If you’re a violin player, or if you’re learning how to play the violin, you might feel a little discriminated against when it comes to your digital audio recording choices. Your guitar-playing and ivory-tickling counterparts have plenty of DAW love, everything from rudimentary music recording software all the way to a professional-quality sound studio for home use.
But don’t fret – even though the marketing photos for home music recording products don’t ever really feature a violin player up on stage, you can get just as much mileage out of the same set of home studio software. We’ve compared Pro Tools HD and Apple Logic in a previous post, and that’s where we’ll start for your violin applications.
Violin recording software review – Logic and Pro Tools
As we talked about previously, Pro Tools and Apple’s Logic are amazing home recording software tools. Here’s what I like best about them.
Recording violin with Pro Tools
Just like all things Pro Tools, quality is the name of the game. If you are one of those rare violin players who uses an electric violin (I think those are way cool, by the way!), you can’t go wrong with Pro Tools’ extensive line of guitar effects, preamps, and amp modelers. Pro Tools grew up around guitar processing, and the same industry-topping quality available for electric guitar processing is available for immediate use with your electric violin as well.
How crazy you get depends entirely on the depth of your pockets, as you can outfit an entire professional-grade studio with Pro Tools gear and audio interface units (check out our post on MBox for more on interfaces and how they fit in to the Pro Tools concept).
If you don’t own an electric violin, you’ll need a slightly different method of getting the tones from your Stradivarius to your PC. Enter the microphone. They’re available in as many varieties as the day is long, but your best bet is to begin with the end in mind, and go with an instrument microphone voiced especially with the violin in mind. Perhaps we’ll explore that in a later topic…
Once you’ve settled on your microphone setup, you’re back in business with Pro Tools mike interface and effects. Armed with a small army of noise cancellation tools and advanced equalizers, as well as the kinds of amazing reverb effects you’d expect, you’ll be able to render your violin beautifully onto a recording. Bottom line: Pro Tools is great stuff, but a little on the pricey side.
Recording violin with Logic.
We’ll look at Apple’s flagship music program next. Like Pro Tools offerings, Logic comes in a couple different “trims” – Express and Studio. As the name implies, Logic Express isn’t quite as fully-featured as the Studio variant. But you’d have to be a long way into the violin music recording world to really know the difference, because Apple packed quite a bit of punch in both Logic variants.
Just like Pro Tools, Logic has a knockout set of guitar effects, and the best part is that it comes that way right out of the box (standard). If you enjoy using guitar effects with your violin music, that’s great news. And even if all you’re looking for is to be able to tweak the warmth, tone, feel, reverb, etc of your violin recording, you’ll be able to accomplish tons of that using Logic’s ample acoustic amp models.
Logic is about the perfect mix of control (or flexibility, whatever your perspective is) with usability. You don’t have to take junior college classes to figure Logic out, and you’ll get all the functionality you need.
Logic’s Studio version comes in significantly less expensive than Pro Tools HD’s hardware/software combo, but a bit more than the Pro Tools LE option (depending on your source).
You don’t have to sacrifice ease of use for full functionality, and both Logic and Pro Tools are terrific choices. If you’re looking for the best software to record violin, it’s tough to beat either of these products.
Other musical resources:
Should I buy Studio 9? – Pro Tools HD vs Apple Studio Logic – Do I need MBox 2 Audio Interface? – Violin Lessons and Life Achievement – 5 Tips for buying Cheap Guitars – Finding good Guitar Straps – How to Teach Yourself Guitar – How to Sing Better – Distortion pedal deals – Save on Electric Guitar Strings -