While I was taking an online course entitled Survey Of Music Technology, I downloaded an evaluation copy of the digital audio workstation called Reaper as part of the course. I used it during the course, and found it to be exceptionally versatile, especially combined with Georgia Tech's development engine known as Earsketch.
But after the class was over, and I was onto my old songwriting ways, I sort of forgot about Reaper, relying for my down-and-dirty demo recordings for ocenaudio and Garage Band.
But now I'm trying to record more sophisticated demos, and I decided I needed to step up my game a little, so I went ahead a bought a license for Reaper. Which is really cheap. Unless you are a professional studio, the license is only $60. That's the best creative bargain I've seen since Apple Motion.
And aside from being a great DAW, combined with Earsketch it's also an amazing tool for experimenting with algorithmic composition and the incorporation of normally non-musical sounds into my work. And listening to some of the assignments I did for the Music Tech class, I'm very much looking forward to getting back into that.
Just as a sample of what I'm talking about, here are two things I created while learning to use Reaper and Earsketch:
Not much like my usual songwriting, I know. But that's more or less the point: to break me out of old habits and shake up my creativity a little. Or a lot.
As an aside, I haven't recorded anything new in a long time—even the finished version of When the Kids Are Gone—because I've been sick with a very husky cough. It's not even that my voice sounds that bad; it's just that I can't get through more than a few lines without coughing.
But Spring is coming fast to New Hampshire, and I expect to shake the cough very soon. And then I'll be spending a lot of time in front of the microphone. And with my new DAW.