Whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner just getting started, if you’re a producer creating music on your computer, you need music production software.
Choosing the music production software (also referred to as a digital audio workstation) that is the best fit for you is essential. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best music production software for every type of music producer.
What is a Digital Audio Workstation?
A digital audio workstation is simply the technical terminology for music production software. A DAW provides you with all the necessary tools and features to create music on a digital platform.
What to Think About When Choosing Music Production Software
There are several factors to think about when choosing music production software that will be the best fit.
When selecting your DAW, the most important variable to consider is your level of experience. Some music production software is geared more toward semi-professional and professional producers, so be certain to determine if the software is best for beginners to digital music production.
Music production software can become expensive, especially when you have professional versions with numerous added features. Because a DAW is an investment, it’s important to decide what your budget range is, and then find music production software that provides the features you want for your desired price range.
Another important thing to consider when choosing music production software is whether it is compatible with a PC, Mac, or both. Regardless of whether you are firmly entrenched in either the PC camp or the Mac camp, having a computer that meets the minimum system requirements for the respective music production software is essential.
Versions: Fruity, Producer, Signature, All Plugins Edition
Mac system requirements: macOS 10.13.6 or later, 4GB storage space, 4GB RAM
PC system requirements: Windows 8.1, 10 or later, 4GB storage space, 4GB RAM
Popular with renowned professional producers
Best for beginners
Ideal for EDM and hip-hop
A lifetime of free updates
Rudimentary audio editing compared to some other DUWs
Sincebeing released by Image Line well over a decade ago, FL Studio has become the most popular DUW in certain circles with some very renowned DJs and music producers – namely, Madeon, Alan Walker, Metro Boomin, and the late Avicii just to name a few.
FL Studio is ideal for beginners as well, offering a very user-friendly interface. Furthermore, because of the popularity of this music production software, there are a myriad of tutorials on any given feature available on YouTube.
In addition, Image Line offers a free trial FL Studio download to enable you to get a feel for the software to see if it is a good fit prior to purchasing.
Minimum system requirements: Microsoft Windows 10 | 8 | 7; 1 GHz processor; 1 GB RAM; 400 MB free hard drive space for installation; 5 GB for additional features
A good option for beginners
User-friendly assists with the learning curve
Over 2,500 available loops for rock, hip-hop, and house production
Basic music production software compared to other DUWs on the market
If you are just starting out as a producer, Acid Music Studio 11 is a good option because of its price point. Because of the basic available features, this DUW is ideal for beginners to learn the ropes, as it were.
Some of the features include numerous tutorials, and over 2,500 available loops used for the production of different music styles, with 24-bit, 192 kHz multitrack sound.
In addition, Acid Music Studio 11 offers Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plug-in support so you can utilize virtual instruments or effects.
Minimum system requirements for Mac: macOS 10.13 or higher (64-bit only), Intel CoreTM i3 processor or better, 4 GB RAM minimum (8 GB or more recommended), 40 GB hard-drive space
Minimum system requirements for PC: Windows 10 (64-bit only), Intel Core i3/AMD A10 processor or better, 8 GB RAM or more recommended
Studio One is great for all skill levels
Numerous available tutorials for beginners
Ideal for different forms of music production
The user interface is a bit cluttered compared to other DAWS
When it comes to versatility in a DAW, PreSonus Studio One is the go-to music production software. Regardless of the type of music that you produce, the latest Version 5 of the software is a good option with all of its features.
PreSonus Studio One is intuitive, and provides numerous tutorials and how-to guides, making it an excellent tool for beginners just learning the ropes.
Minimum system requirements for Mac: Mac OS X 10. 11 or later (64-bit), 8GB RAM or more recommended, 40 GB hard-drive space
Minimum system requirements for PC: Windows 7 or later (64-bit), 8GB RAM or more recommended
Ability to use the software as a plug-in with other DAWs
A good option for guitar and bass recording
Automatically chops and splices audio files
Not as beginner-friendly as other music production software
For music producers who have a bit of experience with DAWs, Reason Studios Reason music production software can be a good option. This DAW offers a workflow best suited for those above the novice range, who have previous experience with a DAW and understand the fundamentals.
One of the best perks of Reason is the fact that this software can be used with other DAWs as a plug-in. This is unprecedented and certainly will gain this music production software more fans, considering it already has its fair share of admirers.
In addition, the newest version offers a new sampler. Furthermore, the latest update offers a massive sound bank of over 29,000 samples, loops, and device patches.
Regardless of your experience level, if you wish to produce music in our digital age, you need music production software. The DAWs available on the market today all provide excellent features and have a solid history in the music community.
However, that said, depending on your experience level and budget, the best overall choice for music production software in our opinion is Image Line FL Studio.
There are four different versions ofFL Studio available to music producers depending on your skill level. Likewise, at the $99 price point, this DAW is an excellent option for beginners wanting to learn the ropes of digital music production. With numerous tutorials and guides, FL Studio is a good educational resource as well.
After selecting your music production software, you must reach your target audience and promote your music. Components such as digital consultancy, social media marketing, and mobile marketing for targeting your audience on their mobile devices are all effective strategies for marketing your music.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.