I have a friend that want a basic home recording studio where she can record guitar and her vocals/lyrics.
What’s a good software for sing-songwriters these days?
I was thinking Adobe Audition or Sony Vegas but maybe there’s cheaper or better options out there?
REAPER is indeed great, but it’s kind of complicated (not quite on par with Blender complicated, but still). I’ll go ahead and second REAPER, but I’ll also recommend looking into:
MuLab, available free with limitations or a couple of reasonably affordable package options. It’s nice and straight-forward, easy to get started in, but still powerful if you need it.
Kristal Audio Engine, available free for non-commercial use or 25 EUR for single-user license. It’s basically just a multirack recorder/editor, and its main drawback is no apparent support for third-party plugins (VSTs, AUs, etc.).
LMMS, or Linux MultiMedia Studio, a FOS FL Studio act-alike that started out on Linux and has since been ported to Windows. They’ve updated several time since I last played with it, but at least they’re up to version 1
I’ve tried out all of these at one time or another, although some of them have been updated quite a bit since I last fired them up. Of these I’d recommend MuLab or REAPER the most, but I believe MuLab has a gentler learning curve than REAPER, albeit possibly at the cost of power. REAPER is cheaper at its lowest purchase option, but more expensive for a full commercial license.
I likewise would have recommended Garageband, since it seems to be a great program for all the basics and enough of a taste of the more advanced stuff to whet the appetite of neophyte power-users
I don’t know of a good Windows equivalent, though.
And you may be right about prior DAW experience getting in the way. I’d used SONAR and Live before trying out REAPER, so it might be a matter of how things work in one versus the other and wrestling with the difference.
MuLab looks very user friendly and apparently free since she just need a guitar and vocal track.
I will tell her to try that first as she just need something simple to sketch a song out, and then Reaper etc. if she need more options.