I make most of my electroacoustic music by hand, by eye, and by ear. I piece together sounds processed by software and combine them with unusual, often home-made, instruments performed live in public or ensconced inside my studio.
No single platform suffices for me just yet: I run Windows, Apple, and Linux machines. I favor Win 8.1 (with Classic Shell to suppress those stupid tiles) and Win 10. OS X Sierra is stable for me (sort of).
I’m happy to report that Audition CC, the indisputably best stereo audio editor on any platform, has finally surpassed Audition 3.0.1 (yes, Sound Forge runs a close second).
If you are considering switching to Linux, read Kim Cascone‘s pathbreaking 2009 article, “Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu.” I also recommend “8 Best Open Source Music Making Softwares for Linux” (sic) which was compiled in March 2016 and the superb catchall site Libre Music Production. Alas, audio tools for Linux are not quite as powerful as industry-standard software such as Audition CC, ProTools, Logic, Ableton, etc.
I’m impressed by Logic and Reaper and recommend it for those running OS X. ProTools, despite a few remaining flaws, has improved remarkably, though in good conscience I teach my students at least two DAW software programs. Nothing lasts forever: ProTools’ market dominance has receded over the last decade.
I’m platform agnostic; they’re all bad right now. Since adopting Microsoft’s shove-it-out-the-door development model, Apple has also done terrible things to OS X; Apple and MS have been interchangeable for quite some time.
I use an assortment of bundled, freeware, and shareware plug-ins along with lots of apps and utilities like GranuLab and SPEAR. Rather than worry whether reverb X is better than reverb Y, I study my tools thoroughly; some demand a decade or more to master.
I inherited a small trove of acoustic instruments from my grandfather, Peter DeLaurenti Sr., who led an accordion school in the 1930s and rented out band instruments at DeLaurenti Music for over four decades. (Grandpa sometimes crops up in the above header image wielding a baton!) I also have an assortment of instruments found and salvaged at garage sales, on the street, and at thrift stores. I make a few things too. I believe all objects, ideas, and processes are musical instruments awaiting a master – or at least a sincere explorer.
Three Camels for Orchestra