Audio equipment maker Behringer is probably best known these days for cranking out relatively inexpensive mixers, microphones, synthesizers, and other gear — often (more than) inspired by classic audio gear.

Now Behringer plans to get into the software space. The company posted a Facebook message this weekend indicating that it’s developing a Music Tribe DAW, or digital audio workstation.

It will take “at least 18 months” to deliver… but when it arrives, it’ll be available free of charge, which could make it an alternative to other cheap or free audio editing and mixing tools such as the open source Audacity or the get-you-hooked-so-you’ll-pay-for-subscription-features Pro Tools First.

Behginer X-Touch control surface

When I’m not writing about small computers and related technologies, I’m often producing, editing, and mixing podcasts. So I have a habit of keeping an eye out for new audio tools.

For the past decade or so, my digital audio editing workstation of choice has been Reaper, a versatile, cross-platform, and affordable tool created by the person who brought us Winamp. But I’ve also spent time with Pro Tools, Audacity, Hindenberg, and a number of other programs over the years.

It’s obviously far too early to say how Behringer’s Music Tribe DAW will stack up against the competition. But the company does say that it plans to include:

  • Multiple user interfaces for both recording and DJ
  • Samples and VST (virtual studio plugins)
  • Support for third-party VSTs

The VST support means you’ll be able to leverage an enormous ecosystem of existing plugins to extend the functionality of whatever Behringer does deliver by adding compressors, noise reduction, pitch correction, distortion, and much, much more.

But if you’re looking for a free, full-featured digital audio workstation that offers features you won’t find in Audacity (like non-destructive editing, which lets you make changes to a project without actually overwriting your original audio source), you don’t necessarily need to wait 18 months. Cakewalk became freeware a few years ago. And if you want a complete overkill solution, you could always install DaVinci Resolve, a free and very powerful video editing workstation that also happens to have a DAW called Fairlight built-in.

So while it’ll be nice to have more choices for audio editing on a budget, I’m not really sure what Behringer will bring to the table that you can’t already find elsewhere. But the decision to give the software Music Tribe branding does suggest at least one reason the company is developing the audio editing utility — to promote its recently launched Music Tribe marketplace that allows musicians to buy and sell gear.

via Engadget

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  1. I’ve been using Reaper, which is great. But I’ll give the free Cakewalk a try. Thanks for the post.