So, you’ve been wanting to get into music production and you have all the gear you need. You’re ready to start, right? WRONG! Before you can get started making music, you need the right software to record and assemble your music correctly. Despite some saying being good with music is more important than software, it’s still excellent to have better software to help with your workflow.
You want to pick something that falls within your means, meets your needs and will help make things easier for you as well as something that is at least somewhat future proofed. What you want is something that is inexpensive enough to not break the bank that accomplishes everything you need it do as well as something that will still be a relevant product in the future. So, here is a list of 10 different pieces of music production software.
1. Ableton Live
This program is a good option for most people. It provides you with basic cut, paste,and splice features as well as MIDI sequencing hardware and software. There are also a substantial number of included sound packages that allow you to make music right out of the box with minimal fuss and messing around. Finally, it makes live music making extremely simple and straightforward.
2. FL Studio
This particular piece of music software is one of the top options for beginners in music production. It’s simple, straightforward and has an extremely beginner-friendly interface so users can easily understand it and just get started. It takes a bit of reading to get going with it but, once you’re going it’s simple to understand and use. You can use MIDI keyboards, microphones and so on and do the basic editing and mixing so you can do all the basic mixing and recording bits that is standard for this sort of thing.
3. Apple Logic Pro
This is a much more advanced DAW program than the last two, but it is only available on Mac and has a far higher learning curve. The features include track consolidation, instrument layering, score editing and many more. While there are a number of handy features and it’s a lot more advanced in comparison to the last two, Logic Pro will take longer to learn and it’s a good idea to take a month or so to play around with it and learn the little details. Fortunately, the price is on about the same level as FL Studio.
4. Avid Pro Tools
While Avid Pro is one of the most advanced and professional tools available, it is also one of the most complicated. What this means is that it will take an extremely long time to learn how to use it properly. There are, in fact, schools with entire programs dedicated to nothing but this program. Of course, it comes with the standard features that let you compose, record, mix, edit, master and so on. The advanced features include an Avid Audio Engine that makes processing incredibly fast, increased memory to help with delay plus a few others.
Reason is a less well-known but extremely stable program that uses a pretty basic drag and drop interface. It sits somewhere between semi-professional and beginner in terms of difficulty. It has a number of handy tools for audio splicing and so on and supports most MIDI hardware.
6. Apple Garageband
Garageband is extremely basic and very useful for beginners still learning music production. It helps with visualizing what you’re making as it’s being made. It has a wide collection of amps that can get plugged in. While it is a straightforward and basic piece of software, Garageband is mouse only.
7. Sony Acid
Acid is a basic and extremely straightforward music program. It records tracks, has MIDI support, and audio looping in addition to several other general features. As an extremely basic program, Acid is also the cheapest one so far running you $60.
Steinberg comes with all the basic offerings as well as a number of extra features. It lets you do manual MIDI editing to move notes, gives you unlimited tracks and incorporated VSTs. Additionally, Cubase has one of the largest stock sound libraries of any program. It’s a bit expensive and hard to learn though nowhere near the level of Pro Tools and includes a number of very good options.
9. Cockos Reaper
Reaper is an extremely basic program and is limited to the essential features, so you can edit, cut paste, and split tracks. It also provides support for most creators through plugins and supports most audio interfaces. Reaper is extremely basic and includes just the essentials but can still be a good fit for you.
10. PreSonus Studio
Amongst this list of the top 10 Best Music Production Software (DAWs), details on GadgetsPage, PreSonus Studio is one of the most advanced. It includes all of the essentials for music production but is nowhere near as convoluted as some other choices. It has superior workflow options to many of the simpler offerings but without the complexity and steep learning curve that you get with pro tools.
These particular choices are most useful music production programs available. While some are more complicated than others, this list will have something suitable for everyone. Which choice is best for you will depend on what you are looking for. The best choice will depend on what features and price range you are looking at. The best way to pick a program is to start with features and make a list of the ones you cannot live without and then come up with a maximum price. Then you can just pick the program from that list that best meets your needs. This is the best approach as it stops you from spending excess money on unused features.