Summary: If you’re a music enthusiast looking to get started with music production, this blog has got you covered! It features a list of the best music production software in the market, along with their features and benefits, to help you find the perfect fit for your needs and preferences.
Music production has come a long way over the years, from its humble beginnings with tape recordings to a multi-billion-dollar industry and workstations.
The competition among music production software companies is fierce, each striving to provide the best platform for amateur and professional producers. Music production software, sometimes called Digital Audio Workstations, is a computer program that is used to record, mix, edit and produce music.
It provides musicians with a virtual environment with a variety of tools to create and manipulate sounds, apply effects, and arrange musical ideas to create and produce high-quality music.
So today, we will be looking at the best music production software available. We have researched and tested various software options on multiple devices to ensure that we bring you only the best recommendations.
Table of Contents
9 Best Music Production Software for Beginners in 2024
- Audacity: Best free and open-source software
- Pro Tools: Overall best software
- GarageBand: Best for Apple devices
- Ableton Live: Best for DJs, Hip-hops and EDMs
- Logic Pro X: Best music production software for Mac users
- Bitwig Studio: Best software for creating modular music
- LMMS: Best music production software for beginners
- Reason Studios: Best for creating the latest sounds and effects
- Presonus Studio One: Best music production software for professionals
OS: Windows, macOS and Linux
Audacity is a free, widely used open-source software. It ensures superb sound quality with support for a variety of file types and high-quality reprocessing and filtering. A variety of plug-ins, effects, and editing tools are also available, along with infinite undoes and redoes and real-time effect previews. You can edit and merge sound files, digitize records, and record sounds live with this software.
Features of Audacity
- Supports 16-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit sound quality
- Ensures easy sound editing
- Supports every type of audio file along with live recording
- Offers audio effect plugins like LV2, LADSPA, Nyquist, Audio Unit, and VST
Pros and Cons of Audacity
Pricing: Audacity is a free and open-source music production software
OS: Windows and macOS
Pro Tools is a great music production software by Avid. It is a top choice for musicians, producers, and audio technicians worldwide.
Pro Tools offers a vast selection of instruments, plug-ins, and sounds and the exclusive monthly Sonic Drops of new samples, loops, and presets. Pro Tools allows you to easily produce, mix, and record music and audio in pristine sound quality.
Features of Pre Tools:
- Over 500 audio tracks and 1000 Midi tracks
- Dolby Atmos, surround, and Ambisonics multi-channel mixing
- Easily handle big projects
- Industry-standard features and updates
Pros and Cons of Pro Tools
Pricing: Pro Tools paid plan starts at $9.99 per month.
OS: iOS and Mac
GarageBand is a cutting-edge, mac only audio software designed by Apple. It is a music production studio with a complete library of instruments, presets, and thousands of loops from popular genres.
Its Drummer tool is great for creating beats, and its Smart Controls simplify sound editing. It also integrates with the Logic Remote iPad app and is also compatible with Logic Pro.
Features of GarageBand:
- Offers 3000+ loops & 400+ audio effects
- Create music with or without an instrument
- Consists of 28 drummers & 3 percussionists
- Design your own bass
Pros and Cons of GarageBand
Pricing: GarageBand is free music production software for macOS users
OS: macOS and Windows
Ableton Live 11 is a powerful music production software that has become the standard for creating music like EDM, and hip-hop beats. It allows you to easily organize multiple takes of audio or MIDI performances and create your perfect take by combining the best moments.
With its linked-track editing feature, you can edit multiple tracks simultaneously and keep everything on time across tracks. Additionally, it allows you to approach sound design in a new way by splicing together random samples from your library.
Ableton Live Features:
- Multi-track music recording at 32-bit/192 kHz
- Advanced warping and time-stretching
- Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks with each song
- 70+ GB (5000+) soundtracks
Pros and Cons of Ableton Live
Pricing: Ableton Live paid plan starts at $99 (One-time payment), also it offers a 90-day free trial.
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is another music software for and by Apple. It is an all-in-one professional audio editing and production software that offers integrated Dolby Atmos tools to create fully immersive spatial audio mixes.
Its expanded surround mixer, 3D Object Panner, and enhanced plug-ins optimized for audio provide all the tools needed to create professional-sounding mixes. The software offers industry-leading tools such as Flex Time to manipulate timing and tempo, group-related tracks, and multiple comps takes, making it the ultimate way to record and produce music.
Features of Logic Pro X:
- Professional music or audio production software
- Beat making and drum production
- Huge sound library
- You can create your own bass or guitar rig with Amp Designer
Pros and Cons of Logic Pro X
Pricing: Logic Pro X costs you $199 (One-time payment).
OS: Windows, macOS and Linux.
Bitwig Studio is a linear & non-linear modular music production software that offers countless creative possibilities. The software includes exclusive hardware integration capabilities such as MIDI handling, pitch timing, and latency adjustment.
Bitwig Studio, used by well-known musicians such as Hany Manja and DJ Zinc, offers a modular sound creation framework called The Grid and a robust Sampler with flexible note-based modulations.
Features of Bitwig Studio:
- A comprehensive collection of over 90 instruments and effects
- 10 GB (and rising) of high-quality audio content
- Offers a robust multi-sample editor
- A vast library of loops presets, and sounds
Pros and Cons of Bitwig Studio
Pricing: Bitwig Studio costs you $99 (One-time payment)
OS: Windows, Linux and macOS
LMMS, formerly known as Linux Multimedia Studio, is a versatile music production software that is now available on multiple platforms. It features multiple windows for editing melodies, rhythm sections, song structure, mixing, and automation.
With various instrument synthesizers and compatibility with third-party apps, LMMS is a great option for beginners looking to make music for free using MIDI controllers. The program also allows you to export your project in various formats, such as mp3, wav, etc.
Features of LMMS:
- Creates melodies and beats with Piano Roll and Beat+Bassline Editor
- Integrates with third-party apps using LADSPA and VST plug-ins
- Offers ready-to-use content such as instruments and effects
- User-friendly interface with typing and MIDI keyboard support
Pros and Cons of LMMS
Pricing: LMMS is free music production software
OS: Windows and macOS
Reason Studio is a music production software offering an integrated platform with diverse sound sources, including subtractive synths, wavetable and granular machines. It offers a variety of instruments, MIDI FX, Player effects, and utilities for music production.
Their latest addition, Chord Sequencer, helps musicians discover new chords quickly. With Sound Packs created by renowned sound designers, fresh soundtracks are available every week.
Features of Reason Studios:
- The latest Reason Studio version works in offline mode also
- Supports VST3, AU, and AAX plug-ins
- 30+ virtual instruments and musical effects
- In-built chord builder
Pros and Cons of Reason Studios
Pricing: Reason Studio’s pricing plan starts at $19.99 per month.
Presonus Studio One
OS: Windows and macOS
PreSonus Studio One is a music production software that uses a simple drag-and-drop workflow, a customizable interface, and built-in tools to record, compose, blend, master, and showcase music.
It offers smart templates for quick starts, a video track for easy audio-to-video syncing, and powerful production tools such as a built-in beat maker, chord track, lightning-fast comping, and more. PreSonus Studio is a flexible and efficient tool that can help music producers bring their inspirations to life.
Features of PreSonus One:
- Built-in lyrics tracker and beat maker
- 100+ virtual instruments and sounds
- Export in multiple formats with 1 click
- Supports both modern and traditional sequencing
Pros and Cons of PreSonus One
Pricing: PreSonus paid plan is available on request.
Must-Have Features of a Music Production Software
When it comes to music production software, there are a few essential features that every musician or producer should look for.
- Firstly, the software should have a user-friendly interface that allows for easy navigation and efficient workflow.
- Secondly, it should offer a variety of virtual instruments and audio effects to help create unique sounds and styles.
- Thirdly, it should have a robust mixing and mastering capability to help achieve a polished final product. Fourthly, the software should offer the ability to collaborate and share projects with others.
- Lastly, it should be regularly updated and have good technical support to ensure optimal performance and troubleshooting.
By keeping these features in mind, you can ensure that you are selecting the best music production software that meets all of your creative needs.
Additional Tips to Ace Music Production
Once you’ve picked your preferred software, it’s time to start creating music. Here are some additional tips to help you get started with music production software and improve your skills:
- Regular practice will help develop your music production talents
- Experiment with several genres to broaden your knowledge and talents
- Learn more about music-producing software by using tutorials and resources
- To improve your compositions, learn the fundamentals of music theory
- Collaborate with other musicians to learn new methods and perspectives
- To avoid burnout and remain productive, take breaks and keep focused
- Invest in high-quality equipment to improve the audio quality of your recordings
What is music production software?
Music production software is a digital tool used by music producers to create, record, edit, and manipulate audio files. It allows producers to produce music using a computer, ranging from simple software with basic features to advanced digital audio workstations with professional-level capabilities.
What is the best music production software for beginners?
The best music production software for beginners are GarageBand, Ableton Live Lite, Audacity, and LMMS. They have user-friendly interfaces with a wide range of features and are affordable or free to use.
Can you produce music on a laptop?
Yes, you can produce music on a laptop, in fact, many music producers use laptops based on their portability and processing power.
What music production software do professionals use?
Some commonly used software among professionals includes Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and PreSonus Studio One.
What is the must have software for music production?
The must-have software for music production depends on personal preferences and needs. However, some popular options include Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, Audacity, and LMMS. These software packages offer a variety of features for recording, editing, mixing, and mastering audio tracks.
How to use music production software?
To use music production software, you need to first choose and install the software on your computer. Then, familiarize yourself with the interface, controls, and features and experiment with different tools and effects to create music tracks. Practice, patience, and creativity are key to mastering music production software.
What is the easiest music production software to use?
Some commonly recommended software options for music production are GarageBand, Audacity, Ableton Live, and Logic Pro X.
What is the most popular music production software?
Logic Pro X and Ableton are the most popular music production software.
What is the best free music production software?
Audacity and LMMS are the best free music production software.
What is the best music production software for windows?
Pro Tools by Avid is said to be the best music production software for windows. This tool uses less disk space and offers various features to write songs, make beats, record instruments and vocals.
What is the best music production software for Mac?
Apple offers a separate audio editing and production software for its users, Logic Pro X, and it is indeed the best software for Mac.
What is the best free music production software for Mac?
Audacity is the best free music production software for Mac. As, it offers various features like beat making, music mixing, camping etc. that paid tools might have, and it is completely free.
What music software do producers use?
Producers use a wide range of music software depending on their specific needs and preferences. Some popular choices include Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and Logic Pro X.
Where to buy music production software?
Techjockey is a popular online platform where you can buy music production software from various vendors.
Why is music production so expensive?
Music production can be expensive due to the high cost of equipment, software, and studio time. Additionally, there are actors, professional musicians, producers, and engineers who can add to the overall cost.