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Best Music Production Software


In 2019, music production software has become more mobile than ever. This updated list of the best recording software includes packages that automatically scale to fit any screen size. New technologies in modern DAWs eliminate latency when using wireless devices as interfaces or virtual instruments.

This year, we’ve also seen great improvements to the built-in virtual synthesizers included with music production software. You can expect your DAW to come with more built-in samples than ever — and more interesting ways to manipulate those samples to fit the needs of your project.

Quicklook: Best Recording Software

Any seasoned producer will tell you that choosing the best audio engineering software is more than comparing data points like pricing or percentage of usage – it’s a personal choice. Better yet, it’s a personal journey.

About 10 years ago, the industry standard was Pro Tools, and one could argue that you weren’t a “professional” if you didn’t use it. Today that has changed, and there are many powerful DAW’s out there that can get the job done. Often times the top audio engineering software programs are used in conjuncture with each other.

Here’s Audio Assemble’s full list of the top music production software:

Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio

Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio [Online Code] on Amazon
Mixcraft 8 Recording Studio

Translated in 20 languages, installed in over 10,000 music classrooms worldwide, Mixcraft 8 is one of the fastest growing DAW’s today. Record, edit, trigger loops, 7800 loop sample library, effects and plug-ins, pitch-correction (integrated Melodyne Essentials bundled), MIDI sync, automation, side-chaining, samplers, add/edit video, cross-fade images, motion text, fx transitions, publish to HQ audio formats, MP3, MP4 videos direct to youtube and many popular video and music sites…! It will surprise you.

  • Unlimited Audio and MIDI Tracks
  • Insert Video Track, multiple lanes, add motion text, cross-fade images, fx transitions
  • 21 Virtual Instruments
  • 56 Pro Audio effects
  • Live recording to Performance Panel
  • Global automation recording
  • Mix Down to Stems with flexible rendering options
  • Route MIDI from one track to another
  • Unlimited nested submixes
  • One-click simultaneous publishing to music and video sites
  • One-time license fee owned in perpetuity
  • No annual subscription fees
  • Technical Support 7 days a week
  • Download a Trial Edition Mixcraft Pro Studio

Pro Tools

pro-tools-music-production-software

Buy Now on Amazon

Everyone wants to kill the king, but there’s a reason why he’s in the thrown, and in the world of audio, Pro Tools is the king of recording. As the best DAW for recording, Pro Tools has the largest set of features for both handling, editing and recording audio. Standing a least a full head above all of it’s competitors, Pro Tools feature set leaves much to be desired when recording anywhere else.

As the grandfather of computer recording, Pro Tools has been the bane of many an engineer, artist or producer for over 30 years, but after its democratization in 2010, Avid solidified Pro Tools place in both the bedroom producer and modern mix engineer’s go to recording software.

When it comes to recording, Pro Tools has almost every imaginable configuration when it comes to handling actual audio. Within its repertoire, it has the smart tool. The smart tool includes the grabber, trim, and the selector, holding down the grabber or trim tool opens up variants, and together they make editing audio on the fly or surgically the easiest out of any of it’s competitors. Moving out of the dock and into standard short cuts and commands, users have simple access to be able to tab to transient, split at playhead, quick fade audio files, mute regions and more in fast non-destructive edits. When speaking of the actual recoding process, Pro Tools has the best file handling process out of any of its contemporaries because of its playlist feature, which cleanly delineates takes into individual hidden tracks accessible via dropdown, and comp-able via its playlist view.

Though Pro Tools may be the king of recording, it has the worst MIDI handling of all of its contemporaries, meaning you may want to take your digital creation process elsewhere if any MIDI regions are going to be involved at all.

  • 128 Audio Tracks
  • Unlimited Busses
  • 32 Channels of I/O
  • 1 Video Track
  • Highest Sample Rate: 32-Bit 192kHz
  • Sound Field: Mono, Stereo
  • Bonus: 79 Plugins

Logic Pro

Buy on iTunes

logic-pro-music-production-software

While Apple continues to struggle with their prosumer audio offerings due to some hardware glitches, Logic Pro X is still one of the most versatile multi-track recording software options available to Mac users. From the perspective of singer-songwriter that also produces their material, Logic makes recording as simple and seamless as its production processes are, but that’s where the simplicity ends.

Logic’s shortcomings in the recording process actually come in the form of its editing processes. Opting for a marquee tool rather than an easy selection option like Pro Tools Smart Tool leads to a large part of the general frustration of most users who want the ease of editing found most other DAWs. Also severely lacking is a surgical, yet non-destructive, waveform editing tool. One of the biggest annoyance when comparing Logic to some of it’s competitors is the way it handles takes, this can become a hunt to get the exact pieces you want to comp together because of Logic’s handling with files that are made as takes on the same track.

To add insult to injury, Logic is known to have a “sound,” and with Pro Tools being the industry standard brining your Logic session with you to a studio isn’t a guaranteed plug and play situation.

Though there are a host of annoyances that can be gleamed from first glance at Logic as your primary recording software, there are also a ton of advantages to using LPX vs one of its competitors.

  • 255 Audio Tracks
  • 255 Busses
  • 255 Auxiliary Tacks
  • Highest Sample Rate: 24-Bit 192kHz
  • 15 Inserts per Channel
  • Sound Filed: Mono, Stereo, Quadraphonic, LCRS, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1
  • Bonus: 100+ Plugins

Cubase Pro 10

Buy Now on Amazon

cubase-music-production-software

Steinberg basically introduced the world to modern age of music production. Literally inventing the game changing VST format, and creating a billion dollar industry, they forever altered the way music was made and the critical role that computers now play in the audio industry. Though not always the first company that comes to mind in the ever expanding DAW market, Steinberg has kept Cubase up to date with production and technology trends.

On one hand Cubase is an amazing piece of recording software that triumphs where Logic Pro struggles, and excels where Pro Tools fails to improve in MIDI handling capabilities; on the other, Cubase still feels dated and mildly clunky. Regardless of its somewhat dated user interface, everything under the hood is fresh. Cubase’s Audio Align is a stock audio aligner, akin to Vocalign, except it comes as a stock Cubase tool. The lane track concept is Cubase’s standard and hassle free comping process. With the Control Room panel users can quickly make better monitor mixes for whoever’s in the booth. The VariAudio tool is allows MIDI-styled note editing as a Melodyne like tool. Overall, Cubase is the most well-rounded vocal recording software.

  • Unlimited Audio Tracks
  • 16 Inserts
  • 6 Sends, 64 Returns
  • 256 Channels of I/O
  • 1 Video Track
  • Highest Sample Rate: 64-Bit 192kHz

Ableton Live

Buy Now on Amazon
ableton-music-production-software

Ableton Live has basically taken over the industry due to the rise of EDM, and the further exploration of what it means to be an artist in the late 2010s. Its seamless transition from studio to stage makes it the most practical recording software for artist who take their show on the road. Though Ableton should never be thought of recording software first, it does provide its users with really fun ways of handling and editing audio, which outside of quality is the most important part of the recording process.

The most clunky of the recording software on this list, Ableton makes the user work a bit harder when it comes to a lot of the standard recording processes like comping, but the reason it makes the list is because of the things that you can do with audio in regards to Ableton Live’s Warp, Slice to Drum Rack (or Sampler), and Audio to MIDI function. Ableton’s ability to stretch, pitch and destroy sounds is bar none, the best of the best, which will always make it one of the best recording softwares on the market.

  • Unlimited Audio Tracks
  • Unlimited Busses
  • 12 Sends and Returns
  • 256 Channels of I/O
  • Video with Audio Manipulation
  • Highest Sample Rate: 32-Bit 192kHz
  • Sound Field: Mono, Stereo
  • Bonus: 10+ GB of Sounds and 34 Effects

REAPER

Visit Reapers Website
reaper-music-production-software

Are you looking for a DAW that is reliable enough to use without crashing for months? One that you also don’t need to buy a new computer with (a huge hidden cost in actually buying DAW software). If so, then the “grind it out” REAPER software by Cockos is a great option for you.

The best part about REAPER is the price. You could literally buy it, install it on your computer, and if you don’t like, well you only lost around $60 if you qualify for getting it at the discount price. Another great thing about the program being so cheap is that you can use that money to spend on third party plugins (they do have free plugins as well).

You can use Reaper on a Windows 32-bit, a Windows 64-bit, an OS X 32-bit, and an OS X 64 bit.

As far as we can tell, REAPER integrates just fine with MIDI if you use the plugin ReaControlMidi. There may have been updates since this article has been written and you may want to do a little bit more research to truly figure out what type of team a MIDI and REPEAR makes.

FL Studio

Buy Now on Amazon

FL-studio-music-production-software

FL Studio is great for beginners as it is quite easy to learn compared to other DAW’s that have been mentioned on this list. And something that is also great for beginners is the pricing and the fact that you get free upgrades to new editions. There are many VSTS and effects that can be used with FL studio, but that can also be said for the other DAW’s on this list.

It is a great idea to start of with FL studio, but after a few years you will probably find yourself wanting more out of your DAW.

The Mac version is beta, so it’s probably a better idea to go with a different DAW if you are not using Windows – unless you feel like you would like to give the beta a shot that is of course.

FL studio supports many MIDI devices, and you can get a lot more information from their MIDI forum section that specifically tackles these types of topics.

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SEE CURRENT PRICES (producer edition – free upgrades for life)

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ACID Pro 7

Buy Now on Amazon
sony-acid-pro-7-xl

ACID Pro has expanded its feature set over the years, growing from a loop-based synthesizer into a full DAW. At the core, though, ACID Pro maintains the simplicity that has made it so popular for so many years. ACID Pro makes working with samples incredibly easy by allowing you to import samples from any source and work with multiple file types within the same project.

ACID Pro allows for virtually endless possibilities in manipulating samples. You can adjust the pitch or tempo without losing the sample’s original sound quality. When you add a new sample, ACID Pro automatically analyzes it and matches it to the groove of your existing track.

The primary drawback of ACID Pro is the fact that it’s becoming a bit long in the tooth. ACID Pro 7 was originally released in 2009, and little has changed since then except the price. While the price of ACID Pro 7 at the time of its original release was $315, the price is now just $149.95.

In spite of its age, ACID Pro remains a feature-rich DAW. The built-in mixer supports surround channels and submixes. It even allows you to mix sounds from outside sources and apply effects to them in real time. ACID Pro has full support for MIDI and hardware control panels — and the sample editing features are still tops in the industry.

Cakewalk SONAR

Buy Now on Amazon

SONARX3_3DBox-a8de325bd5c8e9805be960b60a12cb3d

Cakewalk SONAR is the latest iteration in a DAW that began life as an MS-DOS MIDI sequencer nearly 30 years ago. Cakewalk SONAR is famous for its beautiful interface that resembles a bank of analog devices while retaining the clean look that you expect from high-end recording software. With a 64-bit mixing engine — and support for unlimited digital and MIDI tracks — Cakewalk SONAR scales effortlessly to meet the needs of any project.

Cakewalk SONAR has some of the highest sound quality available in any DAW today. In addition to the 64-bit mixing engine, Cakewalk SONAR features improved sound quality for plugins and imported audio. SONAR automatically increases the sample rate when you use a plugin or import a new sound to prevent sound quality loss when you mix down the finished track.

Some have criticized Cakewalk SONAR’s lack of advanced music notation features. In addition, you may not find SONAR’s interface as easy to use on computers with smaller displays.

Cakewalk SONAR features support for touch screen devices. It also comes with an impressive array of effects and virtual instruments. Using the included plugins, you can do anything from emulating a tube amplifier to correcting a vocalist’s pitch in real time.

Studio One Artist or Professional

Buy Now on Amazon

Some software companies make hardware, but in the case of PreSonus, some hardware companies spend years creating a loyal customer base and then take control of their hardware functionality by creating software that can fully exploit the capabilities of their tested creations. PreSonus made a splash in the market when they initially debuted Studio One nearly ten years ago, the digital offering was a surprise to both retailers and consumers at the time but a necessary addition to the then prosumer facing interface company.

Initially paired with their hardware interfaces, Studio One quickly became a hit as both a budget and highly capable multi-track recorder, going so far as to win the Best Recording Software title in multiple industry award roundups.

  • Unlimited Audio Tracks
  • Unlimited Busses
  • 32 Channels of I/O
  • 1 Video Track in Professional
  • Highest Sample Rate: 32-Bit Sound Field: Mono, Stereo
  • Bonus: 9 or 31 Plugins

  • All music production software have one thing in common: they can help you achieve outstanding results in your production. However, a guide to select the best one among the variety in the market is important. Fortunately, this is one of the top guides for doing that.

  • Highlights Today

    Ableton live is just what i want and i am running for and looking for fl sudios review here https://socialblogideas.com/best-music-production-software-free/

  • LewisForeman

    Does anyone know which is the best broker among those listed on this site?
    https://musicalbuzz.com/best-computers-for-music-production/

  • Draig

    No mention of Reason? I am surprised. Why isn’t here?

  • Mixcraft is my first serious DAW, was playing around before with Magix Music Maker.
    Mixcraft is so intuitive and feature rich, it is easy to start making music straight off.
    Never had to consult the manual or help file to get expected results. It simply works like you expect a mutit rack recorder to work.Simply Brilliant!

Pro Tools 12 - Only $329 for Limited Time

Pro Tools 12 Professional Annual Subscription is no available for $329. Powerful music software that typically retails for around $599.