I also started with no help and that can get very expensive. I wish we had places like this back in the days. I am not that old but if you can think back to 1986-1994, internet was a growing baby, and dial up was a joke. lol
A small peace of advise that’s always helped me. Write down the styles of music you like to make, think and listen to alike sounds and spend sometime reading. Knowing the basics will always help your growth.
It is amazing how many people are willing to help when it comes to music. I think is a fantastic things we have as creators. We can all learn things we learn at school with seasoning on the side. Cakewalk takes me back to the Acid Pro days. I never got too much into CW because AP was so much easier and came with great basic plugins. Don’t judge, I recorder two albums on AP out today. lol For me it was easy for recording music I played using Presonus fire-wire interface, HP Pavilion with a 1.2 super slow now AMD, Roland XP 80, Boss drum machine, and sounds I recorder live in my younger days.
Cakewalk and Acid are missed by many and I believe Acid foundation is somewhat like Pro Tools when you place them side by side.
I still run Acid for making some things, but my currently working choices are Protools HD10, Ableton 9.5, Roland G6, Korg Kross 88 Keys, Kontakt 5, and acoustic guitar and bass.
As far as plugins, Ableton Live 9 has great factory ones. What I like is the sounds it produces when I use it. I have made live music and turned them into loops. Ableton and Acid help me with that.
Waves Mercury plugins cost me 25 chickens, 8 cows, a few chips, gave up my sister and sill owed. lol $$$ Don’t do that. I love them and will not change. Head over to Waves.com and download their trials, you can get them cheap now and also single.
I have a subscription for Splice.com for $ 19.00 a month, I will own Ozone and Neutron in two more payments. They are a great place for me and maybe something to look at at least. They also have tons of loops with great sounds and other rent to own products including Studio One.
Ableton Live 9.5, $ 980. at the time with all the packs including Max, ProTools HD 10 because is the industry standard and I now have a working Home Studio, Waves, Slate, Izotope, Digidesign, and Native.
You dont have to go this route, just wanted to share what I used and works for me. In no way shape or form I am saying this will work for you at all, but I have helped a few friends start off and for some reason they love Ableton. I think we should all get paid for the plugs we give… lol
My type of music is Unknown but the ingredients are Salsa, HipHop, Rock, Rap, Trap, Soul, Country and R&B. I just mix a little bit of everything and sometimes get lucky. lol
Sorry for the lengthy reply. Mods welcome to cut if you like…
Hope some info helps.