Advancements in technology have allowed the music recording and production process to become a true art form. Gone are the days when you needed all kinds of fancy equipment to record a song. Now, computer software can do most of the work for you. In today’s digital world, there are so many great digital recording options that often outperform many archaic analog recording techniques. At our studios, our equipment is continually updated, and we combine our digital studio options with high-quality outboard gear to add warmth to a sound before entering our Digital Audio Workstations (DAW). Speaking of software, we’ve gathered together a list of a few of the best in the business. The proper software will give you the full capability to transform the song you’ve been working so hard on in your head into an amazing reality. 

A DAW is basically a canvas for an artist to create their works of art on. It’s a computer program designed for editing, recording, mixing, and mastering audio files, according to The Wire Realm. You can record various instruments and vocals, lay down tracks, rearrange, splice, cut, paste, add effects, and more to your heart’s delight. Keep in mind your experience level and budget if you’re thinking about getting your own plus there’s always the Mac vs. PC debate.

Ableton Live tops The Wire Realm’s list of the top 10 best music creation software. Ableton was founded in 1999 and released the first version of Live in 2001. Live, Push and Link are different types of Ableton software and hardware products, but Live is recommended for users of all levels of experience and can operate on Mac or Windows. According to the Ableton website, Live is fast, fluid, and flexible software for music creation and performance. It comes with effects, instruments, sounds, and all kinds of creative features—everything you need to make any kind of music. You can create in a traditional linear arrangement or improvise without the constraints of a timeline in Live’s Session View. You can move freely between musical elements and play with ideas, without stopping the music and without breaking your flow. Another huge plus is the inclusion of 23 sound libraries, and there’s seamless Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) sequencing software and hardware. MIDI is a standard means of sending digitally encoded information about music between electronic devices such as synthesizers. With Live, The Wire Realm says this process is extremely headache-free. Ableton is also the best music software for performing live with, the website says as well. Happy Media says the grid view remains one of Live’s key differentiating factors, allowing users to mix and match structural elements and loops with ease. It’s also a full-blown recording powerhouse.

FL Studio by Image-Line is also on the list and is perfect for beginners and up and works great with Mac or PC. It’s one of the best DAWS out there for getting your feet wet in the music-making world. It’s been out for some time but is still one of the most popular software to date, with the ability to use MIDI keyboards, record into it with a microphone, and do your standard editing and mixing with a simple interface. The Wire Realm says it’s very user-friendly, and the retail price is lower than others out there. Artists like Afrojack, Basshunter, and DeadMau5 all use it. FL Studio is the result of 20 years of continuous development and is built for musicians. Features include advanced automation, a piano roll, instruments and effects, and more. The piano roll allows you to play samples in different notes almost immediately, pitching samples down a key, according to Steemit. That means it’s easier to lay down notes that have different pitch values over the course of a section, making it not difficult to be creative when it comes to laying percussions. 

This is really helpful to those who are not proficient in sampling but want to give it a try. This also means that it’s easier to lay down notes that have different pitch values over the course of a section, making it easier to be creative when it comes to laying percussions. Producers often use FL Studio too for its simplicity.

Avid Pro Tools is another good software that makes the cut but is recommended for the expert/professional level. It works on both Mac and PC but was specifically made for Mac, so that tends to work better. If you’re looking for the mixing and mastering industry standard, this is a great choice. There are actually entire school programs dedicated to using Pro Tools which definitely says something! Happy Media says of all the major DAWs, it most closely resembles a real-life console, and millions of studio professionals have gotten used to its workflow over the decades. The software is also something you can get certified in, and although it might take a lot of time and effort to learn, The Wire Realm says if you go big with Pro Tools, you’re set for life. Pro Tools gives you the standard ability to compose, mix, edit, master, and record but also has its own Avid Audio Engine which gives you a super-fast processor, a 64-bit memory capacity for sessions, and built-in metering. Change the tempo and try Elastic Pitch which is a kind of autotune but for correcting harmonies. There are additionally 70 effects and plug-ins. With Avid Cloud Collaboration, you can collaborate with anyone on a project as long as you have the software and an internet connection. On its website, Avid says Pro Tools is more than just software. It’s an ecosystem of tightly integrated software, hardware, and control surfaces that work together to accelerate your workflow. Some musicians use Pro Tools just for mixing and mastering and then an additional DAW to make music from scratch, so it’s up to you how you want to use it.