done and allows you to intercut between different videos. I've used up to 4 streams before. I also like the fact that I can use a USB interface for multiple live audio inputs, but the may be available with other tools too.

t's $40 and you can get a free trial.

04-03-2014, 06:26 AM
Have you considered a Linux machine? You can squeeze a ton of horsepower out of your hardware using Linux. Slight learning curve, much smaller nowadays, and well worth the effort for the benefits.

There are a ton of open source video and audio production packages which rival most <$300 commercial packages.

Also, most audio packages are Jack compatible which allows you to route a large amount of audio devices, both physical and virtual.


There are also many different Linux distributions that are pre-configured for audio/video production such as AVLinux (http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html) or UbuntuStudio (http://ubuntustudio.org/)

04-16-2014, 11:18 AM
Don't worry about Mac or Windows these days. Both are equally capable (Windows may even now have an edge). Use what you can afford and are comfortable with. For a beginner, you may want to look at one of the Sony Creative Software offerings.

Here's a link. http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/homestudio

Hope this helps,

05-05-2014, 02:02 PM
You might want to check out the Adobe Photoshop elements/premire elements bundles, if you buy last years version you can usually get them pretty inexpensively, but try the free stuff first :)

05-05-2014, 02:23 PM
PC, Mac, Linux, it doesn't really matter much any more. They all have their pros and cons. It all comes down to what you can afford to spend. And as a few people have stated, there are plenty of software options from freeware to full box purchases at your local Best Buy or whatever is in your area. They can usually do something similar to what you are looking for.

One other thing to think about if you are planning on doing videos of you playing instruments, and that is the quality of your video camera, and more importantly your microphone. I am not an expert at A/V but I've seen my share of videos that looked impressive, but you couldn't hear much of anything and vice versa. A good external microphone on your camcorder makes a lot of difference in the audio quality over the one that is built in.

05-07-2014, 10:42 AM
The custom Ubuntu distro looks cool. I'm going to give that a try at some point. The DAW looks interesting!

I've done about 68 videos so far and some of them with 4 to 6 tracks on them. I started with a basic entry level version of Magix Movie edit mx and it's met all my needs so far. I like it particularly because the track editor is easy to work with, it has decent audio mixing capability and some basic compression, reverb and eq features that enhance things without being too complicated. It is a well thought out editor with tons of features and very stable at a low price point. I would give it a try. They have a free trial option.

As an example, I record video and audio separately and then sync them up. I don't want my camera audio. With Magix you simply drag and drop the video file into the editor. It puts the video on one track and the audio on a track 2. Then I drag my mic audio file onto track 3. Line up the wave forms to sync. Mute the camera audio. Play the video to confirm it's synced. Delete track 2 and group the video and audio together. It takes less than 1 minute to do that, works slick!

07-23-2014, 11:54 AM
I use Linux Mint. It's a GP Linux distro rather than a specialist AV one but I don't record directly on to the computer. I have two multitrack recorders; A Boss BR800 which is an "8 track" but in practice 4 mono and two stereo tracks and a Tascam DP006 which is a two mono plus two stereo track recorder. You can record and mix on these then export the mix to the computer for finishing off. I use Audacity to tidy up the resulting mix. With the Tascam, I often just export the tracks as I use it for simple acoustic recordings. The BR800 is much more sophisticated and has a wide range of effects available so I always mix in the recorder when using the Boss as I've usually added effects to the recording.

I video separately and use a program called "avconv" to extract the audio from the video and use that to line up the separately recorded audio in much the same way as libranian describes. I add silence to the beginning and end of the audio track (I always start the video first and stop it last) so the audio track is exactly the same length as the video. That makes it easy to ensure the audio and video are in sync in my video editor which is called Open Shot. Unfortunately it does not display the waveform in the track which is why I extract the audio and line it up in Audacity rather than in the video editor.

Just one thing. Don't use mp3 at any intermediate stage as the compression degrades the data. When you export from a separate audio editor always use a lossless format such as Wav or Flac. Your audio data will get compressed when you finally export your finished video from the video editor and compressed even more when you upload to You Tube. Compressing an already compressed audio file can result in poor quality audio on your video.

07-24-2014, 05:19 AM
Reaper is 60 bucks and can record and edit audio and video, and is very well reviewed.http://www.reaper.fm/about.php

05-31-2015, 10:12 PM
PC, Mac, Linux, it doesn't really matter much any more. They all have their pros and cons.

I realize this a somewhat older thread. But I certainly don't agree with the above quote.

Differences between Windows, Mac and Linux do still matter, IMHO. To this very day. Financially as well as in terms of security & reliability.

Purchasing a Mac OS will definitely create a much greater dent in pecuniary resources than a Windows 7 or 8 machine. Linux distributions, on the other hand, are downloadable for free.

And as to security & reliability: if I had stuck to Windows, I might have been struggling for another decade - still trying to get my home studio off the ground. For one problem sorted used to be "compensated" with up to three fresh ones in place - with maddening consistency! Not to mention Windows' vulnerability to viruses/bugs,Trojan horses and a great deal more of suchlike miseries. No wonder then that all this drove me near-bananas, shortly before totally giving up on MS.

I have no personal experience with Mac OS, I confess. But a usually hefty price tag seems a valid enough reason not to buy. As well as the fact that Mac isn't compatible with any other operational system. Which, might well pan out as considerable flaw, too, in daily practice.

Whatever the ultimate decision made, I foresee that factors as mentioned above will not disappear as yet, in determining what's "best" in each individual case.


02-22-2016, 10:43 AM
Anyone who has experience with Lightworks?

I am tired by the limitations of moviemaker, and wondered if I should try it out.

Compared to MovieMaker this is what I am missing:
When I have aligned my audio and video track, I want the ability to fade the video into a photograph and fade back without cutting my video track into pieces and aligning them to the audio individually.
If I should experiment with multitracking, I would also like to be able to fade or cut back and forth between e.g. the uke and guitar video track, with a mixed down audio track that I recorded separately.

02-27-2016, 10:29 AM
I use Adobe Premiere and also Serif Movie Plus X5 (really like it). For audio, including my newly released album, I use Mixcraft.